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Gene Wilder Dies at 83; Star of ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’

Gene Wilder, who established himself as one of America’s foremost comic actors with his delightfully neurotic performances in three films directed by Mel Brooks; his eccentric star turn in the family classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”; and his winning chemistry with Richard Pryor in …

Willy Wonka

Max Ritvo, Poet Who Chronicled His Cancer Fight, Dies at 25

Max Ritvo, an accomplished poet who spent much of his life under the cloud of cancer while gaining wide attention writing and speaking about it, died of the disease on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 25.<p>His mother, Dr. Ariella Ritvo-Slifka, confirmed his death.<p>Mr. Ritvo talked about his …

Cancer

Josephine Del Deo, Who Fought to Preserve Cape Cod Shoreline, Dies at 90

Josephine Del Deo, a writer and preservationist who helped safeguard the embryonic Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts and preserved the historic character of Provincetown, at the cape’s tip, died on Thursday in Provincetown. She was 90.<p>The cause was complications of a stroke, her son, …

Western Philosophy

Jane Thompson, Designer Who Helped Transform Waterfronts, Dies at 89

To imagination-starved American households that needed a dash of style in the 1950s and ’60s, and to moribund urban waterfronts that needed a dose of hope in the ’70s and ’80s, the designers Jane and Benjamin C. Thompson brought vibrancy and variety, colors and textures, and (nice) smells.<p>Mrs. …

Design

John Ellenby, Visionary Who Helped Create Early Laptop, Dies at 75

John Ellenby, a British-born computer engineer who played a critical role in paving the way for the laptop computer, died on Aug. 17 in San Francisco. He was 75.<p>His son Thomas confirmed the death but said the cause had not been determined.<p>Mr. Ellenby’s pioneering work came to fruition in the early …

London School of Economics

Juan Gabriel, Music Star in Mexico, Dies at 66

Juan Gabriel, the prolific singer and songwriter who was one of Mexico’s most successful musical artists, died on Sunday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 66.<p>Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, offered his condolences on Twitter to Juan Gabriel’s family and friends, calling him “one of …

Pop music

Jay Fishman, Who Led Travelers in Fiscal Crisis, Dies at 63

Jay S. Fishman, who steered the insurance giant Travelers through the financial crisis of 2008 and into the elite ranks of the companies that make up the Dow Jones industrial average, died on Friday at his home in New Jersey. He was 63.<p>His wife, Randy Fishman, said his death was related to …

Financial Crisis

Esther Jungreis, Known as ‘the Jewish Billy Graham,’ Dies at 80

Esther Jungreis, a charismatic speaker and teacher whose enormously popular revival-style assemblies urged secular Jews to study Torah and embrace traditional religious values, died on Tuesday in Brooklyn. She was 80.<p>The cause was complications of pneumonia, her son-in-law, Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin, …

Holocaust

Warren Hinckle, 77, Ramparts Editor Who Embraced Gonzo Journalism, Dies

Warren Hinckle, the flamboyant editor who made Ramparts magazine a powerful national voice for the radical left in the 1960s and later by championing the work of Hunter S. Thompson and helping introduce the no-holds-barred reporting style known as gonzo journalism, died on Thursday. He was 77.<p>The …

Journalism

Rudy Van Gelder, Audio Engineer Who Helped Define Sound of Jazz on Record, Dies at 91

Rudy Van Gelder, an audio engineer whose work with Miles Davis, John Coltrane and numerous other musicians helped define the sound of jazz on record, died on Thursday at his home, which doubled as his studio, in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. He was 91.<p>His death was confirmed by his assistant, Maureen …

Audio Quality

Morton Schindel, Who Turned Children’s Books Into Animated Films, Dies at 98

Morton Schindel, who turned beloved children’s books into animated films narrated by actors like Meryl Streep and James Earl Jones while preserving the spirit of the original illustrations, died on Saturday at his home in Weston, Conn. He was 98.<p>His death was confirmed by Scholastic, which acquired …

Books

Sonia Rykiel, Fashion Designer for the ‘Fragile, but Strong,’ Dies at 86

Sonia Rykiel, the Paris fashion designer who planted her contrarian flag on the Left Bank in the 1960s, flouted haute couture conventions and created chic ready-to-wear clothes that caught on around the world with generations of women on the go, died on Thursday at her home in Paris. She was 86.<p>The …

Style

Walter Scheel, Leading Figure in West German Thaw With the East, Dies at 97

Walter Scheel, who as foreign minister and deputy chancellor of West Germany under Chancellor Willy Brandt from 1969 to 1974 helped foster détente with the Soviet bloc and rapprochement with Communist East Germany, died on Wednesday in Bad Krozingen, in southwest Germany. He was 97.<p>The death was …

Germany

Nina Ponomareva, Soviet Olympian Who Set Off a Diplomatic Crisis, Dies at 87

Nina Ponomareva, a champion discus thrower who earned the Soviet Union its first Olympic gold medal when she competed in the 1952 Helsinki Games and touched off a diplomatic crisis four years later when she shoplifted five hats in a London store, died on Friday in Moscow. She was 87.<p>Dmitry …

Russia

Olmsted Bets the Farm on Winning Over the Neighbors

Olmsted, a two-month-old restaurant in Brooklyn, looks innocent enough. Not much in the dining room sets it apart from any number of other new places to eat. The houseplants whose vines slink down one wall may well come from Lowe’s.<p>Toward the back is a cooking space big enough for two people; I …

