In 2003, he underwent surgery for cancer in his salivary gland. More surgery in 2006 included removing part of his jaw bone. He lost the ability to speak, eat and drink.
Roger Ebert grew up in Urbana. He was also a journalism student at the University of Illinois. Ebert has an honorary street named for him in Champaign. Park Avenue, between State and Randolph streets, was given the designation for Ebert's commitment to the Overlooked Film Festival; his involvement in the community; and his dedication to the Virginia Theater's renovation.
Earlier this month, Ebert announced that the cancer had returned. He said he planned to step back from his duties as film critic at the Sun-Times.
He died this morning. Ebert leaves behind his wife, Chaz.
Ebert was inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2001 and returned in 2011 for the induction of Oprah Winfrey into the IBA Hall of Fame.