Art and LiteratureJohn Berger
90) British art critic, intellectual, and author whose pioneering 1972 book and the BBC series it spawned, Ways of Seeing,
redefined the way a generation saw art. The author of criticism, novels, poetry, screenplays, and many less classifiable books, Berger had considerable influence as a late 20th-century thinker. He consistently and provocatively challenged traditional interpretations of art and society and the connections between the two. He died in the Paris suburb of Antony, France on January 2, 2017.Lynn Westmore Bloom
(81) artist who, in 1966, spent night after night clinging to the rocks above the Malibu Canyon tunnel, preparing her canvas. Bloom sketched out the outline of what would be her gift to Los Angeles. One morning in the fall of 1966, it emerged in full form: a naked lady, 60 feet tall, slightly pink, a fistful of yellow flowers in her right hand and an amused (or frightened) look on her face. Commuters slowed to gawk, drivers pulled to the shoulder to snap pictures, and news crews crawled through the canyon to cover the spectacle of the “Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon.” County work crews used high-pressure hoses to try to blast away the mural, and when that failed, they covered the Pink Lady with brown paint. A member of the Westmore family of Hollywood makeup artists, Lynne Westmore Bloom died in Encinitas, California on January 6, 2017.
Business and ScienceChristopher Byron
(72) veteran financial writer who skewered Wall Street shenanigans and chronicled the ups and downs of business figures like Martha Stewart in best-selling books. Long before movies like The Wolf of Wall Street
or The Big Short
were popular fare, Byron was revealing the seamy underside of the investing game. His books and articles exposed penny-stock scammers and greedy chief executives. His 2002 book, Martha Inc.: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia,
was made into a TV movie starring Cybill Shepherd. Byron died in Bridgeport, Connecticut on January 7, 2017.J. Dewey Daane
(98) expert on monetary policy who was nominated as one of seven members of the Federal Reserve board by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and served until '74. Since then, Daane had been a longtime professor at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. Before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, he had 35 years of combined government service in the Federal Reserve System and at the US Treasury Department. He was head of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and deputy undersecretary for monetary affairs at Treasury. At Vanderbilt, Daane focused on the evolution of the international monetary system and on monetary and fiscal policy. He died in Nashville, Tennessee on January 3, 2017.Lois Dickson Rice
(83) janitor’s daughter who became a trailblazing corporate executive and helped to persuade Congress to provide federal subsidies, known as Pell grants, to tens of millions of needy college students. In the business world, Rice was a director on several major company boards, including those of Firestone, McGraw-Hill, and the Control Data Corp., the supercomputer manufacturer, where she was also a senior vice president. She joined the College Entrance Examination Board (now known as the College Board) in 1959 and promoted and helped to shape the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program, whose chief sponsor was Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI; died 2009). The program, begun in 1972, awards grants rather than loans, mostly to undergraduates, on the basis of financial need. The mother of Susan E. Rice, national security adviser to former President Barack Obama, Lois Rice died of pneumonia and cancer in Washington, DC on January 4, 2017.Jeremy J. Stone
(81) mathematician whose ideas about minimizing the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe influenced arms-control negotiators in the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Stone’s focus on arms reduction began in 1963 with what he called “an electric thought”: if the Soviets could be persuaded not to build a missile defense system, then perhaps the US could be persuaded not to build one of its own. It was a counterintuitive argument: that national missile defenses could encourage both sides to build more offensive weapons. But it was central to the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which limited the number, type, and placement of missiles that the US and the Soviet Union could deploy to shoot down attacking nuclear missiles. Stone died of heart failure in Carlsbad, California on January 1, 2017.
