Art and LiteratureJoe Harris
(89) commercial illustrator who envisioned and drew enduring cartoon characters like Underdog and the Trix cereal rabbit in the ‘50s and ’60s. In the ‘50s Harris worked at the advertising firm Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, drawing cartoon mascots and storyboards to sell products like General Mills cereals and Bounty paper towels. In the late ‘50s he created a floppy-eared white cartoon rabbit to sell Trix, a fruit-flavored, multicolored version of General Mills’s more popular Kix. He also drew a storyboard and wrote ad copy, including “Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids,” words that became synonymous with the cereal. Harris died in Stamford, Connecticut on March 26, 2017.William McPherson
(84) novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic for the Washington Post
who won late-life acclaim for an essay describing his descent into poverty. McPherson had been working as a senior editor at William Morrow in New York when Benjamin C. Bradlee, editor of the Post,
lured him to the newspaper in 1969 and placed him in charge of its Sunday book supplement, then called “Book Week.” When “Book Week” ceased publication in 1972, McPherson became first editor of its successor, “Book World.” Under his editorship, “Book World” became one of the leading literary publications in the US, and his reviews played no small part in establishing its reputation. In 1977 he won the Pulitzer for distinguished criticism. In late middle age McPherson unexpectedly delivered a novel, Testing the Current,
a coming-of-age tale about an 8-year-old boy living in a small Midwestern town in the late ‘30s. He died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia in Washington, DC, 12 days after his 84th birthday, on March 28, 2017.James Rosenquist
(83) artist who helped to define Pop Art in its ‘60s heyday with his boldly scaled painted montages of commercial imagery. Like his contemporaries Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Rosenquist developed a graphic style in the early ‘60s that traditionalists reviled and a broad public embraced. The Pop artists took for their subject matter images and objects from the mass media and popular culture, including advertising, comic books, and consumer products. They also used techniques that until then had been associated primarily with commercial and industrial methods of production, like silk screening or, in Rosenquist’s case, billboard painting. He drew on his experience painting immense movie billboards above Times Square and a Hebrew National sign in Brooklyn. He died in New York City on March 31, 2017.David Storey
(83) British writer who drew on his experiences as a miner’s son, a farmworker, an art student, a professional rugby player, and a teacher to create novels and plays that won acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. It was as a playwright that Storey was probably best known; his plays have been performed in some 60 countries. Yet it was as a novelist that he first gained notice, with This Sporting Life
(1960), which won the Somerset Maugham Fiction Award. A vividly told tale of a maverick miner turned rugby player, the novel was adapted for film in 1963, with a screenplay by Storey, and won Oscar nominations for its lead actors, Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts. Storey died of Parkinson’s disease and dementia in London, England on March 26, 2017.Yevgeny A. Yevtushenko
(84) Russian poet whose work focused on war atrocities and denounced anti-Semitism and tyrannical dictators. Yevtushenko gained notoriety in the former Soviet Union while in his 20s, with poetry denouncing Josef Stalin. He gained international acclaim as a young revolutionary with “Babi Yar,” the 1961 poem that told of the slaughter of nearly 34,000 Jews by the Nazis and denounced the anti-Semitism that had spread throughout the Soviet Union. At the height of his fame Yevtushenko read his works in packed soccer stadiums and arenas, including to a crowd of 200,000 in 1991 that came to listen during a failed coup attempt in Russia. He also attracted large audiences on tours of the West. A longtime professor of poetry at the University of Tulsa, he died of cancer in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 1, 2017.Jack Ziegler
(74) cartoonist whose satirical style generated more than 1,600 cartoons in the New Yorker
beginning in the mid-‘70s. Some of Ziegler’s subjects were recurring ones, like the Lone Ranger, hamburgers, and comic-book characters. Superman appeared more than a dozen times. Ziegler depicted him changing his clothes in a telephone booth while a cat surreptitiously watched from a nearby window, going to therapy to face intimacy issues with Batman, and being forced to hand in his cape after testing positive for anabolic steroids. Ziegler was the sixth New Yorker
cartoonist to have died in the past year. He died of lung failure in Kansas City, Kansas on March 29, 2017.
