tagged w/ Obituaries
Cheryl Holdridge was an actress best known for being one of the original Mickey Mouse Club cast members. The 64-year-old died on January 5, 2009 of lung cancer. Photos, video.Cheryl Holdridge was an actress best known for being one of the original Mickey Mouse... more
Carl Pohlad, 93, was a man who grew up from poverty, fought in World War II, and slowly built a banking empire in the American upper midwest.
By 1982, he was able to purchase the Minnesota Twins franchise, and kept a solid team together that won two World Series championships in 1987 and 1991...
But the Twins stuck playing in what was considered an eyesore of a ballpark, the Metrodome, Pohlad constantly fought an uphill battle to not only keep the team in Minnesota but also keep the team competetive despite escalating salary competition for free agents.
For most of the '90s after 1991's World Series, the Twins saw little success on the field, but eventually, they captured attention around the baseball world, when by 2002, they were a legitimate playoff contender that went on the ALCS and kept returning to the postseason for the next few seasons after that.
When Bud Selig threatened to contract the Minnesota from MLB because the Twins weren't getting a new stadium that Selig demanded every team needed to get, Pohlad was the figurehead that Twins fans rallied around to save their team from Selig's greed filled ultimatum.
Pohlad was a generous philanthropist donating millions to charities, and at a baseball banquet in January 2006, a wheelchair-bound Pohlad unexpectedly announced a $500,000 donation to the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center at the University of Minnesota in honor of Allison, a star outfielder for Minnesota from 1961-70 who died of the brain disease in 1995.
Much like the Oakland A's who build a model of success despite having budget limitations that kept team salaries low compared to other contenders, the Twins under Pohlad were an inspiration for underdogs in baseball.
Even as far as age 90, Pohlad made it a point to personally meet with manager Ron Gardenhire before games.
"Whenever you needed something from the boss ... he'd get it done for you," the other former Twins manager Tom Kelly said at a 2005 ceremony honoring Pohlad's induction into the team's Hall of Fame. "As a manager having the responsibility of entertaining the fans and putting on a good show, you couldn't ask for a better man to go to."
It is truly sad to see a great baseball executive like Pohlad go.Carl Pohlad, 93, was a man who grew up from poverty, fought in World War II, and... more
For those of you who attended college overseas or in the United States, Claiborne Pell - the founder of the Pell Grant - died January 1, 2009 after midnight due to a terminal illness. I will be always grateful that I was able to attend college in Munchen, Germany with this grant and given the opportunity which many students and individuals strive to achieve as a stepping stone towards' leaders of tomorrow. As a person he tried to give back to the people a belief that anything was possible with a little hard work and focus. By creating the' Pell Grant' which was eventually named after him back in 1980, he wished to convey to lower middle class and economically stricken individuals a chance to prove themselves to the world by receiving an education .
Thank you Claiborne Pell for the opportunity you gave me and many others who wanted to expand their horizons. RIP.For those of you who attended college overseas or in the United States, Claiborne Pell... more
Bernie Hamilton, the actor best known as playing Captain Harold Dobey in 'Starsky & Hutch' died Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest, he was 80 years old.
His CV of other projects also includes: The Jackie Robinson Story, Tarzan, The Twilight Zone, Ironside, All in the Family, Sanford & Son and The Love Boat.Bernie Hamilton, the actor best known as playing Captain Harold Dobey in 'Starsky... more
South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman, who was one of the few white lawmakers to fight against the injustices of racist rule, died Thursday. She was 91.South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman, who was one of the few white... more
Lark Previn, adopted daughter of actress Mia Farrow and internationally acclaimed pianist Andre Previn, has died of an undisclosed illness on December 25. She is survived by daughters Sara, 13, and Christine, 12.Lark Previn, adopted daughter of actress Mia Farrow and internationally acclaimed... more
With the new year approaching, this piece takes note of some of the lives that ended during the past 12 months. It presents photographs of a number of legendary writers, actors, artists and musicians. In addition, the piece includes a wonderful photo-gallery, which is accompanied by music audio.With the new year approaching, this piece takes note of some of the lives that ended... more
Ellie Nesker shot and killed her son’s accused molester, Daniel Driver, in a Sonora, California courtroom during his trial in 1993. Driver was accused of raping four boys at a Christian camp when they were 6-7 years old. Fearing the twice-convicted molester would walk free, she pulled a Raven .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol from the purse of her sister Jan Martinez and shot Driver in the head.Ellie Nesker shot and killed her son’s accused molester, Daniel Driver, in a... more
"George Francis, the nation's oldest man, who lived through both world wars, man's first walk on the moon and the election of the first black president, has died. He was 112. Francis died Saturday of congestive heart failure at a nursing home in Sacramento, his son, Anthony Francis, said Sunday.
"He lived four years in the 19th century, 100 years in the 20th century, and 8 years in the 21st century. We call him the man of three centuries," said the younger Francis, 81.
UCLA gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles, who maintains a list of the world's oldest people, said Francis lived 112 years and 204 days.
With Francis' death, Walter Breuning of Montana, who is 112 years, 98 days old, becomes the country's oldest living man. At 114, Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles is the nation's oldest living person. The world's oldest person is Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who is 115 years, 109 days old, and the oldest man is Tomoji Tanabe of Japan, who is 113 years, 101 days, Coles said.
Francis, who at his prime barely weighed more than 100 pounds, was born June 6, 1896, in New Orleans. As an African-American in the South, he felt the sting of the Jim Crow-era segregation laws in his early life.
His son said Francis tried to enlist in the US Army during World War I but was turned down because of his stature.
"We always attributed his longevity to his mental and physical toughness," Anthony Francis said.
George Francis quit school after the sixth grade, became an amateur boxer as a young man and later worked as a chauffeur, an auto mechanic and a barber.
He and his wife, Josephine Johnson Francis, had a son and three daughters. Josephine Francis died of cancer in 1964.
Even in his waning days, Francis never lost his passion for politics, his family said. He voted for Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s and for Barack Obama in 2008.
In an interview with The Associated Press after Obama's victory, Francis, who used a wheelchair, said he felt like jumping up and down.
"He is going to give black men a break in the world, and give them a better opportunity to live and make more money," he said. "For people who say voting doesn't matter, I think that's crazy."
Anthony Francis said his father was devoted to his family and that he attributed his longevity to them.
"He said `My children and my friends, I live off of them,'" he said.
Besides his four children, Francis is survived by 18 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren."George Francis, the nation's oldest man, who lived through both world wars,... more
The original and greatest ‘Catwoman’ has died:
Eartha Kitt, the self-proclaimed “sex kitten” whose sultry voice and catlike purr attracted fans even as she neared 80, has died. The singer, dancer and actress was 81.
Family spokesman Andrew Freedman said Kitt, who was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, died Thursday in Connecticut of colon cancer.
Dubbed the “most exciting woman in the world” by Orson Welles, Kitt’s career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television.
She won two Emmys, and was also nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.The original and greatest ‘Catwoman’ has died: Eartha Kitt, the... more
The influential US scientist and author, Samuel Huntington, has died at the age of 81.
He was known for his bestseller 'The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order' (which was translated into 39 different languages) along with 16 other titles he edited and co-authored.
Samuel was a Harvard University teacher for 58 years before he retire in 2007 and his views on the post-cold war conflict also gave media attention.The influential US scientist and author, Samuel Huntington, has died at the age of 81.... more
The actor who portrayed the gay lover of a closeted mobster on "The Sopranos" has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in New York on Dec. 18, police said.The actor who portrayed the gay lover of a closeted mobster on "The... more
I was not born yet when Doc Ellis pitched his final game in 1979, but his place in baseball history will always be known as of spectacularness, flare, and tragedy.
He was known for his flare and enthusiasm in the dugout and on the field.
He pitched the Pirates to a World Series championship in 1970, and was a big piece to the Yankees 1976 World Series trip...
But what he will always be known for was his 1970 LSD induced no hitter against the lowly San Diego Padres of 1972.
Right before the game, at the airport, Dock loaded up and wowed crowd who had no idea the circumstances of his performance.
It wasn't until years later did he reveal the dark truth behind his feat... (like in modern days when David Wells claims he was wild drunk when he threw his perfecto)
His interview describing his feat in detail is up on YouTube.
He spoke openly about racial issues especially in baseball and once told reporters that he wound's start the All Star Game against Vida Blue (in the AL) because MLB would never allow "two soul brothers) to go against each other.
The other great story, fans would murmur remember-whens about was that time in 1974, when Dock Ellis starting a game against the legendary Big Red Machine (a lineup of Cincinnati Reds greats: Pete Rose et al.) and he beaned the first three hitters loading the bases.
He tried to bean cleanup hitter Hall of Famer Tony Perez who ducked every pitch and drew a walk...
He then threw two fastballs at Pete Rose...
Oh those were the times...
We all hear those stories so much, especially the Joe Nuxhall recollection so many times, it's almost like we were actually there for all the excitement.
Dock suffered from heavy alcohol and drug abuse, and it eventually took its toll on him, destroying his liver.
He would later serve as a community, corrections and motivational speaker.
The Los Angeles Times wrote that Ellis had no health insurance, but received help paying his medical bills from friends in baseball.
