He was 96.
He was a giant.
I didn't know anything of Studs Terkel until I entered college in 1978. That year, in my freshman English class, our instructor had us read a series of passages by him. For the first time in my life, I felt a true connection between words and the human condition. Terkel's words reached out to me and shook loose something deep inside me. I can't explain it any better than that.
Later that year, he visited Virginia Tech, and I was fortunate enough to hear him. From that time onward, whenever I had the pleasure of hearing Terkel speak, I would just sit and listen, transfixed. He had a way of painting that was so completely genuine and authentic.
Remembrance October 31, 2008
Talk of the Nation Interview 2005