South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman has died. She was 91. Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive Achmat Dangor said Suzman was a "great patriot and a fearless fighter against apartheid." Suzman, who was white, was one of the few lawmakers who protested white racist rule.
William C. Blizzard, a journalist and historian who was a living link to West Virginia's turbulent labor history, died Monday. He was 92. His father, Bill Blizzard, was a leader of the famous "Red Neck Army" of striking miners that clashed with authorities at the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, a struggle ultimately involving federal troops and a squad of Army biplanes. A series of articles Blizzard wrote in the 1950s formed the basis for "When Miners March," a history of the origins and growth of the United Mine Workers.
Vincent Ford, a songwriter credited with composing the Bob Marley reggae classic "No Woman, No Cry," died Sunday. He was 68. The song, which appeared on Marley's 1974 "Natty Dread" album, was inspired by the Kingston ghetto of Trench Town where Marley and Ford lived in the 1960s.
Donald E. Westlake, a novelist who pounded out more than 100 books and five screenplays on manual typewriters during his half-century career, died Wednesday. He was 75. Westlake, considered one of the most successful and versatile mystery writers in the United States, received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for "The Grifters," three Edgar Awards and the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1993.
Claiborne Pell, the former senator from Rhode Island who created the college grant program that bears his name and wrote the legislation that established the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, died Thursday at his Newport, R.I., home. He was 90. Pell, a Democrat, was widely regarded as the most formidable politician in Rhode Island history; in six statewide victories over Republican opponents, he received an average of 64 percent of the vote.