Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 165 general entries. We are selecting 30 for display.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Died in the 2010s
|Longtime International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch died on April 21 in Barcelona, at age 89. Samaranch was installed IOC President just before the Summer Olympiad in which city? ||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
Moscow (1980). Juan Antonio Samaranch's tenure as IOC President lasted 21 years. Only Pierre de Coubertin, the first head of the IOC, served longer, boasting a 29-year reign. Samaranch is credited with helping rescue the Olympics from financial ruin, changing how corporate sponsorships and broadcasting contracts were done to ensure more lucrative commercialization of the Games. He also encouraged the best athletes to participate in the Games, paving the way for traditional Olympic powers like the United States, which had eschewed using pros in favor of amateurs, to change tack.
But Samaranch's tenure was not without controversy. The 1980 Games at Moscow, for example, were boycotted by 65 nations, led by the USA, after the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviets, along with 14 allied nations, responded in kind when the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984.
|Former Tuskegee Airman Lee Archer died in New York City on January 27, at age 90. Although a hero of World War II, Archer went on to become a pioneer in business as well, when what now-defunct U.S. company made him one of the first black vice-presidents in Corporate America? ||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
General Foods. The only member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen to earn the designation of "ace" - a pilot who shoots down five enemy aircraft in combat - New York native Lee Archer eventually retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1970, at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and multiple Air Medals during a career spanning three decades, and he was honored along with the other members of the Tuskegee Airmen with a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.
After retiring from the air force, Archer joined General Foods and became a key executive who ran three of its investment arms. Those arms helped finance various other companies. He left General Foods in 1987, just before the company was acquired by Philip Morris, to form his own venture capital firm.
[ thanks to The New York Times for additional information ]
|Actress Lynn Redgrave died of breast cancer at her home in Connecticut on May 2, at age 67. Redgrave was fired from what short-lived American sitcom after getting into a flap with producers over having her child on the show's set?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
House Calls. Based on the theatrical motion picture starring Academy Award winners Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, "House Calls" made its debut on CBS in December, 1979. On the show, Redgrave played hospital administrator Ann Atkinson, who found herself dealing professionally with three different doctors, including one (played by "M*A*S*H" star Wayne Rogers) for whom she has romantic interest. Redgrave earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her work, but was fired after insisting upon bringing her newborn daughter on the set to keep her on her breast-feeding schedule. Universal, the production company responsible for "House Calls", saw this as a move on Redgrave's part to get more money, leading to her ouster. Sharon Gless, who went on the fame on the crime drama "Cagney and Lacey" replaced Redgrave on the show's last episodes.
|Actress Frances Reid died in Los Angeles on February 3, at age 95. Reid spent 32 years playing the character of Alice Horton on which long-running U.S. soap opera?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
Days Of Our Lives. Before becoming a charter member of the cast of "Days Of Our Lives" in November, 1965, Frances Reid cut her teeth on other soap operas, including "Portia Faces Life", "As The World Turns" and "The Edge of Night". Her work as the matriarch of the Horton family, one of the two main families on the show, earned her four Soap Opera Digest Awards and two Daytime Emmy Award nominations. She received a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Her last appearance on "Days" took place the day after Christmas, 2007.
|Animator Art Clokey died on January 8 at his home in Los Osos, California, at age 88. Although best known for creating "Gumby", Clokey also created "Davey and Goliath", a Christian-themed show produced by a body representing which denomination?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
Lutheran. The United Lutheran Church in America, which became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1998, provided the original funding for "Davey and Goliath". The original show ran from 1960 to 1965, and was syndicated to independent stations and network affiliates across the country. Among the voice talent on the show was Hal Smith, best known for playing Otis the town drunk on "The Andy Griffith Show", and Dick Beals, who provided the voice of Speedy Alka-Selzer in commercials for Alka-Selzer.
"Davey and Goliath" was a boy-and-his dog program that dealt with topics like racism, respecting authority, and faith. Only Davey and the audience could hear Goliath speak. Joe Clokey, Art Clokey's son, resurrected the characters in 2004 in a holiday special in which aspects of Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid-ul-Fitr (the celebration of the breaking of the fast of Ramadan) are explored.
|Actress Rue McClanahan died in New York City on June 3, after a stroke and subsequent brain hemorrhage, at age 76. How many Emmy Awards did McClanahan win for her role as the sultry Blanche Devereaux on the hit TV show "The Golden Girls"?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
1. Rue McClanahan earned four straight Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series between 1986 and 1989, winning the coveted award in 1987. She also earned three straight Golden Globe nominations for the same role between 1986 and 1988. Prior to working on "The Golden Girls", McClanahan worked with "Golden Girls" co-stars Bea Arthur and Betty White on other shows. She was a regular on Arthur's groundbreaking show "Maude", and worked with White on "Mama's Family", a spinoff of "The Carol Burnett Show".
|NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman Merlin Olsen died of complications from mesothelioma on March 11, at age 69. Olsen spent his entire 15-year career with which NFL team?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
Los Angeles Rams. The third overall pick in the 1962 NFL Draft, out of Utah State, Merlin Olsen compiled an impressive body of work during his long career. Olsen was part of a defensive line with Rosey Grier, Lamar Lundy, and fellow Hall-of-Famer Deacon Jones famously known as "The Fearsome Foursome". He was the NFL's Rookie of the Year in 1962, was a 6-time First-team All Pro selection, was voted to an amazing 14 straight AFC-NFC Pro Bowls, and was one of just five players to be voted to the NFL All-Decade Teams representing the 1960s and 1970s. Olsen was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.
After leaving the field, Olsen remained highly visible in the public eye. He worked for many years as a color analyst on NBC Sports coverage of the NFL, notably teamed with play-by-play men Dick Enberg and Charlie Jones. He was also a spokesman for FTD Florists and participated in many Children's Miracle Network telethons. And he was an actor, appearing on "Little House on the Prairie" and headlining his own drama, "Father Murphy", for two seasons.
|Longtime U.S. Senator Robert Byrd died on June 28 in Fairfax County, Virginia, at age 92. At the time of his death, Byrd spent a record 51 years in the Senate, representing which Southern state?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 1)
West Virginia. Robert Carlyle Byrd was born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr., in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in 1917. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle, Titus and Vlurma Byrd, after his mother's death in a flu epidemic just a year after he was born, relocated to West Virginia, and renamed.
In 1951, Byrd, as a state delegate representing Raleigh County, witnessed the first two executions carried out in West Virginia with the electric chair. (The state conducted nine such executions before abolishing the death penalty in 1965.)
Byrd was elected to the U.S. House of Representative in 1952 and spent six years there before defeating Republican W. Chapman Revercomb for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Byrd was vocally opposed to civil rights legislation and supported the Vietnam War, but later in his career he changed tack by supporting various civil rights measures, opposing the war in Iraq, and giving support to Barack Obama during his historic presidential campaign.
[thanks to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History for additional information]
He became the oldest registered professional football player in England. Michael Foot was a lifelong supporter of Plymouth Argyle and was a director of the club for some years. He was registered with the club as an honorary player on his ninetieth birthday and given the shirt number 90.
He became leader of the Labour Party in 1980, at the age of 67. He was once voted the worst post-war Labour Party leader. This is somewhat harsh, as the Labour Party was already in crisis when he took over and he had the difficult task of opposing a very strong Conservative Government led by Margaret Thatcher.
|Folk singer Fred Wedlock hung up his guitar for good on 4 March. Which song of his reached No. 6 in the UK charts in 1981?||They Said Goodbye in 2010
The Oldest Swinger In Town. Fred trained as a teacher and switched to music as a full time career in the 1970s. Although "The Oldest Swinger in Town" was his only significant chart success he made a steady living as a musician and TV presenter. He died from complications arising from pneumonia on 4 March at the age of 67.
The Boston Strangler. Tony's film career began in 1949. His portrayal of Albert de Salvo is generally considered to be one of his best serious film performances. He will also be remembered for his hilarious role as Joe/Josephine in "Some Like It Hot". From the 1980s he had a second career as an artist. He was addicted to alcohol and cocaine for a period and had several brushes with death before finally succumbing to heart failure on 29 September.
|Norman Wisdom died in October. He had a long career in the entertainment industry and was famously very popular in which eastern European country?||They Said Goodbye in 2010
Albania. Norman Wisdom died on 4 October at the age of 95. After an assortment of jobs including cabin boy, waiter and coal miner he joined the army, where he discovered a talent for entertainment. In 1946 he began his career in entertainment as straight man to David Nixon, the magician. Within two years he was a star of London's West End and national TV. He started making films in 1953, usually playing a comedy slapstick role. He was knighted in 2000. In later life he appeared in the TV series "Coronation Street" and "Last of the Summer Wine". He retired at the age of 90.
