Art and LiteratureMagdalena Abakanowicz
(86) sculptor and fiber artist, Poland's leading visual artist. Abakanowicz's work was notable for her larger-than-life, headless human figures, arranged in crowds in open spaces. She primarily used thick fibers, hardened with synthetic resins, but also worked with metals, stone, and wood. Her pieces are disturbing and fascinating at the same time. She died in Warsaw, Poland on April 20, 2017.Barkley L. Hendricks
(72) painter who gave new representation to ordinary black men and women, memorializing them in portraits that echoed the grand manner of the old masters. Lawdy Mama,
one of Hendricks' first portraits, showed a young woman with an enormous Afro looking impassively at the viewer. Although her dress was modern, the arched top of the canvas and background in gold leaf suggested a Byzantine icon. Hendricks died of a cerebral hemorrhage in New London, Connecticut, two days after his 72nd birthday, on April 18, 2017.
Business and ScienceDr. Robert Larner
(99) physician for whom the medical college at the University of Vermont is named. Larner and his wife, Helen, had made bequests totaling about $100 million to the medical school. Last fall the University of Vermont College of Medicine was renamed the UVM Larner College of Medicine. Larner was born in Burlington, Vermont in 1918, the son of Russian immigrants. The first member of his family to attend college, he graduated from the UVM medical school in 1942. He settled in Los Angeles in the late ‘40s, where he practiced medicine while investing in real estate. He died in Woodland Hills, California on April 20, 2017.Truly Nolen
(89) founder of the international pest control company known for its fleet of yellow “mouse cars.” Nolen opened his first pest control business in 1955 in Tucson, Arizona. The company grew over the years to 320 offices in 63 countries. Originally antique cars were used for advertising beginning in the ‘50s, including a red “ant truck” that looked like an insect. In the ‘60s the first yellow “mouse car” with fanciful ears and tail on a Volkswagen Beetle was deployed. Nolen died in Naples, Florida on April 18, 2017.Dr. Robert L. Sadoff
(81) founder of modern forensic psychiatry who assessed the mental competence or emotional states of thousands of plaintiffs and defendants in court proceedings. Sadoff’s opinions were sought in several criminal trials involving prominent defendants. Among them were Capt. Jeffrey R. MacDonald, Army doctor convicted of murder in 1979 in the stabbing deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters at an Army base in ’70, and John E. du Pont, chemical family scion found guilty in '97 of fatally shooting an Olympic gold medal wrestler (subject of the 2014 movie Foxcatcher
). Sadoff died of pancreatic cancer in Abington, Pennsylvania on April 17, 2017.
EducationMilton A. Gordon
(81) former Cal State Fullerton president who fought for equitable access to higher education and transformed the campus into one of the state’s most prominent and diverse. When Gordon took the helm in 1990, he was the fourth black president in the nation’s largest public university system. At that time about 60 per cent of the student body was white. By the time he retired in 2012, the percentages had reversed, with students of color making up 57 per cent of the enrollment. During his leadership, the school became first in the state and fifth in the nation in graduating Latinos. Gordon died on April 18, 2017.
LawJohn T. Noonan
(90) federal appeals court judge who wrote a key ruling on doctor-assisted suicide. An appointee of President Ronald Reagan, Noonan joined the San Francisco-based court in 1985 and wrote nearly 1,100 opinions over a 31-year career. Among his noteworthy cases was a 1995 appeal in the first federal litigation related to physician-assisted suicide by terminally ill patients. A lower court ruled that a Washington state law prohibiting physician-assisted suicide was unconstitutional. In a 2-1 ruling by Noonan, the 9th Circuit overturned that decision. His opinion was eventually upheld by the US Supreme Court. Noonan died in San Francisco, California on April 17, 2017.
