Growing Up in the Shadow of a Great University - University of Illinois Archives

'Urbana-Champaign was gathered at the feet of the University of Illinois like a medieval town outside the walls of a great castle. It employed us, it fascinated us, it was our fame. Its professors were knights who deigned to live among us.' -Roger Ebert, Life Itself, 2011

Roger Ebert entered the University in the fall of 1960. As opposed to the other new students that year, he brought some distinct advantages to University life. His background, keen eye, and writing talent all put him in a position to immediately deploy his skills as an observer and writer.

No wonder that by the beginning of his second semester, Roger was on his way to what became a life-long career as a professional writer, with an emphasis on commentary and criticism.