His films were among the few western films allowed to be shown in Albania under the rule of Enver Hoxha, resulting in his huge popularity in that country. He was given the Freedom of Tirana in 1995.
|Erich Segal was perhaps best known as the author of "Love Story". He also co-wrote the screenplay for which 1968 Beatles film?||They Said Goodbye in 2010
Yellow Submarine. Erich Segal died of a heart attack at the age of 72 on 17 January. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease for thirty years. He wrote the screenplay for "Love Story" and while it was in production he was asked to adapt it as a novel. Both the book and the film were great hits. He also wrote a large number of academic works and was a professor of Latin and Greek literature at Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities.
|Children's author Elizabeth Beresford was born in France in 1926 and died in Alderney on 24 December 2010. Where did her best-known creations live?||They Said Goodbye in 2010
Wimbledon Common. Elizabeth Beresford was working as a freelance journalist when she created The Wombles in the 1960s. The Wombles lived in burrows underneath Wimbledon Common and had a passion for tidying and recycling. Ms Beresford wrote five 'Womble' books between 1968 and 1975.
|Many are familiar with Leslie Nielsen from the film "Airplane" and the "Naked Gun" series of films. He also had a brief role in which disaster film?
||They Said Goodbye in 2010
The Poseidon Adventure. Leslie Nielson died on 28 November at the age of 84 due to complications from pneumonia. He played Captain Harrison in the Poseidon Adventure. Although many will remember him as a comedy actor from his appearances in the "Airplane" and "Naked Gun" films he appeared in over 100 films in a career lasting over fifty years, as well as appearing in numerous TV shows.
|Claire Rayner died on 11 October. Famous for being an agony aunt, broadcaster and novelist, what was her original profession?||They Said Goodbye in 2010
Nurse. Claire underwent abdominal surgery in May 2010 and never fully recovered. She was a prolific author, writing over 50 novels and numerous non-fiction works, many with a health related theme. At one time she was patron of over sixty different organizations. She trained as a nurse in the 1950s and was a passionate supporter of the National Health Service. Shortly before she died, she told relatives "Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him."
|Amateur astronomer Jack Horkheimer died on August 20 at age 72 from complications of bronchiectasis, a congenital degenerative lung disease. In addition to hosting the astronomy program "Jack Horkheimer: Star Hustler" (later "Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer") on American public television, Horkheimer served as director of a successful planetarium in which Southern U.S. city?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
Miami. A native of the south-central Wisconsin village of Randolph, Jack Horkheimer battled constant pain due to his condition until he was 18, when it was finally diagnosed. Because of it, he was never able to become the athlete that his father wanted him to be, leading Horkheimer to say in an interview with The Miami Herald back in 1982 that "I was always a failure in my father's eyes."
After Horkheimer got his degree in drama at Purdue in 1963, he moved to Miami for his health. But it was a meeting with astronomer Arthur Smith, the president of the Miami Museum of Science and head of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, that led him to volunteer at the museum's planetarium. His interest in the stars acted as a substitute for the Catholic faith he abandoned.
Horkheimer became executive director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium in 1973, writing shows that helped change the face of teaching astronomy - from staid lectures to elaborate productions complete with music and narration - and turned the planetarium into a money maker. One such show featured talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael as the voice of the Solar System. Horkheimer's public television show debuted in 1976 on Miami's PBS affiliate, then went on to national distribution to PBS affiliates in 1985. The show's title was changed from "Star Hustler" to "Star Gazer" in 1997, to avoid confusion in Internet search engines with the adult magazine, "Hustler". Horkheimer signed off each five-minute broadcast by telling his audience to "keep looking up!"
|Former Miss USA Mary Leona Gage died of heart failure at age 71 on October 5 in Sherman Oaks, California. Gage's scandal-filled, one-day reign as the winner of the pageant occurred in what year?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
1957. At the time she represented Maryland at the Miss USA Pageant in Long Beach, California, Mary Leona Gage was already twice married - her first marriage was annulled, and she was still married to her second husband - and had two children. And she was also underage, according to pageant rules - 18 instead of 21. After winning the competition, rumors began to surface that she was married. Despite spending a day deflecting those rumors, she ultimately had to confess.
Miss Utah, Charlotte Sheffield, the first runner-up, was declared the new Miss USA, but that created an unusual situation. In 1957, the Miss Universe Pageant, the companion contest to Miss USA, began the next day. Sheffield missed the preliminaries for Miss Universe, leaving the United States without a representative in the competition. Today, of course, there is time between both competitions.
