Ebert, Roger

Roger Ebert

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Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American film critic and historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. As of 2010, his reviews were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and abroad. Ebert also published more than 20 books and dozens of collected reviews.

Ebert and Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show Sneak Previews, followed by several variously named At the Movies programs. The two verbally sparred and traded humorous barbs while discussing films. They created and trademarked the phrase "Two Thumbs Up," used when both hosts gave the same film a positive review. After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert continued hosting the show with various co-hosts and then, starting in 2000, with Richard Roeper.

In 2005, Ebert became the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times said Ebert "was without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic", Tom Van Riper of Forbes described him as "the most powerful pundit in America", and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called him "the best-known film critic in America".

Ebert lived with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands from 2002. This required treatments necessitating the removal of his lower jaw, which cost him the ability to speak or eat normally. His ability to write remained unimpaired, however, and he continued to publish frequently both online and in print until his death on April 4, 2013.