Open Library logo
Last edited by Clean Up Bot
March 31, 2017 | History

Studs Terkel

1912 - 2008

Studs Terkel was born Louis Terkel in New York on May 16, 1912. The family moved to Chicago in 1922 and opened a rooming house. From 1926 to 1936 they ran another rooming house, the Wells-Grand Hotel at Wells Street and Grand Avenue. Terkel credited his knowledge of the world to the tenants who gathered in the lobby of the hotel and the people who congregated in nearby Bughouse Square a meeting place for workers, labor organizers, dissidents, the unemployed, and religious fanatics of many persuasions.
Terkel attended University of Chicago and received a law degree in 1934. After a brief stint with the civil service in Washington D.C., he returned to Chicago and worked with the WPA Writers Project in the radio division. After a year in the Air Force, he returned to writing radio shows and ads. In 1944, he landed his own show on WENR. This was called the Wax Museum show that allowed him to express his own personality and play recordings he liked from folk music, opera, jazz, or blues. A year later he had his own television show called Stud's Place and started asking people the kind of questions that marked his later work as an interviewer.
In 1952 Terkel began working for WFMT, first with the "Studs Terkel Almanac" and the "Studs Terkel Show," primarily to play music. The interviewing came along by accident. This later became the award-winning, "The Studs Terkel Program." His first book, Giants of Jazz, was published in 1956. Ten years later his first book of oral history interviews, Division Street: America, came out. It was followed by a succession of oral history books on the 1930s Depression, World War Two, race relations, working, the American dream, and aging. His last oral history book, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith, was published in 2001.
Late into his life Terkel continued to interview people, work on his books, and make public appearances. He was the first Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Chicago Historical Society.  His last book, P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening was released in November 2008.
--From Studsterkel.org

41 works Add another?

Sorting by Most Editions | First Published | Most Recent

Photo of Studs Terkel

Links (outside Open Library)

Alternative names

History

Download catalog record: RDF / JSON
March 31, 2017 Edited by Clean Up Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
May 2, 2014 Edited by KirstinM Added new photo
September 27, 2010 Edited by Laurel Bellon Merge authors, add bio
September 27, 2010 Edited by Laurel Bellon merge authors
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import