Studs Terkel

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Social Studies
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Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel

May 16, 1912-October 31, 2008

-Outspoken politically with a highly liberal tone-Felt everyone had a story(About 9,000 interveiws)-Used these interveiws to create many books about different time periods in his life

-Born Louis Terkel -Family moved to Chicago in 1922 and opened a rooming house-Terkel received his nickname while he was acting in a play with another person named Louis

Early Life

-Aired on 98.7 WFMT Chicago between 1952 and 1997.-The one-hour program was broadcast each weekday -He interviewed guests as diverse as Martin Luther King, Bob Dylan, Dorothy Parker, Tennessee Williams and Jean Shepherd

In 2014 WFMT and the Chicago History Museum announced the creation of the website,, which holds the entire collection of Studs Terkel's interviews.


Studs Terkel Program


American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster

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“We have two Governments in Washington: one run by the elected people—which is a minor part—and one run by the moneyed interests, which control everything.” ― Studs Terkel, Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

“If I had enough money, I would take busloads of people out to the fields and into the labor camps. Then they’d know how that fine salad got on their table.” ― Studs Terkel, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do“I wanted to be accepted. It must have been in sixth grade. It was just before the Fourth of July. They were trying out students for this patriotic play. I wanted to do Abe Lincoln, so I learned the Gettysburg Address inside and out. I’d be out in the fields pickin’ the crops and I’d be memorizin’. I was the only one who didn’t have to read the part, ’cause I learned it. The part was given to a girl who was a grower’s daughter. She had to read it out of a book, but they said she had better diction. I was very disappointed. I quit about eighth grade. “Any time anybody’d talk to me about politics, about civil rights, I would ignore it. It’s a very degrading thing because you can’t express yourself. They wanted us to speak English in the school classes. We’d put out a real effort. I would get into a lot of fights because I spoke Spanish and they couldn’t understand it. I was punished. I was kept after school for not speaking English.” ― Studs Terkel, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do


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