Best known for his television shows with Gene Siskel reviewing films and the creation of the thumbs up/thumbs down movie review system, Ebert 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.
Although he did spend some time distancing himself from his fannish roots, he returned to write the introduction to The Best of Xero. In college, he was a member of the Champaign-Urbana Science Fiction Association.
As a young man he won the Illinois AP first place news writing award for 1960.
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