Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, 84, who ran Bahrain’s government during nearly five decades as prime minister while staunchly defending the ruling dynasty and quashing opposition, died Wednesday, according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency, which added that he had been receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in the United States but did not elaborate. The Mayo Clinic declined to comment. Prince Khalifa, a brother of Bahrain’s previous monarch and uncle of its current king, was the world’s longest-serving prime minister at the time of his death.
Lucille Commadore Bridges, 86, who in 1960 broke through the segregated education system of the Deep South by enrolling her 6-year-old daughter, Ruby, in an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, and escorting her there during her first year of classes, died in New Orleans on Tuesday. The cause was cancer.
Saeb Erekat, 65, the Palestinian negotiator who was a fixture in on-again, off-again peace talks with Israel over the course of three decades, died Tuesday without realizing that goal. He had been battling COVID-19. “The departure of a brother and friend, the great fighter, Dr. Saeb Erekat, represents a great loss for Palestine and our people,” said the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, declaring a three-day mourning period and ordering flags lowered to half-staff. Erekat, he said, “played a great role in raising the banner of Palestine high and defending the rights of our people.”
Amadou Toumani Touré, 72, a former president of Mali who helped shape the country’s political landscape over two decades before being toppled in a military coup in 2012, died Monday in a hospital in Istanbul. He led the West African nation from 2002 to 2012, presiding over improvements to hospitals, schools and other infrastructure and putting in place a national medical insurance plan. After he was reelected in 2007, he was accused of failing to contain two insurgencies that simmered in the country’s north, one led by Tuareg rebel groups and another by jihadists. Mutinous soldiers deposed him in March 2012, opening an era of instability that continues.
Alex Trebek, 80, who became known to generations of television viewers as the quintessential quizmaster, bringing an air of bookish politesse to the garish coliseum of game shows as the longtime host of “Jeopardy!,” died Nov. 8. Trebek announced in 2019 that he had advanced pancreatic cancer. For more than three decades, he was a daily presence in millions of households. By the time of his death, “Jeopardy!” was one of the most popular and longest-lasting programs of its kind in TV history.
Seymour Topping, 98, a senior New York Times editor and top Pulitzer Prize administrator who bore witness early in his career as a foreign correspondent to the Chinese Communist Revolution, the war in French Indochina and other momentous events that shaped the past century, died Nov. 8 at a hospital in White Plains, New York. He recently had a stroke, said his daughter Rebecca Topping.
Norm Crosby, 93, the deadpan mangler of the English language who thrived in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s as a television, nightclub and casino comedian, died Nov. 7 of heart failure in Los Angeles. He called the famed baby doctor Benjamin Spock “Dr. Spook,” said people “should have an apathy for one another,” and today’s kids “gotta cut that umbrella cord and split.”
Robert Sam Anson, 75, virtuoso of magazine writing who ventured with equal brio into the mean streets of Los Angeles, the jungles of Southeast Asia and the psyches of prominent American men, died Nov. 2 from complications of dementia in Rexford, New York. Anson wrote mostly for Vanity Fair, where he was a contributing editor for more than two decades. Among those he profiled were director Oliver Stone, who at the time was making his controversial movie about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Tupac Shakur, written after the rap star’s death; David Geffen, the music mogul; and Doug Kenney, co-founder of The National Lampoon.