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David P. Reynolds, American businessman and Thoroughbred racehorse breeder, died he was 96

David P. Reynolds was Chairman emeritus of Reynolds Metals Co. and an owner/breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses died he was 96.. He is the son of Richard S. Reynolds, Sr. (1881–1955) who founded Reynolds Metals in Louisville, Kentucky.

(June 16, 1915 – August 29, 2011)

Born in Bristol, Tennessee, Reynolds received his high school education at Lawrenceville School, where he captained the prep school’s football team. He went on to graduate from Princeton University and would join the family business where he worked for more than fifty years. He followed his brother Richard S. Reynolds, Jr. as president, becoming the last member of his family to head the Richmond, Virginia-based company. In 1986, at age seventy, he stepped down as president but remained Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Thoroughbred horse racing

Reynolds became interested in Thoroughbred horse racing and notably owned and bred sprint horse Lord Carson, a multiple stakes race winner who equaled the track record for 6 furlongs at both Churchill Downs and Turfway Park. However, his most famous horse was Tabasco Cat, owned and bred in partnership with Overbrook Farm. In 1994, the colt won two of the three U.S. Triple Crown races, capturing the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

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Abdullah Senussi, Libyan brother-in-law of Muammar Gaddafi, died from airstrike he was 61/62.

Abdullah Senussi   is a Libyan national who was the intelligence chief and brother-in-law of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi  died from airstrike he was  61/62.. He was married to Gaddafi’s sister-in-law.




December 5, 1949- August 29, 2012

Scottish police officers plan to interview him in connection with the Lockerbie bombing, raising the prospect of a second Lockerbie trial.[2]
According to The Guardian he had a reputation for brutality
since the 1970s. During the 1980s he was head of internal security in
Libya, at a time when many opponents of Gaddafi were killed. Later, he
had been described as the head of military intelligence, but it is
unclear whether he actually held an official rank. In 1999 he was
convicted in absentia in France for his role in a 1989 bombing
of a passenger plane flying over Niger that resulted in the deaths of
170 people. Libyans believe he was responsible for massacring 1,200
prisoners at the Abu Salim jail in 1996. He was also thought to have been behind an alleged plot in 2003 to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.[1]
US embassy cables described him as being a confidant of Gaddafi who makes “many of his medical arrangements”. During the 2011 Libyan civil war, he was blamed for orchestrating killings in the city of Benghazi and recruiting foreign mercenaries. He was believed to have extensive business interests in Libya.[1]
On 1 March 2011, Libya’s Quryna newspaper reported that Gaddafi sacked him.[3]
On 16 May 2011, the International Criminal Court prosecutor announced that he is seeking an arrest warrant for Abdullah Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.[4]
On 21 July 2011, Libyan opposition sources claimed that Senussi had
been killed in an attack by armed rebels in Tripoli; however, a few
hours later the same sources recanted on their earlier claim and some
even said he might have just been injured.[5]
On 30 August 2011, there were reports that both Senussi’s son, Mohammed Abdullah al-Senussi,[6] and Muammar Gaddafi‘s son, Khamis, were killed during clashes with NATO and NTC forces in Tarhuna.[7] In October, Arrai Televison, a pro-Gaddafi network in Syria confirmed that Mohammed Senussi and Khamis Gaddafi had been killed on 29 August.[8] On 20 October, Niger foreign minister Mohammad Bazoum told Reuters that he had fled to Niger.[9]
However, a Libyan fighter later told the Guardian that the rebels had
the possession of three other men who were in Gaddafi’s convoy when he
was killed and that he believed one them was Senussi.[10] The other two were identified as Gaddafi’s slain son Mutassim and one of his military commanders Mansour Dhao,[10] who was still alive and confirmed his identity, as well as details of Gaddafi’s death,[10] to Human Rights Watch while in the hospital;[10] Dhao was earlier thought to have fled to Niger.[10]
However, later reports surfaced that Senussi from his hideout in Niger was helping Saif al-Islam Gaddafi escape from Libya.[11] Senussi was reportedly captured on 20 November near the city of Sabha. It was afterwards reported that he would be taken to Tripoli to stand trial for charges of crimes against humanity, according to the National Transitional Council.[12] However, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo doubted Senussi was captured.[13] Libyan defense minister Osama Jweli also stated that there was no evidence Senussi had been captured.[14] On 4 December 2011, Abdullah Nakir, a Libyan official, told Al Arabiya that Senussi was arrested and was being questioned about a secret nuclear facility Gaddafi was operating,[15] but admitted that the Libyan government was unable to produce any photographs of him in custody.[15]
On 17 March 2012, news reports stated that Senussi had been arrested at Nouakchott airport in Mauritania.[16][17] The Libyan government is reported as having requested his extradition to Libya.[18]

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Junpei Takiguchi, Japanese voice actor and narrator (Dragon Ball, Yatterman, Mazinger Z), died from stomach cancer he was 80.


Kōhei Takiguchi , better known by the stage name Junpei Takiguchi , was a Japanese voice actor and narrator from Chiba Prefecture.

( April 17, 1931 – August 29, 2011)

Besides his many narration and dubbing roles, he was also known for his roles in Time Bokan (as Pera), Yatterman (as Dokurobei), Mazinger Z (as Count Brocken), Tekkaman: The Space Knight (as Ranbos), Yuusha Raideen (as Barao), and for his narration roles in Burari Tochūgesha no Tabi and Pittankokan Kan. Takiguchi died at 7:33am JST on August 29, 2011, aged 80, from stomach cancer. 

Voice roles

Television animation

OVA

Theater animation

Video games

Dubbing roles

Other

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Billy Drake, British fighter pilot, died he was 93.

Group Captain Billy Drake DSO, DFC & Bar was a British air ace died he was 93..

(20 December 1917 – 28 August 2011)

 He scored 20 enemy aircraft confirmed destroyed, six probable and nine damaged with the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War.[1] Drake flew Hawker Hurricanes, Supermarine Spitfires and Curtiss P-40s (Tomahawks/Kittyhawks), with squadrons based in France, England, West Africa, North Africa and Malta. He was the top-scoring RAF P-40 pilot and the second-highest-scoring British Commonwealth P-40 pilot, behind Clive Caldwell.[1]
Drake was born in London, to an Australian mother and a British father. He was educated in Switzerland.

Career

Drake joined the RAF on a Short Service Commission in July 1936. He joined No. 1 Squadron at RAF Tangmere in May 1937, flying the Hawker Fury before converting to the Hawker Hurricane.
Following the outbreak of war, the squadron was sent to France. On 20 April 1940, during the Battle of France, Drake scored his first kill, a Messerschmitt Bf 109. Subsequent victories over France included a Dornier Do 17 and Heinkel He 111. While attacking another Dornier, Drake was shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf 110 and wounded with shell splinters in the back, ending his participation in the campaign.
On 20 June 1940, Drake was posted as a flying instructor to No. 6 Operational Training Unit, at RAF Sutton Bridge. He returned to operational duty, with No. 213 Squadron RAF, on 2 October 1940 at RAF Tangmere. Three weeks later, he was appointed commander of No. 421 Flight (later part of No. 91 Squadron RAF)
on Spitfires, flying specialised low-level reconnaissance patrols over
the Channel and the French coast. He claimed a further two kills and two
probables (all Do 17s and Ju 88s). Drake was awarded the DFC on 7
January 1941.
He then returned to instruction duties in early 1941, with No. 53 Operational Training Unit, at RAF Heston and as Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Llandow until September 1941.
In December 1941, Drake was posted to West Africa to form and command No. 128 Squadron RAF at Hastings, Sierra Leone, flying Mark II Hurricanes. Soon afterwards, he shot down a Vichy French Glenn Martin 167F bomber, near Freetown.
In April 1942, Drake was posted to Air HQ Middle East, and at the end of May he succeeded Caldwell as commander of No. 112 Squadron, flying P-40s, from RAF Gambut, Egypt. On 1 September 1942, a day in which the Desert Air Force suffered heavy losses, Drake shot down two Junkers Ju 87s.[2]
Drake was awarded a Bar to the DFC on 28 July 1942 and the Distinguished Service Order on 4 December 1942. He scored 13 aerial victories in P-40s.
After being promoted to Wing Commander in January 1943, Drake briefly assumed a staff job in Cairo, before becoming commander of the Krendi Wing at RAF Krendi on Malta, flying Spitfires. In July 1943, he made his last claim of the war, a Macchi MC.202 of 4 Stormo, Regia Aeronautica, over Sicily.
In November 1943, Drake returned to England and commanded No. 20 Wing RAF, operating Hawker Typhoons with the Second Tactical Air Force. He was later sent on liaison duties to Fort Leavenworth in the United States. On 22 October 1943, he was awarded the American Distinguished Flying Cross. Drake later served as deputy station commander at RAF Biggin Hill, and finished the war as a staff officer at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.
He later served as a staff officer and air attaché at British embassies, retiring from the RAF as a Group Captain, on 1 July 1963.
Upon retirement, Drake spent 20 years in the Algarve coastal area of Portugal,
where he managed properties and ran a bar. In recent years, he lived in
Teignmouth, Devon. He was twice married and is survived by two sons
from his first marriage.
He was credited with 24.5 aerial kills — another pilot was given half
of one kill — and he reportedly destroyed a dozen more enemy planes
parked on the ground
He died on 28 August 2011.

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Bernie Gallacher, British footballer (Aston Villa), died he was 44

Bernard “Bernie” Gallacher  was a professional footballer who played predominantly at left-back died he was  44..

(22 March 1967 – 28 August 2011)

Born in Johnstone, Scotland, Gallacher joined Aston Villa
as a 16-year-old apprentice on leaving school in 1983. He progressed
through youth levels, signing a professional contract in March 1985,
before making his first team debut on the final day of the 1986-87 season against Manchester United, at the end of a season where Villa were relegated from the First Division.
Gallacher appeared in all but one of Aston Villa’s 44 Second Division games the following season as Villa gained promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt as Second Division runners-up. His final game for the club was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in November 1990. In all he made 57 league appearances for Villa.[1]
Gallagher spent a loan spell at Blackburn before joining Doncaster Rovers and then Brighton. In 1994 his career was ended by injury at the age of 27 following a short term as a non-contract player with Northampton Town.

Death

Gallacher died in Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, England on 28 August 2011, aged 44.[2]

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Bruno Gamberini, Brazilian Roman Catholic prelate, Archbishop of Campinas (since 2004), died he was 61

Bruno Gamberini  was the Roman Catholic archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Campinas, Brazil  died he was 61..

(July 16, 1950 – August 28, 2011)

Born in Matão, São Paulo,
and ordained to the priesthood in 1974, Gamberini became a bishop in
1995 and in 2004 was appointed archbishop of the Campinas Archdiocese.[1]
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Len Ganley, Northern Irish snooker referee, died died he was 68.

Len Ganley was a Northern Irish snooker referee  died died he was  68..

(27 April 1943 – 28 August 2011) 

He visited England in 1971 to spend a ten-day holiday with his sister in Burton-upon-Trent, and remained in England.
Born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, he became a full-time referee after working as a milkman and bus driver when he first arrived in Burton-on-Trent.[1]
He played snooker when he lived in Northern Ireland and won various
local titles in Britain and Ireland. His highest break was 136.
He refereed four World Snooker Championship finals between 1983 and 1993, including 1990 when Stephen Hendry became the youngest World Champion. Another career highlight was the 1983 UK Snooker Championship final between Alex Higgins and Steve Davis.[2] Another famous match he refereed in his later career was Ronnie O’Sullivan‘s fastest 147 v. Mick Price in the 1997 World Championship first round.
Although a non-drinker, Ganley also appeared in a Carling Black Label beer advert on TV in the early 1980s, in which he crushed a snooker ball with his gloved hand in a match between Terry Griffiths and John Spencer, after Spencer had knocked the ball off the table.[1]
Ganley was featured in the Half Man Half Biscuit song “The Len Ganley Stance”.[2] He retired in 1999 and suffered a heart attack in 2002.[3] His son Mike Ganley is the WPBSA Tournament Director.[4]
Ganley, who suffered from diabetes, died on 28 August 2011, aged 68.[5][6] His family requested that people donated to the Paul Hunter Foundation rather than sending flowers.[5]
Steve Davis said: “Len did a very good job of being a referee and a
personality at the same time. A referee is supposed to be unseen and he
liked the limelight, but he still managed to do the job properly. He was
a great character off the table, but in the arena he was an excellent
referee. He knew the game as a player, having made century breaks
himself, so when he was in charge of your match it was nice to know how
well he understood the game.”[5].
He is credited with inventing the device that marks the position of the
cue ball while it is removed by the referee for cleaning.

