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Famed Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead At Age 70

President Obama: The Movies Won't Be The Same Without Roger
Roger Ebert in 2009 (credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment)

Roger Ebert in 2009 (credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Famed film critic Roger Ebert has passed away, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ebert, who had struggled with cancer for years, was 70.

Ebert spent more than 40 years writing for the paper, and more than 30 years on television critiquing movies.

For more coverage, check out our sister station CBS Chicago.

The paper says on its website the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic died Thursday.

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Ebert was known for his thumbs-up, thumbs-down TV reviews that influenced moviegoers across the nation.

On Wednesday, he had announced on his blog that he was undergoing radiation treatment after a recurrence of cancer.

“So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies,” Ebert wrote.

Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and later had surgery for cancer of the salivary gland. He lost his chin and his ability to speak. But he later resumed writing full-time and eventually even returned to television.

Ebert started as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. In 1975 he became the first movie reviewer to get the Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

After hearing of Ebert’s death, President Barack Obama issued the following statement:

“Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert.  For a generation of Americans – and especially Chicagoans – Roger was the movies.  When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive – capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.  Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient – continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world.  The movies won’t be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family.”

Jim Kirk, Editor in Chief of Sun-Times Media, issued the following statement Thursday:

“We are saddened to share the news that our longtime colleague Roger Ebert has died. He was 70. Roger has been writing for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years. The long relationship between Roger and his Sun-Times family speaks volumes about Roger’s commitment to his craft and to his fans around the world. Roger’s reviews were highly anticipated by readers and the film community. Film commentary was only one of several gifts. He was a reporter first, in every aspect of his craft. He could write as eloquently about world affairs as he could on the upcoming blockbuster. Roger will be missed not only by the Sun-Times family, but by the journalism and film communities. Our thoughts are with Roger’s wife, Chaz, and their family during this time.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)