Business and ScienceAlexei Abrikosov
(88) Russian-born American physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 2003 for insights into how certain materials conduct electricity without resistance. Superconductors have proved most useful when made into wires and wrapped into coils to generate powerful magnetic fields for applications like magnetic resonance imaging machines in medicine and giant particle accelerators in physics that delve into the smallest bits of matter. Abrikosov died of a heart attack in Sunnyvale, California on March 29, 2017.Mary Anderson
(107) with her husband, Lloyd, Mary Anderson founded the mountaineering importer in 1938 that became REI and helped it to grow into the nation’s largest consumer cooperative without betraying its founding principles. Avid climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Andersons were unhappy with the ice axes available in the US in the ‘30s. So they began to import less expensive, high-quality ice axes from Austria, and those soon caught the eyes of their climber friends. In 1938, 21 of those friends paid $1 each for a lifetime membership in the Andersons’ company, originally the Recreational Equipment Cooperative, which imported outdoor equipment for lower prices than it could be bought domestically. The idea behind the cooperative, a business model that peaked in the Depression, was to supply gear at fair prices and return some of the profit to members, in that way encouraging outdoor activities. Lloyd died in 2000. Mary Anderson died in the Puget Sound region of Washington State on March 27, 2017.Pamela Edsttrom
(71) communications strategist who shaped the public image of Microsoft and its cofounder, Bill Gates, during the company’s reign as the most powerful technology player in the world. When Edstrom joined Microsoft in Seattle in 1982 as its first director of public relations, the company was an obscure maker of software and personal computers were only beginning to climb out of hobbyist culture and into everyday businesses. She left less than two years later to join an acquaintance, Melissa Waggener, in forming a public relations agency known for most of its existence as Waggener Edstrom. Microsoft remains the biggest client of the firm, now known as WE Communications, one of the largest independent public relations agencies in the world, with revenue of $102 million in 2016. Edstrom died in her sleep of cancer in Vancouver, Washington on March 28, 2017.Ikutaro Kakehashi
(87) Japanese engineer who pioneered digital music and founded synthesizer giant Roland Corp. Reputed to have devoted his life to the pursuit of live entertainment, Kakehashi had a definitive impact on shaping the sound of electronic, hip hop, and dance music. He founded Roland in 1972, and the company’s first product was the rhythm machine. Since then, Roland instruments have graced the stages of top artists from Lady Gaga to Omar Hakim. Kakehashi won a Grammy in 2013 for developing MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, which digitally connects instruments. He died in Tokyo, Japan on April 1, 2017.
(90) former Harvard physics major, Episcopal priest, and career counselor whose own vocational path led to his writing What Color Is Your Parachute?,
the most popular job-hunter’s manual of the ‘70s and beyond. Bolles originally self-published his manual in 1970 as a photocopied how-to booklet for unemployed Protestant ministers. In 1972 he recast it to appeal to a wider audience and found an independent publisher willing to print small batches so that it could be frequently updated. Since then, Parachute
has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has never been out of print. Bolles died in Danville, California, 12 days after his 90th birthday, on March 31, 2017.Roger Wilkins
(85) historian, journalist, and activist who held a key civil rights post in President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration and helped the Washington Post
to win a Pulitzer Prize for its Watergate coverage. Wilkins' uncle, Roy Wilkins (died 1981), was a longtime executive director of the NAACP. A lifetime later, Roger Wilkins' daughter Elizabeth worked in the presidential campaign of then-Sen. Barack Obama. Most recently a history professor at George Mason University, Roger Wilkins died of dementia in Kensington, Maryland on March 26, 2017.
LawWilliam T. Coleman Jr.
