Dispatches > Human Race
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Human Race

Issue: "De-coding Morsi," July 28, 2012


U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., 72, married Jim Ready, a 42-year-old carpenter and welder on July 7. The New York Times described the event, legal in Massachusetts and granted only in five other states, as "low key"-though members of Congress attended, including former House speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Gov. Deval Patrick officiated. Frank, who publicly acknowledged that he was gay in 1987 and plans to retire at the end of this term, is the first member of Congress to marry someone of the same sex.


America's favorite sheriff Andy Griffith died July 3 at age 86. During an era of social and political upheaval, The Andy Griffith Show resonated with viewers charmed by folksy Mayberry widower Andy Taylor promoting small-town values within his family and community. Throughout its eight-year run the show consistently ranked in television's top 10 before claiming the No. 1 spot during its final 1967-68 season. Although Griffith's career struggled in the post-Mayberry years, he eventually found success playing Southern lawyer Ben Matlock. He was forever linked, however, to sheriff Andy Taylor, who Griffith once reminded was merely a persona: "I am not any favorite dad; I am not any kind of all-American person. ... I have many failings. ... I am a man, like any other man."


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Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir-the hardliner who staunchly resisted land-for-peace compromises with the Palestinians-died June 30 at age 96. During his tenure in 1983-84 and 1986-92, Shamir's leadership was tested by the first Intifada, the 1991 Gulf War, and the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The Polish-born Shamir was active as an underground militant pressing for Britain's withdrawal from Palestine, and he served in Israel's Mossad.


One of the last surviving French agents of Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE), the espionage group that aided anti-Nazi resistance fighters, died May 8 (and was not reported widely until late June). The brazen Count Robert de la Rochefoucauld, 88, escaped death and imprisonment during his missions in occupied France, eluding the enemy once disguised as a Nazi guard and another time as a nun.


Peter Gillquist, a former Campus Crusade for Christ leader who during the 1980s led a migration of evangelicals into the Orthodox church, died July 1 at age 73. He served as director of missions and evangelism for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. A former editor with Thomas Nelson, Gillquist authored several books including Becoming Orthodox.


Sterling Huston, 76, who directed North American Crusades for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as one of Graham's closest aides, died June 29 of cancer.


Ernest Borgnine, 95, died July 8. From the starring role in the 1960s comedy McHale's Navy, he played the bad guy in over 200 films, won one Oscar, and became the oldest actor ever nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 for his vocal role in the animated SpongeBob SquarePants.


Medical Ministry International has tapped Samuel Smith to serve as its executive director and CEO. Smith, who spent more than two decades in retail brand development and marketing, most recently worked as the CEO of Mercy Ships.


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