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George Green, American songwriter (“Hurts So Good”, “Crumblin’ Down”), died from lung cancer he was 59.

George Michael Green was an American songwriter died from lung cancer he was 59.. His compositions included the Top 10 Billboard hitsCrumblin’ Down” and “Hurts So Good” (the latter of which was an RPM No. 1 hit in Canada), as well as another Canadian No. 1 hit in “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First).”

(January 28, 1952 – August 28, 2011)

Green was John Mellencamp‘s long-time writing partner; he was a classmate and childhood friend of Mellencamp’s from Seymour, Indiana.[1] In 1985, Green’s wife appeared in the video for Mellencamp’s Top 10 hit “Lonely Ol’ Night“.[1] In addition to writing with Mellencamp, Green also wrote songs recorded by Barbra Streisand, Hall & Oates, Jude Cole, Vanessa Williams, Percy Sledge, and The Oak Ridge Boys among others.[2] Green died on August 28, 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the age of 59 after suffering from a rapid-forming small cell lung cancer.[3]

Credits

Green’s songwriting credits with Mellencamp include:

  • “Dream Killing Town” and “Sad Lady” from Chestnut Street Incident (1976)[4]
  • “Hurts So Good” (#2 Billboard hit)[5] and “Thundering Hearts” from American Fool (1982)[6]
  • “Crumblin’ Down” (#9 Billboard hit)[5] and “Warmer Place to Sleep” from Uh-Huh (1983)[7]
  • “Rain on the Scarecrow” (#21 Billboard hit)[5] and “Minutes to Memories” from Scarecrow (1985)[8]
  • “Empty Hands” from The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)[9]
  • “Human Wheels” from Human Wheels (1993)
  • “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)” (#14 Billboard hit)[5] from Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996)[10]
  • “Your Life Is Now” from John Mellencamp (1998)
  • “The Grand Blvd.” from “Blue Night” by Percy Sledge (1994) co-written written with Carla Olson

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Leonard Harris, American actor, arts and theater critic (WCBS-TV), died from complications of pneumonia he was 81

Leonard Harris  was an American critic, author, and actor.

(September 27, 1929 – August 28, 2011)

He played Senator Charles Palantine in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver and the mayor in Hero at Large.Harris began his career as a print journalist; he spent several years as the arts and entertainment critic for WCBS-TV in New York City. He had three novels published and worked as a television writer later in his career. He served on the Tony Award Nominating Committee in the later 1980s and early 1990s.
In Taxi Driver, Harris played Senator Charles Palantine, the link between anti-hero Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) and Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), the woman Travis is obsessed with who works on the Charles Palantine political campaign. Throughout the film, Palantine’s picture can be seen all over New York City.
He died on August 28, 2011 in Hartford, Connecticut, aged 81, from complications of pneumonia.[1]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Taxi Driver Senator Charles Palantine
1980 Hero at Large Mayor

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Leonidas Kyrkos, Greek politician, died after short illness he was 87.

Leonidas Kyrkos  was a Greek leftist politician and member of the Hellenic Parliament and the European Parliament.

(12 October 1924 – 28 August 2011)

Life

Leonidas Kyrkos was born in Irakleio, Crete, to Michail Kyrkos, who, along with Ioannis Pasalidis, formed the United Democratic Left in 1951.[1] Kyrkos was elected MP to the Greek Parliament in the elections of 1961, 1963 and 1964.[1] On 21 April 1967, during the coup d’état that installed the military junta, he was arrested and remained imprisoned for five years.[1] After the restoration of democracy in 1974, he was elected MP in 1974 and 1977, and MEP in 1981 and 1984

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Dmitri Royster, American hierarch (Orthodox Church in America), Archbishop of the Diocese of the South (1978–2009), died he was 87

Archbishop Dmitri was a hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America died he was 87.. He served as archbishop of the church’s Diocese of the South from 1978 to 2009 and was the ruling bishop of the Mexican Exarchate from 1972 to 2008. The territory of the diocese covered fourteen states in the United StatesAlabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

(November 2, 1923 – August 28, 2011)

Archbishop Dmitri was born as Robert Royster in Teague, Texas on November 2, 1923 and was raised as a Southern Baptist, converting to Orthodoxy in 1941.

Priesthood and episcopacy

He entered North Texas State University but left in 1943 to join the Army. While in the Army he served as a Japanese language interpreter on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines and Japan.
After leaving the Army he resumed his studies, eventually becoming a Spanish language instructor at Southern Methodist University. He received his Master of Arts in Spanish and became a Spanish literature professor.[1]
In 1954, Royster was ordained to the priesthood, and served as the rector of St. Seraphim Orthodox Church in Dallas from then until 1969.[1] On June 29, 1969, he was consecrated as Bishop of Berkeley (the Diocese of San Francisco and the West), making him the first Orthodox convert to be consecrated in America.[citation needed] In 1970, Bishop Dmitri was assigned as Bishop of Washington, auxiliary bishop to Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish). On October 19, 1971, Bishop Dmitri was elected Bishop of Hartford and New England.
In 1978, Bishop Dmitri became the first ruling bishop of the newly
created Diocese of the South. He was elevated to the rank of archbishop
in 1993. Being a senior bishop in his church, Dmitri was the locum tenens of the Metropolitan’s see and temporary head of the OCA from September 4, 2008 until the election of a new primate, Metropolitan Jonah
on November 12, 2008. On March 31, 2009 the then 85-year old archbishop
was granted retirement from active pastoral duties by the Holy Synod of
the OCA.

Death

Archbishop Dmitri died in Dallas on August 28, 2011, on the Julian calendar feast of the Dormition, which was his favorite feast day.

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Tony Sale, British computer scientist, died he was 80.

Anthony Edgar “Tony” Sale,  was an electronic engineer, computer
programmer, computer hardware engineer, and historian of computing died he was 80..

(30 January 1931 – 28 August 2011)

 He
led the construction of a Colossus computer replica at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in England, completed in 2007.

Life

He was educated at Dulwich College in south London,[3] During his adolescence he built George the robot out of Meccano, and continued working on it until it reached a fourth version in 1949, when it was given much media coverage.[4][5] Sale joined the Royal Air Force in 1949, serving until 1952. During his three years in the RAF, Sale gained his commission and reached the rank of Flying Officer. He was an instructor at RAF Officers Radar School at RAF Debden.[5] Sale worked as an engineer for MI5 under Peter Wright in the 1950s.[3]
Sale worked with Marconi Research Laboratories, was Technical Director of the British Computer Society and managed the Computer Restoration Project at the Science Museum.[6]
After becoming interested in computers, he joined the British Computer Society
(BCS) in 1965 as Associate Member, being elected to Member in 1967,
Fellow in 1988 and Honorary Fellow in 1996.He was elected to the Council
of the BCS for the period 1967–70. In 1965, was a founder member of the
Bedfordshire branch of the BCS and was named Chairman in 1979.[6]
In 1989, Sale was appointed a senior curator at the Science Museum in London and worked with Doron Swade to restore some of the museum’s computer holdings.[3] He was part of the group that started the Computer Conservation Society in 1989 and was associated with the Bletchley Park Trust from 1992 onwards.[7] In 1991, he joined the campaign to save Bletchley Park from housing development.
In 1992, he was Secretary to the newly formed Bletchley Park Trust, later unpaid Museums Director in 1994.[6] In 1993 he started the Colossus Rebuild Project, inaugurated in 1994,[8] to rebuild the Colossus computer developed at Dollis Hill in 1943.
As a result of his Colossus rebuild work, he was awarded the Comdex IT Personality of the Year for 1997.[9] He also received the 2000 Royal Scottish Society of Arts Silver Medal.[10]
Sale lectured on wartime code breaking in the UK, Europe and the US. He was technical adviser for the 2001 film Enigma.[11]
Sale’s Web site, http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk is a source of
information on aspects of World War II code breaking whilst his booklet Colossus 1943–1996[12] describes the breaking of the German Lorenz cipher and his rebuild of the Colossus computer.

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Eve Brent, American actress (The Green Mile). died from natural causes she was 82.

Eve Brent  was a Saturn Award-winning American actress died from natural causes she was 82.. She was often billed as Jean Lewis.

(September 11, 1929 – August 27, 2011)
 
Born as Jean Ann Ewers in Houston, Texas in 1929, and raised in Fort Worth, she appeared on radio and television (guest-starring roles and hundreds of commercials), in movies and on the theater stage.[2]
Some of her early film work includes roles in Gun Girls (1956), Journey to Freedom (1957) and Forty Guns (1957).[2] She became the twelfth actress to play Jane when she appeared opposite Gordon Scott‘s Tarzan in the film Tarzan’s Fight for Life, (1958). She also played the role in Tarzan and the Trappers 1958, three episodes filmed as a pilot for a proposed Tarzan television series.[2] She also appeared in the “Girl on the Road” episode of The Veil, a short 1958 Boris Karloff TV series that was never aired.
In 1980 she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fade to Black. Her best-known recent work in films was in The Green Mile, 1999.[2] She continued to work in episodic television, and made a guest appearance in 2006 on an episode of Scrubs, and in 2010 on an episode of Community.

Death

Michael Ashe, her fifth husband[2] died on July 31, 2008. Eve Brent died from natural causes on August 27, 2011, aged 81.[3]

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Frank Fanovich, American baseball player (Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Athletics), died he was 88

Frank Joseph Fanovich was an American Major League Baseball pitcher died he was 88..

(January 11, 1923 – August 27, 2011

The left-hander played for the Cincinnati Reds during the 1949 season and the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1953 season. During his MLB career, the 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 180 lb (82 kg) Fanovich appeared in 55 games, 51 in relief, and posted a career record of 0–5. He allowed 106 hits in 105 innings pitched, with 65 bases on balls and 64 strikeouts.

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Lykourgos Kallergis, Greek actor, director and politician, died he was 97.

Lykourgos Kallergis  was a Greek actor, director and politician born in Heraklion died he was 97..

(March 7, 1914 – August 27, 2011)

Kallergis was credited in more than five hundred acting roles in Greek television, film, radio and stage over a career that spanned more than sixty years.[1] He also ventured into politics, serving as a deputy within the Greek Communist Party from 1977 until 1981.[1] Kallergis later translated foreign language plays into Greek and becoming a director.[1]
Lykourgos Kallergis died at the Giorgos Gennimatas hospital in Athens on August 27, 2011, at the age of 97.[1]

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Stetson Kennedy, American folklorist and civil rights activist, died he was 94


William Stetson Kennedy  was an American author and human rights activist died he was 94.. One of the pioneer folklore collectors during the first half of the 20th century, he is remembered for having infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan
in the 1940s, exposing its secrets to authorities and the outside
world. His actions led to the 1947 revocation by the state of Georgia of
the Klan’s national corporate charter.[1] Kennedy wrote or co-wrote ten books.

