Gwen Ifill was the first African American woman to host a nationally televised U.S. public affairs program with Washington Week in Review. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Gwen Ifill was the first African American woman to host a nationally televised U.S. public affairs program with Washington Week in Review. Ifill was also a co-anchor on the PBS NewsHour. She authored the best-selling book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” Ifill moderated the 2004 and the 2008 vice-presidential debates and received high praise for her performance. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Gwen Ifill, U.S. television journalist who hosted Washington Week in Review, dies from cancer at 61.
2014: Jane Byrne, U.S. politician who was the first female mayor of Chicago, serving from 1979 to 1983, dies at 81.
Byrne, who remains Chicago’s only female mayor, was branded with nicknames such as Calamity Jane as she speedily fired and hired people in such top jobs as police superintendent and press secretary. “It was chaos,” Byrne herself acknowledged in a 2004 Chicago Tribune story, attributing many of the problems to her wresting power from the old-boy Democratic machine that had ruled the city for decades. “Like the spaghetti in a pressure cooker, it was all over the ceiling.” Read more
2014: Glen A. Larson, U.S. writer and producer who created TV shows including “Battlestar Galactica” and “Knight Rider,” dies of esophageal cancer at 77.
He also co-composed the theme songs for some of his hits, including the frequently sampled tune from “Knight Rider” and the orchestral music behind “Battlestar Galactica,” his son said. “He was sort of an icon,” James Larson said. “There are a lot of interesting things like that.” Glen Larson was nominated three times for an Emmy, once for a Grammy for the original score of “Battlestar Galactica,” and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985. Read more
2003: Gene Anthony Ray, U.S. actor, dancer and choreographer who played dancer Leroy Johnson in the movie “Fame” and on the TV series based on the film, dies of a stroke at 41.
2002: Eddie Bracken, U.S. actor whose films include “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” and “Hail the Conquering Hero,” dies of surgical complications at 87.
2000: Robert Trout, U.S. broadcast news journalist who reported on World War II, dies at 91.
1996: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until 1996, dies at 68.
1996: Virginia Cherrill, Illinois-born U.S. actress who played the blind flower girl in Charlie Chaplin‘s film “City Lights,” dies at 88.
1995: Jack Finney, U.S. author of science fiction and thrillers including “The Body Snatchers,” dies of pneumonia at 84.
1994: Tom Villard, U.S. actor known for his leading role on the television series “We Got It Made,” dies at 40.
1992: George Adams, U.S. jazz tenor saxophonist and flutist whose albums include “Changes One” and “Changes Two” with Charles Mingus, dies at 52.
1991: Cecil A. “Tony” Richardson, British director and producer who won the 1964 Academy Award for best director for his film Tom Jones, dies of AIDS at 63.
Though Tony Richardson’s marriage to Vanessa Redgrave lasted only five years, it produced two children who would follow in the family’s famous footsteps: actresses Natasha Richardson (Tony Award winner for the Broadway revival of “Cabaret” and star of films like “Gothic,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Nell,” “Widows’ Peak,” and “The Parent Trap” with Lindsay Lohan) and Joely Richardson (known for her work on television in “Nip/Tuck” and “The Tudors” and for appearing as the younger Elizabeth I in “Anonymous” – with her mother playing the queen in her older years – and in the American adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Through his marriage (albeit short-lived), his daughters, and his many films featuring his famous family and family-in-law, Richardson will be forever linked to the Redgraves. Read more
1974: Johnny Mack Brown, U.S. college football star and actor whose films include “A Lawman Is Born,” “Gun Smoke,” and “Stampede,” dies at 70.
1965: Russell Collins, U.S. actor whose films include “Niagara,” “Close Up,” and “Shockproof,” dies at 68.
1915: Booker T. Washington, African-American educator, author, and adviser to U.S. presidents, dies at 59.