Roger Ebert

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(June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013)

Chicago journalist Roger Ebert, best known for his television shows with Gene Siskel reviewing films and the creation of the thumbs up/thumbs down movie review system, got his start as a fanzine writer while in high school, publishing the zine Stymie and having his writing appear in Xero, Yandro, and other zines, including Kipple, Parsection, and Psi-Phi. He attended a Midwestcon.

As a young man, he won the Illinois AP first place news writing award for 1960. In college, he was a member of the Champaign-Urbana Science Fiction Association. He sold a couple of SF stories to Ted White in the 1970s.

Although he did spend some time distancing himself from his fannish roots, he returned to write the introduction to The Best of Xero.

In 2004, he wrote an essay for Asimov's, fondly recalling his fannish youth, and crediting fanzines for influencing his writing voice:

“How Propeller-Heads, BNFs, Sercon Geeks, Newbies, Recovering GAFIAtors, and Kids in the Basements Invented the World Wide Web, All Except for the Delivery System” by Roger Ebert.



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