There have been plenty of tributes to Roger Ebert, so there's little I can add to that. What I can say is that my awareness and lifelong perception of him began far earlier than most, those who know of him only from his TV shows. I first became aware of Ebert when he was writing film reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times, which was the morning newspaper our family subscribed to. It's those columns which won him his Pulitzer Prize, and even as a kid it was clear that these movie review were a treat to read, informative opinions, sometimes funny, and wonderfully written, by someone who clearly knew and loved movies. It's the latter which tended to draw me to them the most. Even as he became a "TV star" with his reviewing, I always thought of him as a newspaper critic.
One review of his has always stood out for me. It was for the movie, Jesus Christ Superstar. Like all critics, he described the plot of the film -- but just as he got to the point of Jesus being arrested and the trial with Pilate, Ebert stopped and (with the driest of humor) said he wouldn't tell any more because, "I don't want to give away what happens."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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