Cover Story


Man knows not his time

Issue: "Year in Review 1999," Jan. 8, 2000

Puritan pastor Increase Mather, in a sermon preached at Harvard College in 1697, noted that "a man knows not the time of his death. Often it is so, when death falls upon a man, he thinks no more of it than the fishes think of the net before they are caught in it." Mather explained, "All future contingencies are known to God only ... that so His children might live by faith, that so they might live a life of holy dependence upon God continually." JANUARY
Jerry Quarry (Jan. 3), 53, popular heavyweight boxer who fought Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson as a top contender in the 1960s and '70s, later lapsing into a punch-drunk fog. Iron Eyes Cody (Jan. 4), 90, longtime actor and "Crying Indian" in 1970s TV commercials, whose tear-stained face became symbol of anti-litter campaign. Michel Petrucciani (Jan. 6), 26, jazz pianist known for improvisation and sense of harmony. William Bentley Ball (Jan. 10), 83, religious-rights attorney in some precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court cases. Betty Lou Gerson (Jan. 12), 84, voice of villainess Cruella De Vil in Disney's animated 101 Dalmatians. Oscar Cullman (Jan. 16), 96, Lutheran theologian and Protestant ecumenist. Charles Zubrod (Jan. 19), 84, physician who pioneered the use of chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer patients. Vernon Berg (Jan. 27), 47, an ex-Navy ensign who sued the military after he was dishonorably discharged for homosexuality; a federal appeals court later ruled that under the terms of "don't ask/don't tell," he was unfairly discharged. Mr. Berg died of AIDS. Huntz Hall (Jan. 30), 78, star of more than 100 Bowery Boys and Dead End Kids films in the 1930s-1950s. FEBRUARY
Paul Mellon (Feb. 1), 91, billionaire philanthropist of the arts; he also set up Cape Hatteras (N.C.) National Seashore. Gwen Guthrie (Feb. 3), 42, R&B singer and songwriter whose 1986 hit was "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But the Rent." She popularized the phrase "no romance without finance." King Hussein (Feb. 7), 63, ruler of Jordan since 1952, was a key player in Arab-Israeli peace efforts. Hussein's oldest son, Abdullah, 37, succeeded him as ruler. Bobby Troup (Feb. 7), 81, the actor-musician who put a U.S. highway into history. He wrote the lyrics, "Get your kicks on Route 66!" while driving to California in 1946. John Ehrlichman (Feb. 14), 73, top aide to former President Richard M. Nixon and a crucial figure in the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's 1974 resignation as president. Gene Siskel (Feb. 20), 53, movie critic who with television-show partner Roger Ebert formed the most influential pair of film reviewers in the United States, with their signature "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" film ratings. Glenn Seaborg (Feb. 25), 86, Nobel Prize-winning scientist primarily responsible for discovering plutonium, used to produce some atomic weapons. After joining the Manhattan Project in 1942, he had the responsibility of isolating enough plutonium to fuel the atom bomb that the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, at the end of World War II. John L. Goldwater (Feb. 26), 83, creator of the comic book characters Archie, the red-haired, average teenager, and his friends Jughead, Betty, and Veronica. MARCH
Dusty Springfield (March 2), 59, husky-voiced soul singer of 1960s hits such as "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Wishin' and Hopin'." Harry Blackmun (March 4), 90, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1970-1994) who wrote the majority opinion in Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that claimed a woman has the constitutional right to abort her child. Richard Kiley (March 5), 76, baritone who won a Tony as Broadway's original "Man of La Mancha." Stanley Kubrick (March 7), 70, cinema craftsman whose films such as Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange often reflected life's despairs. Joe DiMaggio (March 8), 84, center fielder for the New York Yankees. He played for the Yankees from 1936 to 1951, but took three seasons off to serve in the Army during World War II. He won three American League MVP awards, made the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, and came to personify graceful play and dignified celebrity. Yehudi Menuhin (March 12), 82, whose youthful virtuosity as a violinist grew into one of the great musical talents of the century. Arthur Raymond (March 22), 99, leader of a team of engineers in the early 1930s that designed the DC-3 twin-engine airplane, the first commercial aircraft to be profitable without carrying mail, and a valuable cargo transporter during World War II. David Strickland (March 23), 29, comically insecure music critic on NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan. Joseph "Mighty Joe" Young (March 24), 71, guitarist who helped introduce blues to mainstream America. Calvin Ripken Sr. (March 25), 63, baseball player, coach, and manager of the Baltimore Orioles. His sons Billy Ripken and Cal Ripken Jr., who later broke the major league record for consecutive games played, played second base and shortstop while he managed the team in 1987 and 1988. Freaky Tah (March 28), 27, of hip-hop group Lost Boyz, known for hits such as "Me and My Crazy World." Brock Speer (March 29), 78, patriarch of gospel music's Speer Family and sometime backup singer to Chet Atkins and Elvis Presley. APRIL
