John Harwood Hick was a philosopher of religion and theologian born in England who taught in the United States for the larger part of his career. In philosophical theology, he made contributions in the areas of t
John Hick was born on 20 January 1922 to a middle-class family in Scarborough,
England. In his teens, he developed an interest in philosophy and
religion, being encouraged by his uncle, who was an author and teacher
at the University of Manchester. Hick initially pursued a law degree at the University of Hull, but, having converted to Evangelical Christianity, he decided to change his career and he enrolled at the University of Edinburgh in 1941.
After the war, he returned to Edinburgh and became attracted to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and began to question his fundamentalism. In 1948 he completed his MA thesis, which formed the basis of his book Faith and Knowledge. He went on to complete a D. Phil at Oriel College, Oxford University in 1950 and a DLitt from Edinburgh in 1975. In 1953 he married Joan Hazel Bowers, and the couple had three children. After many years as a member of the United Reformed Church, in October 2009 he was accepted into membership of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. He died in 2012.
Hick’s academic positions included Danforth Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University, California (where he taught from 1979 to 1992); H.G. Wood Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham; and Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham.
While at the University of Birmingham Hick played important roles in a
number of organizations centered around community relations.
Non-Christian communities, mostly Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh, had begun to
form in this central England community as immigration from the Caribbean
Islands and Indian subcontinent increased. Due to the influx of peoples
with different religious traditions, organizations focused on
integrating the community became necessary. During his fifteen years at
the University of Birmingham, Hick became a founder, as well as the
first chair, for the group All Faiths for One Race (AFFOR); he served as
a chair on the Religious and Cultural Panel, which was a division of
the Birmingham Community Relations Committee; and he also chaired the
coordinating committee for a 1944 conference convened under the new
Education Act with the aim of creating a new syllabus for religious
instruction in city schools.
He also held teaching positions at Cornell University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Cambridge University.
During his teaching stay at Princeton Seminary, Hick began to depart
from his conservative religious standings as he began to question
“whether belief in the Incarnation required one to believe in the
literal historicity of the Virgin Birth”.
This questioning would open the door for further examination of his own
Christology, which would contribute to Hick’s understanding of
religious pluralism. He was the Vice-President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, and Vice-President of The World Congress of Faiths.
Hick delivered the 1986–87 Gifford lectures and in 1991 was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award from the University of Louisville and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary for Religion.
Hick was twice the subject of heresy proceedings. In 1961 or 1962, he
was asked whether he took exception to anything in the Westminster
Confession of 1647 and answered that several points were open to
question. Because of this, some of the local ministers appealed against
his reception into the Presbytery. Their appeal was sustained by the
Synod. A year later, a counter-appeal was sustained by the Judicial
Committee of the General Assembly, and Hick became a member of the
Presbytery (see Christian heresy in the 20th century).
Robert Smid states that Hick is regularly cited as “one of the most –
if not simply the most – significant philosopher of religion in the
twentieth century”. Keith Ward once described him as “the greatest living philosopher of global religion.” He is best known for his advocacy of religious pluralism, which is radically different from the traditional Christian teachings that he held when he was younger.
Perhaps because of his heavy involvement with the inter-faith groups
mentioned above under the “Career” heading and his interaction with
people of non-Christian faiths through those groups, Hick began to move
toward his pluralistic outlook on religion. He notes in both “More Than
One Way?” and “God and the Universe of Faiths” that, as he came to know
these people who belonged to non-Christian faiths, he saw in them the
same values and moral actions that he recognized in fellow Christians.
This observation led him to begin questioning how a completely loving
God could possibly sentence non-Christians who clearly espouse values
that are revered in Christianity to an eternity in hell. Hick then began
to attempt to uncover the means by which all those devoted to a
theistic religion might receive salvation.
Hick has notably been criticized by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who now holds the position of Pope Emeritus), when he was head of the Holy Office. Ratzinger had examined the works of several theologians accused of relativism, such as Jacques Dupuis and Roger Haight, and found that many, if not all, were philosophically inspired by Hick. Therefore, the declaration Dominus Iesus was seen by many at the time as a condemnation of Hick’s ideas and theories.
Having begun his career as an evangelical, he moved towards pluralism
as a way of reconciling God’s love with the facts of cultural and
religious diversity. He is primarily influenced by Immanuel Kant in this
regard, who argued that human minds obscure actual reality in favor of
comprehension (see Kant’s theory of perception).
According to Richard Peters, for Hick, “[the] construal of the
relationship of the human mind to God…is much like the relationship
that Kant supposed exists between the human mind and the world”.
It isn’t fair to say that Hick is strictly Kantian, however. Peters notes “the divide between the ‘noumenal‘ and ‘phenomenal‘ realms (so far as nature is concerned) is not nearly so severe for Hick as it was for Kant”. Hick also declares that the Divine Being is what he calls ‘transcategorial’. We can experience God through categories, but God Himself obscures them by his very nature.
In light of his Kantian influences, Hick claims that knowledge of the
Real (his generic term for Transcendent Reality) can only be known as
it is being perceived. For that reason, absolute truth claims about God
(to use Christian language) are really truth claims about perceptions of
God; that is, claims about the phenomenal God and not the noumenal God.
Furthermore, because all knowledge is rooted in experience, which is
then perceived and interpreted into human categories of conception,
cultural and historical contexts which inevitably influence human
perception are necessarily components of knowledge of the Real. This
means that knowledge of God and religious truth claims pertaining
thereof are culturally and historically influenced; and for that reason
should not be considered absolute. This is a significant aspect of
Hick’s argument against Christian exclusivism, which holds that although other religions might contain partial goodness and truth, salvation is provided only in Jesus Christ, and the complete truth of God is contained only in Christianity.
Perhaps the simplest manner in which to understand Hick’s theory of
pluralism of religions is to share the comparison he makes between his
own understanding of religion and the Copernican view of our solar
system. Before Copernicus disseminated his views of the solar centered
universe, the Ptolemaic system ruled in which the stars were painted in
the sky, and the sun rose and set around the earth. In short, the rest
of the universe existed for and was centered around our little planet.
On the other hand, Copernicus asserted that the earth, and other planets
as well, circled the sun, which in fact, did not move, but only
appeared to move due to the revolution of our planet. Copernicus
introduced our world to the understanding that other planets took
similar paths around the sun; while each path differed, all served the
same purpose and generated the same result: every planet makes a full
path around our central star. Rotation of a planet about its axis
creates day and night for that planet, just as day and night occur on
earth. Although the time frames for a full trip around the sun and for a
full day-night cycle differs on a planet-by-planet basis, the concept
remains constant throughout our solar system.
Similarly, Hick draws the metaphor that the Ptolemaic view of
religion would be that Christianity is the only way to true salvation
and knowledge of the one true God. Ptolemaic Christianity would assert
that everything exists and all of history has played out in specific
patterns for the glory of the Christian God, and that there is no other
possible path that will lead to salvation. Hick appears as Copernicus,
offering the belief that perhaps all theistic religions are focused
toward the one true God and simply take different paths to achieve the
A speaker on religious pluralism, Keith E. Johnson, compares Hick’s
pluralistic theology to a tale of three blind men attempting to describe
an elephant, one touching the leg, the second touching the trunk, the
third feeling the elephant’s side. Each man describes the elephant
differently, and, although each is accurate, each is also convinced of
their own correctness and the mistakenness of the other two.
