Art and LiteratureJack Davis
magazine illustrator, cartoonist, and movie poster artist. In 1950 Davis scored the first of many sales of his artwork to EC Comics, which published a line of horror titles including Tales from the Crypt.
He stuck with its editors—William M. Gaines, Albert B. Feldstein, and Harvey Kurtzman—when they launched the pioneering satire magazine Mad
in 1952 and remained a member of “The Usual Gang of Idiots” (as the magazine billed them) for the next 60 years. His illustrations poked fun at politicians and celebrities, along with countless portraits of the magazine's perpetually grinning mascot, Alfred E. Neuman. Davis also created numerous covers for TV Guide
and provided artwork for books, record jackets, and posters for films including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, American Graffiti,
and Woody Allen's Bananas.
Davis died in St. Simons, Georgia on July 27, 2016.Mahashweta Devi
(90) Indian writer and social activist who used her writing to give voice to the oppressed poor tribal and forest dwellers. Written mostly in the Bengali language, Devi's major works dealt with the suffering of poor laborers and forest dwellers who had lost their lands owing to industrial and urban growth. She founded several social organizations to help fight for the rights of indigenous people and was the recipient of many awards, including some of India's highest civilian and literary awards. Devi had been hospitalized in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, where she had been treated for a kidney ailment for the past two months. She died on July 28, 2016.Frank Hodsoll
(78) head of the National Endowment for the Arts under President Ronald Reagan, successfully managing the politics of arts funding in a budget-cutting era even as the so-called culture wars simmered. Hodsoll was the fourth chairman of the NEA, established by Congress in 1965 to support American artists, arts organizations, and arts education. During his tenure, among other things, the endowment created what is now known as the annual NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship and supported the American Film Institute's founding of the National Center for Film & Video Preservation, for which it won an honorary Oscar in 1985. Hodsoll died of cancer in Falls Church, Virginia on July 24, 2016.James Alan McPherson
(72) author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning story collection Elbow Room
(1977) and a longtime faculty member at the University of Iowa's prestigious Writers' Workshop. A graduate of Harvard Law School who chose instead to become a writer, McPherson was best known for Elbow Room,
candid and compassionate takes on race and the misunderstandings between black and white. He was the first black to win the fiction Pulitzer. His other works included the story collection Hue & Cry
and the memoir Crabcakes.
In 1981 McPherson was named a MacArthur fellow. He retired from teaching in 2014 and died of pneumonia in Iowa City, Iowa on July 27, 2016.
Business and ScienceCharles Bilezikian
(79) man who founded the Christmas Tree Shops discount retail chain with a single store on Cape Cod. Bilezikian and his wife, Doreen, bought a small seasonal holiday gift shop in Yarmouth, Mass. in 1970. Over the years they opened more stores on Cape Cod and in the state. The chain was sold in 2003 to Bed Bath & Beyond. There are now about 70 Christmas Tree Shops locations in 21 states. Bilezikian died of pancreatic cancer in Barnstable, Massachusetts on July 26, 2016.Denis Dubourdieu
(67) French scientist, vineyard owner, and winemaker who modernized the white wines of Bordeaux and, as a professor of enology at the University of Bordeaux, educated a generation of French vineyard managers. Often referred to in the French news media as the pope of white wine or the professor of Bordeaux, Dubourdieu owned and managed several estates in Bordeaux, where his family has made wine since the late 18th century. But he was best known for his research on wine chemistry and vinification and his forward-looking techniques for making a new style of white Bordeaux. He died of brain cancer in Bordeaux, France on July 26, 2016.Forrest E. Mars Jr.
