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Stars that died 2010

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shigeri Akabane, Japanese professional wrestler, died from a heart attack he was 70.

Shigeri Akabane  known by his ringname Little Tokyo, was a Japanese professional midget wrestler who competed in North American promotions during the 1970s and 1980s including Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation, the American Wrestling Association and the World Wrestling Federation, most notably appearing at WrestleMania III in a mixed tag team match with Lord Littlebrook and King Kong Bundy against Hillbilly Jim, the Haiti Kid and Little Beaver in 1987 died from a heart attack he was 70..

(July 5, 1941 – September 6, 2011)

During the early 1990s, he appeared in World Class Championship Wrestling and independent promotions including Windy City Wrestling.
At the age of 69, Akabane was diagnosed with base tongue cancer. Doctors said it was cureable and family and friends gathered around him for support. He was living in St. Joseph, Missouri.


On September 6, 2011, Shigeri Akabane died after suffering a heart attack at the age of 70.[1][2]

Championships and accomplishments

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Pete Pihos, American Hall of Fame football player (Philadelphia Eagles), died from Alzheimer's disease at 87.

Peter Louis Pihos  was a professional American football player in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles.[1] He was a high school junior when his mother moved the family to Chicago. His father was a murder victim, and when a suspect was acquitted, Pete decided to become a lawyer. He was just one semester short of a law degree when he became disenchanted with the idea.

(October 22, 1923 – August 16, 2011)

College career

Pihos was an All-American at Indiana University, as a defensive end.

Professional career

Pihos was drafted in the 5th round of the 1945 NFL Draft by the Eagles, but two years of military service prevented him from joining the team until 1947. During his nine seasons of play, he missed just one game.
Immediately after Pete joined the Eagles, the team marched to its first divisional championship. In the playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Eastern Division crown, he blocked a punt to set up the first touchdown in the Eagles 21-0 win. Philadelphia won three straight divisional championships and then back-to-back NFL titles by shutout scores. In 1948, the Eagles defeated the Chicago Cardinals 7-0. One year later, Pihos caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the Eagles 14-0 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Pete led the NFL in receiving from 1953 through 1955 and earned first-team All-Pro or All-League honors six times and was named to six Pro Bowls.


Pihos died at age 87 after succumbing to Alzheimer's disease.[1]


The documentary short Dear Dad by his daughter Melissa Pihos [2] explores the effects of Alzheimer’s by juxtaposing photos and footage from his days as a player for the Philadelphia Eagles with images of him as he fights the disease. A feature-length documentary Pihos: A Life in Five Movements is shooting and editing throughout 2011 and 2012.[3] Melissa Pihos also created PIHOS: A Moving Biography in March 2011. Through film and dance, she explores aspects of her father's life and his struggle with Alzheimer's disease through film and dance. She hopes to tour the production to various cities as an Alzheimer's fundraiser while creating awareness to such a devastating disease.



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Rick Rypien, Canadian ice hockey player (Vancouver Canucks), died from suicide 27.

Rick Joseph Rypien  was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who spent parts of six seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks. After a major junior career of four years with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, he was signed by the minor professional Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2005. The following season, he signed with the Canucks. He spent six years with the organization, splitting time between the Canucks and Moose, their AHL affiliate. Following the 2010–11 NHL season, Rypien signed with the Winnipeg Jets, but died before joining his new team. His death was preceded by a history of clinical depression, which included two personal leaves of absence from the Canucks during his career. A fourth-line player in the NHL, he was known for his hitting and fighting abilities.

(May 16, 1984 – August 15, 2011)


Rypien was born in Blairmore, Alberta, a community within the municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta on May 16, 1984.[1] He was raised in nearby Coleman, Alberta, a community with a population of approximately 1,000.[2] Rypien was the son of Shelley and Wes Rypien,[3] the latter of whom was a Canadian boxing champion; Rypien's older brother, Wes Jr., also played in the WHL and later competed professionally in the ECHL for several seasons.[4] Rypien's cousin, Mark Rypien, is a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback who was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVI.[5][6]
Rypien played minor hockey out of the local Crowsnest Pass Minor Hockey Association.[1] At age five or six, he joined his first team, the Pass Rangers from Coleman, coached by his father. Aside from his boxing career, Rypien's father had also played hockey. Rypien followed after his older brother, as well, who had began hockey before him. Growing up, his favourite players were forwards Wendel Clark and Eric Lindros.[2]
During Rypien's second season with the Regina Pats, his girlfriend died in a car accident while en route to watch him play in Calgary.[7]

Playing career


Rypien began his junior career in 2001–02 with the Crowsnest Pass Timberwolves of the Alberta Junior A Hockey League (AJHL), recording 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists) over 57 games. During the season, he also debuted with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL), playing one game. Unselected in the annual WHL Bantam Draft, Rypien earned a spot with the Pats as a walk-on.[4] During his three-year tenure with Regina, he served as a team captain.[8] As a WHL rookie in 2002–03, he scored 18 points (6 goals and 12 assists) over 50 games. The following season, he improved to 45 points (19 goals and 26 assists) over 65 games. In his final year with the club, he recorded career-highs with 22 goals, 29 assists and 51 points. He received three team awards, being chosen as the most valuable player, the fans' choice as most popular player (Bill Hicke Award) and the Molson Cup champion, having received the most three star selections.[9][10]
Undrafted out of junior, he was contacted by Craig Heisinger, general manager of the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Manitoba Moose, in his last season with the Pats.[2] When Rypien's career with the Pats ended, Heisinger signed Rypien to an amateur tryout for the remainder of the 2004–05 AHL season.[10] He recorded a goal and an assist over eight regular season games with the Moose, then helped the team to the Conference Finals of the 2005 playoffs with no points over fourteen contests. His play earned him an AHL contract to remain with the club for the 2005–06 season. As a result, Rypien attended NHL training camp with the Moose's parent club, the Vancouver Canucks.[11] On September 24, 2005, he was released from the Canucks' training camp roster and returned to the Moose.[12] Just over a month into his AHL season, however, he signed a two-way contract with the Canucks on November 9, 2005.[11] On December 19, he was called up by the Canucks and made his NHL debut two days later against the Edmonton Oilers. In the first period of the contest, he scored his first NHL goal against goaltender Jussi Markkanen.[13] It was his first shot on his first shift.[7] The goal put the Canucks ahead 2–1; they ultimately lost the game 7–6. Rypien registered six minutes and thirty seconds of ice time.[13][14] Playing in his fifth game with the club ten days later, he suffered a broken fibula against the Minnesota Wild.[8] Upon recovering, he was returned to the Moose and finished the regular season with 15 points (9 goals and 6 assists) in 49 AHL games. He dressed for an additional 13 playoff games with Manitoba; he recorded a goal and an assist as the Moose were eliminated in the second round by the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Competing for a roster spot during the Canucks' 2006 training camp, Rypien injured his thumb in a fight during a game against the Anaheim Ducks, sidelining him for two months.[8] Upon recovering, he joined the Canucks in early-December 2006. In his first game back against the Colorado Avalanche on December 2, Rypien fought opposing forward Ian Laperriere.[15] The following contest, against the Edmonton Oilers, he was injured once again, suffering a partially torn groin muscle.[16] By mid-February 2007, he recovered and was re-assigned to Manitoba,[12] where he spent the remainder of the season, recording 6 points (3 goals and 3 assists) in 14 games.