EducationAnthony B. Atkinson
(72) British economist who pioneered the study of changes in the distribution of wealth and income, allowing for a better understanding of poverty and inequality. The author of more than 40 books, Atkinson was mainly known for his creative use of empirical methods. But in recent years he also put forward bold policy ideas, like creating a “minimum inheritance” to be distributed on reaching adulthood. He was warden, or head of college, at Nuffield College, a graduate college at Oxford that focuses on the social sciences, from 1994–2005 and remained a fellow of Nuffield until his death from myeloma in Oxford, England on January 1, 2017.Jewel Plummer Cobb
(92) first black woman to lead California State University at Fullerton after being passed over for the presidency of Hunter College—a decision that led to accusations of racism and sexism against the City University of New York trustees. When Cobb was appointed president of Fullerton in 1981, she was widely reported to be the first black woman to head a major university in the western US. She retired in 1990 and died of Alzheimer’s disease in Maplewood, New Jersey, 16 days before her 93rd birthday, on January 1, 2017.George Dennison
(81) former University of Montana president. Dennison retired from the university in 2010 after serving as president for 20 years. He oversaw sustained growth at the university, whose enrollment increased from just over 10,000 in 1990 to almost 15,000 in 2009. Dennison oversaw fund-raising for the construction and remodeling of numerous campus facilities while the university's endowment grew from $17.3 million to $120 million. He died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Missoula, Montana on January 3, 2017.Derek Parfit
(74) British philosopher whose writing on personal identity, the nature of reasons, and the objectivity of morality reestablished ethics as a central concern for contemporary thinkers and set the terms for philosophic inquiry. Parfit, who was associated with All Souls College at Oxford for his entire career, rose to preeminence with the publication of his first paper, “Personal Identity,” in 1971. He died in London, England on January 2, 2017.Alan Sugiyama
(67) longtime Seattle community activist and first Asian-American elected to the Seattle school board. Sugiyama helped to organize the Oriental Student Union at Seattle Central Community College and led the Asian Student Coalition at the University of Washington. He started the Center for Career Alternatives, a multiethnic job training program, and headed the Executive Development Institute, a leadership training program. He was elected to the Seattle school board in 1989 and served two terms. He died of cancer in Seattle, Washington on January 2, 2017.
(71) mobster’s son who successfully agitated to keep out even a single reference to the Mafia during the entire 175 minutes of the film The Godfather.
The son of organized crime figure Joseph A. Colombo Sr., Anthony Colombo was a 26-year-old military school graduate in 1971 when he helped to persuade the producer of The Godfather,
the sponsors of the network TV series The FBI,
and even the Nixon administration’s Justice Department under Attorney General John N. Mitchell to expunge the term Mafia and its Sicilian counterpart, La Cosa Nostra, from the screenplay, weekly scripts, and official lexicon. The younger Columbo died of diabetes in San Diego, California on January 6, 2017.
News and EntertainmentMike ('Gabby') Gaborno
(51) front man for Cadillac Tramps who softened the edges of the toughest punk rock shows with humor and group hugs. The Orange County (Calif.) band won the respect of better-selling acts like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters. Gaborno also fronted the punk band Manic Hispanic. At its ‘80s and ‘90s peaks, the Cadillac Tramps—which mixed punk, rockabilly, and blues over five albums—attracted sold-out crowds to the Hollywood Palace (now the Avalon) and other small- to mid-size venues in North America. Gaborno’s health began deteriorating around 2011, and his ailments included diabetes, kidney failure, hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and, finally, a diagnosis of liver cancer that spread to his stomach. He died on January 4, 2017.Nat Hentoff
(91) columnist, critic, novelist, and agitator dedicated to music, free expression, and defying the party line. Schooled in the classics and the stories he heard from Duke Ellington and other jazz greats, Hentoff enjoyed a diverse and iconoclastic career, basking in “the freedom to be infuriating on a myriad of subjects.” He called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, and the US Constitution. His steadiest job was with the Village Voice,
where he worked for 50 years and wrote a popular column. He died in New York City on January 7, 2017.Eddie Kamae
(89) one of the most influential Hawaiian musicians of the last 50 years and a filmmaker who documented the culture and history of the islands. Kamae had long been the face of the Sons of Hawaii, a popular recording group and a pioneering force in traditional island music. The Sons of Hawaii offered listeners traditional Hawaiian songs at a time when many island musicians were serenading crowds with predictable tropical ballads and material from Hollywood soundtracks. Kamae died in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 7, 2017.Sam Lovullo
