Dispatches > Human Race
Gene Estess
Jack Manning/The New York Times/Redux
Gene Estess

Human Race


Issue: "Believing in Iraq," May 17, 2014


Gene Estess, who left Wall Street to work with New York City’s homeless, died on April 9 after a six-month battle with lung cancer. Estess, 78, left his job after encountering a homeless, mentally ill woman at Grand Central Terminal in 1984. He gave her $5 and later found help for her at the Jericho Project, an outreach to the homeless, addicted, or mentally ill. Estess went on to lead the Jericho Project for 18 years, starting with a salary of $17,000 in 1987. He said he found the fulfillment he lacked on Wall Street. 


The National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council named New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a 2014 Father of the Year. Christie has four children aged 10 to 20 whom he often talks about in public. A potential presidential candidate, Christie was easily reelected to a second term last fall, but has been mired in controversy since then over an election-season bridge closing. He’s not the first Father of the Year recipient to win mid-scandal: Past honorees include former Democratic Sen. John Edwards (2007) and former president Bill Clinton (2013).


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Chelsea Clinton, the only daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, announced on April 17 that she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first child. Chelsea Clinton, 34, is a special correspondent for NBC News and the vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. In 2010 she married Mezvinsky, a hedge fund manager who is worth $15 million. The couple does not yet know if they are having a boy or a girl. 


After inking a self-described atheist to produce Noah—which proved highly controversial among its target audience—Paramount, in conjunction with MGM, announced Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will produce a remake of the 1959 epic Ben-Hur. Burnett and Downey produced the 2013 miniseries The Bible, which drew more than 100 million viewers, shattered home sales records, and was turned into the 2014 feature-length film Son of God. The new Ben-Hur is slated for 2016 release.


Attorney Charles Cooper says he is evolving. The popular euphemism for flip-flopping on gay marriage now applies to the man who last year stood before the U.S. Supreme Court and defended Proposition 8, the successful 2008 California ballot initiative defining marriage exclusively as one man and one woman. Cooper is now helping his daughter plan a June wedding to another woman in Massachusetts. Cooper’s comments are in a book released April 22 by journalist Jo Becker. 


In 2011, former Cuban pitcher Conrado “Connie” Marrero took the title of oldest living ex-Major League Baseball player. He gave up the claim on April 23, when he died in Havana just two days shy of his 103rd birthday. Despite standing only 5 feet, 5 inches tall, Marrero broke into the big leagues in 1950 at the age of 38 and made the American League All-Star team in 1951—the oldest first-time all-star at the time. He pitched five seasons for the Washington Senators and threw complete games in 51 of his 94 starts.


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