Rypien remained with the Moose to start the 2007–08 season, failing to make the Canucks' roster out of training camp.[12] Within half-a-month, he was recalled by Vancouver.[12] Playing against the Detroit Red Wings on October 24, 2007, Rypien broke a finger in his left hand.[17] After being sidelined for 16 games, he was re-assigned to the Moose on December 4.[12] Splitting the remainder of the season between Manitoba and Vancouver, he was called up on two separate occasions (January 13–16 and February 26–April 8, 2008).[12] and finished the regular season with 14 points (3 goals and 11 assists) in 34 AHL games and 3 points (1 goal and 2 assists) in 22 NHL games. In the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs, he went pointless in six games as the Moose were eliminated in the first round by the Syracuse Crunch. During the off-season, Rypien re-signed as a restricted free agent with the Canucks on July 23, 2008.[12]
The following season, Rypien made the Canucks' lineup out of training camp for the first time in his career. After scoring two goals in the first five games in 2008–09, he suffered a sports hernia on October 19, 2008.[12] Upon recovering, he was granted an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons. The Canucks organization alluded to Rypien's history of injuries as the main reason for him not returning to the team. Assistant general manager Lorne Henning stated that "It's just wearing on him now - it's frustrating for him. He just has to deal with the injuries ... and wrap his head around it."[18] It was later made known, following his death, that Rypien was struggling with clinical depression.[3] He returned after a 70-game absence on March 31, 2009, in a contest against the Minnesota Wild.[19] He appeared in 12 games for the Canucks in 2008–09, recording three goals and no assists. The season marked Vancouver's return to the playoffs after failing to qualify the previous season. After eliminating the St. Louis Blues in the first round, they were defeated in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks. Rypien appeared in all ten Canucks playoff games and recorded two points (both assists) while playing on the fourth-line alongside Darcy Hordichuk and Ryan Johnson. He recorded his first playoff point in Game 4 of the second round against Chicago, assisting on a Hordichuk goal with a spin-o-rama pass.[20]
Set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2009,[20] Rypien re-signed to a two-year deal with the Canucks on May 27.[21] Rypien continued to play on the Canucks' fourth line in 2009–10. He missed four games in October 2009 with a groin injury and three games the following month with an upper-body ailment.[12] During a game against the St. Louis Blues on December 31, 2009, he was automatically ejected after a fight with opponent Cam Janssen revealed his hands were illegally taped below the wrist in order to support a sprained finger.[22] In January 2010, he missed an additional three games with illness.[12] Avoiding major injury for the first time in his NHL career, he recorded career-highs of 8 points (4 goals and 4 assists) in 69 games.
Rypien began the 2010–11 NHL season on the injured reserve once again, missing the first two games with an upper body injury.[12] After returning to the lineup, Rypien became infamously involved in a fan-related incident during an away game at the Xcel Energy Center against the Minnesota Wild on October 19, 2010. After fighting opposing forward Brad Staubitz in the first period, the two players met again in the second period and were prepared to fight before being restrained by game officials. While being restrained, Rypien pushed linesman Don Henderson away and skated onto the Canucks' bench. Before walking down the tunnel towards the Canucks' dresing room, Wild fan James Engquist called towards Rypien, "way to be a professional", while clapping. Rypien grabbed Engquist by the chest and began to pull him out of his seat before letting go and walking away.[23][24] Rypien was suspended indefinitely pending an in-person disciplinary hearing about the altercation.[25] The NHL then suspended Rypien for six games and fined the Canucks $25,000,[26] while NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called Engquist to apologize and offered him dinner and tickets to another game.[27] In response, the fan stated that, although he had not yet hired a lawyer,[27] he would be "definitely seeking legal representation."[23] Rypien meanwhile told media he had apologized to his team and the league, describing his actions as "inexcusable."[28]
After having served his suspension, Rypien struggled to remain in the Canucks' lineup and was made a regular healthy scratch. In late-November 2010, the Canucks allowed him another personal leave of absence. At this time, it began to be widely speculated in the media that Rypien was suffering from mental health issues. While the Canucks organization withheld any details regarding Rypien's situation, general manager Mike Gillis stated publicly that "when you come to know somebody and realize they're a really good person...You don't only support them when they're at the top of their support them when they're not feeling good about things or have other issues they have to deal with."[29] On March 8, 2011, Rypien returned from his leave and was assigned to the Moose. The NHL waived the two-week limit allowed for a conditioning stint, allowing the Canucks to leave him with the Moose for the remainder of the season and avoid his salary cap hit.[30] Rypien completed his final season as a Canuck with one assist over nine games, while also recording two assists in 11 AHL games. He also helped the Moose to the second round of the playoffs, recording one goal in seven post-season games, before they were eliminated by the Hamilton Bulldogs.
During the off-season, Rypien and the Canucks parted ways as he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2011. The following day, Rypien signed a one-year, US$700,000 contract with the Winnipeg Jets.[31] The Jets were set to begin their inaugural season after franchise's Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Under the same ownership as the Manitoba Moose, Rypien joined a familiar organization in returning to Winnipeg. Co-owner Mark Chipman recalled Rypien's signing as "one of the best days of [his] summer," adding that "Beyond the announcement of joining the National Hockey League...that's what really brought the [Jets' return] full circle."[7] He was prepared to switch from jersey number 37 to 11 for the Jets, the same number he wore for the Pats during his junior career and the Moose when he first joined them.[7] Rypien died before having the opportunity to join his new team.

Playing style

Throughout his career, Rypien earned a reputation as a tough and hardworking player.[20] With the Canucks, he was a fourth-line forward, providing energy with his speed on the forecheck, aggression and fighting abilities – attributes that made him a fan favourite throughout his junior and professional career,[7][32] but also contributed to his injury troubles. He regularly fought players well above his weight and height, including Sheldon Brookbank (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) and Hal Gill (6-foot-7, 240 pounds).[33][34]

Depression and suicide

Struggling with clinical depression throughout his career, Rypien's mental health was eventually made known to the Vancouver Canucks organization during their 2008 training camp; the team consequently coordinated his treatment for the remainder of his tenure with the team.[35] Among his teammates, Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa was the first Rypien confided in regarding his depression. During his first leave of absence in 2008–09, Rypien disappeared. Bieksa met with Manitoba Moose general manager Craig Heisinger, who Rypien had a close personal relationship with, in Edmonton and drove to Rypien's Alberta home in search of him. Upon finding Rypien, Bieksa brought him back to Vancouver to live with his family.[3] When Rypien returned from his leave, he was assigned by the Canucks to the Manitoba Moose. Upon arriving in Winnipeg, he publicly spoke about his absence, commenting that "doing the work I've done the last couple of months I've made a lot of gains as a person."[34]

A month-and-a-half after signing with the Winnipeg Jets, a family member found Rypien dead in his Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, home on August 15, 2011.[36] The cause of death was confirmed as suicide.[37] Rypien had been scheduled for a flight to Winnipeg the previous night to have his knee evaluated that day. When he did not meet his appointment, Heisinger (who had since become the Jets assistant general manager) attempted to locate him. Following his death, Heisinger told media that Rypien had been suffering from depression for more than ten years. Jason Jaffray, a former Moose and Canucks teammate who had also recently signed with Winnipeg, expressed surprise at Rypien's death, explaining that while he was aware of his mental health, he felt he was "a new man and...the happiest [he'd] ever seen him."[35]
Several hours after his death was announced, Canucks fans began assembling a memorial outside of Rogers Arena. Two days later, a fan-organized gathering of approximately 300 occurred at the memorial.[38] Rypien's memorial service was held at Alberta Stella Arena (where he had played his minor hockey) in Blairmore, Alberta, on August 20. Bieksa was on hand as one of the casket's pall bearers. He was one of numerous former teammates, general managers and figures from Rypien's hockey career in attendance.[37] In the subsequent 2011–12 NHL season, the Canucks honoured Rypien with a ceremony prior to a home game against the New York Rangers on October 18. With Rypien's parents, step-parents and brother on the ice, a four-minute tribute video was shown on the jumbotron.[39] Bieksa further presented the family Rypien's game-worn jersey from his last season as a Canuck. The team also announced a $50,000 donation in Rypien's memory to the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. The amount, which included contributions from the NHL Players Association's Goals and Dreams program, was designated to fund a promotion strategy to help youth and young adults cope with mental health issues.[3][40]
Rypien was one of three NHL players to have died in the 2011 off-season; the other two were New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard and the recently-retired Wade Belak. Following Boogaard and Rypien's deaths, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told media that the league would look into their substance abuse and behavioural issue programs – initiatives that both players had been involved with[37] (Boogaard's death was due to a lethal combination of alcohol and oxycodone[41]).

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2001–02 Crowsnest Pass Timberwolves AJHL 57 12 10 22 143
2001–02 Regina Pats WHL 1 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Regina Pats WHL 50 6 12 18 159 5 1 1 2 21
2003–04 Regina Pats WHL 65 19 26 45 186 4 0 1 1 18
2004–05 Regina Pats WHL 63 22 29 51 148
2004–05 Manitoba Moose AHL 8 1 1 2 5 14 0 0 0 35
2005–06 Manitoba Moose AHL 49 9 6 15 122 13 1 1 2 22
2005–06 Vancouver Canucks NHL 5 1 0 1 4
2006–07 Manitoba Moose AHL 14 3 3 6 35
2006–07 Vancouver Canucks NHL 2 0 0 0 5
2007–08 Manitoba Moose AHL 34 3 11 14 81 6 0 0 0 10
2007–08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 22 1 2 3 41
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 12 3 0 3 19 10 0 2 2 40
2009–10 Vancouver Canucks NHL 69 4 4 8 126 7 0 1 1 7
2010–11 Vancouver Canucks NHL 9 0 1 1 31
2010–11 Manitoba Moose AHL 11 0 2 2 9 7 1 0 1 10
NHL totals 119 9 7 16 226 17 0 3 3 47
AHL totals 116 16 23 39 252 40 2 1 3 77


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Solomon Mujuru, Zimbabwean military officer and politician, died from injuries from a fire at 62.

Solomon Mujuru , also known as Rex Nhongo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician who led Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. He was from the Zezuru clan. In post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to become army chief before leaving government service in 1995. After leaving his post in the Zimbabwe National Army, he got into politics becoming Member of Parliament for Chikomba on a Zanu PF ticket. He was generally regarded as one of the most feared men in Zimbabwe. His wife, Joyce Mujuru, became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in 2004.

(May 1, 1949 – August 15, 2011)

Rhodesian Bush War

During the Rhodesian Bush War Mujuru, with Josiah Tongogara, led the ZANLA forces when Mugabe languished in jail for 10 years from 1964 to 1974. Robert Mugabe and Edgar Tekere with the help of chief Rekayi Tangwena their medium, had slipped into Mozambique after their immediate release from jail with the active support of Mujuru, who implored guerrillas, most of whom had never met Mugabe, to accept him as their leader. "As a result Mugabe owes (Solomon) Mujuru an eternal favour," said one Zanu-PF insider.[1] He was the only person believed to have had the stature to challenge Mr Mugabe during party meetings.[2]


General Mujuru took over the command of the Zimbabwe National Army at independence in 1980, retiring 10 years later to go into business. Popular speculation is that he owned anywhere between six and sixteen farms[citation needed], including Alamein Farm, a productive and high-value operation illegally requisitioned as part of a "landgrab" from Guy Watson-Smith in 2001[3], as found by the Zimbabwe High Court and international courts. However, he remained an influential member of the ruling ZANU-PF politburo and central committees.
In the mid-1990s Mujuru clashed with Emmerson Mnangagwa, long considered Mugabe's favoured heir, when Solomon bid to buy into the multi-billion dollar Zimasco, a chrome mining and smelting concern in Zimbabwe's Midlands Province.
In 2001 Mujuru became the subject of the first legal action against any member of Mugabe's inner circle implicated in the illegal seizure of land and assets. His seizure of Alamein Farm was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.[4][5]
Mujuru and his wife are among the ZANU-PF party members subject to personal sanctions imposed by the United States.


According to newspaper reports Mujuru had been under house arrest and 24-hour surveillance since November 2007 for his role in attempting to oust Mugabe.[6][7] It was generally thought that Mujuru had a tremendous amount of influence on who would lead ZANU-PF and the country.


Solomon Mujuru died in the early hours of the night of August 15th, 2011 in a fire at the homestead of Alamein Farm in Beatrice.[8] in circumstances that many commentators suggest were suspicious[9][10]
He had stopped at the Beatrice Hotel, 60km south-west of Harare, drank and chatted with patrons. He was having an early night before a long journey the next day. A maid and guard at the farm testified they heard gun shots two hours before flames were seen at his farmhouse. Mujuru left groceries and his cell phone in his car, something he had never done before. The general took 40 minutes to drive from the hotel to his farm, a journey of 10 minutes.[11]
An enquiry was opened. The lone policeman was asleep at the time, and after he awoke had no airtime and the radio was broken.
The firetruck when it arrived had no water.[2]
The coroner investigating Mujuru's death concluded he had died of smoke inhalation, but Mujuru's family does not have confidence in the coroner's findings. They plan to petition for approval to exhume Mujuru's remains and have them independently examined by a doctor of their own choice. Mujuru's remains are located at Heroes Acre, a memorial in Zimbabwe.[12]


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Betty Thatcher, British lyricist (Renaissance), died from cancer she was , 67

Betty Thatcher was an English lyricist, who wrote most of the lyrics for the UK progressive rock band Renaissance died from cancer she was , 67.

(February 16, 1944 – August 15, 2011) 

Early life

Betty Mary Newsinger was born in Great Titchfield Street, central London. She was taught to read newspapers at home, started conventional school at the age of eight and became a fast and prolific reader. After passing the Eleven plus exam, she won a scholarship to a grammar school, where she refused to partake in any examinations. After two years excelling in English and Art, she transferred to a school that accepted difficult students.

Renaissance with Keith and Jane Relf

Thatcher's friend Liz Kellett introduced her to her school friend Jane Relf, the younger sister of ex-Yardbirds singer Keith Relf. When Keith and Jane formed Renaissance, they asked her to be the lyricist, Relf having read Thatcher's letters to Jane.[1] When the threesome moved to St Ives, Cornwall, she sent her lyrics from there to Jim McCarty who would write songs around them,[2] including "Love Is All" and "Past Orbits Of Dust" from the album Illusion, which was produced by Paul Samwell-Smith and released in Germany in 1971, but not released in the UK until 1976.

Renaissance with Annie Haslam

After many personnel changes, the Renaissance line-up finally stabilised from 1972 to 1980, with Annie Haslam (vocals), John Tout (keyboards), Michael Dunford (guitar), Jon Camp (bass guitar/vocals) and Terence Sullivan (drums). Dunford sent tapes of his compositions to her when it was inconvenient to play through his ideas in person and claimed that "she writes amazingly quickly... three days later I get these stunning lyrics back in the post!" [3]
During this period, Thatcher wrote most of the band's lyrics for the studio albums Prologue, Ashes Are Burning, Turn of the Cards, Scheherazade and Other Stories, Novella, A Song for All Seasons and Azure d'Or. Notably, she wrote the lyrics to their 1978 UK top 10 hit single "Northern Lights". After further line-up changes, she wrote lyrics for the 1981 album Camera Camera, being her final contributions to the band. She wrote the words to "Bonjour Swansong" as "a private goodbye to the group."[4]
McCarty formed the group Shoot in 1973 whose only album, On The Frontier, featured the McCarty/Thatcher-composed title track that Renaissance recorded for Ashes Are Burning.

Michael Dunford's Renaissance

In 1994, Thatcher wrote the lyrics for the album The Other Woman by Michael Dunford's Renaissance, which featured singer Stephanie Adlington. These were written "during the painful period when a relationship was coming to an end... during which I was unable to speak, so I tried to put some of my feelings to song".[5]

Terence Sullivan's Renaissant

In 2005, Thatcher wrote lyrics for the album South of Winter by Terence Sullivan's group Renaissant, which featured John Tout on keyboards, Terry's wife Christine on most of the vocals and Terry singing lead on two songs.[6]

