Art and LiteratureUmberto Eco
(84) Italian author and academic who catapulted to global literary fame in 1980 with The Name of the Rose,
a medieval thriller that sold some 30 million copies in more than 40 languages. The book, set in a monastery, made Eco an international celebrity, especially after it was made into a film starring Sean Connery in 1986. Eco became one of Italy’s best-known cultural exports and keenest cultural critics. He died of cancer in Milan, Italy on February 19, 2016.Rosario Ferré
(77) figure in Puerto Rican letters who wrote novels in both Spanish and English and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1995 for the family epic A House on the Lagoon,
which she translated herself from the original Spanish. Ferré wrote satirically about Puerto Rican identity in a historical context and from a feminist perspective. She depicted the conflict of its people's exaggerated pride in the beauty and culture of the island and their exasperation with its patriarchal traditions and geographical and physical limitations. She died in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 18, 2016.Harper Lee
(89) novelist whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, To Kill a Mockingbird
(1960), became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film. The book sold more than 40 million copies and became one of the most beloved and most taught works of fiction ever written by an American. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 and turned Lee into a literary celebrity, a role she found oppressive and never learned to accept. The success of the film version, released in 1962 with Gregory Peck in the starring role of Atticus Finch, a small-town Southern lawyer who defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman, only added to Lee’s fame. In 2015 she published a second novel, Go Set a Watchman,
another best-seller, although its reviews were lukewarm. Lee died in her sleep in Monroeville, Alabama on February 19, 2016.
Business and ScienceMichael Jaharis
(87) pharmaceutical executive and philanthropist. Jaharis was chief executive of Key Pharmaceuticals from 1972 until its merger with the Schering-Plough Corp. in ‘86. In 1988 he founded Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc. After selling Kos to Abbott Laboratories in 2006, Jaharis cofounded the investment group Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC. Acording to Forbes
magazine, he was worth $2.2 billion and was No. 297 on the list of US billionaires. Jaharis and his wife, Mary, supported a wide range of philanthropic endeavors in areas including education, medicine, the arts, and the international refugee crisis. Michael Jaharis died in New York City on February 17, 2016.Dr.. Edward Lammer
(62) among the first researchers to establish a link between the acne medicine Accutane and human birth defects. Accutane was approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 1982, but with warnings on the label and on an accompanying brochure. Tests by the manufacturer, Hoffmann-La Roche, found that the medicine produced birth defects in animals. As early as 1984, Lammer, then with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, had studied more than 150 pregnancies of women who had used Accutane and found that about two-thirds of them had elective or spontaneous abortions, 24 had delivered normal infants, and 28 had babies with severe birth defects. He died six days before his 63rd birthday, in San Francisco, California on February 20, 2016.Peter Mondavi
(101) wine country innovator who led his family’s Charles Krug Winery through more than 50 years of change. Mondavi, who battled his more famous brother Robert for control of Charles Krug, began his career at a time when the Napa Valley was known chiefly for cheap wine and witnessed it grow into one of the world’s premiere wine regions. He played a part in that rise, pioneering several improvements to California winemaking, including the use of cold fermentation for white wines and sterile filtration. He died in St. Helena, California on February 20, 2016.Ron Rogers
(72) public relations executive who was influential in Los Angeles civic affairs. The son of Hollywood PR giant Henry Rogers, the younger Rogers formed his own firm in 1978 and built it into a prominent force in corporate branding and behind-the-scenes crisis management. He helped to shape the images of well-known brands including Coca-Cola, Honda, and Kellogg’s. Outside work, Rogers was involved in several organizations, using his influence and understanding of the news media to bring attention to and raise funds for their issues. He died in Colorado of respiratory complications related to cancer, on February 19, 2016.Dr. Myron G. Schultz
(81) physician whose detection of a cluster of pneumonia cases in the early ‘80s helped public health officials to identify the AIDS epidemic. An infectious disease epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Schultz created the Parasitic Diseases Drug Service to provide physicians with medicines to treat rare illnesses. One was pentamidine. Prescribed for patients with African sleeping sickness, it was also made available to treat patients with pneumocystis pneumonia in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, when few alternatives were available. Schultz died of pulmonary hypertension in Atlanta, Georgia on February 19, 2016.Leo Van Munching Jr.
(89) beer importer whose management of the company started by his father made the Dutch-brewed beer Heineken and its low-calorie sibling, Amstel Light, familiar brand names in the US. First brewed in the 19th century, Heineken was the first European beer to be shipped to the US after the end of Prohibition in late 1933. It was Van Munching’s father, Leo Sr., who recognized the business opportunity and persuaded Heineken executives to allow him to represent the brand in the US. Leo Van Munching Jr. died of heart failure in Darien, Connecticut on February 14, 2016.Jerome Weinrib
(86) rug merchant who helped to build ABC Carpet into one of New York's most successful home furnishing brands. The family’s business was started by Weinrib’s grandfather, Samuel, an Austrian immigrant, who began selling carpets and linoleum from a pushcart in 1897. Jerome Weinrib took over ABC Carpet from his father and, in 1961, moved the store from East 28th Street to the Flatiron district. He died in Palm Beach, Florida on February 14, 2016.
