Heavy D was a triple threat: a rapper, an actor, and a savvy businessman. We remember Heavy D’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Heavy D was a triple threat: a rapper, an actor, and a savvy businessman. He was a prolific musician and hip-hop visionary, eventually leading the Uptown Records label, making him the first rapper to lead a major label. He was also responsible for Sean “Diddy” Combs’ first job in the music industry, and he provided financial support and encouragement for new artists in the genre. We remember Heavy D’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2014: Phil Crane, U.S. politician who represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 2005, dies at 84.
Crane also made an unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, losing out to the eventual winner, Ronald Reagan, who would go on to become the politician most closely associated with the modern conservative movement. But Crane had touted what he saw as the virtue of smaller government going back to the 1960s, spelling out his vision of a stripped-down, low-tax federal government in his 1976 book, “The Sum of Good Government.” Read more
2012: Lucille Bliss, U.S. actress and the voice of the TV cartoon character Smurfette, dies at 96.
2011: Heavy D, born Dwight Errington Myers, Jamaican-born U.S. hip-hop artist and producer, dies of a blood clot in the lung at 44.
Heavy D may not have been ready to go Nov. 8, but even so, he left his fans with some last words of advice. On a Twitter feed that was often peppered with inspirational words, Heavy D signed off with a final, perfect tweet on the morning of his death: “BE INSPIRED!” Fittingly, Heavy D’s fans responded with their own words of inspiration, sharing comfort and condolences in his online Guest Book. In less than 24 hours, the Guest Book received more than 700 messages of sympathy and support, and entries continued to pour in from devoted D fans. Read more
2011: Bil Keane, U.S. cartoonist and creator of the long-running comic strip “The Family Circus,” dies of congestive heart failure at 89.
Although Keane kept the strip current with references to pop culture movies and songs, the context of his comic was timeless. The ghost-like “Ida Know” and “Not Me” who got blamed for household accidents were staples of the strip. The family’s pets were dogs Barfy and Sam, and the cat, Kittycat. “We are, in the comics, the last frontier of good, wholesome family humor and entertainment,” Keane said, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. “On radio and television, magazines and the movies, you can’t tell what you’re going to get. When you look at the comic page, you can usually depend on something acceptable by the entire family.” Read more
2010: Quintin Dailey, U.S. basketball player who played for the Chicago Bulls among other teams, dies of heart disease at 49.
Former USF coach Dan Belluomini, who recruited Dailey from high school at Cardinal Gibbons in Baltimore, said he was a tremendous player and terrific worker, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. “He was a big surprise when he came to USF as a freshman and I remember (former Georgetown coach) John Thompson telling me that Quintin was a great player and when you get him at San Francisco you will find out how good,” Belluomini said. “About 20 minutes into the first practice, I found out how true that was.” Read more
2003: C.Z. Guest, U.S. socialite and fashion icon, dies at 83.
Truman Capote called her a “cool vanilla lady.” British Vogue said she had “the face of a flower.” Socialite Guest was dressed by the most talented designers, lived at the most exclusive addresses –– Boston’s North Shore, Long Island, Palm Beach –– married at best man Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba, rode the most thorough-bred thoroughbreds, and partied in the most rarefied circles. Read more
1999: Lester Bowie, U.S. jazz trumpet player who co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago, dies at 58.
1994: Michael O’Donoghue, U.S. comedy performer and the first head writer for the TV show “Saturday Night Live,” dies of cerebral bleeding at 54.
1983: James Hayden, U.S. actor who appeared in the movie “Once Upon a Time in America,” dies of a heroin overdose at 29.
1983: James Booker, U.S. rhythm and blues pianist who played with Dr. John and Jerry Garcia, dies at 43.
1978: Norman Rockwell, U.S. painter and illustrator who drew iconic covers for The Saturday Evening Post magazine, dies at 84.
One of the ironies of Rockwell’s paintings and the adjective “Rockwell-esque” that has come to mean homey and heartwarming, is that his art did not imitate his life. The new biography explores “the relationship between the artist’s despairing personality and his genius for reflecting American’s brightest hopes,” according to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. “Rockwell would have been the first to tell you that the pictures he painted were not meant to be taken as a documentary history of American life during his time on earth, and least of all as a record of his life,” David Kamp wrote in a 2009 Vanity Fair article. Rockwell himself wrote, “The view of life I communicate in my pictures excludes the sordid and ugly. I paint life as I would like it to be.” Read more
1974: Ivory Joe Hunter, U.S. R&B singer-songwriter and pianist aka the Happiest Man Alive, dies at 60.
1968: Wendell Corey, U.S. actor who was in “Rear Window” and starred on “The Nanette Fabray Show,” dies at 54.
1887: John Henry “Doc” Holliday, U.S. gambler, gunfighter, and dentist, dies at 36.