Robert Smid states that Hick believes that the tenets of Christianity
are “no longer feasible in the present age, and must be effectively
Hick’s position is “not an exclusively Christian inclusivism [like
that of Karl Rahner and his ‘Anonymous Christian’], but a plurality of
mutually inclusive inclusivism.” 
Hick contends that the diverse religious expressions (religions) are
the result of diverse historically and culturally influenced responses
to diverse perceptions of the Real. He states that “the different
religious traditions, with their complex internal differentiations, have
developed to meet the needs of the range of mentalities expressed in
the different human cultures.” 
In his “God and the Universe of Faiths”, Hick attempts to pinpoint
the essence of Christianity. He first cites the Sermon on the Mount as
being the basic Christian teaching, as it provides a practical way of
living out the Christian faith. He says that “christian essence is not
to be found in beliefs about God…but in living as the disciples who in
his name feed the hungry, heal the sick and create justice in the
However, all of the teachings, including the Sermon on the Mount, that
form what Hick calls the essence of Christianity, flow directly from
Jesus’ ministry. In turn, this means that the birth, life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus form the permanent basis of the Christian
tradition. Hick continues in this work to examine the manner in which
the deification of Jesus took place in corporate Christianity following
his crucifixion and questions whether or not Jesus actually thought of
himself as the Messiah and the literal Son of God.
In several places (e.g. his contributions to The Metaphor of God Incarnate, and his book The Myth of God Incarnate)
Hick proposes a reinterpretation of traditional
Christology—particularly the doctrine of the Incarnation. Hick contends
“that the historical Jesus of Nazareth did not teach or apparently
believe that he was God, or God the Son, Second Person of a Holy
Trinity, incarnate, or the son of God in a unique sense.”
It is for that reason, and perhaps for the sake of religious pluralism
and peace, Hick proposes a metaphorical approach to incarnation. That
is, Jesus (for example) was not literally God in the flesh (incarnate),
but was metaphorically speaking, the presence of God. “Jesus was so open
to divine inspiration, so responsive to the divine spirit, so obedient
to God’s will, that God was able to act on earth in and through him.
This, I (Hick) believe, is the true Christian doctrine of the
Hick believes that a metaphorical view of the incarnation avoids the
need for faulty Christian paradoxes such as the duality of Christ (fully
God and fully human) and even the Trinity (God is simultaneously one
Neither the intense christological debates of the centuries leading
up to the Council of Chalcedon, nor the renewed christological debates
of the 19th and 20th Centuries, have succeeded in squaring the circle by
making intelligible the claim that one who was genuinely and
unambiguously a man was also genuinely and unambiguously God.
Problem of evil
Hick has identified with a branch of theodicy that he calls “Irenaean theodicy” or the “Soul-Making Defense”.
A simplification of this view states that suffering exists as a means
of spiritual development. In other words, God allows suffering so that
human souls might grow or develop towards maturation. For Hick, God is
ultimately responsible for pain and suffering, but such things are not
truly bad. Perhaps with a greater degree of perception, one can see that
the “evil” we experience through suffering is not ultimately evil but
good, as such is used to “make our souls” better.
Therefore, Hick sees the evils of pain and suffering as serving God’s
good purpose of bringing “imperfect and immature” humanity to itself
“in uncompelled faith and love.” At the same time, Hick acknowledges that this process often fails in our world. However, in the after-life, Hick asserts that “God will eventually succeed in His purpose of winning all men to Himself.”
The discussion of evil in Hick has been challenged by a number of
theologians and moral philosophers including David Griffin and John K.
Roth. Using Hick’s own words, Roth has stated, “Hick’s theodicy is
implausible to me because I am convinced that his claims about God’s
goodness cannot stand the onslaught of what he calls the principal
threat to his own perspective: ‘the sheer amount and intensity of both
moral and natural evil.'” In the book Encountering Evil,
Stephen Davis has stated his four criticisms of Hick, “First, while no
theodicy is free of difficulties, I believe Hick’s is not entirely
convincing in its handling of the amount of evil that exists in the
world… Second, I am dubious about Hick’s hope of a gradual spiritual
evolution till human beings reach a full state of God-consciousness…
Third, I believe Hick also faces what I call the ‘cost-effective’
criticism of the free will defense… My final and most serious
criticism of Hick concerns his commitment to universalism.”
For a list of his books see the referenced footnote.
- Faith and Knowledge, (1st ed. 1957, 2nd ed. 1966)
- Evil and the God of Love, (1966, 1985, reissued 2007)
- The Many Faced Argument with Arthur C. McGill (1967, 2009).
- Philosophy of Religion (1970, 4th ed. 1990)
- Death and the Eternal Life (1st ed. 1976)
- (Editor) The Myth of God Incarnate (1977)
- (Editor with Paul F. Knitter) The Myth of Christian Uniqueness: Toward a Pluralistic Theology of Religions (1987)
- An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent (1989, reissued 2004)
- The Metaphor of God Incarnate (1993, 2nd ed. 2005)
- The New Frontier of Religion and Science: Religious Experience, Neuroscience and the Transcendent (2006)
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
After studying for a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Economics at the London School of Economics under the supervision of Ralph Miliband, Allan Segal began his career as a research assistant at the BBC. Within two years he had been appointed as a Producer and Director for Horizon (BBC TV series), the long-running science documentary series.
In 1972 he was poached from the BBC by Granada Television to act as a producer on the investigative current affairs programme World In Action.
Over the next five years he produced and directed over twenty films,
all over the world, and often in hostile circumstances necessitating the
use of hidden cameras and undercover filming. In 1976, Segal and a
small film crew risked life imprisonment by posing as tourists and
illegally filming in Brezhnev’s USSR. Using one of the first ever amateur 8 mm film cameras, they shot “A Calculated Risk”, the story of Jewish refusenik Natan Sharansky (who went on to become Deputy Prime Minister of Israel) and his campaign to leave for the state of Israel.
In 1979 Allan was appointed as Editor of World In Action. His editorship saw the broadcast of the notorious “The Steel Papers” programme, which prompted a House of Lords legal dispute, and almost led to the imprisonment of several Granada Television
directors because of the programme’s steadfast refusal to reveal the
identity of the source of the confidential documents relating to the British Steel Corporation strike on which the programme was centred.
Between 1990 and 1992 Segal acted as the series editor of the
international, multi-million dollar documentray series “Dinosaur”,
presented by legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite. The series aired in the USA on the A&E Network, on ORF in Austria, Primedia in Canada, SATEL in Germany and ITV
in the UK. At the time, the series achieved the highest audience
figures of any documentary shown on A&E, and remains one of the
highest rated documentary series of all time.
After his retirement from programme making Allan Segal taught as a university lecturer and Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Dickinson College, Carlisle, USA, and Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, India.
Allan Segal’s work won, amongst other accolades, two BAFTAs (for the films “Nuts and Bolts of the Economy” and “Made in Korea”), the Royal Television Society‘s Judges’ Award, and a New York Film Festival Blue Ribbon.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Jimmy Sabater was a Latin musician of Puerto Rican ancestry, who was a three-time winner of the ACE Awards died he was 75. He was a singer and timbales player, who primarily worked with The Joe Cuba Sextet.
Sabater was the son of Néstor Sabater and Teresa González of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Born Jaime Sabater in Harlem Hospital, New York City, he grew up in East Harlem, the Spanish Quarter of New York City
known as “El Barrio”. Like most teenagers in the neighborhood, he
played stickball, flew kites, and harmonized the tunes of the popular
R&B groups and vocalists of the day such as Nat King Cole.