(October 5, 1916 – August 27, 2011)

Biography and activities

Kennedy was named for a member of his mother’s family, the hatter John Batterson Stetson.[1]
As a teenager, he began collecting folklore material while seeking “a
dollar down and dollar a week” accounts for his father, a furniture
merchant. While a student at the University of Florida, Kennedy befriended one of his professors, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.[2]
In 1937, he left the University of Florida to join the WPA Florida Writers’ Project, and at the age of 21, was put in charge of folklore, oral history, and ethnic studies. As her supervisor, Kennedy traveled throughout Florida with African-American novelist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, visiting turpentine camps near Cross City and the Clara White Mission soup kitchen in Jacksonville. Hurston later chronicled these experiences in her book Mules and Men. The two were forced to travel separately because Jim Crow
laws prohibited them from working together. Because of segregation laws
operative in Florida at the time, “You could get killed lighting
someone’s cigarette”, Kennedy told independent producer Barrett Golding.
“Or shaking hands — both colors, white and black.”[3] Hurston was not even allowed to enter the Federal Writers’ Project
office in Jacksonville through the front door and did most of her work
from her home. Kennedy had a large hand in editing several volumes
generated by the Florida project, including The WPA Guide to Florida: the Southernmost State (1939), from the famed WPA American Guide Series, A Guide to Key West, and The Florida Negro (part of a series directed by Sterling Brown). Kennedy also studied at New College for Social Research in New York and at the Sorbonne in Paris.[2]


Stetson Kennedy cuts the cake for his 93rd birthday party (two days before the actual birthday) at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Kennedy’s first book, Palmetto Country, based on unused material collected during his WPA period, was published in 1942 as a volume in the American Folkways Series edited by Erskine Caldwell. Legendary folklorist Alan Lomax has said of the book, “I very much doubt that a better book about Florida folklife will ever be written.” To which Kennedy’s self-described “stud buddy”, Woody Guthrie, added, “[Palmetto Country]
gives me a better trip and taste and look and feel for Florida than I
got in the forty-seven states I’ve actually been in body and tramped
in boot.” The Library of Congress has placed the recordings and
pictures from the project online. Kennedy has been called “one of the
pioneer folklore collectors during the first half of the 20th century”,
and his work is a keystone of the library’s presentation.
In 1942 Kennedy accepted a position as Southeastern Editorial Director of the CIO‘s Political Action Committee in Atlanta, Georgia, in which capacity he wrote a series of monographs dealing with the poll tax, white primaries,
and other restrictions on voting that delimited democracy throughout
the South. Kept from military service by a bad back, Kennedy resolved to
perform his patriotic duties in Georgia by infiltrating both the Klan
and the Columbians,[4] an Atlanta-based neo-Nazi organization.[5]
After World War II, Kennedy worked as a journalist for the liberal newspaper PM. His stories appeared in newspapers and magazines such as the New York Post and The Nation, for which he was for a time Southern correspondent, and he fed information about discrimination to columnist Drew Pearson.
To bring the effects of Jim Crow in the South to public awareness, he
authored a number exposés of the Klan and racist Jim Crow system over
the course of his life, including Southern Exposure (1946), Jim Crow Guide to the USA (1959), and After Appomattox: How the South Won the War
(1995). During the 1950s, Kennedy’s books, considered too incendiary to
be published in the USA, were published in France by the existentialist
philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre[6] and subsequently translated into other languages. Kennedy coined the term “Frown Power”,[7]
when he started a campaign with that name in the 1940s, which simply
encouraged people to pointedly frown when they heard bigoted speech.
In 1947, Kennedy provided information – including secret codewords and details of Klan rituals – to the writers of the Superman radio program, leading popular journalist Stephen J. Dubner and University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, in their 2005 book Freakonomics, to dub Kennedy “the greatest single contributor to the weakening of the Ku Klux Klan”.[8]
The result was a series of 16 episodes in which Superman took on the
Klan. Kennedy intended to strip away the Klan’s mystique; and the
trivialization of the Klan’s rituals and codewords likely had a negative
impact on Klan recruiting and membership.[9]
In 1952, when Kennedy ran for governor of Florida, his friend and
houseguest Woody Guthrie wrote a set of lyrics for a campaign song,
“Stetson Kennedy”.[10]
Kennedy says he became “the most hated man in Florida”, and his home at
Fruit Cove near Lake Beluthahatchee was firebombed by rightists and
many of his papers destroyed, causing him to leave the country and go to
live in France. There, in 1954, Kennedy wrote his sensational exposé of the workings of the Klan, I Rode With The Ku Klux Klan (later reissued as The Klan Unmasked), which was published by Jean-Paul Sartre.
Questioned in later years about the accuracy of his account, Kennedy
later said he regretted not having included an explanatory introduction
to the book about how the information in it was obtained.[11]
The director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
Peggy Bulger, the subject of whose doctoral thesis was Kennedy’s work
as a folklorist, commented in a 2007 interview with The Associated
Press, “Exposing their folklore – all their secret handshakes, passwords
and how silly they were, dressing up in white sheets … If they
weren’t so violent, they would be silly.”[1]
A founding member and past president of the Florida Folklore Society, Kennedy was a recipient of the 1998 Florida Folk Heritage Award
and the Florida Governor’s Heartland Award. His contribution to the
preservation and propagation of folk culture is the subject of a
dissertation, “Stetson Kennedy: Applied Folklore and Cultural Advocacy” (University of Pennsylvania, 1992), by Peggy Bulger, who assumed the directorship of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in 1999. Kennedy is also featured as one of the “Whistle Blowers”, in Studs Terkel‘s book Coming of Age, published in 1995.
In 2005, Jacksonville residents attended a banquet in honor of
Kennedy’s life, and afterward a slide show with narration at Henrietta’s
Restaurant, located at 9th and Main Street in Springfield. This event was largely coordinated by Fresh Ministries. The slides included numerous pictures of his travels with author Zora Neale Hurston, and direct voice recordings which were later digitized for preservation.
In 2006, on November 24, the ninety-year-old Kennedy was wed to
former city commissioner Sandra Parks at a Quaker-style ceremony at the William Bartram Center on the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.[12]
Parks and Kennedy met when she came to Beluthahatchee to recruit him
for the 40th anniversary observance of the St. Augustine civil rights
marches which he participated in with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Kennedy, who admits to at least five previous marriages, commented,
“I’ll leave it to the historians to decide how many times I’ve been
married.”[13]
In 2007 St. Johns County declared a “Stetson Kennedy Day”.[14]


Kennedy in 1991

Kennedy participated in the two-day New Deal Resources: Preserving the Legacy conference at the Library of Congress on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the New Deal held in March 2008.[15] Kennedy’s most recent book, Grits and Grunts: Folkloric Key West, was issued by the Pineapple Press, in 2008.
In February 2009, Kennedy bequeathed his personal library to the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, Florida with which Kennedy had worked since the center’s inception.[16]
In October 2009, a first party for Kennedy’s 93rd birthday was held
at the Civic Media Center and the next day admirers flocked to
Beluthahatchee Park, now a landmarked historic site, to celebrate
Kennedy’s birthday there.[17]

Beluthahatchee Park


Sign on Stetson Kennedy’s residence erected consequent to the 2003
designation of Beluthahatchee as a Literary Landmark, No. 83 in the
National Register. (An additional marker, in Kennedy’s name, was also
approved, to be erected following his demise.)

In 2003, Friends of Libraries USA put Beluthahatchee on its national
register of literary sites and, to commemorate the occasion, Arlo Guthrie gave a concert in Jacksonville.[18]
In 2005 Kennedy received a life estate on his 4 acre homestead in Saint Johns County, and it is now Beluthahatchee Park.[19]
The name “Beluthahatchee” describes a mythical “Florida Shangri-la,
where all unpleasantness is forgiven and forgotten” according to Zora
Neale Hurston.[20]
Among the amenities are a picnic pavilion, canoe dock, access to the
Beluthatchee Lake, and use of the two wildlife observation platforms. A
“Mother Earth Trail” throughout the property is planned, as envisioned
by the Kennedy Foundation. The Park’s perimeter is surrounded by a heavy
canopy of native vegetation and the enclave provides a habitat for
wildlife and continues to serve as a rookery and roosting place for many
types of waterfowl and other birds.
Kennedy’s home will, upon his death, be open as a museum and archive
and offer educational exhibits and whatnot, primarily about Woody
Guthrie and William Bartram in addition to Kennedy himself, and will be
operated by the Kennedy Foundation which will share office space in an
adjacent home with the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway
corridor group. A log cabin that’s in the park may serve as a caretaker
residence while the fourth building there may house an
Artist-in-Residence through the Florida Folklife program.[21]
The park is part of a 70 acre tract that Kennedy purchased in 1948,
recorded restrictive covenants setting aside land in perpetuity as a
wildlife refuge, and the following year subdivided, subsequently selling
all but his own 4 acre parcel.[19]

Critical assessments from his peers

In 1999, a freelance historian, Ben Green, alleged that Kennedy falsified or misrepresented portions of I Rode With The Ku Klux Klan.
During the 1990s, Green had enlisted Kennedy’s help while researching a
book about the still unsolved 1951 Florida fire-bombing murders of
black Civil Rights activists Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette. Green’s book about the Moores, Freedom Never Dies,
was published in 1999. Green and Kennedy, quarreled over what Kennedy
considered Green’s too sympathetic portrayal of the FBI. Green, whose
book is generally disparaging of Kennedy, claimed to have examined
Kennedy’s archives at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem and in Atlanta and concluded that a number of interviews, portrayed in I Rode With The Ku Klux Klan
as having been conducted undercover, had in fact been done openly, and
that racist material amassed by Kennedy had also been openly obtained
from mail subscriptions to the Klan and similar groups and not
surreptitiously, as implied. Most seriously, Green accused Kennedy of
concealing the existence of a collaborator, referred to as “John Brown”
(a pseudonym probably chosen in honor of the 19th-century abolitionist John Brown),
whom Green alleged was in fact responsible for the most daring of
Kennedy’s undercover revelations. Green also interviewed Georgia State
Prosecutor Dan Duke, whom he reported as denying having worked with
Kennedy as closely the latter had claimed. “Duke agreed that Kennedy
‘got inside of some [Klan] meetings’ but openly disputed Kennedy’s
dramatized account of their relationship. ‘None of that happened,’
[Duke] told Green”, according to Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt
in their New York Times Magazine column of January 8, 2006.[22] In the same column, Levitt and Dubner also quote Jim Clark, a professor at the University of Central Florida
and co-author of a PBS television documentary based on Green’s book, as
saying that “[Kennedy] built a national reputation on many things that
didn’t happen”. Jim Clark and Ben Green collaborated on the script of Freedom Never Dies: The Story of Harry T. Moore,[23] based on Green’s book and partially funded by the Freedom Forum.[24] Peggy Bulger, on the other hand, stated that when she interviewed him: “[Sheriff] Duke laughed about the way The Klan Unmasked
was written. But he added that Kennedy ‘didn’t do it all, but he did
plenty,’ she said. In a letter to Kennedy dated July 27, 1946, Georgia
Gov. Ellis Arnall wrote: ‘You have my permission to quote me as making
the following observation: Documentary evidence uncovered by Stetson
Kennedy has facilitated Georgia’s prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan.'”[11]
Freakonomics
authors Dubner and Levitt had included a favorable summary of Kennedy’s
anti-Klan activities with special emphasis on the events recounted in I Rode with the Ku Klux Klan
in the 2005 edition of their bestselling book. In the revised 2006
edition, after being contacted by Green, they retracted their earlier
admiration, claiming that they had been “hoodwinked”.[22] The allegations in their retraction were swiftly repeated by the business journal Forbes in a review of the revised edition of Freakonomics:
“It turns out that Kennedy doesn’t quite live up to his own legend. In
fact, he had exaggerated his story for decades and credited himself with
actions taken by other people”.
Green’s insinuations are contested by scholars, who emphasize that
Kennedy never concealed that he had protected his colleagues’ identities
and maintain that Green either misread or did not really read the
material at the Schomburg Center. Peggy Bulger, the head of the American Folklife Division of the Library of Congress,
who wrote her Ph. D. dissertation on Kennedy and interviewed him
extensively, maintains that Kennedy was always candid with her and
others about his combination of two narratives into one in I Rode With the Ku Klux Klan:
“His purpose was to expose the Klan to a broad reading audience and use
their folklore against them, which he did.” In a letter to the editor
of New York Times Magazine
(published on January 22, 2006) Bulger accused Dubner and Levitt of
“holding Stetson Kennedy responsible for the inadequacies of their own
research”:

It’s preposterous. I have worked with Stetson Kennedy for more than
30 years, conducting almost 100 in-depth interviews with both Kennedy
and his contemporaries. Your writers use one footnote from my
dissertation as “evidence,” yet Dubner admitted to me that they never
read the whole thing. This is “data”? What is the smoking gun here?[25]

In the same issue of the magazine a letter of protest from famed oral historian Studs Terkel
affirms that “With half a dozen Stetson Kennedys, we can transform our
society into one of truth, grace and beauty…. The thing is, Stetson
did what he set out to do …. He did get help. He should have been much
more up-front. But he certainly doesn’t deserve this treatment”.
In his own response (published in the Jacksonville, Florida Folio Weekly, January 27, 2006) Kennedy pulled no punches:

The hidden story behind these hidden story guys is that is was a put-up, hatchet job. Freakonomics
co-author, Stephen Dubner, admitted to me that it was Ben Green, author
of the book about the Harry T. Moore assassinations, who made the call.
And, why would he have it in for me? We once had a contract to
collaborate on the Moore book and split the byline; but instead we
split, because I was convinced that lawmen at every level were involved
in every phase of the murders, while he was bent not just upon whitewash
but on praising the G-men for a “stellar performance”.

