The following letter from Chaz Ebert was originally published on June 23rd of this year, a day before the Chicago Sun-Times began reprinting Roger Ebert's classic reviews in a weekly column entitled, "From the Ebert Archive." The first was his 1996 review of "Independence Day," which ran the same day as the film's far less successful sequel, "Independence Day: Resurgence," was released. In today's issue of the Sun-Times, Roger's review of Frank Capra's 1946 classic "It's a Wonderful Life" was republished, in honor of the film's 70th anniversary as well as its three-day run with live score accompaniment at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
I AM HONORED that the words of my late husband, Roger Ebert, will once again be featured in the paper he loyally served for 46 years. Many people at Roger's Memorial Service affirmed how he was, at his core, a newspaper man. And Steve James documented in "Life Itself," the film about Roger, the devotion Roger felt toward his adopted hometown. That devotion caused him to turn down offers that would have sent him to either of the coasts. He greatly valued his position as a writer, not only of movie reviews, but of editorials and other articles about life itself.
I can clearly remember the late nights in which Roger would be typing away furiously, completing several articles in a row. These weren't disposable knee-jerk reactions that would be forgotten as soon as readers tossed their papers in the recycling bin. Roger's reviews and articles were written to stand the test of time. I hope his insights will resonate with today's audiences every bit as much as when they were first published.
Roger was also so proud of being associated with a city of multiple newspapers. Over the years we may have lost the Chicago Daily News and other publications, and we are all aware of the struggles of remaining a two-newspaper town. But I can assure you that although Roger was also a technologist who loved the internet, he would be truly pleased that his words are once again appearing in newsprint. Thank you to the Chicago Sun-Times for providing Roger's voice with this platform, and for preserving the local perspectives that make newspapers an essential read.