He was inspired by percussionists such as Willie Bobo,
Uba Nieto, Papi Pagani, Monchito Muñoz, and Willie Rodríguez. With
encouragement from many of these same drummers who were from “El
Barrio”, Sabater practiced playing the timbales,
the standing drum kit made famous by the “Rey del Timbal”, Tito Puente.
It was during a 1951 stickball game between the Devils and the 112th
Street Viceroys that Sabater’s life would make a historic turn. A young
man named Gilberto Calderón of the Devils met Sabater and invited him to
a party. The two became fast friends. They had a lot in common. Both
wanted to be musicians after being influenced by the music of Machito, Marcelino Guerra, Noro Morales, Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez.
1954 saw the Joe Panama Sextet as one of Spanish Harlem’s most
popular music groups. When Panama’s conguero, or conga drummer, left the
group, Sabater recommended his friend Gilberto for the job. Soon after,
bandleader Joe Panama fired his sidemen and replaced them with others.
The now unemployed musicians, which included vocalist Willie Torres and
pianist Nick Jiménez, formed a group which included bassist Roy Rosa,
vibraphonist Tommy Berríos, Sabater, and conguero Gilberto Calderón (who
had been selected by the musicians to direct the band).
One evening, the group appeared at La Bamba Club in midtown Manhattan
under the name of “The Joe Panama Sextet”. When Panama’s mother
threatened to sue Gilberto if he continued using the name, promoter
Catalino Rolón recommended that the group change its name to “The Joe
Cuba Sextet”. They played gigs in the clubs of “El Barrio”, as well as
upstate New York venues such as The Pines Resort.
The popularity of Cuba’s sextet began to rise when José “Cheo” Feliciano
joined the group. This occurred when José Curbelo’s vocalist Santitos
Colón replaced Gilberto Monroig in Tito Puente’s band. Willie Torres
then left Joe Cuba’s Sextet, and replaced Santitos in Curbelo’s
orchestra. This opened the door for Cheo with Joe Cuba. This worked out
perfectly for Cuba. Feliciano was selected to sing songs with Spanish
lyrics, while Sabater was selected to sing songs with English lyrics.
From the late 1950s and into the early 1960s the Sextet recorded on
the Mardi Gras label, constantly increasing their popularity. In 1962,
Seeco Records recorded Joe Cuba‘s
album “Steppin’ Out”. This album would become a “monster hit”, and
Sabater would become part of history, as on the album he sang “To Be
With You”, by Willie Torres. Nick Jimenez composed the melody, but
Cuba’s decision to have Sabater sing the lyrics thrust him into almost
immediate international recognition.
Cuba’s sextet signed with Tico Records in 1964. By showcasing the
smooth vocal style of Sabater, the group had achieved tremendous fame,
both in the United States and around the world. In 1966, they recorded
two albums, We Must Be Doing Something Right, and Wanted Dead or Alive. …Something Right scored big because of the hit composition “El Pito (I’ll Never Go Back to Georgia)”. Wanted…
was a landmark recording because it was the first “boogaloo” style
album to sell one million records. This happened largely because of
another smash composition of Sabater and Jiménez called “Bang Bang”.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Sabater also had a flourishing career as
a soloist, releasing the albums The Velvet Voice of Jimmy Sabater, El Hijo de Teresa, and Solo.
In 1977, Sabater left the Joe Cuba Sextet. From 1977 to 1981, he was the lead vocalist for Al Levy. In 1980 Sabater recorded Gusto on the Fania Records label. In 1982, he co-led “El Combo Gigante” with Charlie Palmieri
until the latter’s death in 1988. On November 12, 1997, Sabater became
the recipient of an award from the City of New York for his
contributions to the quality of life in the city, and in appreciation of
his work since 1956. He was also the recipient of the “Outstanding
Musician of the Year” award from the Comptroller of the City of New
York, Alan G. Hevesi.
In 1998, Sabater became the lead vocalist of the Latin Septet “Son
Boricua”, led by Maestro José Mangual, Jr. Their first album, called Son Boricua,
was the winner of the ACE Award as best new Latin release of that year.
A second, and recently, a third ACE Award were awarded for the albums Homenaje a Cortijo y Rivera and Mo!.
Sabater died in February 2012, aged 75.
- The Velvet Voice of Jimmy Sabater (Tico, 1967), with Joe Cuba
- Solo (Tico, 1969), with Ray Barretto
- El Hijo de Teresa (Teresa’s Son) (Tico, 1970)
- Mano a Mano Melódico (Tico, 1971), with Bobby Cruz
- To Be With You (Mucho Love & Lotsa Boogie) (Salsa Records, 1976)
- Gusto (Fania Records, 1980)
- Mo! (Cobo, 2001) with José Mangual Jr.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Life and work
He was born in Münster, Germany.
His father’s name was Jonas and his mother’s name was Selma. Gunther
had a younger brother, Walter, who was the Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of
Great Neck, NY at the time of his death in 1964 at the age of 43.
Gunther received his Doctor of Laws degree and in 1935 fled the Nazis and went to the United States. In 1939, he received his ordination as a Rabbi from Hebrew Union College. After receiving his U.S. citizenship on March 31, 1943, he enlisted as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He was eventually assigned to the 104th Infantry “Timberwolf” Division and served as a frontline chaplain with the 104th in Belgium and Germany. He held pulpits in Chicago, Illinois 1939-49) and at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, Minnesota (1948–1961). He moved to Holy Blossom Temple in 1961.
He published a volume of commentary on the Torah and Haftarah, which has become the standard Humash used by the Reform movement. He was a long-time columnist for the Canadian Jewish News as well as a contributor of opinion pieces to various Canadian newspapers such as the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.
He was the first recipient of the W. Gunther Plaut Humanitarian Award.
In 1978, he was the honoree of the Toronto Jewish National Fund Negev
In 1978 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1999. In 1993, he was awarded the Order of Ontario. In 1999, he received the Commander’s Cross (Komturkreuz) of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
All of Rabbi Plaut’s papers are housed at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Rabbi Plaut’s entire library was donated to York University and is housed at York’s Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections.
His son, Jonathan V. Plaut, was also a Reform rabbi, who served as rabbi of Temple Beth Israel in Jackson, Michigan.
His nephew, Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, Ph.D (son of Rabbi Walter H. and
Hadassah Y. Plaut) is the director of the New York City based American
Friends of Rabin Medical Center (see www.afrmc.org)and the author of two books: A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish (see www.akosherchristmas.org) and Greek
Jewry in the Twentieth Century, 1913-1983: Patterns of Jewish Survival
in the Greek Provinces Before and After the Holocaust:. For over
thirty years Joshua Plaut has been a renowned photographer of Jewish
communities around the world, with museum and gallery exhibitions across
the United States, Europe and Israel.