The scandal earned Gage attention both negative, in the form of hate letters, and positive, in the form of some television roles, including an appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show". She also had relationships with singer Frank Sinatra, actor John Drew Barrymore (father of actress Drew Barrymore), and Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay (father of actress Mariska Hargitay). And though she worked as a showgirl and dancer, had a couple of film roles and did some TV commercials, she never managed to get her showbiz career into full swing.
In all, Mary Leona Gage had six husbands and five children. In her last years, she dealt with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and had to use oxygen.
|Attorney and healthcare activist Elizabeth Edwards died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on December 7, at age 61. Edwards succumbed to complications of which disease? ||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
Breast cancer. Born Mary Elizabeth Anania on July 3, 1949, in Jacksonville, Florida, Elizabeth Edwards was the daughter of a naval aviator, coming of age while her father was fighting during the Vietnam War and moving around the world as a result. After attending high school in Alexandria, Virginia, she transferred from Mary Washington College (later known as the University of Mary Washington) to the University of North Carolina's flagship campus at Chapel Hill. She earned her bachelor's degree there and met her husband, future U.S. Senator John Edwards, while working on her Juris Doctor.
During her professional career, she worked as a law clerk for a federal judge, as an attorney in private practice, and in the office of North Carolina's attorney general. She was a key advisor to her husband during his 2004 vice-presidential bid, as fellow senator John Kerry's running mate, and during his 2008 presidential bid.
It was after the 2004 election that Edwards announced she had breast cancer. The cancer returned in 2007, and her initial optimism about fighting the disease waned. At the time of her death, she was legally separated from John Edwards for the purpose of pursing a divorce, under North Carolina law, due to the disclosure that he had fathered a child with film producer Rielle Hunter. She was buried near the North Carolina State Capitol beside her oldest child, Wade, who was killed in a traffic accident in 1996.
|Food company executive Morrie Yohai died on July 27 at age 90, from cancer, at his home on Long Island Sound in New York State. Yohai was responsible for creating which well-known snack food?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
Cheez Doodles. A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Morrie Yohai took flight training during his time in the U.S. Navy and flew aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. In 1949, he took control of King Kone, the snack-food company his father founded, and during the 1950s developed the tasty cheese snack that has, among its rivals, Cheetos. Yohai sold King Kone, which was renamed Old London Foods in 1960, to Borden in 1965 and became an executive with that company. Among his duties there was helping determine which prizes to put into boxes of Cracker Jack.
|Actress Jill Clayburgh died on November 5 at age 66 at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut, from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Early in her career, Clayburgh starred in the motion picture adaptation of which well-known novel? ||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
Portnoy's Complaint. "Portnoy's Complaint" became a bestseller for author Philip Roth in 1969 and ignited a firestorm of controversy for its frank treatment of sexuality, through the eyes of its protagonist, Alexander Portnoy. The novel focuses on Portnoy's confessions to his psychoanalyst about his life and his problems when it comes to women. In the motion picture adaptation, released by Warner Bros. in 1972, Richard Benjamin played Portnoy opposite Jill Clayburgh, who plays one of his love interests, a woman named Naomi.
Clayburgh's appearance in "Portnoy's Complaint" came four years before the role that vaulted her into the spotlight - Hilly Burns, art secretary and love interest to weary traveler George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) - in the comedy-thriller "Silver Streak". She earned two Academy Award nominations for her work in the movies "An Unmarried Woman" (in which she picks up the pieces of her life after her husband leaves her for another woman) and "Starting Over" (in which she plays a teacher attracted to a recently-divorced man played by Burt Reynolds).
|Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Bob Feller died from complications of leukemia on December 15, at age 92. Feller's career was interrupted by World War II, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Feller served as a gun captain for four years on which battleship?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
USS Alabama. Iowa-born Bob Feller is among a select group of Hall of Famers who never played in the minor leagues before jumping to the majors - a group that includes fellow pitchers Jim "Catfish" Hunter and Sandy Koufax, and former pitcher Dave Winfield (who was converted to be an outfielder by the San Diego Padres because of his bat). Feller joined the Cleveland Indians in 1935 and played for six seasons, before volunteering for the U.S. Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During his time of service, Feller received several campaign ribbons and battle stars. He played 12 more seasons after returning from the war, starting in 1946, and spent his entire career in Cleveland.
