Who's News

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

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 …

Johnny Winter: Blues Legend

It says a lot about guitarist Johnny Winter that blues great Muddy Waters sang his praises. The first time Waters heard him play live, he was blown away by Winter’s blindingly fast thumb-picked electric slide work. “He plays eight notes to my one!” Waters reportedly exclaimed. Winter-who died at age 70 in Zurich on July 16, a few days after performing at a festival in Austria-was surprisingly humble about the virtuosity that earned him a spot on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 …

Tommy Ramone: Last of the Punk-Rock Pioneers

Boomers growing up in the mid- to late 1970s may have felt bored and alienated by the classic rock that their older brothers and sisters listened to. That’s why so many of us were especially excited about a band called the Ramones, who were pretty much the opposite of the handsome stadium-rock gods who dominated the airwaves with their synthesizer bombast and 10-minute guitar solos. With their misshapen hair, torn jeans, cheap sneakers and biker jackets, the Ramones looked like …