'In 1951, there wasn't a more passionate rivalry in sports than the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. Giants fans hated Dodger fans. Dodger fans hated Giants fans. Fathers passed it on to sons. In August, the Giants were thirteen and a half games out of first place. That's insurmountable. Your season's over. But mnh-mnh. Giants come back from thirteen and a half games, fall into a first-place tie with, guess who -- the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now, they play a playoff game to see who gets to go to the World Series and the Dodgers have it won, right? Until a guy named Bobby Thomson hit what they called "the shot heard 'round the world."' -- Sports Night. Bobby Thomson, who hit the possibly the most famous home run in baseball history, has died at age 86. [more inside]
8 poeple died on Saturday, August 14th when an off-road truck race driver accidentally veered into the crowd of spectators in California's Mojave Desert. Andrew Therrien , 22, was there and pushed three people out of the way when the truck jumped off course, saving their lives. One of them was his three-year-old daughter. Therrien was killed instantly.
Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
Historian Tony Judt has passed away at the age of 62. Suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Judt had recently published Ill Fares the Land, a call for the US to adopt social democratic policies. [more inside]
Heartbreaking news for people who care about reading. Founded in 1925, the Virginia Quarterly Review has become the standard-bearer for long-form narrative journalism - "the sort of articles that make readers want to become writers." "The Life and Lonely Death of Noah Pierce" is a great example of what this kind of writing can achieve, but it's not the only one. The essential Bookslut has called the VQR "the best fucking magazine on the planet right now." Last week Mefi's own Waldo made the blog post we all dread having to make. His friend and boss, the VQR's genius editor Kevin Morrissey made his will, left his affairs in order, called the police to report a shooting that had not yet happened, and took his own life. Previously on the blue.
Chris Al-Aswad, founder of the online arts journal Escape Into Life and author of the arts blog The Blog of Innocence, has passed away at age 31. [more inside]
"America's greatest quadriplegic, recovering alcoholic cartoonist" (prev.) has died at 59. John Callahan drew irreverent cartoons (some too irreverent - scroll down), created one cartoon series for kids and another for adults (plus animated versions of many of his comics), wrote and performed songs, and collected his hate mail. He was a local celebrity in Portland, Oregon, the subject of a Dutch documentary and an unlikely role model. "The odor of mortality (was) hard to avoid around Callahan," and now it has caught up with him.
Daniel Schorr is dead at 93. Schorr began a career in journalism which spanned more than six decades at 12 years old, when he wrote a story for the Bronx Home News about a suicide. A woman had jumped from the roof of his building, he phoned the police and then wrote and article about the event, for which he was paid $5. After serving in military intelligence during World War II, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times before joining CBS in 1953 as one of the legendary "Murrow Boys". [more inside]
Harry Beckett RIP Jamaican born trumpeter and flugelhornist Harry Beckett was one of the most hard working and adaptable players in UK jazz, playing with everyone from Chris McGregor to Jack Bruce. He's heard to great effect on this too, which is probably where I first heard him. He wasn't averse to spot of free improvisation either. He'll be much missed.
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
James P. Hogan died suddenly on July 12, 2010. He was alone at his home in Ireland at the time. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. Jim is survived by his wife, Sheryl, and his six children. [more inside]
From off the streets of Cleveland, Harvey Pekar pioneered autobiopgraphical comics in the 70s with his self-published American Splendor. His tales of working as a file clerk lead to greater fame, including appearances on David Letterman and a movie about his life. He worked with many different artists, including his personal friend Robert Crumb. Beyond that, he was an inspiration for so many others. Harvey Pekar passed away last night at the age of 70.
When "Proto-Pop" artist Larry Rivers' died in 2002, he left behind extensive archives of his letters, paperwork, photographs and film documenting the New York artistic and literary scene from the 1940s through the 1980s. They chronicle his friendships and relationships with dozens of artists, musicians and writers, from Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol to Frank O’Hara. Also included: films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father about their developing breasts. Now, one daughter, who says she was pressured to participate beginning when she was 11, is demanding that material be removed from the archive and returned to her and her sister. [more inside]
Robert Byrd, Respected Voice of the Senate, Dies at 92 Robert C. Byrd, who used his record tenure as a United States senator to fight for the primacy of the legislative branch of government and to build a modern West Virginia with vast amounts of federal money, died early on Monday. He was 92. He was the longest-serving Senator as well as the longest-serving member in congressional history. In his younger days he joined the Ku Klux Klan when he was 24 in 1942.
Fred Anderson was a monster on the tenor sax. Fred Anderson was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and his "home court," the Velvet Lounge, remains a place for Chicago creative musicians to find welcoming audience. Fred died June 24 in Chicago. A wake will take place from 5 to 6 PM this Tuesday (June 29) at Leak and Sons Funeral Chapel, 7838 S. Cottage Grove, followed immediately by Anderson’s Going Home service. [more inside]
American philosopher John Haugeland has died. In dramatic fashion, he suffered a massive heart attack in the middle of a conference dedicated to his work on the occasion of his retirement. He made enormous contributions to the philosophy of mind and introduced many undergraduates to the very idea of artificial intelligence. [more inside]
Edith Shain has died. She was 92. She worked at Doctor's Hospital in New York City during World War II, but you probably only knew her as an anonymous nurse. [more inside]
She's been called "the greatest posthumous success story in music history." But when she died of melanoma at age 33, few people outside of the Washington DC-area had heard of Eva Marie Cassidy. [more inside]
Garry Shider, singer, guitarist and musical director of George Clinton's P-Funk All-Stars for much of their history, has passed on at age 56. Shider (the man in the diaper for so many P-Funk performances) was co-author of One Nation Under a Groove and many other masterpieces of the funk. RIP, Garry Shider.
