Art and LiteratureFrank Delaney
(74) Irish-born author and broadcaster who, like most novices, initially dismissed James Joyce‘s Ulysses
as unreadable but later spent his career making that novel about ordinary people accessible to ordinary readers. Delaney was also a literary impresario and interpreter who interviewed hundreds of fellow authors and was often solicited to judge book awards, including the Man Booker Prize. His podcasts on Ulysses
have been downloaded more than 2.5 million times. Delaney died in Danbury, Connecticut, where he was being treated for a stroke he had suffered a day earlier, on February 21, 2017.Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson
(86) every year Dickinson would wash the black and white stripes from her hair and scrub out the electric blue and pink streaks that helped to define her as another rebellious San Francisco artist. She would dye her hair back to its natural brown, tone down her dress, and return to the Deep South, where she was raised, to carefully capture—on canvas, on black velvet, on videotape—the rituals of Pentecostal revivals. Her body of work, which stretched from the images of worshipers in revival halls to artifacts such as a snake box, signs urging repentance, and a pickle jar with strychnine that true believers might drink, became so authoritative that it was housed at the Smithsonian and displayed in museums from Tennessee to the Bay Area. Dickinson died in San Francisco, California, 18 days after her 86th birthday, on February 25, 2017.Ren Hang
(29) Chinese photographer whose erotic images of naked young models arranged in provocative poses offered an unfiltered glimpse into the intimate lives of Chinese youth. Using point-and-shoot film cameras and photographing mostly his friends, Ren built up an extensive body of work in which clothing was a rarity and gender and sexuality an afterthought. Body parts are presented in every form: erect, limp, hairy, shaved, stacked, twisted, intertwined, bent, pinched. Ren, who suffered from cyclical depression, died after jumping off the 28th floor of a building in Beijing, China on February 24, 2017.Fritz Koenig
(92) German sculptor whose work The Sphere
became a symbol of resilience after the 9/11 attacks in New York. A well-known artist thanks to his large statues and sculptures, Koenig created the ball-shaped bronze over a four-year period starting in 1967. Originally called Grosse Kugelkaryatide NY,
the 25-foot-high sculpture stood at the foot of the World Trade Center from 1971 until September 11, 2001, when al-Qaida hijackers flew airliners into the twin towers. It was recovered from the rubble—heavily dented but structurally intact—and was moved to Battery Park, where it now stands alongside an eternal flame dedicated to the people who died that day. Koenig died in Altdorf, Germany, about 31 miles northeast of Munich, on February 22, 2017.Boaz Vaadia
(65) Israeli-born sculptor who mined the streets of New York for material and became internationally known for figurative pieces made from carefully stacked, carved stone. Vaadia, who had grown up in a farming community in Israel, moved to New York in 1975 and began using discarded stone from city construction sites. Much of his sculpture was made for public settings, in parks and on corporate campuse. His work, which includes bronzes and slate sculptures as well, is also on view in London, Tel Aviv, and New Orleans and is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He died of pancreatic cancer in New York City on February 25, 2017.Nancy Willard
(80) author whose 70 books of poems and fiction enchanted children and adults alike with a blend of fanciful illusion and stark reality. Willard’s 1982 picture book, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent & Experienced Travelers,
was the first volume of poetry to win the Newbery Medal, the country’s highest honor for children’s writing. Iillustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen, it also received a Caldecott Honor as one of the best illustrated books of the year. It was the first time a Newbery winner was also named a Caldecott book. Willard died of coronary and pulmonary arrest in Poughkeepsie, New York on February 19, 2017.
Business and ScienceDr. George Blackburn
(81) surgeon, clinician, researcher, teacher, and author considered preeminent in the study of obesity and nutrition. Over his career, largely spent at Harvard Medical School and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Blackburn correlated poor nutrition with obesity, advocated lower-fat diets, and helped to develop gastric bypass surgery and nutritional liquid diets. He joined Dr. Bruce Bistrian and other colleagues in providing the foundation for what became the field of nutrition medicine. Blackburn died of malignant melanoma in Boston, Massachusetts on February 20, 2017.Mildred Dresselhaus
(86) professor emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose research into the fundamental properties of carbon helped to transform it into the superstar of modern materials science and the nanotechnology industry. Nicknamed the “Queen of Carbon” in scientific circles, Dresselhaus was renowned for her efforts to promote the cause of women in science. She was the first woman to secure a full professorship at MIT, in 1968, and worked vigorously to ensure that she would not be the last. In 1971 Dresselhaus and a colleague organized the first Women’s Forum at MIT to explore the roles of women in science. In 1973 she won a Carnegie Foundation grant to further that cause. Dresselhaus died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 20, 2017.Martha Gilmore Parfet
(91) last surviving granddaughter of the founder of the Upjohn Co. Parfet's grandfather was W. E. Upjohn, founder of a Kalamazoo (Mich.) drug company that carried his name. It merged with another company in 1995 and now is part of Pfizer. For 20 years Parfet ran the family department store, Gilmore Brothers. She was a trustee at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the first woman to lead the board. Upjohn's $1,000 donation created the foundation in 1925. Parfet died in Hickory Corners, in southwestern Michigan, on February 20, 2017.Igor Shafarevich
(93) internationally renowned Russian mathematician who had a central role in the anti-Soviet dissident movement during the height of the Cold War. Shafarevich led a seminar for many years, until 2008, at the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow. In recent decades his image was tarnished in academic circles by accusations of anti-Semitism and a far-right tilt toward Russian nationalism. Shafarevich’s work is known throughout the mathematical world; his textbooks on algebraic geometry, translated into English, are regarded as classics in the field. He died in Moscow, Russia on February 19, 2017.