(96) civil rights lawyer from Philadelphia who prevailed in several landmark Supreme Court cases, broke several racial barriers in his own right, and was the second black to lead a Cabinet-level department. As transportation secretary during the Ford administration and coauthor of the main brief in Brown v. Board of Education,
Coleman was a prominent Republican who advised presidents of both parties. His service in President Gerald Ford's Cabinet from 1975–77 was a high point in a career that included work on government commissions and partnerships in law firms in Philadelphia and Washington. He died in Alexandria, Virginia from complications related to Alzheimer's disease, on March 31, 2017.Donald Harvey
(64) health care worker called the Angel of Death by the news media after he killed dozens of hospital patients under his care in the ‘70s and ’80s. Among the most prolific mass murderers in US history, Harvey confessed to killing 37 people, mostly hospital patients, over 20 years in Ohio and Kentucky. The ghoulishness of his killings—which he described as an act of benevolence and mercy that he provided to the sick and old people—drew international attention. Harvey was serving consecutive life sentences when he was attacked in his prison cell by another inmate on March 28. He died two days later at the Toledo (Ohio) Correctional Institution on March 30, 2017.Frederick B. Lacey
(96) police chief’s son who as a federal prosecutor in the '50s helped to drain New Jersey's swamp of political corruption and later built a reputation as a tough judge presiding over celebrated cases. Lacey smashed the corrupt Democrat machines in Essex and Hudson Counties and successfully prosecuted Mayors Hugh J. Addonizio of Newark and Thomas J. Whelan of Jersey City; John V. Kenny, Hudson County party boss; and Mafia leaders with whom local politicians, power brokers, and officials conspired to plunder the public coffers. Within four years Lacey and his successor, Herbert J. Stern, won the convictions of three-dozen government officials. Lacey died in Naples, Florida on April 1, 2017.
News and EntertainmentGary Austin
(75) founder of the Los Angeles improv company the Groundlings—a troupe that launched the careers of Paul Reubens, Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, and Melissa McCarthy. Turning to improvisation and stand-up comedy after earning a degree in theater arts at San Francisco State in 1964, Austin, a native of Oklahoma, cut his sketch-comedy teeth as a member of the SF troupe the Committee. He later relocated to LA and founded the nonprofit Groundlings company in 1974, assembling its members out of a series of workshops he had launched in a Hollywood theater in ‘72. The troupe’s name came from the Shakespearean era: audiences who watched performances while standing in the theater yard because they couldn’t afford seats were called “groundlings.” With Austin as its artistic director, the Groundlings’ approach to comedy was cutting-edge. He died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on April 1, 2017.Arthur Blythe
(76) alto saxophonist, a standard-bearer of the New York jazz avant-garde
in the late ‘70s and '80s after moving there from Los Angeles. Blythe became a leader of the newly ascendant loft jazz scene, centered on musician-run venues in Lower Manhattan. Within three years he had a deal with Columbia Records, making him a spokesman for jazz’s Afrocentric vanguard at a time when the music’s future was far from certain. His first two albums with the label, both released in 1979, showed the breadth of his vision. On In the Tradition,
he performed compositions by Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, and John Coltrane accompanied by a standard rhythm section of piano, string bass, and drums. Lenox Avenue Breakdown
featured tuba, electric bass, flute, and assorted percussion and consisted of four originals that featured extended improvisations. Blythe died of Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia in Lancaster, California on March 27, 2017.Lonnie Brooks
(83) Chicago blues musician whose relationship with his adopted hometown was cemented by his hit recording of Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago.” Brooks was a prolific musician known for his intense guitar solos and raspy but strong voice. He recorded several albums for Chicago-based Alligator Records’ Living Chicago Blues
series, including classics such as Bayou Lightning, Hot Shot,
and Lone Star Shootout.
Brooks appeared in Dan Aykroyd’s film Blues Brothers 2000.
He died in Chicago, Illinois on April 1, 2017.Chelsea Brown
(74) dancer and actress who brightened Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
and later found success performing in Australia. During 1968–69 Brown was a member of the Laugh-In
troupe whose ranks through six seasons also included Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin. After that Brown appeared in episodic dramas and comedies before relocating to Australia where she performed on TV and in films. In recent years she returned to the US. As a Laugh-In
regular, she was one of few black performers on TV. Brown died of pneumonia in Chicago, Illinois on March 27, 2017.Darlene Cates
(69) actress who played the housebound mother in the 1993 film What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
Cates was cast in the film as the morbidly obese mother of Johnny Depp, in the title role, and his younger brother, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. She had been spotted by the film's screenwriter, Peter Hedges, while appearing on the Sally Jessy Raphael
talk show, where she discussed her struggles with her weight. The film won acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a troubled but loving family in a small Iowa town. Cates later appeared in episodes of the TV series Picket Fences
and Touched by an Angel.
