Latest Obituaries headlines

Sonny Grosso, cop who severed ‘French Connection’

The true-blue New York City police detective made the record heroin bust that inspired the Oscar-winning film “The French Connection.”

Claudio Roditi, lyrical jazz trumpeter

The Brazilian-born trumpeter was celebrated for his impeccable technique and warm sound.

David Montgomery, son of British military leader who forged unlikely friendship, dies at 91

Years later, after the smoke of war had cleared and the generals had died, their sons formed an unlikely peacetime alliance. Each of them — David Montgomery and Manfred Rommel — was his father’s only son

Margo Lion, producer of ‘Hairspray’

In an era when big-budget theater was an increasingly corporate affair, bankrolled by huge entertainment companies, Ms. Lion was an independent producer, putting up her own money and recruiting other investors to get a show mounted.

Pete Stark, fiery California congressman and advocate of universal health care, dies at 88

With a caustic tongue and a willingness to ruffle feathers, Mr. Stark was a dominant figure in the legislative efforts to expand health care coverage for Americans.

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Mónica Klien Samanez, teacher who saw the classroom as a place to connect with others, dies at 61

Mónica Klien Samanez, teacher who saw the classroom as a place to connect with others, dies at 61

Jack Scott, briefly a rockabilly and pop hitmaker, dies at 83

Mr. Scott found his greatest success as a balladeer, bringing his sonorous baritone to bear on slow, regret-filled songs such as ‘‘What in the World’s Come Over You.’’

Michael Sovern, president of Columbia University, walked with students on campus in 1985.

Michael I. Sovern, who led Columbia in eventful era

Professor Sovern helped shored up the school’s finances and opened Columbia College to women.

John Karlen (center) held his best supporting actor Emmy backstage with Stacy Keach and Angie Dickinson.

‘Dark Shadows,’ ‘Cagney & Lacey’ actor John Karlen dies

The Emmy-winning character actor was known for his roles on the television series “Dark Shadows” and “Cagney & Lacey.”

David Olney, singer and songwriter was stricken onstage, at 71

David Olney, an uncommonly thoughtful singer-songwriter whose music has been recorded by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Steve Earle, died on Saturday after apparently having a heart attack while performing onstage in Seaside, Fla. He was 71.

Morgan Wootten, acclaimed high school basketball coach

Mr. Wootten was the first member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inducted solely as a high school coach and at one time the national record-holder for most schoolboy victories.

Mr. Walker (center, with Hungarian President Ferenc Madl at right) was appointed ambassador to Hungary in 2003.

George Herbert Walker III, cousin of 2 presidents, dies

Mr. Walker was a former US ambassador to Hungary and a prominent St. Louis businessman and philanthropist.

Jim Lehrer, longtime PBS news anchor

Mr. Lehrer for 36 years gave public television viewers a substantive alternative to network evening news programs.

FILE - In this July 27, 1974, file photo, Rep. Thomas Railsback, R-Ill., right, confers with chairman Peter Rodino, D-N.J., during the House Judiciary Committee's debate on impeachment articles in Washington. Railsback, an Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974, has died at age 87. Former Republican congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood confirmed the death on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo, File)

GOP congressman who backed Nixon impeachment dead at 87

Thomas Railsback, an Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974, has died at age 87.

FILE: Terry Jones Dies At 77 Following Battle With Dementia LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Terry Jones performs on the closing night of 'Monty Python Live (Mostly)' at The O2 Arena on July 20, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Terry Jones, 77; writer, comedian, director, purveyor of Python absurdity

Mr. Jones brought a warped commitment to his characters. They included a naked organist, Karl Marx as a hapless quiz show contestant, a buffoonish cardinal in the Spanish Inquisition who helps torture victims with the dreaded comfy chair.

‘Chewing Gum Tycoon’ of Lotte Group, Shin Kyuk-ho, Dies at 98

SEOUL, South Korea — Shin Kyuk-ho, who built a chewing-gum business into ​the ​hugely successful Lotte ​Group in South Korea and Japan, only to see his sons squabble over the corporate empire, died Sunday. He was 98.

Egil Krogh Jr., who supervised the White House special investigation unit known as the plumbers and was sentenced to prison after approving a break-in at the Office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, died Jan. 18.

Egil Krogh, the Nixon ‘plumber’ who approved break-in targeting Daniel Ellsberg

Egil Krogh, the Nixon ‘Plumber’ who approved break-in targeting Daniel Ellsberg, dies at 80

Edith Kunhardt Davis, author of ‘Pat the Bunny’ sequels

Edith Kunhardt Davis had an idyllic childhood, growing up on a big, if run-down, estate in rural New Jersey. Her mother, Dorothy Kunhardt, was a famous author of children’s books and wrote “Pat the Bunny” (1940) — a novelty in that it contained movable parts and invited young readers to touch and feel the textures on its pages — just for her.

J. Charles Jones, civil rights activist who led protest walk around Beltway, dies at 82

Mr. led lunch-counter sit-ins and voter-registration drives across the South

Peter Larkin, stage designer with a funky asterisk, dies at 93

Mr. Larkin won Tonys in a remarkable run in the mid-1950s, for “Ondine,” “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” “No Time for Sergeants,” and “Inherit the Wind.”

Jimmy Heath, 93, jazz saxophonist and composer

Jimmy Heath, a tenor saxophonist whose sharp and lively compositions became part of the midcentury jazz canon — and who found new prominence in middle age as a co-leader of a popular band with his two brothers — died Sunday in Loganville, Georgia. He was 93.

