Who's News

Journalist Patrick J. Kiger tells the stories of people who make their mark in ways big and small.

Don Pardo: The Man with the Big Voice

As a staff announcer at NBC for 60 years, Don Pardo was a robust, velvety virtuoso of enunciation, whose baritone resonated like the aftertaste of a full-bodied fine wine. His trademark gig was performing the introductions at the beginning of each episode of Saturday Night Live, which he did for all but one season between the show’s debut in October 1975 and its most recent season finale in May.   Pardo, who died on Aug. 18 at age 96 in …

June Krauser: Senior Mermaid

It’s probably pretty rare to have someone launch a sports competition and then also excel in it. But that’s the story of June Krauser. Krauser, who died on Aug. 9 at age 88 in Pompano Beach, Fla., was one of the founders of U.S. Masters Swimming, a competition established in 1970 that provides swimmers an opportunity to compete against swimmers in their own age group, right up to the centenarian level. But Krauser did more than just write the program’s …

Jim Brady: A Bullet Couldn’t Stop Him

On March 30, 1981, then-White House press secretary Jim Brady asked one of his aides to accompany President Ronald Reagan for a speech at the Washington Hilton. At the last moment, however, Brady himself went with Reagan. It was a choice that would forever alter the life of the witty, self-deprecating man whose burly build led to the nickname “Bear.” On the way out of the hotel, Reagan was attacked by a mentally ill assassin, John Hinckley, who got off …

Depend’s Daring New Dare: ‘Drop Your Pants’

Over the years, Kimberly-Clark has used rugged NFL players and glamorous actresses to promote its Depend brand of leak-proof underwear as not just embarrassment-preventing but as stylish, too. But now the company is really pushing the envelope, so to speak, with a provocative “Drop Your Pants for Underwareness” campaign. The campaign features this TV commercial, set to the retro sound of British pop band the Creation’s 1966 single “Making Time.”   >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  Even edgier …

James Garner: Hollywood’s Whimsical Hero

As a twice-wounded U.S. Army combat veteran of the Korean War and as an actor who was frequently injured performing his own stunts, James Garner qualified as a real-life tough guy. But you’d never know it from the characters he portrayed, such as card-shark Bret Maverick and ex-con-turned-private detective Jim Rockford. They were clever, charming, self-effacing guys who seemed eager to avoid trouble, and when they were pressed into action anyway, eschewed the rough stuff and relied upon their wits …

Elaine Stritch: Earthy Diva

Actress-singer Elaine Stritch, who died on July 17 at age 89 in Birmingham, Mich., wasn’t the sort who would go gentle into that good night – or any night, for that matter. The gravel-voiced Broadway diva, who made her career playing what the New York Times once called “brash and bawdy characters,” preferred staying out late, and having a cigarette and a drink or three. “I don’t regret a day of my life,” as she once told an interviewer. In a …