Roger Ebert: Thumb’s Up on Old Newspaper Typewriters

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By: E&P Staff

In a brief “at home” profile in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert reveals that he still owns the typewriter he used as editor of The Daily Illini at the University of Illinois. “I bought it from the paper for $25,” he says. “I also have all of the portable computers I have ever owned, and none of them work anymore.”

He says that he wanted to be a newspaper reporter at a very early age, inspired by his best friend’s father, who was city editor of a paper in Illinois where he grew up. Someone at the paper set his name in type as a byline, and “I thought, That is for me. I didn’t know what a reporter did, but I thought it was great you got your name in the paper.”

Ebert also reveals that he has a screening room in his basement that seats 14, and that the worst thing about his job is having to interview people whose latest film he didn’t like, citing Oliver Stone as a recent example.

The longest he has ever gone without seeing a film? One month, during his honeymoon in 1992. “I didn’t miss it,” he says. We should hope not.

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