Billy Goat ©Author Adventures

“That’s why I wrote this book: to show how these people can imbue us with hope.
I read somewhere that when a person takes part in community action, his health improves.
Something happens to him or to her biologically. It’s like a tonic.” Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel

Author and radio personality Studs Terkel (1912-2008) was a regular at The Billy Goat Tavern, along with a lively bunch of reporters and Cubs fans.

In the 1970s, The Studs Terkel Radio Program interviewed teens, parents, and teachers on controversial topics of the day, including racial issues, substance abuse, politics, and alternative education.

“In 1986 he published ‘Chicago,’ a big title for a 144-page book. He described it as a ‘rambling essay,’ but it was more like a meditation, a distillation of much of what Studs had come to feel for a city that he was as closely identified with as those other uniquely compelling Chicago voices, Nelson Algren and Mike Royko, who were among Studs’s dearest, closest friends. He captured the voices of the city: quoting the recollections of Jessie Binford, an associate of Jane Addams, or Tom Kearney, a police sergeant, to give a human scale to history.  His own voice was in there, too, in ‘Chicago’: in anecdotes and reminiscences about his family and growing up on Ashland and Flournoy; in a lovely little scene of him as a boy, in the company of his sick father, passing the time together listening to a crystal radio set.” (

The Billy Goat Tavern Chain

The Tavern, now with eight locations throughout the Chicago area, is also famous for the “Cheezborger” skit of SNL (NBC).

According to “The Billy Goat Tavern has expanded to include locations on Washington Street (Loop), Wells Street (South Loop), the “Billy Goat Inn” on Madison Avenue (United Center), Navy Pier, O’Hare (Terminal 1, Concourse C), and Washington D.C.”

The Billy Goat Tavern is the third stop on our Illinois Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart