Art and LiteratureElizabeth Sargent
(96) poet, last tenant forced out of a rent-regulated apartment above Carnegie Hall in 2010, ending more than 100 years of storied subsidized housing and work space there for artists of all stripes. The honeycomb of more than 100 studios was added to Carnegie Hall several years after Andrew Carnegie completed the structure, at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, in 1891. They became home, working space, or both to generations of musicians, writers, artists, and actors, among them Enrico Caruso, James Dean, Martha Graham, Marilyn Monroe, and Katharine Hepburn. Sargent joined their ranks in 1964. She left after a three-year struggle with the Carnegie Hall Corp., which wanted to demolish the studios to create educational and rehearsal space.She accepted a cash settlement of about $2 million to move from the studio, for which she paid $337 a month in 2009. She had been bedridden for the past few years and died at her new apartment on West 56th Street, within a block of Carnegie Hall, on April 10, 2017.
Business and ScienceRussell Hanlin
(84) president and chief executive of Sunkist Growers for 20 years. Sunkist has 6,000 members who grow citrus fruits in California and Arizona. Besides global fruit sales, the cooperative has leased its brand for use in everything from soft drinks to vitamins. Hanlin retired in 1997 at a time when annual sales topped $1 billion. He also served on global trade committees under Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Hanlin died in southern California on April 11, 2017.Harry Huskey
(101) one of the last surviving scientists in the vanguard of the computer revolution, who helped to develop what was once billed as the first personal computer because it took only one person to operate, although it was the size of two refrigerators. A professor emeritus at UC/Santa Cruz, Huskey began his digital career in the mid-‘40s with the ENIAC, a behemoth considered the US’s first general-purpose programmable electronic computer. A top-secret federal government project at the University of Pennsylvania, it measured 100 feet long, weighed 30 tons, and contained 18,000 vacuum tubes. Huskey later worked with pioneering British mathematician Alan M. Turing on a prototype of another early computer, the Automatic Computing Engine. He oversaw development of yet another, the SWAC (Standards Western Automatic Computer), and in 1954 designed the G-15, a 950-pound predecessor to today’s laptops. He died in Santa Cruz, California on April 9, 2017.Leonard Reiffel
(89) physicist whose many achievements included two entirely unrelated things—one a down-to-earth development that changed TV sportscasting and another a far-fetched idea that, had it happened, might have changed the course of history. In sports broadcasting, Reiffel invented the Telestrator, which allows announcers to draw lines and circles on a TV screen to show how a play developed. But even more compelling was his role in a late-'50s top-secret study for the US Air Force that asked a simple question: How about blowing up a nuclear bomb on or near the moon and seeing what happens? The plan was never executed and the moon survived, intact, to host six Apollo
moon landings. Reiffel died of pancreatic cancer in Chicago, Illinois on April 15, 2017.Robert W. Taylor
(85) computer scientist instrumental in creating the Internet and the modern personal computer. In 1961 Taylor was a project manager for NASA when he directed funding to Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International), who helped to develop the modern computer mouse. Taylor was working for the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1966 when he shepherded the creation of a single computer network to link ARPA-sponsored researchers at companies and institutions around the country. He was frustrated that he had to use three separate terminals to communicate with the researchers through their computer systems. ARPANET, as it was known, evolved into the Internet. Taylor died of Parkinson’s disease in the San Francisco Peninsula community of Woodside, California on April 13, 2017.Mark Wainberg
(71) microbiologist who identified a drug that later became critical to treating people infected with HIV and later became a leading advocate for giving millions of people with HIV and AIDS in Africa greater access to antiretroviral drugs. The AIDS pandemic was spreading quickly in the ‘80s when Wainberg—who spent much of his career at McGill University in Montreal—began to study HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. He spent time working with Dr. Robert Gallo, codiscoverer of HIV, who provided Wainberg with the cells and antibodies to grow the virus in his laboratory at McGill. Then, in 1989, after studying the properties of a new antiviral drug called 3TC, or Lamivudine, Wainberg found that it was effective against HIV. It soon became an important part of the so-called AIDS cocktail of drugs that is still used to treat infected patients. Wainberg had been swimming in rough surf off Bal Harbour, Florida when he appeared to be drowning. He was hospitalized in nearby Aventura, Fla., where he was declared dead on April 11, 2017.
(65) first black woman judge appointed to New York state's highest court. Abdus-Salaam graduated from Barnard College and earned her law degree from Columbia Law School. She started her career as a staff attorney for East Brooklyn Legal Services and was a judge in Manhattan state Supreme Court for 14 years. She was found dead on a bank of the Hudson River on April 12, 2017. Her body was discovered along the riverside near Harlem a day after she was reported missing. Police said her body showed no obvious signs of trauma, and they declined to speculate on the cause of her death.John T. Curtin
(95) federal judge whose '70s rulings forced Buffalo to desegregate its schools and the Occidental Chemical Corp. to clean the chemical wastes at the toxic Love Canal landfill. Curtin died in Orchard Park, New York on April 14, 2017.Dennis Edwards Jr.
