Latest Obituaries headlines

Journalist Cokie Roberts dies at 75

Both a political reporter and commentator, she was widely respected both by her fellow journalists and by those she covered.

Juanita Abernathy, a force in the civil rights movement, dies at 88

Juanita Abernathy, who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott and took part in other pivotal protests at the outset of the civil rights era alongside the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, her husband and a leader of the movement, died on Thursday at a hospital in Atlanta.

Ex-NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik, 61, dies in plane crash

Mike Stefanik, one of the most successful modified stock car drivers in NASCAR history, died in a plane crash in Connecticut on Sunday, authorities said.

Mardik Martin, 84, collaborator with Scorsese

Mr. Martin, a screenwriter who collaborated with Martin Scorsese on films like “Raging Bull,” “New York, New York,” and “Mean Streets,” died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.

The best obituary ever, and the wacky funeral that followed

Joe Heller always wanted to have the last laugh.

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Retired bishop, army chaplain dies at 90

A retired Roman Catholic bishop and military chaplain has died in Rhode Island.

Jean Edward Smith, biographer who reassessed presidential history, dies at 86

Jean Edward Smith was the author of smoothly written accounts of several presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Anne Rivers Siddons.

Anne Rivers Siddons, best-selling novelist of the modern South, dies at 83

Anne Rivers Siddons, best-selling novelist of the modern South, dies at 83

Edda Servi Machlin published “The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews” in 1981.

Edda Servi Machlin, champion of Italian Jewish cuisine, dies at 93

She survived the harrowing World War II years in Italy by hiding out with anti-Fascist partisans, then immigrated to the United States and wrote a definitive cookbook on Italian Jewish food.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray headed the Vatican’s main relief agency and its department for peace and human rights.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, skilled papal emissary, dies

The cardinal was dispatched by Pope John Paul II to negotiate for the Roman Catholic Church with Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, and leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

Tonga’s prime minister, who nurtured democracy, dies at 78

Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva, who helped wrest power from the royal family and bring greater democracy to the small Pacific island nation, died Thursday. He was 78.

Mr. Johnston played the piano at his home in Waller, Texas, in 2017. That same year, he embarked on a farewell tour.

Daniel Johnston, gifted and enigmatic songwriter, dies at 58

In a career that was filled with stops and starts, Mr. Johnston became something of a man-child celebrity of the artistic underground, earning the admiration of rock stars such as Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits.

Diet Eman, who risked her life to rescue Dutch Jews, dies at 99

For 50 years, Ms. Eman remained largely silent about her role in the Dutch Resistance during World War II. It wasn’t until 1978 that she began to think that she had an obligation to reveal her story.

Whether they realized it or not, music fans across the globe knew Ms. Alexander’s name thanks to “Cousin Mary,” a composition that Coltrane wrote in her honor.

Mary Lyerly Alexander, keeper of the Coltrane flame, dies at 92

Ms. Alexander worked to preserve the legacy of her cousin John Coltrane and in the process became a pillar of the Philadelphia jazz scene.

Neil Montanus, a Kodak Colorama photographer, dies at 92

After the grim years of World War II, Mr. Montanus’s photographs evoked the aspirational life that Kodak encouraged families to capture on their own with color film.

Mr. Habibie allowed democratic reforms and an independence referendum for East Timor.

Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, former Indonesian president, dies at 83

His unpopular presidency was the shortest in modern Indonesia’s history but was transformative.

Mr. March in 2006 made outfits using vegetables for a Wish-Bone fashion show.

Chris March, 56, over-the-top fashion designer

March was a fashion and costume designer whose outrageous outfits caught the eye of audiences on Bravo’s hit reality show “Project Runway.”

Joan Johnson, 89, whose company broke a racial barrier

Mrs. Johnson and her husband, George, founded Johnson Products, a hair-product concern that became one of the most successful black-owned businesses in the United States and the first to be listed on the American Stock Exchange.

An only child who grew up in a small railroad town in Oklahoma, T. Boone Pickens followed his father into the oil and gas business.

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens dies at age 91

T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday.

Marca Bristo, influential advocate for the disabled, dies at 66

Marca Bristo was a key player in the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which outlawed discrimination against the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities.

Peter Nichols, playwright who found comedy in desperation, dies at 92

Peter Nichols’s first and most frequently revived play, “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,” startled and moved London and Broadway audiences of the 1960s by telling the story of a brain-damaged child’s brief life in a darkly comic style that would become his signature.

Dorothea Benton Frank, whose novels depicted strong women, dies at 67

Dorothea Benton Frank’s career started on a dare — that she could write a book that would earn enough money to buy back her family house in South Carolina after her mother’s death.

Mr. McCarthy kept the show going with Mark Witkin for nearly 30 years

Jim McCarthy, a founder of ‘Sports Huddle’ radio talk show, dies at 91

Mr. McCarthy, of Hingham, hosted the show for many years with partner Mark Witkin.

Ms. Kamil, shown above in an undated photo, found critical and commercial success with authors ranging from Salman Rushdie and Ta-Nehisi Coates to Elizabeth Strout and Sophie Kinsella.

Susan Kamil, longtime publisher and editor, dies at 69

Ms. Kamil found critical and commercial success with authors ranging from Salman Rushdie and Ta-Nehisi Coates to Elizabeth Strout and Sophie Kinsella.

Stanley Love, choreographer who celebrated joy, dies at 49

Stanley Love, an experimental choreographer who built a loyal following for creating dances instilled with joy, vibrant physicality and his wild imagination, has died. He was 49.

In 2017, Mr. Henry L. Ochsner was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the French government’s highest honor.

WWII ‘Screaming Eagle’ veteran Henry Ochsner dies at 96

World War II veteran Henry Ochsner, who landed on the beach at Normandy on D-Day and later received the French government’s highest honor for his service, has died. He was 96.

Spanish singer Camilo Sesto posed next to a poster depicting himself during a news conference in Mexico City.

Spanish singer-songwriter Camilo Sesto dies at 72

Spanish singer and songwriter Camilo Sesto, a popular star in the 1970s and 1980s, has died of heart failure. He was 72.

Elaine La Roche, a power despite Wall Street’s barriers, dies at 70

In the 1990s, when women faced daunting odds in landing high-level positions in the securities industry, Ms. La Roche rose from administrative associate to managing director at Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Toledo was regarded by many as Mexico’s greatest living artist and helped revitalize Oaxaca through philanthropy.

Francisco Toledo, renowned Mexican artist, philanthropist, dies at 79

Mr. Toledo was regarded by many as Mexico’s greatest living artist and drew on his indigenous pre-Colombian heritage to create striking work suffused with shamanistic animal imagery.

Mr. Atlas spread the gospel of biography as the founder of the Penguin Lives book series, a joint venture of Penguin and Lipper Books that he conceived around 1996.

James Atlas, an ambassador for biographies, dies

Mr. Atlas was a leading figure in New York literary circles as an editor, publisher, and writer whose books included well-regarded biographies of Saul Bellow and the poet Delmore Schwartz.

Dawda Jawara, founding father of Gambia, dies at 95

Dawda Jawara, a veterinarian-turned-politician who led Gambia to independence from the British and then presided over the country as it became one of Africa’s longest-running democracies, died Aug. 27 at his home in Fajara, a coastal suburb of Banjul, the capital.

Carol Lynley (second from left) with other cast members of the 1972 disaster movie “The Poseidon Adventure” Shelley Winters (left), Roddy McDowall, and Stella Stevens.

‘Poseidon Adventure’ actress Carol Lynley dies at 77

Carol Lynley, a stage and screen actress who starred in the “The Poseidon Adventure” and appeared in numerous other film and television series, has died. She was 77.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 22, 2013, Zimbabwean then President Robert Mugabe (R), accompanied by wife Grace, raises his fist as he greets the crowd at his inauguration ceremony in Harare at the National 60,000-seat sports stadium. - Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe with an iron fist from 1980 to 2017, has died aged 95, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced September 6, 2019. (Photo by ALEXANDER JOE / AFP)ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95

Robert Mugabe, the longtime leader of Zimbabwe who was forced to resign in 2017 after a military takeover, has died.

