By Hiram Lee, 25 May 2013
Ray Manzarek, keyboardist of the 1960s rock band The Doors, died May 20 at the age of 74.
By Hiram Lee, 29 April 2013
Legendary country singer George Jones died in Nashville on April 26. A remarkable performer, Jones was a significant figure in American popular music during the second half of the 20th century.
By Hiram Lee, 10 April 2013
Singer Cleotha Staples of the popular gospel, folk and R&B group the Staple Singers, died recently at the age of 78.
December 13, 1932-November 5, 2012
By Helen Halyard, 18 March 2013
The mother of Louisiana frame-up victim Gary Tyler, Juanita Tyler embodied the best qualities of the working class and never wavered in the fight for her son’s freedom.
By Fred Mazelis, 2 March 2013
A musician who became world-famous more than half a century ago, Van Cliburn had a career that was noteworthy, even if he never achieved the potential that seemed possible in his youth.
By John Andrews, 11 February 2013
Donald Byrd, a trumpet master associated with the post-bebop jazz that emerged in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s, died last week at the age of 80.
By Fred Mazelis, 6 February 2013
Koch’s political trajectory reflected the sharp turn to the right of a broad social layer, beginning in the 1970s.
By Alan Gilman, 23 January 2013
During his career Musial won seven batting titles, three World Series titles, was voted the National League’s most valuable player three times and was named to a record-tying 24 All-Star teams.
By Sven Heymann, 7 January 2013
Peter Struck, the former German defence minister and longtime parliamentary leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), died December 19 in Berlin at the age of 69.
By Kapila Fernando, K. Ratnayake and Peter Symonds, 20 December 2012
What was unique about Ravi Shankar was the breadth of his interests, willingness to experiment and passion for making classical Indian music available to the world.
By David North, 18 December 2012
This article was originally posted on the WSWS in two parts on December 18-19, 2007.
By Hiram Lee, 10 December 2012
A significant figure in postwar American culture, Brubeck’s classic 1959 album Time Out sold a million copies, the first jazz album to hold that distinction.
By Fred Mazelis, 6 December 2012
American composer Elliott Carter reflected the trajectory of Western classical music in the past century.
By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2012
The McGovern campaign marked the rise of identity politics as the principal platform of the Democratic Party.
By Vicky Short, 4 October 2012
The ex-General Secretary of the Stalinist Communist Party of Spain, Santiago Carrillo, died on Tuesday September 18 at the age of 97.
By Clare Hurley, 30 August 2012
Australian-born art critic and social historian Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New, The Fatal Shore) died August 6 in New York City after a long illness.
By Sandy English, 27 August 2012
Gore Vidal, novelist, playwright, essayist and one-time television personality, died July 31 at his home in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.
By David Walsh, 14 August 2012
Journalist Alexander Cockburn, co-editor of CounterPunch, died July 21 at the age of 71. Cockburn’s active political history extended back to the New Left and the anti-Vietnam War protest movement in Britain in the 1960s.
By Hiram Lee, 23 July 2012
Country music icon Kitty Wells died July 16 at her home in Nashville, Tennessee.
18 July 2012
On June 29, Ruth Keedy Benjamin, a member of the American Trotskyist movement for over 40 years, succumbed to pancreatic cancer.
Film critic Andrew Sarris 1928-2012: An appreciation
By David Walsh, 26 June 2012
One of the leading American film critics of the past half-century, Andrew Sarris, died in New York City on June 20. The WSWS is reposting an interview we did with Sarris and a review of one of his later books. The interview includes a new introduction.
By David Brown, 21 June 2012
Rodney King, 47, died last Sunday, 20 years after his brutal beating by the Los Angeles Police Department.
By Christine Schofelt and Hector Cordon, 14 June 2012
The American science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury was one of the most influential popular authors for the generation that grew up after the Second World War.
By Hiram Lee, 8 June 2012
Legendary guitarist and folk singer Doc Watson died May 29 in North Carolina.
By Christine Schofelt, 7 June 2012
Beloved author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are and many others) died May 8.
By James Brewer, 26 May 2012
Booker T. and the M.G.’s bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn, died suddenly while on tour in Tokyo on May 13.
By Dorian Griscom, 25 May 2012
The German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was renowned for his interpretations of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms songs, but his repertoire included opera and oratorio as well.
By Sandy English, 3 May 2012
Hilton Kramer spoke for some of the most retrograde forces in American culture.
