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American author Studs Terkel dead at 96

Continuing our sad Monday-morning ritual, there’s a significant literary death from over the weekend to mention. Pulitzer Prize-winning oral historian and radio personality Studs Terkel died last Friday after a long illness. Terkel, whose adopted first name owes its provenance to James T. Farrell’s American classic, Studs Lonigan, was a tireless chronicler of working class and disenfranchised Americans.

A committed leftist, he was passionately dedicated to his work. From USA Today:

In November 2007, at the age of 95, Terkel published a memoir, Touch and Go, in which he wrote: “My curiosity keeps me going. My epitaph is all set: ‘Curiosity did not kill this cat.’ I took a vacation once — it involved a beach — and to tell you the truth, I had no idea what to do with myself. It was torture. Work is life. Without it, there is no life.”