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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tweet I’m shocked and saddened to read that Simone Battle, an X Factor finalist who went on to become part of the group G.R.L., has died aged only 25. The cause of death hasn’t been officially confirmed but TMZ is claiming it was a suicide by hanging — the same as Alexander McQueen, L’Wren Scott […]

Continue reading about RIP, Simone Battle

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tweet As I’ve mentioned before, I like to read the obituaries in the print edition of the New York Times — the physical act of turning the pages draws my attention to stories that I wouldn’t necessarily click online.  Monday, I read an obituary for cryptographer Hal Finney, who died last week at age 58 […]

Continue reading about Hal Finney, Privacy, and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tweet Since learning of comedian Robin Williams’s death yesterday — apparently by suicide — I keep returning to a November 2009 interview that he did with Dave Itzkoff for the New York Times. Williams was nearing the end of his “Weapons of Self Destruction” stand-up tour, which had been interrupted that March by open-heart surgery […]

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tweet I like to look over the obituaries in the print edition of the New York Times — there are a lot of interesting stories there. Today, I couldn’t help noticing this beautiful face in the paid death notices section. Figuring this lady had to have been an actress, I glanced at the information: died […]

Continue reading about For Doors Stans: Pamela Courson’s Mother Has Died

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. […]

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Continue reading about Movie Producer Saul Zaentz: 1921 – 2014