Lionel Bart (April 3), 68, Tony award-winning lyricist and composer who created Oliver!, the play credited with reviving British musical theater. Early Wynn (April 4), 79, fiercely competitive pitcher whose 300 wins, including five seasons with 20 or more, put him into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ibrahim Bare Mainassara (April 9), 49, president of Niger, apparently assassinated by members of the country's presidential guard. Bare had ended Niger's one previous attempt at multiparty democracy when he seized power in a 1996 coup. Ellen Corby (April 14), 87, tart-tongued grandmother on TV's The Waltons. David McCall (April 18), 71, ad executive who created Schoolhouse Rock, Emmy award-winning 1970s educational cartoon. Senor Wences (April 20), 103, master ventriloquist known to TV audiences for comic Spanish accent and his puppet-in-a-box Pedro ("S'OK?" "S'awright!"). Charles "Buddy" Rogers (April 21), 94, star of 1927 movie Wings, the first to win best-picture Oscar; widower of screen legend Mary Pickford. Al Hirt (April 27), 76, "King of the Trumpet" in the 1960s who won a Grammy for his hit "Java." MAY
John Howard (May 5), 86, British commander of a glider-borne light infantry unit that seized two strategic bridges during World War II's D-Day invasion of Normandy. Dana Plato (May 8), 34, child actress on popular TV series Diff'rent Strokes. Shel Silverstein (May 10), 66, author and illustrator of children's books such as A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Saul Steinberg (May 12), 84, creator of hundreds of drawings for The New Yorker, including one of how the world looks to New Yorkers. Meg Greenfield (May 13), 68. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who ran the editorial page at The Washington Post for 20 years. Gene Sarazen (May 13), 97, professional golfer considered one of the finest in his sport during the 1920s and 1930s, and winner of the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship at the age of 20. He invented the sand wedge and used it to gain victory at the 1932 British Open. John Wisdom (May 15), 93, appeals court judge who wrote majority opinions for many landmark decisions in the 1950s that required desegregation in the South's public schools and workplaces. He struck down state laws that prevented blacks from voting and serving on juries. Owen Hart (May 23), 34, pro wrestling's "Blue Blazer." JUNE
Ruth Whitney (June 4), 70, editor from 1967 to 1998 of Glamour, a women's fashion magazine 1967-1998. Mel(vin) Howard Torme (June 5), 77, jazz and popular music singer dubbed "The Velvet Fog." He co-wrote "The Christmas Song" (also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") and "Blue Moon." DeForest Kelley (June 11), 79, crusty Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on Star Trek who told fellow space travelers, "I'm just a country doctor!" Basil Hume (June 17), 76, archbishop of Westminster and head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales from 1976 to his death. Clifton Fadiman (June 20), 95, radio host of Information Please; he shaped America's reading habits as senior judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club. Frederick Trump (June 25), 93, father of developer Donald Trump. He made a fortune building residential housing in New York's outer boroughs. Marion Motley (June 27), 79, Hall of Fame fullback who played for the Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1953 and led the National Football League in rushing in 1950. Allen Carr (June 29), 62, film and stage producer whose most successful film was the musical Grease (1978), starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. JULY