I must say that I am not at all comfortable about being in Freakonomics,
anyway. I took the authors into my home on the basis of their assertion
that what they were after was the economics of the Klan. The next thing
I knew, they sent me a pre-publication copy of their sketch of Klan
history, and I was horrified to see that it was a rehash of the Klan’s
very own “Birth of A Nation” version. I did some detailed editing, but
they chose to ignore it — just as they did all the documentation I gave
them on my infiltration of Klans all over the South, all by my lonesome.

I trust that readers took note of the book’s attack upon Head Start,
which with all its faults, is a godsend to many. Still worse is the
book’s suggestion that the way to decrease the crime rate is to decrease
the black birthrate via abortion. Without reference to what American
does to its black and tan kids, that is sheer racism. There is too much
evil going on in the world for me, going on 90, to take time out to
haggle with anyone about which agent covered which Klan meeting 50 years
ago.[26]

In 2006, The Florida Times-Union, after extensive research, published an article “KKK Book Stands Up to Claim of Falsehood”
(January 29, 2006) substantiating the general accuracy of Kennedy’s
account of infiltrating the Klan, while acknowledging that (as he
himself never denied) he had made use of dramatic effects and multiple
narratives in the book I Rode with the Ku Klux Klan.
David Pilgrim of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University commented:

Green claimed, after months of readings Kennedy’s field notes, that he was unable to substantiate many of the claims in The Klan Unmasked.
He even insinuated that Kennedy had fabricated his true role. Kennedy,
in his 90s, fought to salvage his reputation and protect his legacy. He
acknowledges that some accounts in his books were actually derived from
the actions of co-infiltrators or others sympathetic with undermining
the Klan. Though I recognize the importance of integrity in a person’s
work, I am nevertheless not especially troubled if Southern Exposure or The Klan Unmasked
includes accounts from others afraid to speak for themselves. Nor am I
bothered that Kennedy embellished his role. Infiltrating the Klan was an
act of great courage, and the information in the books and on the radio
shows led to the arrests of some Klansmen, the derailing of domestic
terrorist acts, and the unpopularity of the Klan organization. That is
good enough for me. I encourage readers to watch this short video [(no longer) on Youtube] which chronicles the life and work of Kennedy.

The Jim Crow Museum staff periodically trains docents to work in the
facility. When I facilitate this training I have the students read
Kennedy’s book, Jim Crow Guide: The Way It Was (1959). The book
is a mock guide dripping with bitter sarcasm; nevertheless, it is a
historically sound account of life under Jim Crow segregation.

Death and Memorials


Stetson Kennedy’s ashes are spread at the end of his memorial service on
October 1, 2011 onto Beluthahatchee Lake by his daughter, Jill Bowen.

Kennedy died on August 27, 2011 at Baptist Medical Center South in
Jacksonville, Florida, where he had been in palliative care for several
days.[27]
Kennedy’s stated wishes were that upon his death there be a party
held rather than a funeral; therefore, a celebration of Kennedy’s life
was held on October 1, 2011 (four days before Kennedy’s 95th birthday)
at Kennedy’s homestead, Beluthahatchee Park.[28]
Several hundred kin, friends, and admirers gathered for the events
which commenced with an hour of music performed by many well-known
artists of pieces among which were several written by Kennedy’s friend Woody Guthrie,
who composed many songs at Beluthahatchee, including a number about
Kennedy, e.g., “Beluthahatchee Bill”. The music culminated with all
present singing Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land“,
which was followed by an hour of eulogies. Then all present walked down
to Lake Beluthahatchee and watched as Kennedy’s ashes were scattered
thereon from a canoe by his daughter.[29]

Books

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Gallery

Kim Tai Chung,Korean actor and martial artist, died from internal stomach bleeding at 68..

Kim Tai Chung , also known as Kim Tai Jong or Tong Lung, was a Korean born taekwondo practitioner martial artist actor and businessman died from internal stomach bleeding at 68. Kim is perhaps best known as Ghost Bruce Lee in 1986 martial arts film No Retreat, No Surrender.

(12 February 1943 – 27 August 2011)

Acting

In 1970s, Kim played Bruce Lee’s character Billy Lo in 1978 martial arts thriller film Game of Death his first Hong Kong film debut, along with Yuen Biao
(who performed the acrobatics and stunts), Kim played Lee’s character
so well that the producers used him again a few years later.
In 1980s, Kim played Bobby Lo in 1981 film Game of Death II alongside Hwang Jang Lee, Roy Horan, To Wai Wo and Lee Hoi San.
After Game of Death II, Kim returned to Korea and playing Master Bruce in 1982 film Jackie vs. Bruce to the Rescue (also known as Fist of Death) along with Jackie Chang (look like Drunken Master film star Jackie Chan), and another Korean film Miss, Please be Patient, it was released in November 1981.
In June 1985, Chinese film producer Ng See Yuen was looking for an actor to play ghost Bruce Lee in 1986 martial arts film No Retreat, No Surrender his American debut and final film, which marked the film debut of Belgium martial artist actor Jean-Claude Van Damme as Ivan the Russian. Kim played Bruce Lee to training Kurt McKinney‘s martial artist.

Retired from acting

After No Retreat, No Surrender, Kim returned to Korea and retired from acting at the age of 43 and became a businessman.
In 2008, Kim made a rare public appearance in Korea as part of a screening of Miss, Please be Patient, which had originally been released in 1981. Kim had played a leading role in that film.

Death

On 27 August 2011 [2], Kim has died of internal stomach bleeding at the age of 68. [3]

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Nico Minardos, Greek actor (Istanbul, Twelve Hours to Kill, The Twilight Zone), died from natural causes at 81

Nico Minardos was a Greek-American actor died from natural causes at 81..

(February 15, 1930 – August 27, 2011 )

Life and works

Nico Minardos made his first appearance in front of the Hollywood cameras as an extra in the 1952 film Monkey Business, starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. Also listed among his film credits are Holiday for Lovers with Jill St. John; Twelve Hours to Kill with Barbara Eden; It Happened in Athens with Jayne Mansfield; and Cannon for Cordoba, an action-packed western with George Peppard and Pete Duel.
The majority of Minardos’ work, however, was in television, where he
made guest appearances in a wide variety of shows. Because of his dark
looks and accent, he was often cast as a Mexican, a trend which can be
seen throughout his career. These roles included that of a thief in the Maverick episode, “The Judas Mask”; a doctor in The Twilight Zone episode “The Gift”; and two roles in the TV show Alias Smith and Jones,
first as a bandit chief in “Journey from San Juan,” and then as the
Alcalde of a Mexican resort town in “Miracle at Santa Marta.” These
latter two appearances reunited him with Cannon for Cordoba co-star, Pete Duel, who played Hannibal Heyes, the alias Smith of the title.
Minardos was married twice, first briefly in the mid-1950s to the
former Deborah Jean Smith (sometimes incorrectly referred to as Deborah
Ann Montgomery). There were no children from that marriage. Two years
after the divorce, Deborah married the legendary actor Tyrone Power.
Minardos remarried in 1966. He and his wife Julie had two children
together, a son named George and a daughter named Nina. Minardos
reputedly lived with the actress Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s and also for a short time the actress/dancer Juliet Prowse lived with him in his Beverly Hills canyon house before she moved to Las Vegas to be with Frank Sinatra.
On September 28, 1966, Minardos, who was co-starring with actor Eric Fleming
in an MGM-TV movie filming on location in Peru to be called “Selva
Alta” (“High Jungle”), was involved in a canoeing mishap on the Huallaga
River in which Fleming drowned. Minardos, a strong swimmer, was unable
to rescue Fleming from the rapids and only barely survived himself.
Fleming’s body disappeared in the turbulent waters and was not recovered
until three days later.
In 1975, Minardos starred in and produced Assault on Agathon based on the book by Alan Caillou.
It is the story of a revolutionary from World War II, the mysterious
Agathon, who is committing terrorist acts in Greece and Albania.
Minardos stars as Cabot Cain, a Western agent assigned to stop Agathon
and locate a missing Interpol agent. The film also starred Marianne Faithfull and John Woodvine. Minardos’s last appearance on the screen was in an episode of The A-Team in 1983.
In 1986 Minardos was one of the celebrated defendants in a case related to the Iran-Contra Affair, resulting from Minardos’ business association with the Saudi arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi. Minardos was caught in an FBI sting operation in New York and was indicted by then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani on charges of conspiracy to illegally ship arms to Iran. He was represented by famed anti-government attorneys William Kunstler and Ron Kuby in this case. Minardos was interviewed by Mike Wallace for a segment of the CBS show 60 Minutes
regarding his role in the case. Although the indictment was eventually
thrown out, the cost of his legal defense drove him to the point of
bankruptcy which unfortunately ended his Hollywood career. Minardos soon
traded his home in Beverly Hills for a sailing yacht in Florida, which
he subsequently outfitted and sailed across the Atlantic to his Greek
homeland with a crew that included his son George.
Minardos retired to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
during the 1990s and 2000s, but moved back to Southern California in
2009 after suffering a stroke. He was the subject of a documentary about
his life titled Finding Nico which was completed in 2010.
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Ram Sharan Sharma, Indian historian, died at 91.

Ram Sharan Sharma was an eminent historian of Ancient and early Medieval India died at 91..

(26 November 1919 – 20 August 2011)

He taught at Patna University, Delhi University (1973–85) and the University of Toronto and was a senior fellow at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; University Grants Commission National Fellow (1958–81) and President of Indian History Congress
in 1975. It was during the tenure of Professor R. S. Sharma as the Dean
of Delhi University’s History Department in the 1970s that major
expansion of the department took place.[5] The creation of most of the positions in the Department owes to Professor Sharma’s efforts.[5] He is the founding Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) and a historian of international repute.[6]
On his death, a function was organized by the Indian Council of Historical Research which was hosted by the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, the eminent historians Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, D.N.Jha, Satish Chandra, Kesavan Veluthat and ICHR Chairperson Basudev Chatterjee paid rich tributes to R.S. Sharma and emphasized that he had influenced them in more ways than one.[7] Professor Bipan Chandra paid him the most handsome tribute: “After D.D. Kosambi, R.S. Sharma was the greatest historian of India.”[8] Two of the most gifted historians of our times —D.N.Jha and Sumit Sarkar — were brought to Delhi University when Sharma was at the helm.[9]
During his lifetime, he authored 115 books[10]
published in fifteen languages. As head of the departments of History
at Patna University and Delhi University, as Chairman of the Indian
Council of Historical Research, as an important member of the National
Commission of the History of Sciences in India and UNESCO
Commission on the history of Central Asian Civilizations and of the
University Grants Commission, New Delhi, and, above all, as a practising
historian he has been influencing the major decisions relating to
historical research in India.[11] At the instance of Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha, when Professor Sharma was in Patna College,
he worked as special officer on deputation in the Political Department
in 1948 where he was deputed to prepare a report on the Bihar-Bengal
Boundary Dispute which he prepared in right earnest.[12][13][14] His pioneering effort resolved the border dispute forever which has been recorded by Dr. Sachchinand Sinha in a letter to Rajendra Prasad.[12][13][14]

Early life

Sharma was born in Barauni, Begusarai, Bihar in a poor Bhumihar Brahmin family.[15]
With great difficulty his father sponsored his education till
matriculation. After that he kept on getting scholarships and even did
private tuitions to support his education.[11] In his youth he came in contact with peasant leaders like Karyanand Sharma and Sahajanand Saraswati and scholars like Rahul Sankrityayan
and perhaps from them he imbibed the determination to fight for social
justice and an abiding concern for the downtrodden which drew him to
left ideology.[11] His later association with Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha,
a social reformer and journalist, broadened his mental horizon and
firmly rooted him in the reality of rural India and thus strengthened
his ties with the left movement and brought him into the front rank of
anti-imperialist and anti-communal intellectuals of the country.[11]

