Barbara Judge, 73, highflying U.S.-British lawyer, banker and entrepreneur who broke the glass ceiling of male dominance at regulatory agencies and other influential institutions in Washington, Hong Kong and London, died Monday of pancreatic cancer in London. As the youngest person — and only the second woman — to become a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, appointed in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter, and later as the first female chair of Britain’s Atomic Energy Agency, Judge built a curriculum vitae studded with precedent-setting appointments and reflecting her oft-voiced belief that success grew from long hours, close attention to detail and hard work.
Pranab Mukherjee, 84, an Indian politician who rose to high office alongside one of India’s longest-serving prime ministers, Indira Gandhi, died Monday in New Delhi. Before undergoing brain surgery in recent weeks, Mukherjee announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was later put on a ventilator and slipped into a coma at a military hospital.
John Thompson Jr., 78, who elevated Georgetown University basketball to national prominence, earned Hall of Fame honors and carved a place in history as the first Black coach to lead his team to the NCAA men’s championship, died Aug. 30. No additional details were available.
Thompson’s Hoyas won the 1984 NCAA title in Seattle, beating Houston 84-75 in the championship game at the Kingdome. Physically imposing at 6 feet 10 inches and nearly 300 pounds and possessed of a booming bass voice that commanded authority better than a shrill whistle could, Thompson built his teams around standout centers such as Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning and a physical, unrelenting approach to defense.
Perhaps Thompson’s most profound contribution to the game was his grasp of its power to lift disadvantaged youngsters to a better life. He used college basketball — and his stature in the sport — as a platform from which to demand greater opportunities for Black athletes to gain the college education they might otherwise have been denied.
Chadwick Boseman, 43, the actor who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown with searing intensity before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, died Aug. 28 of cancer. He died at home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side. Boseman had not spoken publicly about his illness.
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said. “From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
His T’Challa character and his “Wakanda Forever” salute reverberated around the world after the release of “Black Panther.” The film was a cultural touchstone, the first major superhero movie with an African protagonist; the first to star a majority Black cast; and in Ryan Coogler, the first to employ a Black writer and director.
The film’s vision of Afrofuturism and the technologically advanced civilization of Wakanda resonated with audiences, some of whom wore African attire to showings and helped propel “Black Panther” to more than $1.3 billion in global box office. It is the only Marvel Studios film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination.
Archbishop Oscar Cruz, 85, an outspoken senior Philippine Roman Catholic Church leader who railed against illegal gambling and poked politicians with his stinging commentaries, died of COVID-19 complications Aug. 26 in metropolitan Manila, Philippines. When Rodrigo Duterte was running for president in 2016, Cruz said the famously foul-mouthed politician was dangerous and “worse than a dictator.”
Linda Manz, 58, artfully sullen actress who won glowing reviews as the young narrator and the little sister of Richard Gere’s character in Terrence Malick’s haunting film “Days of Heaven,” died Aug. 14. She had lung cancer and pneumonia.