Roger Ebert





Urbana, Illinois, U.S.



Birth Name

Roger Joseph Ebert




Roger Ebert was born on June 18, 1942 in Urbana, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois and received an undergraduates while working on the The Daily Illini.

In 1967, he began his long association with the Chicago Sun-Times where he would spend the rest of his journalistic career as their chief film critic.

In 1975, Roger Ebert became the first and, to date, only film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. Also that she year, he began his association with a fellow critic named Gene Siskel as the two were paired on a monthly local PBS show called "Opening Soon At a Theater Near You" which eventually went national. It was a completely new kind of television format consisting of two guys sitting in theater seats discussing the latest movies, and summing up their assessment with a simple "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" assessment.

In 1982, their show, under the new title "At the Movies," went into syndication and was now seen nationwide and in 1986 they joined with Buena Vista TV under the new title "Siskel & Ebert," a title that would remain for the next 13 years.

The two became so popular that their bitter fights were parodied in movies and in TV skits and eventually the trademark on "Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down" became such a part of popular culture that Gene and Roger had it trademarked.

On February 20, 1999, he lost is longtime friend and colleague Gene Siskel to cancer. Feeling that his friend would want him to go on with the show, he began inviting a series of guest critics from various newspapers to review the new movies, at this time the show was going under the temporary title "Roger Ebert & The Movies". This practice continued until mid-2000 when found a permanent co-host in Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper. The show eventually became "Ebert and Roeper" and ran under the same format for the next eight years.

In July 2006, Ebert was forced to step away from the balcony when cancer in this jaw forced him into surgery and rendered him unable to speak. At that time, Roeper continued the show with rotating guest critics until Buena Vista decided in the Summer of 2008 that it didn't want to continue with "Ebert and Roeper" any longer. Despite his illness, Roger Ebert remained active, still writing his weekly reviews as well as a movie blog. He announced a hiatus from writing in April 2013, citing the return of his cancer, then passed away the next day. Through his prolific writing, Roger Ebert maintains a status as one the most beloved film critics of all time.