Education and achievements

He passed matriculation in 1937 and joined Patna College, where he studied for six years from intermediate to postgraduate classes.[12] He did his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London under Professor Arthur Llewellyn Basham.[16] He taught at colleges in Ara (1943) and Bhagalpur (July 1944 to November 1946) before coming to Patna College in 1946.[12] He became the head of the Department of History at Patna University from 1958-1973.[12]
He became a university professor in 1958. He served as professor and
Dean of the History Department at Delhi University from 1973–1978. He
got the Jawaharlal Fellowship in 1969. He was the founding Chairperson
of Indian Council of Historical Research from 1972-1977. He has been a visiting fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (1959–64); University Grants Commission National Fellow (1958–81); visiting Professor of History in University of Toronto (1965–66); President of Indian History Congress in 1975 and recipient of Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 1989.[12] He became the deputy-chairperson of UNESCO‘s
International Association for Study of Central Asia from 1973–1978; he
has served as an important member of the National Commission of History
of Sciences in India and a member of the University Grants Commission.[12]
Sharma got the Campbell Memorial Gold Medal (for outstanding Indologist) for 1983 by the Asiatic Society of Bombay in November, 1987; received the H. K. Barpujari Biennial National Award by Indian History Congress for Urban Decay in India in 1992 and worked as National Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research (1988–91).[12]
He is a member of many academic committees and associations. He has
also been recipient of the K. P. Jayaswal Fellowship of the K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute, Patna (1992–94); he was invited to receive Hemchandra Raychaudhuri Birth Centenary Gold Medal for outstanding historian from The Asiatic Society in August 2001; and in 2002 the Indian History Congress gave him the Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade Award for his life-long service and contribution to Indian history.[12] He got D.Litt (Honoris Causa) from the University of Burdwan and a similar degree from Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi.[12] He is also the president of the editorial group of the scholastic magazine Social Science Probings. He is a member of the Board of Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library.
His works have been translated into many Indian languages apart from
being written in Hindi and English. Fifteen of his works have been
translated into Bengali. Apart from Indian languages many of his works
have been translated into many foreign languages like Japanese, French,
German, Russian, etc.
In the opinion of fellow historian Professor Irfan Habib, “D. D. Kosambi and R. S. Sharma, together with Daniel Thorner, brought peasants into the study of Indian history for the first time.”[17] Prof. Dwijendra Narayan Jha
published a book in his honour in 1996, titled “Society and Ideology in
India: ed. Essays in Honour of Professor R. S. Sharma” (Munshiram
Manoharlal, Delhi, 1996). In his honour, a selection of essays was
published by the K. P. Jaiswal Research Institute, Patna in 2005.
Journalist Sham Lal writes about him, “R. S. Sharma, a perceptive historian of Ancient India,
has too great a regard for the truth about the social evolution in
India over a period of two thousand years, stretching from 1500 BC to
500 AD, to take refuge in a world of make-believe.”[18]
Professor Sumit Sarkar
opines: “Indian historiography, starting with D. D. Kosambi in the
1950s, is acknowledged the world over – wherever South Asian history is
taught or studied – as quite on a par with or even superior to all that
is produced abroad. And that is why Irfan Habib or Romila Thapar
or R. S. Sharma are figures respected even in the most diehard
anti-Communist American universities. They cannot be ignored if you are
studying South Asian history.”[19]

As an Institution Builder

Impatient with inefficiency and guided by his radicalism, Professor Sharma had been a great builder of institutions.[11] Under his guidance the department of History, Patna University,
drastically changed its syllabi and made a sharp departure from the
communal and imperialist historiographical legacy of the colonial
period.[11]
He has the credit of activising the dapartment which was suffering from
an almost incurable inertia and of initiating academic programmes which
gave a distinct character to the History department of Patna University
and thereby bringing it into the vanguard of secular and scientific
historiography.[11]
In Delhi
where he spent a smaller part of his teaching career, Professor
Sharma’s achievements are no less significant. The development of the
department of History, Delhi University,
owes a great deal to the efforts of Professor Sharma who radicalized it
by converting it into a citadel of secular and scientific History and
waged an all out war against communalist historiography.[11]
It is largely because of his efforts that the largest body of professional Indian historians, the Indian History Congress, of which he was the general president in 1975 and which honoured him with H.K. Barpujari Award in 1989, has now become the symbol of secular and scientific approach to History.[11]

Personality

Professor R.S.Sharma was known for his simplicity.[20] He was tall, fair and was always clad in dhoti-kurta.[20] Historian Suvira Jaisawal,
Sharma’s first PhD student, remembers her teacher not only giving a
lesson in good writing but even mundane stuff like how to put pin in
papers so it did not hurt anyone.[9] In the opinion of his student, Historian Dwijendra Narayan Jha, “A
man of courage, conviction, utter humility and a strong social
commitment, Professor Sharma is as unassuming as indefatigable in his
academic pursuits. Full of compassion, he has been a constant source of
inspiration to his pupils and other younger scholars. While he has been
all warmth to his friends, he is extremely decent and generous to his
detractors. His qualities of head and heart make him a truly great man.
[11]

Writing style

Professor Sharma’s mastery of epigraphic, literary and archaeological
texts enabled him to demolish many myths created by
imperialist-colonialist historiography as well as by the cultural
chauvinists of more recent times, and made scientific study of the
ever-changing Indian society in all its dimensions possible.[20]
His humility had no limits — he was always ready to learn even from a
novice working in the discipline of history and go to the extent of
acknowledging him/ her in his works.[20]
Such a combination of scholarship and humility is not seen easily
today, when even toddlers in history writing prefer to blow their own
trumpets in the din of the market.[20]
In his writings Professor Sharma has focussed on early Indian social
structure, material and economic life, state formation and political
ideas and the social context of religious ideologies and has sought to
underline the historical processes which shaped Indian culture and civilization.[11] In his study of each of these aspects of Ancient Indian History he has laid stress on the elements of change and continuity.[11]
This has significantly conditioned his methodology which basically
rests on a critical evaluation of sources and a correlation between literary texts with archaeology and ethnography.[11]
His methodology is being increasingly extended to the study of various
aspects of Indian history just as the problems studied by him an the
questions raised by him have generated a bulk of historical literature
in recent years.[11]

Major works

  • Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India (Motilal Banarsidass, Fifth Revised Edition, Delhi, 2005)
  • Sudras in Ancient India: A Social History of the Lower Order Down to Circa AD 600 (Motilal Banarsidass, Third Revised Edition, Delhi, 1990; Reprint, Delhi, 2002)
  • India’s Ancient Past (Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • Looking for the Aryans (Orient Longman Publishers, 1995, Delhi)
  • Indian Feudalism (Macmillan Publishers India Ltd., 3rd Revised Edition, Delhi, 2005)[21]
  • Early Medieval Indian Society: A Study in Feudalisation (Orient Longman Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, 2003)
  • Perspectives in Social and Economic History of Ancient India (Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi, 2003)
  • Urban Decay in India c. 300- c. 1000 (Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi, 1987)

In contrast to his predecessors who had focussed their attention on the study of higher orders, he published his Sudras in Ancient India as early as 1958 and examined the relationship of the lower social orders with the means of production from the Vedic age up to the Gupta period.[11] In the following year (1959) his Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India,
apart from national chauvinist and revivalist approach of earlier
Historians, emphasized the material basis of the power structure in Ancient India, a point he also stressed in his later work The Origin of State in India (1990).[11] In 1965, his Indian Feudalism posed a major problem as to whether India passed through the phase of Feudalism (see Indian feudalism).[11] His Social Changes in Early Medieval India,
being the first Dev Raj Chanana Memorial Lecture, brought into focus
the changes in social structure that accompanied the origin and growth
of feudalism in early India and in 1987 his Urban Decay in India (c.300-1000)
drew attention to the overwhelming mass of archaeological evidence to
demonstrate the decline of urban centres in early medieval period which
reinforces his arguments reharding the genesis and growth of feudalism
in India.[11] In another work, Material Culture and Social Formations in Ancient India (1985),
on which he worked as Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow, Professor Sharma has
sought to unravel the process of class formation, and social
implications of the material changes in the Vedic period and in the age of the Buddha on the basis of literary and archaeological sources.[11]
Professor Sharma’s researches cover the whole range of early Indian history and are largely summarized in his popular textbook Ancient India (1977) written for the National Council of Educational Research and Training.[11] When this book was withdrawn under pressure of obscurantist elements he launched an attack on them in his In Defence of “Ancient India” (1979) and the book was subsequently restored.[11]

Theory of Feudalism

The publication of his monograph Indian Feudalism
in 1965 caused almost a furore in the academia, generating intense
debate and sharp responses both in favour of and against the
applicability of the model of “feudalism” to the Indian situation at any
point of time.[14] The concept of “feudalism” was initially used by D. D. Kosambi to analyse the developments in the socio-economic sphere in the late ancient and medieval periods of Indian history.[22]
Sharma, while differing from Kosambi on certain significant points,
added a great deal of depth to the approach with his painstaking
research and forceful arguments.[14] The work has been called his magnum opus.[14] Criticism goaded Sharma into reinforcing his thesis by producing another work of fundamental importance, Urban Decay in India (c.300-1000),
in which he marshalled an impressive mass of archaeological data to
demonstrate the decline of urban centres, a crucial element of his
thesis on feudalism.[14] It won him the H.K. Barpujari award instituted by the Indian History Congress.[14] However, the redoubtable professor was unstoppable, and in his Early Medieval Indian Society: A Study in Feudalisation (Orient Longman, 2001), he further rebutted the objections of his critics point by point.[14]
Sharma applied the tool of historical materialism not only to explain
social differentiation and stages of economic development, but also to
the realm of ideology.[14]
His investigations into the “feudal mind” and “economic and social
basis of tantrism” are thought-provoking, opening up new lines of
inquiry.[14] In an earlier article, he examined “the material milieu of the birth of Buddhism”, which now forms a part of his Material Culture and Social Formations in Ancient India (Macmillan, 1983).[14] The monograph, full of seminal ideas, has been translated into several Indian and foreign languages and has had 11 editions.[14]

The issue of Aryans

Sharma wrote two books, Looking for the Aryans (Orient Longman, 1995) and Advent of the Aryans in India
(Manohar, 1999), to demolish the myth assiduously cultivated by the
historiography that the Aryans were the original inhabitants of India
and Harappa culture was their creation.[14] More recently, when some people sought to get a new lease of life by creating a crisis over Adam’s Bridge, or Ram Sethu,
by asserting that it was a man-made construction built by Ram and not a
natural formation (the result of continuous wave action), the
Government of India appointed a committee of three with two bureaucrats
and a historian to examine the veracity of such claims.[14] Sharma, who was the historian on the committee, submitted his report in December 2007 and thus helped in diffusing the crisis.[14] Incidentally, work on the report occasioned his last visit to Delhi.[14]

Views on communalism

Sharma has denounced communalism of all types. In his booklet, Communal History and Rama’s Ayodhya, he writes, “Ayodhya seems to have emerged as a place of religious pilgrimage in medieval times. Although chapter 85 of the Vishnu Smriti lists as many as 52 places of pilgrimage, including towns, lakes, rivers, mountains, etc., it does not include Ayodhya
in this list.” But as the team leader of the Babri Masjid Action
Committee, he failed to furnish proof when asked by the Chandrasekhar
government in 1990, that Babri Masjid was not built destroying a Rama
temple in the disputed Ram Janmobhoomi site.[23] Sharma also notes that Tulsidas, who wrote the Ramcharitmanas in 1574 at Ayodhya, does not mention it as a place of pilgrimage.[23] After the demolition of Babri masjid, he along with Historians Suraj Bhan, M.Athar Ali and Dwijendra Narayan Jha came up with the Historian’s report to the nation
on how the communalists were mistaken in their assumption that there
was a temple at the disputed site and how it was sheer vandalism in
bringing down the mosque and the book has been translated into all the
Indian languages.[24] He had denounced the vandalism of Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in 2004.[25]

Political controversies

His 1977 Ancient India was banned by the Janata Party government in 1978, among other things for its criticism of the historicity of Krishna and the events of the Mahabharata epic, reporting the historical position that

“Although Krishna plays an important role in the Mahabharata,
inscriptions and sculptural pieces found in Mathura dating back to 200
BC and 300 AD do not attest to his presence. Because of this, ideas of
an epic age based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata have to be
discarded…”[26]

He has supported the addition of the Ayodhya dispute and the 2002 Gujarat riots to school syllabus calling them ‘socially relevant topics’ to broaden the horizons of youngsters.[27]
This was his remark when the NCERT decided to include the Gujarat riots
and the Ayodhya dispute besides the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the Class
XII political science books, arguing that these events influenced the
political process in the country since Independence.[27]

Criticism

Andre Wink, Professor of History at University of Wisconsin–Madison criticizes Sharma in Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World (Vol. I) for drawing too close parallels between European and Indian feudalism.

