Hosni Mubarak, 91, the autocratic ruler of Egypt whose nearly 30 years in power came to an abrupt, bloody climax in 2011 after a popular revolt swept across the Arab world, has died, state media reported Tuesday.
Mubarak, who rose to power in 1981 after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, kept a tight grip on his country through decades of repression, corruption and cronyism, only to be deposed by the military after massive street protests during the Arab Spring uprisings.
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, 101, a black female mathematician who calculated spacecraft trajectories during the space race in the 1960s for NASA, died at 101 Monday, at a retirement home in Newport News, Virginia.
Wielding little more than a pencil, a slide rule and one of the finest mathematical minds in the country, Johnson calculated the precise trajectories that would let Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk, let it return to Earth.
Her impeccable calculations already had helped plot the successful flight of Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space when his Mercury spacecraft went aloft in 1961. The next year, she likewise helped make it possible for John Glenn, in the Mercury vessel Friendship 7, to become the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn, who trusted her calculations better than the ones made by a mainframe computer, famously asked the trajectory of his flight to be checked by hand by Johnson.
Clive Cussler, 88, author and maritime adventurer who captivated millions with his bestselling tales of suspense and who, between books, led scores of expeditions to find historic shipwrecks and lost treasures in the ocean depths, died Monday at home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
His book sales have been staggering — more than 100 million copies, with vast numbers sold in paperback at airports. Translated into 40 or so languages, his books reached The New York Times’ bestseller lists more than 20 times, as he amassed a fortune estimated at $80 million. He has a new novel, “Journey of the Pharaohs,” set to be released March 10, with several more awaiting posthumous publication.
Kazuhisa Hashimoto, 79, creator of the most famous sequence of button pushes in video game history — Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right. B. A. Start, better known as the “‘Konami Code” — has died.
The Konami Code was first implemented in shooting game Gradius in 1986. Hashimoto was responsible for converting the game from arcade to the Nintendo Entertainment System console but found the game too hard to beat, so he created the cheat code to give himself more lives. The cheat code was made famous by the also notoriously difficult 1988 shooter game Contra, where the Konami Code gave players 30 lives.
Chitetsu Watanabe, 112, died in Niigata in northern Japan on Feb. 23 less than two weeks after the Guinness Book of World Records recognized him as the “World’s Oldest Man” at 112 years and 344 days. Watanabe credited his long life to avoiding anger, and lots of smiling.
Barbara “B.” Smith, 70, one of the nation’s top black models who went on to open restaurants, launch a successful home products line and write cookbooks, died Feb. 22 at her Long Island home after battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Smith’s Manhattan restaurant opened in 1986 and attracted a following among affluent black New Yorkers. Smith wrote three cookbooks, founded three successful restaurants and launched a nationally syndicated television show and a magazine. Her successful home products line was the first from a black woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer when it debuted in 2001 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Tobi Tobias, 81, whose dance criticism for New York magazine and other outlets made her an influential voice in the genre for decades, died Feb. 13 at home in Manhattan.
Philip Leder, 85, a biologist who helped decipher the genetic code and discovered a genetic cause of cancer, died Feb. 2 at his home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.