Douglas Moore, provocative presence in civil rights, dies at 91

Douglas Moore was a Methodist minister who in 1957 led one of the first sit-ins to protest racial segregation in the South and later served a tumultuous stint on the District of Columbia Council in the 1970s.

Mr. Conway (left) was greeted by former Bruins player Don Marcotte (right) at the sentencing of R. Alan Eagleson.

Russ Conway, Eagle-Tribune sportswriter who brought down R. Alan Eagleson, dies at 70

Russ Conway, 70, of Haverhill, who died Aug. 20, was an Eagle-Tribune sportswriter whose Pulitzer Prize-finalist investigative reporting led to the fraud convictions of former NHL Players’ Association executive director R. Alan Eagleson.

“I didn’t know we were heading toward disaster,” Ms. Nie told The New York Times in 2006.

Nie Yuanzi, whose poster fanned Cultural Revolution, dies at 98

When Nie Yuanzi put up a vitriolic wall poster one day in 1966, she plunged into the political maelstrom of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

Angelo Grubisic, space scientist and champion wingsuit flier, dies at 38

As an extreme sportsman, Englishman Angelo Grubisic’s goal was to break the world records for flying as far, as fast, for as long, and from as high an altitude as possible — not in a plane, but in a wingsuit.

Rosemary Kuhlmann, soprano in a TV breakthrough, dies at 97

Rosemary Kuhlmann, a soprano, was a central part of an early television experiment that became a holiday classic, singing the role of Amahl’s mother in the 1951 world premiere of the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on NBC and returning to the part for years afterward.

05weitzman - Harvard economics professor Martin Weitzman. (Gernot Wagner)

Martin Weitzman, virtuoso climate change economist, dies at 77

Dr. Weitzman was an inventive economist who argued that governments would see climate change as a more urgent matter to address if they took more seriously the small but real risks of the most catastrophic of outcomes.

Dr. Donald Lindberg, who opened medical research to the world, dies at 85

Dr. Lindberg, as director of the National Library of Medicine, computerized its vast holdings and made them accessible to researchers around the world.

Caroline Kennedy and Mr. Columbu at the wedding of Maria Shriver to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Hyannis.

Franco Columbu, bodybuilder and Schwarzenegger friend, 78

Franco Columbu, an Italian bodybuilder whose herculean physique won him major titles in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, and who helped popularize the sport with his close friend Arnold Schwarzenegger, died on Friday at a hospital in Olbia, Italy. He was 78.

Robert Lautzenheiser (left), with fellow weather observer Robert Skilling, at an overcast Nantasket Beach in Hull.

Robert Lautzenheiser, climatologist and scholar of New England’s weather, dies at 103

Robert Lautzenheiser, 103, who died Aug. 20, was a longtime National Weather Service climatologist and de facto historian of New England’s weather, gathering data at his Reading home.

Mrs. Solomon also worked with students in writing programs at Sarah Lawrence College and City College in New York.

Barbara Probst Solomon, who wrote of Spain under Franco, at 90

Barbara Probst Solomon, an American memoirist and essayist known for documenting life in Spain during and after the regime of General Francisco Franco, died Sunday at her home in Manhattan.

Mr. Leoz, speaking with former Brazilian soccer great Pele, was at one time considered the most powerful figure in South American soccer.

Nicolás Leoz, FIFA official charged in corruption scandal, dies at 90

Nicolás Leoz, the most powerful man in South American soccer for more than two decades, who had spent recent years under house arrest in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States on corruption charges, died on Wednesday.

Frances Crowe, peace activist for the ages, dies at 100

Ms. Crowe, of Northampton, was a peace activist for decades who lost count of her arrests at demonstrations.

Clora Bryant, trumpeter and pillar of L.A. jazz scene, dies

Clora Bryant, a trumpeter who was widely considered one of the finest jazz musicians on the West Coast — but who ran into gender-based limitations on how famous she could become — died Aug. 23 in Los Angeles.