Carla's final video blog from heaven - shown publicly for the first time at Carla Zilbersmith's funeral after her death from ALS. [more inside]
The great[pdf] Russian mathematican Vladimir Igorevich Arnol'd, foremost modern practitioner of classical mechanics, influential teacher, namesake of a minor planet, and semi-nude cross-country skier has died.
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than we'll know. And I think to myself: What a Wonderful World
You may not know who Israel "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole was, but you're probably familiar with his medley of "Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World," which has been included on several movie soundtracks and used on television shows & commercials throughout the world.... [more inside]
The rainbow has gone dark. Wendy Dio, wife and manager of metal legend vocalist Ronnie James Dio, reported that this morning he lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 67. [more inside]
Frank Frazetta, was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1928. He rose to fame first for his work with comic books in the 1940s and 50s, then for his iconic fantasy art from the 1960s on. Frazetta was the inspiration behind Zelda artist Yusuke Nakano, and Frazetta's artwork for the "Famous Funnies" were an inspiration for Star Wars. Frank Frazetta died today, at the age of 82. More history, eulogies and links inside. [more inside]
After the actress Lynn Redgrave learned she had breast cancer in December 2002, she chose to undergo surgery, followed by a half-year regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. She also asked her daughter Annabel Clark, then a photography student at Parsons School of Design, if she would photograph the course of treatment and recovery.[One photo maybe NSFW] Sadly, after battling the disease for more than seven years, the Oscar and Tony-nominated actress passed away yesterday at the age of 67. Her official site. Some Slideshow Galleries. BBC Report. [more inside]
Dick Giordano, a comic book artist and former executive editor at DC Comics, passed away on March 27th. [more inside]
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Guru of Gang Starr - Keith Elam, has died from cancer. His passing is complicated by the sometimes bizarre actions of his business partner Solar (not to be confused with MC Solaar) during Guru's seven week hospital stay. [more inside]
Dede Allen, editor of such films as Bonnie and Clyde, Dog Day Afternoon and Night Moves has died at the age of 86.
Weighing 607 pounds, Bruce Snowdon was a sideshow fat man from 1977 to 2003, billed as "Harold Huge". His death on Nov. 9, 2009, at the age of 63 marks the end of a long tradition dating back centuries. [more inside]
It's been verified by the band - Peter Steele, frontman of reknowned gothic/doom metal band Type O Negative, is dead of heart failure at age 48.
Nate Neilson is a name that is not only unfamiliar to most people, it's unfamiliar to many of his biggest fans. That's because he went by the nom-de-brick of "nnenn". Neilson was a huge presence in the online Lego community, regularly putting out amazing and unique Lego creations on a regular basis, including entire building genres. He was also the driving force behind Novvember, a month-long celebration of the "Vic Viper" (from the videogame "Gradius") in which he and others "riffed" on a basic central design to see how many interesting variations on it they could make. Sadly, Neilson passed away recently following an automobile accident. Many of his online fans only learned this way of his real name, his job as a stay-at-home-Dad with two sons, and his other artistic outlet. He was a huge presence in the online Lego community, and he will be greatly missed. There is a fine eulogy for him (along with an overview of his work and influence) over at the premiere Lego site, The Brothers Brick. (And yes, his icon was a Lego rubber band holder.)
The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 130 others, including a huge proportion of the elite of Polish politics, have died in a plane crash. [more inside]
Malcolm McLaren, one of pop's sharpest, most fantastic minds has died at his home in New York, aged 64.
Seba Jun, aka Nujabes, was a quiet and rather reclusive Japanese hip-hop DJ/producer/label head, as far as hip-hop personalities go. He didn't do many interviews, and his two albums and 15 or so vinyl singles which were released on his own Hydeout Productions label, all of which were only released in Japan. Regardless of the limited push, he gained renown world-wide for his relaxed, jazzy hip-hop, due in part to his music being featured on the anime series Samurai Champloo. The musician's life was cut short in late February, following a car accident. He was 36 years old. [more inside]
"Tennis Girl" photographer dead at 63. Photographer Martin Elliot was best known for the iconic 1976 photo "Tennis Girl". [more inside]
'Stand and Deliver' teacher dies of cancer. Jaime Escalante, the math teacher portrayed in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," died Tuesday after a battle with cancer, according to the actor who played him. ... "Stand and Deliver" told the inspirational story of how Escalante turned the failing calculus program at Garfield High School in east Los Angeles into one of the top in the nation. (previously)
"Those of us who are the firstborn always dream of that imaginary brother or sister who will be their protector, the buffer, the one to take the blows. I'm a firstborn, and Bob was the answer to my dreams. He was the big brother that all of us wish for." ~ Bill Cosby on his I-Spy co-star Robert Culp (79), who died of a heart attack yesterday after a fall outside his Hollywood Hills home [more inside]
Jim Marshall, Rock ’n’ Roll Photographer, Dies at 74. The artist responsible for some of the most iconic photos in music history, died on March 24th, 2010.
"She was quirky, the sort who excused herself from a social gathering by saying she had to wash her socks."
"I would have liked to think I'd have gone out with a bit more flair." Margaret Moth, CNN photojournalist, has died of colon cancer at 59. [more inside]
During eight years heading the Interior Department, from 1961 to 1969, for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, he crusaded for the Clean Air Act, the Wilderness Act , the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act . During his tenure, the US added 2.4 million acres to our national parks. And it was to him that Nikita Kruschev famously hinted at missiles in Cuba, precipitating the Cuban Missile Crisis . Stewart Udall died today at age 90.
Merlin Olsen, NFL legend and TV star (Little House on the Prairie; Father Murphy), has passed away at 69 from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. As I knew him more from TV than from football, to me he will always be the gentle giant. [more inside]