- Die materielle Eheungültigkeit (doctoral dissertation, 1934)
- High Holiday Services for Children (1952)
- Mount Zion – The First Hundred Years (1956)
- The Jews in Minnesota; the first seventy-five years (1959) 59-14710
- The Book of Proverbs – A Commentary (1961) 61-9760
- Judaism and the Scientific Spirit (1962) 61-17139
- The Rise of Reform Judaism: A Sourcebook of Its European Origins (1963) 63-13568
- The Case for the Chosen People – The Role of the Jewish People Yesterday and Today (1965) 65-19869
- The Growth of Reform Judaism (1965) 65-18555
- Your Neighbour is a Jew (1967)
- The Sabbath as Protest: Thoughts on Work and Leisure in the Automated Society (1970)
- Page Two – Ten Years of “News and Views.” (1971)
- A Shabbat Manual (1972) 72-10299
- Genesis. The Torah, A Modern Commentary, Vol. I (1974)
- Exodus. The Torah, A Modern Commentary, Vol. II
- Time to Think (1977)
- Hanging Threads: Stories Real and Surreal (1978) ISBN 0-919630-99-5. Published in U.S. as The Man in the Blue Vest and Other Stories (1978) ISBN 0-8008-5093-9
- Numbers. The Torah, A Modern Commentary, Vol. IV (1979) ISBN 0-8074-0039-4
- Unfinished business: an Autobiography (1981), ISBN 0-919630-41-3
- The Torah: A Modern Commentary (1981), ISBN 0-8074-0055-6
- Deuteronomy. The Torah, A Modern Commentary, Vol. V (1983)
- Refugee Determination in Canada (1985)
- The Letter (1986) ISBN 0-7710-7164-7
- A Modern Commentary – Genesis. (1988) (In Hebrew)
- The Man Who Would Be Messiah: A Biographical Novel (1990), ISBN 0-88962-400-3
- The Magen David – How the Six-Pointed Star Became an Emblem for The Jewish People (1991) ISBN 0-910250-16-2
- German-Jewish Bible Translations: linguistic theology as a political phenonomen (1992)
- The Torah: a Modern Commentary ISBN 0-8074-0055-6
- Asylum: A Moral Dilemma (1995), ISBN 0-275-95196-0
- The Haftarah Commentary (1996) ISBN 0-8074-0551-5
- More Unfinished Business (1997), ISBN 0-8020-0888-7
- Teshuvot for the Nineties: Reform Judaism’s Answers to Today’s Dilemmas (1997) ISBN 0-88123-071-5
- The Price and Privilege of Growing Old (2000) ISBN 0-88123-081-2
- The Reform Judaism Reader (2001) ISBN 0-8074-0732-1
- Die Torah in Judischer Auslegung (in German) (1999–2004)
- The Torah: A Modern Commentary, Revised Edition (ISBN 0-8074-0883-2)
- One Voice: The Selected Sermons of W. Gunther Plaut (2007) ISBN 978-1-55002-739-6
- Eight Decades: The Selected Writings of W. Gunther Plaut (2008) ISBN 978-1-55002-861-4
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Laurence George “Laurie” Main was an Australian actor best known for hosting and narrating the children’s series Welcome to Pooh Corner, which aired on The Disney Channel during the 1980s died he was 89.
Born in Melbourne, Main moved to England at the age of 16, making his acting debut in The Yellow Balloon.
(29 November 1922 – 8 February 2012)
He immigrated to the United States in 1960, studying with Agnes Moorehead.
His television and movie guest appearances include Wagon Train, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Maverick, I Spy, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, The Andy Griffith Show, The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze, That Girl, Ironside, The Monkees, Hogan’s Heroes, Mayberry R.F.D., The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Daniel Boone, Family Affair, Bewitched, The Partridge Family, McMillan & Wife, Land of the Lost, Little House on the Prairie, Punky Brewster and Murder, She Wrote.
He was also the voice of Dr. Watson in the 1986 Disney cartoon movie The Great Mouse Detective. He also narrated the Disney animated shorts Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons (1981) and Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983). He also was the story reader on many Disney Read-Along records, audio cassettes and compact discs.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
John Fairfax was a British ocean rower and adventurer who, in 1969, became the first person to row solo across an ocean died he was 74. He subsequently went on to become the first to row the Pacific Ocean (with Sylvia Cook) in 1971/2.
Fairfax was born 21 May 1937 in Italy to an English father and Bulgarian mother. As a child he was expelled from the Italian Boy Scouts for opening fire, with a revolver, on a hut containing other Scouts. Soon after, he and his mother moved to Argentina
where, aged thirteen, he left home to live in the jungle “like Tarzan”,
surviving by hunting and bartering skins with local peasants. Also as a teenager, he read of Frank Samuelsen and George Harbo‘s famous row across the Atlantic Ocean (then the only ocean to have been rowed) and knew that someday he would row across the Atlantic.
At the age of 20 Fairfax attempted “suicide-by-jaguar“.
He kept a revolver with him just in case he changed his mind which he
did in the end and shot the jaguar and sold the skin. He was later
apprenticed to a pirate and also briefly managed a mink farm.
Travels in Americas
In 1959 he flew to New York and drove across America to San Francisco. When he ran out of money, Fairfax decided to return to his mother in Argentina by bike. He got as far as Guatemala and then hitchhiked on to Panama. After a brief spell as a sailor on a Colombian boat he returned to Panama where he fell in with pirates and ended up spending three years smuggling guns, whiskey and cigarettes. After a dramatic escape from the pirates and the authorities, he returned to Argentina on horseback.
Back in Argentina he first read of Chay Blyth and John Ridgway’s
successful row across the Atlantic and realised that if he wanted to be
the first person to row solo across the Atlantic he would have to do it
After returning to England it took Fairfax two years to prepare for
the row. On 19 July 1969 he became the first person to row solo across
an ocean when he arrived in Florida having set off from the Canary Islands. The self-righting and self-bailing boat “Britannia”, now located in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall was designed by Uffa Fox.
The row took 180 days. Upon completion of his row he received a message
of congratulations from the crew of Apollo 11 who had walked on the
moon the day after he had completed his voyage. In their letter the crew
- “Yours, however, was the accomplishment of one resourceful
individual, while ours depended upon the help of thousands of dedicated
workers in the United States and all over the world. As fellow
explorers, we salute you on this great occasion.”
- “Yours, however, was the accomplishment of one resourceful
Two years later in 1971 he set off with Sylvia Cook from San Francisco in an attempt to row across the Pacific Ocean. Cook had replied to a personal ad that Fairfax had put in The Times when looking for support for his first row. The pair arrived at Hayman Island in Australia
361 days later, in the process becoming the first people to row across
the Pacific, and Cook becoming the first woman to row across an ocean.
He was featured on This Is Your Life in January 1970.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Phil Bruns, American actor (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Barney Miller, The Great Waldo Pepper), died from natural causes he was 80
Shumway, the father of Mary Hartman on the 1970s comedic series
Life and career
Bruns was born in Pipestone, Minnesota, the youngest of three
children of Henry Bruns and Margie Trigg Bruns. He graduated with a
Bachelor’s Degree from Augustana College in South Dakota. He earned his Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut. He also studied at the Old Vic Theatre School in London, England. He appeared as Morty Seinfeld in the sitcom Seinfeld, in a first-season episode entitled “The Stake Out“, but was replaced in the role by Barney Martin.
He also appeared in Sanford and Son, Columbo: Exercise in Fatality, Night Court, Airwolf, Just Shoot Me!, and M*A*S*H.
He appeared in dozens of films, TV commercials, and on and Off-Broadway
plays (winning an Obie award for “Mr. Simian” in the 1963-64 season).
He played the Warlock in Werner Liepolt’s “The Young Master Dante” at
The American Place Theater in 1968. Films in which Bruns appeared
include The Great Waldo Pepper, Harry and Tonto, Flashdance, The Stunt Man, My Favorite Year, and Return of the Living Dead Part II.
Bruns wrote The Character Actor’s Do’s, Don’t and Anecdotes’, which was published in early November 2008.
Bruns established the largest private school library in the Bahamas.
