He earned a degree in philosophy.
He gave negative reviews to both The Silence of the Lambs and Unforgiven, both of which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The last film he reviewed was Simply Irresistible with Sarah Michelle Geller.
He is interred at Westlawn Cemetery in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
When he and Roger Ebert reviewed Return of the Jedi in 1983, he said he couldn't wait to see the next film in the series. He passed away just three months before the film was released.
He admitted to walking out of only two films in his entire professional career, the first was the 1969 Disney comedy Million Dollar Duck and the other was the 1996 Chris Farley/David Spade comedy Black Sheep. Of the latter he said he walked out 20 minutes before it ended pretending that he had to go to the restroom and never came back.
In 1995, he purchased the white disco suit from Saturday Night Fever at a charity auction. Later he would put it back up from auction feeling the he wanted someone else to enjoy it.
His all-time favorite film was "Saturday Night Fever."
Gene had 2 daughters (Kate & Callie) and 1 son (Will).
Gene Siskel: Roger is the only guy in history ever to answer 'Yes' to every question he's asked at McDonald's
Gene Siskel: (About 'Little Indian, Big City' after one of the reels broke and he and Roger had to go back the next day and watch the ending) If the missing reel had been footage from Orson Welles The Magnificent Ambersons this whole experience would still have sucked.
Gene Siskel: (about 'Breakin') I was caught up, quite frankly, with the gritty street urban drama, mirrored what I liked so much about Saturday Night Fever all those years ago.
Gene Siskel: Silent Night, Deadly Night has the distinction of joining I Spit On Your Grave as one of the two most contemptible films I've seen.
Gene Siskel: (on 'The Truman Show') I believe that this movie may be nothing less than a watershed movie.
Gene Siskel: (on 'Meet the Deedles') Boy, is this an annoying experience to the point the from now on, possibly for the rest of my life, I may have a negative physical reaction to hearing the words ... well ... it's the title word in the film.
Gene Siskel: (on 'Return to Oz') You know you're in trouble when your favorite character in a movie is a hen that only has a bit part.
Gene Siskel: (On 'Cannonball Run II') This cross-country car race picture didn't even have a cross-country car race in it! It was done in an animated cartoon at the end.
Gene Siskel (About 'Firestarter' referring to a scene in which the girl sets fire to some evil men.) I think this movie may be making an unintentional political point, I noticed that the chickens got out of the way before the CIA did.
Gene Siskel: (After having surgery to remove a brain tumor) I'm in a hurry to get well, because I don't want Roger to get more screen time than I.
Gene Siskel: I always ask myself, "Is the movie that I am watching as interesting as a documentary of the same actors having lunch together"
Gene Siskel: As a critic I'm all for seeing something I haven't seen before, and Lost Highway has that quality, but it is also a film that makes very little sense, to me at least, so it's violence pops out and seems empty-headed.
Gene Siskel: (On 'Daylight') As a measure of my boredom, about a half hour into this picture I became fixated on the critic down down the row from me eating some candy, it wasn't Roger it was John Petrakis from the Chicago Tribune, and I tried to guess the candy he was eating by the sounds he was making. Now, those sounds were more captivating to me than anything going on on the screen in Daylight.
Gene Siskel: (On 'Schindler's List') My first thought after seeing this film was that when I next saw it's director Steven Spielberg, I wanted to say something to him first as a human being and then as a Jew and that is 'Bless You'.
Gene Siskel: (On 'Patch Adams')This is an annoying and cloying look and attack on the impersonal way doctors treat their patients. The problem is after seeing a glimpse of Williams' personal treatment, we would settle for impersonal treatment. I would rather turn my head and cough than see any part of Patch Adams again. The title of this movie should have been Punch Adams
Gene Siskel: Fargo was the last great film that I saw.