EducationMarilyn B. Young
(79) leftist, feminist, antiwar historian who challenged conventional interpretations of American foreign policy. In one form or another, Young explained in 2012, since her childhood the US had been at war. She joined the faculty at New York University in 1980, where she founded its Women Studies Department, was chairwoman of the history department from 1993–96, and was codirector of the Center for the US & the Cold War at the Tamiment Library. Young died of breast cancer in New York City on February 19, 2017.
(31) seven-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol who followed his father’s footsteps into the CHP. Chellew graduated from the CHP Academy in West Sacramento in May 2009 and was assigned to the South Sacramento Area office. His father, Charles Chellew, is a retired CHP captain, and his sister, Hanna Chellew, is a CHP officer. Lucas Chellew was chasing a suspect on a motorcycle in South Sacramento when a collision occurred and he lost control of his motorcycle. He was transported to the University of California/Davis Medical Center, where he later died on February 22, 2017.Roy Dunnaway
(74) retired longtime Kansas sheriff named in an unresolved federal lawsuit by a wrongfully convicted former inmate. Dunnaway spent 25 years as Jefferson County sheriff before retiring in 2008. He had been a defendant in a federal lawsuit by Floyd Bledsoe, who spent more than 15 years in prison for the 1999 death of Zetta Camille Arfmann. Bledsoe's conviction was overturned, and he was freed in December 2015 after new DNA evidence was found and his brother wrote notes admitting to killing Arfmann before he committed suicide. Dunnaway oversaw that investigation and through his attorney denied wrongdoing. He died in Topeka, Kansas on February 24, 2017.Karla Gray
(69) first female chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court. While Gray was chief justice, Montana’s judicial system was restructured with control of the district courts moving from counties to a branch under the Supreme Court. She told Lee Newspapers of Montana in 2008 that the change made the courts run more efficiently and created greater opportunities for judges and others to receive statewide training. She also spearheaded an effort to fast-track state Supreme Court cases involving child custody, especially when both parents were losing custody. Gray died of cancer in Helena, Montana on February 19, 2017.Jack Pope
(103) retired chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court who helped to establish formal judicial education for Texas judges. Pope was a judge in Texas for 38 years, including district court judge, court of appeals justice, and on the Supreme Court, the state's highest civil court, from 1964–85, the last two as chief justice, during which he worked to guarantee funding for legal assistance for the poor. He also worked for years for judicial education, assisted in founding the Texas Center for the Judiciary, a judicial-education institute, and signed the order mandating education for Texas judges. By the time he retired in 1985, Pope had written 1,032 court opinions. He died in Austin, Texas on February 25, 2017.
News and EntertainmentCharles L. Bartlett
(95) Washington newspaper correspondent and columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting but was especially remembered for introducing John F. Kennedy to Jacqueline Bouvier. Bartlett was a Washington reporter for the Chattanooga Times
and a syndicated columnist in Washington for the Chicago Sun-Times.
He later published a newsletter on the political scene for private clients in a journalism career that spanned some 65 years. While with the Chattanooga Times,
Bartlett won a Pulitzer in 1956 for articles leading to a Senate subcommittee investigation into conflict of interest issues involving Harold E. Talbott, secretary of the US Air Force in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration. The inquiry resulted in Talbott’s resignation in August 1955. Bartlett died in Washington, DC on February 19, 2017.Brenda Buttner
(55) host of Fox News Channel’s Bulls & Bears.
Buttner was CNBC’s Washington correspondent and hosted the network’s The Money Club
before joining Fox News in 2000. She graduated from Harvard University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England. She died of cancer in Ridgewood, New Jersey on February 20, 2017.Ward B. Chamberlin Jr.
