The sobering adage that all good things must come to an end was never truer than in this year’s passing parade of enduring icons in politics, pop culture, professional sports, broadcasting and so many other fields.

It was a year of national mourning for three of the nation’s prominent women: Rosalynn Carter,  former President Jimmy Carter’s quietly effective first lady, was a leading women’s rights, mental health and housing advocate; Sandra Day O'Connor made history as the first woman to sit as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court; and Dianne Feinstein, California’s long-serving U.S. senator, was an unyielding gun control champion. The nation’s diplomatic corps will miss former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who received the Nobel Peace Prize, and negotiator Bill Richardson, who brought 'em home repeatedly after another groundbreaking career as the nation’s only Hispanic governor.

This year also saw the passing of troubadours of astonishing longevity. Harry Belafonte broke down 1950s racial barriers as a civil rights champion while getting Americans to sing along with him on “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and other rhythmic Caribbean classics. Songbook crooner Tony Bennett memorably left his heart in San Francisco, but found it again in his 80s  and 90s in duets with an adoring Lady Gaga. Burt Bacharach was a chart-topping composer of uplifting pop melodies who had us falling in love amid falling raindrops. That heavenly rock 'n' roll band now rings with the raspy power of Tina Turner, whose heart-wrenching ballads made her one of the most successful recording artists of all time. And if there’s a heavenly “Margaritaville,” singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, whose summer Jones Beach concerts drew massive Parrothead tailgate parties, is enjoying his cheeseburger in paradise.

In the world of professional sports, Willis Reed inspired teammates and fans alike in his 10-year career as a New York Knicks center. Bobby Hull was nicknamed the Golden Jet for his lightning slap shot and ice dashes as the NHL's superstar winger.

Jim Brown was not only one of the NFL’s greatest running backs, but also a Hollywood leading man in “The Dirty Dozen” and other memorable blockbusters. Raquel Welch transformed from a reluctant sex symbol to a glamorous Hollywood leading lady, albeit at times opposite dinosaurs, and a bright light on Broadway ("Woman of the Year," "Victor/Victoria").

On the small screen, Dr. Frank Field was the first professional meteorologist to broadcast the weather on New York City television, a platform he used to popularize the lifesaving Heimlich maneuver. Longtime Newsday TV critic Marvin Kitman was among the paper's best-known columnists, the “executive producer” for decades of his eponymous “show" critiquing TV. Televangelist Pat Robertson achieved worldwide clout in a broadcasting career that accompanied the religious right’s rise in Republican politics. Bob Barker was prized for his warmth and wit during his 35-year career as the host of “The Price is Right,” television's longest-running game show.

The laughter lives on in syndication for sitcom superstar Suzanne Somers, whose ditsy Chrissy Snow in ABC’s long-running “Three’s Company” toned her up for Thighmaster health and wellness ventures. Matthew Perry was there for TV viewers on “Friends”’ as sarcasm king Chandler Bing, a persona that belied his off-camera struggles with drugs and alcohol. Norman Lear reshaped the TV sitcom with his groundbreaking series like "All in the Family," "Maude," "Sanford and Son" and numerous others.

Here, we celebrate the lives of the famous figures whose efforts forged our political future; brought laughter and thrills into our living rooms; voiced the soundtrack for our lives; broke barriers for women, people of color and the LGBT community; and changed our lives in many other ways — mostly for the better. They are the once-in-a-generation timeless talents, international innovators and unique notables whose lives will continue to inspire, energize and enlighten us.


Bruce Avery, 69

Credit: Newsday/Michael E. Ach

He was a longtime general manager of Hofstra University's WRHU/88.7 FM and a former meteorologist at News 12 Long Island. The Ridge resident, who retired last year after heading WRHU for 28 years, helped build the college radio station, which went on to win a plethora of awards.

Robert V. Lloyd, 77

Credit: Howard Schnapp

His transformation from a Long Island heroin dealer to a pastor inspired thousands. The Wheatley Heights resident was sentenced to life in prison on drug charges, but after his release became a minister in Amityville and later serviced as a volunteer chaplain in lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Alan Eysen, 91

He was a former Newsday political reporter, editor, columnist and member of the paper's investigative team that won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing secret land deals and zoning manipulations in Suffolk. Eysen was part of a team that examined the use of political and public office for personal gain that led to a series of convictions, firings and resignations.

Sid Cassese, 83

Credit: Newsday-Staff/Jim Peppler

Cassese rose from hardscrabble beginnings in Harlem to a 42-year career as a decorated Newsday reporter. He covered everything from Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead to transportation and the environment, and received a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard, where he spent a year studying the inner workings of government.

Adeed Fayaz, 26

He was an off-duty NYPD officer from Deer Park who was shot in the head during a robbery attempt in Brooklyn.  Married and with two children, Fayaz was planning for an interview with the police department’s aviation unit, his dream job, and had just scored well on the sergeant’s exam, prior to his murder.

Matt Napolitano, 33

Credit: Ariana Napolitano

The former Franklin Square resident, a graduate of H. Frank Carey High School and Hofstra University, worked as a Fox News Radio anchor. His bright personality and intellect landed him as a contestant on some of America’s biggest game shows. He would ride that confidence to a spot as a national anchor for Fox by his mid-20s, showcasing his versatility covering both news and sports during his career in New York City. He also wrote and produced audio segments and made occasional appearances on Fox television networks. Napolitano showcased his vast range of knowledge by appearing as a contestant on "Jeopardy!," where he was a runner-up, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Joseph C. "Joe" Buzzetta, 86

The St. James resident was a legend in the 1960s racing circuit who had a passion for everything automotive, particularly hot rods. Buzzetta, who served in the U.S. Army in Frankfurt, Germany, had his most notable success with a first-place win at the 1967 Nürburgring 1,000-kilometer race, followed by multiple victories at Daytona and Sebring in Florida.

Joe Giella, 94

Credit: Giella Family

The heralded artist from East Meadow inked indelible comic book images of Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, The Flash, Captain America and Spider-Man. Giella, who ran the streets with Tony Bennett as a kid in Astoria, Queens, grew up to ink art for the legendary Stan Lee during the Golden Age of Comics in the 1940s working for Marvel and DC Comics.

David Joel Steinberg, 85

He was a scholar who distinguished himself in academia and steered Long Island University to cultural and scholastic acclaim as its president for nearly three decades. Steinberg took the helm of LIU in 1985 and is credited with boosting endowment and enrollment at its campuses in Brookville and Brooklyn.

Robert Trotman, 82

Credit: Patrick McCarthy

Trotman's nationally renowned swim program shattered stereotypes and broke down barriers for thousands of minority youths. In 1959, he co-founded the Nu-Finmen Swim Team, formerly based in Hempstead and in Brooklyn, which gave thousands of children from Long Island, Queens and elsewhere the opportunity to swim.

Steve Linden, 65

Credit: Gerry Duff

His passion for collectible cars shifted to an appraisal business with a top-gear reputation. Linden's expertise on vintage and muscle cars was his passport to adventures with rich, famous and average car buffs.

Ethan Falkowitz, 14, and Drew Hassenbein, 14

Credit: /Tyler Hill Camp / Andy Siegel

The two Roslyn High School tennis stars were killed May 3 when an older teammate’s car was struck by an alleged wrong-way drunken driver. The teens were elite athletes who were already highly recruited for their skills and passion.

Gerry Denk, 70

He was honored as a hero in 2002 after wresting a rifle from a gunman who killed two people inside a Lynbrook church. Denk, a retired Marine, made headlines when he narrowly avoided being shot inside Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church before struggling with and chasing the shooter, who was later sentenced to life in prison.

Al Menendez, 80

Credit: Lou Minutoli

The West Hempstead resident spent decades as an NBA scout, working mainly for the Indiana Pacers, traveling the country hoping to find the next big thing in the sport he adored. Menendez spent time in the Nets’ scouting department and last worked in the NBA as a consultant with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Edward G. McCabe Sr., 90

His three-decade career in public service spanned town and county legal positions and judgeships, including a six-year tenure as the chief administrative judge of the Nassau County court system. McCabe, who lived in New Hyde Park, was first elected as a state Supreme Court justice in 1985.

John Romita Sr., 93

The artist's version of the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man has graced everything from stationery to stamps to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. Romita, who lived in Bellerose, served as Marvel's art director from 1972 until 1996. He designed and co-created Wolverine, the Punisher and Kingpin, and at various points drew nearly all of the company's top titles, including Fantastic Four and Captain America.

Carrie Mason-Draffen, 72

Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

She was a business reporter and columnist at Newsday for 35 years, whose knowledge of workplace rights informed a generation of employees and employers. Mason-Draffen, who retired in 2019, was a beloved figure on Newsday's business desk. She served as an “otra mama” or “another mother” to a newsroom of reporters whom she treated as her own.

Louis J. Hutchinson II, 79

The Freeport resident trained hundreds of students of all ages, ethnicities, abilities and disabilities across Long Island and New York City. Hutchinson coached more than 30 teams, winning state and regional championships, and taking them as far as U.S. Tennis Association national events across the country.

Bryan Collins, 58

He was Stony Brook football’s defensive coordinator and a longtime Long Island University head coach. Collins led LIU to six NCAA Tournament appearances and eight Northeast-10 Conference championships over 23 years as head coach from 1998 to 2021.

Helen Ann Dolan, 96

Credit: Dolan Family

The Cove Neck resident was an artist and philanthropist, who helped support a host of organizations, including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Friends Academy in Locust Valley, Fairfield University in Connecticut and John Carroll University in Cleveland. Dolan, who was married to Cablevision founder Charles Dolan, was also a major supporter of programs in her Oyster Bay community and served on the board of trustees for the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay.

Terry Bisogno, 68

Credit: Ed Betz

The announcer known as “the voice of Long Island running” had a knack for knowing details about each runner at hundreds of marathons, half-marathons, 5ks, triathlons and other races. Bisogno was such a beloved figure that 400 runners jogged around his North Massapequa neighborhood in July to show their appreciation and inspire him to keep fighting his illness.

Gina Pellettiere, 43, and Beatrice Ferrari, 77

Pellettiere was a teacher who achieved her dream of leading the marching band at Farmingdale High School and Ferrari taught history at the school for 30 years. They died together Sept. 21 when a charter bus carrying 40 students careened down an embankment and crashed in Orange County. Both were beloved figures at the school and were known for inspiring a generation of students to embrace music.

Don Bruce, 68

He was a maestro of minutiae who copy edited many of Newsday’s largest stories and investigative pieces during a 45-year career. Bruce was known for his elite editing skills, a dry sense of humor, a love of trains and his signature ball cap saying, “Thinking Cap.”

Eugene Burnett Sr., 94

Credit: Johnny Milano

The Wheatley Heights resident was a civil rights champion who challenged racial segregation while inspiring and mentoring young people. Burnett was also an entrepreneur, owning three Carvel franchises, a catering business, an apartment and a restaurant, and was the first Black police sergeant in the Town of Babylon.




Credit: AP/Doug Pizac

A sex symbol of the 1960s, Welch struggled to be taken seriously by Hollywood — and eventually fought back. Born Jo-Raquel Tejada to a Bolivian father, she was raised in San Diego and married her high school sweetheart, James Welch; their divorce left her with his name and two children. A move to L.A. led to a role as a cavewoman in “One Million Years B.C.” (1966) — and though she spoke little, her animal-pelt bikini made Welch a star. Welch played a transgender woman in 1970’s widely panned “Myra Breckenridge,” but bounced back with a Golden Globe win for best actress in 1973’s “The Three Musketeers.” Originally cast in 1982’s Steinbeck adaptation “Cannery Row,” Welch was replaced by the much-younger Debra Winger and sued MGM. She won a $10 million settlement, according to the Hollywood Reporter, but her film career abruptly ceased; Welch never again played a starring role in a major film. She did appear on Broadway in the musicals "Womaqn of the Year" and "Victor/Victoria" and became a fitness guru and took small parts in movies and television shows. “I wasn’t unhappy with the sex goddess label,” Welch said, according to The Guardian. “I was unhappy with the way some people tried to diminish, demean and trivialize anything I did professionally.”



Though not always a leading man, Arkin was often the star of the show. A serious actor with a gift for comedy, Arkin specialized in playing men who were beleaguered, exasperated and sometimes unhinged. His memorable comic turns included a New York dentist dragged into an espionage plot in 1979’s “The In-Laws” and a reprobate grandpa in 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine” — a role that won him an Oscar. But he also played a killer in 1967’s “Wait Until Dark” and a stressed-out salesperson in 1992’s “Glengarry Glenn Ross”. Brooklyn-born but raised in Los Angeles, Arkin tried his hand at folk music (with The Tarriers), joined the Chicago improv group Second City and won a Tony Award for “Enter Laughing” before focusing on movies. "Acting is so ingrained in my physiognomy and the channels of my brain that I find myself missing aspects of the business,” he said in 2020. “I should probably get over it.” But he didn’t: Starring opposite Michael Douglas in Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” from 2018 to 2021, the octogenarian earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations.



The South Korean actor made an impression as the patriarch of a wealthy family in the 2019 best picture Oscar winner "Parasite." Though that movie, which dealt with discrimination and class struggles in South Korea, was the high-water mark of his career, the actor had been a popular actor in that country for many years with starring roles on TV in “Coffee Prince,"  “Behind The White Tower,” “Pasta ” and “My Mister.”


Actor ​​​​​​

American actor Ryan O'Neal, star of the 1970 tearjerker 'Love...

