Remembering Roger Ebert

I had the great pleasure of meeting Roger Ebert twice during the many years that I was privileged to supervise the voting for the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the TV Academy for the Emmy Awards.

The first time was when the TV Academy gave an Honorary Emmy to Gene Siskel (perhaps it was the Chapter’s Governors’ Award) which Siskel’s widow accepted on his behalf, after his death. Roger was the presenter–and, his tribute to his late colleague was so moving and profound that you could have heard the proverbial pin drop in the room. We had a lovely, warm conversation back stage, before this part of the program.

The second time that I met Mr. Ebert was at the reception before the TV Academy’s Silver Circle banquet, where they honor those broadcasters who have distinguished themselves in the Chicago and Midwest television markets for more than 25 years. I had my photo taken with him, which he later autographed with the inscription that he was honored to have his picture taken with me! That seemed to be typical of his humility and graciousness. The photo hangs proudly on my wall, and can be seen in the photo section on this site.

My sense was that Roger Ebert was beloved by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by his legion of friends–me included.

“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” – William Butler Yeats

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