signed off from his final blog post earlier this week. The famed writer and first film critic to ever win the Pulitzer Prize died Thursday of cancer. He was 70. The Chicago Sun-Times
, which ran Ebert's work for 45 years, confirmed the news.
Ebert's cancer battle began in 2002, and though treatments took away his ability to speak, the critic remained a prolific writer. In the aforementioned blog posted earlier this week - in which Ebert announced a "leave of presence" due to his failing health - he noted that he broke his personal record for movie reviews in 2012. He wrote 306 reviews last year.Jian Ghomeshi
interviewed Ebert for CBC's Q
in September 2011 during that year's Toronto International Film Festival
. Ebert was always a familiar presence at TIFF screenings, and visited Studio Q during his visit to Toronto to discuss his memoir, Life Itself
, and how his writing flourished after losing his voice to thyroid cancer surgery.
"Now that I can't speak, writing gives me a voice and an outlet," said Ebert. After losing his ability to speak, the critic communicated using voice-to-speech software. "It absorbs me," he said of writing. "It allows me to feel useful. It saves me from becoming trapped within myself."Watch a clip from Ebert's interview on Q: