Raymond Briggs, 88, the children’s author whose cheeky illustrations graced everyday British life and a bold breadth of emotion, especially in the wordless escapades of ‘The Snowman’, died in Brighton, England on Tuesday.
Olivia Newton-John, 73, who sang some of the biggest hits of the 1970s and 80s while recasting her virgin girl-next-door image into a spandex-clad vixen – a transformation mirrored in miniature by her starring role in “Grease,” the one of the most popular musicals of its time – died Monday at her Southern California ranch. The cause was cancer.
Lamont-Dozier, 81, the prolific songwriter and producer who played a crucial role in Motown Records’ success as one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died Monday in Arizona. Working with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Dozier has written songs for dozens of musical acts, but the trio has worked most often with Martha and the Vandellas (“Heat Wave,” “Jimmy Mack”), the Four Tops (“Bernadette”, “I Can’t Help Myself”) and especially the Supremes (“You Can’t Hurry Love”, “Baby Love”). Between 1963 and 1972, the Holland-Dozier-Holland team was responsible for over 80 singles that reached the Top 40 on the pop or R&B charts, including 15 songs that reached No. 1.
Zofia Posmysz, 98, a Polish World War II resistance fighter who survived the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps and later became a journalist and novelist, died Monday at a hospice in Oswiecim, the southern Polish town where Auschwitz was located during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland. . His most famous work was called “The Passenger,” a novel about an Auschwitz survivor who meets her former guard on a boat trip, and served as the basis for a film and an opera.
David McCullough, 89, who was known to millions as an award-winning bestselling author and an engaging television host and storyteller with a rare gift for recreating great events and characters from America’s past, died Aug. 7 at his home in Hingham, MA. , southeast of Boston. McCullough won the Pulitzer Prize for two presidential biographies, “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001). He received National Book Awards for “The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal” (1977) and “Mornings on Horseback” (1981), about young Theodore Roosevelt and his family.
Issey Miyake, 84, one of the first Japanese designers to parade in Paris, whose style of pleated clothing allowed freedom of movement and whose name became a global synonym for high fashion in the 1980s, died on August 5 in Tokyo. His death was announced Tuesday by the Miyake Design Studio, which said the cause was liver cancer. He was part of a revolutionary wave of designers who brought Japanese fashion to the rest of the world, eventually opening the door to contemporaries like Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.
Judith Durham, 79, the lead singer of 1960s Australian folk-pop group The Seekers, whose shimmering soprano voice and wholesome image propelled singles like “Georgy Girl” and “I’ll Never Find Another You” to the top of the pop charts, died on August 5 in a hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her death was caused by bronchiectasis, a lung condition she had battled since childhood, according to a post by Universal Music Australia and the Musicoast label on the Seekers Facebook page.
Marcus Eliason, 75, an international journalist whose insightful reporting, sparkling prose and skillful editing graced the news wires of the Associated Press for nearly half a century, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in New York. The cause was pneumonia. From Israel and the Six-Day War of 1967 to apartheid-era South Africa, through the Afghan battlefields, bloody Belfast, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the handover of Hong Kong, Eliason witnessed and reported on some of the major world events of the 20th century. last decades.
Melissa Bank, 61, a witty and acerbic writer whose first book, ‘The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing’, became a global publishing phenomenon in 1999, died on August 2 at her East Hampton home , New York. Bank’s success didn’t exactly happen overnight. She spent 12 years writing the book, a collection of stories, partly because a bicycle accident had temporarily left her unable to write. A day job as a copywriter for a major advertising agency also kept her busy.
Gary C.Schroen, 80, a veteran CIA agent who, just weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, led the first team of agents into Afghanistan to prepare for an invasion and begin the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his top aides, died after a fall in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 1, a day after a US missile killed one of the last of these men, Ayman al-Zawahri.
DeeHock, 93, a college-educated banker who turned the Visa credit card into a global financial giant, died July 16 at his home in Olympia.
At the time, the company was plagued by bad debts and fraud, and the cards themselves were primitive: they lacked the magnetic stripes that would later encode customer information; transactions requiring bank authorizations took a long time; and the information embossed on it – customer name, card number, expiration date – was clumsily copied onto the receipts with a heavy printer.
Hock became the head of a committee of bankers whose institutions licensed BankAmericard, which was first issued in 1958. The committee’s solution was to create a new company, National BankAmericard, separate from Bank of America and controlled by the banks which issued the card. Hock was named president and chief executive officer. In 1976, the company was renamed Visa. As Managing Director, he oversaw the development of the first electronic authorization system and the first interbank electronic clearing and settlement system.