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Studs Terkel Dies

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Studs Terkel, the Chicago legend, died today at his home in Chicago. He was 96.

He was a radio personality, a prolific writer and an activist. His books told stories of the famous and not-so-famous in their own words. Despite all these accomplishments, Terkel had his own hopes for how he’ll be remembered.

TERKEL: Curious. Didn’t know how to mind his own business.

He had heart surgery three years ago. It was a complicated surgery, and when he first learned he needed it, his initial reaction was, quote, “No, the hell with it.”

Then he got curious.

TERKEL: What’s going to happen to the world when I’m gone? How’s it going to behave? I want to know. My curiosity, what’s next? So I found my epitaph at last. My epitaph goes, “Curiosity did not kill this cat.”

Terkel wanted to have his ashes spread, along with those of his late wife, at Chicago’s Bughouse Square.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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