Take It Easy But Take It

Studs Terkel, radio actor, activist, speech writer, journalist, author, Chicagoan, has died at 96:

A television institution for years, a radio staple for decades, a literary lion since 1967, when he wrote his first best-selling book at the age of 55, Louis Terkel was born in New York City on May 16, 1912. “I came up the year the Titanic went down,” he would often say.


“Remember those old Ivory soap commercials, ‘Ivory Soap, 99.44 percent pure?’ Well I am 99.44 percent dead,” he said, sitting in the sun-soaked living room of his house. The place was, as always, a wonderful mess of papers, tapes, books, letters, photos and visitors that so pleasantly cluttered his life.

“The most fun I’ve ever had doing a story was interviewing Studs in that living room,” says WMAQ and WTTW television anchor/reporter Carol Marin. “He was unique.”

He was in that living room last year when he said with zest that when he “checked out”– as a “hotel kid” he rarely used the word “dying,” preferring the euphemism “checking out” and its variants–he wanted to be cremated. He wanted his ashes mixed with those of his wife, which sat in an urn in the living room of his house, near the bed in which he slept and dreamed.

“My epitaph? My epitaph will be ‘Curiosity did not kill this cat,'” he said.

More commentary at The Glittering Eye

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Eneils Bailey says:

    I did not realize this man was still alive until recently.

    May he rest in Peace.

    To me, he was much more prominent back in the seventies and eighties. Think I read “Hard Times” back in the seventies. It gave me an enlighten perspective on my mother and father’s lives. He was born in 1919, she in 1920, both were children of the depression.

    Did not always agree with his every historical interpretation, but he certainly was interesting.