(84) billionaire scion of the reclusive family that satisfied America’s sweet tooth with the Milky Way candy bar and M&Ms and helped to build Mars Inc. into the world’s largest confectionary company. Mars and his brother, John, were copresidents of the company, which sold about $1 billion worth of candy when their father turned over control. By the time Forrest Mars Jr. retired from active management in 1999, it was an $18 billion-a-year company selling Snickers, Uncle Ben’s Rice, and Pedigree pet food. Since its acquisition in 2008 of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the chewing gum manufacturer, Mars reports sales of $35 billion a year and has 80,000 employees worldwide. Forrest Mars Jr. died of a heart attack in Seattle, Washington on July 26, 2016.Marta Marzotto
(85) Italian stylist and fashion muse. Marta Vacondio met and married Umberto Marzotto, a count and co-owner of the Marzotto family textile business, in the ‘50s. They had five children before divorcing. A former model, Marta designed a clothing line in the ‘90s for the Standa department store. She was the muse of painter Renato Guttuso in the ‘60s. Decades later, she ended up in legal trouble for reproducing some of his works without the rights, but an appeals court cleared her in 2011. Her youngest son, Matteo Marzotto, told reporters that she was ready with a joke until the end. Marta Marzotto died in Milan, Italy on July 29, 2016.Conrad Prebys
(82) major philanthropist in medical research and the arts who made his fortune building and managing apartment buildings in San Diego. Prebys was one of San Diego’s most prominent donors whose beneficiaries included San Diego State University, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Museum of Art, and Scripps Health. In 2015 he donated $100 million to the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego. He died of cancer in San Diego, California on July 24, 2016.Dave Schwartz
(63) longtime Weather Channel meteorologist. Schwartz had been an on-air meteorologist for the network for more than 20 years. His laid-back style and sense of humor quickly made him popular with viewers. He was first diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2006 and beat it twice, but it resurfaced last year. He died in Atlanta, Georgia on July 30, 2016.Chris Costner Sizemore
(89) housewife who suffered from what is now called dissociative identity disorder, the psychological malady that displays multiple personalities. Sizemore's story inspired the book The Three Faces of Eve
(1957) and a movie that same year that won a Best Actress Oscar for Joanne Woodward in the title role. Chris Sizemore died of a heart attack in Ocala, Florida on July 24, 2016.
EducationStella Mason Parson
(86) first black woman to earn a college degree in Nevada at a time when most of the US was still segregated. Parson graduated from the University of Nevada/Reno in June 1952 with a bachelor's degree in English. She later returned to school at the Las Vegas campus, where she earned a masters' degree in marriage and family counseling in 1988. Parson taught school for 33 years in Clark County, where a Las Vegas elementary school is named after her and her late husband, Rev. Claude H. Parson Jr.. Stella Parson died of renal disease in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 29, 2016.
(63) Oklahoma County presiding district judge. A former prosecutor, Deason became a special judge in Oklahoma County in 1999 and a district judge in 2005. In 2009 the Oklahoma Bar Association awarded him the Alma Wilson Award for his contribution to improving the lives of Oklahoma children. Deason died at his home in Edmond, Oklahoma, and his body was discovered by his wife, on July 28, 2016.
News and EntertainmentKen Barrie
(83) British actor who provided the voice of animated letter-carrier Postman Pat.
Barrie was originally a singer, recording for British label Embassy Records under the name Les Carle. He did film and commercial voiceovers before getting his best-known role. Postman Pat
premiered on British TV in 1981 and was broadcast around the world. It followed the mailman's gentle adventures in fictional Greendale village. Barrie appeared on the series between 1981–2005, playing Pat and other characters and singing the theme tune about “Postman Pat and his black and white cat.” He died of liver cancer near London, England on July 29, 2016.Gloria DeHaven
(91) daughter of vaudeville stars who carved out her own successful career as the vivacious star of Hollywood musicals and comedies of the ‘40s and '50s. As an MGM contract player, DeHaven also posed for her share of bathing suit photos, which made her a pinup favorite of GIs during World War II. As a teenager, she toured as a singer with big bands led by Bing Crosby's brother Bob and others. DeHaven achieved stardom in Two Girls & a Sailor
(1944), in which she and June Allyson played sisters vying for the affections of Van Johnson. MGM later cast DeHaven frequently as the second lead in such lightweight films as Summer Holiday, Summer Stock, The Yellow Cab Man
(with Red Skelton), and Three Little Words,
the biopic of songwriters Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. She died in Los Angeles, California one week after her 91st birthday, after suffering a stroke a few months ago, on July 30, 2016.Joao Miranda do Carmo
(54) Brazilian journalist in the central-western state of Goias. Do Carmo edited SAD (Santo Antonio do Descoberto) Uncensored, a news website that reported on problems affecting the small town of Santo Antonio do Descoberto, Brazil where he lived, such as the lack of paved streets and trash collection services. He had received several death threats. Two men drove up to his home and called out his name. When he opened the door, they shot him seven times in the chest and drove off, on July 24, 2016.Elena Doria
(90) longtime director (1986–2009) of the Metropolitan Opera's children's chorus, by all accounts equal parts den mother, wrangler, and benevolent despot. Comprising 80 or more boys and girls, ages 5 years to early teens and chosen by audition, the Met children’s chorus is a rigorous training academy, offering instruction in singing, stage deportment, and operatic diction in several languages. When the company stages a production that calls for children’s voices—including Tosca, Carmen, The Magic Flute,
and La Bohème
—the chorus becomes a hiring hall from which young singers are drawn. Several alumni have said that perhaps no one but Doria could have prepared them for high-level professional careers, not only in the performing arts but also in other arenas. She died in New York City on July 27, 2016.Jerry Doyle
(60) actor and syndicated conservative talk show host. As an actor, Doyle was best known as Michael Garibaldi on the ‘90s sci-fi TV show Babylon 5.