(88) producer and cocreator of Hee Haw
who brought country music and homestyle humor to millions of American homes. The variety show ran for two years on CBS starting in 1969 and later had a 21-year run in syndication. Lovullo was producer for all but the last five years. The show affectionately made light of rural culture, featuring country bumpkins and scantily clad farmers' daughters, but was actually produced in Nashville and featured music from country legends like Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, who usually donned the same overalls as the cast and got in on the jokes. Its hosts, Buck Owens and Roy Clark, were themselves country music luminaries before the show began. Lovullo wrote a memoir about his time on the show, Life in the Kornfield: My 25 Years at
Hee Haw, which takes its title from the show's fictitious home, Kornfield Kounty. He died of heart disease in Encino, California on January 5, 2017.Bill Marshall
(77) cofounder of the Toronto International Film Festival. Marshall founded the festival in 1976 with two colleagues and was the organization's director in its first three years. It is North America's largest film festival. Marshall was a visionary in the Canadian film industry and was deeply involved in Toronto's political landscape, serving as campaign manager and chief of staff for three of the city's past mayors. He died of cardiac arrest in Toronto, Canada on January 1, 2017.Tilikum the Orca
(36) killer whale that lived for more than 20 years at SeaWorld Orlando, where he gained notoriety for killing a trainer in 2010 and was later profiled in a documentary that helped to sway popular opinion against keeping killer whales in captivity. The 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau during a performance with Tilikum after a “Dine with Shamu” show shocked the public and changed the future of orcas at SeaWorld parks. Brancheau was interacting with Tilikum before a live audience at SeaWorld Orlando when he pulled her from a platform by her arm and held her underwater. Brancheau drowned but also suffered severe trauma, including multiple fractures. SeaWorld Entertainment officials announced in March that the tourist attraction would end its orca breeding program and theatrical shows involving killer whales. Tilikum had faced serious health issues, including a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection. He died in Orlando, Florida on January 6, 2017.Georges Prêtre
(92) conductor who led renowned orchestras from Vienna to Milan and New York and beyond and was instrumental in soprano Maria Callas’s singing career. Prêtre last conducted in October 2016 at a performance of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein, where his rendition of Ravel’s Bolero earned a standing ovation. Still conducting until the final months of his life, Prêtre died in southern France on January 4, 2017.Om Puri
(66) Indian character actor who worked in films at home and abroad. Puri had won national awards and international fame for his work in several critically acclaimed films. His breakthrough film was the 1983 gritty drama Ardh Satya (Half Truth),
about a young policeman's crisis of conscience as he deals with crime and politics in India. Puri was also remembered for his work in the 1983 cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Let It Go Friends),
a dark comedy about India's all-encompassing corruption. He was also acclaimed for his performance in the 1997 British film My Son the Fanatic,
as a Muslim taxi driver appalled by his son's embrace of fundamentalist Islam. Puri also acted in several Hollywood films, including City of Joy, Wolf,
and Charlie Wilson's War.
He died in Mumbai, India on January 6, 2017.Rafiq Sebaie
(86) Syrian film, TV, and theater pioneer—best known to audiences as Abu Sayyah after one of his longstanding roles. Sebaie was awarded “Actor of the People” by late President Hafez Assad. Often cast in tough-guy roles, he rose to fame in the ‘60s and ‘70s when Syrian cinema was considered among the best in the Arab world. After Syria’s conflict broke out in 2011, Sebaie appeared on state TV criticizing opposition fighters in what he said was a conspiracy against the country. He died on January 5, 2017.Francine York
(80) actress who appeared on dozens of TV shows and in movies in a decades-long career. York modeled and was a nightclub showgirl before starting an acting career in low-budget movies and bit parts on TV shows such as Rescue 8
and Route 66.
She was the moll of supervillain Bookworm on Batman
in 1966 and played Venus de Milo on Bewitched.
Her credits included many ‘60s and ‘70s hit shows, such as The Odd Couple, Green Acres, Love American Style, Ironside,
and Burke's Law.
In recent years she appeared in episodes of The Mindy Project
and Hot in Cleveland.
In films, York was in Bedtime Story
(1964), starring Marlon Brando and David Niven, and Tickle Me
(1965) with Elvis Presley and was Nicolas Cage's mother-in-law in The Family Man
(2000). She died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017.
