Country music legend George Jones, 81, died April 26 in Nashville after a brief illness interrupted his ongoing tour. Jones, who was often called the greatest living country music singer, inspired generations of performers and fans with his distinctive voice and a steady string of hit songs beginning in the 1950s. A tumultuous lifestyle marks his legacy: He married several times and his drug and alcohol binges sometimes made him miss concerts—leading to the nickname “No Show Jones.”
Federal authorities have charged former University of Georgia head football coach Jim Donnan with co-operating a Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges Donnan used his influence to attract money from affluent football contacts, including former players, ex-Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer, Texas State coach Dennis Franchione, and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. Donnan and his partner allegedly raised $81 million from 94 investors between 2007 and 2010.
The family of U.S. missionary pilot Jerry Krause is still hopeful that he will be found alive after the 54-year-old went missing on April 7. Krause, who has flown for Mission Aviation Fellowship, was flying from South Africa back to his home in Mali when his plane disappeared during a heavy storm. No wreckage has been found, leading the family to believe he may have been forced to land in hostile territory. The family started a website to aid the search: FindJerry.com.
The Florida Board of Medicine took action on April 19 to suspend for the fifth time the license of notorious late-term abortionist James Scott Pendergraft IV. Pendergraft, featured by WORLD in January (see “Lately dead,” Jan. 11, 2013), has allegedly refused to pay fines related to previous disciplinary action. Pendergraft owns and operates five abortion clinics in the state.
A disciplinary panel in England issued Liverpool soccer player Luis Suárez a fine and a 10-game suspension after he bit another player during an April 21 match broadcast around the globe. Suárez, 26, the Premier League’s second-leading scorer, will also take angermanagement classes. The controversial player from Uruguay earned the nickname “Cannibal of Ajax” for a similar biting incident in 2010 while playing with a team in Ajax.
Robert Edgar, 69, former head of the National Council of Churches, died suddenly from an apparent heart attack on April 23. Edger, a Methodist minister, served six terms as a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania in the 1970s and ’80s. He furthered the NCC’s liberal theological stance and attempted to rescue it from its large budget deficits.
Long-time conservative political activist Howard Phillips, 72, died on April 20 from temporal frontal lobe dementia, according to his family. Phillips worked in the Nixon and Reagan administrations, founded the U.S. Taxpayers party—forerunner to the Constitution Party—and ran for president three times as a third-party candidate. Phillips leaves six adult children, including Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum, and Brad Phillips, founder of the Persecution Project.