Until his death, Bruns resided in Hollywood with his wife, former Broadway musical actress Laurie Franks. He died of natural causes on February 8, 2012, aged 80.
|Vincenzo Nibali July 2014|
Did you know that Vincenzo Nibali has also joined a select group of six cyclists, who have won all three of cycling’s grand tours — the Tour, the
Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia?
Did you know that the Tour de France consist of
segments (stages) over a 23-day period and cover around 3,500 kilometres
Did you know that the Tour de France total prize pool is worth over two million Euros?
Did you know that the Tour De Frace Prize money is awarded with the winner getting €450,000,?
Did you know that Tour De France riders are paid with a sliding scale down to the 19th rider and every rider earns €1,000. ?
Did you know that 1 Euro equals 1.34 US Dollar?
Now if you didn’t know, now you know…
To see more did you know that trivia click here
Shanahan made his first appearance for the Tipperary team during the 1946 championship and became a regular member of the team over the next decade. During that time he won three All-Ireland winners’ medals, three Munster winners’ medals and three National League winners’ medals. In 1955 and 1956 Shanahan played with the Dublin senior team, however, he returned to Tipperary before his retirement from the inter-county scene after the 1957 championship.
(January 1928 – 7 February 2012)
Shanahan showed early promise making his debut at senior level with Toomevara
in the 1945 championship, while still only seventeen years of age. The
club were back in the senior ranks for the first time since 1938, when
they failed to field a team in the first round of the senior
In 1946 Shanahan won his first divisional medal when Toomevara defeated Roscrea in the north final, their first such victory since 1931.
A move to Dublin in 1950 saw him join the Young Irelands club, however, he enjoyed little success with the Dublin club before moving back to Tipperary in the late fifties.
Shanahan played in seven consecutive North Tipperary finals from 1957
to 1963, winning four in 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1962. He captained the
team in 1958. There were also three county final appearances, with
defeats in 1958 and 1961, and a great victory over Thurles Sarsfields in 1960, a victory that prevented the Thurles club winning six in-a-row.
Shanahan eventually retired from club hurling in 1966 after a career of twenty years.
Shanahan made his inter-county debut with the Tipperary minor hurling team in 1946. In the Munster final against Cork
he collected a mis-hit seventy-yard free near the end of the game to
score the winning goal and win the match by just a single point. Galway were well-beaten in the All-Ireland semi-final but the final was lost to Dublin
in the infamous Billy O’Brien goalmouth incident. In the last few
minutes the Dublin forwards succeeded in getting the ball over the goal
line for a goal, which was only awarded after a three-minute
consultation between the referee M. J. Flaherty
and the umpires. Both umpires claimed that the goalie, Billy O’Brien,
had been fouled before the goal was scored but the referee didn’t see
the foul and allowed the goal. Dublin won by 1-6 to 0-7.
Shanahan’s first entry into the senior ranks was when he was selected at midfield for Tipperary’s 1948-49 National League
campaign. Tipperary qualified for the final against Cork and won by 3-5
to 3-3. It was their first victory in the competition since 1928.
Shanahan enjoyed further success later that year when Tipp defeated Limerick by 1-16 to 2-10 to take the Munster title. He subsequently lined out in his first All-Ireland final at senior level. Surprisingly, Laois were the opponents on that occasion, however, the result was expected. Tipp opened the floodgates with a Paddy Kenny goal before Jimmy Kennedy
added two more goals in the second-half. At the full-time whistle Tipp
were the victors by 3-11 to 0-3 and Shanahan had captured a coveted All-Ireland winners’ medal. He finished off the year by winning his first Oireachtas title.
In spite of a move to Dublin 1950, Shanahan added a second National
League winners’ medal to his collection before further provincial glory
followed. A 2-17 to 3-11 defeat of Cork gave him a second consecutive
Munster medal and an easy passage into another All-Ireland final. Kilkenny
provided the opposition on that occasion in a close but uninteresting
game. At the final whistle Tipp emerged the victors by 1-9 to 1-8 giving
Shanahan a second All-Ireland medal.
In 1951 Shanhan captured a third successive Munster title following a
2-11 to 2-9 defeat of arch-rivals Cork. This victory resulted in Tipp
being installed as the favourites for a third consecutive All-Ireland
title. Wexford, however, stood in Tipp’s way after making a long-awaited breakthrough in Leinster. Nicky Rackard had been Wexford’s star goal-poacher throughout the year, however, his artistry was beaten by Tony Reddin in the Tipperary goal-mouth. Séamus Bannon, Tim Ryan and Paddy Kenny got the goals in the second quarter that did the damage, however, Tipp forged ahead to win by 7-7 to 3-9.
For the next two years Tipperary were defeated by Cork in the Munster
championship. It wasn’t the end of his playing days, however, as he
captured a third National League title in 1952.
Since Shanahan was now based in Dublin, he decided to line out for the Dubs in 1954. His two seasons at midfield resulted in Dublin being beaten by Wexford in the 1954 Leinster final and by Kilkenny in the 1955 Leinster semi-final.
In 1956 Shanahan lined out with Tipperary once again. He won a fourth
National League medal as a non-playing substitute in 1957, however,
Tipperary lost out to in the semi-final of the provincial championship.
He retired from inter-county hurling following a tour to the United States at the end of the year.
With his playing days over Shanahan turned his attention to training and coaching. His training career began with Portlaoise, where he helped the club to five championship football
titles between 1966 and 1971. He attained a coaching certificate in
hurling in 1977. When he retired from Esso in 1982 he trained and
coached Killenaule to win three South Tipperary intermediate championships in hurling in 1983, 1985 and 1986.
Born in Toomevara, County Tipperary,
Shanahan initially worked on the family farm. In 1950 he moved to
Dublin where he found work with the Johnston Mooney and O’Brien bakery.
After six years here he moved to Clonmel where he worked with Esso.
Shanahan married Joan Power in 1958 and the couple had three sons, Phil, David and Brian.
In his final years Shanahan’s health deteriorated and he underwent open-heart surgery in 2008. He died on 7 February 2012.
- Tipperary Senior Club Hurling Championship (1): 1960
- North Tipperary Senior Club Hurling Championship (5): 1946, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (3): 1949, 1950, 1951
- Munster Senior Hurling Championship (3): 1949, 1950, 1951
- National Hurling League (3): 1948-49, 1949-50, 1951-52
- Oireachtas Tournament (1): 1949
- Thomond Feis (2): 1949, 1951
- Munster Minor Hurling Championship (1): 1946
- Railway Cup (4): 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953
- Sports Star of the Week: 1952
- North Tipperary Hurling Team of the Millennium: 2000
- Tipperary Hall of Fame Award: 2004
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Harry Joseph Keough was an American soccer defender who played on the United States national team in their 1–0 upset of England at the 1950 FIFA World Cup died he was 84. He spent most of his club career in his native St. Louis, winning a national junior championship, two National Challenge Cup and seven National Amateur Cup titles. He coached the Saint Louis University men’s soccer team to five NCAA Men’s Soccer Championships. The Keough Award, named after him and his son Ty Keough, is presented each year to the outstanding St. Louis-based male and female professional or college soccer player.
Keough was born to Patrick John and Elizabeth (née Costley) Keough, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, attending Cleveland High School.
