DIED: Estelle Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo on the hit TV show The Golden Girls, died July 22. The diminutive 84-year-old actress worked for years in low-paying secretarial positions until landing her big break in 1985 playing the sarcastic octogenarian during the show's seven-year run. Even at the height of her success, Getty's son Carl Gettleman said she still drove a Toyota Tercel and "lived a life that people could completely identify with."
DIED: New York Yankees legend Bobby Murcer died July 12 of complications from brain cancer. Once billed as the next Mickey Mantle, the five-time All-Star spent the bulk of his 17-year playing career with the Yankees before leaving the baseball field for the broadcasting booth in 1983. Murcer, 62, told the Christian Chronicle last year that his cancer diagnosis in 2006 served to strengthen his long-standing Christian faith: "It's not what my will is. It's what God's will is. And whatever His will is, it's fine with us."
INDICTED: A Texas grand jury indicted polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs July 22 on sexual assault charges stemming from allegations he married underage girls. If convicted, Jeffs faces anywhere from five years to life in prison. The 52-year-old leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is already serving two consecutive prison sentences in Utah for acting as an accomplice in the rape of a child bride and is awaiting trial in Arizona on similar charges.
CAPTURED: After more than 12 years on the run, authorities apprehended Radovan Karadzic, the "Butcher of Bosnia" responsible for ethnic cleansing aimed at driving Muslims and Croats from Serbian -territory. Karadzic, who evaded arrest by disguising -himself as a faith healer, masterminded the 1995 massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. He is expected to appear before the United Nations war crimes court next year.
FIRED: Citing the need to bring unity to its Texas campus, the Baylor University Board of Regents voted July 24 to fire school president John Lilley. Lilley, who joined the university less than three years ago, sparked controversy in March after denying tenure to 12 faculty members. "A lot of the faculty members were upset, and our faculty is important to us," board chairman Howard K. Batson told the Dallas Morning News.
DIED: Randy Pausch, the 47-year-old Carnegie Mellon University -professor who gained fame with his "Last Lecture" and subsequent bestselling book, died July 25 from pancreatic cancer. Pausch said his widely viewed speech, which he delivered last fall shortly after learning he had only months to live, was intended as a "message in the bottle" for his three young children to remind them to live life to the fullest: "We can't change the cards we're dealt, just how we play the hand."