By Hiram Lee, 25 April 2012
Broadcaster and entrepreneur Dick Clark, host of the long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, died April 18.
By James Brewer, 23 April 2012
After 14-year bout with cancer, Levon Helm, the drummer and singer of The Band, dies in New York.
By David Walsh, 12 April 2012
Mike Wallace, the longtime American television journalist best known for his almost four decades on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” died April 7 at the age of 93.
By Hiram Lee, 31 March 2012
Earl Scruggs, a pioneering figure in Bluegrass music and an innovator on the 5-string Banjo, has died at the age of 88.
By Hiram Lee, 13 February 2012
American popular singer Whitney Houston has died in Los Angeles at the age of 48.
By David Walsh, 9 February 2012
Ben Gazzara had a long career in film, theater and television, which began in the mid-1950s. He worked with numerous interesting directors, although he seems to have found the greatest artistic satisfaction working with John Cassavetes.
By Hiram Lee, 27 January 2012
Legendary college football coach Joe Paterno, demonized in the media for his role in the Penn State scandal, died January 22 at the age of 85.
“I no longer deal with politics, with generalisations. I have stopped understanding them.”
By Stefan Steinberg, 27 January 2012
In many respects Angelopoulos expresses the artistic and political crisis of a generation of intellectuals who tragically failed to come to grips with the traumas of the past century and the extraordinary social and intellectual challenges of the new.
By Paul Bond, 26 January 2012
Etta James had an instantly recognisable voice, sinuous, tender and harsh in equal measure. She died a few days short of her 74th birthday.
By Hiram Lee, 24 January 2012
Influential R&B musician Johnny Otis, best-known for the hit dance record “Willie and the Hand Jive” died January 17 at the age of 90.
By Paul Bond, 5 January 2012
The longtime sideman for Chicago blues great Howlin’ Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, died last month at the age of 80.
By Paul Bond, 29 December 2011
British filmmaker Ken Russell, who directed Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Devils and many other works, died last month aged 84.
By Hiram Lee, 28 December 2011
Jazz drummer Paul Motian, a member of the classic Bill Evans Trio of the early 1960s, died recently at the age of 80.
By Peter Schwarz, 21 December 2011
Havel’s anti-communism, his arrogance towards working people and his unconditional support for the wars of NATO and the US made him the darling of international politics and the media.
By David Walsh, 17 December 2011
Christopher Hitchens began his public life as a “left” journalist in Britain and moved on, without undergoing any apparent internal struggle, to become a proponent of imperialist war and oppression, residing in Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director—a new biography of a major American filmmaker
By Charles Bogle, 12 September 2011
In writing Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director, biographer Patrick McGilligan has performed the valuable service of tracing the fitful arc of a great and troubled director’s life and career.
By Hiram Lee, 6 September 2011
Songwriter Nick Ashford who, along with his wife Valerie Simpson, wrote several significant hits for Motown records in the late 1960s, has died at age 70.
By D. Lencho, 2 September 2011
Lyricist Jerry Leiber who, with composer Mike Stoller, wrote such memorable hits as “Hound Dog” and “Stand By Me,” has died at the age of 78.
By Hiram Lee, 30 August 2011
Soul singer and songwriter Gene McDaniels, composer of “Compared to What” and other protest songs, died July 29 at the age of 76.
29 August 2011
Stan Barstow, who died August 1, was best known for his 1960 novel A Kind of Loving.
By Paul Mitchell, 2 August 2011
British figurative painter Lucian Freud, a significant figure in modern art, died July 20 at his home in London at the age of 88.
By Robert Stevens, 29 July 2011
With the death of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, aged just 27, the world lost a genuine and original talent.
By Robert Fowler, 8 July 2011
The actor Peter Falk died late last month. Best known for his role in Columbo, the actor did some of his most interesting work in the 1970s.
“I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse”
By Paul Bond, 22 June 2011
Leonora Carrington, who has died aged 94, was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s.
By Nick Beams, 13 June 2011
For almost his entire political career, Gould functioned as a particular Australian representative of the political trend known as Pabloism.
Best known for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
By Matthew Brennan, 11 June 2011
Gil Scott-Heron, the African-American poet and musician best known for his song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” died May 27 at the age of 62.
By Hiram Lee, 9 May 2011
Folksinger Hazel Dickens, who often sang about the struggles of coal miners in Appalachia, died April 22 in Washington, D.C.