She died in her sleep in Forney, Texas on March 26, 2017.Noreen Fraser
(63) successful TV producer who during a 16-year battle with breast cancer became a crusading activist who raised millions for research and swifter treatment for all cancer patients. Fraser was a cofounder of Stand Up to Cancer,
a highly successful telethon that aired on three major US networks and in more than 150 other countries in 2008 before becoming an annual event. Stand Up to Cancer
has raised a reported $100 million; the money raised by the telethon is awarded to cancer researchers who agree to work cooperatively with other researchers, bypassing the competitive currents that Fraser and others felt were slowing and perhaps crippling the effort to make rapid headway in the fight against the disease. She died of Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in Brentwood, California on March 27, 2017.Rose Hamlin
(71) composer and singer of the ‘60s hit “Angel Baby,” a song covered by artists such as John Lennon and Linda Ronstadt. Hamlin was lead singer of Rosie & the Originals. She was 14 years old when she wrote “Angel Baby,” a song that Lennon later called one of his all-time favorites. Hamlin wrote on her website about her pride in many of her accomplishments, like being in an exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio about one-hit-wonders. Hamlin wrote that she was the first Latina to be on that list, and she also was the first Latina to appear on Dick Clark's American Bandstand
TV show. She died in her sleep in New Mexico on March 30, 2017.Christine Kaufmann
(72) Austrian-born actress who became her country's first Golden Globe winner and was married to US actor Tony Curtis (died in 2010) in the ‘60s. Kaufmann made her acting debut in 1952 and won a Golden Globe for her ‘61 Hollywood debut, Town Without Pity,
where she played alongside Kirk Douglas as a German girl raped by American soldiers. She met Curtis in 1962 while filming Taras Bulba,
and the two married in '63. They had two daughters before divorcing in 1968. While continuing to act, Kaufmann later in life also wrote health and beauty books and established her own line of cosmetics. She died of leukemia in Munich, Germany on March 28, 2017.Radley Metzger
(88) filmmaker who gained wide notice for directing artful erotic films like The Lickerish Quartet
(1970), until the mid-‘70s, when he recognized that making explicit pornographic movies was more lucrative. Metzger was a serious student of film who edited trailers of European films including Ingmar Bergman’s before turning to soft-core filmmaking in the ‘60s. That background shows in his high production values, reasonably thoughtful plots, and overseas locations—all surpassing the genre’s usual standard of quality. He died in New York City on March 31, 2017.Bill Minor
(94) journalist who chronicled Mississippi through almost 70 years of change, including its turbulent struggle over civil rights. Minor covered the 1955 trial and acquittal of two white men accused of killing black teenager Emmett Till for whistling at a white woman, the ‘62 riots after the court-ordered integration of the University of Mississippi, the ‘63 assassination of Mississippi NAACP leader Medgar Evers, and the ‘64 “Mississippi Burning” slayings of three civil rights workers. He died in Jackson, Mississippi on March 28, 2017.
Politics and MilitaryAgustina Del Carmen Castro Ruz
(78) youngest sibling of Fidel and Raul Castro, the youngest of seven siblings that included the late Ramon, Angelita, and Fidel. Agustina never served in the Cuban government and kept a low profile, unlike her brothers, who collectively have run the country for nearly 60 years, and Juanita, who is a prominent member of the Cuban-American activist community in south Florida. Fidel Castro died in November 2016 at age 90, a little over 10 years after severe illness forced him from power. Raul, who succeeded his brother as Cuban president, will turn 86 in June. Agustina Castro had been in poor health for more than a year. She died in Havana, Cuba of complications from a recent surgery after a fractured hip, on March 26, 2017.Deane R. Hinton
(94) American career diplomat who was rebuffed by the Reagan administration over his accusations of human rights abuses by Salvadoran security forces and right-wing “death squads.” An economist, Hinton was US ambassador to El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Zaire, and Pakistan under four Republican presidents beginning in 1974. He was also an assistant secretary of state for business and economic affairs in the Carter administration and helped to negotiate wheat sales to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He died of kidney failure in San Juan, Costa Rica, 16 days after his 94th birthday, on March 28, 2017.Ahmed Kathrada
(87) most prominent Asian South African in the movement to end apartheid, the system of racial segregation and white domination. Kathrada spent 26 years in prison, many of them alongside his close friend Nelson Mandela, for resisting the apartheid system of white minority rule in South Africa. Kathrada was active in leftist politics since his teenage years and came to prominence in July 1963, when he was arrested with other antiapartheid activists in Rivonia, a northern suburb of Johannesburg where the South African Communist Party and the armed wing of the outlawed African National Congress (ANC) had purchased an isolated farm as a meeting place. That October, Kathrada was indicted on charges of trying to overthrow the government, start a guerrilla war, and open the door to invasion by foreign powers, as was Mandela, who had been in prison since 1962 but faced new charges after the authorities found documents at the Rivonia farm linking him to the ANC’s armed wing. Kathrada had been hospitalized with a blood clot in his brain for the past month and died in Johnnesburg, South Africa on March 28, 2017.Amy Moritz Ridenour