As a youth he played several sports, including track, swimming, and
fast-pitch softball, particularly excelling at soccer. His soccer career
began in 1945 as a member of the “St. Louis Schumachers”, who won the
1946 National Junior Challenge Cup. In 1946, he joined the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to a naval base in San Francisco, California
where he played for the “San Francisco Barbarians”, which had dominated
west coast soccer in the first half of the 20th century. Keough was
eventually sent to San Diego as part of a destroyer crew. After his discharge from the Navy, Keough returned to St. Louis.
In 1948, he played for Paul Schulte Motors.
The next year the team came under the sponsorship of McMahon Pontiac
and which played in the lower division St. Louis Municipal League. He
was with McMahon when selected for the U.S. national team as it entered
qualification for the 1950 World Cup. When he returned home from the
cup, Keough rejoined his team, now known as the St. Louis Raiders of the first division St. Louis Major League. The Raiders won both the league and National Amateur Cup
championships in 1952, giving Keough his first “double”. Following the
1952 season, Tom Kutis took over sponsorship of the team, renaming it St. Louis Kutis S.C.
The team continued its winning ways under its new name, winning the
1953 and 1954 league titles, and went to the 1954 National Challenge Cup
final where it fell to New York Americans of the American Soccer League.
The St. Louis Major League had folded in 1954 and Kutis continued to
play both as an independent team and as a member of various lower
division city leagues over the next decade. Despite this turbulence, it
continued to dominate both the city and national soccer scene. Kutis
would win the National Amateur Cup each year from 1956 to 1961. In 1957,
it won the National Challenge Cup, giving Keough another double.
National and Olympic teams
In 1949, Keough was called into the national team for the 1949 NAFC Championship,
to be held in Mexico. This was the second time the NAFC had held a
regional championship, but this one served as the qualification
tournament for the World Cup as well. Keough gained his first cap with
the national team in its 1-1 tie with Cuba on September 14, 1949. The
U.S. finished second out of the three teams, giving it a spot in the cup
for the first time since 1937. At the World Cup, Keough served as team
capatin for the game against Spain “because he spoke Spanish.” He also made appearances for the U.S. team in the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics, as well as the qualifying matches for the 1954 FIFA World Cup and 1958 FIFA World Cups. His last game with the national team was a 3-2 World Cup qualification loss to Canada on July 6, 1957.
Upon his retirement as a player, he became coach of Florissant Valley Community College.
In 1967, St. Louis University hired him away from Florissant. In his
first year with the Billikens, Keough took his team to an NCAA
co-championship. He then took his team to four additional championships
during his tenure (1969, 1970, 1972, and 1973). When he retired from
coaching in 1982, he had compiled a 213-50-23 record with SLU.
Keough was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 1972,
the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1976 (along with his 1950 U.S.
teammates), the St. Louis University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995,
and the NSCAA Hall of Fame in 1996. In January 2004, Keough and the
four other living members of the 1950 World Cup Team (Walter Bahr, Frank
Borghi, Gino Pariani and John Souza) were recognized as Honorary
All-Americans by the NSCAA at its annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 1994, the book “The Game of Their Lives”, was published, covering
the 1950 U.S. World Cup Team’s 1 – 0 victory in Belo Horizonte, Brazil,
versus the highly favored English team, and in 2005 the movie
was released (on DVD under the name “Miracle Match”). Keough was named
as one of the 50 Greatest Athletes of the Century (for Missouri) by
Sports Illustrated. On September 30, 2009, Keough was named to SLU’s Half-Century Team, and on November 18, 2009, Keough was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural class.
During his playing career, Keough worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Keough’s son Ty Keough was also a professional soccer player who played for the U.S. team and was a sports commentator for soccer broadcasts. His father Patrick appeared on the famous TV program The $64,000 Question in the mid-1950s where he won an automobile for answering questions about baseball. Keough suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his later life. Harry Keough died on February 7, 2012.
Keough was featured in the 2009 soccer documentary A Time for Champions discussing the U.S. upset victory over England in the 1950 World Cup and his coaching career at St. Louis University.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Florence Robie Reed Holway
was a woman who was raped and sodomized at the age of 75 by John
LaForest on March 31, 1991, in her Alton, New Hampshire
home died she was , 96. Her subsequent fight for justice ultimately resulted in changes
to that state’s rape laws and is the subject of a 2003 HBO documentary
entitled Rape in a Small Town: The Florence Holway Story, which chronicles her ordeal.
(June 2, 1915 – February 7, 2012)
Following the assault, Holway incorrectly believed that her attacker,
John LaForest, would automatically receive a lengthy sentence, but was
shocked to learn that, without her consent, he was instead offered a
plea bargain which would result in his receiving a 12-year sentence. The
enraged Holway, who firmly maintained that rape is not about sex, but
rather violence, started a petition drive and alerted the media to her
Due to her efforts, stronger sentences against sex offenders went
into effect in 1993: First-time offenders in New Hampshire are now
sentenced to 15–20 years instead of 7.5–15 years, second-time offenders
are sentenced to 20–40 years, and third-time offenders are sentenced to
life without parole. In addition, New Hampshire now has a sex offender registry; prosecutors cannot offer plea bargains without the victim’s knowledge.
In 2003, Holway testified at LaForest’s parole hearing, speaking to
him directly and, as shown in the documentary, questioning the sincerity
of his remorse. Although his parole was initially denied, he was
eventually set free. He was arrested again after just two months for
harassing a woman at his workplace.
Holway was married at 28 and had five children, four boys and one
girl. An accomplished artist, she enjoyed oil and watercolor painting.
Her art was inspired by her children and their daily activities.
Speaking about her attack: “I lost two things that night – my teeth and peace of mind.”
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Patricia Stephens Due  was one of the leading African-American civil rights
activists in the United States, especially in her home state of
Florida died from cancer she was 72. Along with her sister Priscilla and others trained in
nonviolent protest by CORE, Due spent 49 days in one of the nation’s first jail-in, refusing to pay a fine for sitting in a Woolworth’s “White only” lunch counter in Tallahassee, Florida in 1960.
Her eyes were damaged by tear gas used by police on students marching
to protest such arrests, and she wore dark glasses for the rest of her
life. She served in many leadership roles in CORE and the NAACP,
fighting against segregated stores, buses, theaters, schools,
restaurants, and hotels, protesting unjust laws, and leading one of the
most dangerous voter registration efforts in the country in northern
Florida in the 1960s.
With her daughter, Tananarive, Due wrote Freedom in the Family: a Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, documenting the struggle she participated in, initially as a student at Florida A&M University,
and later working for civil rights organizations and Florida
communities, sometimes in partnership with her husband, civil rights
attorney John D. Due, Jr.
Patricia Stephens was born on December 9, 1939 in Quincy, Florida
to Lottie Mae (née Powell) and Horace Walter Stephens. She was the
second of three children. In 1963, she married Florida A&M
University (FAMU) law student John D. Due, Jr., who went on to become a
prominent civil rights attorney. The couple had three daughters.
Due’s university studies were repeatedly interrupted by protests and
arrests that sometimes got her suspended, as well as speaking and
fund-raising tours. Though she entered Florida A&M University in
1957, she did not receive her degree until 1967.
Civil rights activism
During the summer of 1959, the sisters attended a nonviolent resistance workshop organized by the Congress of Racial Equality
(CORE). On February 20, 1960, eleven FAMU students, including Patricia
and Priscilla, were arrested for ordering food at a “white only”
Woolworth lunch counter. On March 12, dozens of FAMU and Florida State
University students who participated in sit-ins at McCrory’s and
Woolworth’s were arrested. A thousand students began marching from the
FAMU campus toward downtown Tallahassee, but were stopped by Police
officers with teargas. At the head of the march, Due was teargassed
right in the face, and suffered permanent eye damage.
