News of the Year

Issue: "News of the Year," Dec. 30, 2006

June Allyson, 88, July 8-sunny, raspy-voiced actress who played the "perfect wife" of James Stewart, Van Johnson, and other movie heroes in 1940s and '50s films (including The Bride Goes Wild, The Stratton Story, and The Glenn Miller Story).

Robert Altman, 81, Nov. 20-iconoclastic Oscar-winning movie director best known for his 1970s films, including M.A.S.H.

Ken Anderson, 88, March 12-Gospel Films founder and maker of more than 200 films with Christian themes; his 1977 film Pilgrim's Progress featured Liam Neeson in his first screen role.

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James E. Andrews, 77, March 7-minister and top executive of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 23 years who had a key role in its creation in 1983 from two Presbyterian denominations separated since the Civil War.

R.W. Apple Jr., 71, Oct. 4-New York Times writer and editor who charted the fall of Richard Nixon and covered 10 presidential elections and wars from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, while writing about good food and wine on the side.

Lillian Gertrud Asplund, 99, May 6-last American survivor of the Titanic.

Arnold "Red" Auerbach, 89, Oct. 28-one of the greatest basketball coaches in NBA history, who led the Boston Celtics to nine championships.

Joe Barbera, 95, Dec. 18-half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoons as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, and The Flintstones.

Peter Benchley, 65, Feb. 12-novelist who authored Jaws (1974), the bestseller about a great white shark that preyed on a New England coastal town.

Lloyd Bentsen, 85, May 23-pro-business Democrat who served in Congress for 28 years and as President Clinton's treasury secretary, and who as vice presidential nominee in 1988 famously told rival Dan Quayle he was "no Jack Kennedy."

Pieter Willem Botha, 90, Oct. 31-South African leader who tried to preserve apartheid, finally resigning as president in 1989.

Ed Bradley, 65, Nov. 9-award-winning television journalist who broke racial barriers at CBS News and created an impressive body of work during his 26 years on 60 Minutes.

William Lee Brent, 75, Nov. 4-Black Panther who hijacked a passenger jet to communist Cuba in 1969 and spent 37 years in exile.

Ruth Brown, 78, Nov. 17-soulful singer and actress whose dozens of 1950 R&B hits included "Teardrops from My Eyes," "5-10-15 Hours," and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean."

Susan Butcher, 51, Aug. 5-sled-dog racer who won Alaska's grueling 1,152-mile Iditarod from Anchorage to Nome four times, more than any other woman.

Red Buttons, 87, July 13-carrot-topped comedian who started out in burlesque and became a top star in early television and then movies, winning a 1957 Oscar as Sgt. Joe Kelly in Sayonara.

Otis Chandler, 78, Feb. 27-publisher of the Los Angeles Times during the 1960s and '70s who turned the conservative publication into one of the nation's most influential and profitable newspapers.

William Sloane Coffin, 81, April 12-Presbyterian minister and activist who, while he was chaplain at Yale University, was convicted of conspiracy to encourage draft evasion in the Vietnam War, a verdict overturned on appeal.

Iva Toguri D'Aquino, 94, Sept. 26-Japanese-American woman and UCLA grad who returned to Japan in 1941 to care for a sick relative, got stranded there after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, went to work as an announcer and DJ for Radio Tokyo, playing American music during the station's propaganda broadcasts-and became known as "Tokyo Rose"; she was arrested by U.S. occupation officials, convicted of treason, and later pardoned by President Ford.

Mike Douglas, 81, Aug. 11-TV host who interviewed celebrities and presidents alike on his daytime talk show, The Mike Douglas Show (1961-1982).

Theodore Draper, 93, Feb. 21-historian and social critic with a liberal bent whose scholarly research covered a broad range of topics, including American communism, Cuba, and Vietnam.

Katherine Dunham, 96, May 21-pioneering dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist who in the 1930s established the first self-supporting black modern-dance troupe, which performed all over the world, introducing audiences to Caribbean and African culture.

Ted W. Engstrom, 90, July 14-nonprofit management expert and former head of Youth for Christ International and World Vision International who was a founding architect of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Barbara Epstein, 77, June 16-founder and co-editor of the influential journal The New York Review of Books from its 1962 inception until her death.

Fred Epstein, 68, July 9-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who pioneered the development of techniques that saved thousands of children threatened by brain and spinal-cord tumors.

Leslie B. Flynn, 87, Aug. 11-evangelical pastor, broadcaster, seminary teacher, editor, and prolific author (including What the Church Owes the Jew).


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