(57) advocate for conservative causes in Washington since the Reagan administration, when she pushed for an arms buildup. In 1982 Ridenour was a founder of the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, a think tank promoting free market economic policies and a muscular national defense. She was the center’s chairwoman at her death. During the Cold War, Ridenour was among the conservatives who personally urged President Ronald Reagan to reject public pressure for a nuclear weapons freeze and instead vow to match or exceed the Soviet Union’s arsenal. She died of breast cancer in Glen Burnie, Maryland on March 31, 2017.Steve Vaillancourt
(65) 10-term New Hampshire state representative known for his colorful floor speeches. A Republican from Manchester, Vaillancourt built a reputation as an outspoken lawmaker unafraid to wade into controversy. In 2012 he was kicked out of the House chamber after shouting the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil!” when then-Speaker Bill O'Brien, a fellow Republican, shut down debate on a bill. During House debates Vaillancourt often would deliver floor speeches on the issues of the day, from marijuana legalization to a ban on election ballot selfies. He was a strong proponent of legislation aimed at ending animal cruelty. He had been suffering from health problems and recently had heart-related surgery. Lawmakers asked the police to check on him when he didn't show up for a House Finance Committee budget hearing. The police found him dead at his home in Concord, New Hampshire on March 27, 2017.
Society and ReligionGilbert Baker
(65) self-described “gay Betsy Ross” who in 1978 hand-dyed and stitched together eight strips of vibrantly colored fabric into a rainbow flag, instantly creating an enduring international symbol of gay pride. As the gay rights movement spread from San Francisco and New York in the ‘70s, Baker was often asked by friends to make banners for protests and marches. His creations, like others during that time, often included the pink triangle, which protesters had claimed as an icon after its initial use by the Nazis to identify gay men in concentration camps during World War II. Before a gay pride parade in 1978 in San Francisco, Harvey Milk, a city supervisor and gay rights leader who was assassinated later that year, joined others in asking Baker to create an emblem to represent the movement. With help from volunteers, Baker filled trash cans with dye in the attic of the Gay Community Center and pieced together the first flags, unveiling them in the parade on June 25, 1978. He was found dead at his home in New York City on March 31, 2017.Rev. Neil Connolly
(83) priest of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for 28 years until he retired in 2013. Father Neil rallied his parishioners to confront their fears—and often landlords and politicians—and lift their community from poverty, poor housing, and ill health. He did it by encouraging them to lead, rather than defer to him. It was a trait he shared with fellow priests who came of age after the Second Vatican Council, pursuing a ministry that was equally at home in the streets organizing residents as it was in the sanctuary blessing them. Connolly died in his sleep at the priests’ retirement home in the Bronx, New York on April 1, 2017.Darcus Howe
(74) British black power activist and influential member of the “Mangrove Nine,” Britain's principal figure in the fight against institutional racism. Howe led a 1970 campaign to stop the London Metropolitan Police from closing down the Mangrove Restaurant, a hub of black culture. Police raided the restaurant a dozen times, triggering a backlash that climaxed in a pitched battle between officers and protesters. Howe and eight others—the “Mangrove Nine”—were charged with riot, affray, and assault. The trial and Howe’s ultimate acquittal brought public attention to the issue. He died of prostate cancer in Streatham, England on April 1, 2017.Louis Sarno
(62) American romantic who abandoned his doctoral studies to devote nearly half his life to recording and preserving the vanishing music of pygmies in a remote Central African rain forest. Neither an anthropologist nor an ethnomusicologist by training, Sarno was studying in Amsterdam when he was first smitten by the melodies he heard one winter night in the early ‘80s on the radio. The announcer identified the music only in Flemish, sending Sarno to a music library and inspiring an odyssey that for 30 years distinguished him as an outsider in a jungle civilization, where drums, bow harps, flutes, zithers, singing, and dancing accompanied marathon ceremonies and even everyday activities among the hunter-gatherers who lived there. Sarno died in Cliffside Park, New Jersey of complications from liver ailments, on April 1, 2017.
