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Died January 31

Published: 1/31/2015
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Molly Ivins (Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Molly Ivins was known for her rapier wit as she wrote political commentary and a syndicated newspaper column that originated in Texas but reached readers across the nation. Her barbs were legendary – she dubbed President George W. Bush "Shrub" – and she was as bold as she was funny, refusing to apologize to those she skewered in her columns. Ivins won a number of awards for her journalism, but the two honors she said she was most proud of were having the mascot pig of the Minneapolis police force named for her, and being banned from entering the Texas A&M University campus. When she died of inflammatory breast cancer in 2007, we lost a world-class wit. We remember Ivins' life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

2014: Anna Gordy Gaye, U.S. businesswoman and songwriter who was the sister of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and the first wife of Marvin Gaye, dies at 92.

2012: Anthony Bevilacqua, U.S. cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who was the archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 to 2003, dies at 88.

(Associated Press/John Bohn)He was not averse to new methods of outreach. Heeding the pope's call for a "New Evangelization," Bevilacqua used then-novel methods, such as a toll-free confession line, a live weekly radio call-in program and an online forum for people to pose questions to priests, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. "We are carrying out the wishes of the Holy Father for a new evangelization, reaching out to people like never before," Bevilacqua said after a telephone hotline began in 1998. Read more

 

2012: Mike Kelley, influential U.S. artist, dies by suicide at 57.

Mike Kelley (Photo by Ann Summa/Getty Images)"Kelley's work in the 1980s was part of how one defined the Los Angeles arts scene. He had a remarkable ability to fuse distinction between fine and popular art in ways that managed to perturb our sense of decorum," said Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, according to Kelley's obituary by The Associated Press. Read more

 

 

2007: Lee Bergere, popular U.S. character actor who had a regular role on the prime-time TV soap Dynasty, dies at 88.

During his 60-year career, Bergere also was known as Joseph, the head of the household on Dynasty. He had roles in North and South, Falcon CrestHot L Baltimore and Incident at Vichy, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. On the 1966 Star Trek episode, called "The Savage Curtain," he received a fan following from Trekkies. In that episode, Captain Kirk meets his childhood hero, Abraham Lincoln, and they go to a planet to fight off Ghengis Khan. Read more

 

2007: Molly Ivins, U.S. political columnist and author, dies of breast cancer at 62.

Her livelihood was poking fun at Texas politicians, whether they were in the White House or her home base of Austin. "Molly Ivins' clever and colorful perspectives on people and politics gained her national acclaim and admiration that crossed party lines," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom Ivins playfully dubbed "Governor Goodhair," according to Ivins' obituary by The Associated Press. Read more

 

 

2006: Moira Shearer, Scottish actress and internationally renowned ballerina, dies at 80.

2004: Eleanor Holm, U.S. swimmer and actress who won a gold medal at the 1932 Olympics, dies at 90.

2000: Gil Kane, U.S. comic book artist who co-created the Green Lantern and the Atom, dies at 73.

1995: George Abbott, U.S. playwright, actor, director and producer whose work included Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game, dies at 107.

1992: Mel Hein, NFL Hall of Fame center and defensive lineman who played for the New York Giants, dies at 82.

1974: Samuel Goldwyn, Polish-American film producer whose movie company eventually became MGM, dies at 94.

1974: Glenn Morris, U.S. Olympic athlete who won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, dies at 61.

1970: Slim Harpo, U.S. blues harmonica master whose songs were covered by groups such as the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, dies at 46.

1967: Eddie Tolan, U.S. athlete who won the gold medal in the 100 and 200 meters at the 1932 Olympics and whose nickname was "The Midnight Express," dies at 58.

1956: A.A. Milne, English author known best as the author of Winnie-the-Pooh, dies at 74.

Winnie-the-Pooh was born not long after Milne's son, Christopher Robin. Many of the characters from the stories – including Pooh himself – were inspired by the young boy's stuffed toys, while Pooh's human friend, Christopher Robin, was inspired by Milne's son. Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga and Roo all started life in Christopher Robin Milne's nursery. Those characters all had pretty easily explained names, but for anyone who has ever wondered where Winnie got his name and what exactly makes him a Pooh, there is an answer. Read more

 

1954: Florence Bates, U.S. character actress who appeared in more than 60 films, dies at 65.

1954: Edwin H. Armstrong, U.S. inventor who created FM radio transmission, dies at 63.

1945: Eddie Slovik, U.S. soldier who was the only soldier executed for desertion during World War II, dies at 24.

1942: Henry Larkin, U.S. professional baseball player who in 1885 set a record by hitting four doubles in one game, a record that has only been tied to this day, dies at 82.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

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