About the lyrics

John Tout described Thatcher's lyrics as "reclusive, almost. They're not drawn from the normal sort of thing that people write about in a rock band" and Jon Camp opined "What she's written has always been correct for the group. It fits very well with what we've tried to do musically".[7]
"Carpet of the Sun" conveys Thatcher's "joy of being alive, and seeing the grass grow" and "Ashes Are Burning" relates "a near death experience". "Running Hard" tells of "a long dark cliff path, that if you miss the last bus from Hayle to St. Ives, you have to walk... the sea's at one side of you and there's a train the other side... the trees looked like webs and the stars and the moon looked like mirrors". "I Think of You" conveys how "you can love everybody, in every way, even the unlovable". "Black Flame" relates to the Vietnam War and the horrors of killing. "Mother Russia" was inspired by Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. About "Ocean Gypsy", Thatcher "always thought the sun was the man and the moon was the woman... it's like they're lovers and they never really meet". "The Vultures Fly High" was "actually written for Wishbone Ash and it had even darker words... so I tried to make it a little lighter". Thatcher "always regretted writing "Sounds of the Sea" because I felt that it was such a personal thing... every time I heard it for the first five years I cringed and thought, oh my God, everyone can see into my brain".[1] Thatcher revealed that "Can You Hear Me?" is "about the city and... people hiding behind their social facades".[8]

Work with other artists

During the seventies, Thatcher wrote English lyrics for German and Spanish hits. In 1985, she wrote the lyrics to Annie Haslam's Still Life album, which was recorded with Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.[9] Thatcher and Clark also recorded an album entitled The Life of Dorian Gray which was never released. She contributed lyrics to Don Airey's 1989 album K2. In 1998, Thatcher wrote the words for a Japanese commercial for Nikka Whiskey which won five awards.[10]

Personal life

In 1972, she married at the Kensington and Chelsea registry office and became Betty Brown. She divorced in 1976, and changed her name back to Newsinger in the early 1980s, when her name gained political significance. She was a private person as was her ex husband. She lived most of her life in St Ives and then in Hayle. In her late years she was not in the best of health, suffering from emphysema. Thatcher died of cancer on 15 August 2011, in Hayle.[11]

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Pierre Quinon, French pole vaulter and Olympic champion, died from suicide at 49.

Pierre Quinon was a pole vaulter from France.

(February 20, 1962 in Lyon – August 17, 2011 in Hyères

On August 28, 1983 in the German city of Cologne, he set a new world record with 5.82 metres. That day, after winning the contest, he became the first athlete to attempt to clear 6.00 metres in an official meet. Though he failed by a significant margin, "he didn't make a fool of himself," as his coach Jean-Claude Perrin said to the French media. Quinon's record was short-lived - on September 1, 1983 fellow countryman Thierry Vigneron beat it by one centimetre.
In 1984, Quinon won the gold medal at the Olympic Games with a height of 5.75m, with Vigneron placing joint third. Though both Frenchmen ranked among the favorites before the Games, Quinon's win was a minor surprise because Vigneron, usually the better performer, was expected to prevail. Quinon took the silver medal at the 1984 European Indoor Championships behind Vigneron. On July 16, 1985, Quinon achieved his personal best of 5.90 metres, 10 centimetres behind the then-world record.
He retired in 1993 and entered the restaurant business in the south of France. He had also been involved in preparations for the 2015 World Masters Athletics in Lyon.
Pierre Quinon committed suicide on August 17, 2011 by jumping out of a window in the Mediterranean city of Hyères.[1][2]
He was 49 and had been suffering from depression.[3] He had been running a rotisserie business from a truck prior to his death. He had two children, Robin and Jean-Baptiste, by his ex-wife, Caroline Large.
His funeral took place on the parvis of the town hall and the Saint-Trophyme church of the town of Bormes-les-Mimosas in the department of Var on August 23, 2011. It was attended by more than 200 persons, among them his children, ex-wife, sister, mother and notable, retired French athletes like Stéphane Diagana, Maryse Éwanjé-Épée, Thierry Vigneron, Christian Plaziat and William Motti. He was buried in Bormes-les-Mimosas' cemetery.[4]

Major achievements

Year Tournament Venue Result Extra
1984 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd

Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 1st



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Vasyl Dzharty, Ukrainian politician, Prime Minister of Crimea (since 2010), died from cancer at 53.

Vasyl Heorhiyovych Dzharty was a Ukrainian politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Crimea, which is also known as the Chairman of the Crimean Council of Ministers, from March 17, 2010, until his death in August 2011. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is an autonomous republic of Ukraine.

