Blind virtuosic piano player George Shearing died recently at the age of 96.
The British-born American novelist and essayist Wilfrid Sheed died recently at the age of 80.
Margaret Whiting died at the age of 86. She was the voice behind many hits, like “Moonlight in Vermont,” “”It Might As Well be Spring,” “That Old Black Magic” – and, on duets, with Johnny Mercer (“Baby It’s Cold Outside”) and Jimmy Wakely (“Slippin’ Around”).
Dr. Billy Taylor was an elegant, Grammy-winning jazz pianist and composer. But just as importantly, he was an educator, who earned his Ph.D in music education. He died of heart failure at the age of 89 recently.
Elizabeth Edwards was many things: an accomplished lawyer, a mother who had lost her oldest son, and a political wife. But it wasn't until she announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer that she became a public figure in her own right.
Norris Church Mailer just died at the age of 61. Norris Church Mailer was originally a small-town girl from Arkansas whose life changed dramatically when she met and fell in love with Norman Mailer one night. She would be his wife for over thirty years.
Actress Jill Clayburgh had the beauty to play glamorous women, but she was drawn to characters who were, as she put it, “coming apart at the seams.” She was nominated for an Oscar for her roles in “An Unmarried Woman” and “Starting Over.” She died recently at the age of 66, from chronic leukemia (which she had dealt with for 21 years).
If we remember the words of John F. Kennedy’s speeches, it’s in large part thanks to Theodore Sorensen. But Sorensen was far more than just a speechwriter—he in large part shaped the president’s image and legacy, serving as a political strategist and a key adviser. Leonard Lopate spoke to Ted Sorensen a number of times, and you can hear—and see a video of—his 2008 interview.
Eddie Fisher was one of the most popular singers of the 1950s -- but he’s also known for his romantic entanglements with Debbie Reynolds (fathering Carrie and Todd Fisher) and Elizabeth Taylor, among others. You could say he’d Been There, Done That, which was the title of his memoir – which he came to discuss with Leonard Lopate back in September of 1999. He died recently at the age of 82.
Abbey Lincoln recently died at the age of 80.
Abbey Lincoln, who was born Anna Marie Wooldridge, in Chicago, died on Saturday in Manhattan at age 80, after an acting, singing and composing career that spanned some five decades.
Tony Judt died recently at the age of 62. He could be described as a historian and an intellectual – and he took these titles very seriously. He told an interviewer recently that he thought “intellectuals have a primary duty to dissent not from the conventional wisdom of the age (though that too) but, and above all, from the consensus of their own community."
Patricia Neal had a way of mesmerizing people with her molasses-flecked-with-grit voice. She passed away at the age of 84.
The actress Patricia Neal grew up in a mining town in Kentucky, yet by 21 she had won a Tony for her Broadway performance in Lillian Hellman’s “Another Part of the Forest.” The husky-voiced actress went on to win the Academy Award in 1963 for her role alongside Paul Newman in the film "Hud." Neal had lung cancer and died Sunday at her home on Martha's Vineyard. She was 84.
Mitch Miller, perhaps best known for his 1960's series Sing Along With Mitch, died Saturday at the age of 99.
Longtime NPR contributor Daniel Schorr earned his reputation as a legendary journalist the hard way – by breaking stories during the Cold War and Watergate that won him numerous awards – not to mention the scorn of various presidents. He died at the age of 93. He was last on with Leonard Lopate in 2008, and you can hear him discuss his 50 years of covering politics.
The veteran stage actor helped found the Met Theater in Los Angeles, and starred in many a Sam Shepard play. James Gammon died at the age of 70 just recently.
Schorr, an award-winning journalist who reported on many of the most important stories of the second half of the 20th century, including the Cold War and Watergate and worked on the launch of CNN, has died. He recently appeared on The Takeaway to talk about how the news business has changed.
Underground comic book author Harvey Pekar died at 70.
The body of Senator Robert Byrd will lie in repose in the U.S. Senate chamber today.