Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is praising famed film critic Roger Ebert for his contributions to the motion picture industry as well as to the city.
After learning that the 70-year-old Ebert died Thursday, Emanuel said in a statement that Ebert "championed" the city as a center for filmmaking and critiques.
Emanuel noted that Ebert earned a Pulitzer Prize during a career that spanned more than four decades. He says Ebert will be remembered not only for the quality of his work but also for the courage he showed the last few years he battled health problems.
Gov. Pat Quinn says one of his most cherished memories of Ebert was getting a "thumbs-up" from Ebert in 2011 when he proclaimed "Roger Ebert Day" during Ebertfest in Champaign.
Quinn said Ebert was Everyman with a cinematographer's eye and an artist's passion. The governor praised Ebert's ability to communicate with everyday people not only about movies but also the "real values of life."
Quinn noted Ebert was a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he began his career as a reporter for the school's newspaper.