In recent years, his self-titled radio show aired on Talk Radio Network and, in Las Vegas, weekday afternoons on AM radio station KDWN. Doyle also founded the conservative-Libertarian opinion blog EpicTimes.com. He was found dead at his home in northwest Las Vegas, Nevada on July 27, 2016.Zelda Fichandler
(91) influential figure in the regional theater movement who led Arena Stage in Washington, DC for 41 years (1950–91), producing more than 400 shows and directing more than 50 for a company that helped to spur the growth of professional theater around the US and became its centerpiece in the nation’s capital. Fichandler died of congestive heart failure in Washington, DC on July 29, 2016.Bob Gambacurta
(71) longtime Alabama news personality. Gambacurta was communications director for former Gov. Fob James. He had previously worked as a news anchor and reporter at WSFA. Most recently he had worked as a political columnist and commentator. Gambacurta was found unconscious at his Montgomery, Alabama home and died at a hospital on July 26, 2016.Youree Dell Harris
(53) actress who played Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo, claiming to know callers' futures in TV infomercials and commercials in 2001. Los Angees-born Harris was a struggling actress when the Psychic Readers Network hired her in the late ‘90s to play Miss Cleo. She adopted her family's Jamaican heritage for the role, persuading viewers to call for allegedly free psychic readings. But consumers dialing a toll-free number were redirected to a 900 number charging $4.99 per minute. Nearly 6 million people made such calls and were charged an average of about $60 apiece. The Psychic Readers Network's parent company forgave $500 million in customer charges in a 2002 settlement. Harris died of cancer in Palm Beach, Florida on July 26, 2016.Mohamed Khan
(73) one of Egypt’s best-known film directors, whose realism shed light on the country’s urban landscape since the ‘80s. Educated in Britain before returning to Egypt in the ‘60s, Khan focused his work on social realities and often used prominent women protagonists. He rose to fame with the 1983 story of a troubled soccer player, El-Harrif,
and his 2013 Factory Girl
addressed Egypt’s rigid class society. Khan died in Cairo, Egypt on July 26, 2016.Mary Ann Madden
(83) for 30 years Madden challenged New York
magazine readers to compose double dactyls, literary limericks, godawful puns, and dexterous spoonerisms in a weekly competition that foreshadowed hashtag games on Twitter. A gifted wordsmith, Madden was recruited by her friend, Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, to create the New York
Magazine Competition, which made its debut in 1969. Her witty wordplay competitions attracted a weekly average of 1,500 readers, who would read the magazine from the back and send in postcards and letters with entries that ranged from the esoteric to the sophomoric. At her retirement in 2000, Madden had edited 973 wordplay competitions. She died of a stroke in New York City on July 26, 2016.James M. ('Jimmy') Nederlander
(94) Broadway theater producer who took over the fledgling Nederlander Organization from his father and built it into one of the largest producers of live entertainment and a dominant national theater chain that includes nine Broadway houses. Nederlander produced or coproduced more than 100 Broadway shows including Annie, Copenhagen, The Will Rogers Follies, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, La Cage aux Folles, Nine, Noises Off,
and The Life & Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
One of his most lucrative business collaborations is with the Walt Disney Co., which started in 1994 when Disney's Beauty & the Beast
opened at the Palace Theatre; since then, Aida, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid,
all found a home at a Nederlander house. Disney's The Lion King
has been playing at Nederlander's Minskoff Theatre since 1997. Jimmy Nederlander died in Southampton, New York on July 25, 2016.Marni Nixon
(86) American cinema’s most unsung singer. Classically trained, Nixon was throughout the ‘50s and ’60s the unseen—and usually uncredited—singing voice of the stars in a spate of celebrated Hollywood musicals. She dubbed Deborah Kerr in The King & I,
Natalie Wood in West Side Story,
and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady,
among many others. In 1965 Nixon was seen on camera in a small role as a singing nun in The Sound of Music,