Due and the other sit-in participants were tried and found guilty on
March 17, 1960. Eight refused to pay the $300 fine, deciding instead to
go to jail. Eight students served 49 days at the Leon County Jail: FAMU
students Patricia and Priscilla Stephens, John Broxton, Barbara Broxton
and William Larkins, and three other students—Clement Carney, Angelina
Nance, and 16-year-old high school student Henry Marion Steele (son of
activist pastor Rev. C.K. Steele).
The “jail-in” gained nationwide attention, and the students received a supportive telegram from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Due sent a letter to baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson,
who published it in a column he wrote. Robinson later sent the jailed
students diaries so they could write down their experiences. After the
jail-in, Due and the others traveled the country in speaking tours to
publicize the civil rights movement. She met with such luminaries as Eleanor Roosevelt and author James Baldwin, and would be jailed on numerous occasions as a leader in the movement.
Patricia Stephens Due died in 2012, aged 72, following a battle with cancer.[where?]
- Freedom in the Family: a Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights with Tananarive Due (Ballantine, 2003)
Due received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Outstanding Leadership,
the Gandhi Award for Outstanding Work in Human Relations, and the
Florida Freedom Award from the NAACP. She was also awarded an honorary
doctorate from her alma mater, Florida A&M University.
In 2008, the National Hook-Up of Black Women Inc. honored Due at its national convention.
- In February 2010, Florida A&M University (FAMU) students
gathered on campus to re-enact the sit-ins, jail-in, and protest march
that had occurred 50 years previously in Tallahassee.
- The John Due and Patricia Stephens Due Freedom Endowed Scholarship
provides $1000 annually to a FAMU student who plans to use the legacy
of the civil rights movement to do his or her part to make a better
- Patricia Due was honored by Tallahassee Mayor John R. Marks, who issued a proclamation declaring May 11, 2011 as Patricia Stephens Due Day.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Janice Elaine Voss ( was an American engineer and a NASA astronaut. She flew in space five times, jointly holding the record for American women. Voss died on February 6, 2012, from breast cancer.
(October 8, 1956 – February 6, 2012)
Voss graduated from Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, in 1972. She
earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Purdue University while working on a co-op at the Johnson Space Center. She earned an S.M. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1977. After studying space physics at Rice University from 1977 to 1978, she went on to earn a doctorate in aeronautics/astronautics from MIT in 1987.
Voss was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1990 and flew as a mission specialist on missions STS-57 (1993), STS-63 (1995), STS-83 (1997), STS-94 (1997) and STS-99 (2000). All of her flights included another female astronaut as well.
During her career as an astronaut, she participated in the first Shuttle rendezvous with the Mir space station
on STS-63: it flew around the station, testing communications and
inflight manoeuvres for later missions, but did not actually dock. As an
STS-99 crew member on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission,
she and her fellow crew members worked continuously in shifts to
produce what was at the time the most accurate digital topographical map
of the Earth.
From October 2004 to November 2007, she was Science Director for NASA’s Kepler Space Observatory, an Earth-orbiting satellite designed to find Earth-like extrasolar planets
in nearby solar systems. It was launched in March 2009 and was still
operational at the time of her death at age 55 from breast cancer.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Antoni Tàpies i Puig, 1st Marquess of Tàpies (Catalan: [ənˈtɔni ˈtapi.əs]; 13 December 1923 – 6 February 2012) was a Spanish painter, sculptor and art theorist, who became one of the most famous European artists of his generation.
The son of Josep Tàpies i Mestre and Maria Puig i Guerra, Antoni
Tàpies Puig was born in Barcelona on December 13, 1923. His father was a
lawyer and Catalan nationalist who served briefly with the Republican government. At 17, Tàpies suffered a near-fatal heart attack
caused by tuberculosis. He spent two years as a convalescent in the
mountains, reading widely and pursuing an interest in art that had
already expressed itself when he was in his early teens.
Tàpies studied at the German School of Barcelona.
After studying law for 3 years, he devoted himself from 1943 onwards
only to his painting. He lived mainly in Barcelona and was represented
by the Galerie Lelong in Paris and the Pace Gallery in New York. Tàpies died in early February 2012. He was 88.
Tàpies was perhaps the best-known Catalan artist to emerge in the period since the Second World War. He first came into contact with contemporary art as a teenager through the magazine D’Ací i D’Allà,
published in Barcelona, and during the Spanish Civil War (1936–9),
while he was still at school, he taught himself to draw and paint.
On a French government scholarship in the early 1950s he lived in
Paris, to which he often returned. Both in Europe and beyond, the highly
influential French critic and curator Michel Tapié enthusiastically promoted the work of Antoni Tàpies.
In 1948, Tàpies helped co-found the first Post-War Movement in Spain known as Dau al Set which was connected to the Surrealist and Dadaist Movements. The main leader and founder of Dau al Set was the poet Joan Brossa. The movement also had a publication of the same name, Dau al Set. Tàpies started as a surrealist painter, his early works were influenced by Paul Klee and Joan Miró; but soon become an informal artist, working in a style known as pintura matèrica,
in which non artistic materials are incorporated into the paintings. In
1953 he began working in mixed media; this is considered his most
original contribution to art. One of the first to create serious art in
this way, he added clay and marble dust to his paint and used waste
paper, string, and rags (Grey and Green Painting, Tate Gallery, London,
Tàpies’ international reputation was well established by the end of
the 1950s. From the late 1950s to early 1960s, Tàpies worked with Enrique Tábara, Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares and many other Spanish Informalist artists. In 1966 he was arrested at a clandestine assembly at the University of Barcelona; his work of the early 1970s is marked by symbols of Catalan identity (which was anathema to Franco). In 1974 he made a series of lithographs called Assassins and displayed them in the Galerie Maeght in Paris, in honour of regime critic Salvador Puig Antich‘s memory. From about 1970 (influenced by Pop art)
he began incorporating more substantial objects into his paintings,
such as parts of furniture. Tàpies’s ideas have had worldwide influence
on art, especially in the realms of painting, sculpture, etchings and
lithography. Examples of his work are found in numerous major
international collections. His work is associated with both Tachisme and Abstract Expressionism.
The paintings produced by Tàpies, later in the 1970s and in the
1980s, reveal his application of this aesthetic of meditative emptiness,
for example in spray-painted canvases with linear elements suggestive
of Oriental calligraphy, in mixed-media paintings that extended the
vocabulary of Art informel, and in his oblique allusions to imagery
within a fundamentally abstract idiom, as in Imprint of a Basket on Cloth (1980). Among the artists’ work linked in style to that of Tàpies is that of the American painter Julian Schnabel as both have been connected to the art term “Matter”.
Alongside his production of pictures and objects, from 1947 onward
Tàpies was active in the field of graphic work. He produced a large
number of collector’s books and dossiers in close association with poets
and writers such as Alberti, Bonnefoy, Du Bouchet, Brodsky, Brossa,
Daive, Dupin, Foix, Frémon, Gimferrer, Guillén, Jabès, Mestres Quadreny,
Mitscherlich, Paz, Saramago, Takiguchi, Ullán, Valente and Zambrano.
Tàpies has written essays which have been collected in a series of publications, some translated into different languages: La pràctica de l’art (1970), L’art contra l’estètica, (1974), Memòria personal (1978), La realitat com a art (1982), Per un art modern i progressista (1985), Valor de l’art (1993) and L’art i els seus llocs (1999).
