This page lists the obituaries of people who made news during their lifetimes. Obituaries of historians can be found here.
Santiago Carrillo, who evolved from a bomb-throwing opponent of Gen. Francisco Franco and his fascist forces into a Spanish Communist leader who promoted a more moderate, democratic European Communist Party independent of the Soviet Union, died on Tuesday at his home in Madrid. He was 97.
The cause was heart failure, his son Santiago said.
Born into a socialist family in dynastic Spain, Mr. Carrillo converted to Communism and fought Franco’s fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War, leaving him haunted by a massacre on his watch. When Franco came to power, Mr. Carrillo was forced to retreat to Paris, but he continued to manage the Spanish Communist Party from there, becoming its secretary general in 1960....
Thomas Szasz, a psychiatrist whose 1961 book “The Myth of Mental Illness” questioned the legitimacy of his field and provided the intellectual grounding for generations of critics, patient advocates and antipsychiatry activists, making enemies of many fellow doctors, died Saturday at his home in Manlius, N.Y. He was 92.
He died after a fall, his daughter Dr. Margot Szasz Peters said.
Dr. Szasz (pronounced sahz) published his critique at a particularly vulnerable moment for psychiatry. With Freudian theorizing just beginning to fall out of favor, the field was trying to become more medically oriented and empirically based. Fresh from Freudian training himself, Dr. Szasz saw psychiatry’s medical foundation as shaky at best, and his book hammered away, placing the discipline “in the company of alchemy and astrology.”
The book became a sensation in mental health circles, as well as a bible for those who felt misused by the mental health system....
Gabriel Vahanian, a theologian whose 1961 social critique, “The Death of God: The Culture of Our Post-Christian Era,” gave a name to a seemingly atheistic but widely misunderstood theological movement, died on Aug. 30 at his home in Strasbourg, France. He was 85.
His daughter, Noelle Vahanian, confirmed his death.
Mr. Vahanian, a churchgoing Presbyterian throughout his life, was a professor at Syracuse University when a small literary publisher released “The Death of God,” a scholarly work that took church leaders to task for what he considered the trivialization of Christian teaching in the secular age. It was not an endorsement of Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1880s-era announcement of God’s death. And it received little attention outside university religion departments and periodicals like The Journal of Bible and Religion. (The Journal’s review called it a dense read, but worthwhile. “Books like this must be written and read if Christian solutions are to be found,” it said.)...
Gen. William W. Momyer, a celebrated World War II fighter pilot who helped plot postwar tactics for the Air Force and commanded aerial combat and bombing operations during the early years of the Vietnam War, died Aug. 10 at an assisted-living center in Merritt Island, Fla. He was 95.
The general, a resident of Rockledge, Fla., in recent years, apparently died of heart failure at Selah Seniorcare-Cedar Creek. Chloe Drobniewski, a spokeswoman for the center, confirmed his death on Sunday.
In a 35-year career that spanned a revolutionary era of aerial warfare, from dogfights in P-40s against whining Messerschmitts over North Africa to the rolling thunder of supersonic fighter-bombers over the cities and jungles of Southeast Asia, General Momyer (pronounced MOE-meyer) was known as a daring pilot, an aggressive wing commander and one of the best air tacticians of his time....
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Korean evangelist, businessman and self-proclaimed messiah who built a religious movement notable for its mass weddings, fresh-faced proselytizers and links to vast commercial interests, died on Monday in Gapyeong, South Korea. He was 92.
His death was announced on his church’s Web site, which said he had been battling complications from pneumonia, including kidney failure.
Mr. Moon courted world leaders, financed newspapers and founded numerous innocuously named civic organizations. To his critics, he pursued those activities mainly to lend legitimacy to his movement, known as the Unification Church, although his methods were sometimes questionable. In 2004, for example, he had himself crowned “humanity’s savior” in front of astonished members of Congress at a Capitol Hill luncheon....