Forrest Mars Sr. (July 1), 95, creator of M&Ms candies who built one of the biggest fortunes in America as head of the Mars candy empire. Viktor Mikhailovich Chebrikov (July 1), 76, head of the KGB, the secret police of the former Soviet Union, from 1982 to 1988. Joshua Nkomo (July 1), 82, father of Zimbabwe's fight for independence from white colonial rule, known to supporters as "the old lion." Sylvia Sidney (July 1), 88, waiflike star of the 1930s nominated in 1973 for comeback role in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams. Robert Polhill (July 1), 65, U.S. professor of business at Beirut Univ. College in Lebanon. He and three colleagues were kidnapped by Lebanese militiamen in January 1987, and held until April 1990. Mario Puzo (July 2), 78, novelist and screenwriter who wrote The Godfather in 1969, a bestselling novel about an Italian-American organized-crime family. Clarence Lillehei (July 5), 80, surgeon who performed the first successful open-heart surgery in 1952 and contributed to the development of such devices as the wearable pacemaker and several artificial heart valves. Pete Conrad Jr. (July 8), 69, commander of the Apollo 12 mission who in 1969 became the third man to walk on the moon. James S. Farmer (July 9), 79, co-founder of Congress of Racial Equality who served alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil-rights giants of the 1950s and '60s. Manny Brotman (July 9), 60, founder and president of Messianic Jewish Movement International; founding rabbi of Beth Messiah synagogue in suburban Washington, D.C. George Brown Jr. (July 15), 79, a California Democrat who was serving his 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. John F. Kennedy Jr. (July 16), 38, only surviving son of former president John F. Kennedy, and editor of the political magazine George. He was killed in an airplane crash with his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, 34. Watson Spoelstra (July 20), 89, retired Detroit News sportswriter and founder of Baseball Chapel. David Ogilvy (July 21), 88, master ad man who put the eye-patch on the Man in the Hathaway Shirt and created the distinguished Commander Whitehead to pitch "Schweppervescent" mixers. King Hassan II (July 23), 73, ruler of Morocco. He played a key role in the Middle East peace process and survived two attempted army coups. Frank Johnson Jr. (July 23), 80, Alabama judge who, in his first major case as a jurist, ruled against an ordinance that required black passengers to give up their seats to white riders. In other cases he also helped to desegregate the South. Martin Agronsky (July 25), 84, broadcast commentator who created the "talking heads" TV-news format, and longtime host of Agronsky & Company. Anita Carter (July 29), 66, featured performer with country music's legendary Carter Sisters. AUGUST
Willie Morris (Aug. 2), 64, former editor of Harper's magazine and one of Mississippi's most treasured writers of Delta stories from his childhood. Victor Mature (Aug. 4), 86, handsome, brawny movie star of the 1940s and '50s who played Samson in Samson and Delilah and Doc Holliday in John Ford's My Darling Clementine. Bob Herbert (Aug. 9), 57, British promoter who created the Spice Girls through trade magazine ads. Nathaniel Kleitman (Aug. 13), 104, sleep researcher who in 1953, along with a colleague, charted the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep and found it had close associations with dreaming. Frederick Hart (Aug. 13), 56, sculptor best known for the "Creation Sculptures" at the National Cathedral and the "Three Soldiers" bronze statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (Joseph) Lane Kirkland (Aug. 14), 77, former president of the AFL-CIO labor federation. He helped persuade several major unions, including the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters, to join or rejoin the organization. Pee Wee Reese (Aug. 14), 81, Hall of Fame shortstop and Brooklyn Dodgers captain who smoothed Jackie Robinson's entry into major-league baseball. Martha Rountree (Aug. 23), 87, radio and television program producer who co-created Meet the Press, an NBC public-affairs program first televised in 1957. She was the first moderator of the program that went on to become the world's longest-running network television show. SEPTEMBER
Allen Funt (Sept. 5), 84, creator of the U.S. television show Candid Camera, which originated as a radio program in 1947 and made its TV debut in 1990. The show secretly filmed ordinary people in embarrassing situations. Herbert Stein (Sept. 8), 83, economist and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, was key in shaping President Nixon's economic policies. Jim "Catfish" Hunter (Sept. 9), 53, former New York Yankees pitcher with five 20-game seasons, one perfect game, and a Cy Young Award; he became baseball's first big-money free agent. Ruth Roman (Sept. 9), 75, actress who starred opposite Kirk Douglas, Gary Cooper, and Errol Flynn in screen dramas and survived a real-life drama: the 1956 sinking of the Andrea Doria. W. Arthur Garrity Jr. (Sept. 16), 79, federal judge whose 1974 order to desegregate Boston schools led to rioting and racial turmoil and resentment that lingered a quarter-century later. Raisa Maximovna Gorbachev (Sept. 20), 67, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the former Soviet Union, and easily the most high-profile first lady in Soviet history. George C. Scott (Sept. 22), 71, the Oscar and Emmy award-winning actor best known for his role as Gen. George S. Patton. Judith Campbell Exner (Sept. 24), 65, a reputed presidential mistress who claimed to have ferried messages between John F. Kennedy and Mafia boss Sam Giancana. Oseola McCarty (Sept. 26), 91, Mississippi woman who in 1995 attracted national attention when she gave $150,000, most of her savings as a washer woman, to endow a scholarship fund at the University of Mississippi in Hattiesburg, her hometown. Donald Sanders (Sept. 26), 69, lawyer who played a key role in events leading to the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon by unearthing the White House tapes linking Nixon to the Watergate break-in. OCTOBER
