Carl Levin, 87, six-term Democratic senator from Michigan who was an influential leader on national security and whose intellect and integrity made him one of the most widely respected lawmakers of recent times, died Thursday of lung cancer at a Detroit hospital.
A Harvard-trained lawyer, he was known for scholarly analysis of issues, sound-bite-free discourse and a collaborative approach to legislating that earned him the trust of colleagues who did not share his liberal political philosophy. Levin was the longest-serving senator in Michigan history and had the distinction of being half of one of the longest-lasting sibling teams in congressional history. His brother Sander Levin, older by three years, was a Democratic congressman from the Detroit area, and the two served simultaneously for more than three decades.
Ron Popeil, 86, a made-for-TV inventor and salesman whose infomercial stardom persuaded millions of Americans to buy the Veg-O-Matic, Pocket Fisherman and dozens of other products they had no idea they needed, died Wednesday at a hospital in Los Angeles. The cause was a brain hemorrhage.
Popeil’s mastery of television marketing, dating to the 1950s but spanning several decades, made him nearly as recognizable on-screen as the TV and movie stars of his era. Several of his catchphrases — especially “But wait! There’s more” and “set it and forget it” — have endured.
Dusty Hill, 72, the quiet bass player who made up one-third of ZZ Top, among the bestselling rock bands of the 1980s, died at home in Houston. His bandmates Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons announced the death Wednesday through Facebook and Instagram. They did not provide a cause or say when he died.
Hill gladly accepted his supporting role for his bandmate’s masterful lead guitar playing. “Sometimes you don’t even notice the bass,” he said in a 2016 interview. “I hate that in a way, but I love that in a way. That’s a compliment. That means you’ve filled in everything and it’s right for the song, and you’re not standing out where you don’t need to be.”
Mike Enzi, 77, a four-term U.S. senator from Wyoming who had a reputation as a low-key, consensus-seeking conservative and who led the Senate Budget Committee for several years before he retired in January, died Monday at a hospital in Colorado, days after he was injured in a bicycle accident near his home in Gillette, Wyoming, on July 23.
Enzi, who was born in Bremerton, Washington, easily fended off a primary challenge in 2014 from Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and was a conservative who opposed marriage equality and abortion rights, and supported offshore drilling and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to private oil companies.
Joey Jordison, 46, a founder of Slipknot who drummed for the influential metal band in its most popular period and helped write many of its best-known songs, died Monday. The cause and location were not immediately available. “We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep,” his family said in a statement.
Bob Moses, 86, a soft-spoken pioneer of the civil rights movement who faced relentless intimidation and brutal violence to register Black voters in Mississippi in the 1960s, and who later started a national organization devoted to teaching math as a means to a more equal society, died July 25 at his home in Hollywood, Florida.
Although less well-known than some of his fellow organizers, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer and John Lewis, Moses played a role in many of the turning points in the struggle for civil rights and developed a reputation for extraordinary calm in the face of horrific violence.
He was a volunteer for and then a staff member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, focused on voter registration drives across Mississippi. He was a director of the Council of Federated Organizations, another civil rights group in the state. Moses also helped to start the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, which recruited college students in the North to join Black Mississippians in voter registration campaigns.
Rick Allen, 68, a renowned Scottish climber, died in an avalanche July 25 while trying to scale K2 in northern Pakistan, the world’s second-highest mountain peak, along a route that had not been attempted previously, a Pakistani mountaineering official and a British charity said Monday. Allen’s two climbing partners survived the avalanche and were subsequently rescued. The bodies of three climbers — Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara,Jon Snorri of Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr of Chile — who died on the same mountain earlier this year were located.
Fernando Karadima, 90, a Chilean priest who was at the center of a sexual abuse scandal that has recently shaken the Catholic Church in Chile and who was eventually defrocked by the pope, died July 25 of bronchopneumonia and kidney failure in the nursing home where he was living, according to his death certificate. After being defrocked in 2018, Karadima was sanctioned to a lifetime of penance and prayer for having sexually abused minors in a parish in Chile’s capital.
Bob Cummins, 72, a legendary figure among rowing circles in the Pacific Northwest, died on July 24 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, surrounded by friends and family.
Cummins was rarely more comfortable than when he was on the water. Described as a gentle giant — he stood a towering 6-foot-5 — his quiet, calming, thoughtful demeanor allowed him to become one of the best teachers and representatives of the sport in the Greater Seattle area.