Roger Ebert's thumb came to be the very symbol of movie criticism: up for good, down for – quite simply – don't bother. It was a gesture created with cohost and rival Gene Siskel for their groundbreaking, syndicated TV show Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. But at his heart, Ebert was a newspaperman, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times until his death April 4 at age 70. "I don't think of this as a job," Ebert once told PEOPLE. "I think of it as a vocation." Beset by multiple cancers over the last decade, the popular writer – who, in 1975 became the first film reviewer to win a Pulitzer Prize – continued watching and reviewing movies in honest, witty prose until the end.