Feller notched many accomplishments during his career. He threw the first Opening Day no-hitter (1940), one of three no-hitters he threw during his career; pitched 12 one-hit games; led the American League in wins six times; led the league in strikeouts seven times; appeared in eight All-Star games; and when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, in his first year of eligibility, became the first Chief Petty Officer from the U.S. Navy to be enshrined.
|Educator Juanita M. Kreps died in Durham, North Carolina, from complications of Alzheimer's disease, at age 89 on July 5. Kreps made history in 1977, when she became the first woman to lead which U.S. Cabinet-level department?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
Commerce. By the time President Carter tapped Juanita Kreps to be his Secretary of Commerce, she had already compiled an impressive resumé as an educator. She earned her master's degree in economics at Duke in 1944 and her PhD there in 1948. After teaching at several other schools, she returned to Duke in 1955 to serve as a professor and administrator, making history in 1973 when she became the school's first female vice president. She became the first woman to serve as a director of the New York Stock Exchange, in 1972. She published numerous books and scholarly articles, particularly on the labor demographics of women and older workers.
In her role as Commerce secretary, Kreps negotiated a major trade treaty with China, worked to strengthen consumer privacy and credit dispute processes, and worked with the president to help companies map out anti-inflation strategies. Kreps resigned her post in 1979 when her husband, a professor at North Carolina, apparently tried to commit suicide.
|R & B singer Teena Marie died on December 26 at her home in Pasadena, California, at age 54. Marie's first R & B hit song, "I'm Just a Sucker for Your Love", was a duet with which other legendary R & B singer?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
Rick James. Born Mary Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, California in 1956, Teena Marie's stage name likely derived from the name she was credited under when she appeared on an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies" in 1964 - Tina Marie Brockert. Raised in a family with a strong African-American influence, Marie made history in 1976 when she was signed by Motown, a company known for its African-American musical acts but which had also signed Caucasian bands like Rare Earth and Stoney & Meatloaf under Motown's Rare Earth label. Her debut album, "Wild and Peaceful", released under Motown's Gordy Records label, did not have her picture on it, for fear that the album wouldn't sell if people knew Marie was white.
Rick James initially intended to produce the album for another R & B legend, Diana Ross, but decided to work with Marie instead. "I'm Just a Sucker for Your Love" wound up peaking at number-8 on the Black Singles Chart. Her best-known hit, however, came after she moved over to Epic Records. "Lovergirl", from the album "Starchild", peaked at number-4 on Billboard's Hot 100 list and at number-9 on the R & B charts in 1985. Even after parting ways from Motown, Marie and James maintained a friendship that lasted until James died in 2004.
|Actor Leslie Nielsen died on November 28 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at age 84 from complications of pneumonia. Although better known as a comic actor, Nielsen appeared in a number of dramatic roles during his lifetime. In which celebrated maritime disaster epic did Nielsen play the captain of a doomed ocean liner?||Deaths in the News, 2010 (Part 2)
The Poseidon Adventure. The son of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable, Leslie Nielsen trained as a gunner in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II before going to study radio arts under Lorne Greene (star of the TV show "Bonanza") in Toronto. During his career, he compiled an impressive body of work on television and in the movies.
TV appearances included "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"; the Disney TV miniseries "The Swamp Fox" (as Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion); "Cocoon", the pilot movie of the legendary TV crime drama "Hawaii Five-O"; and "Police Squad", the short-lived crime-show comedy spoof that formed the basis of "The Naked Gun" series of movies.
Other movie work included the science-fiction drama "Forbidden Planet" (1956), the Don Knotts comedy "The Reluctant Astronaut" (1967), and the disaster movie "City on Fire" (1978). In "The Poseidon Adventure", Nielsen portrayed Captain Harrison, the man in command of the ocean liner SS Poseidon, on its final voyage. His character dies when a rogue wave strikes the ship and capsizes it.
|Audrey Lawson-Johnston died on January 11 in Melchbourne, Bedfordshire UK. She was the last known survivor of which infamous disaster?||Deaths in the News, 2011 (Part I)
RMS Lusitania Sinking (1915). Born Audrey Warren Pearl in New York City on February 5, 1915, Audrey Lawson-Johnston was just three months old when she and her family embarked on the doomed final voyage of RMS Lusitania. She and her brother, Stuart, was saved when their nurse, Alice Lines, got them onto a lifeboat. Lawson-Johnston's parents also survived, but her two sisters and a second nurse, Greta Lorenson, perished in the disaster. Mrs. Lawson-Johnston remained in touch with Lines until her death in 1997 at age 100. She was survived by three children and 10 grandchildren.
