Mary Higgins Clark, 92, who as a widowed mother of five in her 40s began a long reign as one of the most successful crime writers of all time, pouring out novel after novel about resilient women befallen by unnatural deaths, disappearances and wicked criminal deeds, died Friday in Naples, Florida. The cause was not immediately available.
Known to her legions of fans as the “queen of suspense,” Clark was an almost instant sensation with the publication in 1975 of her first thriller, “Where Are the Children?” The story centered on a mother who, not for the first time, must prove her innocence when her children go missing.Clark, who until then had struggled alone to support her family, described herself in that moment as a “prospector stumbling on a vein of gold.”
Alexander J. Brunett, 86,retired archbishop of Seattle’s Archdiocese who led an aggressive expansion of schools, parishes, charities and scholarships while presiding over the church’s Western Washington region as a clergy sex abuse scandal exploded into public consciousness, died in Seattle on Friday. Brunett retired after 13 years as Seattle’s fourth archbishop in 2009, following his 75th birthday, as Canon Law requires. He suffered a stroke in 2013 that left him partially paralyzed and his health had been declining.
John Andretti, 56, a versatile race-car driver who carved his own niche in one of the world’s most successful racing families, died Thursday after a three-year battle with colon cancer.
Andretti became the first driver to attempt the Memorial Day double. He won on dirt tracks, street courses and superspeedways. He won an endurance race, competed in dragsters and became an iron man in IndyCar and NASCAR. But as much as he enjoyed racing, he was equally passionate about his charity work among the Indianapolis community.
Fred Silverman, 82, who steered programming for each of the Big Three broadcast networks and brought “All in the Family,” “Roots,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and other hit series and miniseries to television, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. The cause was cancer.
Silverman’s gift for picking shows that resonated with viewers prompted Time magazine to dub him “The Man with the Golden Gut” in a 1977 profile.
Chris Doleman, 58, the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end whose 150 ½ career sacks in 15 seasons, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings, placed him No. 5 on the NFL career list, died Tuesday in Atlanta. The cause was brain cancer, for which he had undergone surgery in January 2018, the Vikings said.
Doleman, at 6 feet 5 inches and 290 pounds or so, teamed with tackle Keith Millard as the most feared duo of NFL pass rushers in 1989, when the Vikings led the league in sacks with 71. “This guy was Superman,” Millard told The Star Tribune of Minneapolis upon Doleman’s death. Doleman was inducted into the Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio, in 2012.
Harriet Frank Jr., 96, a writer who collaborated with her husband, Irving Ravetch, on provocative screenplays that explored the social conflicts and moral questions of postwar American life in movies including “Hud” and “Norma Rae,” died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles.
The wife-and-husband team of Frank and Ravetch, who died in 2010, stood out among Hollywood’s most successful and literate script writers. The two generated 16 screenplays from 1958 to 1990, many inspired by the works of William Faulkner, William Inge, Larry McMurtry, Elmore Leonard and other bestselling authors.
The Rev. Bernard J. Coughlin, 97, the longest-serving president in the history of Gonzaga University, died Tuesday at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. Coughlin is credited with saving the Spokane institution from financial collapse.
As Gonzaga’s president from 1974 to 1996, Coughlin established a growing endowment for the university and oversaw numerous building projects that modernized the institution’s campus. He helped set the stage for the rise of the basketball program, which burst onto the national scene in 1999 with its first Elite Eight appearance.
Coughlin became the university’s first and only chancellor after he stepped down as president, and stayed in that role until 2016. He served the university for 42 years.
Terry DeCarlo, 57, who became a spokesman for central Florida’s LGBTQ community after the massacre of 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in 2016, died Monday. The cause was cancer.
Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan described DeCarlo as “a rock” in the aftermath of the nightclub shooting. She noted that DeCarlo, a veteran, had become a minister so he could marry LGBTQ couples, and he worked with HIV patients to get assistance.
Kobe Bryant, 41, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died Jan. 26, when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, in the outskirts of Los Angeles, California. His daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board and did not survive.
Bryant, who retired in 2016, had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
Bob Shane, 85, who helped bring folk music to the forefront of the American cultural scene in the 1950 and 1960s as a founding member of the Kingston Trio, a group best remembered for such hits as “Tom Dooley,” “Scotch and Soda” and “M.T.A.,” died of pneumonia and other ailments Jan. 26 in Phoenix. Shane was the last surviving original member of the group, which he founded in 1957 with Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard (later replaced by John Stewart). They were known for their gentle harmonies and clean-cut looks; they favored button-down shirts with stripes.
Michou, 88, a flamboyant fixture of the Parisian demimonde who ran France’s most celebrated drag cabaret for more than a half-century, died Jan. 26 from a pulmonary embolism in Saint-Mandé, a suburb of Paris. Michou — born Michel Georges Alfred Catty — opened his tiny jewel box of a nightclub in 1956 at the foot of Montmartre, the storied Paris neighborhood known for its nightclubs and ties to artists such as Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Fortney “Pete” Stark Jr., 88, a former Democratic congressman from California who had a special focus on health care during his 40 years in Congress and helped craft COBRA and Obamacare, died on Jan. 24. No cause of death was given. He represented a district in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the cities of Alameda, Hayward, San Leandro and parts of Oakland.
“Personally and professionally, I was proud to work with Pete to pass the Affordable Care Act, which stands as a pillar of health and economic security in America today,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
“Pete was a fierce advocate for the most vulnerable in our society,” former President Bill Clinton said in a statement on behalf of himself and wife Hillary Clinton. “He worked for an inclusive, peace-loving America.”
Leila Janah, 37, a social entrepreneur who employed thousands of desperately poor people in Kenya, Uganda and India in the fervent belief that jobs, not handouts, offered the best escape from poverty, died Jan. 24 in New York. The cause was epithelioid sarcoma.
Janah believed the intellect of the poorest people in the world to be “the biggest untapped resource” in the global economy. She went on to start Samasource in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2008 — “sama” means “equal” in Sanskrit — with the aim of employing poor people, for a living wage, in digital jobs like photo tagging and image annotation at what she called delivery centers in Kenya, Uganda and India. The workers generate data that is used for projects as diverse as self-driving cars, video-game technology and software that helps park rangers in sub-Saharan Africa prevent elephant poaching. Another venture soon followed, employing women to harvest natural ingredients for the luxury-cosmetics industry.
Seamus Mallon, 83, a dogged champion of nonviolent struggle and one of the key architects of peace in Northern Ireland, died Jan. 24 at his home in Markethill, County Armagh. The cause was cancer.
The leader of his party, John Hume, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the unionist leader David Trimble for their parts in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which ended the conflict. But it was Mallon, a stickler for both principle and detail, who worked out the nuts and bolts of the party’s position, and who held the party together during tense and drawn-out talks.
Bill Ray, 83, one of the last staff photographers for the weekly Life magazine, who shot images as breathtaking as Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy and as indelible as the battleship Oklahoma’s guns firing on the Viet Cong, died Jan. 9 at his home in Manhattan.
For John F. Kennedy’s 45th-birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1962, Ray searched for a better angle than the cordoned-off area for photographers in front of the stage. He climbed atop a support beam, which afforded him a unique view of Monroe. Ray shot a picture of her from above and behind, her face unseen. Her skintight, flesh-colored Jean Louis dress shimmered in the bright spotlight as she sang “Happy birthday, Mr. President.”
It became something of an annuity for Ray. “I get more requests for that print than any other,” Ray told the website of Getty Images, which sells some of his work.