Studs Terkel
Louis "Studs" Terkel was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in another category.-1960s:...

 in 1985 for The Good War
The Good War
"The Good War": An Oral History of World War Two is a telling of the oral history of World War II written by Studs Terkel. The work won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction...

, and is best remembered for his oral histories
Oral history
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews...

 of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago.
Terkel was born to Samuel Terkel, a Russian Jewish
History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
The vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest populations of Jews in the diaspora. Within these territories the Jewish community flourished and developed many of modern Judaism's most distinctive theological and cultural traditions, while also facing periods of...

 tailor and his wife, Anna Finkelin in New York City, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. At the age of eight he moved with his family to Chicago, Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, where he spent most of his life.

Something was still there, that something that distinguishes an artist from a performer: the revealing of self. Here I be. Not for long, but here I be. In sensing her mortality, we sensed our own.

On seeing a 1956 performance by Billie Holiday, Talking to Myself Bk. 4 (1977) Ch. 4

At a time when pimpery, lick-spittlery, and picking the public's pocket are the order of the day — indeed, officially proclaimed as virtue — the poet must play the madcap to keep his balance. And ours.

On Nelson Algren|Nelson Algren, Talking to Myself Bk. 4 (1977)

Chicago is not the most corrupt American city, it's the most theatrically corrupt.

The Dick Cavett Show (9 June 1978)

I'm celebrated for celebrating the uncelebrated.

For the first book, I interviewed one mother of four little kids, skinny, pretty, bad teeth — meaning no dental care — and the kids are jumping around, 'cause they want to hear their mamma's voice played back... and so I play it back, and she listens to what she said on the tape and she says, 'Oh my God,' she says. ' I never knew I felt that way before' ... That's pretty hot stuff, isn't it? That's hot stuff. That's the stuff.

You know, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely. Albert Einstein|Einstein said everything had changed since the atom was split, except the way we think. We have to think anew.