SportsRuben Amaro Sr.
(81) gold glove shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies in the ‘60s. Amaro spent 58 years in the game, most of them with the Phillies. He won a gold glove for the Phillies in the season of their infamous collapse in 1964 and later became Philadelphia's first base coach. He was on the staff when the Phillies won their first World Series in 1980. He also played with the St. Louis Cardinals (1958), the New York Yankees (1966-68), and the California Angels (1969). Amaro returned to the Phillies organization in 1999 and spent eight years as a minor league coordinator, scouting and player development advisor, and Gulf Coast League manager. His final position in the game was as a scout for the Houston Astros from 2010–16. His son, Ruben Amaro Jr., was an assistant general manager and GM for the Phillies from 1999–2015 and now is first base coach for the Boston Red Sox. The elder Amaro died in Miami, Florida on March 31, 2017.Daniel Dufford
(66) thoroughbred trainer and Monmouth Park racing official. Dufford's top runner was Rumptious, which he saddled to victory in the 1984 Salvator Mile. After his training career, Dufford moved into the racing office, where he started as an official at Monmouth Park and eventually became stakes coordinator. During that time, Monmouth saw numerous champions compete at the New Jersey Shore racetrack, including Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and top runners such as Rachel Alexandra, Big Brown, Curlin, Funny Cide, and War Emblem. Dufford died in Ocean Port, New Jersey on March 28, 2017.Wayne Duke
(88) driving force behind the expansion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's basketball tournament during his 18 years as commissioner of the Big Ten. After serving for 11 years as assistant to Walter Byers, first executive director of the NCAA, Duke became commissioner of the Big Eight conference in 1963 at age 34. He took over as Big Ten commissioner in 1971 and retired in ’89 after guiding the Big Ten and college sports through the first stages of great growth in revenue from TV coverage of football and basketball. Duke died in Barrington, Illinois on March 29, 2017.Katy Feeney
(68) baseball executive for 40 years and a daughter of former National League President Chub Feeney. Katy Feeney was hired by the NL in 1977 and rose to Major League Baseball's senior vice president of club relations and scheduling. She was among the most prominent women in baseball and the sport’s go-to expert on the complicated rules governing the schedule. Retiring just last December, she died unexpectedly while visiting relatives in Maine, on April 1, 2017.Brian Oldfield
(71) shot putter on the US team at the 1972 Summer Olympics who lit a cigarette in the middle of the competition, between throws, in front of an international TV audience. With that single action, Oldfield established himself as a free spirit whose whirling style revolutionized the shot put but whose talents were frequently outshone by a penchant for partying, wearing outlandish clothes, and bucking tradition. It was a reputation that grew as he set a string of records, appeared on The Superstars
TV show, and dabbled in boxing. Shot putters had traditionally shuffled—or “glided”—across the ring, but Oldfield generated momentum by gyrating in tight circles. In 1975 he put the shot 75 feet at a meet in El Paso, surpassing the world record by more than 3 feet. He died in Elgin, Illinois on March 26, 2017.Linwood Sexton
(90) former football star for what now is Wichita State University remembered for his composure in confronting racism directed at him and other black athletes in the ‘40s. As a halfback, Sexton led the Shockers in total offense in 1946–47, helping them to a ‘47 Raisin Bowl berth. He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors from 1945–47 despite sitting out games in places such as Tulsa and West Texas State because of his race. Sexton was a member of the conference, Shockers, and Kansas sports halls of fame. He died in Wichita, Kansas on March 29, 2017.Ken Sparks
(73) college football coach who won 338 games for Division II Carson-Newman University to rank fifth on the NCAA's all-time list. Sparks spent his entire 37-year college head coaching career at Carson-Newman and went 338-99-2 before retiring in November 2016. The only coaches with more career wins than Sparks are John Gagliardi (489), Joe Paterno (409), Eddie Robinson (408), and Bobby Bowden (377). Sparks died of prostate cancer in Jefferson City, Tennessee on March 29, 2017.Previous Week
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