RIP: Philip Seymour Hoffman

By: Sunday February 2, 2014 2:04 pm

Not a traditional leading man, the pale and plump Philip Seymour Hoffman was a thinking person’ sex symbol: Smart, talented, sensitive with who brought intelligence and naturalism to his roles. Along with his Oscar win for Capote, he was nominated for three Supporting Actor Oscars (Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master, and three Tony nominations (two for Best Leading Actor in True West and Death of a Salesman, and one for Best Featured Actor in Long Day’s Journey into Night).

 

In Memory of Dr. Tiller, on the Fourth Anniversary of His Death

By: Friday May 31, 2013 5:40 pm

I am a family doctor and I was a proud colleague of Dr. George Tiller’s. It is difficult to believe four years have passed since his murder.

Late Night: Take Five for Dave Brubeck

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 8:00 pm

Brubeck wasn’t just a crusader for rhythm. During his service in World War II, Brubeck was spotted playing a Red Cross show and ordered to form a band. Brubeck chose a racially integrated lineup, a rarity for military acts. During the 1950s and ’60s, Brubeck is reported to have canceled appearances at venues that balked at the mixed racial makeup of his quartet.

George McGovern, The First Candidate I Ever Worked For, Dead at 90

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 5:00 pm

George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who ran for president in 1972 as a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and a strong advocate of economic equality, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls. He was 90.

In the fall of 1972, I was only 10, but even as a 5th-grader, I was moved by McGovern’s anti-war, pro-social-justice message. I had a “Come Home America” pin that I would wear everyday to school, and after school, I would go to the local campaign office to stuff envelopes and lick stamps.

At the crack of dawn on Election Day, I went with my father to hand out flyers to arriving workers at Litton Industries. I remember the flyers explained that you were aloud time off at the beginning or end of work to vote, and then, inside made the pitch to working Americans with the headline “How in the Hell Can You Vote for Nixon?”

Barry Commoner, The First Guy I Ever Voted For, Dead at 95

By: Friday October 12, 2012 2:59 pm

Dr. Barry Commoner, scientist, activist, educator and one of the founders of the modern environmental movement, died on September 30 at his home in Brooklyn. He was 95.

I met Dr. Commoner in 1980, when he brought his third-party campaign for US president to my university. Running as the candidate of the Citizens Party, which he helped found, Commoner didn’t command an auditorium. Instead, Commoner sat in what I remember as a smallish classroom, discussing the state of the world with an egalitarian equanimity. He knew he wasn’t going to win the election, but he had things he wanted to explain, and a level of participation he wanted to motivate.

RIP San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, 1968 – 2012

By: Monday September 17, 2012 1:45 pm

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the twin-reactor power plant that spread its isotopic glow across coastal communities from Los Angeles to San Diego, was declared dead last week. SONGS, as it was affectionately known, was 44, though many of its parts are considerably younger.

Best Obit Correction Ever: NYT on Gore Vidal

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 4:24 pm

I suppose it’s entirely possible that Gore Vidal’s spirit is somewhere laughing at Our Nation’s Premier Newspaper today, but barring that eventuality, I think we should all have a good chuckle on his behalf.

A West Virginian Remembers Senator Robert Byrd as Master of Senate Rules… and the Fiddle

By: Monday June 28, 2010 8:30 am

Sen. Robert C. Byrd passed away last evening at the age of 92. A fellow West Virginian remembers his service.

Hike On! Stewart Udall’s Legacy from Sea to Shining Sea

By: Wednesday March 24, 2010 6:00 am

Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Johnson and Kennedy, passed away at the age of 90 on Saturday. Rather than repeat obituaries’ biographic details, this diary pays photographic tribute to his life’s passion, our wild public lands.

Alex Chilton in the Halls of Congress

By: Thursday March 18, 2010 7:00 pm

Rest in peace, Alex. Good work, Rep. Cohen.

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