American actor Ryan O'Neal, star of the 1970 tearjerker 'Love Story'.  Credit: Getty Images/Hulton Archive

He was a regular on the 1960s prime-time soap “Peyton Place,” but it was 1970's box-office hit “Love Story” that turned O’Neal into a household name. Also starring Ali MacGraw, the film was an unabashed weeper that earned a then-staggering $173 million, garnered O’Neal an Oscar nomination and generated an enduring catchphrase: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” The boyishly handsome O’Neal became Barbra Streisand’s leading man in the 1972 screwball comedy “What’s Up, Doc?” and starred opposite his daughter, Tatum O’Neal, in 1973’s acclaimed “Paper Moon.” Playing the title role in Stanley Kubrick’s period drama “Barry Lyndon” (1975) suggested that O’Neal had reached a new level of actorly credibility, but in subsequent decades he became better known for his personal dramas with his four children and for his on-again, off-again romance with Farrah Fawcett (after a 2001 reunion, the two remained together until her death in 2009). “He meant the world to me,” Tatum said of her father in a statement. “And I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms.”



Credit: JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstoc/JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

She was a two-time Oscar-winning actress turned British lawmaker — and, later in life, an actress again. Born into a working-class family in northwest England, Jackson studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before becoming one of England’s biggest and boldest stars. She appeared in Peter Brook's edgy stage production of “Marat/Sade” and in his 1967 film version, then won her best actress Oscars for Ken Russell’s literary adaptation “Women in Love” (1970) and the rom-com “A Touch of Class” (1973). On television, she earned two Emmys as Queen Elizabeth I in the series “Elizabeth R.” In her 50s Jackson turned to politics, winning election to Parliament in 1992; she would spend 23 years as a Labour Party lawmaker, including serving as a minister for transport under Prime Minister Tony Blair. After leaving Parliament in 2015, Jackson returned to acting: She played the title role in “King Lear” at London’s Old Vic in 2016 (and later on Broadway) and won a Tony Award in 2018 for Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women."



Actor Paul Reubens arrives at the opening night of "The...

Actor Paul Reubens arrives at the opening night of "The Pee-wee Herman Show" in Club Nokia at L.A. Live in January 2010. Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

He created the singularly strange persona called Pee-wee Herman, a hyperactive man-child in a too-tight suit. His playground taunts (“I know you are, but what am I?”) were intentionally annoying, but Pee-wee also radiated a joyful, childlike innocence. Reubens developed the character after joining the Los Angeles improv troupe the Groundlings and steadily melded with his creation: Pee-wee held live children’s matinees in L.A., appeared on “The Dating Game” and made a 1981 HBO special. The 1985 film “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” with first-time director Tim Burton, led to an unlikely CBS children’s show, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” which ran from 1986 to 1990. Reubens’ 1991 arrest for indecent exposure in a Florida porn theater dented his career but not his spirit: Weeks later, Pee-wee opened the MTV Video Music Awards and received a standing ovation before even saying a word.



A filmmaker drawn to dark and difficult subjects, Friedkin was responsible for two of the biggest films of the 1970s. In “The French Connection,” starring Gene Hackman as a New York City cop, Friedkin confronted the brutal violence of the drug trade — and in the bargain crafted one of cinema’s most memorable car chases. In “The Exorcist,” he traumatized audiences with the sight of a demonically possessed girl (Linda Blair) whose grinning head spun 360 degrees on her shoulders. “The French Connection” won Oscars for best picture and director, “The Exorcist” became the first horror film to earn a best picture Oscar nod (one of 10 in all) and both movies remain vastly influential in their genres.  



Shut your mouth — we’re talking about John Shaft, the private detective Roundtree played in 1971’s “Shaft.” Gordon Parks' low-budget crime thriller gave movie audiences something new: a Black action hero. Backed by Isaac Hayes’ brassy-hot score, Roundtree swaggered confidently through every frame and helped turn “Shaft” into such a hit that it helped save its studio, MGM, from bankruptcy. More than that, it helped launch a genre known (somewhat dubiously) as blaxploitation. Roundtree returned in two ‘70s sequels, then led the 1973-74 CBS series “Shaft” before returning in the 2000 reboot, which cast Samuel L. Jackson in the title role and Roundtree as his uncle.



Credit: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Moviegoers might know Gambon best as Dumbledore, the wise and kindly wizard of the beloved “Harry Potter” franchise. But by then he’d had a long and successful career, first as one of the U.K.’s top stage actors, then as the star of Dennis Potter’s singularly weird BBC series “The Singing Detective” (1986). He was a memorable presence in Peter Greenaway’s outrageous 1989 film “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” and won critical praise in productions of Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and David Hare plays. Gambon was knighted in 1998. He retired from the stage in 2015, but continued to work in movies; he recently lent his voice to the two “Paddington” films. “Fate gave him genius,” British stage director Peter Hall said of Gambon, “but he uses it as a craftsman.”



Jerry Lewis and his bosses at Paramount Pictures were looking for “the most beautiful ingenue working at the studio — or something like that,” as Stevens would later tell the story, and so she became Lewis’ leading lady in 1963’s “The Nutty Professor.” He played Professor Kelp, a bespectacled nerd who scientifically transforms himself into a swaggering lounge lizard named Buddy Love; she played Stella Purdy, the student he falls for. “We all tried to make the characters he had created in the script special,” Stevens said of Lewis, “and if you ask me, I do believe that’s why the film still holds up after all those years.” Stevens also appeared in dozens of other films, including “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972), and in such television shows as “The Love Boat,” “Night Court” and “Murder, She Wrote.”



Credit: Getty Images/Brendan Hoffman

The daughter of a furniture maker in the small mountain town of Subiaco, Italy, Lollobrigida would become known by the title of her 1956 film, “La donna più bella del mondo” — The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. In it, she played opera singer Lina Cavalieri and, thanks to early lessons, sang her own arias. She also juggled acting with a career as a photojournalist. Nevertheless, Lollobrigida remained best known as a sex symbol: Humphrey Bogart, her co-star in 1953’s “Beat the Devil,” reportedly said she made “Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.” Lollobrigida would star in dozens of films, including the sex farces "Come September" (1961) and "Strange Bedfellows" (1965), both with Rock Hudson; and 1968’s “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell,” a comedy about an Italian lover whose daughter is from one of three American Army GI’s. As her film roles waned, she focused on sculpture, art and photography. “My strength is my free spirit,” she once said, “and my great imagination gives me strength and vitality.”



Carrot-topped Ted Donaldson was only 8 when he began his acting career in 1941 as Tiny Tim in an NBC radio version of "A Christmas Carol" and in "Life With Father" on Broadway. In 1944, he made his film debut in "Once Upon a Time” and developed a lifelong friendship with the film’s star Cary Grant. Columbia signed Donaldson to a contract and featured him in the “Rusty” film series about a boy and his German shepherd. Donaldson’s most memorable role was as Neely Nolan in Elia Kazan’s 1945 classic “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” based on Betty Smith’s bestselling novel about an impoverished family in early 20th century Brooklyn. After appearing as Bud Anderson on the radio version of “Father Knows Best” from 1949 to 1954, Donaldson retired from acting. “I didn’t want to be typed,” he said in the 2002 book “Growing Up on the Set.” “I didn’t want to be a 21-year-old playing a 15- or 16-year-old kid. I wanted to do other things.”



Actor Burt Young attends the film premiere of "Holes" at...

Actor Burt Young attends the film premiere of "Holes" at the El Capitan Theater on April 11, 2003 in Hollywood, California. Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

A rough-and-tumble Queens kid who served in the Marines and fought as a professional boxer, Young studied acting under Lee Strasberg before finding the role that would define him: Paulie Pennino, the volatile but big-hearted friend to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in 1977’s “Rocky.” A hard-drinking meatpacking worker, Paulie embodied working-class frustration so thoroughly that Young earned an Oscar nod for his performance. He would play the role in six “Rocky” movies in all and stood out in such other movies as “The Choirboys,” “Convoy” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village.” But he also had a second career as a painter: He kept a studio in Port Washington and once held an exhibit at the Nassau County Museum of Art’s Library Gallery. (Some of his canvases can be glimpsed in 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.”) “Color really gets me,” Young said of his paintings. “It’s all built on emotion, what I’m saying to myself, by myself, and about others.”



When he arrived in London to play Tevye, the life-loving Jewish milkman, in a 1967 production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Chaim Topol barely spoke English. By the time he reprised the role in Norman Jewison’s 1971 movie adaptation, the Tel Aviv-born actor and his part seemed inseparable. Thanks to his lively, full-bodied renditions of songs like “If I Were a Rich Man,” Topol helped turn the film into an $83 million hit and earned both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. He would go on to play the role an estimated 3,500 times, most recently in 2009. “How many people are known for one part? How many people in my profession are known worldwide?” he once said. “I’m not complaining.”




Guitar Legend Jeff Beck performs during the 2011 New Orleans...

Guitar Legend Jeff Beck performs during the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell at The Fair Grounds Race Course on April 29, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Credit: Getty Images/Rick Diamond

One of rock’s first guitar gods, the London-born Beck helped create the psychedelic sound of the 1960s as a member of the Yardbirds. He joined the band in 1965 to replace another guitar deity, Eric Clapton, and in 1966 overlapped with yet another, Jimmy Page (later of Led Zeppelin). Beck’s two-year stint with the Yardbirds produced such pysch-rock landmarks as “Heart Full of Soul,” “Over Under Sideways Down” and “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago.” A skilled improviser who favored fuzz, feedback and distorted notes, Beck influenced generations of guitarists and — closely following The Who’s Pete Townshend — made it fashionable to destroy one’s instrument, as he did in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 mod-culture classic “Blow-Up.” He continued to record with the Jeff Beck Group; the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice; and as a solo artist. Beck never hit the commercial heights of Clapton and Page, but was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, first with the Yardbirds and later as a solo artist. His mission, he said, was “to delight people with chaos and beauty at the same time.”



Singer Lisa Marie Presley arrives at the 2012 Billboard Music...

Singer Lisa Marie Presley arrives at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Credit: Frazer Harrison

If Elvis Presley was the King of Rock and Roll, then his only child, Lisa Marie, should have been its princess. But her life was no fairy tale: Her famous father died in 1977, when she was 9, and as an adult she would marry four times, including to Michael Jackson (for two years) and Nicolas Cage (for four months). In her 30s she reinvented herself as a rock star and scored a No. 5 album with 2003’s “To Whom it May Concern.” She wrote or co-wrote all 11 of the album’s tracks. The music industry seemed to welcome her: She appeared in a star-studded video for Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” and worked with legendary producer T Bone Burnett for her third and final album, 2012’s “Storm & Grace.” Her son, Benjamin Keough, took his own life in 2020 at the age of 27. “I’ve dealt with death, grief and loss since the age of 9 years old,” she once wrote. “I’ve had more than anyone’s fair share of it in my lifetime and somehow, I’ve made it this far.”



David Crosby, with guitar, performs for the Occupy Wall Street...

David Crosby, with guitar, performs for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators at Zuccotti Park in November 2011. Credit: Charles Eckert

He was a prominent voice and mustachioed face of California folk-rock — yet Crosby was anything but laidback. The Los Angeles native got his first guitar at 16 and became an influential, if often alienating, presence on the booming local music scene. A founding member of the Byrds, he co-wrote their hit “Eight Miles High” but still got fired. Crosby connected with Stephen Stills (of Buffalo Springfield) and Graham Nash (of the Hollies) during a party at Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon home; as Crosby, Stills & Nash, they blended crystalline harmonies and wistful melodies on such classic rock staples as “Wooden Ships,” “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and, with sometime collaborator Neil Young, “Our House.” In the 1970s and ‘80s, Crosby became notorious for his copious drug use and running afoul of the law; in 2000, he was revealed to have been the sperm donor for two of Melissa Etheridge’s children. Estranged from all his former bandmates by his own account, Crosby spent his later years recording solo albums, playing live shows and using Twitter (now X) to judge his fans’ spliff-rolling skills. “I was tremendously lucky,” he wrote in a memoir, “surviving injury, illness and stupidity.”



Composer Burt Bacharach appears during an interview in Los Angeles...

Composer Burt Bacharach appears during an interview in Los Angeles on July 9, 1979.  Credit: AP/Huynh

Over a career that straddled eight decades, from the 1950s to the dawn of the 2020s, Bacharach wrote hundreds of songs — many with his longtime collaborator Hal David — for musical icons from Nat King Cole to the Carpenters. He started in New York’s famed Brill Building, where in 1961 he and David worked with an unknown backup singer named Dionne Warwick. Her light, sophisticated voice suited their catchy, slightly wistful songs, and that combination would produce more than 20 Top 40 hits for Warwick, including “Walk on By," "I Say a Little Prayer” and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” Bacharach and David also wrote the Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” for the 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” A stylish dresser and ladies’ man (Angie Dickinson was one of his four wives), Bacharach never went out of fashion: He was covered by punk bands like the Stranglers and the Circle Jerks, recorded a 1989 album with Elvis Costello and appeared in all three “Austin Powers” movies. Bacharach at one time owned three businesses in Nassau County: the catering hall Burt Bacharach's Dover House in Westbury, the East Norwich Inn and its adjacent steakhouse, Rothmann's.



Singer Tina Turner performs onstage during the 50th annual Grammy...

Singer Tina Turner performs onstage during the 50th annual Grammy awards held at the Staples Center in February 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

A rock-and-soul powerhouse with a scorching voice, skyscraper legs and volcanic charisma, Turner survived domestic abuse and a midcareer slump to roar back as a superstar in the 1980s. Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, she joined bandleader Ike Turner in the mid-1950s; they created The Ike and Tina Turner Revue, an ensemble famous for its explosive live shows. The two married in 1962 and released several iconic R&B tracks (including “River Deep, Mountain High” and “Proud Mary”), but Ike’s drug use and physical violence led to divorce in 1976. By the early ‘80s, Tina Turner was playing hotels and conventions, but a couple of collaborations with the UK synth-group B.E.F. (covers of “Ball of Confusion” and “Let’s Stay Together”) sparked an astonishing comeback. In short order, the over-40 Turner notched the No. 1 single “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” released the No. 3 album “Private Dancer,” starred in the Mel Gibson film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” performed with Mick Jagger at Live Aid, played multiple world tours and became one of MTV’s hottest stars. “The world is not perfect,” Turner told Rolling Stone in 1986. “And all of that is in my performance.” 



