It was never about whether you agreed with his opinion, or even what movie he was writing about - even when you completely disregarded those factors, it was always about Roger Ebert's ability to craft an interesting, critical opinion to his audience. That was what made him such an inspiration to so many writers.
Roger Ebert passed away today. He was 70 years old, fighting a battle against cancer for over a decade of his last years.
Even in the days before the widespread existence of the internet, I still have many fond memories of Roger Ebert when I was younger, staying up far past my bedtime just so I could watch Siskel & Ebert discuss the latest, the greatest, and the worst movies of the time. I can say with a good amount of confidence that watching them on television in the early 90's was the first time I had ever paid attention to people critically thinking and discussing about movies, let alone any other subject matter.
Regardless of how you were introduced to Roger Ebert's legacy, he will remain an inspiration to anyone who writes critically about any medium. He will be missed - even by a fledgling writer such as myself. I could only hope to write something this beautiful, this unequivocally smart, this incredibly thoughtful, when I am one year away from my own deathbed.