This page lists the obituaries of people who made news during their lifetimes. Obituaries of historians can be found here.
George McGovern, the United States senator who won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972 as an opponent of the war in Vietnam and a champion of liberal causes, and who was then trounced by President Richard M. Nixon in the general election, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90.
His death was announced in a statement by his family. He had been moved to hospice care in recent days after being treated for several health problems in the last year. He had a home in Mitchell, S.D., where he had spent his formative years.
In a statement, President Obama called Mr. McGovern “a champion for peace” who was a “statesman of great conscience and conviction.”
To the liberal Democratic faithful, Mr. McGovern remained a standard-bearer well into his old age, writing and lecturing even as his name was routinely invoked by conservatives as synonymous with what they considered the failures of liberal politics....
Alfred Kumalo, a South African photographer whose work chronicled the brutalities of apartheid and the rise of Nelson Mandela, died of renal failure in a Johannesburg hospital on Sunday night, the ruling party said Monday.
The African National Congress described Kumalo as a "rare and significant talent that was pivotal in raising social consciousness and exposing the brutality of the apartheid administration."
He was 82...
...The opposition Democratic Alliance similarly praised Kumalo, saying his work inspired South Africans with a message of hard work and integrity. "Mr. Kumalo was a photographer who had the courage to honestly reflect the reality of South African life," the DA said. "His photos provide a visual history of South Africa's struggle against the brutal apartheid regime and remind us of the importance of an independent media in exposing the excesses of the state."...
Russell Means never shunned attention. Whether leading Native Americans in railing against broken federal treaties, appearing in a Hollywood blockbuster or advocating a sovereign American Indian nation within U.S. borders, the activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee reveled in the spotlight...
...Means and AIM co-founder Dennis Banks were charged in 1974 for their role in the Wounded Knee uprising, but after a trial that lasted several months, a judge threw the charges out on grounds of government misconduct...
WASHINGTON — Arlen Specter, the irascible senator from Pennsylvania who was at the center of many of the Senate’s most divisive legal battles — from the Supreme Court nominations of Robert H. Bork and Clarence Thomas to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton — only to lose his seat in 2010 after quitting the Republican Party to become a Democrat, died Sunday morning at his home in Philadelphia. He was 82.
The cause was complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his son Shanin said. Mr. Specter had previously fought Hodgkin’s disease and survived a brain tumor and heart bypass surgery.
Hard-edged and tenacious yet ever the centrist, Mr. Specter was a part of American public life for more than four decades. As an ambitious young lawyer for the Warren Commission, he took credit for originating the theory that a single bullet, fired by a lone gunman, struck both President John F. Kennedy and Gov. John B. Connally of Texas. Seconds later, Kennedy was struck by a fatal shot to the head from the same gunman, the commission found....
Norodom Sihanouk, the charismatic Cambodian leader whose remarkable skills of political adaptation personified for the world the tiny, troubled kingdom where he was a towering figure through six decades, died early Monday in Beijing. He was 89.
The death was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nhiek Bunchhay, quoted by news services. The former king had been dogged by ill health for years and regularly traveled to China for treatment.
King Sihanouk was crowned in 1941, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and held on to some form of power for the next 60-plus years. He served as monarch, prime minister, figurehead of the Communist revolution, leader in exile, and once again as monarch until he abdicated in 2004. He handed the crown to one of his sons, Norodom Sihamoni, after which he was known as the retired king, or the king-father....
Eric Lomax, a former British soldier who was tortured by the Japanese while he was a prisoner during World War II and half a century later forgave one of his tormentors — an experience he recounted in a memoir, “The Railway Man” — died on Monday in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. He was 93.
His death was confirmed by his publisher, Vintage Books.
Mr. Lomax, who was born in Scotland, was 19 when he joined the Royal Corps of Signals in 1939. He was one of thousands of British soldiers who surrendered to the Japanese in Singapore in 1942. Many were relocated to Thailand and forced to build the Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway.
The building of the railroad and the brutality involved was portrayed in “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” the 1957 film directed by David Lean....