It really sucks when national tragedies occur on days that are important to you, as my friend Scott, born on September 11, will no doubt aver. I had never really been able to share the sensation until today, when Studs Terkel died at his home in Chicago.

Terkel was a legendary oral historian, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, the unofficial poet laureate of the working class and a tireless proponent of worker’s rights. Having grown up near Chicago, Terkel was something of a hero to me, one of those grizzled old icons I wanted to be when I grew up. I kinda still do, and if you want to know why, Studs’ classic Working is a good place to start,a phenomenal series of interviews with people from all walks of life. And for a much more through obit of this icon, try this rememberance from NPR’s All things Considered.