News and EntertainmentCecila Alvear
(77) longtime TV journalist and former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists who crusaded for greater opportunities for young Latino journalists throughout her career. Alvear had bounced around local Los Angeles news stations until 1982, when NBC hired her to run its Mexico City bureau. She remained at the network until her retirement in 2007. During that time Alvear covered wars and revolutions in El Salvador and Nicaragua and produced multiple interviews with Cuban President Fidel Castro. She died of breast cancer in Santa Monica, California on April 21, 2017.Michael Bogdanov
(78) Welsh-born theater director who specialized in staging Shakespeare’s plays but whose career faced a difficult test in 1982 when he went on trial in London on charges of “gross indecency” for a scene in a drama that simulated a gay sex act. The brief trial ended quickly when the charges were withdrawn. Bogdanov, who won two Olivier awards over the course of his career, died of a heart attack while on vacation in Paros, Greece, on April 16, 2017.Jim Fitzgerald
(66) longtime Associated Press writer and editor in New York who helped to shape the news service's coverage of stories from terror attacks to the evolving landscape of aging. Over decades of covering the city's northern suburbs and editing local and national stories, Fitzgerald was known for handling some of the top news of the day with a can-do demeanor, professionalism, fairness, and grace. He worked for the AP for 43 years before retiring in December 2016 and had been fighting leukemia for more than 18 months. He died in New York City on April 17, 2017.Sandy Gallin
(76) one of the most powerful talent representatives in the entertainment business ('70s–'90s). As a talent agent, then manager, Gallin had few peers as a behind-the-scenes ally to the biggest stars. He was part of the team that booked the Beatles for their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
(1964), woke up in the middle of the night to Richard Pryor calling from jail (twice in 1967), oversaw Cher’s transformation from rock balladeer to disco dancing club diva (1978), and signed Whoopi Goldberg before she auditioned for Steven Spielberg and got the leading role in The Color Purple
(1984). In the '90s Ballin started a second career in real estate. He died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Los Angeles, California on April 21, 2017.Cuba Gooding Sr.
(72) father of Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. who sang the 1972 hit “Everybody Plays the Fool.” The elder Gooding rose to fame for the song he sang with the rhythm-and-blues group The Main Ingredient. The song helped the family to move from the Bronx to southern California. Cuba Gooding Sr.'s own father fled Barbados and went to Cuba—hence the name of his son—before becoming a taxi driver in Manhattan. Gooding Sr. was found dead in a car with drug paraphernalia and alcohol, parked on a busy street in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, California on April 20, 2017.Sam Harvey
(86) longtime editor of one of Alabama’s best-known small newspapers. Harvey edited the Guntersville Advertiser-Gleam
for 47 years. He was a former president of the Alabama Press Association and a recipient of the organization’s lifetime achievement award. The Advertiser-Gleam
is published only twice a week with a circulation of about 10,000, but it’s widely known for a conversational writing style and its folksy obituaries, which go into far more detail than most newspapers. Harvey’s father, Porter Harvey, established the newspaper. Sam Harvey retired in 2014 and sold the paper to the Shelton newspaper family of north Alabama. He died of liver cancer in Guntersville, Alabama on April 18, 2017.Allan Holdsworth
(70) electric guitarist who helped to shape everything from progressive rock to jazz over the past 50 years. Holdsworth, whom late composer and musician Frank Zappa once said deserved credit for “single-handedly reinventing the electric guitar,” played in several groups, from Soft Machine to the progressive rock band UK, creating wonderfully distinct music that drew from jazz, rock, and contemporary classical music. He died in San Diego County, California on April 16, 2017.Ruth Sulzberger Holmberg
(96) woman who challenged racial barriers, political skullduggery, and environmental adversaries as publisher of the Chattanooga
for nearly 30 years (1964–92). Holmberg was born a member of the Sulzberger family that controls the New York Times.
Growing up in a newspaper family in New York, she was imbued from adolescence with journalistic traditions of social responsibility, and that heritage became manifest in Chattanooga as she presided over a newspaper known for aggressive, analytical reporting and editorials that denounced racial segregation, exposed government corruption, and demanded cleaner air in a city of heavy industry and belching smokestacks. She died in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 19, 2017.Erin Moran
(56) former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms Happy Days
and Joanie Loves Chachi.
Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had several years of experience when she was cast in 1974 in Happy Days
as Joanie Cunningham, kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard, who later became a successful filmmaker. Moran’s more recent credits included The Love Boat
and Murder, She Wrote,
but she never approached the success of Happy Days.
She was more often in the news for her numerous personal and financial struggles and was reportedly homeless at times. She was found dead in Corydon, Indiana on April 22, 2017. An autopsy indicated she died of Stage 4 throat cancer.Stathis Psaltis
(66) Greek actor who gained a large following starring in dozens of low-budget comedy movies. Psaltis churned out as many as four movies a year at the peak of his career in the mid-‘80s when the quality of Greece's film industry was in decline. Fellow actors praised him as a generous and talented colleague, whose standout performances in the theater and cinema never reached a wider audience. Psaltis died in Athens, Greece after being hospitalized for five weeks for cancer treatment, on April 21, 2017.Trish Vradenburg
(70) sitcom writer, novelist, and playwright who also wrote articles for newspapers and magazines. Vradenburg wrote for the CBS shows Kate & Allie, Everything’s Relative,
and Designing Women.
After her mother slipped into dementia in the late ‘80s and died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease in 1992 at 76, Vradenburg and her husband, George, committed themselves to finding a remedy. They raised millions of dollars for research and eventually established their own organization, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, to galvanize their corporate and show-business connections into generating greater public awareness of the disease and advocating more federal government investment in experimentation, speedier development of drugs, and improved patient care. Vradenburg died of a heart attack in Washington, DC on April 17, 2017.
Politics and MilitaryJay Dickey
(77) four-term Arkansas congressman who sponsored a bill to prevent certain research on gun violence and its impact on public health—and later said he regretted the law. Dickey served from 1993–2001. Among his most disputed bills was a 1996 measure prohibiting the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention from conducting research on gun violence. Dickey said later the research could have been done without infringing on the rights of gun owners. President Barack Obama lifted the ban in 2013 through an executive order. Dickey died in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 20, 2017.Lawrence Hogan Sr.
(88) former Maryland congressman and father of Gov. Larry Hogan. The elder Hogan served three terms in the US House of Representatives from 1969–75. He represented Maryland's 5th congressional district, which includes Prince George's and Charles counties near Washington. In 1974 Hogan became the only Republican on the House Judiciary Committee to support all three articles of impeachment against then-President Richard Nixon. He suffered a major stroke on April 15 and died five days later, on April 20, 2017.Jerry Nachtigal
(57) former journalist who became spokesman for three consecutive Missouri governors. Nachtigal was Gov. Mel Carnahan's spokesman in October 2000 when it fell to him to confirm that Carnahan, the governor's son Roger, and aide Chris Sifford had been killed in a plane crash. Nachtigal also was spokesman for Gov. Roger Wilson, who took office upon Carnahan's death, and for Wilson's successor, Gov. Bob Holden. Before becoming spokesman, Nachtigal spent 18 years with the Associated Press in Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri and Phoenix. At his death from cancer on April 16, 2017, he was a senior vice president at CitiBank in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.Josh Tilsen
(67) head of Minnesota’s labor relations agency and a member of Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet. Tilsen had been part of Dayton’s cabinet since the beginning. The governor appointed him to lead the Bureau of Mediation Services in 2011. Tilsen was most visible during controversial union elections like the effort to unionize home health-care workers in 2014. He died of a staphylococcus infection in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 18, 2017.
Society and ReligionHarland Fairweather
(97) son of Violet Brown, believed to be the oldest person in the world. Fairweather lived with his 117-year-old mother in the rural northwestern Jamaican community of Duanvale. He was born and raised there but spent much of his life in Britain. Fairweather had recently been ill but had seemed to recover. He awoke saying he felt dizzy, then deteriorated over the course of the morning. He died in Duanvale, Jamaica on April 19, 2017.Dorrance Hill Hamilton
(88) woman whose grandfather invented the process used to make Campbell’s condensed soups. Hamilton used her inherited fortune for philanthropy. She was an avid gardener and tended to thousands of plants on her 10-acre estate in Wayne, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia. She was the granddaughter of Campbell Soup Co. founder John T. Dorrance and was a longtime fixture on Forbes’s
list of the country’s 400 richest people. The magazine estimated her net worth at $1.1 billion in 2006, but she dropped off the list in subsequent years. She gave away millions of dollars to Philadelphia educational and cultural institutions, including $25 million to Thomas Jefferson University, a medical school; $25 million to The University of the Arts; $5 million to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and at least $10 million to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Hamilton was a fixture at the Philadelphia Flower Show, winning countless ribbons over 30 years before retiring from competition in 2014. She died in Boca Grande, Florida on April 18, 2017.Teresa and Isaac Vatkin
(89, 91) suburban Chicago couple married for 69 years. The couple died just 40 minutes apart while holding hands at a Highland Park, Illinois hospital. Teresa died at 12:10 a.m.; Isaac stopped breathing at 12:50 a.m. when family members separated the couple’s fingers, on April 22, 2017.Dana Woldow
(65) woman who drew national attention when she began a fight to rid California schools of junk food. A mother of three and school volunteer, Woldow was horrified when she saw how easily available soda, potato chips, ice cream, and other junk foods were in San Francisco public schools. In 2002 she became a crusader for healthful school lunches and, with a group of parents, teachers, and students, formed the school district's Student Nutrition & Physical Activity Committee, which tackled issues of childhood obesity and physical fitness. Woldow had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died in San Francisco, California on April 17, 2017.