By Hiram Lee, 20 April 2011
American filmmaker Sidney Lumet, director of 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and Serpico, died April 9 at the age of 86.
By David Walsh, 31 March 2011
Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most prominent postwar American film stars, died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles March 23 at the age of 79.
By Hiram Lee, 1 February 2011
Country singer Charlie Louvin, one half of the influential duo The Louvin Brothers, died on January 26 at the age of 83.
By Kevin Martinez, 12 January 2011
Of all the musical acts that came out of America and Britain in the late 1960s and early 1970s, none were more surreal and musically ambitious than Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band.
By Hiram Lee, 10 January 2011
Blake Edwards, the writer-director responsible for such films as The Pink Panther and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, died December 15 at the age of 88.
By Paul Bond, 8 January 2011
Public reactions to the death of Pete Postlethwaite from cancer say much about his qualities as an actor.
By Patrick Martin, 15 December 2010
The veteran US diplomat was steeped in the commission and cover-up of bloody crimes.
By Richard Phillips, 7 December 2010
Mario Monicelli, widely regarded as the father of the “comedy Italian-style” genre, took his life on November 29 after leaping from the fifth floor of San Giovanni hospital in Rome where he was being treated for prostate cancer.
By Hiram Lee, 22 October 2010
Veteran actor Tony Curtis died September 29 at the age of 85. He was a talented performer whose best films, including Some Like it Hot and Sweet Smell of Success, remain well worth seeing.
By Tony Cornwell, 19 October 2010
Solomon Burke—who died in the Netherlands on October 10 from natural causes, aged 70—was a great soul singer with hits such as “Cry to Me,” “Tonight’s the Night,” and, “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.”
By Marty Jonas, 13 October 2010
Claude Chabrol, one of the giants of French and international cinema, died on September 12, at the age of 80. To the end of his life, he kept to a daunting work regimen, directing an average of a film a year.
By David Walsh, 8 October 2010
Arthur Penn, one of the most sensitive and intelligent figures in American filmmaking in the 1960s and 1970s, died in New York City on September 28.
By our correspondents, 14 September 2010
Hundreds attended the funeral in Colombo to pay their last respects to a lifelong Trotskyist and Marxist literary critic.
By Steve James, 25 August 2010
Jimmy Reid, the leader of the famous 1971 “work-in” at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) in Glasgow, Scotland, died on August 10.
By Paul Stuart, 2 June 2010
The remarkable French-born sculptor Louise Bourgeois, who moved to the US in the late 1930s and became an American citizen in 1955, died in a hospital in Manhattan on Monday. Bourgeois, 98, reportedly suffered a heart attack Saturday night.
Singer, actress dead at 92
By John Andrews, 13 May 2010
Lena Horne’s death in a New York City hospital last Sunday, less than two months shy of her 93rd birthday, is an occasion not only to review her remarkable show business career, but also to consider the conditions during which that career unfolded.
By Hiram Lee, 28 April 2010
Rapper Guru of Gang Starr, a significant figure in hip hop music for two decades, died on April 19 at the age of 48.
17 April 2010
The following letter was sent in response to the appreciation of British actor Corin Redgrave published by the World Socialist Web Site on April 12.
By Marius Hauser, 13 April 2010
Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski, who died Saturday in a plane crash, was a loyal representative of the country’s ruling elite and sought to establish authoritarian forms of rule based on reactionary Polish chauvinism.
Joined Trotskyist movement in early 1970s
By David Walsh and David North, 12 April 2010
British actor Corin Redgrave died April 6 in a south London hospital, three months shy of turning 71. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 and suffered a major heart attack in 2005. However, he recovered sufficiently to be able to return to the stage in 2009 and apparently was in discussion about future theatrical projects.
By Chris Marsden, 4 March 2010
Former Labour Party leader Michael Foot died yesterday. His political legacy is best measured by the fact that the working class, in a political sense, is far weaker today than it was at the time of his birth 96 years ago.
By Patrick Martin, 22 February 2010
Alexander Haig was a trailblazer for a modern reactionary type, the political general, who crosses over from the uniformed military to high political office. Haig played a central role during two critical periods for American imperialism: as Nixon’s White House chief of staff in 1973-74, and Reagan’s secretary of state in 1981-82.
An assessment of A People’s History of the United States
By Tom Eley, 15 February 2010
Howard Zinn died on January 28 at the age of 87. Any serious evaluation of Zinn requires consideration be given his book, A People’s History of the United States.