(June 3, 1958 – August 17, 2011)

Personal life

Dzharty was born in 1958, in Rozdolne, a village in the Starobesheve district of Donetsk in what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.[1] His father was a miner.[2]
He completed his studies at Donetsk Polytechnic Institute. He then obtained a master's degree from Donetsk National Technical University in public administration.[2]

Political career

Dzharty served as the Donetsk Oblast's first deputy governor.[2] He then became Mayor of Makiivka, a city in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine.[2] He was elected to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's national parliament, serving during its fifth and sixth sessions as a member of the Party of Regions.[2] From 2006-07, Dzharty served as Ukraine's Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources.[2]

Prime Minister of Crimea

Dzharty became the Prime Minister of Crimea on March 17, 2010, succeeding outgoing Prime Minister Viktor Plakida.[3] The Speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Volodymyr Konstantino, had nominated Dzharty, a member of the Party of Regions, as Crimea's next prime minister and chairman of the council of ministers.[3] As required by the Ukrainian Constitution, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, had to personally approve of Dzharty's nomination, which he did.[3] The Supreme Council of Crimea, which acts as Crimea's parliament, overwhelmingly approved Dzharty's nomination on March 17, 2011.[3] 82 out of the 89 members of the Crimean parliament voted in favor of Dzharty's appointment as Prime Minister.[3] Dzharty simultaneously served as chairman of the Crimean branch of the Party of Regions.[4]
Dzharty was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010.[5] He sought treatment for the disease in Ukraine, Germany and Russia.[5] Dzharty died from lung cancer in Yalta on August 17, 2011, at the age of 53.[1][6] He was interred at Kozatske cemetery in the city of Makiivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on August 18, 2011.[1] A memorial service was also held in Simferopol.[5] On November 7, 2011 President Viktor Yanukovych appointed Anatolii Mohyliov as his successor as Prime Minister of Crimea.[7]

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Jean Tabary, French comic strip artist, died when he was 81.

Jean Tabary  was a French comics artist.
(March 5, 1930 –August 18, 2011)

Tabary was born in Stockholm and made his comics debut with Richard et Charlie published in the comics magazine Vaillant on November 5, 1956.[1][2] For Vaillant (in 1965 renamed Pif) Tabary also drew Grabadu et Gabaliouchtou, and eventually the hit series Totoche in 1959, which produced another series with two if its characters, Corinne et Jeannot, and its own short-lived periodical Totoche Poche. Tabary continued to draw this series until 1976.
In 1962 Tabary began a long-lasting collaboration with René Goscinny, creating the series Les aventures du Calife Haroun el Poussah, first published in Record on January 15, 1962.[3] Shifting its focus and title name to the evil protagonist/anti-hero of the series, Iznogoud became a considerable success, and was eventually adapted into a cartoon TV series.[1] In 1968 the series changed serial publication magazine to Goscinny's Pilote. Valentin le vagabond, another series Tabary initially created with Goscinny, also appeared in Pilote since 1962.
After Goscinny's death in 1977, Tabary continued to create Iznogoud albums. Tabary's own publishing label, at first named Editions de la Séguinière, then Éditions Tabary, continues to publish Tabary work, ultimately albums in the Corinne et Jeannot series, and the most recent Iznogoud volume, La faute de l'ancêtre in 2004.


Series Years Magazine Albums Editor Remarks
Richard et Charlie 1955 - 1962 Vaillant 1 Glénat
Totoche 1959 - 1976 Vaillant and Pif 14 Vaillant and Dargaud
Iznogoud 1962–2004 Record and Pilote 27 Dargaud Scenarios by René Goscinny until 1977
Valentin le vagabond 1962–1977 Pilote 7 Dargaud Created with Goscinny
Corinne et Jeannot 1966–2005 Pif 7 Vaillant, Dargaud, Tabary



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Jerome J. Shestack, American human rights activist and attorney, President of American Bar Association (1997–1998) died he was , 88.

Jerome Joseph "Jerry" Shestack was a Philadelphia lawyer and human rights advocate active in Democratic Party politics who served as president of the American Bar Association (ABA) from 1997 to 1998. He chaired the International League for Human Rights for twenty years, and was appointed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1979 to 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. Shestack was regularly listed on the National Law Journal's list of the 100 most influential U.S. lawyers.

(February 11, 1923 – August 18, 2011)

Early life, education, and military service

Shestack was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey[1] to Jewish parents Isidore Shestack and Olga Shankman Shestack.[2] He grew up poor; his father was a paperhanger.[3] His grandfather, an Orthodox Rabbi, was an early influence, telling him "Justice, justice, shalt thou pursue."[3] When he was ten, the family moved to the Wynnefield neighborhood of Philadelphia.[3] He graduated from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia in 1940, where he enjoyed the school's racial and ethnic diversity and began a long passion for poetry.[3]
He received a bachelor's degree in history and economics in 1943 from the University of Pennsylvania,[4] having gone through in 2½ years.[3]
Shestack then served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946.[1] During World War II he was a gunnery officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga.[2] He was wounded during the January 21, 1945, Japanese kamikaze attack upon the ship.[5] His kosher dietary habits kept him from worse injury, as he avoided the pork meal that day and thus was not on the mess deck which suffered the worst of the damage.[2][6]
After the war, he attained his law degree (LLB) in 1949 from Harvard Law School,[1] where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Record. While a student at Harvard, he launched a movement to have women admitted to the law school, which soon succeeded.[1][6]

