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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tweet My mother’s mother, Ruth Kay, died last night. She was 95 years old. Her grandchildren called her “Nanny” when they were young, then “Nan.” Her three great-grandchildren knew her as “G.G.” for “great-grandma.” Nan’s husband, Sam, aka “Papa,” died of a heart attack in 1983. Papa died just a few weeks before my 16th […]

Continue reading about Ruth Kay: 1918 – 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tweet Last May, my rapper friend Gangsta Boo introduced me to her DJ friend Zack Fortune, aka Furoche. Even if she hadn’t introduced me, I would have noticed him, because it’s hard to miss a tall white guy with long, red dreadlocks. Zack was on his bike in Brooklyn at 2:30 p.m. yesterday when he […]

Continue reading about RIP, DJ Furoche

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tweet The author, poet and civil-rights activist Maya Angelou died today, aged 86. I suspect some people know her work primarily from the Angelou epigrams that circulate on Instagram and Pinterest. This one is often posted by someone who is feeling burned. This one is also popular. But Angelou was much more than a dispenser […]

Continue reading about Maya Angelou and Massimo Vignelli

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tweet Twenty years ago today — April 8, 1994 — the body of 27-year-old Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was discovered in the greenhouse of his Seattle home. He had killed himself with a shotgun on April 5. April 8 was a Friday. I was working at the Wall Street Journal at the time, and my […]

Continue reading about Gone Too Soon: Kurt Cobain and Peaches Geldof

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tweet I’ve been so troubled by the suicide of designer L’Wren Scott that I’ve been tongue-tied for days. Also, I didn’t know her; I don’t even know anyone who knew her; and I don’t want to presume to know anything about her state of mind. However, other people have no such qualms and some general […]

Continue reading about RIP, L’Wren Scott

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tweet Independent film producer Saul Zaentz died on Friday at the age of 92. His movies were often adapted from literary works and included Best Picture Academy Award winners One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient. Another one of his movies was the 1988 adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. […]

Continue reading about Movie Producer Saul Zaentz: 1921 – 2014

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tweet Nelson Mandela — anti-apartheid activist, South Africa’s first black president and a worldwide icon — died yesterday at age 95. In July, on his 95th birthday, I reflected a recent trip to South Africa in a post inspired by my rediscovery of a giant anti-apartheid Keith Haring poster from the mid-1980s. The anti-apartheid college […]

Continue reading about Music for Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tweet Actor James Gandolfini’s funeral is taking place shortly at one of my favorite places in New York City, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. People will be able to pay their last respects to him in a very inspiring place. To read more about Saint John the Divine, click here. To read […]

Continue reading about James Gandolfini: Funeral at Saint John the Divine

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tweet I watched the pilot episode of The Sopranos when it aired in 1999, and decided it was too violent and the whole mob-boss-goes-to-a-psychiatrist concept was too strange. I didn’t tune in again for years despite all the praise for the series. I’m like that with a lot of shows. They’re critically acclaimed and sweeping […]

Continue reading about Unexpected Cut to Black: James Gandolfini, 1961-2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tweet Actress Jean Stapleton, best known for playing Edith Bunker on the iconic ’70s television show All in the Family, died yesterday at age 90. Back in February, I described how much that show affected me. CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MY ALL IN THE FAMILY MEMORIES. I admired Stapleton for refusing to play an […]

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Continue reading about A Farewell to Jean Stapleton, Plus the Week in Review