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Patrick Kiger

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

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Pete Seeger: Folk Music Legend, Political Activist

Posted on 01/28/2014 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyPete Seeger, who passed away on Jan. 27 at age 94 in New York, accomplished the nearly unimaginable. He showed that one man, armed only with a banjo, a tenor singing voice and the courage of his convictions, not only could leave an indelible stamp upon popular music, but also challenge injustice and fight for a better world. Seeger helped popularize folk music, a genre derived from the traditional chants, hymns and laments of hardscrabble rural America, and wrote or …

The Marlboro Man Who Became an Anti-Smoking Activist

Posted on 01/27/2014 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyEric Lawson portrayed one of the most iconic characters in the history of advertising: the Marlboro Man, devised in the mid-1950s as a talisman of vigorous, healthy masculinity, even at a time of growing evidence that cigarette smoking was injurious. In real life, Lawson, who played the Marlboro Man in print ads from 1978 to 1981, ultimately paid a heavy toll for his own years of smoking. He died on Jan. 10 at age 72 in San Luis Obispo, Calif., …

Retro Night at the Grammys

Posted on 01/27/2014 by | Who's News | Comments

EntertainmentThe 2014 Grammy Awards had a distinctly throwback feel, as some of the classic performers from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s joined current hit-makers onstage. Here are some of the highlights: Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers. The 63-year-old Wonder joined the French pop duo Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams on “Get Lucky.” The R&B legend, who’s won 22 Grammy awards himself,  played keyboards and grabbed a few vocal lines, showing that he’s still got that incomparable set of pipes. Rodgers, 63, …

Should We Still Call Them ‘Films’?

Posted on 01/22/2014 by | Who's News | Comments

Bulletin TodayParamount has announced that it will become the first Hollywood studio to stop releasing movies on reels of old-fashioned film, a medium that’s been around since the movie industry began some 120 years ago. Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street is the first blockbuster to come out only in digital format. Other studios are sure to follow. Movies increasingly are shot with digital cameras, edited on computers, and distributed on a paperback-book-sized hard drive or by satellite transmission. Only 15 …

Russell Johnson: The Professor on ‘Gilligan’s Island’

Posted on 01/17/2014 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyIn the hit 1960s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, it was no accident that Roy “The Professor” Hinkley, portrayed by Russell Johnson, was the least-funny character. The show’s creator, producer Sherwood Schwartz, needed an anchor for his otherwise lightweight cast of eccentric, inept castaways — a straight man who could rescue them from their various outlandish predicaments (though not from the island itself) and serve as a foil for their funny lines and pratfalls. As Schwartz would explain decades later in his …

Franklin McCain: He Integrated Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

Posted on 01/13/2014 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyOn the afternoon of Feb. 1, 1960, 19-year-old Franklin McCain — accompanied by David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Ezell Blair Jr., three of his North Carolina A&T classmates — walked into an F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro, N.C. After buying a few small items, he and the others sat down at the lunch counter. When they tried to order coffee, the white waitress refused them. “We don’t serve colored here,” she explained, according to a contemporary New York Times account. “I …