Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies of Cancer

Roger Ebert died following long battle with thyroid and head and neck cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) One day after announcing that his cancer had returned, Roger Ebert has died. The  veteran film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times had battled thyroid and salivary gland cancer for years. He was 70 years old.

In announcing Ebert’s death, the Chicago Tribune said that while he loved to critique movies, “...in his words and in his life, he displayed the soul of a poet whose passions and interests extended far beyond the darkened theaters where he spent so much of his professional life.”

As part of his cancer treatment, Ebert lost his voice box and then part of his jaw in 2007. This ended his speech and ability to eat. But Ebert kept writing and refused to hide.

On his blog yesterday, Ebert announced that it was discovered that his cancer had returned after he broke his hip in December. He wrote that he was going to be slowing down and writing fewer than 200+ movie reviews he usually writes in a year. 

"My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me," Ebert wrote. "What's more, I'll be able at last to do what I've always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review."

The Pulitzer Prizing-winning journalist was planning to host the 15th annual Roger Ebert Film Festival this year, and was also eager to work on his own website - rogerebert.com.

David Edelstein, film critic for New York Magazine, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "He was our mayor; he was our leader. We will miss him terribly. The gap is already there."

Head and neck cancers affect just over 41,000 Americans every year. And about 8,000 individuals lose their lives to the disease every year.

Just over 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer, a disease that overwhelms nearly 2,800 people every year.

April 3rd was Ebert 46th Anniversary with the Sun-Times.

Ebert's last words to his fans were, "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."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 4, 2013
Last Updated:
April 5, 2013