A Champion Of The Ordinary Man

A May 15, 2007 file photo shows Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel at his home in Chicago. Terkel died Oct. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, file) AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
There was always a twinkle in his eye. And that voice. There was a joy in that voice because the man behind it was going to tell you a story.

Studs Terkel died last week. He was 96.

Terkel liked to talk. There was no doubt. But, he might have been an even better listener.

He thought regular folks, whose life stories would never find there way into a newspaper or onto any other kind of media were valuable.

He was less interested in the swells and the famous than he was in the guy who loaded a truck, or the woman who cleaned a hotel room.

He realized early on that these were the real Americans, from the real America. Where struggle didn't always end in triumph, where good did not always overcome evil.

Studs Terkel looked out for the little guy. But, I doubt you'd ever hear him say something like that, because he didn't look at people that way. Because in Stud's world; all were created equal.


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