starring Julie Andrews, whom she resembled. Marni Nixon died of breast cancer in New York City, where she had lived for more than 40 years, on July 24, 2016.Sandy Pearlman
(72) pioneering rock critic who later produced and managed Blue Oyster Cult and worked with The Clash, Patti Smith, and other punk artists. Pearlman wrote for one of the first rock magazines, Crawdaddy,
in the ‘60s and met the musicians who became Blue Oyster Cult. He booked early shows for the five-man group, arranged a meeting with then-Columbia Records executive Clive Davis that led to a record deal, and produced several of their albums. Blue Oyster Cult sold millions of records, and Pearlman was among the producers of the band's classic hit “(Don't Fear) the Reaper.” He had been in poor health since suffering a cerebral hemorrhage in 2015 and died in Novato, California on July 26, 2016.Einojuhani Rautavaara
(87) arguably Finland's most famous classical composer since the era of Jean Sibelius. Rautavaara produced eight symphonies, seven operas, 14 concertos, and dozens of other orchestral and vocal compositions. He achieved international fame with his seventh symphony, Angel of Light, in 1994. He was known for music that explored mystical and romantic themes, appreciated the mathematically precise application of 12-tone techniques, and employed innovative use of recorded birdsong. Rautavaara died in Helsinki, Finland after complications from hip surgery, on July 27, 2016.
Politics and MilitaryEdward A. Cosgrove Jr.
(53) Ohio firefighter with the Green Township Fire Protection District who died after responding to a fire. Cosgrove had a medical emergency while responding to reports of a camper trailer that had caught fire after a propane tank exploded inside. He was transported to a hospital in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he later died, on July 24, 2016.Carl-Henrik Hermansson
(98) leader of Sweden's Communist Party from 1964–75 as it broke its allegiance to the Soviet Union. Hermansson stayed in Parliament for 10 more years. During his leadership, the party, now known as the Left Party, distanced itself from the Soviet Union, which prompted Moscow loyalists to leave the group. Hermansson strongly criticized the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and regretted his earlier praise for Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The party dropped the Communist label in 1990; it's now Sweden's sixth-largest party, with 20 seats in the 349-seat Riksdag. Hermansson died in Stockholm, Sweden on July 26, 2016.E. Melvin Porter
(86) Oklahoma's first black state senator, who held a sit-in at the state Capitol with civil rights icon Clara Luper and fought to keep the state's only historically black university open. Porter, who grew up in Okmulgee, was the second black member of the Oklahoma Legislature. He served in the Senate from 1965–87, pushing for the state's Anti-Discrimination Act and the inclusion of black history in textbooks. He died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma after contracting a fever while in hospice care, on July 26, 2016.Charles Waterbury
(56) New Hampshire firefighter, an active member of the Orford fire department for about 10 years. Waterbury was fighting a brush fire in Lyme, New Hampshire when he suffered a medical emergency. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, on July 24, 2016.Mark Weiner
(62) major Democrat fund-raiser, Hillary Clinton supporter, and provider of merchandise to the Democrat National Convention. Weiner's company, Financial Innovations Inc., has since 1980 provided the official campaign merchandise for the DNC, such as T-shirts and buttons. The company also provided merchandise and other work for political candidates, including Barack Obama's presidential campaigns in 2008 and ‘12 and for current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A longtime friend of the Clintons, Weiner had been treated for years for leukemia. He died in Newport, Rhode Island as he prepared to head to the convention in Philadelphia, on July 26, 2016.Cole Wohle
(18) New Hampshire youth who was about to join his local fire department. Wohle was a member of the Francestown Fire Department's Explorer Program, which his younger brother also joined. Their father is a firefighter, and Cole planned to follow in his footsteps. The family moved to Francestown from Nevada. The parents own a general store. Cole Wohle died after riding a horse in a rodeo in Castleton, Vermont, where he suffered an unknown medical emergency and died on July 30, 2016.
