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It's A Free Country ®

Notable (and Should Have Been Notable) Deaths in 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WNYC

Every year there are deaths we remember and deaths we don't, and sometimes one or two we'll never forget. This year's notables were men and women, leaders from the top levels to the ground, firsts and lasts, movers and shakers, all controversial in their own way. They leave behind an American society changed by their actions.

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The Takeaway

George Packer on Richard Holbrooke

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, knew Richard Holbrooke not only through his reporting but through many conversations with the diplomatic titan. Packer was supposed to have dinner with Holbrooke this Friday, and joins us now to remember not only Holbrook's impressive career, but his personality and his humor.    

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It's A Free Country ®

Third Party Pioneer Leaves Legacy of Anti-Establishment Protest

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

David Nolan, co-founder of the Libertarian Party and inventor of the ubiquitous World’s Smallest Political Quiz, passed away this week at the age of 67 in Tucson, Arizona. He leaves behind what is arguably the closest thing to a viable third political party that the U.S. has seen in the past half-century.

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The Takeaway

Will Nestor Kirchner's Death Leave a Power Vacuum in Argentina?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nestor Kirchner, former Argentine president and husband to Argentina’s current leader, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, died suddenly of a heart attack Wednesday. He was 60 years old. Kirchner served as president from 2003-2007, and pulled Argentina out of severe economic crisis. He also encouraged judicial changes that brought hundreds of dictatorship-era figures who had previously benefited from an amnesty to trial. While his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner won the presidential election in 2007, analysts say Nestor was the power behind the throne and expected him to run in the up-coming election in 2011.

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The Takeaway

Paul Miller, Disabled Activist Dies at 49

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paul Miller was an accomplished law professor, graduate of Harvard Law, and advisor and liaison to the Clinton and Obama administrations on disability issues. He accomplished all this and overcame his own disability to become an expert on the intersection of disability law, employment discrimination and genetic science. 

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The Takeaway

Here’s to Benny and the Sets

Monday, October 18, 2010

Benoit Mandelbrot died last week. As a mathematician he may have as much impact as any number cruncher since maybe Euclid, who gave us regular old geometry, or Charles Babbage, who laid the groundwork for the modern computer, or folks like Euler and Hilbert and Gauss just famous monster geniuses of numbers. Mandelbrot’s genius was in having the vision to fuse a simple abstract notion about geometry with the power of the computer. Good old Euclid shows us how lines and points and surfaces behave in space and the immutable laws that seem to keep them in a state of perpetual orderliness. Mandelbrot thinks of mathematical objects as having a history. They are the product of millions of calculations that determine their size and space. Shapes, for instance, are histories of repeated computations that together constitute complex surfaces or they replicate complex processes like life itself. Mandelbrot’s fractals are capable of modeling all kinds of complicated phenomena. They are the key to creating simulations with rich computer graphics so essential for everything from video games to movie special effects to weather and planetary scale climate simulators. (READ MORE)

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The Takeaway

Remembering Soul Legend Solomon Burke

Monday, October 11, 2010

Solomon Burke, the larger-than-life soul and gospel singer, died Sunday at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam while on his way to a concert. Since being crowned "the King of Rock and Soul" by a radio D.J. in the 1960s, Burke was known to perform in full royal garb—crown, scepter, and robe—while sitting atop a throne.  Burke was 70 years old. John and Celeste remember "King Solomon"s amazing 50 year career.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Tony Curtis

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Old Hollywood star has faded this morning. Iconic actor Tony Curtis, who appeared in over 100 movies during his storied career, is dead this morning at 85. John and Celeste remember this legend and his remarkable life.

Listen to an interview with Tony Curtis on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show.

 

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The Takeaway

Sing Along: Remembering Mitch Miller

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Mitch Miller is best known as the man with the well trimmed moustache and goatee, conducting a chorus of men singing familiar old songs.  Miller hosted "Sing Along With Mitch," in the early '60s. He died yesterday at the age of 99. What many people didn't realize, was how influential a role Miller played in the music industry as a producer.

"He invented the modern pop record," music historian, Elijah Wald says. "He realized that records were not just ways of preserving, but that records were like movies."

 

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The Takeaway

Tuli Kupferberg, World's Oldest Rockstar, Dies at Age 86

Thursday, July 15, 2010

American Beat poet, author, cartoonist and musician Tuli Kupferberg died this week at the age of 86. Although Kupferberg wasn't a household name, his band, The Fugs, ran in the same circles as The Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol and Frank Zappa and the "Mothers of Invention."

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The Takeaway

Remembering Artist Louise Bourgeois

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Yesterday, artist Louise Bourgeois passed away at the age of 98. Although the French-born artist had been developing her craft since at least the early 1930’s, and found some success in the New York City art scene of the 1960’s, fame eluded her until 1982 when she had her first retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. And the international art world took notice of the 70-year-old sculptor, painter, thinker and explorer of the human psyche.

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WQXR News

Artist Louise Bourgeois, 98, Dies

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Artist Louise Bourgeois, whose sculptures exploring women's feelings on birth, sexuality and death were highly influential on younger artists, has died. She was 98 years old.

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WQXR News

Ziegfeld Girl Doris Eaton Travis, 106, Dies

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The last Ziegfeld Follies girl, Doris Eaton Travis, died of an aneurysm in Commerce, Michigan, according to The New York Times.

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WQXR News

Singer and Actress Lena Horne, 92, Dies

Monday, May 10, 2010

She was the first black performer to get a long-term contract from a major Hollywood studio.

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WQXR News

Mezzo-Soprano Giulietta Simionato, 99, Dies

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Italian mezzo-soprano Giulietta Simionato died yesterday in Rome of heart and other ailments. The Forli native was 99 years old.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Baseball's Ernie Harwell

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

"Baseball is a tongue-tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown." - Ernie Harwell at his National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (August 2, 1981)

Before I start writing about Ernie Harwell, I feel the need to again to say that I am not a native of Michigan.  Harwell wasn't either; he was born in Atlanta and worked as a paperboy there, even delivering the daily rag to novelist Margaret Mitchell.  It was his southern roots that give Harwell that distinctive twang in his voice, something he never lost through 55 years of calling baseball games.  But by the time he died this week, he had two hometowns: Atlanta by right of birth and Detroit by bonds of love and true loyalty.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Sportscaster Ernie Harwell

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

We look back at the long career of William Earnest "Ernie" Harwell (January 25, 1918 — May 4, 2010). Harwell was a sportscaster best known for his long run with the Detroit Tigers, announcing the baseball games on radio and television. He broadcast for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants and the Baltimore Orioles, but he found a permanent home with the Tigers and won love from Tigers's fans. He died Tuesday at age 92.

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WQXR News

Remembering 'The Gates' Artist at the Met

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Public officials and members of the art world gathered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday to remember the French-American artist who created the orange Central Park installation, "The Gates." They were paying tribute to Jeanne-Claude, who died in November due to complications from a ruptured brain aneurysm at age 74.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Fashion Designer Alexander McQueen

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yesterday, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead after apparently committing suicide in his London home. The New York Times' fashion critic, Cathy Horyn, wrote a profile of the designer last year and joins us to talk about his legacy.

aboutBefore New York fashion week kicks off, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead after apparently committing suicide at his London home.Before New York fashion week kicks off, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead after apparently committing suicide at his London home.

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WQXR News

Author and Activist Howard Zinn, 87, Dies

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist, died yesterday at age 87.

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