(95) judge who presided over the trial of Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s killer, in 1981. Edwards had served for more than 15 years as a law secretary to the New York Supreme Court before Mayor Robert F. Wagner appointed him a judge on the criminal court in 1965. He was reappointed by Mayors John V. Lindsay in 1972 and Edward I. Koch in ’81. At the criminal court, which handles arraignments and misdemeanor crimes, Edwards set bail, heard testimony, and pronounced sentences (or dismissed charges) for a long procession of Vietnam War protesters, restaurateur Toots Shor (accused of assaulting an unruly customer in 1967), and a teenage robbery suspect who charged the bench and hit Judge Edwards over the head with his shoe. Edwards died in New York City on April 13, 2017.
News and EntertainmentMichael Ballhaus
(81) German cinematographer who worked with Martin Scorsese on Gangs of New York, Goodfellas,
and The Departed.
Ballhaus spent 40 years behind the camera. Besides Scorsese, he worked with the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder and other German directors, including Volker Schloendorff. Ballhaus's other credits included The Fabulous Baker Boys, Broadcast News, Working Girl,
and Quiz Show.
He died in Berlin, German on April 11, 2017.John Clarke
(68) after Australia's then-Prime Minister John Howard refused to formally apologize to indigenous Aboriginal people for past atrocities, an actor who happened to have the same name as the nation's leader read out a moving apology on a TV show. The 2000 skit in The Games
was one of many culturally iconic moments dreamed up by Clarke, a comedian and political satirist beloved in Australia and New Zealand. The apology in The Games,
a mock documentary about the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was Clarke's idea; it resonated and was later read aloud in Parliament, becoming part of the official record. He died of a heart attack while taking photographs of birds in the Grampians National Park, a three-hour drive from his home in Melbourne, Australia, on April 9, 2017.Tom Coyne
(62) Grammy-winning mastering engineer who worked on numerous hit recordings by Adele, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Metallica, and more. Coyne began his career in the ‘70s and scored his first hit with Kool & the Gang. He worked for five years at the Hit Factory before moving to Sterling Sound, where he remained for the rest of his career and eventually became a managing partner. He won six Grammys and a Latin Grammy, earning a combined 37 nominations overall. He won a Grammy earlier this year for Adele's Record of the Year, “Hello.” Coyne died of multiple myeloma, a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells, in Morristown, New Jersey on April 12, 2017.Albert Freedman
(95) TV producer of Twenty-One
who became a central figure in the quiz-show scandals of the ‘50s for giving questions in advance to contestants—notably Charles Van Doren, an English instructor at Columbia University. Freedman died of heart failure in Greenbrae, California on April 11, 2017.John Warren Geils Jr.
(71) musician, founder of the J. Geils Band in 1967 in Worcester, Mass., while Geils was studying at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The band’s first big hit, “Love Stinks,” a rant against unrequited love, was the title song on their 1980 album. Their song “Centerfold,” from the album Freeze Frame,
was released in 1981 and eventually charted at No. 1 on the US Billboard
Hot 100 in February '82. It stayed there for six weeks and was featured on MTV. Geils was found dead at his home in Groton, Massachusetts on April 11, 2017.Peter Hansen
(95) actor best known for his long run on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.
Hansen played Lee Baldwin, a lawyer and addiction counselor, on the serial on and off from 1965–2004 and won a Daytime Emmy as best supporting actor in '79. He was one of the stars of the 1951 sci-fi film When Worlds Collide,
which won an Oscar for special effects. Among his other film roles were the kidnapped son of a rich rancher in Branded
(1950), with Alan Ladd, and a cavalry lieutenant in The Savage
(1952), with Charlton Heston. Hansen had recurring roles on the TV series Gomer Pyle, USMC, The Adventures of Jim Bowie,
and How the West Was Won.
He was also seen on Cheers, Perry Mason, The Golden Girls, Magnum PI,
and numerous other shows. He died in Santa Clarita, California on April 9, 2017.Linda Hopkins
(92) New Orleans-born singer whose gospel-rooted voice was heard on Broadway in the ‘70s in Inner City
and the one-woman show Me & Bessie,
and in the ‘80s in the long-running revue Black & Blue.
Hopkins had been performing gospel, blues, and rhythm and blues for more than 40 years when she took the stage in Inner City,
a musical based on a book of urban Mother Goose tales by Eve Merriam. In 1972 she won the Tony Award for best performance by a featured actress in a musical. With Will Holt, she conceived and wrote Me & Bessie,
a tribute to the great blues singer Bessie Smith, whose songs Hopkins had been performing for years. With spare accompaniment, she held the stage for an entire evening, performing more than 20 of Smith’s songs. The show, which opened in October 1975, ran for 453 performances; it was the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history up to that time. Hopkins returned to Broadway in 1989 in Black & Blue,
joining with blues singers Ruth Brown and Carrie Smith to evoke the glory years of the Harlem nightspot the Cotton Club in the ‘20s and ‘30s. She died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 10, 2017.Clifton James
(96) actor best known for his portrayal of swaggering, tobacco-spitting Louisiana Sheriff J. W. Pepper in two James Bond films, Live & Let Die
(1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun
(1974). One of James's first significant roles playing a southerner was as a cigar-chomping, prison floor-walker in the 1967 classic Cool Hand Luke.
He died of diabetes in Gladstone, Oregon on April 15, 2017.Bruce Langhorne
(78) session guitarist who often collaborated with Bob Dylan and inspired his song “Mr. Tambourine Man.” The musical prodigy was born in Tallahassee, Florida but from age 4 lived in New York's Spanish Harlem neighborhood with his mother. He studied classical violin before taking up the guitar at age 17. A mainstay of the Greenwich Village folk rock music scene in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Langhorne played with the likes of Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, among others. He was perhaps best known for his work on Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home.
Langhorne died of kidney failure in Venice, California on April 14, 2017.Dorothy Mengering
(95) David Letterman’s mother, a Midwestern homemaker who became an unlikely celebrity in her 70s as she baked mystery pies and covered the Olympics for her son’s late-night show. Letterman had been on the air for years and had made ironic celebrities out of dozens of nobodies before he thought to bring on his mom. But the moment he did, she became a hit, with a cheerful “Hi, David!” in her Indiana accent starting every appearance. She died in Carmel, Indiana on April 11, 2017.James Morriss 2nd
(80) longtime northwest Arkansas newspaper editor. Morriss spent 53 years in the newspaper business until his retirement in 2003. He began in 1950 at the Springdale
by sweeping the press room and later worked as a reporter and photographer for the newspaper until being named city editor in 1960 and editor in ’63. He was named editor of the Morning News,
created when the Springdale News
merged with the Northwest Arkansas Morning News
of Rogers. The publication is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Morriss died in Springdale, Arkansas on April 12, 2017.Sylvia Moy
(78) Motown songwriter and producer who collaborated with Stevie Wonder on “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)“ and “My Cherie Amour” and was a cowriter of hits for the Marvin Gaye-Kim Weston duet and the Isley Brothers. Moy died of pneumonia in Dearborn, Michigan on April 15, 2017.Charlie Murphy
(57) older brother of Eddie Murphy and a comic performer in his own right who turned encounters with Rick James and Prince into standout sketches on Chappelle’s Show.
Murphy was perhaps best known for his appearances on Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Central show. In the recurring segment “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” Murphy would recount how his brother’s fame brought him into the orbit of the biggest stars. His versions of the experiences, played out by him, Chappelle, and others, became enduring hits. Charlie Murphy died of leukemia in New York City on April 12, 2017.
Politics and MilitaryDavid Brumbaugh
(56) Oklahoma state representative. The Republican from Broken Arrow was elected to the House in 2010 and currently was chairman of the House Republican Caucus. Brumbaugh was an Army veteran and an ordained deacon. He recently sponsored a bill that would allow science teachers to teach creationism alongside evolution in the classroom. A House committee passed the measure on April 13. Brumbaugh was married and had two daughters. He died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 15, 2017.Carme Chacon
(46) Spain's first female defense minister and a prominent Socialist party leader. Chacon helped to modernize Spain's armed forces when she took the helm of the Ministry of Defense in 2008, in the government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Photos of Chacon reviewing the troops while heavily pregnant became a symbol of a new era in Spanish politics. Her body was found by police at her home after relatives called emergency services when they couldn't reach her. She died in Madrid, Spain from a congenital heart condition, on April 9, 2017.Jan Faiks
(71) first woman to serve as president of the Alaska state Senate. Faiks was a teacher in the Anchorage School District from 1968–78 and founded The Green Connection, an interior plant design company. She was known in Alaska for raising llamas. She was elected to the state Senate in 1982 and served two terms. After her legislative career, Fails earned a law degree. She spent seven years as a congressional staffer and later worked for the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers Association, retiring in 2013. She was diagnosed in 2016 with brain cancer and died on Amelia Island, Florida on April 10, 2017.Daniel ('Danny') Guice Sr.