(95) pioneer of public broadcasting who led stations in New York and Washington, DC and helped to launch the career of Oscar-nominated documentarian Ken Burns. Chamberlin worked as operating officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and had a strong role in the creation of PBS and National Public Radio. He had held executive roles at WNET/13, American Playhouse,
PBS, and WETA. Chamberlin died of dementia in Bedford, Massachusetts on February 23, 2017.Alan Colmes
(66) radio and TV host and commentator best known as the liberal foil to hard-right Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel. In 1996 Colmes and Hannity began a 12-year run as cohosts of the Hannity & Colmes
program, which brought Colmes both fame and ridicule. A minority voice on the conservative channel, he was often mocked as too nice and overshadowed by the ever-aggressive Hannity. Liberal media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Media likened him to the Washington Generals, dependable losers to basketball’s Harlem Globetrotters. Colmes continued to appear as a commentator on Fox after his show with Hannity ended. Married to Jocelyn Elise Crowley, sister of longtime Fox contributor Monica Crowley, he died of lymphoma in New York City on February 23, 2017.Larry Coryell
(73) jazz guitarist known as the “Godfather of Fusion.” Coryell grew up in the Seattle area. After taking up the guitar, he moved to New York in 1965. His eclectic career includes collaborations with many jazz greats, including Miles Davis, Gary Burton, Alphonse Mouzon, and Chet Baker. Coryell’s works often mixed jazz, classical, and rock ingredients. In 1969 he recorded Spaces,
his most noted album. Many say it sparked the emergence of the jazz fusion movement. Coryell had just performed two shows at the Iridium on February 17–18. He died the next day in New York City on February 19, 2017.Stanley Dearman
(84) editor and publisher of the Neshoba Democrat,
a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Mississippi, whose editorials expressing outrage at the 1964 murders of three young civil rights workers helped to set the stage for the belated conviction of a former Klansman for organizing the killings. Dearman purchased the paper in 1966 and ran it until his retirement in 2000. At a time when rigid segregation reigned in the Deep South, Dearman, a Mississippi native, called for justice in a case that became a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement; it was the basis for the 1988 film Mississippi Burning.
Dearman died in Gulf Breeze, Florida on February 25, 2017.Neil Fingleton
(36) 7-foot 7-inch actor who played the giant Mag the Mighty on Game of Thrones.
Fingleton was recognized by Guinness World Records
in 2007 as Britain's tallest man. Born in northeast England in 1980, his height made him a basketball natural, and he played college basketball in the US for the University of North Carolina and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He later had a short professional basketball career in the US and Europe before turning to acting. He died of heart failure in London, England on February 25, 2017.Steve Hewlett
(58) British journalist who described his battle with cancer in dispatches heard by millions of radio listeners. A longtime editor, producer, and broadcaster for the British Broadcasting Co. (BBC), Hewlett was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in March 2016. He described his diagnosis and treatment in regular slots on BBC radio's PM
program and in a newspaper column. After being told he had only weeks to live, Hewlett recently married his partner, Rachel, in a hospital ceremony. He died in London, England on February 20, 2017.Jamie Hildreth
(72) longtime Houston Astros executive. Hildreth spent more than 30 years with the team, holding several front-office positions, including senior vice president of broadcasting and alumni relations. He joined the Astros in 1987 as director of broadcasting. Hildreth graduated from the University of Houston and worked at several Texas radio stations before joining the Astros. An annual scholarship will be created in his memory by the Astros Foundation to be given to a student studying broadcasting at the University of Houston. Hildreth died in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 24, 2017.Sofia Imber
(92) one of Venezuela’s most influential women journalists who turned a garage into the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art. Imber’s TV program Buenos Dias,
which she hosted with her second husband, Carlos Rangel, from 1969–93, was a landmark of Venezuelan journalism and politics. Imber became famous for her cutting interviews with global leaders such as former US President Jimmy Carter, Israel’s Simon Peres, and the Dalai Lama and writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She died from complications of old age in Caracas, Venezuela on February 20, 2017.Horace Parlan
(86) jazz pianist whose style was unlike anyone else’s, largely because he had to compensate for a partly disabled hand. Unable to use the middle two fingers of his right hand, Parlan still forged a style that impressed critics. Bassist and composer Charles Mingus gave Parlan his first significant national exposure in the late ‘50s. The pianist worked with saxophonist and flutist Rahsaan Roland Kirk in the mid-‘60s and had a long and fruitful association with saxophonist Archie Shepp beginning in 1977. He also recorded frequently, making several albums for Blue Note in the ‘60s and for the Danish label SteepleChase in the ’70s and ’80s. Parlan had lived in Denmark since 1972 and died in Korsor, Denmark on February 23, 2017.Bill Paxton
(61) actor whose memorable roles included an astronaut in Apollo 13
and a treasure hunter in Titanic.
