Milestones in the life of Roger Ebert

Milestones in the life of Roger Ebert

June 18, 1942: Born at Mercy Hospital in Urbana, the only child of Walter and Annabel Ebert. His father was an electrician at the University of Illinois, and his mother was a bookkeeper for the Allied Finance Co. The Eberts lived at 410 E. Washington St., U.

1957: Begins his first newspaper job, working for The News-Gazette covering sports. When he was younger, he delivered the Courier in his east Urbana neighborhood.

1960: Graduates from Urbana High School, where he was co-editor of the school newspaper, The Echo.

1964: Graduates from the UI. He was editor of the Daily Illini his senior year.

1966: Begins working for the Chicago Sun-Times.

1970: "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," a racy satire on Hollywood, is released. It was co-written by Ebert and director Russ Meyer.

1975: Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Launches a new TV show "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You" with Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel on WTTW in Chicago.

1978: Ebert and Siskel's TV show "Sneak Previews" moves to PBS.

1981: Their show "At the Movies" moves to Tribune Broadcasting.

1986: "Siskel and Ebert and The Movies" moves to Buena Vista Entertainment, the television division of Disney.

1992: Marries Chaz Hammelsmith, an attorney.

1997: Hosts Cyberfest '97 at the UI, an event to honor the "birth" of HAL, the human-like computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey." According to Arthur C. Clarke's novel, HAL became "operational at the HAL plant in Urbana, Ill., on Jan. 12, 1997." Clarke appeared at Cyberfest via the not-yet-widely-available Internet from Sri Lanka.

1999: Siskel dies.

1999: His first Overlooked Film Festival premieres at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign on April 22. The first film shown: "Dance Me to My Song."

2002: Ebert undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his thyroid gland.

2003: In February, he has follow-up surgery for papillary cancer, a type of thyroid cancer. In August, he has radiation treatment for a cancerous tumor on his salivary gland.

2005: His star is added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Chicago honors him with a sidewalk medallion in front of the Chicago Theater.

2006: In June, he undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland; that involved removing part of his jaw. A month later, he has an emergency operation due to a blood vessel bursting.

2007: Prior to his ninth annual Ebertfest, he explains in an email, "I ain't a pretty boy no more." Pictures show his missing jaw bone; he cannot speak because of a tracheostomy.

2008: Breaks hip at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Florida and is unable to attend the 10th annual Ebertfest.

2009: Urbana honors its native son by putting a plaque in front of his boyhood home on East Washington Street.

2011: Starts a new TV show "Ebert Presents at the Movies." His laptop computer speaks his typed answers.

2012: 14th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival closes with a showing of "Citizen Kane." Ebert's voice is heard in the Virginia Theatre one more time, via his audio commentary.

April 4, 2013: Ebert dies at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Sources: The News-Gazette, Chicago Sun-Times.

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