EducationEdward T. Foote 2nd
(78) former journalist and lawyer who from 1981 spent 20 years as president of the University of Miami, lifting its academic standards, stabilizing its finances, and helping to dispel its reputation as Suntan U. Over Foote's tenure the number of full-time faculty members grew by more than 500, and spending on faculty research tripled. Among much new construction, the university built a physics building, a law library, a biochemistry building, and a wellness center. Three new colleges—the School of Communication, the School of Architecture, and the Graduate School of International Studies—opened. Foote died of Parkinson’s disease in Cutler Bay, Florida, near Miami, on February 15, 2016.
News and EntertainmentAlisa Marie Bellettini
(61) former TV producer who created the popular MTV fashion show House of Style,
naming supermodel Cindy Crawford as its first host. With Crawford at the helm, House of Style
was both glamorous and approachable, an attempt, begun in 1989, to mix the worlds of style and music in a way that would appeal to young viewers. The show ran until 2000. Bellettini died in Sacramento, California on February 16, 2016.Elias Demetracopoulos
(87) journalist who fled Greece after a military coup in 1967 and accused the ruling right-wing junta of illegally funneling a half-million dollars into Richard M. Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign. During his self-imposed exile in Washington, Demetracopoulos lobbied Congress and the White House to suspend support for the Greek military dictatorship, which the American government viewed as a bulwark against encroaching communism in southern Europe. The Greek junta collapsed in 1974 after Turkey invaded Cyprus, and democracy was eventually restored; so was Demetracopoulos’s Greek citizenship. But he remained in Washington until 2015. He died of Parkinson's disease in Athens, Greece on February 16, 2016.George Gaynes
(98) Finnish-born US actor who played a grouchy foster parent on the ‘80s sitcom Punky Brewster,
the beleaguered commandant in seven Police Academy
films, and a soap opera star with a crush on Dustin Hoffman in drag in the Hollywood hit Tootsie.
With his baritone voice, chiseled good looks, and versatility as a character actor and singer, Gaynes appeared in hundreds of episodes of sitcoms and dramas on TV, 35 Hollywood and made-for-TV films, and many plays, musical comedies, and operas in New York and Europe. He died in North Bend, Washington on February 15, 2016.Denise ('Vanity') Matthews
(57) singer, model, and actress known as Vanity who toured with Prince in the ‘80s before abandoning her wild persona for a life as a minister. Matthews worked as a model in Canada before moving to the US. After she met Prince at the American Music Awards, he helped her to form the three-woman vocal group Vanity 6, which had a hit in 1982 with “Nasty Girl.” After the group split up, Matthews recorded as a solo artist for Motown. She thrived on raciness, often appearing in lingerie. Matthews checked into a hospital on February 13 after years of health problems related to her kidneys. She died two days later in Fremont, California on February 15, 2016.Angela ('Big Ang') Raiola
(55) bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series Mob Wives.
Nicknamed 'Big Ang' for her nearly 6-foot height, Raiola was first diagnosed in March 2015 with throat cancer that spread to her brain and lungs. Even as she fought the disease, the native New Yorker remained the colorful figure that viewers came to know on VH1’s Mob Wives
and her two short-lived sequels, Big Ang
and Miami Monkeys.
Raiola wasn’t technically a mob wife: her inclusion on the cable show’s second season in 2012 came courtesy of her uncle, the late Salvatore (“Sally Dogs”) Lombardi, a reputed captain of the Genovese crime family. Angela Raiola died in New York City on February 18, 2016.Margaret Scherf
(75) longtime reporter and editor for the Associated Press whose career spanned 40 years and included high-profile stories such as the trial of the Chicago Seven and the Tidal Basin splash by burlesque performer Fanne Foxe. Remembered by colleagues as a trailblazer, Scherf joined the AP in Chicago in 1963. She died in Springfield, Illinois after battling ovarian cancer for several years, on February 15, 2016.Bill Snead
(78) award-winning news photographer from Kansas whose career included covering wars and national political conventions. Snead spent 21 years with the Washington Post,
including time as a staff photographer and assistant managing editor for graphics. He also was a picture editor for National Geographic,
bureau manager for United Press International in Ho Chi Minh City during the Vietnam War, and director of photography for the Wilmington
In 1993 Snead returned to the Lawrence
where he started working during high school, to become its deputy editor and left the paper in 2007 as a senior editor. He died of advanced lung cancer in Lawrence, Kansas on February 14, 2016.Steven Stucky
(66) Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, longtime Cornell University faculty member, and resident composer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Stucky won a Pulitzer in 2005 for his Second Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned for and premiered by the LA Philharmonic, where he was resident composer from 1988–2009. He also wrote for other major US ensembles including those of Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, and Philadelphia. Stucky studied at Baylor and Cornell, returning to Cornell to teach in 1980. He joined the faculty at the Juilliard School in 2014. He died of aggressive brain cancer in Ithaca, New York on February 14, 2016.Charlie Tuna
(71) longtime Los Angeles radio disk jockey who not only hosted the morning radio show for popular and influential station KHJ-AM in the late ‘60s but also was a key player in the launch of latter-day powerhouses KROQ-AM and KIIS-FM. Born Art Ferguson in Nebraska, Tuna took over the name he used on the radio for nearly 50 years from a fellow disk jockey when both were on the air in Oklahoma City in 1966. He died in Tarzana, California after a sudden illness, on February 19, 2016.Andrzej Zulawski
(75) Polish filmmaker and writer named best director in 2015 at a film festival in Switzerland for his latest film, Cosmos.