Society and ReligionRev. Tim LaHaye
(90) coauthor of the Left Behind
series, a multimillion-selling literary juggernaut that brought end-times prophecy into mainstream bookstores. Cowritten with Jerry B. Jenkins, the 16-volume Left Behind
series of novels sold more than 80 million copies worldwide and popularized a Bible interpretation that said born-again Christians will be instantly taken to God in the Rapture, while those left behind on earth endure seven years of tribulation. LaHaye was a key figure in conservative political groups, encouraging Rev. Jerry Falwell to create the Moral Majority; forming the Council for National Policy, a secretive strategy group for prominent political and religious conservatives; and, along with his wife, Beverly, starting Concerned Women for America in 1979 as an alternative to liberal feminist organizations. He died in San Diego, California days after having suffered a stroke, on July 25, 2016.Mollie Lowery
(70) pioneer in efforts to help people suffering from poverty, addiction, and mental illness to move out of tents and cardboard boxes on Los Angeles sidewalks and into supportive housing. Lowery was an advocate for and friend of those she worked to help. In 1985 she founded Los Angeles Men’s Place, a skid row drop-in center for people with mental illness, and later helped to expand it to Lamp Community, which provided permanent supportive housing that included counseling and other social services. She died in Highland Park, California on July 25, 2016.Suzanne Wright
(69) cofounder of the advocacy group Autism Speaks who helped to build it into one of the leading voices for people with the developmental disorder. Wright and her husband, former NBC Universal chief executive Bob Wright, founded Autism Speaks in 2005 after their grandson's diagnosis. The New York-based organization funds research, raises awareness, and spotlights the needs of people with autism and their families. Suzanne Wright died of pancreatic cancer in Fairfield, Connecticut on July 29, 2016.
SportsRudolph ('Spider') Edwards
(86) with his dust mop and fedora, Edwards shared the parquet floor with Celtics stars from Bill Russell to Larry Bird in the old and new Boston Gardens. He began working for the Celtics in 1964, sweeping the floor during timeouts so the stars of the NBA's first dynasty wouldn't slip on the moisture seeping up from the hockey ice underneath. When the Boston Garden was replaced in 1995, Edwards was recognized in the closing ceremonies, and in an auction of the historic building's artifacts, his broom went for $1,600. He moved with the team to its new arena before retiring in 1997. When the Celtics replaced their floor in October 2015, they brought Edwards back to give the new parquet its first sweep. He died of cancer in Boston, Massachusetts on July 27, 2016.Dwight Jones
(64) power forward and center whose ejection from the 1972 Olympic basketball championship game in Munich (for scuffling with Soviet player Mishako Korkia) contributed to the US team’s controversial 51-50 loss to the Soviet Union. Jones played on two NCAA tournament teams at the University of Houston. At more than 6 feet 9 inches and around 200 pounds, he was picked by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 1973 NBA draft. He also played for the Houston Rockets, the Chicago Bulls, and the Los Angeles Lakers, amassing NBA career totals of 6,230 points, 4,513 rebounds, 911 assists, and 397 blocks. But for the rest of his life he remained frustrated by the loss at the Olympics, where he had been top scorer for the Americans going into the championship game. He died of an aortic aneurysm in The Woodlands, Texas on July 25, 2016.Sam Wheeler
(72) land speed motorcycle racer. Wheeler was an engineer from Arcadia, California, known as an innovator and pioneer in the sport. He was going about 200 mph (322 kmph) during a test run at Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats when the back of his motorcycle started fish-tailing, began sliding, then popped into the air and came crashing down. He died later at a Salt Lake City, Utah hospital owing to traumatic injuries suffered in the accident, on July 25, 2016.Previous Week
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