Studs Terkel was born in New York City to Russian Jewish immigrants. He moved with his parents to Chicago where his parents ran a boarding house. Though graduating from law school, Terkel chose not to practice law. He joined a theater group and did other work until he began writing. In the 1950's, he was blacklisted from television for refusing to sign a loyalty oath to CBS. He was married to social worker Ida Goldberg for 60 years before her death in 1999. Studs Terkel is survived by one son, Dan Terkell.