Akio Morita (Oct. 3), 78, Japanese businessman who co-founded the electronics company (later known as Sony) that developed or helped develop such products as the Trinitron color television, the Walkman, and the compact-disk player. Sir de Villiers Graaff (Oct. 4), 85, leader from 1956 to 1977 of South Africa's United Party (UP) that was the official opposition to the dominant, apartheid-backing National Party. Robert "Gorilla Monsoon" Marella (Oct. 6), 62, rotund pro wrestler turned TV announcer and World Wrestling Federation president. Bruce Ritter (Oct. 7), 72, Roman Catholic priest who founded Covenant House shelters for homeless teens then resigned amid a sex scandal. Wilt(on) Chamberlain (Oct. 12), 63, considered by many to be the most dominant player in the history of the National Basketball Association. The 7'1" center set numerous scoring and rebounding records during his 14 NBA seasons, including stretches with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. James Elliott Williams (Oct. 13), 68, one of the nation's most decorated Vietnam War heroes. Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Oct. 14), 77, former president of Tanzania and co-founder of the Tanganyika African National Union, a political party that led the struggle that culminated in 1961 with his nation's independence from Britain. Jean Shepherd (Oct. 16), 78, radio performer and author who spun tales in New York City late-night radio for 21 years and was known for his narration of the 1983 film A Christmas Story, a staple of holiday television programming that was adapted from one of his short stories. Ella Mae Morse (Oct. 16), 75, whose classic 1942 recording "Cow Cow Boogie" sold a million copies and was a precursor to rock 'n' roll. Thomas Durden (Oct. 17), 79, who wrote lyrics to Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" after reading of a suicide note that said, "I walk a lonely street." Jim Moran (Oct. 18), 91, public-relations man known for outrageous publicity stunts such as selling an icebox to an Eskimo and hatching an ostrich egg. John Lester Hubbard Chafee (Oct. 24), 77, former Republican governor and senator from Rhode Island. William Payne Stewart (Oct. 25), 42, professional golfer who won 18 professional tournaments (including the U.S. Open and the PGA) in a 19-year career. He, along with sports agent Robert Fraley and three others, died aboard a plane that crashed in South Dakota. Robert D. Van Kampen (Oct. 29), 60, financier and Bible prophecy author. NOVEMBER
Walter Payton (Nov. 1), 45, Hall of Fame running back who starred for the Chicago Bears for 13 seasons and held National Football League career records for rushing yards and attempts. Mary Kay Bergman (Nov. 11), 38, actress whose voice was heard in Mulan and as the mothers of South Park characters Stan, Cartman, and Kenny. Jay Moloney (Nov. 16), 35, onetime "boy wonder" talent agent who represented Hollywood celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg. Ashley Montagu (Nov. 16), 94, anthropologist known for rigorous research and witty, accessible writing in books such as The Natural Superiority of Women. Gene Rayburn (Nov. 29), 81, jocular host who winked at double entendres on TV's popular Match Game. John Berry (Nov. 29), 82, a filmmaker who was blacklisted in the 1950s after his favorable documentary about the Hollywood 10, a group of American movie directors accused of being members of the Communist party. DECEMBER
Charlie Byrd (Dec. 2), 74, a guitarist who fused jazz, classical, and Latin styles, was considered one of the world's most versatile guitarists and recorded more than 100 albums during his five-decade career. Edmond Safra (Dec. 3), 67, billionaire founder of the Republic National Bank of New York. Madeline Kahn (Dec. 3), 57, Oscar-nominated actress-comedienne best known for daffy and lusty characters in Paper Moon and Mel Brooks farces such as Blazing Saddles. Rose Bird (Dec. 4), 63, first woman on California's Supreme Court, whose opposition to the death penalty led voters to remove her as chief justice. Joseph Heller (Dec. 12), 76, a novelist whose cynical book Catch-22 introduced a new phrase into the American lexicon.

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