Just this week, Ebert said that he would be cutting back his reviews due to recurring thyroid and salivary gland cancers. Although the illness caused him to lose the lower half of his jaw and the ability to speak in 2006, he continued to write with the same tenacity and wit he was always known for. He also built up an enormous online following on both Twitter and Facebook.
Ebert first began writing for the Sun-Times 46 years ago, and became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975. That same year, Ebert and Chicago Tribune movie critic Gene Siskel launched the program "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You," later becoming "At the Movies" and then "Siskel & Ebert & The Movies," as the two began their trademark "thumbs up, thumbs down" practice of reviewing films.
Ebert's final article was his "Leave of Presence" piece, announcing his plan to cut back on reviewing movies. In it, he signed off with "I'll see you at the movies." Ebert is survived by his wife, step-daughter, and two step-grandchildren.
You can read more about Ebert's life in the Chicago Sun-Times obituary.