Politics and MilitaryAlbert Brewer
(88) former Alabama governor who reshaped public education during a fill-in term, then championed constitutional reform as the elder statesman of his state's politics. A Democrat, Brewer was lieutenant governor when he was thrust into the governor's office on May 7, 1968, after the death of Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace. He brought a low-key, businesslike style to the governor's office that was dramatically different from that of George C. Wallace, the outspoken segregationist former governor who got his wife elected while he pursued a presidential campaign. Brewer's administration lasted only 33 months, but he left his mark throughout state government, notably with an education package he guided through the Legislature in 1969. He died in Montgomery, Alabama on January 2, 2017.Charles J. Colgan
(90) Democrat who represented Prince William County and was the longest-serving member of the Virginia state Senate. Colgan founded Colgan Air, a regional commuter airline based in Manassas. He was first elected to the Virginia senate in 1975. He retired in January 2016 after having served in Prince William County, a swing county that supports Republicans and Democrats. He died in Aldie, Virginia on January 3, 2017.Angus Hardie ('Jay') Jamerson
(89) Georgia man who served among the first black US Marines during World War II. Jamerson was drafted in 1945 and sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where Montford Point, a segregated training facility, had been established in '42 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Marine Corps to begin accepting black recruits. Blacks who served in the Montford Point Marines received scant recognition for decades. About 20,000 of them trained from 1942–49, when the Marine Corps was ordered to desegregate. In 2011 US lawmakers voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress, to the surviving Montford Point Marines. Only about 300 are still living. Jamerson, who would have turned 90 later this month, died in his sleep in Villa Rica, Georgia, 35 miles west of Atlanta, on January 3, 2017.John C. Platt
(80) Central Intelligence Agency officer who forged a secret friendship with Gennadiy Vasilenko, a Soviet KGB (Committee for State Security) agent, in the midst of the Cold War, only to see their friendship betrayed by Aldrich Ames, a Russian mole inside the CIA, which led to Vasilenko’s imprisonment in Moscow. Platt died of esophageal cancer in Potomac Falls, Virginia on January 4, 2017.Stanley Russ
(86) former Arkansas state senator from Conway. Russ was a Democrat who served in the state Senate from 1975 through 2000 and served a term as Senate president pro tempore.
He had been diagnosed recently with leukemia and died in Conway, Arkansas on January 5, 2017.Mario Soares
(92) former prime minister and president of Portugal who helped to steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military coup. Soares grew into a global statesman through his work with the Socialist International movement. A moderate Socialist, he returned from 12 years of political exile after the almost bloodless Carnation Revolution toppled Portugal's 40-year dictatorship in 1974. As a lawyer, Sanchez had used peaceful means to fight the country's regime, which eventually banished him. He was elected Portugal's first post-coup prime minister in 1976 and thwarted Portuguese Communist Party attempts to bring the NATO member under Soviet influence during the Cold War. He helped to guide his country from dictatorship to parliamentary democracy and a place in the European Union. Soares had been hospitalized since December 13 and in a coma for the past two weeks when he died in Lisbon, Portugal on January 7, 2017.
Society and ReligionDushan Angius
(88) California Rotarian, among the first to sound an alert about the '80s AIDS threat by admitting that his son had the disease. Other Rotary victims soon followed suit. The Rotary Club’s effort triggered a national movement in the service organization and ultimately spawned an award-winning documentary—The Los Altos Story
—that sought to reshape the attitudes in America about a disease that many believed would never touch them or their families. Angius later served on President Bill Clinton’s first AIDS Task Force, and he and his family are cited in the credits with providing inspiration for Philadelphia,
the 1993 movie starring Tom Hanks that was among the first mainstream productions to deal directly with AIDS and homophobia. Angius died in Walnut Creek, California on January 7, 2017.Msgr. Hilarion Capucci
(94) former Greek Melkite Catholic archbishop in Jerusalem when Israel convicted him in 1976 of using his diplomatic status to smuggle arms to Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank. A native of Aleppo, Syria, Capucci had a history of activism linked to the Palestinian and other Middle East conflicts. He served two years of a 12-year sentence in an Israeli prison for the conviction, then was released owing to Vatican intervention and deported. He died in Rome, Italy on January 1, 2017.Sister Frances Carr
(89) one of the last three remaining members of a nearly extinct religious society called the Shakers. Their community at Sabbathday Lake in Maine was settled in 1783 and was one of more than a dozen such communities created in the New World by the Shakers, formally known as the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearance. The group fled persecution in England. It practiced equality of the sexes, pacifism, communal ownership of property, and celibacy, the main cause of its membership decline. Sabbathday Lake is now the only such active community remaining. Carr died of cancer at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine on January 2, 2017.Leslie W. Dunbar
(95) civil-rights activist who used his influence at private organizations to support black voter registration in the South, programs to reduce hunger among black children, and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. A white West Virginian, Dunbar was not a well-known figure among civil-rights leaders like King, Ralph Abernathy, or Roy Wilkins. But he found a way to use his liberalism in the cause of racial equality by pushing the Southern Regional Council, a politically moderate biracial civic and business group in Atlanta, into a more aggressive civil-rights role. He died of a stroke in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 4, 2017.Jill Saward
(51) British survivor of rape who became a powerful campaigner against sexual violence. The daughter of an Anglican minister, Saward was 21 when she was raped by men who broke into her father’s London vicarage in 1986. The rapists were convicted, but the judge said he was lenient in sentencing because Saward’s trauma “had not been so great.” The judge gave the perpetrators longer sentences for burglary than for rape, triggering strong criticism. Saward waived her legal right to anonymity and wrote a book, Rape: My Story.
