Al Bianchi, 87, coach of the Sonics for the NBA franchise’s first two seasons, died Monday in Phoenix. The cause of death was congestive heart failure. Bianchi had a 53-111 record as coach of the Sonics.
Kay Hagan, 66, who was the first female Democratic senator to represent North Carolina, serving one term until 2014, died Monday at her home in Greensboro after a three-year battle with Powassan virus, a type of encephalitis, or brain inflammation transmitted to humans by ticks, her family said in a statement.
Hagan defeated Elizabeth Dole in the first general election for the Senate in which two women competed. When she ran for reelection in 2014, Hagan was defeated by Thom Tillis, a Republican, in what was then the most expensive Senate race in the country. After her loss, she became a resident fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.
John Conyers Jr., 90, who became the longest-serving African American in Congress, co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus and helped create a national holiday in the name of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but whose career rapidly crumbled at 88 when he resigned amid sexual-harassment allegations, died Oct. 27 at his home in Detroit.
A liberal Democrat from what is now Detroit’s 13th Congressional District, Rep. Conyers co-sponsored the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited discrimination at the ballot box. His constituents reelected him 26 times over a period spanning 10 presidents, from Lyndon Johnson to Donald Trump.
Robert Evans, 89, the producer of the film classic “Chinatown” and a former Paramount Pictures production head who helped save the studio with hits such as “Love Story” and “The Godfather” and whose over-the-top life was as cinematic as the movies he presided over, died Oct. 26.
Mr. Evans’ flamboyant life and style (the perpetually tanned skin, the oversized glasses, the turtlenecks) became fodder for parody — Dustin Hoffman played a big glasses-wearing, tanning bed-using, Evans-like movie producer in the 1997 dark comedy “Wag the Dog.”
Paul Barrere, 71, guitarist and singer for the rock group Little Feat, died Oct. 26 at a hospital in Los Angeles due to side effects from an ongoing treatment for liver disease.
Emilio Nicolas Sr., 88, the broadcast mogul who built a struggling Texas television station into the company that became the Spanish-language broadcasting juggernaut Univision, died on Oct. 12 at his home in San Antonio. His son Guillermo said the cause was complications of progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder.