Art and LiteratureDick Bruna
(89) Dutch illustrator and artist, the spiritual father of Miffy,
the white rabbit who enchanted millions of young children around the world for more than 50 years. Decades before Instagram made square images popular, Bruna understood their power; for years his Miffy
books were printed in a square format. Bruna created 32 books about the rabbit, which were translated into more than 50 languages and sold more than 85 million copies. He died in his sleep in the central Dutch city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, on February 16, 2017.Jannis Kounellis
(80) Greek artist, a major exponent of the Italian art movement Arte Povera, who made Italy his adopted home. Kounellis went to Italy in the ‘50s to study at Rome's Accademia di Belle Arti. After starting out as a painter, he became associated with the avant-garde Arte Povera, or impoverished art, movement in the late ‘60s, moving toward installations. He died in Rome, Italy on February 16, 2017.Dimitris Mytaras
(83) one of the leading Greek painters of his generation. Mytaras worked in an expressionist style, often influenced by the art of Greece's classical antiquity, using bold colors for subjects ranging from female profile portraits to dogs and motorcycles. He studied art in Athens and Paris and taught for years at the Athens School of Fine Arts, serving as its rector from 1982–85. Mytaras died in Athens, Greece on February 16, 2017.
Business and ScienceKenneth Arrow
(95) youngest-ever winner of a Nobel Prize for economics. Arrow was 51 when he and British economist John R. Hicks received the 1972 award for their mathematical work on general equilibrium theory, which involves the balance of market supply and demand. Arrow also made pioneering contributions to issues such as social choice and welfare, with important applications on everything from voting systems to health insurance. Other Nobel winners were praising him as one of the greatest contributors to economics in the 20th century. Arrow, who taught at Stanford and Harvard, received the National Medal of Science in 2004. He died in Palo Alto, California on February 14, 2017.
(82) innkeeper who nurtured talented writers and artists and tolerated assorted deadbeats as manager and part-owner of the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan for more than 40 years. A 12-story Victorian Gothic structure on West 23rd Street, the Chelsea was already a New York cultural landmark with a reputation as a bohemian sanctuary when Bard’s father, David, bought an ownership stake in it in 1947. When his father died in 1964, Stanley Bard took over as manager and began running the hotel until he was forced out in a power struggle in 2007. He died of a stroke in Boca Raton, Florida on February 14, 2017.Ren Xinmin
(101) Chinese space scientist best known for designing the first Chinese satellite to be successfully launched into space in 1970. The launch was significant because China’s top leaders saw the space program as a symbol of modernity and an effort to keep up with the space race between the US and the Soviet Union. Ren died in Beijing, China on February 12, 2017.
(78) author of a book on animal rights and a professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University. Regan was known for The Case for Animal Rights,
described as stating that nonhuman animals bear moral rights. A crucial attribute that all humans have in common, he argued, is not rationality, but the fact that each of us has a life that matters to us. Regan died of pneumonia in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 17, 2017.
LawE. Clinton Bamberger Jr.
