E.S. Reddy, 96, an Indian-born acolyte of Gandhi who spearheaded efforts at the United Nations to end apartheid in South Africa, died Nov. 1 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His death was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who hailed Reddy’s “commitment to human rights” and his epitomizing “social solidarity.”
From 1963 to 1984, Reddy oversaw the U.N.’s efforts against apartheid first as principal secretary of the Special Committee Against Apartheid and then as director of the Center Against Apartheid. “There is no one at the United Nations who has done more to expose the injustices of apartheid and the illegality of the South African regime than he has,” Sean MacBride, a former U.N. commissioner for Namibia and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said of Reddy in 1985.
Sean Connery, 90, the Scottish-born actor who was film’s first — and for many viewers, the only — “Bond, James Bond,” and whose charismatic swagger enlivened dozens of other movies including “The Untouchables,” for which he won an Academy Award, died during the night of Oct. 30-31 at his home in Lyford Cay, the Bahamas. The cause has not been disclosed.
In a career spanning more than five decades, Connery developed a screen magnetism that combined the seductive charm of his honey-thick Scottish brogue with an alluring physical presence. He was strikingly sure of himself — brimming with authority and impudence — and appealed to audiences in even the most ludicrous of star vehicles.
“Bond was meant to be a classy character, and Connery was not — he was working class and that kind of gave him an abrasive edge,” British-born film critic and historian David Thomson said in an interview. This barely concealed menace brought a compelling depth to many of his best-remembered films, notably his Oscar-winning supporting role as gritty Irish street cop Jim Malone in Brian De Palma’s Prohibition-era drama “The Untouchables” (1987). Kevin Costner played lawman Eliot Ness, and Robert De Niro was gangster Al Capone.
Robert Fisk, 74, widely regarded as one of England’s most daring and controversial journalists of his generation reporting for the Times of London and later the Independent, and among the few foreign correspondents brave (some said foolhardy) enough to live full-time in the volatile Lebanese capital, Beirut, during its years of civil wars and foreign interventions by U.S., U.N., Syrian and Israeli forces, died Oct. 30 after an apparent stroke at his home in Dalkey, a suburb of Dublin.
He won more British journalism awards than any of his peers, including British Foreign Reporter of the Year seven times and the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2002. He initially distinguished himself with his reporting and books about Northern Ireland and the independent Republic of Ireland. Having learned Arabic, he became one of the few western foreign correspondents to interview Osama bin Laden, years before the Saudi-born al-Qaida founder became globally infamous.
Dr. Philip R. Lee, 96, who as a key federal health official and fighter for social justice under President Lyndon Johnson wielded government Medicare money as a cudgel to desegregate the nation’s hospitals in the 1960s, died of heart arrhythmia Oct. 27 in a hospital in Manhattan. From his office at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, as the assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs from 1965 to 1969, Lee engineered the introduction of Medicare, which was established for older Americans in 1965.
“Fast Eddie” Johnson, 65, the two-time All-Star for the Atlanta Hawks whose career was shortened by arrests that led to a ban from the NBA and a life sentence in prison, died Oct. 26. His death was confirmed Tuesday by Rocker-Cusack Mortuary in Leesburg, Florida.
Due to his explosive first step, Johnson earned the nickname “Fast Eddie” and averaged 15.1 points in 10 NBA seasons. He set a career high by averaging 19.1 points for the Hawks in the 1980-81 season. He started in the 1980 and 1981 All-Star Games.
The Hawks traded Johnson to Cleveland for Johnny Davis on Feb. 10, 1986. Johnson signed with Seattle in 1987. He received a lifetime suspension from the NBA in 1987 for his cocaine use. Johnson was 53 when, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website, he received a mandatory life sentence in 2008 after he was found guilty of sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl.
Marylin Bender, 95, whose deposition in a sex discrimination suit against The New York Times in 1974 made the case for women’s advancement in newsrooms, died Oct. 19, in Manhattan. The cause was dementia.
Bender was the Sunday business editor of The New York Times in the 1970s, one of only a handful of women with any editing clout in the newsroom. At the time, she was outraged, but not surprised, to learn that her male deputy was making more money than she was. When, in asking for a raise, Bender was told, “You’re married. You don’t need it.”
Bender was not part of the lawsuit but deposed for it. “I was the one example they had of someone in a slightly elevated, managerial capacity who was proportionately being dealt as much of a shiv as the women plaintiffs,” she said. Still, Bender enjoyed a long career as a reporter and editor, most of it at The Times, and as the author of four books.