The John Steinbeck Award

Studs Terkel

Raconteur and radio host, author and activist—Studs Terkel was a national treasure, but probably more important to him, the pride of Chicago. His daily radio show on WFMT in Chicago ran for five decades, during which Terkel interviewed luminaries such as Bertrand Russell, Maya Angelou, Pete Seeger, and Muhammad Ali. But Terkel may be better known for taping off-the-air conversations with ordinary Americans, talk that served as the source of books such as Hard Times, Working, and The Good War. On October 2, at a packed Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Terkel appeared in conversation with longtime friend Calvin Trillin and received the Steinbeck Award. Trillin reminded the audience that Terkel had written the introduction to the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Grapes of Wrath, a book Terkel called "an anthem in praise of community."