Ebert made a name for himself in the candid and no-apology approach he had toward film review, earning him a Pulitzer Prize and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2006, Ebert suffered complications after a thyroid cancer surgery that left him unable to speak, but he continued to write, review, and participate in interviews. Ebert died Thursday morning. He was 70 years old.
Here are just a few lessons he left behind ...
9. Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.
8. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.
7. Life always has an unhappy ending, but you can have a lot of fun along the way, and everything doesn't have to be dripping in deep significance.
6. What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.
5. If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didn't.
4. Of what use is freedom of speech to those who fear to offend?
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3. We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.
2. All I know is, it is better to be the whale than the squid.
1. Because we are human, because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere, a world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live.
Originally published by Jackalope Ranch, the Phoenix New Times' culture blog.