The Marlboro Man Who Became an Anti-Smoking Activist

Eric 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

The 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, …

The Secret Millionaire Twins

Kathleen and Robert Magowan of Simsbury, Conn., never attracted much attention during their lifetimes. The twin siblings, born in New York, lived for a time in Bolivia and Alaska – their father was an explosives manufacturing executive – before settling in Connecticut in 1942. Neither Kathleen, an elementary schoolteacher, nor Robert, who served in the military in World War II and then became an agent for Prudential insurance, ever married. In later years they lived together as near recluses in a …

Malcolm Renfrew: The Non-Stick Man

You may not know what polytetrafluoroethylene resin is, but it’s why the scrambled eggs you make for breakfast slide cleanly out of the frying pan. You know it as Teflon, a miraculous material that remains slick and smooth and resists reacting with heat, electricity, acids and solvents. Teflon is used to coat consumer products ranging from tennis rackets to windshield wiper blades. It toughens aircraft hoses and the space suits worn by astronauts. It’s even protects the cast-iron fence around President Harry …

Ronald Motley: The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco

If Ronald Lee Motley hadn’t existed, some novelist or screenwriter surely would have made him up: a high-powered, flamboyant attorney with a smooth-as-silk Southern drawl who fancied ostrich-skin cowboy boots and liked to sail on a 165-foot yacht named after Themis, the female Greek titan of law, whenever he wasn’t in a courtroom whacking corporate bigwigs around like so many piñatas. Motley, who died on Aug. 22 at age 68 in Charleston, S.C., was both so larger-than-life colorful and so effective …

‘Buy American’ – Guess Who Does It Most

A lot of Americans bemoan the number of factory jobs that have been outsourced or lost to foreign competition over the past few decades. But when it comes to supporting companies that make their products in the United States, it’s older Americans who are most willing to step up and let their money do the talking. That’s the finding of two recent polls, which show that boomers and their predecessors in the “Eisenhower Generation” (ages 67 and older) are the …