(90) Baltimore attorney who argued a precedent-setting US Supreme Court case about prosecutors’ duty to turn over evidence. Bamberger argued at the Supreme Court in 1963 on behalf of a man named John Brady, who was convicted of murder along with an accomplice. Both men were sentenced to death, even though Brady’s accomplice confessed he alone had committed the murder. Prosecutors withheld that confession from defense lawyers. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that prosecutors must turn over any evidence they have that could exonerate the defendant. It’s known as the “Brady rule.” Bamberger died of pneumonia in Baltimore, Maryland on February 12, 2017.Ed Garvey
(76) lawyer who led the National Football League Players Association through strikes in 1974 and ’82. Garvey was the players' union counsel and executive director from 1971–83. He died in Verona, Wisconsin after a battle with Parkinson's disease, on February 15, 2017.Norma McCorvey
69) anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade,
the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the US, reshaping the nation’s social and political landscapes and inflaming one of the most divisive controversies of the past 50 years. Since the ruling, perhaps 50 million legal abortions have been performed in the US, although later court decisions and new state and federal laws have imposed restrictions, and abortions have declined with the wide use of contraceptives. McCorvey died of heart failure in Katy, Texas on February 18, 2017.James Nichols
(62) brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols. Agents raided James Nichols' farm in Decker, Michigan two days after the April 1995 bombing that killed 168 people after his brother and Timothy McVeigh were identified as suspects. James Nichols was arrested and held for 32 days, then released for lack of evidence. He was indicted on charges of helping his brother and McVeigh to detonate small bombs on his farm, but charges ultimately were dismissed. Terry Nichols is serving two life sentences without parole. McVeigh was executed in 2001 for masterminding the attack. James Nichols died of cancer in Saginaw,
Michigan on February 14, 2017.Adele Smithers
(83) benefactor who expanded on her husband’s bequests to help recovering alcoholics at a Manhattan treatment center and, in the process, won a consequential lawsuit that empowered benefactors and their families to oversee their charitable contributions. For many years the Smithers Alcoholism Treatment & Training Center treated thousands of people, including celebrities like John Cheever, Joan Kennedy, and Dwight Gooden. But Adele Smithers also attached the family name to a groundbreaking legal development in philanthropy when she sued St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan over its administration of a $10 million endowment left by her husband, R. Brinkley Smithers. Adele Smithers died of Parkinson’s disease in Santa Monica, California on February 13, 2017.
News and EntertainmentBarbara Carroll
(92) jazz pianist and singer who for 70 years was a fixture of Manhattan night life. A pioneer in a field dominated by men, Carroll was frequently introduced as “the first lady of jazz piano.” Until last December she had been performing regularly at Birdland in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday afternoons with bassist and singer Jay Leonhart; those musicales encompassed Bach, Ellington, Stephen Sondheim, and Thelonious Monk and drew a cosmopolitan audience. Carroll died in New York City on February 12, 2017.Warren Frost
(91) actor who played Dr. Will Hayward on Twin Peaks
and appeared on dozens of other TV shows including Matlock
In the ‘90s, Frost appeared on Seinfeld
as Mr. Ross, father of George Costanza's ill-fated fiancée Susan, and played pal Billy to Matlock
star Andy Griffith's character. He reprised his Twin Peaks
role for an upcoming Showtime sequel to the 1990–91 cult drama. Frost died in Middlebury, Vermont on February 17, 2017.Al Jarreau
(76) Grammy-winning jazz singer who transcended genres over a 50-year career. The Milwaukee native won seven Grammys over the course of his 50 years in music. His biggest single was “We're in This Love Together” (1981) from the album Breakin' Away.
Jarreau was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, “We Are the World,” and sang the theme to TV's Moonlighting.
His final album, My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke,
was released in 2014. Jarreau had experienced several respiratory and cardiac issues in recent years. He was hospitalized earlier in the week and was said to have been improving slowly. He died in Los Angeles, California just days after announcing his retirement from touring because of exhaustion, on February 12, 2017.Ivan Koloff
(74) Canadian professional wrestler known as “The Russian Bear” in the ring. Born in Montreal, Koloff was one of wrestling's top villains in the ‘70s and ‘80s. In 1971 he pinned Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden to take the World Wide Wrestling Federation title. Koloff later was an ordained minister in Greenville. His death came a day after fellow former wrestler George (“The Animal”) Steele died at 79. Koloff died of liver cancer in Greenville, North Carolina on February 17, 2017.Stuart McLean