Barry Tuckwell, Australian virtuoso of the French horn, dies at 88

Mr. Tuckwell compared playing the French horn to ‘‘driving a Daimler at top speed on a slick road’’ — even the slightest mistake could have disastrous consequences

Norma Tanega, who sang about a cat named Dog, dies at 80

In 1966, when Norma Tanega released her first single, rock fans were becoming used to unusual lyrics. But as it turned out, that song, “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog,” wasn’t as quirky as the title suggested: The song was inspired by her cat, whose name was indeed Dog.

Bernard “Bernie” Diederich pictured in Martinborough, New Zealand, in 2008.

Longtime Caribbean journalist Bernard Diederich dead at 93

Bernard “Bernie” Diederich, a longtime journalist in the Caribbean region who braved dictators and disasters, has died in his adopted homeland of Haiti.

Royals owner David Glass (right) held the World Series trophy as he celebrated the Kansas City Royals’ 2015 championship with manager Ned Yost.

Former Walmart exec, Royals owner David Glass dies at 84

Former Walmart Inc. chief executive David Glass, who owned the Kansas City Royals for nearly two decades before selling the franchise last fall, died last week of complications from pneumonia. He was 84.

Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien and keeper of his legacy, dies at 95

Long after his father died in 1973, Mr. Tolkien worked to keep the stories that he created in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” alive for readers.

Father Doyle returned to serve in the Boston area after leaving Bolivia.

Father John L. Doyle, a voice for the poor and immigrants, dies at 93

The Rev. John Doyle, 93, who died Jan. 12, advocated on behalf of the poor and immigrants in Boston, Brockton, and Bolivia.

Ralph Earle II, arms control expert and SALT II negotiator, dies at 91

Mr. Earle’s government service spanned three decades, beginning with his appointment in 1968 as a Pentagon aide for international security affairs.

Mr. Nicolau’s arbitration decision cost owners $280 million in damages to players.

George Nicolau, arbitrator in baseball’s collusion cases, dies at 94

His rulings led club owners to pay players $280 million in damages.

Gary Starkweather, inventor of the laser printer

The engineer and inventor helped bring the power of the printing press to the masses.

Mr. Johnson, aka Soul Man, found fame as a wrestler, but also battled racism in the sport.

Rocky Johnson, professional wrestler and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Known as Soul Man, Mr. Johnson fought racism early in his career and later helped train his son.

Marion Chesney, aka Mystery Writer M.C. Beaton, Dies at 83

Marion Chesney, who in midlife began writing novels and produced more than 150, including mystery series written under the pseudonym M.C. Beaton that featured the endearing crime solvers Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, died on Dec.

Lorenza Mazzetti; wartime survivor became seminal filmmaker

Ms. Mazzetti helped create an influential British film movement and wrote “The Sky Falls,’’ a prizewinning novel based on her experiences.

One of the faces Ms. Gatliff reconstructed was that of Egyptian King Tutankhamen.

Betty Pat Gatliff; her forensic sculptures solved crimes

By deftly reconstructing faces, Ms. Gatliff helped law enforcement identify scores of people who went missing or had been murdered.

Nelson Bryant, supreme chronicler of outdoor life,

Mr. Bryant, a resident of Martha’s Vineyard, wrote for almost four decades on his love for fishing, hunting, and outdoor life for The New York Times.

Mr. Passer directed the acclaimed “Cutter’s Way.’’

Ivan Passer, noted Czech director who came to Hollywood

Ivan Passer, a director who, along with Milos Forman and others, ushered in the filmmaking movement known as the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, then went on to direct American features including “Born to Win,” “Cutter’s Way” and “Creator,” died Thursday at his home in Reno, Nevada. He was 86.

Nancy Lewis, Monty Pythons’ ticket to America, 76

Ms. Lewis, a record executive, was instrumental in getting that troupe’s breakthrough show, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” broadcast on American television.

Dr. Scruton was knighted for services to philosophy, teaching, and public education.

Roger Scruton, British philosopher and conservative lightning rod

Dr. Scruton helped smuggle blacklisted books to Czechoslovakian dissidents during the Cold War and was sometimes described as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s ‘‘court philosopher.’’

Ronald Melzack, cartographer of pain, at 90

Soldiers with deep wounds sometimes feel no pain at all for hours, while people without any detectable injury live in chronic physical anguish. How to explain that?

Edd Byrnes, who played “Kookie” in “77 Sunset Strip”

Mr. Byrnes also scored a gold record with a song about his character’s hair-combing obsession and later appeared in the movie “Grease.”

Sultan Qaboos (left) welcomed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during a visit to the Gulf Sultanate in Muscat.

Sultan Qaboos, quiet peacemaker who built Oman, dies at 79

The longest-serving leader in the Middle East, he transformed his Persian Gulf kingdom from an isolated enclave into a developed, influential nation.

Mr. Burson was hailed by the publication PRWeek in 1999 as the most influential PR person of the 20th century.

Harold Burson, considered a giant in public relations, dies at 98

Mr. Burson was hailed by the industry publication PRWeek in 1999 as the most influential PR person of the 20th century.

John Rothchild, 74; wrote about personal finance with wit

Mr. Rothchild was a prolific journalist who used humor to turn books about personal finance into engaging reads.

Georges Duboeuf, French winemaker known as the ‘pope of Beaujolais,’ dies at 86

Georges Duboeuf, French winemaker known as the ‘pope of Beaujolais,’ dies at 86

Neil Peart, drummer for Rush

Neil Peart, the pyrotechnical drummer and high-concept lyricist for the Canadian progressive-rock trio Rush, died on Jan. 7 in Santa Monica, California.

Neil Peart performed in Philadelphia in 2015.

Neil Peart, Drummer for Rush, Dies at 67

Peart died of brain cancer, according to a statement from Elliot Mintz, a representative for the family.