Tributes & Obituaries

By Flipboard Newsdesk | Pay tribute to those we've lost and read about their lives...

Marvin Kaplan, character actor who won laughs in ‘Adam’s Rib’ and ‘Alice,’ dies at 89

Marvin Kaplan, a comedic character actor — immediately recognizable for his thick glasses, thicker eyebrows and Brooklyn accent — who had been a fixture of TV and movies since his scene-stealing film debut in “Adam’s Rib” with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, died Aug. 25 at a hospital in Los …

Katharine Hepburn

Marvin Kaplan, 'Alice' Star, 'Top Cat' Voice Actor, Dies at 89

Marvin Kaplan, who was best known for starring in the sitcom “Alice” and for voice work on the animated series “Top Cat,” died in his sleep Thursday …

Hollywood

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

Marvin Kaplan, Character Actor Known for ‘Alice’ and ‘Top Cat,’ Dies at 89

Marvin Kaplan, a character actor known for the sitcom “Alice” and his voice-over work as Choo-Choo on the animated series “Top Cat,” has died. He was …

Animation

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

Sonia Rykiel, Pioneering French Fashion Designer, Dies at 86

PARIS — French designer Sonia Rykiel, whose relaxed striped sweaters helped liberate women from their stuffy suits and who went on to run a global fashion empire, has died. She was 86.<p>President Francois Hollande's office announced her death in a statement on Thursday. Hollande praised her as "a …

France

Andrea Jaffe Dies: Former PR Powerhouse And Studio Exec Was 66

Andrea Jaffe, a prominent publicist in the 1980s who later became a studio executive and was herself a member of one of Hollywood’s most storied …

Save the Children

Jeanne Martin Dies: Model & Second Wife Of Dean Martin Was 89

Jeanne Martin, the second wife of legendary crooner Dean Martin, and in her early life a model and Orange Bowl queen, died on Wednesday, August 24 at …

Dean Martin

Walter Scheel, Ex-President of West Germany, Is Dead 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, the town in southwest Germany where he lived. He …

Germany

Former West German president Walter Scheel dies at 97

BERLIN (AP) — Walter Scheel, who helped shape West Germany's policy of reconciliation with the communist bloc as foreign minister and later served as his country's president, has died. He was 97.<p>President Joachim Gauck, whose office said Scheel died Wednesday after a long illness, called him "a …

Germany

Nina Ponomareva, First Soviet Olympian to Take Gold, 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

Former West German president Walter Scheel dies at 97

BERLIN – Walter Scheel, who helped shape West Germany's policy of reconciliation with the communist bloc as foreign minister and later served as his country's president, has died, his party says. He was 97.<p>The president's office told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Scheel died Wednesday after a …

Germany

'California Dreamer' Jazz Master Vibraphone Virtuoso Bobby Hutcherson Passes Away at 75

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, August 22, 2016<p>The jazz world lost a legend on Monday, August 15th when 75-year-old vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson passed away at the home that he built in northern California, losing his long fight against emphysema. He had been awarded with the prestigious …

California

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 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

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

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

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

Harmonica Legend Toots Thielemans, Known for 'Sesame Street' Theme, Dies at 94

Toots Thielemans, the jazz harmonica virtuoso perhaps best known to general audiences for his iconic theme music for "Sesame Street," died Monday at age 94, his management company confirmed.<p>Thielemans died in his sleep in a Belgian hospital where he'd been hospitalized since last month after a …

Sesame Street

Former Singapore President dead at 92

<b>(CNN) —</b> Former Singaporean President S R Nathan died Mondayat the age of 92, according to a statement from the country's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong.<p>Three weeks ago, Nathan had suffered a stroke, Lee said.According to Reuters, the stroke was his second in recent years, with the latest having …

World Leaders

Backstreet Boys founder Lou Pearlman dies in prison aged 62

Figures from the pop music world have paid tribute to Lou Pearlman, the founder of Backstreet Boys and *N Sync, who has died in prison aged 62.<p>Pearlman was serving a 25-year sentence for a $300m (£229m) fraud.<p>He created the Backstreet Boys in Florida in 1993, uniting five unknown singers – Nick …

Music

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, performing with jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman, died on Monday in Brussels. He was 94 and lived in La Hulpe, a Brussels suburb.<p>The death was confirmed by Mr. Thielemans’s agency, …

Entertainment

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

D.A. Henderson, who led effort to eradicate smallpox, dies at 87

(Reuters) - Donald A. Henderson, who headed the World Health Organization vaccination effort that wiped out smallpox in 1977 and later became a U.S. bioterrorism expert, has died from complications following a hip fracture, officials said on Sunday. He was 87.<p>The 1966-1977 smallpox program at first …

Viruses

Journalist George E. Curry, advocate for black media, dies at 69

Award-winning journalist George E. Curry, whose dogged reporting and unabashed commentary on the nation's race relations earned him critical acclaim, died Saturday, according to friends and colleagues.<p>Curry, a former Chicago Tribune reporter and New York bureau chief, covered a presidential …

Journalism

Smallpox eradication 'giant' Donald Henderson dies at 87

<b>US doctor and epidemiologist Donald Henderson, who led a successful campaign to wipe out smallpox worldwide, has died at the age of 87.</b><p>Hailed as a "giant" in the field of public health for his work in the 1960s and 70s, Henderson died of complications after breaking a hip.<p>One of the world's …

Smallpox

George Curry, a champion of black press, dies at 69

<b>New York (CNN) —</b> George Curry,a journalist and columnist known for being a powerful voice on issues confronting black Americans, died on Saturday. He was 69.<p>For decades, Curry had written columns that appeared in papers across the country. He was also the founding editor of the award-winning Emerge …

Al Sharpton

Prize-winning author Joyce Carol Thomas dead at 78

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Joyce Carol Thomas, a prize-winning children's author and champion of multiculturalism, has died. She was 78.<p>Thomas died Aug. 13 at Stanford University Medical Center in California of cirrhosis of the liver stemming from a bad blood transfusion decades ago, according to her …

Books

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

British comic actor, mental health campaigner Brian Rix dies

LONDON (AP) — A British charity says Brian Rix, a comic actor who used his fame to draw attention to the struggles of people with learning disabilities, has died. He was 92 and had been ill for some time.<p>Rix became a household name in theater and television in the 1950s and 1960s with the Whitehall …

Mental Health