Tony Bennett performs at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards during...

Tony Bennett performs at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards during the second day of the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 27, 2015 in New York City.  Credit: Getty Images/JP Yim

He was a tireless torchbearer of the Great American Songbook, a consummate jazz vocalist who stayed the course through rock, punk and hip-hop — and found himself embraced by new generations. From his first recordings in the 1950s, the Queens-born singer established an easy, approachable style that would change little over the next 70 years. He scored a hit with 1962’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” — it would become his signature song — but Bennett floundered in the ‘70s as rock supplanted jazz. In the 1990s, under his son Danny’s management, Bennett reintroduced himself to younger audiences, singing classic songs on David Letterman’s late-night show and playing alternative rock festivals. A 1994 appearance on "MTV Unplugged" cemented his authentic hipster cred (“I’ve been unplugged my whole career,” he cracked) and launched a string of albums that included duets with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Queen Latifah. After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Bennett performed two farewell shows, with Lady Gaga, in August 2021 at Radio City Music Hall. Their final night reportedly earned 27 standing ovations. “I wanted to sing the great songs,” Bennett said in his 1998 autobiography, “songs that I felt really mattered to people.” 



Jimmy Buffett performing on NBC's "Today" show in New York....

Jimmy Buffett performing on NBC's "Today" show in New York. Buffett, who popularized beach bum soft rock with the escapist Caribbean-flavored song “Margaritaville” and turned that celebration of loafing into an empire of restaurants, resorts and frozen concoctions, died on Sept. 1, 2023.  Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Charles Sykes

Strumming a guitar, backed by the steel drums of his Coral Reefer Band and singing tunes about surf and sand, Buffett cast himself as the chilled-out Mayor of “Margaritaville” — the title of his signature song — even while managing a $1 billion business empire that made him one of the world’s wealthiest celebrities. The longtime North Haven resident was born in Mississippi, raised in Alabama, busked in New Orleans and spent time in Nashville before drifting down to Key West, Florida. After a few middling albums he released 1977’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” which produced the Top Ten hit “Margaritaville,” a wry ode to the beach-bum lifestyle. Buffett soon drew a faithful fanbase, known as Parrotheads, who showed up to his concerts wearing toy parrots, flamingoes and other tropical tropes on their heads. Meanwhile, he expanded his brand into salsa, tequila, restaurants, resorts, cruise lines, clothing and even home décor. “I try to make it at least 50/50 fun to work,” he said, “and so far it’s worked out.” 



Ireland's Sinead O'Connor performs songs from her new "Theology" double...

Ireland's Sinead O'Connor performs songs from her new "Theology" double CD at New York's Sirius Satellite Radio studios in New York in June 2007. Credit: RICHARD DREW

With piercing green eyes, buzzed hair and a voice of startling emotional power, O’Connor cut a memorable figure in the pop world of the 1990s. Born in Dublin to an abusive mother, she was an unruly teenager who spent time in a church-sponsored institution before launching her musical career. Her 1990 album “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” rocketed her to stardom on the strength of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a Prince cover that she made indelibly her own. That No. 1 hit also marked the beginning of her lifelong struggle to reconcile the demands of stardom with her personal integrity. On “Saturday Night Live” in 1992, she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II. She followed an erratic muse, releasing albums of jazz standards, Irish folk and reggae. In recent years she announced she’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; she also converted to Islam. Last year, her 17-year-old son, Shane, took his own life. “Everyone wants a pop star, see?” O’Connor wrote in her 2021 memoir, but she insisted: “I never signed anything that said I would be a good girl.”


Singer, actor, activist

Spingarn Medal honoree Harry Belafonte poses for a portrait during...

Spingarn Medal honoree Harry Belafonte poses for a portrait during the 44th NAACP Image Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on February 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  Credit: Charley Gallay

He started out singing lilting calypso ditties, but Belafonte held to a serious mission: racial equality and civil rights. Harlem-born and raised partly in Jamaica, Belafonte served in World War II before returning to New York, where began singing to support his acting career. He was successful at both, appearing in Broadway plays and scoring the 1956 million-selling LP “Calypso,” which featured his signature hit, “The Banana Boat Song (Day-O).” Leveraging his star power, Belafonte vocally supported the Civil Rights movement, bankrolled Freedom Rides and marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. He starred in roughly a dozen films, including two under the direction of his friend Sidney Poitier (1972’s “Buck and the Preacher” and 1974’s “Uptown Saturday Night”). He was also the driving force behind “We Are the World,” the star-studded song that raised funds for Africa in 1985. More important than any one film or song, though, was Belafonte’s symbolic power as a successful Black entertainer who raised his voice to address the issues of the day. “I wasn’t an artist who’d become an activist,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “I was an activist who’d become an artist.”



Though born in Canada, of Mohawk and Jewish descent, Robertson helped define the rootsy, folksy music known as Americana. He developed his chops with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks in the early 1960s but after a few years the Hawks left their nests. They backed Bob Dylan, then holed up in a Saugerties house dubbed Big Pink to record the 1968 album “Music From Big Pink,” released under their audacious new name — The Band. (Robertson wrote one of its best-known songs, “The Weight.”)  A slot at the famed 1969 Woodstock festival followed, as did several albums and the cover of Time magazine. The Band’s farewell show at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom was captured in Martin Scorsese’s 1978 film “The Last Waltz” (although The Band, like so many, would later reunite). Robertson also worked with Scorsese as either a music supervisor or composer on many films, including this year’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Robertson’s music, the director said, “seemed to come from the deepest place at the heart of this continent, its traditions and tragedies and joys.”



His stage name included “yogurt,” spelled backward, in tribute to a favorite food — just one example of the offbeat humor this rapper brought to his genre. Born David Jolicoeur in Brooklyn, he moved to Long Island as a boy and in 1988 teamed up with local pals Kelvin Mercer (aka Posdnuos) and Vincent Mason, (aka Maseo) to form De La Soul, an upbeat, sample-happy hip-hop trio based in Amityville. Their debut album, 1989’s “Three Feet High and Rising,” produced by fellow Amityviller Prince Paul, became a hip-hop classic and spawned a Top 40 hit, “Me, Myself & I.” Trugoy, who in recent years had talked openly about his struggles with congestive heart failure, was a true booster for Long Island: “It broadened our horizons,” he told The New York Times in 2000. “We had the opportunity to soak in a lot more. And that’s why we are who we are today.” 



Jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter performs during a concert...

Jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter performs during a concert in the Kursaal auditorium as part of the 52th edition of San Sebastian Jazz Festival, in San Sebastian, Spain in July 2017. Credit: Juan Herrero/EPA-EFE/Shutterstoc/Juan Herrero/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A tenor saxophonist who played with a searching intelligence, Shorter was a consistent presence in jazz for more than 50 years. He played with two of the most elite groups — Art Blakey and His Jazz Messengers, and the Miles Davis Quartet — and composed many enduring standards, including “Footprints,” “Black Nile” and “Nefertiti.” During rock’s ascendent years, Shorter pivoted, forming the commercially successful jazz-rock fusion band Weather Report. He also contributed the spiraling sax solo on Steely Dan’s 1977 masterpiece “Aja.” Active well into his 80s, Shorter received a lifetime achievement honor from the Recording Academy in 2015 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2016. He was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 2018. “The word ‘jazz,’ to me,” he once said, “only means ‘I dare you.’” 



With a mellifluous voice and a gift for writing melancholy melodies, the Canadian-born Lightfoot became a soft-rock luminary during the 1970s thanks to a string of hits, including “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” “Carefree Highway” and “Rainy Day People.” His 1976 ballad “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” inspired by a freighter that sank in Lake Superior the year before, became a No. 2 hit despite its epic length (the pared-down single version still lasted nearly six minutes). Lightfoot was beloved by his fellow musicians: Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, Olivia Newton-John, Glen Campbell, Bob Dylan and even The Dandy Warhols covered his songs. In 1986, Lightfoot was inducted into what’s now the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.



The feathery voice behind the 1964 hit single “The Girl From Ipanema,” Gilberto helped bring the sound of Brazilian bossa nova to American shores. Raised in Rio de Janeiro, she was married at 20 to João Gilberto, a guitarist whose understated style was beginning to define the bossa nova sound. In 1963, while recording an album with bandleader Stan Getz, João asked his wife to contribute a few lines in English to the otherwise Portuguese-language “The Girl from Ipanema.” The result was a smash that reached No. 5 on the Billboard charts. Though the marriage wouldn’t last much longer, Gilberto’s career flourished: She recorded further with Getz, then with Gil Evans, Quincy Jones and even George Michael (on a cover of the bossa nova classic “Desafinado”). In 2008, she received a Latin Grammy for lifetime achievement.



He was the guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for Television, an early but possibly mislabeled punk band that sprang up in late ‘70s New York. A private-school kid raised in Delaware, Thomas Joseph Miller borrowed his stage name from the French poet Paul Verlaine. His band — which initially included the punk firebrand Richard Hell — played the same grungy downtown clubs as The Ramones, but Television crafted a clean, sophisticated sound defined by Verlaine’s desperate voice and precise, distortion-free guitar. The band's 1977 debut album, “Marquee Moon,” remains a masterpiece of the era, widely admired — if never exactly imitated — by generations of rockers.




Norman Lear was the producer of TV's "All in the Family"...

Norman Lear was the producer of TV's "All in the Family" and an influential liberal advocate. Credit: AP

 In the early 1970s, America seem tuned to one show — "All in the Family." With that groundbreaking series, Lear found a way to explore the great national/cultural divide that still resonates comedically to this day. But Lear's legacy was far more profound than one show. He used his influence and drive to address American TV's racial iniquity, too. Until "Sanford and Son", "Good Times" and "The Jeffersons" — each of which he developed and produced — U.S. audiences had never seen prime-time shows with all-Black (or mostly Black) casts. He made certain they finally would. Raised in Hartford, he served as a crewman on a Flying Fortress with the 772nd Bombardment Squadron and on the 463rd Bombardment Group that flew 52 missions. After World War II, he was a writer for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Humane, generous, thoughtful and funny — like all of his series — Lear once told Newsday that he has his own "bumper sticker belief: We have to enjoy our common humanity."



Matthew Perry, who starred Chandler Bing in the hit series...

Matthew Perry, who starred Chandler Bing in the hit series “Friends,” has died. He was 54.  Credit: Brian Ach/Invision/AP/Brian Ach

When Perry first saw Marta Kauffman and David Crane's script for "Friends" in the early '90s, he noted "it was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms" while "one character in particular stood out to me: It wasn’t that I thought I could ‘play’ Chandler. I was Chandler.” He was indeed, and like all venerated characters on culturally transcendent sitcoms, Perry was to become inseparable from his creation over its 10-year run. He was rhetorically the fastest of the six main "Friends" characters, by design and of necessity: "I'm not great at the advice," he once very famously observed. "Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" That sarcasm was both shield and sword. A man-child who hid behind wordplay, there was something in his exuberance and charm — and early in that run, his sheer physical vitality — that turned Chandler into arguably the most important character on what would become one of the most beloved sitcoms in NBC history.



Actress Cindy Williams smiles as she receives her star on...

Actress Cindy Williams smiles as she receives her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles in August 2004. Credit: AP/Damian Dovarganes

Cindy Williams appeared in a pair of Oscar-nominated films ("The Conversation," "American Graffiti") before getting the call to join (briefly) ABC's "Happy Days" alongside friend and writing partner Penny Marshall as a pair of "fast girls" and one-off foils opposite series standout Henry Winkler. They stood out instead, and got their own spinoff the following year — "Laverne & Shirley," an instant hit that turned Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Wilhelmina Feeney into a pair of the biggest female comedy stars since America loved Lucy. In an interview with the TV Academy Foundation, Williams said "we made sure the joke was always on us, we never made fun of anyone else. We also wanted to keep the wolf nipping at our heels, like how are we going to pay the rent … keep it grounded in that." The formula lasted seven seasons, although in the eighth and final one, Shirley went solo, after Williams had a dispute with the studio over her pregnancy. "She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved," said her family upon her death in January. Fans could hardly disagree.


Comic, actor

Best known as Det. John Munch on two classic NBC cop procedurals, "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," the "Belz" was first and foremost a stand-up, beginning with Groove Tube, a comedy troupe that mocked various TV conventions which itself turned into an underground movie called "The Groove Tube" — which Belzer said was the inspiration for "Saturday Night Live." He was an important figure in the early days of "SNL," as a warm-up comic where "I just kind of did what I did in nightclubs," he explained. TV stardom came much later in the form of a mordant wisecracker unfazed by death or the human condition. Munch was funny but he was also complicated — a character with a back story that forced you to wonder how he got to be Munch. There was, in fact, a lot of the Belz in his iconic character — hardscrabble upbringing in Bridgeport, Connecticut, beset by family tragedy, a struggle to make a living. Munch was the meal ticket: "He is a great character for me to play, it’s fun for me," he told the Comic's Comic. "I’m not upset about being typecast at all."



Andre Braugher holds the award for outstanding lead actor in...

Andre Braugher holds the award for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or a movie for his work on "Thief" at the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Aug. 2006 in Los Angeles.  Credit: AP/REED SAXON

The Juilliard-trained Braugher was the thinking actor's actor who could play anything from Henry V in the 1996 edition of Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park to pragmatic police captain Raymond Holt on the sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." With his deadpan deliveries, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" showed Braugher's gift for garnering big laughs, especially when sparring with co-star Andy Samberg as goofball Det. Jake Parelta. Braugher was even more memorable as fiery, Jesuit-educated Det. Frank Pembleton on the NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Streets," a role that garnered him two Emmys. “It’s been an interesting career," Braugher told Variety in 2020, "but I think it could have been larger. I think it could have spanned more disciplines: directing, producing, all these other different things. But it would have been at the expense of my own life.”



Prolific book author, TV commentator for WNYW/5, and even stunt...

Prolific book author, TV commentator for WNYW/5, and even stunt candidate for president in 1964, Marvin Kitman had a colorful and expansive career but it was at Long Island's paper of record, Newsday, and in that column — "The Marvin Kitman Show'' — where he achieved renown and notoriety too. Credit: see caption/see caption

Prolific book author, TV commentator for WNYW/5, and even stunt candidate for president in 1964, Kitman had a colorful and expansive career but it was at Long Island's paper of record, Newsday, and in that column — "The Marvin Kitman Show'' — where he achieved renown. He produced some 5,786 of those as its so-called "executive producer" starting in 1969. From that bully pulpit he launched a slash-and-burn assault on bad TV, wrongheaded "weather-guessers," and idiotic local news "sweeps"' stories. Kitman's columns focused mostly on the three commercial networks, local affiliates and public TV. He torched all of them, in a rat-a-tat joke-a-minute style that was inimitably his own. To his detractors, he could be mean-spirited, but to his fans — who far outnumbered them — he was a bracing tonic who laughed at the inanities pouring out of their TV sets every night.



American actor Robert Blake arrives at London Airport from Munich,...

American actor Robert Blake arrives at London Airport from Munich, for the premiere of his latest film 'In Cold Blood', 13th March 1968. Credit: Getty Images/J. Wilds

Born Michael “Mickey” Gubitosi in Depression-era New Jersey, Blake had one celebrated role (the 1967 film "In Cold Blood"), one famous role (TV's "Baretta") and 162 other roles in a career that began in 1939 when he was a semiregular in the "Our Gang" shorts. Then, there was the off-screen notoriety: On May 4, 2001, his wife of six months, Bonny Lee Bakley, was gunned down, and four years later, Blake was finally acquitted of murder and of hiring a hit man for the murder. He was found responsible for her death in a civil suit. His career effectively ended in 1997, after appearing as a "mystery man" In David Lynch's "Lost Highway." His Tony Baretta was one of those TV cops that thrived in the '70s: A street-tough wiseguy with a twist (he was often in disguise) and an unusual sidekick, Fred, the cockatoo.


Actor, musician

Trained as a classical pianist, Baltimore-born Reddick struggled to find work as a musician, then applied to Yale Drama where he got an MFA. From there, the doors opened wide: "Oz," "The Wire," "Lost," "Fringe," "Bosch," and as one of the leads in the "John Wick" big screen franchise. Through this long run, Reddick also continued his (side) career as a musician, releasing a full album in 2007, "Contemplations & Remembrance" (on which he also sings — and yes, Reddick had a fine voice). Versatile but cerebral, Reddick once explained of his characters that "I played a lot of intimidating authority figures that talk a lot" — which is just about right. Deputy Commissioner for Operations, later Police Commissioner, Cedric Daniels on "The Wire" often felt like a counterbalance — a centering force amid the chaos, the rare figure (and character) who sought genuine justice, as a drowning man grasping at straws. As top cop Irvin Irving on "Bosch," he had hidden facets and agendas — never an idealist, always a pragmatist.



Talk show host

Talk show host Jerry Springer speaks onstage at the Comedy...

Talk show host Jerry Springer speaks onstage at the Comedy Central Roast Of David Hasselhoff held at Sony Pictures Studios on August 1, 2010 in Culver City, California.  Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

Born in London to Holocaust survivors, Springer ended up in Cincinnati where a promising political career was nearly cut short by scandal (he had been consorting with prostitutes) but where he later became mayor — by most accounts, a pretty good one. His talk show career was another story: Launched in 1991 with semi-lofty intentions, "The Jerry Springer Show" went down-market in 1994, and never looked back (it aired a total of 27 seasons). Topics included “Stripper Wars” and “I Want My Man to Stop Watching Porn," while guests destroyed an untold number of chairs as bodyguards offered lackadaisical mediation efforts. His show was the trashiest of the talk show trashers, but Springer (characteristically) saw the idealistic side: "Along came our show, with another view of other people in our country who are finally given exposure on this medium," he told "Men's Health" in 2015. "In the end we’re all alike. Some have more money. They dress better, have a nicer car or whatever. But everyone wants to be happy and everyone has had a moment or two they regret."  


TV meteorologist, science reporter

With the bearing of a professor and air of an enthusiast, Dr. Frank — as he was also known — came to personify TV's idea of what a meteorologist could be and, importantly, should be. A meteorologist with the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, and after the war with the Weather Bureau in New York, Field brought a depth of expertise to a role that scarcely existed in early TV. Only after Field joined WNBC (the call letters were then WRCA) in 1958, would weather become a core part of any local news broadcasts, and in time, among the most popular parts too. Field — a longtime resident of Bellmore and Massapequa — also built a national profile during the 1960s when he became a semiregular presence on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," which originated out of Studio 6B at 30 Rockefeller Center, not far from the Channel 4 newsroom. As a health and science reporter — his pioneering role for local TV — Field became TV's most prominent booster of the Heimlich maneuver.


Game show host, activist

Legendary game show host Bob Barker, 83, smiles as he...

Legendary game show host Bob Barker, 83, smiles as he takes questions from the media after taping his final episode of "The Price Is Right" in Los Angeles in June 2007.  Credit: AP/Damian Dovarganes

Admired for his animal-rights activism, it was that extraordinary run as a game show host — on "The Price is Right'' (1972-2007) and "Truth or Consequences" (1956-75) — that secured his lasting renown. He was born to host, earning 12 Emmys and a pair of Guinness World records as proof — "TV's most durable performer" and "most generous host." He was also pageant host for Miss USA and Miss Universe for decades until he severed ties because contestants wore animal furs. When he died, PETA noted that he had "urged families to stay away from SeaWorld, demanded the closure of cruel bear pits masquerading as tourist attractions, implored Hollywood to take action to protect animals used in film and TV and, as a Navy veteran, called for the end of military medical drills on live animals." No TV host ever put his cause before his day job as reliably as Barker. Perhaps that was the secret to his success: Viewers trusted him, or as he told the St. Petersburg Times in 2003, “So many hosts will ask a question of a contestant and pay no attention because they’re so busy thinking about what they, the host, will say next." Instead, he listened to them — and reflected their joy, too.



Actor David Mccallum poses, on June 10, 2009 during a...

Actor David Mccallum poses, on June 10, 2009 during a photocall presenting the TV serie "Navy NCIS : Naval Criminal Investigative Service" at the 49th Monte Carlo Television Festival in Monaco.  Credit: AFP via Getty Images/VALERY HACHE

Scottish actor McCallum, a longtime Atlantic Beach resident, had two huge roles on American TV, both separated by 40 years. He was a heartthrob and hero to a generation of boomers who grew up  watching "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." in the '60s, and was rediscovered by that generation and others on "NCIS" as Donald "Ducky" Mallard starting in 2003. As Ducky, he was the bow-tied autopsy expert — a little bit patrician and little bit befuddled — but as Illya Kuryakin on "U.N.C.L.E." he was the mop-headed, swashbuckling secret agent, and vaguely redolent of those other swashbucklers from across the pond (George, Paul, Ringo and John). He was nicknamed "the Blond Beatle," once telling the newspaper, The Scotsman, that the NYPD's mounted unit once had to rescue him from rampaging fans at Macy's.



Smothers and his younger sibling, Dick, originally planned to be folk musicians, but as they began adding more jokes into their act, the comedy duo known as the Smothers Brothers was born. Dick was the straight man, while Tom was the goofball, who always carped “Mom always liked you best” whenever his brother made him mad. After a short-lived CBS sitcom (1965-66), the duo scored a success in the late '60s with “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” despite frequent battles with CBS censors over their jokes about sex, drugs, religion and the Vietnam War. “When the Smothers Brothers came on the air we had no political point of view or social consciousness,” Tom said. “It just evolved as the show was on the air.”


Actor, ThighMaster pitchwoman

Actress Suzanne Somers, known for her roles in "Three's Company"...

Actress Suzanne Somers, known for her roles in "Three's Company" and "Step by Step," died on October 15 after a battle with breast cancer.  Credit: Getty Images/Vince Bucci

One of Hollywood's true survivors, Somers endured an abusive upbringing, a bitter divorce from "Three's Company," and a 23-year battle with breast cancer. But it was the ThighMaster — remember the ThighMaster? — that made her millions, and far (far) more famous than Chrissy Snow" on "Company." She told Entrepreneur Magazine in 2020, "You know, I've written 27 books on health. I've done 16 or 18 years of series television, I've given lectures — and the thing I am best known for is the ThighMaster!..'You just put it between your knees and squeeze.' It was the right product, the right place, the right timing, the right spokesperson — the right everything. It was a perfect storm." Speaking of storms, she boycotted "Three's Company" over a salary dispute (she wanted equal pay to what co-star John Ritter was making). As it turned out, not a bad career move at all — and she did end up back on ABC in the long-running hit "Step by Step" (1991-98) with Patrick Duffy.




Tony award-winning, stage and screen actress Frances Sternhagen has died...

Tony award-winning, stage and screen actress Frances Sternhagen has died at the age of 93.  Credit: Getty Images/Scott Wintrow

Though she is probably best known for her Emmy-nominated turn as Cliff Clavin's mother on the sitcom "Cheers," the bulk of Sternhagen's career was spent on the stage. A character actor through and through, Sternhagen racked up seven Tony nominations for her work on Broadway, including two wins as best featured actress for her roles in Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor" in 1974 and "The Heiress" 21 years later. Two of her most celebrated stage creations were Ethel Thayer in "On Golden Pond" (on Broadway) and the title character in "Driving Miss Daisy" (Off-Broadway). Sternhagen took it in her stride when she was passed over for Katharine Hepburn and Jessica Tandy, respectively, when both plays were made into films. “Making a movie is an expensive proposition,” she said in 1992. “If they can get Katharine Hepburn, they’re going to take Katharine Hepburn. It hurts a little, but I’ve gotten used to it really.”


Artistic director

Todd Haimes poses backstage at the 28th Annual Lucille Lortel...

Todd Haimes poses backstage at the 28th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 5, 2013 in New York City.  Credit: Jemal Countess

As the driving force of Roundabout Theatre Company, Haimes rescued the company from bankruptcy and established it as one of the most influential organizations both on and off Broadway. Haimes came on board as managing director in 1983 as Roundabout was facing financial ruin. He put the company in the black and was made producing director in 1989. In his new post, he helped Roundabout open its first Broadway theater in 1991 and nine years later opened the American Airlines Theatre with Roundabout's revival of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" starring Nathan Lane. Among his many innovations for Roundabout was implementing the Early Curtain series in 1993, with 7 p.m. performances to attract the after-work crowd. He also created programs and pricing schemes aimed at LGBTQ+ and single theatergoers as well as families.



Humanity, optimism and joy were among the hallmarks of Harnick's lyrics, especially when it comes to the songs from his most famous work "Fiddler on the Roof.” Numbers like "Tradition," If I Were a Rich Man" and "Sunrise Sunset" displayed his gift for insightful lyrics that expressed characters' hopes and fears without veering into sentimentality. Though "Fiddler" was his masterwork, Harnick also wrote the lyrics for several other Broadway hits including the Pulitzer Prize winner "Fiorello!," "She Loves Me" and "The Apple Tree." Harnick divided his time between New York City and East Hampton, where he spent much time on the tennis court and swimming in the ocean. Among his many honors, Harnick was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 and won llifetime achievement Drama League and Tony Awards.



The Fantasticks Tom Jones attends the 2010 Lucille Lortel Awards...

The Fantasticks Tom Jones attends the 2010 Lucille Lortel Awards at Terminal 5 on May 2, 2010 in New York City.  Credit: WireImage/Randy Brooke

Who could forget "Try to Remember," the hit song with lyrics by Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt from "The Fantasticks?" Not audiences, who loved the Off-Broadway smash, which ran from 1960 to 2012, to become the longest-running musical in history with 17,162 performances. Jones, who also wrote the show's book about two neighboring fathers who fake a feud as a means to get their children to fall in love, originated the role of Henry (the Old Actor) using the stage name Thomas Bruce. Though "The Fantasticks" was his claim to fame, Jones also served as lyricist and librettist on Broadway's "I Do! I Do!" starring Mary Martin and Robert Preston, which ran from December 1966 to June 1968. In 2022, a nonprofit company in Michigan presented Jones' update of "The Fantasticks," which featured two gay men as the young couple.



In a career that ranged from voicing a Gingerbread Man to playing Ralph Kramden in a musical version of "The Honeymooners," McGrath was a consummate comic actor. His greatest moments were on Broadway, where he originated the role of King Arthur's devoted manservant Patsy in "Spamalot" in 2005. In 2012, he won the trifecta — Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards — for his performance as the wisecracking bootlegger Cookie McGee in "Nice Work If You Can Get It." McGrath's musical and comic talents were also used to great effect in several productions of "Forbidden Broadway," a revue featuring parodies of popular Broadway shows.


Theater benefactor

Laura Pels attends the Premiere of Sarah Ruhl's "Letters From...

Laura Pels attends the Premiere of Sarah Ruhl's "Letters From Max" at Signature Theatre on Feb. 27 in New York City.  Credit: Getty Images for Signature Theat/Johnny Nunez

Pels had a lifelong passion for theater and even studied acting in Paris in her 20s. Ultimately, she decided performing wasn't the right path for her, Instead she got married — first to United Nations translator Adolph Meeius and after their divorce to media executive Donald A. Pels. After they split in 1993, she used the money from her divorce settlement to establish the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre with the goal of nurturing serious theater. In 1995, Roundabout Theatre Company opened a new space, the Laura Pels Theatre, in her honor. Throughout her lifetime, Pels donated an estimated $5 million to nonprofit theaters throughout the country.



St. John started out as a child actor on screen with small roles in "Destry Rides Again" (1939) and "Jane Eyre" (1944), before making her Broadway debut at 16 after being discovered by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The two though she'd be perfect as Louise, the daughter of carnival barker Billy Bigelow, in their musical "Carousel." She scored a hit and the duo cast her again in 1949 as Liat, the Polynesian daughter of Bloody Mary, in the songwriting duo's smash "South Pacific." Her big moment in the show came when she performed "Happy Talk" using her hands while Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary sang the number. Her success in that show led to a brief career in films with roles in "Dream Wife" opposite Cary Grant, the biblical epic "The Robe" and two "Tarzan" films with Gordon Scott. She retired from acting after making the 1962 cult favorite "Horror Hotel" to focus on raising her children.




Vida Blue of the San Francisco Giants poses for a...

Vida Blue of the San Francisco Giants poses for a portrait before a 1979 game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images

One of the best starting pitchers of the’70s, Blue was 22 when he won the American League MVP and Cy Young Awards in 1971 after going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA, 301 strikeouts and 24 complete games (including eight shutouts) for the Oakland Athletics. He remains the youngest to win the MVP award and is one of just 11 pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young in the same season. He won 20 or more games for the A’s three times and was a key member of three straight World Series title teams from 1972-74. Blue pitched a no-hitter in his fourth career start in 1970 and pitched the first five innings of a combined no-hitter in 1975. Blue, however, had controversy throughout his career. He held out after his MVP season, but eventually signed a $50,000 one-year deal. Blue didn’t make his first start of the 1972 season until May 24 and ended up 6-10. He was one of a handful of A’s players to clash with owner Charlie Finley, who twice tried to trade Blue in deals that were stopped by Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Finley eventually traded Blue to the San Francisco Giants before the 1978 season. Blue’s career was slowed in the 1980s due to drug problems, with MLB handing Blue a one-year suspension that forced him to miss the entire 1984 season.


Football player

Before he was one of the most dominant and unstoppable athletes of the 20th century, Brown was a star on the playing fields of Long Island. He moved to Long Island here when he was eight years old8, living first in Great Neck and then in Manhasset. It was in Manhasset, where Brown started the path toward legendary status.  At Manhasset High School, he averaged 14.9 yards per carry in football, 38 points per game in basketball and threw no-hitters as a member of the baseball team. In all, Brown won 13 varsity letters playing for Manhasset in football, lacrosse, basketball, baseball and track and field. His best sport was lacrosse, and he played that along with basketball and track at Syracuse, earning letters in all three sports. Football, however, was the sport that made Brown an icon. He became an All-American running back at Syracuse, ultimately landing a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. He brought his bruising and punishing running style to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. Brown played just nine seasons from 1957 to 1965 and retired at the young age of 29. But he retired  as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher (12,312 yards) and with the single-season rushing record (1,863 yards in 14 games in 1963). Both marks have since been eclipsed, but Brown remains arguably the greatest running back in NFL history. Brown would lead the NFL is rushing a remarkable eight times. His durability was undeniable, as he never missed a game due to injury, playing in 118 straight. Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. After retiring, Brown had a very successful movie career, appearing in over 30 films. He and also became a prominent Civil Rights activist. In 1967, Brown organized “The Cleveland Summit,” bringing together the nation’s top Black athletes, including Bill Russell and Lew Alcindor, who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to support Muhammad Ali’s fight against serving in the Vietnam War. In his later life, Brown worked to curb gang violence in Los Angeles and worked to help inner-city youth and ex-convicts. But Brown’s later life also included a troubling history of domestic violence. He was arrested six times, mostly on charges of hitting women.


Football player

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus watches during the first...

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus watches during the first half of an NFL football game between the Bears and the New York Giants in Chicago, Nov. 24, 2019.  Credit: AP/Paul Sancya

The Hall of Famer was arguably the greatest middle linebacker in NFL history, a ferocious and intimidating figure who wreaked havoc on the playing field over nine seasons with the Chicago Bears. Butkus is credited with changing the linebacker position with his combination of athleticism, speed, power and toughness. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. Butkus was a first-team All-Pro five times and made the Pro Bowl eight times, playing on mostly losing teams for the Bears and never reaching the playoffs. Butkus was drafted in the first round by the Bears of the NFL and the Denver Broncos, then a member of the AFL. He opted to stay with the Bears, who had won the NFL championship in 1963, and legendary coach George Halas. He intercepted five passes and recovered six fumbles in his rookie season. The Bears went 9-5 that season but did not qualify for the playoffs. Chicago won just 39 more games during Butkus’ career.  Following his retirement after the 1973 season due to knee problems, Butkus had a successful career with appearances in films, sitcoms and on the panel of CBS’ “The NFL Today” pregame show, and working as a radio analyst for Bears games.


Baseball player and coach

Pitcher Roger Craig of the New York Mets, March 1963. 

Pitcher Roger Craig of the New York Mets, March 1963.  Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Craig’s career was highlighted by winning three World Series as a player and another as a coach. But he will always have a special place in New York baseball history. Craig was an original Met and the big-name starting pitcher on the 1962 team that went 40-120-1. Craig made 33 starts in 1962, going 10-24 with a 4.51 ERA, 13 complete games and three saves. In what would be his final season with the Mets in 1963, Craig went 5-22 with a 3.78 ERA, 14 complete games and two saves. Before the Mets, Craig had success with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He helped Brooklyn win the 1955 World Series as a rookie, starting and winning Game 5 against the Yankees. Craig was again a part of New York baseball history in 1957, starting the final game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He moved with the Dodgers to Los Angeles and won another World Series title in 1959 and then helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the 1964 World Series over the Yankees. Craig got the win in relief in Game 4. He won his first World Series as a coach for the Detroit Tigers in 1984. Craig won the NL pennant as the manager for the San Francisco Giants in 1989 but lost in four games to the Oakland Athletics in the earthquake-delayed World Series.


Basketball coach

Crum holds two remarkable spots in college basketball history. A native of San Fernando, California, Crum, who was guard, transferred from a local junior college in 1956 and played two seasons for UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden. After working as a graduate assistant at UCLA and making another coaching stop, Wooden hired Crum in 1968 as an assistant coach and top recruiter. The Bruins were then in the middle of a historical stretch of winning 10 NCAA titles in 12 years. Crum was credited with the recruitment of future Hall of Fame center Bill Walton to UCLA. In Crum’s three season on the coaching staff, the Bruins went 86-4 and won three NCAA titles. Crum was then hired as the head coach at Louisville in 1971. He would go on to lead Louisville to two national titles, six Final Fours and 23 NCAA Tournament appearances in 30 seasons. Louisville twice was the subject of NCAA investigations into its men’s basketball program before Crum retired in 2001. He was replaced by Rick Pitino. Crum ended his career with 675 wins, good for 15th all-time at the time. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994 and was also inducted into UCLA’s athletics Hall of Fame in 1990 as a player and coach. Louisville’s home court bears Crum’s name and signature.


Football coach

Hall of Fame head coach Bud Grant acknowledges the crowd...

Hall of Fame head coach Bud Grant acknowledges the crowd before speaking as the Minnesota Vikings honor their 1969 team during halftime of the game against the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium in Sept. 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Credit: Getty Images/Hannah Foslien

The Hall of Fame coach led the Minnesota Vikings to great success in his 18 seasons, but he never was able to win it all. After going 3-8-3 in his first year in 1967 at the age of 40, Grant wouldn’t have another losing season until 1979. During that stretch, the Vikings would win 10 or more games seven times and reach the Super Bowl four times in the 1969, ’73, ’74 and ’76 seasons. Grant and the Vikings, however, lost all four times, including once each to the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. In Grant’s first Super Bowl appearance in 1970, the Vikings lost to Hank Stram and Kansas City. Grant was named NFL coach of the year in 1969. The Vikings were an NFC powerhouse in the 1970s, along with the Dallas Cowboys. From the 1969 season through the 1978 season, the Cowboys and Vikings made nine combined Super Bowl appearance. Grant’s teams of the 1970s were led by Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, and Hall of Fame defensive linemen Carl Eller and Alan Page. When he retired after the 1985 season at 58, Grant was eighth on the NFL’s all-time coaching wins list.


Hockey player

Credit: Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel

Known as “The Golden Jet,” the Hall of Fame winger was a two-time NHL MVP and a key member of Chicago’s Stanley Cup-winning team in 1961. Hull played 16 seasons in the NHL for Chicago, the Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers, scoring 610 goals, and amassing 560 assists in 1,063 regular-season games. Hull is currently 55th in NHL history in career points (1,170), 18th in career goals and 126th in career assists. He had an additional 303 goals playing for Winnipeg over seven seasons when the franchise competed in the World Hockey Association. Hull had 13 goals and 34 assists in his rookie season in 1957-58. But it was a few seasons later when Hull and fellow franchise star Stan Mikita led Chicago to the 1961 Stanley Cup title with a six-game series win over the Detroit Red Wings, the franchise’s third championship. He scored 30 or more goals for 13 straight seasons from 1959-72. In addition to his two Hart trophies as MVP, Hull was a 12-time All-Star, a three-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy as league leader in points, and a one-time winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1965, given for sportsmanship combined with outstanding play. Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, the same year Chicago retired his No. 9 sweater. He battled legal and family issues in his personal life.


Basketball coach

Bobby Knight won the NCAA championship three times at Indiana,...

Bobby Knight won the NCAA championship three times at Indiana, including an undefeated season in 1976. Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images

A complex and complicated figure, Knight would transform Indiana University into a legendary men’s basketball program. Knight won three NCAA national championships before being fired by Indiana president Myles Brand in 2000 due to a pattern of misbehavior, including putting his hands around the neck of player Neil Reed during a practice in 1997. Knight was well known for his volatile temper — he assaulted a police officer in Puerto Rico while coaching the United States in the 1979 Pan-American Games and tossed a plastic chair across the court to protest a call during a game against Purdue. Knight was a reserve player on Ohio State’s 1960 national championship team. His first college coaching job was as an assistant and later as the head coach at Army. Later in his coaching career, he acquired the nickname “The General” for his militaristic image. Knight left Army for Indiana in 1971 and remained there for the next 29 years, winning 902 games with national titles in 1976, ’81 and ’87. He also coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. He later worked as an analyst for ESPN.


Baseball player

Tim McCarver, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' 1967...

Tim McCarver, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' 1967 World Series championship team, takes part in a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the victory before the start of a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox in May 2017 in St. Louis. Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

McCarver was an All-Star during his playing career but made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame for his broadcasting career as the 2012 Ford C. Frick winner. He played 21 seasons as a catcher for four teams but spent most of his time with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. It was with the Cardinals that McCarver had his greatest success as an All-Star in 1966 and ’67 and winning World Series titles in 1964 and ’67. When he moved to the Phillies, McCarver was Hall of Famer Steve Carlton’s primary catcher. McCarver also caught two no-hitters. His broadcasting career started in 1980 with the Phillies and he did national work for NBC, ABC and CBS before joining Fox in 1996 as the network’s lead analyst. He called Mets games from 1983 to ’98 and moved to calling Yankees games from 1999 to ’01. Known for his critical opinions and sharp commentary, he was as revolutionary as a broadcaster as John Madden was for the NFL.



Known best as an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster, Packer covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS over his long television career and had a front-row seat for some of the greatest moments in college basketball history. He worked every Final Four from 1975 – John Wooden’s final national title in his legendary career at UCLA – to 2008. Packer joined NBC in 1974 and worked his first Final Four a year later. He was also in the NBC booth – along with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire – for the 1979 national title game, matching Michigan State and Magic Johnson against Larry Bird and Indiana State, the highest-rated gane in basketball history with approximately 35.1 million viewers. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. Before his broadcasting career, Packer played three seasons at Wake Forest and helped lead the Demon Deacons to the Final Four in 1962.


Baseball player

Joe Pepitone, infielder for the New York Yankees is shown...

Joe Pepitone, infielder for the New York Yankees is shown in March 4, 1964.  Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pepitone played eight seasons with the Yankees as a first baseman and outfielder. He made three straight All-Star Games in the 1960s, including in 1963 and ’64 when the Yankees appeared in their final two World Series before a period of decline for the franchise. The Yankees lost both of those World Series, first a sweep to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963 and followed by a seven-game series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in ‘64. The Yankees made the World Series in Pepitone’s rookie season in 1962, a seven-game series win over the San Francisco Giants, but he didn’t have any plate appearances in the series. He was also a three-time Gold Glove winner at first base. Pepitone made his first All-Star game in 1963 (27 home runs, 89 RBIs and a .271 batting average for the season) and followed that with another All-Star appearance in ’64 (28-100-.251). His third and final All-Star appearance was in 1965 when the Yankees finished the season at 77-85 and in sixth place. After his major league playing career ended in 1973, he signed to play in Japan. Pepitone worked for the Yankees as a hitting coach in the 1980s and received World Series rings as a Yankees executive in 1998 and ’99. His later life was marred by drug and legal trouble in the 1980s and ‘90s.