Paxton's movie credits included some of the signature works of the past 40 years, including The Terminator
TV fans knew him for his role as the polygamist with three wives in the HBO series Big Love,
for which he received three Golden Globe nominations. He was currently starring in the CBS drama Training Day,
which premiered February 2. The network has not yet announced whether it will continue to air the completed episodes. Paxton died in Los Angeles, California from a stroke during heart surgery, on February 25, 2017.Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
(93) former longtime Minnesota Orchestra music director who conducted major orchestras in England, Japan, and other countries. Skrowaczewski’s last concerts were with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2016, conducting works by Anton Bruckner, his specialty. He led the Minnesota Orchestra for 19 years, starting in 1960, but served on its artistic staff for 56 years. During his tenure as music director, he was instrumental in the creation of Orchestra Hall, the orchestra’s home in downtown Minneapolis that opened in 1974. Skrowaczewski also was a champion of new music and a composer. He suffered a stroke in November 2016, which forced him to cancel upcoming appearances with the Dallas Symphony and other orchestras. He died at a suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota hospital after suffering a second stroke earlier in the month, on February 21, 2017.Leon Ware
(77) writer and producer of sensual rhythm and blues songs who was best known for a memorable collaboration with Marvin Gaye on the 1976 album I Want You.
Although he was also a singer, with a smooth tenor voice that evoked comparisons to Gaye’s, Ware’s influence was strongest behind the scenes, where he worked with Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, Quincy Jones, and others. Ware died of prostate cancer in Marina del Rey, California on February 23, 2017.
Politics and MilitaryVitaly Churkin
(64) Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, a veteran diplomat known as a powerful voice for his country's interests as he sparred with his Western counterparts. Churkin had been Russia's envoy at the UN since 2006 and was considered Moscow's great champion there. He died suddenly after falling ill at his office in New York City on February 20, 2017.Eni H. Faleomavaega
(73) American Samoa’s longest-serving nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives. The House delegate from American Samoa, a US territory about 2,300 miles south of Hawaii, can vote in committee but not on the House floor. A Democrat, Faleomavaega became a congressional delegate in 1989 and held the position for 13 consecutive terms. Unseated in 2014 by Republican Aumua Amata Radewagen, he died in Provo, Utah on February 22, 2017.Kaci Kullmann Five
(65) head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Five had been a member of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize-awarding committee since 2003. She was elected chairwoman of the committee in 2015 and announced the winner of the 2016 prize in October—Colombian President Juan Manuel Santo—but was unable to attend the December ceremony owing to illness. Five was also known as a political pioneer who provided an important role model for many women. She died in Oslo, Norway after being treated for a recurrence of cancer, on February 19, 2017.Jamie Fox
(62) longtime New Jersey official accused of conspiracy in a shakedown involving the former chairman of the agency that controls New York City-area airports. Fox was a Democrat and held numerous governmental posts during his career. He was transportation commissioner in the administrations of Democrat Gov. Jim McGreevey and Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Fox was serving as a lobbyist for Chicago-based United Airlines when federal prosecutors said he helped then-Port Authority of New York & New Jersey chairman David Samson to establish a regular flight to Samson's vacation home in South Carolina. Samson pleaded guilty to bribery; Fox had vowed to fight the allegations. He died in Lambertville, New Jersey on February 20, 2017.William ('Bud') Liebenow
(97) World War II Navy officer who guided his warship into Japanese territory to rescue future President John F. Kennedy and his crew. Liebenow and Kennedy were both captains of PT boats in the South Pacific in 1943 when Kennedy’s boat was destroyed by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy and 10 other surviving crew members swam to a small island. Kennedy scratched a note into a cocoanut that two Solomon Islands natives carried to an American base. Liebenow guided his boat behind enemy lines to track down the survivors of PT-109
on the island where they were hiding. He died of pneumonia in Mount Airy, North Carolina on February 24, 2017.Halaevalu Mata'aho
(90) queen mother of the South Pacific island kingdom of Tonga who dedicated her time to helping the elderly and those with disabilities. Mata’aho was the mother of two kings: George Tupou V, who died in 2012, and the current monarch, King Tupou VI. She died in Auckland, New Zealand after traveling there for health reasons, on February 19, 2017.Dr. Sabine Oberhauser
(53) Austria’s health minister. Oberhauser took office in 2014 after holding various posts for the Social Democrats, senior partners in Austria’s coalition government. She had been battling cancer for two years and relinquished her government duties a week ago to enter the hospital. She died in Vienna, Austria on February 23, 2017.Dorothy Rice
(94) pioneering US government economist and statistician whose research about the need of the aged for health insurance helped to make the case for the passage of Medicare in 1965. Rice was an analyst at the Social Security Administration when its study on aging highlighted how about half the population 65 and over had no health insurance—and that those who needed it most were the least likely to be able to afford it. Rice died in Oakland, California of complications from a broken hip resulting from a fall, on February 25, 2017.Lester Tenney
(96) US Army tank commander who survived one of World War II's signature horrors, the Bataan Death March, and spent his later years pushing Japanese authorities to apologize for their country’s war atrocities. Tenney’s memories of that eight-day, 73-plus-mile trek and of his subsequent three years in a forced-labor coal mine—stories he shared with reporters, civic leaders, schoolchildren, and in a memoir called My Hitch in Hell
—eventually wrung apologies from government leaders and from Mitsubishi Materials Corp., one of the corporate giants that benefited from prisoner-of-war slavery. Tenney died in Carlsbad, California on February 24, 2017.