(92) former Biloxi mayor who led the city during the devastation of Hurricane Camille in 1969. Guice was a state legislator before serving three terms as mayor, from 1961–73. He was later a Harrison County court judge from 1977–90. He served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1956–60, working to establish the state Port of Gulfport. He was elected mayor a year after black residents staged a wade-in to protest segregated beaches, and he was the first Biloxi mayor to appoint black residents to city boards and commissions. Guice died in Biloxi, Mississippi on April 13, 2017.David Mattax
(60) Texas insurance commissioner. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Mattax insurance commissioner—tasked with overseeing Texas's insurance industry—in 2015. Mattax previously spent 23 years in the attorney general's office, including litigating high-profile redistricting cases while Abbott was serving as attorney general before being elected governor. Mattax died of cancer in Austin, Texas on April 13, 2017.Sue Shaffer
(94) former Cow Creek tribal chairwoman, a longtime champion for tribal rights. Shaffer was a leader in getting the US Congress to formally recognize the Oregon Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians in December 1982. She was tribal chairwoman from 1983–2010, spending decades as its public face. She was also instrumental in getting the federal government to loan the tribe money for a bingo hall in Canyonville. It was expanded into a casino in 1994, and the Seven Feathers Casino Resort is now a 298-room hotel and casino. Shaffer died in Roseburg, Oregon on April 11, 2017.
Society and ReligionFrederick Borsch
(81) former Episcopal bishop who crusaded for LGBTQ (lesbian gay bisexual transgender questioning) rights when the church was torn on the issue and pushed for a living wage for Los Angeles's front-line workers when City Hall was resistant to such reform. Borsch was the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of LA in the ’80s and ’90s. At a time when the city was still sharply divided along racial and economic lines and a push for change was met with resistance at City Hall, he was a beacon of tolerance and an advocate for social justice in the six southern California counties the diocese served. He was suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood cancer, when he died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 11, 2017.Emma Morano
(117) world's oldest person, also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s. Born in Italy on November 29, 1899, Morano had been living in a tidy one-room apartment. A woman in Jamaica, Violet Brown, who was born on that Caribbean island on March 10, 1900, is now considered the oldest known person in the world, according to a list kept by the Gerontology Research Group. Morano died while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore, on April 15, 2017.
(79) west Texas native who led Texas Tech to its only Cotton Bowl when that game was reserved for the Southwest Conference champion. Dykes gave Texas Tech coaching stability after the Red Raiders had been spurned by David McWilliams, who left Texas as an assistant to become Tech's head coach in 1986, only to return to Austin a year later when Fred Akers was fired. Texas Tech promoted Dykes, who had joined the staff in 1984, and he retired as the school's winningest coach with a record of 82-67-1 over 13 seasons, plus an Independence Bowl loss after McWilliams' departure. Dykes was a three-time SWC coach of the year. He died in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, near Austin, on April 10, 2017.Wayne Hardin
(91) former Navy football coach who led the Midshipmen to two top-five finishes in the Associated Press poll. Hardin went 38-22-2 with the Midshipmen and led them to the 1961 Orange Bowl and the ‘64 Cotton Bowl. His 1960 Navy team ended the season ranked fourth by the AP, and his '63 team finished second in the AP poll. Hardin also went 80-52-3 in 13 seasons (1970–82) at Temple University and was the winningest coach in that school’s history. He led the 1979 team to the Garden State Bowl, where the Owls defeated California for their first bowl win. The 1979 team set a record for victories with 10 and finished the season ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25 poll. Hardin died of a massive stroke in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 11, 2017.Tom Modrak
(74) longtime NFL scouting and personnel specialist who broke into the league with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. Modrak spent the past five years as executive director of BLESTO, a scouting service affiliated with numerous NFL teams. He began his career as a part-time scout with the Steelers in 1973 before being hired by the team full-time in ’78. He eventually headed Pittsburgh’s scouting department before taking over as Philadelphia Eagles director of football operations in 1998. Modrak was hired by the Buffalo Bills after he was fired by the Eagles in 2001. He spent 11 seasons in Buffalo in various personnel jobs, including vice president of college scouting. He died near St. Augustine, Florida of a neurological disease discovered late last year, on April 11, 2017.Dan Rooney
(84) popular Pittsburgh Steelers chairman whose name is attached to the NFL's landmark initiative in minority hiring. Rooney took over operation of the team in the ‘60s from his father, Art, who founded the franchise. Dan Rooney oversaw NFL championships for a team that had never even played in a league title game. Over the decades he became one of the most powerful and innovative forces within the game, developing the Rooney Rule under which NFL teams are required to interview minority candidates for coaching and front-office positions. He was a key figure in labor negotiations and league expansion. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 13, 2017.Previous Week
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