Legal career and human rights activities

Shestack clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and taught as an instructor for a year at Northwestern Law School[1] and for another year at Louisiana State University, where he advocated for blacks to be admitted to the university's law school.[7] (One who was as a result of these efforts, Ernest Morial, went on to become the first black Mayor of New Orleans.[6])
He became first deputy city solicitor in Philadelphia in 1951 where he helped end segregation in swimming pools, bowling alleys, and other public places.[8] In 1951 he married Marciarose Schleifer, who in 1971 on KYW-TV became the first woman to anchor a prime-time TV newscast in a major city.[2][3] Shestack taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, which awarded him an Honorary Fellowship and at Rutgers. He was a Honorary Fellow of Columbia Law School and had three honorary doctor of laws degrees.[9] From 1955 to 1991, and again from 2009 he practiced with the law firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, from 1991, when he had to leave Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis after having reached the mandatory retirement age till 2009, when the law firm collapsed, he practiced with Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, chairing the litigation practice.[10] During much of his law practice career, he concentrated on involved commercial law and advocacy regarding appellate law.[6]
An active Democrat, Shestack worked for Adlai Stevenson and wrote speeches for Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sargent Shriver, and Senator Ed Muskie.[7] He was a co-founder and chair of the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, chair of the International Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, a counselor of the American Society of International Law, a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists, and a founding member and the first executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,[1] convened by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. He served on the board of directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.[1] He wrote widely on human rights issues and other subjects.[10] Throughout his attention to human rights, he focused upon cases that involved racial minorities, women, political prisoners, and indigents without legal representation.[6]
His appointment as ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights occurred on December 10, 1979, when he replaced the resigning Edward Mezvinsky.[1] As ambassador he sought to bring focus upon the poor treatment given political dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union as well as upon the thousands who were "disappeared" during the Argentine Dirty War.[6] Shestack's own time in the position came to an end with the election of Republican Ronald Reagan to the presidency.
Shestack was long active in the American Bar Association. He was a founder of the ABA's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, which became the vehicle for the ABA's support of women's rights, pro bono work, and other legal services for the impoverished, and served as chairman of that section from 1969 to 1970.[1][3] In 1973 he became the first chairman of the Commission on Mentally Disabled of the American Bar Association, where he established projects to help provide legal services and promote fights for the mentally disabled.[1] He was chairman of ABA's Center for Human Rights.
During the controversial and eventually unsuccessful Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination in 1987, Shestack was part of the association's committee on judicial appointments and was one of the minority report members who gave Bork a "not qualified" assessment.[6] Shestack also gained some notoriety in 1992, during a controversy wherein the ABA refused to let Vice President and lawyer Dan Quayle speak at its national convention, when he said that Quayle would have been invited had he been a person of "personal stature or legal ability". Shestack later acknowledged the remark had been disrespectful of Quayle's office.[3]
He longed to serve as president of the ABA, and finally did so from 1997 to 1998.[3] At one time he had been considered too radical to hold the post, but the ABA's political drift aligned more with him.[3] As president of the ABA, Shestack focused on increasing professionalism within the bar, established a high level commission to review and revise the bar's model code of ethics, and initiated an ethical rule regarding pay-to-play. He convened the first ABA conferences on racism and mental health as well as the first ABA Conference on Human Rights at the U.N.[1]
Shestack served as chair of the American Poetry Center and as director of the American Poetry Review, which awards a prize in his honor. He was President of the Jewish Publication Society of America, served on the board of directors of Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University,[11] the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, and served as president of Har Zion Temple, then Philadelphia's largest Conservative Jewish congregation.[2] He was a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council and Chairman of that institution's Committee on Conscience.[12]
In Philadelphia, he was often known as "Mr. Marciarose", due to the fame of his wife.[3] The couple had two children: Jennifer Shestack Doss,[13] a fragrance buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, and motion picture producer Jonathan Shestack,[2] as well as five grandchildren.[6] The couple became active in Cure Autism Now after one of their grandchildren was discovered to be afflicted.[10] His most prized personal possession was a book inscribed to him by Martin Luther King, Jr..[3]
In 2006 he received the American Bar Association Medal,[10] that organization's highest honor. The announcement said, "Where individuals have suffered, Jerry has helped them. His tireless efforts have served not just American jurisprudence, but truly have served the world."[10] In 2008 he was awarded the Gruber Prize for Justice,[8] and in 2009 the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights' Lloyd N. Cutler Lifetime Achievement Award.[14] Summing up his own career, Shestack once said, "There is no end of just causes to pursue."[3]
Shestack died August 18, 2011, of kidney failure at his home in Center City.[15] In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Shestack "a committed public servant and a dogged defender of human rights," adding, "as president of the American Bar Association, and in the years following, he set the standard for how civil society leaders can promote human rights."[15]



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