Food & Dining

Gramercy Tavern: A Classic Still on the Move

Long before it turned 22 last month, Gramercy Tavern had settled into classic status. It is a classic, but there’s a downside to putting a restaurant in that category. The more familiar something is, the harder it is to see.<p>Like the other restaurants in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, …

Food & Dining

Steven Hill, Who Starred on ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Mission: Impossible,’ Dies at 94

Steven Hill, who originated imposing lead roles on two notable television series, “Mission: Impossible” in the 1960s and “Law & Order” in the 1990s, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 94.<p>His daughter Sarah Gobioff confirmed his death. He lived in Monsey, N.Y., a hamlet in Rockland County.<p>Mr. Hill …

Law & Order

Joyce Carol Thomas, Who Wrote of African-American Life, Dies at 78

Joyce Carol Thomas, a poet, playwright and award-winning children’s writer whose work portrayed the complexities of African-American rural life, a subject often simplified in young-adult fiction, died on Aug. 13. She was 78.<p>Her publisher, HarperCollins, confirmed her death.<p>She died in Northern …

African-American News

George Curry, Journalist With a Mission to Serve Black Readers, Dies at 69

George E. Curry, who turned Emerge into a provocative, must-read newsmagazine for black readers in the 1990s and who, as the editor in chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, wrote a weekly column carried by more than 200 black newspapers, died on Saturday in Takoma Park, Md. He was …

Print Media

Doris Bohrer, World War II Spy for Allies, Dies at 93

Doris Bohrer, who as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II helped plan the Allied invasion of Sicily and traced the movement of German trains transporting prisoners to concentration camps, died on Aug. 8 in Greensboro, N.C. She was 93.<p>Her death was confirmed by her son, …

War

Irving Fields, Composer Who Infused Songs With Latin Rhythms, Dies at 101

There was a time in the middle of the last century when piano-playing children in certain quarters of the Bronx and Brooklyn were often asked to entertain guests with a song called “Miami Beach Rhumba,” an improbable combination of zesty Latin dance rhythms and musical inflections born of the …

Entertainment

Toots Thielemans, Jazz Harmonica Player, Is Dead at 94

Toots Thielemans, one of the only musicians to have a successful career as a jazz harmonica player, died on Monday in Brussels. He was 94.<p>The death was confirmed by Mr. Thielemans’s agency, which did not specify a cause. Mr. Thielemans, who retired in 2014 for health reasons, had been hospitalized …

Entertainment

Lou Pearlman, Svengali Behind Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, Dies at 62

Lou Pearlman, the music executive who built a pop empire on boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and ’NSync before going to prison for running a Ponzi scheme that stole hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, died on Friday in the Miami area, where he was in federal prison. He was 62.<p>Justin …

Entertainment

Dick Assman, Briefly a ‘Late Show’ Celebrity, Dies at 82

Dick Assman, a Canadian gas station owner who received his 15 minutes of fame — actually, about a month of it — through the “Late Show With David Letterman,” died on Monday in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was 82.<p>Speers Funeral Chapel in Regina reported his death on its website.<p>Mr. Assman came to the …

The Late Show

Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Who Helped End Smallpox, Dies at 87

Dr. Donald A. Henderson, a leader of one of mankind’s greatest public health triumphs, the eradication of smallpox, died on Friday in Towson, Md. He was 87.<p>Dr. Henderson, who lived in Baltimore, died in a hospice of complications of a hip fracture, including infection with antibiotic-resistant …

Smallpox

Connie Crothers, Jazz Pianist, Composer and Instructor, Dies at 75

Connie Crothers, a jazz pianist who carried the mantle of her famous mentor, Lennie Tristano, but built her own identity as an inventive composer, improviser and instructor, died on Aug. 13 in Manhattan. She was 75.<p>The cause was lung cancer, said Carol Tristano, Lennie Tristano’s daughter and a …

Jazz

Ernst Nolte, Historian Whose Views on Hitler Caused an Uproar, Dies at 93

Ernst Nolte, a German revisionist historian who broke academic taboos by equating Nazism with Bolshevism and who was denounced as an apologist for Hitler and even the Holocaust, died on Thursday in Berlin. He was 93.<p>His family told the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that he had died in a hospital.<p>…

Holocaust

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Whose Hindu Sect Became Largest in U.S., Dies at 94

MUMBAI, India — Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader who engineered the global expansion of a socially conservative Hindu sect that grew to be the largest in the United States, died on Aug. 13 in Sarangpur, a village in the state of Gujarat in western India. He was 94.<p>The guru’s death was …

Religion

Harry Briggs Jr., a Catalyst for Brown v. Board of Education, Dies at 75

Harry Briggs Jr., whose parents originated the pivotal lawsuit that struck down public school segregation in 1954, but whose name was relegated by fate to a forgotten legal footnote, died on Aug. 9 in the Bronx. He was 75.<p>The cause was complications of cancer, his wife, Helen, said.<p>Mr. Briggs’s …

School Administration

Ronald DeLuca, Ad Man Who Helped Revive Iacocca’s Chrysler, Dies at 91

Ronald DeLuca, who orchestrated the advertising campaign that spared the Chrysler Corporation from insolvency in the 1980s and transformed Lee Iacocca, the ailing automaker’s voluble chief executive, into a national brand himself, died on Tuesday in Oneonta, N.Y. He was 91.<p>The cause was …

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