Fred Thompson: He Didn’t Just Play a Lawyer on TV

With his imposing stature and deep voice, Fred Thompson, who played district attorney Arthur Branch on the long-running TV series Law & Order, was utterly believable as a tough-but-wise authority figure. But Thompson, who passed away Nov. 1 at age 73 in Nashville, didn’t just play a lawyer — he was one in real life. He first gained public attention as minority counsel for the Senate Watergate committee in 1973, when his questioning exposed a secret White House taping system. …

Cory Wells: He Was One Voice of Three Dog Night

You might not recognize Cory Wells by name, but you undoubtedly know his voice – in particular, his vocal on Three Dog Night’s 1970 chart-topping single “Mama Told Me (Not to Come),” in which he artfully feigns panic after wandering into a particularly debauched soiree: Want some whiskey in your water? Sugar in your tea? What’s all these crazy questions they’re askin’ me? Famous People We’ve Lost in 2015 » Wells, who passed away on Oct. 20 at age 74 in …

Civil Rights Giant Julian Bond Never Stopped Giving

President Obama described him as a “hero” who “helped changed this country for the better.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson called him a “leader with strength, character.” NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said he “inspired a generation of civil rights leaders.”  Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, where he taught history for many years, called him a beloved retired professor who “shaped the course of history through his life and work.” Visit AARP Black Community » How ever you choose to describe …

James Jude: He Invented CPR

In the late 1950s, a young surgical resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital named James Jude learned that his friend Guy Knickerbocker had noticed something strange during an experiment. Knickerbocker, a graduate student, had pressed electrical defibrillator paddles against a dog’s chest, and amazingly, the force seemed to cause the animal’s stopped heart to begin pumping blood again. Famous People We’ve Lost in 2015 » Jude, who passed away July 28 at age 87 in Coral Gables, Fla., then had a brainstorm. What …

Bard Revisited

Readers everywhere, myself included, laughed, cried and just plain enjoyed Al Martinez’s wonderfully written and insightful blogs. Al’s wife, Joanne, now shares memories of the more than 65 years she and “The Bard of L.A.” spent together. Sometimes an ordinary moment transforms into a pivotal one. So it was when my husband, Al Martinez, met an imaginary field of daffodils. More than seven decades before he passed away in January, Al and his fellow fourth-graders were supposed to give speeches. Al …

Who Will Tend Your Memory on Facebook?

A couple of years ago at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, I met a guy in a superhero costume promoting his start-up, which he cheekily called Dead Social. His company’s mission statement: “Prepare for a Digital Death and Build Your Digital Legacy.” Start-up founder James Norris was onto something then, and Facebook this week joined digital giants Google and Apple in acknowledging that questions of what to do with your digital persona after death now loom large …