2 years, Bryant Gumbel on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO did an extensive profile on the life and times of Dock Ellis, what his legacy meant to baseball and how he's using lessons from his past demons to give back to the community.
It was truly one of the most touching pieces we had
He held on for as long as he could before passing away last Friday.
His LSD no hitter recollection is even up on YouTube.
Baseball truly lost a great, a maverick, an irreplaceable character.I was not born yet when Doc Ellis pitched his final game in 1979, but his place in... more
Of of the great class act personalities in baseball during his career in the '80s and early '90s, Dave Smith was incredibly popular on and off the field.
An avid surf fan and one of the more charitable players of his time, Dave Smith was liked by many fans across baseball.
Up until a few years ago, Dave Smith's 199 career saves with the Astros was the franchise record before it was broken by Billy Wagner.
He was a very key member of those 1980 and 1986 Astros teams that made the postseason...
And an All-Star in 1986 and 1990.
He later on went on be a very effective pitching coach for the San Diego Padres in the late '90s.
“He was probably one of the most giving people I ever met,” former Astros reliever Charlie Kerfeld said of Smith via phone Wednesday. “He was probably known around the league as the best tipper around the league. (The news of his death) is a tough one. You ain’t supposed to go this early.”
"He was the most giving, unconditionally compassionate man anyone ever came across," (a coach with Smith when they were coaching the Padres) Tim Flannery said. "Everybody's got Dave Smith stories. Usually it's him reaching into his pocket and pulling out $100 to give to someone selling newspapers for a quarter.
"Going back to his playing days, he was one of the great closers and a fierce competitor," Flannery said. "He also had a zest for life; reckless abandon at times. He's gone at 53. He earned every moment of his life. He packed a lot into it."
"It is with great sadness that the San Diego community learned that it has not only lost a great baseball man, but a great friend to so many of us here," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said in a statement. "He was an integral part of the Padres for many years, as a minor league instructor and coach and later as our major league pitching coach."
Dave Smith was only 53 years old.
An avid surf fan, Flannery said services were pending, but added that he and other surfers plan to paddle out onto the Pacific Ocean to spread Smith's ashes across the water.Of of the great class act personalities in baseball during his career in the '80s... more
Collegiately going to TCU, Sammy Baugh led TCU to two bowl wins before being covetted by the Washington Redskins who wanted to draft him. TCU went 29-7-3 while Baugh played for them.
He did not sign until after he led the College All-Stars to an impressive victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Redskins owner George Preston Marshall ended up paying Baugh a salary of $8000 in 1937... more than twice as much as the second highest player at the time...
"I didn't know how much pro players were making, but
I thought they were making pretty good money. So
I asked Mr. Marshall for $8,000, and I finally got
it. Later I felt like a robber when I found out what
Cliff Battles and some of those other good players were
making. I'll tell you what the highest-priced boy in
Washington was getting the year before—not half
as much as $8,000! Three of them—Cliff Battles,
Turk Edwards and Wayne Millner—got peanuts, and
all of 'em in the Hall of Fame now. If I had known what
they were getting I'd have never asked for $8,000."
But Baugh set record numbers his first year with the Redskins throwing for a then NFL record of 91 completions in 218 attempts and led the league with.
Not only did he star at quarterback for the Redskins, he was also their punter and played on defense... Something you absolutely do no ever see in football today.
Baugh still holds Redskins records for career touchdown passes (187) and completion percentage in a season (70.3). His 31 interceptions on defense are third on the team's career list. He still owns the league mark for single-season punting average (51.4).
With the Redskins, he led the team to 5 title games, and 2 champions in the NFL era before the Super Bowl even existed.
He was in the inaugural class of Hall of Famers enshrined in the Hall of Fame when first was introduced.
Football really lost one of the larger than life legends in the history of the game.Collegiately going to TCU, Sammy Baugh led TCU to two bowl wins before being covetted... more
Bettie Page, the legendary 1950s pin-up queen with a shoulder-length pageboy hairdo and kitschy bangs whose saucy photos helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, has died, the L.A Times is reporting. She was 85.
She suffered a heart attack one week ago and never regained consciousness.Bettie Page, the legendary 1950s pin-up queen with a shoulder-length pageboy hairdo... more
Bob Spiers, well known for directing the hit sitcom, Absolutely Fabulous, has died, aged 63.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Bob directed other popular TV shows including, Dad's Army, Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served?, French and Saunders, Press Gang and A Bit of Fry and Laurie. He also directed the movie "SpiceWorld: The Movie" starring the Spice Girls.Bob Spiers, well known for directing the hit sitcom, Absolutely Fabulous, has died,... more