(68) Canadian journalist who found fame on the radio as a humorist. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast McLean’s reports and his long-running weekly variety radio show, The Vinyl Café,
on its radio and TV networks. The show was also heard on 62 public radio stations in the US and, until 2008, on BBC Radio. McLean announced in December 2015 that he was suspending the show to concentrate on his treatment for melanoma. He died in Toronto, Canada on February 15, 2017.Paul Rilling
(94) former editor of the Anniston
Rilling worked as a writer and editor at the Star
from 1973–89. In the ‘60s he was director of the Atlanta region of the US Office for Civil Rights, which was responsible for monitoring racial desegregation. He resigned because he believed it was clear that the Nixon administration wasn’t going to be as forceful as the Johnson administration in enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He taught and continued writing in retirement, producing a column about the Star's
news coverage. Rilling died in Anniston, Alabama on February 12, 2017.Richard Schickel
(84) film critic for Time
magazine whose prose and critiques secured his status in an era when cinema became increasingly ingrained in the cultural consciousness. In a career spanning 50 years, thousands of reviews, and dozens of books, Schickel chronicled Hollywood’s changing landscape, from the days when studios reigned with stars such as Katharine Hepburn to the rise of independent directors who summoned a new wave of realism. He died in Los Angeles, California after a series of strokes, on February 18, 2017.George ('The Animal') Steele
(79) World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame member. Sporting a bald head, hairy back, and green tongue, Steele was famous for his signature move of sinking his teeth into the turnbuckle pads around the ring. He was once a Detroit-area high school teacher and coach who earned a master's degree from Central Michigan. The Detroit native had tweeted and blogged in recent months about his declining health; he had dealt with the digestive disorder Crohn's disease for several years. He died in Cocoa Beach, Florida on February 16, 2017.Clyde Stubblefield
(73) drummer for James Brown who created one of the most widely sampled drum breaks ever. Stubblefield performed on several of Brown's classics in the ‘60s and early ‘70s but was best known for a short solo on Brown's 1970 single, “Funky Drummer,” that was sampled on over 1,000 songs and was used as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks. Stubblefield had suffered from kidney disease for 10 years and had been hospitalized for a few days when he died of kidney failure in Madison, Wisconsin on February 18, 2017.
Politics and MilitaryRicardo Arias Calderon
(83) former Panamanian vice president who served after President Manuel Noriega was ousted in a military invasion. Calderon was vice president under President Guillermo Endara after a US invasion pushed military strongman Noriega from office on December 20, 1989. The historic leader of the Christian Democratic political movement in Panama, Calderon had not been a public figure in recent years because he suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He died in Panama City, Panama on February 13, 2017.Bob Michel
(93) Illinois congressman, leader of the Republican House minority for 14 years and skilled at seeking compromise critical in getting many initiatives of two Republican presidents through Congress. Michel's skill at seeking compromise with the Democrats was critical in helping Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush to pursue their agendas during their presidential terms. Michel served 19 terms in the GOP minority and retired one election too soon to be part of the GOP House majority that swept into power in 1994. He died in Arlington, Virginia on February 17, 2017.Joe Neal
(66) South Carolina state legislator, a pastor, and staunch, decades-long advocate for the poor at the Statehouse. Neal was first elected to represent rural Richland County in 1992. The Hopkins Democrat was also pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, SC. He died in Columbia, South Carolina on February 14, 2017.Clint Roberts
(82) former US congressman, a Republican from South Dakota. Roberts was a rancher who corralled cowboy roles on TV and auditioned to be the “Marlboro Man,” a nickname that stuck in Congress. He once owned a 5,000-acre cattle and wheat ranch near Presho, in central South Dakota, and represented the state’s western 2nd Congressional District from 1981–83. He lost reelection when reapportionment left the state with only one US House seat in a fight of incumbents with then-Rep. Tom Daschle, a Democrat. A former state agriculture secretary, Roberts died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Pierre, South Dakota on February 13, 2017.
