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About inVocusWelcome to the inVocus media blog – our chronicle of major changes and trends in North American media. Produced by experts with decades of experience creating content for print, broadcast and Web environments, inVocus is your resource for breaking industry news. Follow us on Twitter @inVocus.
History TodayJune 18, 1942: World famous film critic Robert Ebert was born in Urbana, Ill. Ebert joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, taking on the role of movie critic when Eleanor Keane left the paper. By 1975, Ebert had gained some acclaim, becoming the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. He also began co-hosting a weekly film review show called “Sneak Previews,” that was produced locally. Three years later the show was picked up by PBS and Gene Siskel joined as co-host, with the two becoming the dynamic film duo known as Siskel and Ebert. The pair invented the “thumbs up/thumbs down” format for rating films. In 1982, the pair syndicated the show renaming it “At The Movies With Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert.” Four years later, they moved the show under new ownership and created “Siskel & Ebert & The Movies.” The two worked together until 1999, when Siskel died from complications due to surgery. Ebert continued to work as a critic and host with new partner Richard Roeper. In 2005, he became the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ebert continued to work even after being diagnosed with thyroid and salivary gland cancer in 2002, until his death in April 2013.