Roger Ebert was recently honored by Chicago Magazine as a 2011 Chicagoan of the Year for his “journal and life itself.” Ebert was the first place winner for two consecutive years in the Blog Category of the NSNC Column-Writing contest. At the Detroit Conference, he was presented with our Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded to a columnist by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
An internationally aclaimed movie critic for most of his career, Ebert was stricken with thyroid cancer, which left him unable to speak and disfigured. In spite of illness and adversity, Ebert prevailed, starting an online blog in 2008, which developed into a personal achievement of strenght and courage. His blog provides a profound view into a man’s soul that has been called the voice of silence.
The NSNC judge who praised Ebert as the winner in the writing contest was quoted by Chicago magazine for the high praise given to his work. The writer feels that he was transformed by his illness to a person with great insight and humanity. His recent memoir has also received critical aclaim.