Died Today in History ›
Getty Images / Leonard McCombe
Published: 11 months ago
The author Carson McCullers often wrote about misfits and outsiders. Born in Columbus, Georgia, her Southern Gothic stories reflected her roots. One of her best known works is the novel "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." The story of spiritual misfits in a small southern town was adapted into a movie starring Alan Arkin. McCullers suffered from ill health as an adult resulting from rhuematic fever at the age of 15 and alcoholism. She died from a brain hemorrhage at 50. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2015: Phil Woods, U.S. jazz saxophonist who played with Quincy Jones and Billy Joel, dies at 83.
2014: George Shuba, U.S. professional baseball player with the Brooklyn Dodgers known for a famous photo in which he shook Jackie Robinson's hand, the first interracial handshake documented in professional baseball, dies at 89.
Shuba, who was white, congratulated his teammate on the Montreal Royals near home plate after Robinson hit a three-run homer April 18, 1946, off Jersey City Giants pitcher Warren Sandell. The moment shared by a smiling Robinson and Shuba was captured in a famous photograph and dubbed "A Handshake for the Century." Shuba reportedly hung a copy in his living room.
2013: Scott Workman, U.S. stuntman who worked on such movies as "Iron Man 2" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," dies at 47.
2013: L.C. Greenwood, U.S. NFL defensive end who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was part of their "Steel Curtain" defense that led them to four Super Bowl victories, dies at 67.
A six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Greenwood played for the Steelers from 1969-81, helping Pittsburgh win an unprecedented four Super Bowls in a six-year span, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Greenwood, Joe Greene, Ernie Holmes, and Dwight White formed the bedrock of the defense that helped turn a perennial loser into a dynasty. Read more
2010: Tony Curtis, U.S. actor who had his greatest popularity in the 1950s and '60s, starring in "Some Like It Hot" and "Spartacus," dies at 85.
Then, in the 1980s, Curtis revealed another side of himself: He was an artist, and had been saving his work since childhood. His collection included paintings done in oils, acrylics, or watercolors; mixed-media works; and an illustrated journal. In 2005, his painting "Red Table" joined the permanent collection of the film and media wing of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1987, Curtis told United Press International that he found painting more fulfilling creatively than acting, saying he would rather be known "as an artist who acts than an actor who paints." Read more
2010: Greg Giraldo, U.S. stand-up comedian and television personality known for his appearances on Comedy Central's roast specials, dies of an overdose of prescription drugs at 44.
He starred in the ABC sitcom "Common Law" – in which he fittingly played a lawyer – but the show was canceled after four episodes, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He also was a judge on the NBC reality show "Last Comic Standing." He was a frequent guest on "The Late Show With David Letterman," "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," and "The Howard Stern Show." He often appeared on Comedy Central's roast series. Read more
2007: Lois Maxwell, Canadian actress known mostly for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 James Bond movies, dies at 80.
In the late 1940s, she moved to Hollywood and won a Golden Globe for her part in the Shirley Temple comedy "That Hagen Girl." After working in Italy, she returned to Britain in the mid-1950s. In addition to her 14 appearances as Miss Moneypenny, she acted in Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" and worked on TV shows including "The Saint," "The Baron," "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)," and "The Persuaders!" Read more
2005: Austin Leslie, U.S. chef from New Orleans whose food was called Creole Soul and whose restaurant Chez Helene was internationally known, dies at 71.
1998: Tom Bradley, U.S. politician who was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 until 1993, dies at 80.
Obama's presidential campaign has revived another piece of the Bradley legacy, the so-called Bradley effect. When Bradley ran for governor of California in 1982, he was well ahead in the pre-election polls, and on election night, a television network even called him the victor based on exit polls. And yet his Republican opponent prevailed when all of the ballots were counted. Those who analyzed this campaign and others involving black candidates argued that some white voters had told pollsters that they were undecided or likely to vote for the black candidate but instead voted for the white candidate. Obama's historic presidential primary campaign revived this question, as people wondered whether there was a hidden white vote lying in wait for him. Read more
1997: Roy Lichtenstein, U.S. artist who was a leading figure in the pop art movement, dies at 73.
1995: Susan Fleetwood, English actress known best for her role as Athena in the movie "Clash of the Titans," dies at 51.
1993: Gordon Douglas, U.S. director who directed Frank Sinatra in the movies "Tony Rome" and "Robin and the 7 Hoods," dies at 85.
1988: Charles Addams, U.S. cartoonist known for his cartoon "The Addams Family," dies at 76.
An artist since childhood, Addams began contributing cartoons to The New Yorker in 1932, and soon after that, he created America's favorite creepy, kooky clan: the Addams family. Originally a series of one-panel cartoons for the magazine featuring a family full of unnamed oddities, the Addams family went on to become a television and movie smash. The Addams family's Hollywood fame began in 1964, when producers from ABC asked Addams to give his blessing for a TV series – and name his characters for the small screen. Read more
1975: Casey Stengel, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder who later managed the New York Yankees to seven World Series titles, dies at 85.
1970: Edward Everett Horton, U.S. character actor who had supporting roles in the movies "The Front Page" and "Alice in Wonderland," dies at 84.