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Gil Courtemanche, Canadian journalist and novelist, died from cancer age 68

Gil Courtemanche was a Canadian progressive journalist and novelist in third-world and international politics died from cancer age 68.. He wrote for the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir.

(August 18, 1943 – August 19, 2011) 

Courtemanche was born in Montreal, Quebec. He began his career as a journalist in 1962, with several collaborations with Radio-Canada including Le 60, Métro Magazine and Présent National. He later created L’Évènement,
a television program with Radio-Canada which he also hosted between
1978 and 1980. During the same period, he was also an editorialist with
CBOT, an Ottawa radio station. In 1978, he hosted Contact, the first public affairs magazine for Télé-Québec. Between 1980 and 1986, he worked as a host, analyst and correspondent for the programs Télémag, Première Page and Le Point with Radio-Canada.
Courtemanche helped found the sovereigntist and social democrat newspaper Le Jour, and also worked as a journalist with La Presse.
From 1986, he worked on various publications such as Alternatives and
Le Libraire. He published columns on international politics in Le Soleil, Le Droit, and Le Devoir.
He participated in making documentaries, including the series Soleil dans la nuit for TV5 Europe-Afrique-Canada, on the first anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. He also filmed a documentary on AIDS titled The Gospel of AIDS. Furthermore, he helped produced various documentaries and advertisements on the third-world for Le Cardinal Léger et ses œuvres and OXFAM-Québec:
leprosy in Haiti, the politics of water, agricultural development in
the Philippines, education for disabled children in Thailand, etc.
His first novel, Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali, which documents the Rwandan genocide of 1994, was published in 2000. It was chosen for inclusion in the French version of Canada Reads, broadcast on Radio-Canada in 2004, where it was defended by writer, environmentalist and activist Laure Waridel. Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali eventually won the contest. It was filmed as Un dimanche à Kigali.

Bibliography

  • Douces colères (1989)
  • Trente artistes dans un train (1989)
  • Chroniques internationales (1991)
  • Québec (1998)
  • Nouvelles douces colères (1999)
  • Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali (2000) (translated into English as A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Patricia Claxton (2003))
  • La Seconde Révolution tranquille – Démocratiser la démocratie (essay) (2003)
  • Une belle mort (2005)
  • Le monde, le lézard et moi (2009)
  • Je ne veux pas mourir seul (2010)

Awards and recognition

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Who is Mary Frances Reynolds?

Who is Mary Frances Reynolds? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Debbie Reynolds, she is an American actress, singer, and dancer and mother of actress/author Carrie Fisher. Reynolds’ marriage to Eddie Fisher ended in divorce in 1959 when he went to marry her former (and later) friend Elizabeth Taylor. She is also a collector of film memorabilia.

Early life

Debbie Reynolds was born April 1, 1932 Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (née Harmon; 1913–1999) and Raymond Francis Reynolds (1903–1986), who was a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad.[1][2] Her parents were of Irish ancestry.[3] Reynolds was a Girl Scout and a troop leader (a scholarship in her name is offered to high-school age Girl Scouts). Her family moved to Burbank, California, in 1939, and she was raised in a strict Nazarene faith. At age 16, while a student at Burbank’s John Burroughs High School, Reynolds won the Miss Burbank Beauty Contest, a contract with Warner Brothers, and acquired a new first name.

Career

Reynolds regularly appeared in movie musicals during the 1950s and had several hit records during the period. Her song “Aba Daba Honeymoon” (featured in the 1950 film Two Weeks with Love as a duet with Carleton Carpenter) was a top-three hit in 1951. Her most high-profile film role was in Singin’ in the Rain (1952) as Kathy Selden. In Bundle of Joy (1956) she appeared with her then-husband, Eddie Fisher.

Her recording of the song “Tammy” (from her 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor) earned her a gold record,[4] and was the best-selling single by a female vocalist in 1957. It was number one for five weeks on the Billboard pop charts. In the movie (the first of the Tammy film series), she co-starred with Leslie Nielsen.
In 1959, Reynolds recorded her first album for Dot Records, simply called Debbie, which included her own selection of twelve standards including “S’posin'”, “Moonglow”, “Mean To Me” and “Time After Time”. Bing Crosby paid tribute to Reynolds in the sleeve notes accompanying the album thus:

Someone recently said, and with reasonable accuracy I would think, that good singers make good actors. Evidence in support of this belief is available in the recent performances of Sinatra and Martin, for instance, but I would like to put forth also the proposition that the reverse is quite true: good actors make good singers. Assuming they can carry a tune. We all know that Debbie is better than a good actress — she’s VERY good, and we all know she can sing with a lilt and a listenable quality that’s genuinely pleasant and agreeable. Witness “Tammy”. It was small surprise to me then that when I listened to this beautiful album she has etched for Dot, I found myself captivated and enchanted. Quite obviously Debbie had spent a great deal of time selecting the songs to be included, because she’s made them her own, and invested them with a sincerity that’s inescapable — of contrasting moods to be sure, but the moods are there, and to me, mighty effective. And that, mes amis, is artistry.

Reynolds also scored two other top-25 Billboard hits with “A Very Special Love” (1958) and “Am I That Easy to Forget” (1960)

 — a pop-music version of a country-music hit made famous by both songwriters Carl Belew (in 1959), Skeeter Davis (in 1960), and several years later by singer Engelbert Humperdinck. She has released several albums of both her vintage performances and her later recordings.

During these years, she also headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms.
Her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) led to a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then portrayed Jeanine Deckers in The Singing Nun (1966).
In what Reynolds has called the “stupidest mistake of my entire career”,[5] she made headlines in 1970 after instigating a fight with the NBC television network over cigarette advertising on her eponymous television series; NBC cancelled the show.[5]
She continues to make appearances in film and television. She played Helen Chappel Hackett‘s mother, Deedee Chappel, on an episode of “Wings” entitled, “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother”, which originally aired on November 22, 1994.[6] From 1999 to its 2006 series finale, she played Grace Adler‘s ditzy mother, Bobbi Adler, on the NBC sitcom Will &Grace (1998–2006), which earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000. She also plays a recurring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie Halloweentown film series as Aggie Cromwell. Reynolds made a guest appearance as a presenter at the 69th Academy Awards in 1997.
She is currently performing in her West End show Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous. In June 2010, her publicist Edward Lozzi secured her a role as a regular columnist for the weekly paper Globe, replacing Ivana Trump in answering reader queries.

Awards and nominations

Reynolds won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Catered Affair (1956).
She has received various nominations for awards including: an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for The Debbie Reynolds Show (1970), a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Mother (1996) and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for her role of Bobbi Adler in the sitcom Will & Grace (2000). In 1996 and 1997, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy, in the American Comedy Awards.
Her foot and hand prints are preserved at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6654 Hollywood Boulevard.
In November 2006, Reynolds received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Chapman University (Orange, California). On May 17, 2007, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Nevada, Reno, (Reno, Nevada) where she had contributed for many years to the film-studies program. In her acceptance speech, she referred to the University as “Nevahda…Arizona”.[citation needed]

Film memorabilia

Reynolds has amassed a large collection of movie memorabilia, beginning with the landmark 1970 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer auction, and displayed them, first in a museum at her Las Vegas hotel and casino during the 1990s and later in a museum close to the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. On several occasions, she has auctioned off items from the collection.
The museum was to relocate to be the centerpiece of the Belle Island Village tourist attraction in the resort city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but the developer went bankrupt.[7][8] The museum itself filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy[9] in June 2009.[7]

Todd Fisher, Reynolds’ son, announced that his mother was “heartbroken” to have to auction off her collection.[7] It was valued at $10.79 million in the bankruptcy filing.[8] The Vancouver Sun reported that Profiles in History has been given the responsibility of conducting a series of auctions beginning in June and continuing into December 2011.[10] Among the “more than 3500 costumes, 20,000 photographs, and thousands of movie posters, costume sketches, and props” to be sold are Charlie Chaplin‘s bowler hat and Marilyn Monroe‘s white “subway dress”, whose skirt is lifted up by the breeze from a passing subway train in the film The Seven Year Itch.[10]
On June 18, 2011, the subway dress was sold for $4.6 million dollars, far in excess of pre-auction estimates of $1-2 million.[11] Another Monroe dress, which she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, fetched $1.2 million, four times the upper pre-sale expectation.[11]

Personal life

Eddie Fisher

Reynolds has been married three times.She and Eddie Fisher were married in 1955. They are the parents of Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. A public scandal ensued when Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor fell in love following the death of Taylor’s then-husband Mike Todd, and Reynolds and Fisher were divorced in 1959. In 2011, first on the Oprah show only weeks before Elizabeth Taylor’s death from congestive heart failure, Reynolds explained that she and Taylor happened to be traveling on the ocean liner “Queen Elizabeth” at the same time when they made up. Debbie sent a note to Taylor’s room, and Taylor sent a note in reply asking to have dinner with Debbie and end their feud. The two reconciled, and, as Debbie put it, “…we had a wonderful evening with a lot of laughs”. Reynolds said of Taylor in an interview with Popeater that “[Elizabeth] went through her younger years of just obtaining what she wanted, and later in life she became a little more aware of other people’s feelings” and also said of her legendary friend, “Elizabeth worked really hard all of her life and she raised her children really well. She worked really hard for HIV; I’ve worked hard for mental health. We both feel we’ve done our job and our commitment to the community” and “I’m very sorry for Elizabeth’s passing. She was the most glamorous star of our generation, and women liked her and men adored her, including my husband [Fisher]. She was a symbol of stardom and her legacy will go on forever”.

Harry Karl

Her second marriage, to millionaire businessman Harry Karl, lasted from 1960 to 1973. At its end, she found herself in financial difficulty because of Karl’s gambling and bad investments.

Richard Hamlett

Reynolds was married to real estate developer Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996. They purchased Greek Isles Hotel & Casino, a small hotel and casino in Las Vegas, but it was not a success. In 1997, Reynolds was forced to declare bankruptcy.[12]
Reynolds has been active in the Thalians Club, a charitable organization.
She resides in Beverly Hills next door to her daughter Carrie.
Her maternal grandmother Joan Harmon (September 5, 1883 – October 31, 1932) was an actress who worked on Broadway from 1929 until late 1930.
In keeping with the celebrity tradition of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival of Winchester, Virginia, Reynolds was honored as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 ABF that took place from April 26 to May 1, 2011.[13]

Filmography

Features:

Short subjects:

  • A Visit with Debbie Reynolds (1959)
  • The Story of a Dress (1964)

Television work

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Who is Abe Vigoda?

Who is Abraham Charles Vigoda ? The acting and entertainment world knows him as Abe Vigoda, he is  an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to June 1978 on ABC. Vigoda was still also appearing on Barney Miller at the same time as he was on Fish during the 1976–1977 TV season; at the start of the 1977–1978 season, his character retired from the police force and left Barney Miller to focus full time on the spinoff.
He made regular appearances as himself (usually in skits relating to his “advanced age”) on the television show Late Night with Conan O’Brien, including a cameo on that show’s final episode.

Early life and family

Vigoda was born February 24, 1921, in New York City, the son of Lena  and Samuel Vigoda, Jewish immigrants from Russia.[1][2] His father was a tailor and his brother, Bill Vigoda, was a comic-book artist who drew for the Archie comics franchise and others in the 1940s.[3]
Vigoda was married once, to Beatrice Schy from February 25, 1968 until her death on April 30, 1992. They had one child, a daughter, Carol who gave him three grandsons Jamie, Paulie, and Steven. [4]

Career

Abe Vigoda in The Godfather

Abe Vigoda in Barney Miller

Vigoda gained fame through his supporting character roles, notably as elder mobster Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972). He gained further fame playing Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on Barney Miller, and then led its brief spinoff Fish until it was canceled in 1978. Before Barney Miller, he made a few appearances on the ABC TV soap Dark Shadows as Ezra Braithwaite and Otis Greene. He has also appeared in several Broadway productions, including Marat/Sade (1967), The Man in the Glass Booth (1968), Inquest (1970), Tough to Get Help (1972), and Arsenic and Old Lace (1987). His trademark hunched posture and slow delivery of lines made him appear older than he really was.
On January 23, 2009, Vigoda appeared live on The Today Show. He said he was doing well, joked about previous reports of his death and in fact announced he had just completed a voice-over for an H&R Block commercial to air during the Super Bowl. On December 30, 2009 Vigoda was invited back to The Today Show to appear live on the set for Matt Lauer‘s birthday party. Vigoda was warmly greeted by Lauer who called him “our favorite guest of all times” on the show. Vigoda discussed his long career with Lauer. He returned to “The Today Show” on June 8, 2011 to celebrate Meredith Vieira‘s last day on the show.