Zulawski made movies in Poland and France, where he was awarded a top distinction, the Legion of Honor, in 2002. He died of cancer in Warsaw, Poland on February 17, 2016.
Politics and MilitaryMary Bland
(80) former Kansas City Democrat advocate for minorities who expanded health services in her more than 20 years in the Missouri Legislature. Bland first was elected to the Missouri House in 1980 and served there until winning a special Senate election in ‘98. Her Senate term ended in January 2005. She was active in the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus throughout her career and instrumental in holding an annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Capitol. She also was a former president of Freedom Inc., an influential black political club in Kansas City. She died in Chattanooga, Tennessee of complications from seizures caused by Alzheimer’s disease, on February 19, 2016.Boutros Boutros-Ghali
(93) veteran Egyptian diplomat who helped to negotiate his country’s landmark peace deal with Israel but then clashed with the US when he served a single term as United Nations secretary-general. The scion of a prominent Egyptian Christian political family, Boutros-Ghali was the first UN chief from the African continent. He stepped into the post in 1992 at a time of dramatic world changes, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the beginning of a unipolar era dominated by the US. But after four years of frictions with the Clinton administration, the US blocked his renewal in the post in 1996, making him the only UN secretary-general to serve a single term. Boutros-Ghali had been hospitalized after suffering a broken pelvis. He died in Cairo, Egypt on February 16, 2016.Jim Burke
(77) former Dixon, Illinois mayor who alerted the FBI about the theft of funds by the city’s comptroller, Rita Crundwell, who was convicted in 2013 of federal wire fraud for diverting more than $53 million in city funds into her own bank account over about 20 years. A Democrat and owner of a Dixon realty firm, Burke was elected to his first term in 1999, when he defeated the two-term incumbent by 235 votes. He did not seek reelection in 2015. Burke had been diagnosed with cancer and died in Dixon, Illinois on February 19, 2016.Miguel Encinias
(92) World War II veteran who had been a prisoner of war and later flew in missions in the Korean and Vietnam wars before earning a doctorate in Hispanic literature. Born in New Mexico to a large Hispanic family in 1923, Encinias was a pilot in WWII and flew dozens of missions before he was shot down in Germany and became a PoW for 15 months. He retired from the US Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1968 and later earned a double doctorate in Hispanic literature and education from the University of New Mexico. He died in his sleep in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 20, 2016.Max Gruenberg
(72) Alaska state representative, one of the longest-serving members of the state Legislature. Gruenberg arrived in Alaska in 1970 and served in the Alaska House of Representatives from ‘85–93 and again from 2003. He was twice House majority leader and had been serving as whip for the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition. Also a well-known family lawyer, he died in Juneau, Alaska on February 14, 2016.Mohamed Heikal
(92) confidant of Egypt’s nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser since the ‘50s and later author of insider accounts of his country’s wars and peacemaking with Israel. The popular author rose to prominence as a confidant and later a Cabinet minister under Nasser, Egypt’s socialist and Arab nationalist president who ruled from 1954 until his sudden death in ’70. Heikal's close friendship with Nasser cast him in the role of a top authority on Egyptian and regional politics at a time when much of the Arab world was shaking off colonial European rule and embroiled in armed conflict with Israel. Heikal died in Cairo, Egypt on February 17, 2016.Nikita Kamaev
(52) former executive director of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). Kamaev was the second former senior RUSADA official to die this month. His death came less than two weeks after that of another former RUSADA figure; founding chairman Vyacheslav Sinev, who left the agency in 2010, died on Feb. 3. Kamaev died of a massive heart attack two months after resigning amid a doping scandal that triggered the suspension of the country’s track and field program, on February 14, 2016.Kemp Nall
(64) Grant County (Ark.) judge serving his 20th year and 10th term. Nall had previously been a member of the Grant County Quorum Court. He was running for reelection unopposed on the November ballot when he died of complications from an undisclosed surgery, in Little Rock, Arkansas on February 14, 2016.John E. Reinhardt
(95) first career diplomat to lead the US Information Agency, later renamed the US International Communication Agency. Reinhardt was appointed ambassador to Nigeria by the Nixon administration in 1971 and later was assistant secretary of state for public affairs under Henry A. Kissinger. He then became first career diplomat and first university educator to be director of the information agency. President Jimmy Carter named him to the post in 1977. Reinhardt died of a stroke in Silver Spring, Maryland on February 18, 2016.