By Helen Halyard, 12 February 2010
Paula Schuman, a former member of the Workers League (forerunner to the Socialist Equality Party) and specialist in infectious diseases and AIDS, died on January 10, 2010 at her home in Davenport, Iowa.
By James Brookfield, 2 February 2010
American author J.D. Salinger, best known for his 1951 classic The Catcher in the Rye, died Wednesday, January 27. He was 91.
By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 19 January 2010
Jyoti Basu, the reputed elder statesman of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and for 23 years the Chief Minister of West Bengal, died Sunday. His death has occasioned numerous gushing tributes from India’s political establishment, beginning with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi.
By Vladimir Volkov and Andrea Peters, 18 January 2010
One month ago, Egor Gaidar, a leading figure in the restoration of capitalism in Russia, died of a heart attack. The policies he implemented had a disastrous impact on the country and resulted in an immense growth in social inequality.
By David Walsh, 16 January 2010
French film director Eric Rohmer died January 11 in Paris, at the age of 89. Rohmer’s work was most prominent in the 1970s and 1980s, although he continued making films until 2007.
Protected Anne Frank from the Nazis
By Sybille Fuchs, 15 January 2010
Miep Gies, the last survivor of those who helped young Anne Frank in the Netherlands during World War II, died on Sunday at the age of 100.
By C. W. Rogers, 7 January 2010
Roy DeCarava, one of the world’s most renowned photographers, died in October six weeks shy of his 90th birthday. DeCarava is perhaps best known for his portraits of jazz musicians and everyday life in Harlem.
By Hiram Lee, 28 December 2009
Jennifer Jones, the talented actress who appeared in such films as Cluny Brown, Duel in the Sun and Madame Bovary, died December 17 at the age of 90.
By D. Lencho, 10 October 2009
Latin American music lost one of its greatest exponents with the death of Argentinean singer Mercedes Sosa last Sunday. The singer’s career, which spanned over five decades, came to fruition during one of the most critical periods in the continent’s history.
A tool of French imperialism in Africa
By Olivier Laurent, 5 September 2009
Gabonese President Omar Bongo died on June 7 after spending nearly 42 years in power defending French imperialism's interests in sub-Saharan Africa.
By John Chan, 3 September 2009
Behind the rhetoric about “democracy” and “peace”, Kim represented the interests of sections of the Korean bourgeoisie who had been marginalised under the US-backed military dictatorship.
By Barry Grey, 27 August 2009
The death of Massachusetts Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy on Tuesday marks the end of the Kennedy family’s role as a major force in American politics.
By Tony Cornwell, 19 August 2009
As well as being a beautiful player who never sacrificed musical ideas for flashy displays of technique, Les Paul was responsible for key advances in musical recording techniques.
By David Walsh, 7 August 2009
Schulberg was a member of the Communist Party in the late 1930s and subsequently “named names” before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in May 1951. To the end of his life he defended his informing, and that experience largely defines his legacy.
By David Walsh, 20 July 2009
Walter Cronkite, a fixture in a great many American homes as anchorman of the CBS evening news from 1962 to 1981, died in New York City July 17 at the age of 92.
Robert S. McNamara, 1916-2009
By Patrick Martin, 8 July 2009
Robert S. McNamara, one of the principal architects of the US war in Vietnam, died Monday morning at the age of 93.
By David Walsh, 3 July 2009
Malden first made his name in the New York theater as part of a generally left-wing group of writers, directors and performers and later enjoyed a long career in Hollywood extending from the postwar years to the early 1970s.
30 June 2009
A selection or recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on “Michael Jackson’s death.”
By David Walsh, 27 June 2009
One greets the death of singer Michael Jackson at the age of 50 with genuine sadness, but without extraordinary surprise. Given the entire set of circumstances, it was not clear how his saga might end happily. Individuals who enjoy immense celebrity and success in America so often pay a terrible price.
By Paul Bond, 25 April 2009
The death of Franklin Rosemont, American surrealist and populariser of the work of French poet André Breton, deserves some notice.
By Paul Bond, 30 March 2009
British writer Edward Upward, who died last month, aged 105, was a remarkable figure.
By David Walsh, 29 January 2009
A major figure in American literature for the past half-century (his first full-length novel appeared in 1959), John Updike published more than 60 works—novels, collections of short stories, volumes of essays, art criticism and more.