(80) played on two NFL championship teams with the Green Bay Packers as part of an eight-year NFL career. Anderson played for the Washington Redskins from 1958–63 and Green Bay from ‘65–66. He caught 178 passes for 3,048 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 1965 Green Bay team won an NFL title, and the ‘66 squad won the first Super Bowl. Anderson played for the University of Tennessee from 1955–57 and was a cocaptain in ‘57. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1959–60. After his NFL career, Anderson spent 30 years as part of Tennessee football’s radio broadcast team. He died in Knoxville, Tennessee on April 18, 2017.Tom Fleming
(65) New York Marathon winner in 1973 and ‘75 and twice a Boston Marathon runner-up. Fleming's 1975 NYC Marathon victory marked the last year the race was run entirely through Central Park; it expanded to the five boroughs in 1976 because of the growing number of runners. New York Road Runners, organizer of the city's 26.2-mile event, called Fleming an iconic figure in the race's history. He also won marathons in Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, and Toronto and placed fifth at the 1976 Olympic marathon trials. He finished second at the Boston Marathon in '73–74 and six times was in the top 10. A varsity cross-country and track and field coach, Fleming collapsed while coaching a middle school track team at a meet in Verona, New Jersey and later died of an apparent heart attack, on April 19, 2017.Jack Grinold
(81) Northeastern University's sports information director for 50 years who came to be known as dean of New England sports information directors. Grinold joined Northeastern in 1962 after a stint as spokesman for the then-Boston Patriots football team. He retired in 2012 after innovating athletics communications and helping to shape the careers of many sports information professionals. He also was active in the community in several service positions including a proprietor of the Boston Anthenaeum. Grinold and his wife, Cathy, also set up a $1.25 million endowment for the Northeastern men's rowing program. Grinold died in Boston, Massachusetts on April 21, 2017.Aaron Hernandez
(27) former star tight end with the New England Patriots who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2015. Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Odin L. Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. Hernandez had appealed the verdict. The body of Lloyd, a 27-year-old semiprofessional football player, was found, shot six times, in June 2013 in a pit at an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Hernandez’s motive in that case, prosecutors said, was that Lloyd spoke with people Hernandez did not like at a bar in Boston. Hernandez was found not guilty on April 14 in a second murder case, a drive-by shooting of two people in Boston in 2012. Five days later he was found hanging in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on April 19, 2017.James Long
(62) jockey who won more than 300 races. One of racing’s few black jockeys when he started in the mid-’70s, Long won 309 races and earned more than $2.7 million in 4,029 starts from 1976–2008. Born in New York, he won multiple stakes races and earned his first as an apprentice aboard Valid Appeal in the 1975 Dwyer Handicap at Belmont Park, guiding the 14-1 long shot to a three-length victory on a sloppy track. The Frankfort, Kentucky resident had recently worked as a steward and clerk of scales at Hazel Park Raceway in Michigan. He was killed after losing control of his car and veering into a grassy median while traveling east on I-64 near Shelbyville, Kentucky. His car catapulted before landing on its nose. Long was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene, on April 18, 2017.Greg Marius
(59) helped to make street basketball big business when he founded a tournament in Harlem that let playground standouts share the court with professional stars in a raucous atmosphere of dazzling play, hip-hop music, and exuberant crowds. Marius was a young rapper with a group called the Disco Four when he started the tournament, the Entertainers Basketball Classic, in 1982, originally involving rival hip-hop crews who played one another on Harlem courts. Before long he began inviting more talented players to participate, and soon the EBC became a prominent basketball tournament in Harlem, held at Holcombe Rucker Park, at West 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, near the site of the old Polo Grounds. Marius died of cancer in Harlem, New York on April 22, 2017.Germaine Mason
(34) Olympic medal-winning athlete. Mason was born in Jamaica but represented Britain in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing and won a silver medal in the high jump. He apparently lost control of his motorcycle before dawn in St. Andrew Parish, southeast of the Jamaican capital, Kingston, and was killed in an early-morning crash on April 20, 2017.Michele Scarponi
(37) Italian cyclist who won the Giro d'Italia in 2011. Scarponi was awarded the 2011 Giro trophy after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title because of doping. The Italian had also faced doping sanctions; he was banned for 18 months in July 2007 after the long-running Operation Puerto doping scandal. Scarponi was killed in a collision with a van while training near his home of Filottrano, near Ancona, Italy. He was unable to be revived by emergency services, which arrived promptly, and died at the scene on April 22, 2017.Lynn S. Whiting
(77) racehorse trainer who guided Lil E. Tee to an upset victory in the 1992 Kentucky Derby. Whiting had one win in 10 starts this year. He had career earnings of $23,960,058 and 1,279 victories from 6,113 starters. His biggest win was the Derby with 17-1 long shot Lil E. Tee. The colt won by a length and paid $35.60. Whiting died in Louisville, Kentucky after a struggle with cancer and a stroke he had during the winter in Arkansas, on April 19, 2017.Previous Week
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