In Lost in Criterion we here at With Two Brains like to quote opinions outside of our own, sometimes just to give a bouncing off point whether we agree or disagree with the stance, or more often than not, to legitimize what we're saying with an appeal to authority.
Roger Ebert is quite often that authority. Even when we disagree with him -- and that does happen, especially when he talked about video games -- we still respect what he had to say because he was clearly more learned than we are. Growing up, Siskel and Ebert's television show was the only real exposure I had to film criticism, as watered down as it might have been for television consumption. Even if I was viewing a movie solely as popcorn entertainment I still sought out Ebert's opinion (and later those who were clearly influenced by him as well, like Scott Tobias of The A.V.Club), because he loved them and enjoyed them just as much as he loved a well crafted classic.
Roger Ebert will be missed, and it goes without saying that what we struggle to do here is a pale comparison to what he accomplished.