On the set of “The Today Show” for Meredith Viera’s last show

Vigoda appeared alongside Betty White in a Snickers commercial that debuted during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010.[5] The actor has also been honored with pop culture references, many in connection with false reports of his death. Jazz bassist Eric Revis‘s song “Abe Vigoda” appears on saxophonist Branford Marsalis‘s 2009 album Metamorphosen.

False reports of his death

In 1982, People magazine referred to Vigoda as dead. Vigoda took the error with good humor, posing for a photograph in which he was sitting up in a coffin, holding the magazine in question.
Erroneous reports of Vigoda’s death as well as questions of whether he is alive or dead have become a running joke:

Abe Vigoda in Good Burger
  • A Late Night with David Letterman skit showed Letterman trying to summon Vigoda’s ghost. Vigoda then walked in and declared, “I’m not dead yet, you pinhead!”
  • In a Comedy Central Roast of Drew Carey, with Abe Vigoda present in the audience, comedian Jeffrey Ross stated “and my one regret is that Abe Vigoda isn’t alive to see this.” He followed that with “Drew, you go to Vegas, what’s the over-under on Abe Vigoda?”
  • Vigoda appeared in the 1997 film Good Burger as the character Otis (he was the restaurant’s French fry man). Several jokes were made about his age, including Otis himself saying “I should’ve died years ago” while wearing an oxygen tank.
  • A November 2006 Conan O’Brien sketch showed an audience member summoning the dead. The “deceased person” turned out to be Vigoda.
  • Episode 7 of 2010 sitcom Running Wilde included a scene with various well known actors and their availability listed on a blackboard, Abe Vigoda appearing as “Dead(?)”.
  • Season 4, episode 21 of Yes, Dear features a song entitled “Things I Think About At Work” with a line stating “I wonder if Abe Vigoda’s still alive”.

Filmography

Television work

 

 

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Who is Jeffrey Marshall Foxworthy?

Who is Jeffrey Marshall Foxworthy? The entertainment and comedy world knows him as “Jeff” Foxworthy, he is an American comedian, television and radio personality and author. He is a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a comedy troupe which also comprises Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Ron White. Known for his “you might be a redneck” one-liners, Foxworthy has released six major-label comedy albums. His first two albums were each certified 3×multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Foxworthy has also written several books based on his redneck jokes, as well as an autobiography entitled No Shirt, No Shoes… No Problem!.
Foxworthy has also made several ventures into television, first in the mid-1990s as the star of a sitcom called, The Jeff Foxworthy Show. He has also appeared alongside Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy in several Blue Collar television specials, most notably Blue Collar TV. Since 2007, he has been the host of the quiz show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? on Fox (2007–09) and syndication (2009–present). Foxworthy hosted a nationally syndicated radio show called The Foxworthy Countdown from April 1999 to December 2009.

Early life

Foxworthy was born September 6, 1958 in Atlanta, Georgia, the first child of Jimmy Abstance Foxworthy, an IBM executive, and Carole Linda (Camp) Foxworthy.[1][2] His grandfather, James Marvin Camp, was a fireman in Hapeville for more than 30 years.[1]
Foxworthy graduated from Hapeville High School. He attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta and graduated in 1979[3]. He worked for five years in mainframe computer maintenance at IBM (where his father also worked). At the urging of IBM co-workers, he entered and won the Great Southeastern Laugh-off, at Atlanta’s Punchline comedy club, in 1984.[4]

Comedy albums

Foxworthy received the award for “Best Stand-Up Comic” at the 1990 American Comedy Awards.[5]
In 1993, he released You Might Be a Redneck If…, which started the “You Might Be a Redneckfad, topped the comedy album charts and sold more than three million copies.
His July 1995 release, Games Rednecks Play, received a 1996 Grammy nomination for “Best Spoken Comedy Album”.[6]
Totally Committed was released in May 1998. In conjunction with the CD was a one-hour HBO stand-up special by the same name. The CD reached “gold” status and received a 1999 Grammy Award nomination.[7] The video of the song, Totally Committed featured frequent references to then-Atlanta Braves pitcher, Greg Maddux as well as an appearance at the very end by Maddux himself (along with teammate, John Smoltz).
In 2001, he received a nomination for “Best Spoken Comedy Album” at the 43rd Annual Grammys.
Foxworthy hosted Country Weekly’s “”TNN Music City News Country Awards” show for 1998, 1999 and 2000.[8]

Television

In 1995, he starred in The Jeff Foxworthy Show, a sitcom created out of his stand-up comedy persona. It aired on ABC, but was canceled after one season. NBC subsequently picked up the show, but it was again canceled after one season. Foxworthy later remarked that the network did not understand how to properly market his humor; thinking his routine was “too Southern” for a national network (“Has anyone heard me talk?”, he commented in one of his stand-up routines), they based the first season of his sitcom in Bloomington, Indiana. The show later aired on Nick at Nite and CMT in 2005 and 2006. He also appeared in Alan Jackson‘s video for I Don’t Even Know Your Name in 1995.

Foxworthy hosted the game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? which aired on Fox in prime time. He hosted the syndicated version of the show from September 21, 2009 until its cancellation on March 24, 2011.[9] In addition, he is a host on The Bucks of Tecomate which airs on Versus with Alabama native David Morris.
Jeff will also be a potential investor on about half of the next edition of the ABC reality series, Shark Tank, where moneyed entrepreneurs decide if they will invest in new products, ideas and the like from those requesting funding in exchange for a percentage of ownership.[10]
He was the subject of a Comedy Central Roast in 2005.

Blue collar comedy

In the early 2000s, Foxworthy had a career resurgence as a result of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, in which he and three other comedians (Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, and Bill Engvall), specializing in common-man comedy, toured the country and performed for record crowds. The tour lasted three full years, constantly being extended after an initial run of 20 shows.

In 2004, he launched a new television show called Blue Collar TV on The WB Television Network, Comedy Central, and Comedy Network (2007). He served as executive producer, and starred alongside Blue Collar Comedy Tour-mates Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall. (Ron White turned the show down but made occasional guest appearances). The show was relatively successful compared to the anemic performance of the WB‘s other sitcoms. On Larry the Cable Guy’s website, he posted that the show was canceled on October 17, 2005 by WB. Reruns of Blue Collar TV continued until the network merged with UPN to form The CW.
Jeff resurrected the Blue Collar TV format (albeit with only himself participating along with some of the Blue Collar TV co-hosts) on Country Music Television (CMT) with Foxworthy’s Big Night Out. The show began airing in summer 2006 and was cancelled after one season.

Books

Foxworthy has authored several books, including You Might Be a Redneck If… (1989), as well as his autobiography, No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem! (1996). Artist Layron DeJarnette provided illustrations for the Redneck Dictionary books. R. David Boyd has been the exclusive illustrator for most of Foxworthy’s books and album covers.

He also has released a cookbook entitled The Redneck Grill, co-authored with Newnan, Georgia artist R. David Boyd, and “Redneck Extreme Mobile Home Makeover” (2005), a book with some of his redneck jokes.
His books are:

  • Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck Dictionary: Words You Thought You Knew the Meaning Of (2005)
  • Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck Dictionary II: More Words You Thought You Knew the Meaning Of (2006)
  • Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck Dictionary III: Learning to Talk More Gooder Fastly (30 Oct 7)
  • Rednecks In College

In February 2008, Foxworthy released his first children’s book, Dirt On My Shirt. This was followed by Silly Street in 2009 and Hide!!! in 2010, both of which were illustrated by Steve Bjorkman.
In May 2008, Foxworthy released How to Really Stink at Golf, with co-author Brian Hartt and illustrations by Layron DeJarnette. In May 2009 he released How to Really Stink at Work, A Guide to Making Yourself Fire-Proof While Having the Most Fun Possible. This book was also co-authored with Brian Hartt.

Radio work

In April 1999, Foxworthy began The Foxworthy Countdown, a nationally syndicated, weekly radio show, which featured the top 30 country hits of the week, as reported by Mediabase. He received a Country Music Association nomination, in 2001, for “Broadcast Personality of the Year”. The program’s last broadcast, the 2009 year-end countdown, aired the weekend of December 27, 2009.[11] Blue Collar Comedy Radio airs on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 103 and is associated with Raw Dog Comedy on Sirius 104.

Personal life

Foxworthy has been married to Pamela Gregg since September 18, 1985 and has two daughters, Jordan (born in 1992) and Julianne (born in 1994).[12] A noted hunting enthusiast, Foxworthy has appeared as host and featured guest on several programs on the Outdoor Channel and Versus.[13] Foxworthy is also a devout Christian, and performed stand-up at a Young Life conference.[14]

Discography

Foxworthy has released five comedy albums for Warner Bros. Records as well as one for DreamWorks Records. One of his albums included the novelty Christmas song “Redneck 12 Days of Christmas”, which reached number 18 on the Hot Country Songs charts in late 1995-early 1996.

 


 

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Who is Isiah Lord Thomas III?

Who is Isiah Lord Thomas III? The Professional Basketball world knows him by his nicknamed “Zeke”, Isiah Thomas  is the men’s basketball coach for the FIU Golden Panthers, and a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1981 until 1994. He led the “Bad Boys” to the NBA Championship in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons. After his playing career, he was an executive with the Toronto Raptors, a television commentator, an executive with the Continental Basketball Association, head coach of the Indiana Pacers, and an executive and head coach for the New York Knicks. During the NBA’s 50th anniversary, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Early life and college career

Thomas was born on April 30, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois. The youngest of nine brothers and sisters, he commuted from the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago to play high school basketball at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois for Gene Pingatore.[2] He would wake up at 5 am and commute 90 minutes to attend the private school.[2] During his junior year, he led St. Joseph to the State Finals. He played for Bob Knight‘s Hoosiers at Indiana University. In 1981, Thomas led the Hoosiers to the NCAA Tournament National Championship and earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award. After accomplishing this in his sophomore season, Thomas made himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

NBA playing career

In the 1981 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons chose Thomas with the #2 pick and signed him to a four-year $1.6 million contract. Thomas made the All-Rookie team and started for the Eastern Conference in the 1982 All-Star Game.
In the opening round of the 1984 NBA Playoffs, Thomas and the Pistons faced off against Bernard King and the New York Knicks. In the pivotal fifth game, Thomas was having a subpar performance, while Bernard King was having an excellent game. However, Thomas scored 16 points in the last 94 seconds to force the game into overtime. King and the Knicks, however, held on to win in overtime.
In the 1985 NBA Playoffs, Thomas and his team went to the conference semi-finals against the 15-time NBA champion Boston Celtics led by Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson. Detroit couldn’t shake the Celtics in their six-game series, eventually losing.
In the 1987 NBA Playoffs, Thomas and the Pistons went to the Eastern Conference Finals and faced the Boston Celtics. It was the furthest the team had advanced since moving from Fort Wayne when they were the Zollner-Pistons. The Pistons were able to tie the Celtics at two games apiece. Detroit’s hope of winning Game 5 was dashed at the Boston Garden with seconds remaining in a play by Larry Bird: Thomas attempted to quickly inbound the ball, Bird stole the inbound pass and passed it to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup.
In 1988, the Pistons’ first trip to the Finals saw them face the Los Angeles Lakers, who were led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Prior to the series, Thomas and Johnson would exchange a courtside kiss on the cheek prior to tip-off as a sign of their deep friendship.[3][4] After taking a 3-2 series lead back to Los Angeles, Detroit appeared poised to win their first NBA title in Game 6.

