Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, 79, the Indian environmentalist under whose leadership a U.N. climate-change panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, died Thursday after recent heart surgery. His death was announced on the same day by The Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI, a research group he headed until 2016 in New Delhi.
“His leadership of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) laid the ground for climate change conversations today,” TERI Chairman Nitin Desai said.
Frederick Koch, 86, who kept a low profile as an arts benefactor rather than joining the family oil business that became Koch Industries, died in Manhattan on Wednesday of heart failure.
Koch used his share of the family wealth to support a career as a benefactor of the arts and historic preservation. He amassed extensive collections of rare books, musical manuscripts and fine and decorative arts. Koch left his entire estate to be used to establish a foundation to promote the study of literature, history and the arts.
Katsuya Nomura, 84, a mainstay of the baseball world in postwar Japan who was one of the country’s greatest catchers before going on to a long second career as a manager, died of a heart attack Tuesday in Tokyo.
In his 26 years as a player and a player-manager, Nomura hit 657 home runs and had 1,988 runs batted in, both second on the all-time list to the great slugger Sadaharu Oh. He also collected 2,901 hits in 3,017 games, also the second-highest totals in Japan.
Joseph Shabalala, 78, the gentle-voiced South African songwriter whose choir, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, brought Zulu music to listeners worldwide, died Tuesday in Pretoria. His health had deteriorated since he had back surgery in 2013, the group’s manager, Xolani Majozi, said. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s collaborations with Paul Simon on the 1986 album “Graceland” introduced South African choral music to an international pop audience.
Anne Marion, 81, the Texas oil and ranching heiress who founded the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, died Tuesday in California. Marion and her husband, John Marion, established the museum in 1997. She served as the chair of the board of trustees until 2016.
Lyle Mays, 66, a keyboardist, composer and arranger best known for his long association with guitarist Pat Metheny, died Monday in Simi Valley, California. No cause of death was available.
An integral part of the Pat Metheny Group from its early days, Mays gave depth and color to its sound on synthesizers or soloing gracefully on grand piano. The group gained fame by merging jazz ideas with a rock sensibility; its later incarnation as a larger ensemble incorporated musical ideas from other parts of the world, notably Brazil.
Mirella Freni, 84, a lyric soprano known for her brilliant technique and purity of tone, with an almost girlish quality that never seemed to age in a 50-year career of bravura performances in “Carmen,” “La Bohème” and “The Marriage of Fígaro,” died Feb. 9 in Modena, Italy. Freni, who appeared at the world’s leading opera houses and was a childhood friend of opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, had “a long degenerative illness and a series of strokes.”
Dave McCoy, 104, who transformed California’s Mammoth Mountain from a remote Sierra peak into a downhill destination for skiers and snowboarders from around the world, “died peacefully in his sleep” in the eastern Sierra Nevada community of Bishop, according to a notice posted Feb. 8, on the Mammoth website.
Orson Bean, 91, the free-spirited television, stage and film comedian who stepped out of his storybook life to found a progressive school, move to Australia, write a cookbook for cats, give away his possessions and wander around a turbulent America in the 1970s as a late-blooming hippie, was killed in a traffic accident Feb. 7 in Venice, California.
Roger Kahn, 92, whose 1972 bestseller about the Dodgers, “The Boys of Summer,” melded reportage, sentiment and sociology in a way that stamped baseball as a subject fit for serious writers and serious readers, died Feb. 6 in Mamaroneck, New York.
The author of 20 books and hundreds of articles, Kahn was best known for “The Boys of Summer,” which looked at his relationship with his father through their shared love of the Dodgers, an object of nostalgia for the many fans who mourned the team’s move to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. The book moved back and forth between the early 1950s, when he covered the Dodgers for the New York Herald Tribune, and 20 years later, when some were ailing (Jackie Robinson), embittered (Carl Furillo) or in a wheelchair (Roy Campanella).
Nello Santi, 88, a conductor who was one of the most authoritative interpreters of Italian opera, especially the works of Giuseppe Verdi, and a podium favorite of singers and orchestra players, died Feb. 6 in Zurich.
Santu Mofokeng, 63, a photographer whose searing images of everyday life in South Africa’s black townships documented the prospects of freedom from apartheid and the unfulfilled promise of its overthrow, died Jan. 26 in Johannesburg. He had progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative brain disease that confined him to a wheelchair and left him unable to speak, according to South African news reports.