Pete Seeger,the banjo-picking troubadour who sang for migrant workers, college students and star-struck presidents in a career that introduced generations of Americans to their folk music heritage, has died at age 94.
With his lanky frame, use-worn banjo and full white beard, Seeger was an iconic figure in folk music who outlived his peers. He performed with the great minstrel Woody Guthrie in his younger days and wrote or co-wrote "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." He lent his voice against Hitler and nuclear power. A cheerful warrior, he typically delivered his broadsides with an affable air and his fingers poised over the strings of his banjo.
"The most important job I did was go from college to college to college to college, one after the other, usually small ones," he said in 2006. " ... And I showed the kids there's a lot of great music in this country they never played on the radio."
Seeger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 as an early influence. Ten years later, Bruce Springsteen honored him with "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions," a rollicking reinterpretation of songs sung by Seeger. While pleased with the album, Seeger said he wished it was "more serious."
A 2009 concert at Madison Square Garden to mark Seeger's 90th birthday featured Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder and Emmylou Harris among the performers.
Austrian-born actor Maximilian Schell, a fugitive from Adolf Hitler who became a Hollywood favorite and won an Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in "Judgment at Nuremberg," has died. He was 83.
Jose Emilio Pacheco, widely regarded as one of Mexico's foremost poets and short story writers, has died at age 74.
The poet, novelist, journalist, essayist and literary critic came to be seen as a leading representative of the generation of Mexican writers that came of age in the late 1950s and 1960s.
He was best known for bittersweet accounts of adolescents growing up in a less crowded, but corrupt and unjust Mexico of the 1940s and '50s. He was particularly noted for the 1981 novel "Las Batallas en el Desierto," or "Battles in the Desert," a story of boy's infatuation with the mother of one of his classmates.
Luis Aragones, the former soccer coach who shaped the rise of Spain's national team from a perennial underachiever to global powerhouse with a long-awaited title at the 2008 European Championship, has died. He was 75.
Anna Gordy Gaye, who was married to musical great Marvin Gaye and whose brother founded Motown Records, has died, her family said. She was 92.
Hungarian filmmaker Miklos Jancso, winner of the best director award at the 1972 Cannes film festival, has died. He was 92.
Known for his long shots and for depicting the passage of time in his historical epics merely by costume changes, Jancso won his Cannes award for "Red Psalm," about a 19th-century peasant revolt.
Roger Clay Drollinger, sentenced to four life sentences for a 1977 western Indiana home invasion that left three teenage brothers and their step-brother dead, died in his cell Wednesday, a prison spokesman said. He was 61.
Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak has died after a 12-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 68.
Sherak spent 17 years at 20th Century Fox, where he became the domestic film group chairman and worked on such blockbusters as "Die Hard" and "Independence Day."
Harry Gamble, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles as well as Lafayette, Penn and New Jersey high school teams before retiring as the Eagles' president, has died at 83.
Morris "Morrie" Turner, the creator of the "Wee Pals" comic strip and the first African American cartoonist to be syndicated nationally, has died. He was 90.
Turner developed the humorous, ethnically diverse comic strip about a group of buddies, "Wee Pals," in 1965 at the urging of his mentor, Charles Schulz.
When it came to portraying the rugged western outdoorsman who helped transform a pack of filtered cigarettes into the world's most popular brand, Marlboro Man Eric Lawson was the real deal.
Ruggedly handsome, the actor could ride a horse through the wide-open spaces of the Southwest, from Texas to Colorado to Arizona or wherever else the Phillip Morris tobacco company sent him to light up while representing a true American icon, the cowboy. And he really did smoke Marlboro cigarettes, as many as three packs a day.
Lawson was still smoking in 2006 when he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He died of the disease at his home in San Luis Obispo on Jan. 10. He was 72.
Tom Gola, the Hall of Famer who led La Salle to the 1954 NCAA title, still holds the Division I record for career rebounds and helped the Philadelphia Warriors win the 1956 NBA championship, has died. He was 81.
A Philadelphia folk hero whose legions of fans screamed "Go, Gola, Go!" whenever he touched the ball, was one of only two players to win an NIT, NCAA and NBA championships.
Helga Sandburg Crile, an author and the youngest of three daughters of poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg, has died at her home near Cleveland. She was 95.