Tournament leader Betsy Rawls, of South Carolina, drives off the...

Tournament leader Betsy Rawls, of South Carolina, drives off the first tee at the start of the final 18-hole round of the Womens's National Open Golf Championship, June 29, 1957.  Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS/JL

Rawls started out aspiring to be a physicist and was studying at the University of Texas when she began playing golf. That decision would result in a remarkable career that would earn her a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Rawls was a four-time winner of the U.S. Women’s Open. Among her 55 LPGA titles, eight were wins in majors. Her 55 wins and eight majors rank sixth on both lists. She won the Texas Women’s Amateur in 1949 and ’50, and she finished as the runner-up in the 1950 U.S. Women’s Open, losing to Babe Zaharias. Rawls would claim her first U.S. Women’s Open title in 1951, a five-shot win over Louise Suggs. She would go on to win at least once a year from 1951 through 1965. Her last major win came in the 1969 LPGA Championship by four shots. Rawls was the LPGA Tour’s top money winner in 1952 and ’59. She was part of the inaugural class for the LPGA Hall of Fame in 1967. The USGA awarded Rawls its highest honor in 1996 with the Bob Jones Award.


Basketball player

 New York Knicks captain Willis Reed gestures in the locker...

 New York Knicks captain Willis Reed gestures in the locker room after his team defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-99, in the seventh and deciding game of the NBA Finals, at New York's Madison Square Garden in May 1970.  Credit: AP

Reed was a Hall of Fame center, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a league MVP, and a seven-time All-Star, but his most enduring image was an inspirational display of grit that helped the Knicks win their first championship in franchise history. It was in Game 7 of the NBA Finals at Madison Square Garden on May 8, 1970, against Wilt Chamberlain and the Los Angeles Lakers when Reed would enter legendary status. Reed suffered a severe thigh injury in Game 5 of the series and the Knicks had lost Game 6 without Reed (Chamberlain had 45 points and 27 rebounds in Game 6). Reed decided he would try to play in Game 7 and limped onto the court for warmups, firing up the home court and inspiring his teammates. He would score the first four points of the game and that was it. But his defense on Chamberlain and Walt Frazier’s 36-point, 19-assist performance led the Knicks to a 113-99 win. The Knicks selected Reed with the 10th overall pick with the first pick of the second round in the 1965 NBA draft. Reed would win NBA Rookie of the Year honors in the 1964-65 season, averaging 19.5 points and 14.7 rebounds. That season was also his first of seven straight All-Star Game appearances. Reed’s first winning season with the Knicks, however, didn’t come until the 1967-68 season. The Knicks remained a league power throughout the remainder of Reed’s career. Injuries starting to catch up with Reed for the 1972-73 season. He averaged just 11 points during the regular season, but the Knicks made it back to the NBA Finals that season and again beat the Lakers, this time in five games with Reed again winning the Finals MVP award. A serious knee injury forced Reed to retire after the 1973-74 season at the age of 31, having played his entire 10-year career with the Knicks. He averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds in 650 regular-season games. Reed coached the Knicks for two seasons in the late 1970s, worked as an assistant coach at St. John’s, coached at Creighton, and worked as an NBA assistant coach. He also coached the Nets in the late 1980s and was later an executive with the team. Reed was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.


Baseball player

When the greatest defensive players in baseball history are being discussed, it’s hard not to put Robinson at the top of the list. He won a remarkable 16 straight Gold Gloves from 1960 to ’75 during his long career with the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson played in 18 All-Star Games, and was the 1964 AL Most Valuable Player, hitting .318 with 28 home runs and an AL-best 118 RBIs. Robinson spent his entire 23-year career in Baltimore and was known as “Mr. Oriole.” He helped the Orioles win World Series titles in 1966 — a four-game sweep over the Los Angeles Dodgers — and in 1970, when he almost single-handedly helped Baltimore beat the Cincinnati Reds in five games. His enduring image remains in Game 1 of that series when he made a diving backhanded stop of a hard ground ball hit by Lee May, then spun around in foul territory and threw out May at first base. In Game 3, he made a leaping stop of a ground ball hit by Tony Perez to start a double play, snared a slow roller to throw out Tommy Helms, and made a diving catch of a hard-liner hit by Johnny Bench. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.


Baseball player

Former Boston Red Sox player Tim Wakefield looks on before...

Former Boston Red Sox player Tim Wakefield looks on before the start of a baseball game between the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park in June 2022, in Boston.  Credit: AP/Mary Schwalm

The innings-eating knuckleballer had a standout career with the Boston Red Sox, while also carving out an important spot in New York baseball history. In Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series, Wakefield took the mound in relief in the 11th inning against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Aaron Boone hit Wakefield’s first pitch deep into the left field seats to send the Yankees to the World Series and extend the Red Sox’s World Series drought that went back to 1918. Wakefield and the Red Sox got their revenge the following season when they rallied from a 3-0 ALCS deficit and stunned the Yankees in seven games. Wakefield again played a critical role by recording nine outs in extra innings of Game 5. The Red Sox would eventually sweep St. Louis in the World Series. Wakefield was still pitching for the Red Sox when they won the World Series again in 2007. He retired in 2012 seven wins shy of breaking the franchise record.



Former first lady

Jimmy Carter, right, and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, wave together...

Jimmy Carter, right, and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, wave together at the National Convention in Madison Square Garden, July 15, 1976, in New York. Credit: AP/Anonymous

Former President Jimmy Carter’s wife of 77 years was his closest advisor in and out of office, his partner in global humanitarian efforts and an advocate on her own for women, mental health and the elderly. Born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in Plains, Georgia, she met her future husband on a blind date shortly after graduating as high school valedictorian. During Jimmy Carter’s turbulent term in office from 1977 to 1981, she was an activist first lady whom aides quietly referred to as the “co-president.” Behind that Southern charm and shy demeanor were an iron will that had the Washington press corps dubbing her “the Steel Magnolia.” Unlike many other presidential wives, she sat in on cabinet meetings, spoke out on controversial issues and represented her husband on foreign trips. As honorary chairwoman of the President's Commission on Mental Health, she became the only first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to address a congressional panel. After leaving Washington, the couple co-founded The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, raised funds to aid the mentally ill and homeless, and wielded hammers for Habitat for Humanity. She was back in Washington in 2007 to push Congress for improved mental health coverage.



Visiting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a press...

Visiting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a press conference with his Israeli counterpart and host Benjamin Netanyahu following their joint cabinet meeting at Netanyahu's office on February 2, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel.  Credit: Getty Images/David Silverman

Italy’s longest-serving prime minister rose to power as the face of Berlusconism and fell from grace during the “bunga bunga” sex scandal. Born in Milan, Berlusconi entered show biz as a cruise ship crooner and never left the spotlight in a career marked by scandal and a Teflon talent for survival. Berlusconi parlayed successful real estate holdings into a media empire, joining the billionaire club as the owner of Italy’s three biggest private TV networks, which introduced Italian viewers to American imports like “Baywatch.” Berlusconism described the positions of the center-right party he founded in 1994 and of his policies during three terms as prime minister. His followers' loyalty — he once bragged that "the majority of Italians in their hearts would like to be like me” — was tested continuously with titillating scandals, verbal gaffes and corruption trials. The latter were either dismissed on appeal or because the statute of limitations had run out, but the Teflon eventually cracked. He resigned in 2011, dogged by a deepening debt crisis, an economic slump and longtime allegations of liaisons with young women and minors at what the Italian media labeled  “bunga bunga” sex parties.


Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is shown before administering...

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is shown before administering the oath of office to members of the Texas Supreme Court in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 6, 2003.  Credit: AP/Harry Cabluck

The first woman to serve on the high court was a self-described “cowgirl” known for her independent spirit, respect for legal precedent and moderate conservative views. The granddaughter of a pioneer, O’Connor grew up on her family’s Arizona ranch, riding horses and rounding up cattle. O’Connor graduated near the top of her law school class and served as an Arizona judge and legislator. But she was virtually unknown outside her state when then-President Ronald Reagan nominated her to the Supreme Court in 1981, and she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. In the ensuing decades, O’Connor was one of the most powerful women in America, leveraging her centrist position to forge majorities in a number of landmark cases. In one consequential decision, in 1992, she led the five-justice majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, reaffirming the core of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had established a constitutional right to abortion. (Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.) In 2000, O’Connor was part of the 5-4 majority in Bush v. Gore, which resolved the disputed 2000 presidential election in favor of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore. O’Connor retired from the bench in 2006.



Henry Kissinger, professor of government at Harvard University, is seen...

Henry Kissinger, professor of government at Harvard University, is seen in December 1968. Credit: AP/Anonymous

The gravel-voiced former Secretary of State earned praise, condemnation and the Nobel Peace Prize as a dominant force in U.S. foreign policy during and after the Cold War. Kissinger, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, and . Hhis family fled the Nazis in 1938 and settled in Manhattan. The Harvard-educated Kissinger graduate joined the Nixon White House in 1969 as national security advisor and was appointed secretary of state in 1973. As the president’s chief foreign affairs advisor, Kissinger conducted the first “shuttle diplomacy” seeking Middle East peace, secretly negotiated Nixon’s landmark visit to China, and pursued a policy of détente, or dialogue, with the Soviet Union that led to arms control agreements. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for negotiating the Paris peace accords that ended the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger also drew protestors for his policies, such as the bombing and U.S. invasion of Cambodia in 1970, which critics called a violation of international law. Kissinger stayed on with the Ford administration after Nixon resigned in 1974. Kissinger remained active well into his 90s, winning new respect as a statesman and advisor to leaders of both major political parties.


Pentagon whistleblower

American author Daniel Ellsberg, publisher of 'The Pentagon Papers,' speaks...

American author Daniel Ellsberg, publisher of 'The Pentagon Papers,' speaks at a press conference in the 1970s.  Credit: Getty Images/Hulton Archive

If you were alive during the  Vietnam War, you either admired or reviled the political activist at the center of the Pentagon Papers scandal depending on your political stance. Ellsberg was an unlikely peacenik. A Harvard-educated cold warrior with the highest security clearances, he’d helped to research the report that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. But Ellsberg’s fact-finding visits to Vietnam convinced him that the war was unwinnable and immoral. In 1971, Ellsberg and another activist covertly copied the 7,000-page top-secret report commissioned in 1967 by then-Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara. Leaked to the media, the Pentagon Papers described in vivid detail how successive administrations had lied to Americans about the origin and conduct of the war. Ellsberg beat federal espionage and theft charges related to the leaked information, and the U.S. Supreme Court thwarted the administration’s attempt to suppress publication with a landmark First Amendment ruling.


Longtime U.S. senator

Sen. Dianne Feinstein was the oldest member of the U.S. Senate...

Sen. Dianne Feinstein was the oldest member of the U.S. Senate and the longest-serving female senator from California.  Credit: TNS/Tom Williams

The feminist icon’s career began in the wake of tragedy: the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk, who were gunned down in 1978 in a post Election Day rampage by disgruntled former supervisor Dan White. Feinstein, then the first woman to head the city’s board of supervisors, announced the deaths to the media press and succeeded Moscone, becoming San Francisco’s first female mayor. Gun violence became a defining issue for Feinstein after she was elected in 1992 as one of California’s first two female senators. As a freshman, hHer amendment to a crime bill banning the manufacture and sale of certain types of assault weapons became law in 1994. The law, which expired a decade later and was not replaced, was credited with a lowering of annual rates of both mass shootings and deaths. Feinstein, a centrist Democrat, was also passionate about environmental protection and reproductive rights. She debated her opponents with skill and the occasional zinger, but also reached across party lines to achieve her policy goals. Feinstein took friendly fire when her fellow Democrats tried but failed to replace the frail elder stateswoman, then the oldest sitting U.S. senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee.


War crimes prosecutor

Nazi war criminals might have gone unpunished without the painstaking legal work of the last surviving Nuremberg trials prosecutor. Born in Transylvania, Romania, Ferencz immigrated to the United States with his family to escape prewar Europe’s rising antisemitism. After receiving a Harvard law degree, he joined the U.S. Army and took part in the 1944 D-Day Normandy invasion. He was recruited to conduct postwar investigations of Nazi treatment of U.S. soldiers, a prelude to his assignment at Nuremberg, the first International War Crimes Tribunal. Ferencz was 27 at the time and had no previous courtroom experience, but he used German documents as evidence to convict all 22 former Nazi commanders of murdering more than 1 million Jews, Romani and other enemies of the Third Reich. Although some of the convicted war criminals received the death penalty against his recommendation, the outcome was a personal vindication for Ferencz, who said he’d “peered into hell” as one of the first outside witnesses documenting Nazi labor and concentration camp atrocities. Ever a striver for human rights and the rule of international law, Ferencz later helped Holocaust survivors reclaim property confiscated by the Nazis and championed the creation of the International Criminal Court.


Pakistan president

Former Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf speaks at the Council...

Former Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Nov. 2011 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

The iron-fisted military ruler led Pakistan through a decade shaped by the 9/11 attacks and his nation’s role as a key U.S. ally in the war on terror. Born in New Delhi, Musharraf and his family joined the late 1940s migration to Islamic Pakistan from the predominantly Hindu India, amid sectarian violence after India’s independence from Britain and the partition of the two new states. At 18, Musharraf enlisted in the Pakistani army and served in three wars against India. He excelled as a special forces commando and rose in the ranks to four-star general. Musharraf seized power in Pakistan in 1999, in one of a series of bloodless coups that had rocked Pakistan since its founding. As president of one of the world’s nuclear-armed states, Musharraf stood by President George W. Bush to support the U.S. fight against what he called “terrorism in all its forms wherever it exists.” After surviving several assassination attempts, he stepped down in 2008 amid swirling scandals and had been living in self-imposed exile in Dubai.


Diplomatic troubleshooter

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, laughs during a press conference...

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, laughs during a press conference in the capital rotunda January 10, 2008 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Credit: Getty Images/Rick Scibelli

One of the nation’s best-known Hispanic elected officials had a successful second career as the self-described “informal undersecretary for thugs” jetting off to extract Americans held by foreign adversaries. Born in California and raised in Mexico City, Richardson was a former prep school basketball star with a Tufts University international affairs degree. He entered politics when he won a newly created congressional seat in northern New Mexico, Richardson served 14 years and was chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus when the Clinton White House called in 1997. He served as U.N. ambassador and President Bill Clinton's secretary of energy before returning to elective office in New Mexico as the nation’s only Hispanic governor in 2003. In his two terms, from 2003 to 2011, he raised teacher salaries, boosted the minimum wage and repealed the state’s death penalty — although he'd previously supported capital punishment. Richardson’s final act played out on the international stage as a globe-trotting hostage negotiator. His successes included playing a part in the release of Taylor Dudley, who crossed the border from Poland into Russia, and Brittney Griner, the WNBA star freed by the Russian government last year.



Pat Robertson speaks during the Christian Coalition's ''Road to Victory...

Pat Robertson speaks during the Christian Coalition's ''Road to Victory 2000'' conference in Sept. 2000 in Washington. Credit: Getty Images/Michael Smith

The religious broadcaster’s soft-spoken homilies fusing faith and politics heralded the religious right’s rise in Republican politics. Born Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson, the son of a U.S. senator in Lexington, Virginia, he turned to the cloth after graduating from Yale Law School and failing the New York bar examination. Robertson grew his global Christian Broadcasting Network from a tiny bankrupt Virginia station he’d purchased. He founded the Christian Coalition to drive 1990s conservatives to the polls to support like-minded candidates. His “700 Club” talk show attracted a worldwide audience with a heavy-hitting guest list that included U.S. presidents of both major political parties. But his reputation was battered by unintentionally memorable moments such as his claim that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were God’s judgment on a permissive American society, and his Constitutionally dubious opinion that Supreme Court rulings are “not the law of the land.” The latter gaffe comment doomed his 1988 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, but his strategy of courting the Iowa caucus’s evangelical base has become GOP gospel.


Emmet Till’s accuser

She might have lived out her life in relative obscurity in a small Mississippi town, but Donham’s racially explosive accusation against a Black teen from Chicago in 1955 led to his lynching and galvanized the early Civil Rights movement. Emmet Till, then 14, was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi in 1955 when he whistled at Donham as she worked behind a grocery store counter. In the racially charged Jim Crow era, Till’s intended compliment broke an unspoken social code. Till disappeared that night after several men abducted him from his uncle’s home. After his body was pulled from a river, Mamie Till Mobley insisted on an open-casket funeral to show the world how her son had been mutilated. Photos of Till’s body published by the Black press caused an international uproar, but there was no legal reckoning. Two white men acquitted in the killing by an all-white jury later confessed their crime to a national magazine. Donham was never charged, despite his family’s efforts to bring her to justice. Last year, the crime that ended an innocent life became a federal crime with President Joe Biden’s signing of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act.



Mohamed al Fayed leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in...

Mohamed al Fayed leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in March 2007 in London, England. Credit: Getty Images/Bruno Vincent

The Egyptian-born tycoon never publicly acknowledged the accidental nature of the 1997 Paris car crash that took the lives of his son, Dodi Fayed, and Princess Diana. He continued to mourn the loss for years and in his grief advanced wild but eventually disproved conspiracy theories about the Royal Family’s purported involvement in the tragedy. Al-Fayed was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and moved to Britain in the 1960s. Although at the height of his success, he owned Harrad’s, the legendary luxury department store in London, the Ritz hotel in Paris and the Fulham soccer team in London, he remained an outsider in the British establishment and was twice rejected for British citizenship. Al-Fayed had recently been ranked the 104th richest person in Britain with a family fortune estimated at $2.1 billion.


Village Voice founder

The last survivor of the trio that launched the Village Voice in the 1950s helped the soon-to-be bohemian bible find its voice — and turn a profit. An upstate Middletown native, Fancher enrolled at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, but interrupted his studies to fight the Nazis in Northern Italy as a member of the U.S. Army ski troops. He started the Voice as a project with a friend he’d met while finishing his education at The New School for Social Research. Fancher handled circulation, distribution and advertising, and, in an early journalistic coup, induced celebrated novelist Norman Mailer to write a column. Initially a local paper, The Voice eventually became the most influential alternative publication in the nation, covering national and city politics, the arts, women’s rights, the sexual revolution and the emerging gay rights movement.


Businessman and politician 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Richard Ravitch answers phone at end...

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Richard Ravitch answers phone at end of news conference at which the MTA announced that it would not raise fares on city buses and subways and suburban commuter lines in New York, Wednesday, July 1, 1982.  Credit: AP/Lederhandler

New York’s pre-eminent problem solver first came to the state’s rescue in 1975, crafting a bankruptcy-averting bailout plan for the troubled Urban Development Corporation. A lifelong New Yorker prized for his business acumen, negotiating savvy and plain-speaking style, Ravitch helped his state and New York City out of scrapes as a public sector fixer, budget balancer and dealmaker. In the 1970s when finances were often at the brink of a precipice, a Ravitch-designed rescue package with the teachers’ union helped New York City narrowly escape bankruptcy. In 1979, he got the nation’s largest transit system back on track as head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. After leaving the MTA four years later, Ravitch remained in the public eye, leading New York City’s Charter Revision Commission, and serving as a chief labor negotiator for Major League Baseball. In 2009 he was appointed lieutenant governor, a job he characteristically described as “the most useless experience of my life.”


U.S. congresswoman

Colorado’s first female congresswoman was known for a quick wit and unorthodox antics in service of her Liberal policy goals. Asked early in her political career how she could be a mother of two young children and a member of Congress at the same time. Schroeder famously replied: “I have a brain and a uterus, and I use both.” The Oregon-born Schroeder literally flew through Harvard Law School as a pilot with her own flying service. Elected to 12 terms representing a Denver district, her frequent clashes with what she called Congress’s “good old boy’s club” helped make her a rising Democratic superstar. Her 1988 presidential campaign ended in a tearful speech, but her victories also made headlines such as her passage of the 1993 Family Leave Act. As House Republicans celebrated their return to power in 1994, she and her aides lampooned their ties to special interests by draping the Capitol dome with a banner reading, “Sold.” A year after Schroeder’s 1997 retirement, she summed up her political frustrations in a memoir: “24 Years of Housework … and the Place is Still a Mess. My Life in Politics.″


Consumer watchdog

A lifelong fighter for consumers and against government overreach. Pooler, born in Brooklyn, began to break barriers as one of just six women in her 1965 law school class. In five years chairing the New York State Consumer Protection Board, she championed consumer rights by helping shoppers decode expiration dates on canned goods and ensuring car buyers were fully informed about their rights under New York’s “lemon law.” In 1990, after narrowly losing two races for U.S. Congress, Pooler became the first woman elected to the state Supreme Court for the Fifth Judicial District. She crashed the glass ceiling again in 1994 when President Bill Clinton appointed her as the first woman on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Later appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, she sided against a federal government attempt to indefinitely detain an American accused of being an “enemy combatant.” Pooler explained her position with  these memorable words: “As terrible as 9/11 was, it didn’t repeal the Constitution.”


Resistance fighter

The last known survivor of the anti-Nazi White Rose student-led resistance movement risked her life to actively oppose the World War II German regime. Lafrenz, a Hamburg, Germany native, was studying at a German medical school when she and other students formed the underground group that printed and disseminated leaflets excoriating Hitler and his Third Reich. Lafrenz’s job was to procure ink and stationery for leaflets while evading a special Gestapo unit tasked with shutting it down. In 1943 Lafrenz was arrested, but managed to conceal her involvement in the White Rose and served only a year in prison. Rearrested after her release, she was awaiting a trial that could have sent her to the guillotine, like other White Rose members. But she was liberated by American troops three days before her trial. After the war, Lafrenz finished her medical degree and immigrated to the United States, where she headed a school for special needs children.


Civil rights lawyer

Attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. speaks at a news conference...

Attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. speaks at a news conference in New York in March 1988. Credit: AP/Mario Cabrera

The hard-driving civil rights brawler scored victories in the racial caldron of the 1980s, but is better known for his part in the Tawana Brawley hoax. The native Georgian and Boston College law graduate moved to New York City in the 1970s and made a name for himself combating racially motivated hate crimes. Among his clients were Cedric Sandiford, who was accosted and chased by a group of white men in Howard Beach, and the family of Yusuf Hawkins, a Black teenager who was shot to death in Bensonhurst. Maddox’s fall from grace came while representing Brawley, a Black teenager who said that a group of white men had abducted and raped her. Along with fellow attorney C. Vernon Mason and the Rev. Al Sharpton, Maddox hosted rallies laced with inflammatory insults and allegations of official misconduct. After a grand jury determined that Brawley’s story was a hoax, Maddox’s law license was suspended, and all three men were found liable in a defamation lawsuit. Maddox, who became a newspaper and radio commentator, never publicly repented his role in the Brawley affair.


Pearl Harbor survivor

In this photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, former...

In this photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, former U.S. Navy coxswain Howard "Ken" Potts attends the Freedom Bell Opening Ceremony and Bell Ringing at USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2016. Credit: AP/Lance Cpl. Robert Sweet

One of the last survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was a veteran who lived to bear witness to the day that lived in infamy. The Illinois-born and raised Potts was a coxswain at the Hawaii naval base, shuttling supplies to the USS Arizona when it and dozens of other ships were sunk, capsized or damaged in the incident that propelled the United States into World War II. “The whole harbor was afire,” Potts recalled of the catastrophe witnessed firsthand in a 2020 oral history interview with the American Veterans Center. Potts helped pull sailors to safety as they swam from the Arizona, which sank in nine minutes, taking 900 servicemen with it, almost half that day’s casualties. The wreck remains at the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a part of the USS Arizona National Memorial. Potts was forever scarred by the experience. Years after he left the Navy, he said, “If I were out in the open and heard a siren, I’d shake.”



The first woman elected mayor of a U.S. state capital passed a crucial test the night Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Uccello,, a Republican elected the previous year in Democratic stronghold Hartford, Connecticut, ignored the capital police’s advice and visited neighborhood streets where shocked demonstrators were venting their anger. Speaking with her constituents and sharing their grief, Uccello helped Hartford avoid the unrest that was engulfing other U.S. cities. Born and raised in Hartford,, Uccello was a former high school history teacher and department store executive before winning a seat on the city council in 1963. Four years later, an upset victory against the incumbent mayor made her the first woman elected mayor of any Connecticut municipality. In two terms in office, Uccello worked to protect children from lead poisoning and helped create low- and moderate-income housing. Uccello went to Washington, D.C., in 1970, as appointed director of the newly created Office of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Transportation. .


Product safety czar

Innumerable lives were saved and injuries averted by the first chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Simpson, an electrical engineer and former Commerce Department product safety expert, was appointed in 1973 by President Richard M. Nixon to the post created the year before by Congress. Simpson balanced his authority with transparency, opening up the agency’s meetings and staff gatherings to the public. But initiatives sometimes fanned flames of opposition from American manufacturers and pro-business groups. After the U.S. surgeon general declared smoking a health hazard, Simpson's proposed ban on the sale of cigarettes was judged an overreach. He was more successful targeting potential hazards like inflammable mattresses and faulty tricycles. By the end of his three-year tenure, 25 million items were declared risky and were either recalled, repaired or replaced. Simpson made an about-face after returning to private sector work, claiming his former agency had served its purpose and should be disbanded so industries could self-monitor. But the commission endures, along with innovations such as childproof caps on medicine.




Often regarded as a modern-day William Faulkner, the Tennesee-born McCarthy tackled dark themes and painted portraits of often unsavory characters in bestsellers like "No Country for Old Men" and his most famous work, "The Road," a grim tale of a father and son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. "The Road" was an Oprah Winfrey Book Club pick and earned McCarthy a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. “It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, each the other's world entire, are sustained by love,” the Pulitzer committee said in its citation. McCarthy was working as an auto mechanic when his first novel, "The Orchard Keeper," about a woman who kills a hitchhiker and then attempts to hide the corpse, was published by Random House in 1965. Many of his novels were written on an Olivetti typewriter that sold for $254,000 in 2009 in an auction by Christie's. Though talent was a huge part of his success, McCarthy always thought he was just lucky. In 1981, upon receiving a MacArthur fellowship, he recalled living in a shack in Tennessee and running out of toothpaste only to then discover a toothpaste sample in his mailbox. “That's the way my life has been. Just when things were really, really bleak, something would happen,” he said.



Author Martin Amis poses for a photographer in June 2000 at...

Author Martin Amis poses for a photographer in June 2000 at a book signing at the Beverly Hills Library in Beverly Hills, CA.  Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

Like his father, noted author Kingsley Amis, Martin scored with critics and audiences for his keen observations of society’s self-destructive tendencies and many absurdities. "Money: A Suicide Note" (1984), "London Fields" (1989) and "The Information" (1995), which dealt with greed and immorality in London society, had critics hailing him as part of a new wave in Brit lit that also included Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes. In his well-received memoir "Experience" (2000), Amis shared frank accounts of his colorful life, including his many affairs, a tumultuous relationship with his father, and the legacy of his cousin, Lucy Partington, who was abducted by serial killers in 1974.


