The death of Roger Ebert on April 4, 2013, was a great loss to the entertainment industry. Roger Ebert died quietly just as he was getting ready to go home for hospice care at the age of seventy. He had been having treatment for years for reoccurrences of cancer, most recently in his hip.Roger Ebert’s influence on filmgoers spans his entire career as a movie commentator. Based in Chicago, he was the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for forty-six years. He is also well known for his movie critiques on television with partner Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune, and later Richard Roeper. Siskel and Ebert popularized television movie reviews with their humorous banter and discussion of new films.Although Roger Ebert lived in Chicago, his voice and opinions influenced both moviegoers and filmmaking professionals all around the world. He had an opinion on every film and made no bones about how he felt. He and Gene Siskel patented the “two thumbs up” review method, which they used on their weekly TV show, indicating that both critics like a film at issue. Ebert continued using the thumbs up/thumbs down symbol throughout his career.Roger Ebert was an only child born to immigrant parents in Urbana, Illinois. He showed interest in journalism from an early age and participated in his high school newspaper as a writer. He started writing movie reviews during his college days at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.While working on his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago in 1966, Ebert was hired by the city editor, Jim Hoge, at the Chicago Sun-Times as a reporter and feature writer. When movie critic Eleanor Keane left the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, Roger Ebert landed the job.Roger Ebert’s career as a film critic brought him not only admiration but also fame. His work began being published in various publications, and he also taught a film class at the University of Chicago as a guest lecturer. Over time, he became the most influential movie critic in the United States.In 1975, Ebert started cohosting a TV show on PBS called Sneak Peeks, which was joined three years later by movie critic Gene Siskel. The two men made an entertaining team, often disagreeing on movies and discussing their views on screen. Each reviewer gave viewers their opinions of why they either liked or disliked a movie, allowing viewers to make up their minds. Moving on from PBS, the two critics cohosted two other shows named after them. Gene Siskel died in 1999, and thereafter Roger Ebert continued the show Roger Ebert & the Movies by himself and later with Richard Roeper until 2008.Roger Ebert was known for critiquing movies with their intended audience in mind. He would consider a movie’s possible audience and compare it to other movies in the same genre when deciding if an audience would like it. Ebert did not always agree with popular opinion on movies, and he stood by his reviews. Starting in the 1960s, Ebert compiled “Best of the Year” movie lists to help people keep track of his many reviews.Known for his strong opinions, Ebert was an opponent of the Motion Picture Association of America’s movie rating system. He felt that the rating system was not a good guide as to what was appropriate for children to view.Roger Ebert didn’t marry until age fifty, when he married Charlie “Chaz” Hammelsmith in 1992. He was a recovering alcoholic and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Ebert was a supporter of the Democratic Party and criticized people who believed in creationism, New Age beliefs and the supernatural.Ebert was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in 2002, for which he underwent surgery. He continued to review movies during this time and even during ongoing bouts with cancer. In 2006, he had more surgery and came close to death. During this time, he lost his voice and could not eat or drink.In 2007, he came back to work and continued reviewing even though he still could not speak. He continued writing movie reviews even though he required more surgery in 2008 to transplant tissue from other parts of his body to rebuild his jaw and throat. These surgeries weakened his back, legs and arms.During the last few years of his life, Roger Ebert used text-to-speech software to communicate. He used tapes of his voice from his shows to create a synthesis of his own voice for the software.For many Americans, Roger Ebert represented the movies. Baby boomers grew up watching him on TV and listening to his opinions on the movies they watched. Actors and filmmakers will miss him as well, as his opinion of their work was highly influential.