Fred Cox, 80, former Minnesota Vikings kicker, one of the last of the straight-on placekickers and a standout on several conference championship teams, has died. Cox had had been in hospice care at his home in Monticello northwest of the Twin Cities because of kidney and heart problems.
Cox, who also co-created the Nerf football, scored a Minnesota-record 1,365 points in his 15 seasons, often kicking in nasty conditions because the Vikings played outdoors during his career from 1963-77. When he retired, he was second in NFL history in scoring behind George Blanda — who also played quarterback — and had made 282 field goals.
Jake Burton Carpenter, 65, the man who changed the game on the mountain by fulfilling a grand vision of what a snowboard could be, died Wednesday night of complications stemming from a relapse of testicular cancer.
Carpenter was not the inventor of the snowboard. But 12 years after Sherman Poppen tied together a pair of skis with a rope to create what was then called a “Snurfer,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur, then known only as Jake Burton, quit his job in Manhattan, moved back to Vermont and went about dreaming of how far a snowboard might take him.
“I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said in a 2010 interview with The Associated Press.
Walter J. Minton, 96, who as president of G.P. Putnam’s Sons published Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” the 18th-century novel known as “Fannie Hill” and other sexually explicit works that rankled the guardians of decency but broke ground against censorship, died Tuesday at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Balancing a passion for books and a tolerance for risk, Minton succeeded his father, Melville Minton, in 1955 at the helm of Putnam’s and its subsidiaries. Over the next 23 years, he published Norman Mailer’s “The Deer Park” (1955), the first U.S. edition of John le Carré’s “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” (1964), Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” (1969) and many other bestsellers. But he was perhaps best known for books that challenged the nation’s prevailing notions and legal definitions of pornography, such as “Lolita.”
Terry O’Neill, 81, the British photographer whose images captured London’s Swinging ’60s and who created iconic portraits of Elton John, Brigitte Bardot and Winston Churchill, died Nov. 16 at his home in London following a long battle with cancer.
In an interview with the Guardian last year, O’Neill discussed how he viewed his past photos. “The perfectionist in me always left me thinking I could have taken a better shot. But now when I look at photos of all the icons I’ve shot – like Mandela, Sir Winston Churchill and Sinatra – the memories come flooding back and I think: ‘Yeah, I did all right.’”
Thich Tri Quang, 95, a charismatic Buddhist monk who helped bring down U.S.-backed governments in South Vietnam during the war-torn 1960s and pushed for a democratic nation with freedom of religion, died Nov. 8 in the city of Hue. His death was announced by the Tu Dam Pagoda in Hue, where he had lived quietly for decades after the end of the Vietnam War, occupying himself by translating Buddhist texts into Vietnamese.
Werner Gustav Doehner, 90, the last remaining survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, died Nov. 8 at a hospital in Laconia, New Hampshire. He was the only person left of the 62 passengers and crew who survived the May 6, 1937, fire that killed his father, sister and 34 others. He was 8 years old at the time. He suffered severe burns to his face, arms and legs before his mother managed to toss him and his brother from the burning airship before it crashed at the naval base in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The disaster killed 22 crew members, 13 passengers and one worker on the ground.