Mystery writer

Writer Carol Higgins Clark attends the 13th annual Los Angeles...

Writer Carol Higgins Clark attends the 13th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA in April 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  Credit: Getty Images/David Livingston

Clark was a master of whodunits which she penned both by herself and with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark. While in college, Carol typed her mother’s manuscripts while studying to be an actress. She landed roles in Wendy Wasserstein's play "Uncommon Women and Others" and in the1992 movie "A Cry in the Night" based on her mother's novel. That same year, her first novel, "Decked," came out, which was nominated for an Agatha Award honoring mystery and crime writers. Clark is probably best known for her 18 novels featuring Private Investigator Regan Reilly, who, like Clark, had a mother who was a successful mystery writer.


Children's books author

In 1996, Falconer, then working as a set designer when he wasn't illustrating covers for New York Magazine, wanted to present his 3-year-old niece Olivia with an extra-special Christmas present. Underneath the tree was his gift: a small book featuring a story and drawings of a pig. She loved it, which sparked Falconer to develop a full-fledged picture book featuring his porcine protagonist, which Falconer named for his niece. The result was "Olivia," which came out in 2000 and received the Caldecott Medal presented for distinguished American picture books for children. The story's popularity led to seven entries in the "Olivia" series, which wrapped in 2017 with "Olivia the Spy." The following year, he scored another hit with "Two Dogs" about dachshund brothers Augie and Perry whom Falconer said were loosely based on — and named for — his twin nephews.


Books reviewer, editor

From the time he was a youngster, Gottlieb loved books and once recalled checking out as many as four novels a day from his local library. That passion for words translated to a career that included reviewing books for The New York Times and serving as editor-in-chief at Simon & Schuster and later Alfred A. Knopf. Among the bestsellers he got published were Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," Toni Morrison's "Beloved" and Robert Caro's "The Power Broker." The 2022 documentary "Turn Every Page" chronicled the 50-year professional relationship and friendship of Gottlieb and Caro.



Jakes was called "the Godfather of the historical novel,” a title he richly deserved thanks to the success of his numerous bestsellers. His Kent Family Chronicles, eight books set during the American Revolution that came out to commemorate the nation's bicentennial, sold millions of copies, as did "North and South," a three-book series set before, during and after the Civil War. Sales of "North and South" soared even further after the success of the ABC miniseries based on the books. Jakes, who quit his job writing advertising copy in 1971 to focus on being a novelist, told his children he never had writer's block and had a goal to write at least 5,000 words a day. When he wasn't writing, he was usually in the library doing research to ensure the historical accuracy of his novels.



Czech-born writer Milan Kundera looks on in this file photo...

Czech-born writer Milan Kundera looks on in this file photo taken in May 1968. Milan Kundera, whose dissident writings in communist Czechoslovakia transformed him into an exiled satirist of totalitarianism, has died in Paris at the age of 94. Credit: AP/Vacha Pavel

Kundera, author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," "The Joke" and "Laughable Loves," once said that those titles could be interchangeable. "They reflect the small number of themes that obsess me, define me, and, unfortunately, restrict me," he told the Paris Review in 1985. His writings often took a swipe at Communism, and after Russia took control of his native Czechoslovakia in 1968, Kundera's works were banned and he was placed under state surveillance. Seven years later, Kundera went into exile in France, where he would pen "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" (1980) and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (1984), which was made into a 1988 movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis.


Crime novelist

Juliet Hulme changed her name to Anne Perry after serving five years in a New Zealand prison for fatally bludgeoning her friend's mother in 1954. Perry was only 15 at the time of the incident, which was dramatized in Peter Jackson's 1994 movie "Heavenly Creatures" starring Kate Winslet as Perry. Under her new name, Perry carved out a career as a writer of crime fiction, though it wasn't until 1979 that her first novel, "The Cater Street Hangman," came out. That book introduced Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Ellison, a pair of private investigators who would marry and return in a number of other Perry thrillers. Another of her recurring characters, amnesiac private investigator William Monk, first appeared in 1990's "The Face of a Stranger."


Film historian

If Alfred Hitchcock was "the Master of Suspense," then Spoto was "the Master of Hitchcock." Spoto first wrote about the famed director in "The Art of Alfred Hitchcock" (1976), which offered a sharp analysis of all Hitchcock films. In 1983's "The Dark Side of Genius," his analysis turned to the man himself, sometimes not so favorably, especially when it came to exploring Hitchcock's treatment of actors like Tippi Hedren. He delved further into the behind-the-scenes relationships between Hitchcock and his leading ladies in the 2008 book "Spellbound by Beauty." Other subjects Spoto chronicled in bios included Joan of Arc, Tennessee Williams, Audrey Hepburn, and Hitchcock blondes Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly.



Russell Banks, author of "Cloudsplitter," delivers a keynote address during...

Russell Banks, author of "Cloudsplitter," delivers a keynote address during Hemingway & Winship award ceremony at John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston in April 2004.  Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS/CHITOSE SUZUKI

"Most of the characters at the center of my stories are difficult to live with, even for the fictional characters who live with them," said award-winning author Banks. That's certainly true when it comes to his bestsellers including “Affliction,” about a troubled, alcoholic police officer investigating a murder, and “The Sweet Hereafter,” which deals with a small town ripped apart by a tragic bus accident. Banks hailed from a rough part of New Hampshire and spoke publicly about the abuse he suffered as a child from his alcoholic father. As a young man, Banks considered joining Castro's revolution in Cuba and was an activist for prison reform, civil rights and other causes.




French designer Marc Bohan poses after the fashion show of...

French designer Marc Bohan poses after the fashion show of the 1969-1970 Autumn/Winter collection for the Christian Dior's House, on July 31, 1969, in Paris.  Credit: AFP via Getty Images/-

Classic movie stars might have thought they were walking the red carpet in Dior, but the hidden hand behind their ultra-slim ensembles was a Parisian with exquisite taste and a distaste for the spotlight. Bohan was the French fashion house’s creative director for three decades, longer than Christian Dior himself. Bohan was bitten by the fashion bug while attending runway shows during lunch breaks from a bank job. But after his first and only couture house failed, he never again designed under his own name. Instead, his reputation was sewn up beginning in 1960, when he succeeded Yves Saint Laurent as Dior’s chief designer. Bohan created his tasteful, elegant styles for what he called “real women … not for mannequins and not for fashion magazines.” What he called the Slim Look, marked by flaring shapes and shirtdresses and introduced in the early 1960s, was a resounding success. His slim silhouettes flattered the likes of Princess Grace of Monaco and Elizabeth Taylor. Women’s Wear Daily credited Bohan, who left Dior in 1989, with also showing the first midi skirt and ruffled blouses.



The pioneering surgeon was a leading women’s health advocate for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Love was born in New Jersey and was a top graduate of the State University of New York's Downstate Medical School. An early advocate of cancer surgery that conserves as much breast tissue as possible, she helped to organize the National Breast Cancer Coalition and served on the National Cancer Advisory Board. She was among the first to sound the alarm on the risks of routine hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. A prolific author in her field, her “Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book” (Addison-Wesley 1990) is a standard breast care reference. She continued to advocate for women as founder and chief visionary officer of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, and in 2008 launched the Love Research Army, which partners volunteers and scientists for clinical trials and cancer research. The army has almost 400,000 supporters worldwide. Love and her spouse advanced LGBT rights by winning approval from Massachusetts in 1993 for the state’s first joint adoption by a same-sex couple.


Whale activist

The Harvard-trained biologist already had a keen ear for detecting whale vocalizations when he made the startling discovery that the ocean’s leviathans not only can sing, but also communicate with one another. The New York City-born bio-acoustician had studied bat and owl echolocation before tuning into humpback whale sounds. On a research trip to Bermuda, he was listening to recordings made to track Russian submarines when he realized that the haunting melodies lasting up to 30 minutes and regularly repeating, were whale songs. Seeing an opening to save the gentle giants from extinction, Payne produced a 1970 album, “Songs of the Humpback Whale,” which sold more than 100,00 copies. It remains the best-selling environmental album in history. In the album’s wake, the global Save the Whales movement was born, as kids in classrooms across America joined the cause of ending commercial whale hunting. Payne also got on board, founding the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based Ocean Alliance instrumental in passing the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and the establishment of an international whaling moratorium.



Florence Berger was a New Year's Baby and was also...

Florence Berger was a New Year's Baby and was also on the front of the February 9th, 1927 Toronto Star. first baby from the right, when she won the Mount Sinai Baby Show. She was discovered walking down Yonge Street and became a model and later a top insurance sales person. Credit: Toronto Star via Getty Images/Steve Russell

Singles looking for a match had a romantic ally in the national hospitality expert who wedded matchmaking skills with an eye on compatibility. Florence Cohen grew up in West Hempstead and early on caught her own catch, marrying her high school sweetheart, Toby Berger, a Cornell electrical engineering professor. Teaching human relations for Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, and learning what she called “the art of being a Jewish mother” as the university’s assistant dean of students, prepared Berger for her four decades of pro-bono marriage brokering. Her instincts and rules of pre-engagement sent many on the path to connubial bliss. Berger counted two dozen successful marriages, and only one failure, alongside academic achievements such as publishing three books and winning Cornell’s top distinguished teaching award. She attributed her near-perfect record to working mainly with people over 30 — an age at which she felt singles were more marriage-minded — and her two-date bargain. Regardless of how their first date turned out, they had to promise to meet again at a second dinner, when Berger felt they were more likely to connect in a relaxed setting.


Miniskirt innovator

Fashion guru and dress designer Mary Quant at her home...

Fashion guru and dress designer Mary Quant at her home in 1965.  Credit: Getty Images/Keystone

Hemlines had gone up and down until the miniskirt — the most iconic and iconoclastic fashion of the '60s — raised them 8 inches above the knee. Quant, a schoolteacher’s daughter schooled in art education, had apprenticed for a hatmaker before opening her dress shop on London’s fashionable King Road. In line with younger clients' demands for shorter skirts, Quant stitched together various materials and colors to create an affordable garment she named after her favorite car: the Mini. Whether Quant invented or merely popularized the miniskirt, her mass marketing savvy took it to a new level appealing to teeny boppers and supermodels like Twiggy. Quant continued to innovate, marketing hot pants, micro-minis (showing even more thigh) and a globally popular makeup line. Known for modeling her creations, Quant showed up for the Buckingham Palace ceremony naming her an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1966, wearing — no surprise — a miniskirt.


Fashion and fragrance designer

Franco-Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne acknowledges the applause at the...

Franco-Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne acknowledges the applause at the end of his fall-winter 2000/2001 collection on March 3, 2000 in Paris, France. Credit: AP/Remy de la Mauviniere

The runway rebel crashed the international fashion scene with his debut collection, provocatively titled, “12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials.” His metallic-looking garments, which repurposed recycled items like plastic and metals such as chain mail, marked the beginning of an audacious, sharp-edged career. Born Francisco Rabaneda y Cuervo in northern Spain’s Basque region, young Paco fled to Paris with his mother in the late 1930s after his father was executed by Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. Shortening his name to the easier-to-pronounce Paco Rabanne, he studied architecture before moving to couture, his mother’s profession when she’d worked as a seamstress for Balenciaga. Rabanne sold accessories to well-known designers before launching his own house in 1966. Two years later Rabanne began collaborating with the Puig family fashion and perfume industry giants. Rabanne named his debut fragrance Calandre, a word that means “radiator grille” in Spanish. Lady Million, also released that year is still sold in Rabanne-designed colorful gold bottles. Rabanne retired in 2000, with one more innovation under his belt: he was among the first fragrance designers to launch products online.


Auto executive

Toyota's CEO, Fujio Cho (R) and Chairman Emeritus, Shoichiro Toyoda...

Toyota's CEO, Fujio Cho (R) and Chairman Emeritus, Shoichiro Toyoda (L) stand in front of Toyota's new car, the Caldina, at Fuji Speedway September 13, 2002 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.  Credit: Getty Images/Koichi Kamoshida

The Toyota family scion steered the family business to new heights in an era when the Japanese automaker was at a crossroads. In 1982 “Japan bashing” was at its height as an ailing Detroit auto industry blamed cheap imports for the decline in blue-collar jobs. Company founder Kiichiro Toyoda’s eldest son learned the auto business from the wheels up after receiving an engineering degree and going to work at Toyota in 1952, earning fellow employees' respect by toiling side by side with them in the factories. A hard-driving, pragmatic executive, he transformed Toyota from a regional into a global powerhouse, easing trade tension by engineering Toyota’s first North American production ventures. His brother, Tatsuro, formed a joint venture with General Motors in 1983 and a year later the first Japanese-American-made vehicle rolled out in California. When Shoichiro stepped down as president in 1992 to become chairman, Toyota had plants in almost two dozen countries and was well on its way to replacing GM as the world’s largest automobile brand and manufacturer.


Feminist and philanthropist

The New York City-born activist’s passions for philanthropy and feminism contributed to enormous strides in women’s empowerment. Yorkin was a prodigy who got a scholarship to Barnard College at 16. She left after two years to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in Manhattan. Yorkin was producing live theater in Los Angeles when the National Organization for Women asked her to oversee its celebrity-packed 20th-anniversary event. Building on those connections, Yorkin co-founded the Feminist Majority Foundation, later donating $10 million to a cause that has notched significant women’s equality and reproductive health victories. Yorkin’s Feminization of Power campaign founded in the 1980s to encourage women to run for public office has seen the percentage of women serving in Congress grow from 5% to almost 30%.. In 1990, Yorkin turned her focus to women’s health, leading a delegation of feminist leaders and scientists to successfully petition European pharmaceutical companies for release in the United States of mifepristone, known as the abortion pill. The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill's use in 2000.


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