Society and ReligionSheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman
(78) blind Egyptian cleric serving a life sentence in the US in connection with a failed plot to blow up landmarks in New York City. Abdel-Rahman was sentenced to life in prison after his 1995 conviction for his advisory role in a plot to blow up landmarks, including the United Nations and several bridges and tunnels. He died at the Federal Correction Center in Butner, North Carolina after a long battle with diabetes and coronary artery
disease, on February 18, 2017.Doug Coe
(88) evangelical leader who gained influence with powerful figures around the world as head of a prominent but secretive faith-based organization that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event in Washington and in many state capitals. Under Coe’s guidance, the National Prayer Breakfast, begun in 1953, grew to become a Washington institution, attended by every sitting president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Donald Trump spoke to religious leaders there on February 2. Guest speakers have been as diverse as Mother Teresa and Irish rock singer Bono. Coe was regarded by many political and business leaders as a spiritual mentor who blurred the line between religion and philosophy. Coe had been hospitalized briefly after suffering a heart attack and a stroke. He died in Annapolis, Maryland on February 14, 2017.Michael Novak
(83) Roman Catholic social philosopher who abandoned the liberal politics he espoused in the ‘60s to make the theological and moral case for capitalism in a series of widely discussed books. A former seminarian, Novak emerged in the early ‘60s as one of Catholicism’s brightest liberal lights. But by the mid-‘70s, like many former liberals who formed the core of the neoconservative movement, he had become disillusioned with campus politics and was unhappy with the continuing changes generated by the Second Vatican Council, also known as Vatican II. Novak died of colon cancer in Washington, DC, where he was a professor at the Catholic University of America, on February 17, 2017.
(79) former Akron guard who directed the Cleveland Browns’s defense in the ‘80s and was Michigan’s senior defensive football analyst. Adolph assisted Jim Tressel’s and Urban Meyer’s staffs at Ohio State and multiple staffs at Michigan from 2005–16. He was defensive coordinator in four American Football Conference championship games with three teams. He spent nearly 10 years with the Browns, joining Sam Rutigliano’s staff as defensive line coach in 1979 and becoming defensive coordinator in ‘84. After a one-year break, Adolph returned to Marty Schottenheimer’s staff in 1986 as defensive coordinator during the team’s back-to-back AFC Championship games in ‘86–87. He spent the rest of his NFL years in the AFC West with the Chargers (1985, ‘95–96), Chiefs (1992–94, ‘99), and Raiders (1989–91, ‘97–98). Adolph died in Dublin, Ohio on February 12, 2017.C. A. Dillon Jr.
(91) public address announcer for North Carolina State basketball games for more than 50 years. Dillon first sat behind the microphone in 1946 at the request of then-basketball coach Everett Case. In 1949 he announced the first game in Reynolds Coliseum, a spot he held for 50 more years. Dillon announced two games at the school's current men's basketball home, PNC Arena. He missed only two games between 1946–85, one for his honeymoon and the other for his mother's funeral. Dillon died in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 16, 2017.John Jackson
(81) coach of star tailbacks Marcus Allen and Charles White during their Heisman Trophy-winning seasons at the University of Southern California. Jackson was running backs coach from 1976–81 and worked as offensive coordinator under coach John Robinson. During Jackson's tenure, the Trojans won the Rose Bowl three times and were the 1978 national champions. After leaving USC, he worked for 17 years with California Sports Inc. as a special assistant to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss. While there, he ran Forum Boxing and helped to develop the Prime Ticket sports cable TV network, now Fox Sports West. Jackson died of complications after intestinal surgery, in suburban Torrance, California on February 16, 2017.Sione Lauaki
(35) former All Blacks backrower. Tonga-born Lauaki played 17 tests for the All Blacks, including appearing at the 2007 World Cup, and 70 Super Rugby matches for the Waikato-based Chiefs. He also played in France for Bayonne and Clermont. Lauaki's career was cut short in 2012 when he was diagnosed with kidney and cardiovascular ailments that forced his retirement. His international career was also impeded by off-field incidents, including two court appearances on assault charges that resulted in fines. He died of kidney failure in Auckland, New Zealand on February 12, 2017.Dan Vickerman
(37) rugby player who played 63 rugby tests for Australia and was involved in three World Cups. Vickerman died in Sydney, Australia on February 18, 2017.Mike Walden
(89) only person to serve as the sports broadcast voice for both the University of Southern California (USC; 1966–72) and later for the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) for 18 years. Walden was best known for his coverage of the Trojans and the Bruins and for his loud sport coats. He died of a stroke in Tarzana, California on February 12, 2017.Previous Week
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