She later made frequent media appearances and advised police and judges in dealing with sexual assault cases. She died in Wolverhampton, central England, two days after suffering a stroke, on January 5, 2017.
(79) star black halfback of the University of Buffalo's 1958 team that balked at competing in the Tangerine Bowl because of a rule barring integrated football games. Evans was a member of UB's 1958 team that went 8-1 and won the Lambert Cup, awarded to the nation's top small school in the East. Buffalo accepted a berth to play in the Tangerine Bowl before being informed that the school district that operated the host stadium in Orlando, Florida barred integrated games. Buffalo's roster featured two black players, Evans and defensive backup Mike Wilson. The school left the decision to compete up to its players, who unanimously rejected the invitation. Evans died in Buffalo, New York on January 4, 2017.Bud Lilly
(91) fly-fishing legend, conservationist, and catch-and-release pioneer. Lilly was not only an ambassador for the sport of fly fishing but also for his home state of Montana. He bought what became Bud Lilly's Trout Shop in West Yellowstone in 1961 and was a fishing guide until he sold the shop in ’82. In the ‘60s, many Montana rivers were put-and-take fisheries, with the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks planting hatchery trout and anglers catching them. Lilly began advocating catch-and-release fishing and eventually led the effort to get the state to stop stocking fish in rivers like the Madison, now renowned as a wild trout fishery. He died of congestive heart failure in Bozeman, Montana on January 4, 2017.Delaney O'Connell
(10) Illinois girl who died after a New Year’s Day skiing accident in northern Michigan. Delaney was an artistic and bookish fourth-grader. Crystal Mountain, a ski resort in Michigan’s Benzie County, said the accident happened during a group ski lesson on an intermediate trail. Delaney struck a tree and was wearing a helmet. She was transported to a Grand Rapids, Michigan hospital, where she died the next day of a closed head injury on January 2, 2017.Milt Schmidt
(98) Canadian-born hockey hall of famer who led Boston to two Stanley Cup championships as the center of the “Kraut Line,” served Canada in World War II, and returned to the National Hockey League to win its Most Valuable Player award and two more titles as the Bruins general manager. Schmidt had been the oldest living NHL player and was the only person in Bruins franchise history to serve as on-ice captain, coach, and general manager. He died in Boston, Massachusetts on January 4, 2017.Jean Vuarnet
(83) Frenchman who won the gold medal in downhill skiing at the 1960 Winter Olympics using an innovative approach to aerodynamics and in '95 endured the deaths of his wife and his youngest son in a doomsday cult’s murder-suicide ritual. Vuarnet was 27 when he arrived in Squaw Valley, California for the 1960 Games. He was a student of skiing technique and had helped to write several books on the subject. In search of extra speed, he raced the 10,154-foot course with his knees bent in a tuck position to reduce the drag on his body from the wind. The tuck requires skiers to squat, with their backs parallel to the slope and their rear ends raised slightly above their heads. The position came to be known as l’oeuf
(“the egg”). Vuarnet died of a stroke in Sallanches, France on January 2, 2017.Previous Week
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