One of Thomas’ most inspiring and self-defining moments came in Game 6. Although he had severely sprained his ankle late in the game, Thomas continued to play. While hobbling and in obvious pain, Thomas scored 25 points in a single quarter of the game, an NBA Finals record. However, the Lakers won the game 103-102 on a pair of last-minute free throws by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar following a controversial foul called on Bill Laimbeer. With Thomas unable to compete at full strength the Lakers were able to take advantage and clinched their second consecutive title in Game 7, 108-105.
In the 1988-89 season, Thomas, along with fellow teammates Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, Vinnie Johnson, Dennis Rodman, James Edwards, John Salley, Bill Laimbeer, and Mark Aguirre, guided his team to a then-franchise record 63-19 record. Detroit played a brash and dominating brand of basketball through the playoffs that led to their nickname “Bad Boys”. First they defeated Boston who had been suffering persistent injuries. The Pistons then defeated Michael Jordan and the up and coming Chicago Bulls in the Conference Finals to set up an NBA Finals rematch with the Lakers. Thomas and the Pistons then won their first of back-to-back championships when they defeated the Lakers in a 4-game sweep. The following year, Thomas was voted NBA Finals Most Valuable Player of the 1990 NBA Finals after averaging 27.6 points per game, 7.0 assists per game, and 5.2 rebounds per game in the series with Clyde Drexler‘s Portland Trail Blazers. The Pistons continued to play well between 1991 and 1993 but were not able to return to the NBA Finals as they were eclipsed by the growing Chicago Bulls dynasty. An aging and ailing Thomas decided to end his career at the end of the 1994 season, but he tore his Achilles’ tendon in April 1994, forcing him to end his career as a player a month earlier.
Thomas was named to the All-NBA First team three times and is the Pistons’ all-time leader in points, steals, games played and assists. He ranks fifth in NBA history in assists (9,061, 9.3 apg) and ranks ninth in NBA history in steals (1,861). Thomas was known for his dribbling ability as well as his ability to drive to the basket and score. His #11 was retired by the Detroit Pistons.

International career

Thomas was selected to the 1980 Olympic team, but like all American athletes he was not able to play in Moscow due to the Olympics boycott. The boycotting countries instead participated in the gold medal series, a series of games against NBA teams, a French team and the 1976 Olympic gold medal team in various U.S. cities, recording a 5-1 record (losing to the Seattle SuperSonics). Thomas shot 22-55 from the field and 14-17 from the line. He led the U.S. in assists with 37 (the next highest total on the team was 17) and averaged 9.7 points per game.[5]
Despite his talent, Thomas was left off the original Olympic Dream Team, possibly as a result of an alleged feud with Michael Jordan.[6] In the book When the Game Was Ours, Magic Johnson relates that he, Jordan and other players conspired to keep Thomas off the Dream Team.[3][7]
After Tim Hardaway left the team due to injury he was named to Dream Team II for the 1994 World Championship of Basketball, but did not play due to his Achilles tendon injury that caused his retirement.[6] He was replaced by Kevin Johnson.

Post-NBA career

Toronto Raptors

After retiring, Thomas became part owner and Executive Vice President for the expansion Toronto Raptors in 1994. In 1998, he left the organization after a dispute with new management over the franchise’s direction and his future responsibilities. During his four-year tenure with the team, the Raptors drafted Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, and high schooler Tracy McGrady.

Broadcasting

After leaving the Raptors, Thomas became a television commentator (first as the lead game analyst with play-by-play man Bob Costas and then as part of the studio team) for the NBA on NBC. Thomas also worked a three-man booth with Costas and Doug Collins.

CBA

Thomas became the owner of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) from 1998 to 2000. Thomas purchased the CBA for $10 million, and in 2001 the league was forced into bankruptcy and folded, shortly after NBA Commissioner David Stern decided to create his own development league, the NBDL, to replace the CBA.[8] Many CBA managers blamed Thomas for the league’s failure, citing mismanagement and out-of-control spending on his part. At the time of the league’s collapse the managing of the CBA was in a blind-trust, due to Thomas’ position as head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

Indiana Pacers

From 2000 to 2003, Thomas coached the Indiana Pacers, succeeding Larry Bird, who previously coached the Pacers to the Eastern Conference title. Thomas attempted to bring up young talents such as Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Al Harrington, and Jeff Foster. However, under Thomas the Pacers were not able to stay at the elite level as they went through the transition from a veteran-dominated, playoff-experienced team to a younger, more inexperienced team. In Thomas’s first two seasons with the Pacers, the team was eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets, both of whom eventually made the NBA Finals.
In his last year with the Pacers, Thomas guided the Pacers to a 48-34 record in the regular season and coached the Eastern Conference team at the 2003 NBA All-Star Game. As the third seed, the Pacers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the sixth-seeded Boston Celtics. With blossoming talents such as Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Al Harrington and Jamaal Tinsley, along with the veteran leadership of Reggie Miller, the perception existed that the Pacers’ unfulfilled potential stemmed from Thomas’ inexperience as a coach. In the offseason, Larry Bird returned to the Pacers as President of Basketball Operations, and his first act was to replace Thomas with Rick Carlisle.

Hall of Fame

In 2000, Thomas was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

New York Knicks

On December 22, 2003, the New York Knicks hired Thomas as President of Basketball Operations. Thomas was ultimately unsuccessful with the Knicks roster and fanbase. At the end of the 2005-06 season, the Knicks had the highest payroll in the league and the second-worst record. He traded away several future draft picks to Chicago in a deal for Eddy Curry including what turned out to be two lottery picks in talent-rich drafts.

On June 22, 2006, the Knicks fired coach Larry Brown, and owner James Dolan replaced him with Thomas under the condition that he show “evident progress” or be fired.
During the following season the Knicks became embroiled in a brawl with the Denver Nuggets, which Thomas allegedly instigated by ordering his players to commit a hard foul in the paint.[9] However, he was not fined or suspended. NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he only relied on “definitive information” when handing out punishments.[10] Later in the season, nine months after James Dolan demanded “evident progress”, the Knicks re-signed Thomas to an undisclosed “multi-year” contract.[11] After Thomas was granted the extension, the Knicks abruptly fell from playoff contention with a dismal finish to the season.
During the 2007 Draft, Thomas made another trade by acquiring Zach Randolph, Fred Jones, and Dan Dickau from the Portland Trail Blazers for Steve Francis and Channing Frye.
Thomas also compounded the Knicks’ salary cap problems by signing fringe players such as Jerome James and Jared Jeffries to full mid-level exception contracts. Neither player saw any significant playing time and both were often injured and highly ineffective when able to play.
Despite the constant criticism that he received from Knicks fans, Thomas maintained that he had no intention of leaving until he turned the team around and he predicted that he would lead the Knicks to a championship, stating that his goal was to leave behind a “championship legacy” with the Knicks, just as he had done for the Detroit Pistons. This prediction was met with widespread skepticism.[12]
On April 2, 2008, Donnie Walsh was introduced to replace Thomas as President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks. Walsh would not comment definitively on whether or not Thomas would be retained in any capacity at the time of his hiring.
One night after the Knicks tied a franchise record of 59 losses and ended their season, news broke that in talks with Walsh the week before, Thomas had been told he would not return as Knicks head coach the following season. He was officially ‘reassigned’ on April 18 “after a season of listless and dreadful basketball, a tawdry lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding his dismissal.”[13] Thomas posted an overall winning percentage of .341 as head coach of the Knicks, fifth lowest in team history. As part of the reassignment agreement Thomas was banned from having contact with any Knicks’ players under the rationale that he could willingly or unwillingly undermine Donnie Walsh and the new head coach.[14]

FIU

On April 14, 2009, Thomas accepted an offer to become the head basketball coach of FIU, replacing Sergio Rouco after 5 losing seasons.[15] Thomas announced that he would donate his first year’s salary back to the school.[15] Thomas was quoted as saying, “I did not come here for the money.”[15]
After posting a 7-25 record in his first season at FIU, on August 6, 2010, Thomas announced that he was taking a job as consultant to the New York Knicks, while keeping his position as head coach at FIU.[16] According to the New York Daily News, “nearly every major media outlet panned the announcement of Thomas’ hire,” and it led to a “public outcry” among fans.[17] In a reversal on August 11, Thomas announced that he would not be working with the Knicks because holding both jobs violated NBA by-laws.[17]
Thomas finished his second season at FIU with an 11-19 record (5-11 in conference games).

Controversy

Michael Jordan rivalry

In the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, Thomas was joined on the Eastern Conference squad by star rookie Michael Jordan. Jordan wound up attempting nine shots, a relatively low number for a starting player. Afterward, Thomas and his fellow veteran East players were accused of having planned to “freeze out” Jordan from their offense by not passing him the ball, supposedly out of spite over the attention Jordan was receiving. No player involved has ever confirmed that the “freeze-out” occurred, but the story has been long reported, and has never been refuted by Jordan.[18] Thomas has ridiculed the idea of him being the mastermind behind a supposed “freeze-out” as being “ludicrous” citing that he was a relatively young player on a team including Larry Bird, Julius Erving and Moses Malone.[19]
During Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame Induction, a ceremony in which Thomas introduced John Stockton, who was also being inducted, Jordan dismissed the concerns about a freeze-out having taken place, saying “I was just happy to be there, being the young guy surrounded by all these greats, I just wanted to prove myself and I hope that I did prove myself to you guys.”
In the Eastern Conference Finals of the 1991 NBA Playoffs, the two-time defending champion Detroit Pistons faced the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls for the fourth consecutive season in the playoffs. The Pistons had defeated the Bulls in each of the first three meetings, but this time they suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. The series was marked by a number of verbal, physical, and match-up problems. With 7.9 seconds remaining in the fourth game, Thomas and eight of his teammates walked off the court, refusing to shake hands with the members of the Bulls.
In 1992, Thomas was passed over for the Dream Team apparently due to his relationship with Jordan.

[edit] Sexual harassment lawsuit

In October 2006, Thomas and Madison Square Garden were sued for sexual harassment by Anucha Browne Sanders. The matter came to trial in September 2007 and Thomas was determined to have made demeaning statements to Sanders, as well as making sexual advances and repeatedly telling her that he was in love with her.[20] Madison Square Garden was ordered to pay Browne Sanders $11.6 million, one of the largest sexual harassment judgments in history.
“I’m innocent, I’m very innocent, and I did not do the things she has accused me in this courtroom of doing,” Thomas said after the decision. “I’m extremely disappointed that the jury did not see the facts in this case.” Thomas admitted under oath that he did in fact call Sanders a “bitch”. During his testimony, Thomas also claimed it was appropriate to exchange hugs and kisses with co-workers.

Drug overdose

On October 24, 2008, Thomas was taken to White Plains Hospital Center near his New York City area home after taking an overdose of Lunesta, a form of sleep medication.[21] According to Harrison, New York police, they were called to Thomas’s house, where, finding him unconscious but breathing, they had him transported to the hospital. Police Chief David Hall stated that they “are calling this an accidental overdose of a prescription sleeping pill.” He was released from the hospital later that day.[22]
In the opinion of Harrison Police Chief David Hall, Thomas tried to “cover up” the incident by claiming his 17-year old daughter required medical treatment when in actuality he was the patient. Referring to Thomas’ 17-year-old daughter, Hall said, “And why they’re throwing her under the bus is beyond my ability to understand.”[23]
According to Thomas, in an interview with ESPN, his daughter had been taken to the hospital earlier in the day, and he was also admitted to the hospital after he accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills. Thomas also denied that it was a suicide attempt, and explained that he was so quiet about his hospitalization because he was focused on his daughter and family at the time.[24]

Prohibited workouts

Beginning in 2007, while Thomas was President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks, the team instituted a series of secret pre-NBA draft workouts for potential draftees, in direct violation of NBA league rules.[25] The league fined the Knicks $200,000 in February 2011, after an investigation into the incidents.[25] Thomas was not personally cited in the penalties.[25]

Career NBA statistics

[26]

  • Games played: 979
  • Games started: 971
  • Minutes per game: 36.3
  • Points scored: 18,822
  • Assists: 9,061
  • Rebounds: 3,478
  • Steals: 1,861
  • Points per game: 19.2
  • Assists per game: 9.3
  • Rebounds per game: 3.6
  • Steals per game: 1.9
  • Field goal percentage: .452
  • Free throw percentage: .759
  • Three-point percentage: .290

Coaching record

Team Year Regular Season
G W L PCT Finish Result
IND 2000-01 82 41 41 .500 4th in Central Lost in First Round
IND 2001-02 82 42 40 .512 4th in Central Lost in First Round
IND 2002-03 82 48 34 .585 2nd in Central Lost in First Round
NYK 2006-07 82 33 49 .402 4th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
NYK 2007-08 82 23 59 .280 5th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
Career 410 187 223 .456
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Florida International Golden Panthers (Sun Belt) (2009–present)
2009–2010 Florida International 7-25 4-14
2010–2011 Florida International 11-19 5-11
Florida International: 18-44 9-25
Total: 18-44
      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

 

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