Society and ReligionFernando Cardenal
(82) one of four priests who famously rebuffed a papal order to quit Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. The Jesuit was a practitioner of liberation theology and joined the Sandinista rebels after they toppled the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979, first leading a widely praised literacy campaign, then serving as education minister. The participation of priests such as Cardenal, his brother Ernesto, and Miguel d’Escoto in the leftist government irked Pope John Paul II, who publicly wagged his finger at Ernesto Cardenal during a papal visit to the country in 1983. In 1984 they were among four suspended from the priesthood for refusing to leave their political posts. Fernando Cardenal died two weeks after surgery, in Managua, Nicaragua on February 20, 2016.Msgr. Thomas J. Hartman
(69) Roman Catholic priest who gained fame as half of an interfaith “God Squad” duo on TV and in a syndicated column. Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman teamed up as The God Squad
on TV and radio and in print for 25 years. They started the program in 1987 on Cablevision and in '97 moved it to Telecare, the diocesan TV channel. At the height of their popularity, in the ‘90s, they appeared regularly on ABC’s Good Morning America
and on Don Imus’s Imus in the Morning
radio show; they also cowrote four books. Hartman died in Uniondale, New York on February 16, 2016.Samuel Willenberg
(93) Holocaust survivor, last known link to the notorious death camp Treblinka, perhaps the most vivid example of Nazi Germany’s attempt to destroy European Jewry. Willenberg’s death symbolizes a looming transition in the field of Holocaust commemoration, as historians and educators prepare for a world without survivors and the challenge of maintaining the memory of the Nazi genocide without the aid of those who witnessed it. One of just 67 men known to have survived Treblinka after a revolt, Willenberg devoted his final years to preserving the memory of more than 875,000 people systematically murdered in a one-year killing spree there at the height of World War II. He died in Moshav Udim, Israel on February 19, 2016.
(82) longtime third baseman for the San Francisco Giants who later managed the team and worked in the front office. Davenport was one of the original Giants after the franchise moved west from New York after the 1957 season. He played in the 1962 World Series and won a National League Gold Glove that same season. He was with the Giants organization for 51 years as a player, manager, and coach in the majors and minors. He managed the Giants for part of the 1985 season before being replaced by Roger Craig. Davenport batted .258 with 77 home runs and 456 RBIs in 1,501 career games over 13 major league seasons, all with San Francisco, from 1958–70. He died of heart failure in Redwood City, California on February 18, 2016.Tom Knight
(89) first and only official baseball historian of Brooklyn. Knight was appointed to his unpaid post in 1976 by Sebastian Leone, then Brooklyn borough president. His qualifications were indisputable: He knew everything there was to know about the Brooklyn Dodgers, and most other teams too. The Dodgers had been moved to Los Angeles in 1957 by team owner Walter O'Malley, and Knight was one of the last surviving Brooklyn fans. He died in Brooklyn, New York on February 17, 2016.Tony Phillips
(56) veteran infielder and outfielder whose final defensive play sealed the Oakland Athletics‘ sweep of the San Francisco Giants in 1989 in a World Series interrupted for 11 days by the Loma Prieta earthquake. In an 18-year major league career, Phillips spent half of it with the As and experienced World Series glory with them when he scooped up a ground ball hit by Brett Butler and tossed it to pitcher Dennis Eckersley at first base to complete a four-game sweep of the Giants—the first Series sweep since the Cincinnati Reds swept the Yankees in 1976. Phillips also played for the Mets, the Angels, the White Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays. He returned to Oakland for his final season, in 1999, and retired with a career .266 batting average—was a switch hitter—160 home runs, and 819 runs batted in, in 2,161 games. He died of an apparent heart attack in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 17, 2016.Steve Willard
(72) former jockey who worked as exercise rider for superstar mare Zenyatta. Willard was the regular exercise rider for Zenyatta in the mornings and sometimes rode her in timed workouts. Zenyatta won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic and was named ‘10 Horse of the Year. Among other notable horses Willard exercised, after ending a nearly 20-year career as a jockey in the early ‘80s, were Gate Dancer and Gentleman. He died of pancreatic cancer in Arcadia, California on February 16, 2016.Previous Week
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