Category Archives: obituary

Aretha, Queen of Soul, dies

by Grania Aretha Franklin died in Detroit today reportedly from advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76. The world has lost an irreplaceable voice, although her music will be immortal. People are paying tribute to her life and her work from all over the globe. What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and […]

R.J. “Sam” Berry, 1934-2018

by Greg Mayer Robert James ‘Sam’ Berry, Emeritus Professor of Genetics in the Genetics, Evolution and Environment Department at University College London, died on March 29 of this year, following a stroke the previous summer. For decades, Berry had been a major figure in population and ecological genetics.  Announcing his death on the UCL website, […]

Anthony Bourdain dead of suicide at 61

Oh dear; of all the food writers and broadcasters I know, Anthony Bourdain was my favorite. I remember reading Kitchen Confidential, and was both repulsed (at what goes on in kitchens) and enthralled (at the stories and his pull-no-punches prose).  After that I didn’t read any of his books, but I watched his various food-show […]

Philip Roth died

Philip Roth, one of America’s most famous living authors, is no longer living: he died yesterday in Manhattan of congestive heart failure at age 85.  From the New York Times eulogy: Mr. Roth was the last of the great white males: the triumvirate of writers — Saul Bellow and John Updike were the others — […]

On accepting death: scientist David Goodall ends his life at 104 through self-assisted suicide; Barbara Ehrenreich gives up on preventive medical care

As we grow older (and by “we,” I mean “I”), one’s thoughts tend naturally to turn to mortality. The comparison of your age to that of those listed in the paper’s obituaries becomes a depressing habit, one gives up beloved foods and behaviors in an effort to stay alive as long as possible, and you […]

Tom Wolfe died

According to many sources, including the New York Times, author Tom Wolfe has died at 88 in New York City. He had been hospitalized for an infection. There was much of Wolfe’s prose I admired, particularly his books The Right Stuff, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.  I didn’t pay much […]

Are you kidding?

The “President” tweeted this today: The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018 All religions? Who is he kidding? Graham was an anti-Semite, and why would the Jews miss him? Given […]

Jeff Tayler interviews Lubna Ahmed (and writes a memoriam for his dad)

Over at Quillette, Jeff Tayler has a nice interview with a Muslim apostate who’s new to most of us: Lubna Ahmed. She’s an engineer from Baghdad, and, after going on the Rubin Report via Skype 3 years ago, and proclaiming her atheism and dislike of Islam, she became a pariah in Iraq. She was attacked […]

Billy Graham died

In all honesty (but I’m always honest, of course), I didn’t know Billy Graham was still alive. It turns out he was 99, and died today at his home in North Carolina.  He was known as the “Pastor to Presidents”, and was there for every American President from Harry Truman through Barack Obama. One of […]

The life and death of a reader’s cat

Reader Amy reports the death of her beloved cat, “Kitten”, but also sent some pictures of his long and happy life. This post is Amy’s memorial to Kitten. Her words are indented, and do read and pay attention to Amy’s final remark: I seem recall a recent post where a WEIT reader’s cat died of […]