Society and ReligionDesmond, Cardinal Connell
(90) Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, Ireland whose tenure was dominated by revelations of pedophilia in the priesthood. Connell oversaw the archdiocese from 1988–2004 and was elevated to cardinal in 2001. He spent 35 years as a University College Dublin theologian before his appointment and said in 2002 that the child abuse scandals then sweeping through the Catholic Church in Ireland had devastated his time in office. State-funded investigations of the church’s efforts to conceal child abuse within its ranks found that Connell typically shielded priests from possible criminal investigations and faulted him for trying to keep the archdiocese’s own records on abuse cases secret. He died in his sleep in Dublin, Ireland February 21, 2017.Desmond, Cardinal Connell
(90) Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, Ireland whose tenure was dominated by revelations of pedophilia in the priesthood. Connell oversaw the archdiocese from 1988–2004 and was elevated to cardinal in 2001. He spent 35 years as a University College Dublin theologian before his appointment and said in 2002 that the child abuse scandals then sweeping through the Catholic Church in Ireland had devastated his time in office. State-funded investigations of the church’s efforts to conceal child abuse within its ranks found that Connell typically shielded priests from possible criminal investigations and faulted him for trying to keep the archdiocese’s own records on abuse cases secret. He died in his sleep in Dublin, Ireland February 21, 2017.
(82) former north Texas sportswriter whose features and profiles became part of the foundation of Texas Monthly
magazine. Cartwright was a young police reporter with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
before moving to the now-defunct Fort Worth Press,
where he joined a legendary sports department run by Blackie Sherrod. He later moved to the Dallas Morning News,
where he reported on the Don Meredith-era Dallas Cowboys. He launched his magazine career with Harper’s
and Sports Illustrated
before joining the newly launched Texas Monthly
in 1975. Cartwright had fallen in his home on February 10 and remained on the floor for four days before neighbors found him during a welfare check. He had been in hospice care since then and died in Austin, Texas on February 22, 2017.Bernie Custis
(88) pro football's first black quarterback who blazed the trail for future Canadian Football League stars Warren Moon, Chuck Ealey, and Damon Allen. Custis made pro football history on August 29, 1951, when he became a starter with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Washington, DC native had starred as quarterback at Syracuse and was selected sixth overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 1951 NFL draft. But he instead opted to sign with Hamilton, starting every game in his first season with the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union, one of the leagues that later formed the CFL. Custis moved to running back the next season and in 1953 helped Hamilton to win the Grey Cup 12-6 over Winnipeg. He finished his pro career with the Ottawa Rough Riders, playing running back in 1955–56. After football Custis returned to Hamilton, enjoying a long career as a teacher and school principal. He also coached at various levels over 31 years. He died in Burlington, Ontario, Canada on February 23, 2017.Charismatic the Racehorse
(21) 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner whose bid for the Triple Crown ended with a dramatic leg injury as he neared the finish line in the Belmont Stakes. A late bloomer, Charismatic won the Derby as a long shot, then followed up by winning the Preakness. At the Belmont, he led with an eighth of a mile to go but took a bad step and fractured his left foreleg as Lemon Drop Kid swept by to win; Charismatic finished third. The horse underwent surgery and won Horse of the Year honors. He retired from racing with five wins in 17 starts, with career earnings exceeding $2 million before starting his stud career in 2000. He was found dead in his stall at Old Friends Farm near Georgetown, Kentucky on February 19, 2017.Previous Week
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