Case workers received over 10,000 offers after Davion Only, 15, made a plea during a Sunday church service for a family to “love me until I die.” In foster care his whole life, Only made a speech that went national to worshippers at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Fla. “I’ll take anyone,” he said. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
Former House Speaker Tom Foley, 84, died Oct. 18 following months of illness. The Democrat from Washington state served 30 years in Congress but in 1994 became the first speaker in more than a century to be defeated for reelection in the midst of the “Republican Revolution” that turned the House over to the GOP under Speaker Newt Gingrich. Prior to running for Congress, Foley had been a state prosecutor and a Senate committee staffer.
Icons of the Houston Oilers, the NFL franchise that became the Tennessee Titans, died within days of each other. Bum Phillips, 90, the Oilers coach and general manager from 1975-80, died Oct. 18. Bud Adams, 90, who in 1960 helped launch the American Football League—forerunner to today’s AFC—in 1960, died Oct. 21. Adams moved his team from Houston to Nashville in 1997, had more wins than any other current NFL owner, but never won a Super Bowl.
Los Angeles jailers quietly freed Michael Jackson’s doctor on Oct. 28, two years after he was convicted of killing the pop superstar with an overdose of a powerful anesthetic. Conrad Murray, 60, had served half of his maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Despite street demonstrations against him during his 2011 trial, and protests from the Jackson family, Murray says he hopes to be reinstated to practice medicine again. Jackson had hired Murray to be his personal doctor for a 2009 comeback tour.
Bill Young, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, died Oct. 18 at age 82. Young, a strong defense proponent, became involved in politics in 1957 and won a seat in Congress in 1970. Leaders suspended most congressional activities on Oct. 24 so lawmakers could attend Young’s funeral. House Speaker John Boehner said Young “loved, in this order, God, his family, his country, and the House Appropriations Committee.”
A Pennsylvania man found the perfect way to celebrate his 70th wedding anniversary and his 105th birthday on Oct. 20: He earned his high-school diploma on the same day. Bill Mohr was halfway through St. Joseph’s Preparatory School—which is still in operation—in Philadelphia when his father’s job transfer prompted him to drop out in 1926. He said it became his only regret in life. Mohr, who continued driving until he was 97, is the second-oldest living World War II veteran.