Studs Terkel, 1912-2008
No Chicagoan stood up for the common man like Studs Terkel, although Nelson Algren was probably in the running.
A security-related anecdote, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:
In 1997 he went to the White House to receive the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts with a group including Jason Robards, Angela Lansbury, conductor James Levine, Chicago religion scholar Martin Marty and Chicago arts patron Richard Franke. He was stopped at the White House gate and asked for identification. Studs, who had never driven a car, did not have a driver’s license. The only thing he could come up with to appease the White House guards was his CTA seniors pass. They let him in.