|Author and educator Reynolds Price died of a heart attack on January 20 in Durham, North Carolina, at age 77. At the time of his death, he was a professor at which school in North Carolina's Research Triangle area?||Deaths in the News, 2011 (Part I)
Duke University. An alumnus of Duke and a Rhodes Scholar, Reynolds Price returned to his alma mater in 1958 to teach English literature. While there, fellow Southern writer Eudora Welty helped Price publish his first novels, including "A Long and Happy Life" (1962) and "The Names and Faces of Heroes" (1963). Later, he wrote the memoirs "A Whole New Life" (1994, about the survival of the cancer that left him a paraplegic) and "Ardent Spirits: Leaving Home, Coming Back" (2009, about his experiences as a Rhodes Scholar and his early days teaching at Duke). During a tenure that stretched over 40 years, in which he was honored as a James B. Duke Professor of English, Price taught future author Anne Tyler ("The Accidental Tourist") and future actress Annabeth Gish ("Mystic Pizza").
|Hall-of-Fame baseball slugger Edwin "Duke" Snider died on February 27 of natural causes in Escondido, California, at age 84. Having spent 16 of his 18 Major League seasons in a Dodgers uniform, Snider made his last appearance in 1964 as a member of what other National League team?||Deaths in the News, 2011 (Part I)
San Francisco Giants. A Los Angeles native who excelled at sports in high school, Duke Snider joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 when he was called up from their farm team in Montreal. He joined a powerful lineup that featured future Hall-of-Famers Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, and won two World Series titles with the team, in 1955 (when still in Brooklyn) and 1959 (after the team had relocated to Los Angeles). After spending the 1963 season with the expansion New York Mets, he was sold to his long-time rival, the Giants, and played with them in the 1964 season. Snider became a Hall-of-Famer himself in 1980.
|Longtime college football coach Murray Warmath died on March 16 at age 98. Warmath led which American college football team to the national championship in 1960?||Deaths in the News, 2011 (Part I)
Minnesota. An all-Southeastern Conference end at Tennessee under coach Robert Neyland - the namesake of the school's gargantuan Neyland Stadium - Murray Warmath served as an assistant coach at Army and Tennessee before becoming head coach at Mississippi State in 1952. His tenure in Starkville was short-lived, as he was fired in 1953 with a 10-6-3 record in his two seasons there. The next year, however, he took the reins at Minnesota, leading the team to two Big Ten titles (1960 and 1967) and two Rose Bowl appearances (1961 and 1962), and earning National Coach of the Year honors in 1960.
Warmath's legacy included the recruiting of black players to the school, including quarterback Sandy Stephens (the first black All-American quarterback at a major Division I school) and future Pro Football Hall-of-Famers Bobby Bell and Carl Eller. In 1971, Warmath left his post as head coach and became an assistant to Minnesota's athletic director. He later served as an assistant coach and scout for the Minnesota Vikings.
|Former astronaut and aerospace company executive Mike Lounge died on March 1 at age 64, from complications of liver cancer. A civilian during his time with NASA, Mike Lounge flew in the Vietnam War for which branch of the U.S. military?||Deaths in the News, 2011 (Part I)
Navy. A native of Burlington, Colorado, Mike Lounge graduated from Annapolis in 1969. After completing flight training, he served a tour of duty aboard the USS Enterprise, flying 99 combat missions in Vietnam, and served a tour of duty aboard the USS America in the Mediterranean. He would earn six Air Medals among many other commendations for his service.
Lounge joined NASA in 1978, the same year he resigned his naval commission, and worked on various projects, including the safe re-entry of Skylab. Lounge flew into space three times on board the space shuttle, including STS-26, the first Return to Flight mission of the orbiter Discovery, in 1988. After leaving NASA in 1991, Lounge continued working on space-related programs in the private sector, holding positions at Astrotech Corporation and Boeing.
|Automobile stylist Ron Hickman died February 17 on the island of Jersey, at age 78. Though celebrated for his work on cars, Hickman also invented what popular Black & Decker product?||Deaths in the News, 2011 (Part I)
Workmate (portable project center). As the head of Lotus Engineering, Ron Hickman was responsible for the design of a number of sporty models, including the Lotus Elan convertible and the Lotus Europa mid-engine GT coupe, during the 1960s. But it was while building a wardrobe that Hickman made his greatest contribution. After ruining an expensive chair he was using as a makeshift sawhorse, Hickman developed a foldable workbench that would allow him to work on his projects without fear of damaging other furniture. He tried to license his invention to several tool companies, including Stanley, which projected that sales of the product would not be strong. He sold it on his own until 1973, when Black & Decker started producing what is now known as the Workmate. Millions of the handy devices have been sold since their introduction.