In 1950, Tàpies’ first solo show was held at the Galeries Laietanes, Barcelona, and he was included in the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh.
In 1953 he had his first shows in the United States, at the Marshall
Field Art Gallery in Chicago and the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. His first retrospective exhibitions were presented at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, in 1973 and at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, in 1977. Later he was the subject of retrospective exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 1994, kestnergesellschaft in Hannover in 1998, and at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid in 2000.
In 1984, Tàpies created the Tàpies Foundation, dedicated to the study
of modern art. In 1990 it opened a museum and library in the premises
of a former publishing house in Barcelona. Its holdings include nearly
2,000 examples of his work.
Tàpies was awarded in 1958 the First Prize for painting at the
Pittsburgh International, and the UNESCO and David E. Bright Prizes at
the Venice Biennale. He received the Rubens Prize of Siegen, Germany, in 1972. On 9 April 2010, he was raised into the Spanish nobility by King Juan Carlos I with the hereditary title of Marqués de Tàpies (English: Marquess of Tàpies). In the Academic Sphere, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Rovira i Virgili University
in 1994. Furthermore, he designed Rovira i Virgili University’s logo,
which is characterized by the letter “a”, symbol of universal’s
To see more of who died in 2012 click here
Joseph Peter Breck was an American character actor of stage, television, and film died he was 82. The rugged, dark-haired Breck played the gambler and gunfighter John H. “Doc” Holliday on the ABC/Warner Brothers television series Maverick but is best known for his role as Victoria Barkley’s (Barbara Stanwyck) hot-tempered, middle son Nick in the popular 1960s ABC western, The Big Valley.
After United States Navy service on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42), Breck studied drama at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He made his debut in a film produced by Bert Freed that was eventually released under the title The Beatniks. As well as performing in live theatre, Breck had several guest-starring roles on a number of popular series, such as Sea Hunt, several episodes of Wagon Train, Have Gun – Will Travel, Perry Mason, and Gunsmoke. In 1956, he and David Janssen appeared in John Bromfield‘s syndicated series Sheriff of Cochise
in the episode entitled “The Turkey Farmers”. He appeared in another
syndicated series too in the episode “The Deserter” of the American Civil War drama Gray Ghost, with Tod Andrews in the title role.
When Robert Mitchum saw Breck in George Bernard Shaw‘s play The Man of Destiny in Washington, D.C., he offered Breck a role as a rival driver in Thunder Road (1958). Mitchum helped Breck to relocate to Los Angeles, California. As Breck then did not have his own car, Mitchum lent him his own Jaguar. Mitchum introduced Breck to Dick Powell who contracted him to Four Star Productions where Breck appeared in the CBS western anthology series, Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater. He also appeared with fellow guest star Diane Brewster in the 1958 episode “The Lady Gambler” of the ABC western series, Tombstone Territory, starring Pat Conway and Richard Eastham. That same year, Breck appeared in an episode of the syndicated Highway Patrol, starring Broderick Crawford. He was cast too in an episode of NBC’s The Restless Gun, starring John Payne.
From January 1959 to May 1960, Breck starred as Clay Culhane, the gunfighter-turned-lawyer in the ABC western Black Saddle, with secondary roles for Russell Johnson, Anna-Lisa, J. Pat O’Malley, and Walter Burke. Unlike in The Big Valley in which Breck played an easily-angered rancher, he is low-key, restrained, and considerate as the lawyer Culhane.
Breck was later a contract star with Warner Brothers, where he appeared as Doc Holliday on Maverick, a part that had been played twice earlier in the series by Gerald Mohr and by Adam West on ABC’s Lawman. Breck appeared in several other ABC/WB series of the time, such as Cheyenne, 77 Sunset Strip, The Roaring Twenties (as trumpet player Joe Peabody in the episode “Big Town Blues”), and The Gallant Men. He was cast as a young Theodore Roosevelt in the 1961 episode “The Yankee Tornado” of the ABC/WB western series, Bronco, starring Ty Hardin. “The Yankee Tornado” features Will Hutchins of the ABC/WB western series Sugarfoot in a crossover appearance.
Breck’s first starring role in a film was Lad, A Dog in 1962. The next year, he played the leading roles in both Samuel Fuller‘s Shock Corridor and the science fiction horror film The Crawling Hand. Between 1963-1965 Breck made three guest appearances on Perry Mason,
including the roles of defendant William Sherwood in the 1964 episode,
“The Case of the Antic Angel,” and defendant Peter Warren in the 1965
episode, “The Case of the Gambling Lady.” During this time, he also
appeared on episodes of such television series as Mr. Novak, The Outer Limits, Bonanza, and The Virginian.
The Big Valley
From 1965 to 1969, Breck starred in The Big Valley, having portrayed Nick Barkley, ramrod
of the Barkley ranch and son to Barbara Stanwyck’s character, Victoria
Barkley. The second of four children, Nick was hotheaded,
short-tempered, and very fast with a gun. Always spoiling for a fight
and frequently wearing leather gloves, Breck’s character took the
slightest offense to the Barkley name personally and quickly made his
displeasure known, as often with his fists as with his vociferous
shouts. Often this proved to be a mistake and only through the calming
influence of his mother and cooler-headed siblings, Jarrod (Richard Long), half-brother Heath (Lee Majors), sister Audra (Linda Evans) and Eugene (Charles Briles;
written out after season 1 when he was drafted into the Army), would a
difficult situation be rectified. Having been a Barbara Stanwyck admirer
since the 1940s, when he was teenager, Breck developed an on- and
off-screen chemistry with her, practicing longer lines and even being a
ranch foreman on the set. After the show was canceled, he stayed close
to her until her death.
After The Big Valley
In 1969, Breck was cast in an episode of The Donald O’Connor Show. Most of his roles in the 1970s and 1980s were television guest-starring performances on such series as Alias Smith and Jones, Mission: Impossible, McMillan & Wife, S.W.A.T., The Six Million Dollar Man (again with Lee Majors), The Incredible Hulk, and The Dukes of Hazzard, as well as roles as himself on Fantasy Island, and The Fall Guy which also starred former television “brother” Lee Majors.
In the mid-1980s, Breck moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
with his wife Diane and their son, Christoper. He was asked by a
casting director to teach a weekly class to young actors on film
technique. That one-a-week class became a full-time acting school – The Breck Academy – which he operated for ten years. In 1990, Breck appeared in the Canadian cult film Terminal City Ricochet.
On January 20, 1990, while teaching at the drama school, Breck was
notified of Barbara Stanwyck’s death. She requested no funeral nor
In the 1993 movie The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter, Breck played Sheriff Hatch.
In 1996, he appeared in an episode of the new version of The Outer Limits.
Breck provided the voice of Farmer Brown in “Critters”, a 1998 episode of The New Batman Adventures.
His last television performance was on an episode of John Doe in 2002. Prior to his death, most of his film performances have been in undistributed films that are shown only at film festivals.
In June 2010, Breck’s wife Diane announced on his website that the actor had been suffering from dementia
and could no longer sign autographs for fans, although she said that he
still read and enjoyed their letters. Despite this diagnosis, she said
he was still physically healthy and did not require medication.
Thereafter, Diane Breck reported that her husband was hospitalized on
January 10, 2012. On February 6, 2012, Peter Breck died from his
illness at the age of eighty-two.
To see more of who died in 2012 click here