Marian McPartland: From Jazz Virtuoso to Radio Host

Marian McPartland had not just one, but two stellar careers. As a pianist during the halcyon days of modern jazz, she became enough of a star that photographer Art Kane included her in Esquire magazine’s famous 1958 group photograph in Harlem, alongside such immortals as Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus. Here she is in 1974, performing “In A Mist.”   From 1978 to 2011, McPartland had a second act as host of National Public Radio’s popular show Piano Jazz. She …

Elmore Leonard: 7 Facts About the Crime Novelist

When it came to writing about crooks, cops and the bizarre predicaments in which they can find themselves, Elmore Leonard was the Stephen King of his genre – or perhaps, as Time magazine once described him, “The Dickens of Detroit.” Leonard published 45 novels, starting with The Bounty Hunters in 1953 and ending with Raylan in 2011. His work inspired scores of hit movies, including Fifty-Two Pickup, Mr. Majestyk, Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown. The hit cable TV series …

2012 Endings and 2013 Beginnings –

We’ve looked back at the year’s departures to remind us about our own mortality and consider how notable personalities have shaped our lives and the wider culture. From Neil Armstrong to Whitney Houston, spend some time with old friends, while you also consider the complex and unsettling legacy of Joe Paterno, who we thought we knew, but didn’t really. It’s our first People to Remember special on the web. What will you remember of your life from the past year? …

Letitia Baldrige: A Woman of Manners

What do you wear to a cocktail party at the boss’s house? How do you remove a fish bone from your mouth at a fancy restaurant? What’s the graceful way to enter and exit a cab you’re sharing with co-workers? Letitia Baldrige always had all the answers. You could ask her anything about the proper way to do things, especially in sticky situations. After all, she had been chief of staff for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Baldrige, 86, one of …

Ray Bradbury’s Future – Are We There Yet?

Science fiction great Ray Bradbury, who died this morning in Los Angeles at age 91, started his writing career in the early 1940s, in an era when radios with tubes were state-of-the-art technology. But Bradbury envisioned a different world, one in which scientific and technological advances radically altered human existence, and not necessarily in positive ways. Though he published 59 books in his lifetime, including the classic story collections The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man, for most of us the …

In Honor Of Ted Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy died late last night after a hard battle with brain cancer at the age of 77. Our thoughts go out to his family, who said in their statement: “Edward M. Kennedy — the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port . . . We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, …