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January 13, 2018

Legendary college football broadcaster Keith Jackson died Friday evening, ESPN reported Saturday. He was 89.

Before he retired in 2006, Jackson spent five decades calling games, including the original Monday Night Football game in 1970. "For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football," said Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger. "When you heard his voice, you knew it was a big game. Keith was a true gentleman and memorable presence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Turi Ann, and his family."

Jackson's expressions — like "whoa, Nellie" and "Big Uglies," and stadium nicknames like "The Granddaddy of Them All" for the Rose Bowl — became part of fans' lexicon during his years on air, and he was the first sportscaster to be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1999.

In addition to football, Jackson broadcast NBA games, the World Series, and the Olympics, among other sports. He is survived by his wife, three children, and three grandchildren. Bonnie Kristian

December 30, 2017

Criminal justice reform advocate Erica Garner died Saturday, leaving behind two young children. She was 27.

Garner became a civil rights activist following the 2014 killing of her father, Eric Garner, at the hands of New York City police officers. His chokehold death was caught on camera, and his desperate plea of "I can't breathe" became a rallying cry against police brutality.

Erica Garner suffered two heart attacks this fall, the second of which left her in a medically induced coma on Christmas Eve. Her family confirmed her death in a series of posts on her Twitter account:

"She was a warrior. She was a fighter, and we didn't pull the plug on her," said Erica's mother, Esaw Snipes. "She left on her own terms."

The officer responsible for Eric Garner's death was never indicted, though the death was ruled a homicide and the Garner family won a civil settlement. Read The Week's Sarah Lustbader on six reforms that could help prevent such tragedies in the future. Bonnie Kristian

December 28, 2017
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Actress and singer Rose Marie, who starred in The Dick Van Dyke Show and appeared on The Hollywood Squares for 14 years, died Thursday at her home in California. She was 94.

Born Rose Marie Mazetta on Aug. 15, 1923, she started her career in acting and singing at age three, performing on stage at New York's Mecca Theater. She was dubbed "Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder," and appeared on the NBC Radio Network. In the 1930s, Marie toured in vaudeville, and in the 1940s, performed in nightclubs and theaters, and was co-headliner on opening night of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.

Marie played Sally Rogers on all five seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and was nominated for an Emmy in 1963, 1964, and 1966. "We were a tight-knit, hard-working crew," she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2004. "I couldn't wait to get to the set each day." She appeared in several television shows and movies, and was active in animal welfare issues. A documentary on her life, Wait for Your Laugh, premiered in November. She is survived by her daughter, Georgiana. Catherine Garcia

December 11, 2017
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Journalist Simeon Booker, who covered the civil rights movement for Ebony and Jet magazines and was the first full-time black reporter at The Washington Post, died Sunday in Maryland. He was 99.

His wife, Carol Booker, said he was recently hospitalized with pneumonia. Through his articles, people across the country were able to follow along with the civil rights movement, including the Montgomery bus boycott and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. Booker was with 14-year-old Emmett Till's mother when his mutilated body was returned from the Deep South to Chicago, and he published the photos from his funeral. It was a dangerous time to report on the story, he told The New York Times; one day, he went to Till's great uncle's house "and men in a car with guns forced us to stop." Booker, who often disguised himself as a minister or wore overalls to look like a sharecropper, also once had to hide in the back of a hearse to escape a mob.

When he joined the Post in the early 1950s, it wasn't easy, he said; Booker didn't fit in with his colleagues and "if I went out to a holdup, they thought I was one of the damn holdup men," he told the Post. "I couldn't get any cooperation." He departed for Jet and Ebony in 1954, eventually becoming the Washington bureau chief, but at the time was largely left out of news events because of his race. He ultimately had a long and successful career, covering 10 presidents, before he finally retired around his 90th birthday. He is survived by three children and several grandchildren. Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2017
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John B. Anderson was a 10-term Republican congressman from Illinois, decorated World War II veteran, lawyer, and skilled orator, but he will be remembered most for his third-party presidential run in 1980, when his National Unity ticket earned 7 percent of the vote and helped deliver a landslide for Ronald Reagan. Anderson died Sunday at his home in Washington, daughter Diane Anderson confirmed Monday. He was 95.

Anderson, born in 1922 to Swedish immigrants, won an open House seat in 1960, entering Congress as a conservative Republican opposed to President John F. Kennedy's agenda. By the end of the decade, he was known as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, and he left the Republican Party for good in 1980 after quitting the GOP primaries to run as an independent. His campaign, and erudite speeches, attracted what President Jimmy Carter's campaign dismissed as the Northeastern liberal "wine and cheese set." Paul Newman offered to make campaign ads for Anderson and TV producer Norman Lear promoted his campaign in newspaper ads.

On Election Day 1980, Anderson's 5.7 million votes came more from Carter than Reagan. "He didn't have any real hope of winning," David Gillespie, an expert on third-party candidates, tells the Los Angeles Times. "I think what he wanted to do was provide an alternative to more progressive Republicans, as the party of Lincoln became the party of Reagan that particular year, and also to provide an alternative to Democrats." Anderson never ran for office again, returning to practicing law, teaching at universities, and writing books and editorials. He is survived by his wife, Keke; a son, John Jr.; daughters Eleanora, Diane, Karen, and Susan; and 11 grandchildren. Peter Weber

November 30, 2017
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Jim Nabors, the actor best known for playing TV's Gomer Pyle, died at his home in Honolulu on Thursday. He was 87.

Nabors' husband, Stan Cadwallader, confirmed his death to The Associated Press. "Everybody knows he was a wonderful man," he said. "And that's all we can say about him. He's going to be dearly missed." Nabors became famous in the 1960s on The Andy Griffith Show, and then as the star of the successful spinoff Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. He also recorded 28 albums, performed often in Las Vegas, and appeared in the films The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Stroker Ace. Cadwallader was Nabors' longtime partner, and they married in 2013. Catherine Garcia

November 21, 2017
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The Partridge Family star and former teen heartthrob David Cassidy died from organ failure Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 67.

Cassidy's family confirmed his death to People magazine, saying he "died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long." He was hospitalized last week with liver and kidney failure, and had been in the intensive care unit.

Cassidy hit it big starring in The Partridge Family, alongside his stepmother, Shirley Jones. A singer, he toured the world in his early 20s, but decided to quit and focus on songwriting and recording. Cassidy publicly shared his struggles with alcohol, and in February announced he had dementia. He is survived by Jones; son Beau Cassidy; daughter Katie Cassidy; brothers Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan Cassidy; and several nieces and nephews. Catherine Garcia

November 20, 2017
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Actress and singer Della Reese, star of the television series Touched by an Angel, has died. She was 86.

Reese's husband, Franklin Lett, said in a statement that Reese died at her home in California "surrounded by love." Born in Detroit, Reese started singing in church when she was 6 years old, and at 12, gospel legend Mahalia Jackson asked her to go on tour with her. Reese had several hits, including "Don't You Know," and one year she appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 18 times, NPR reports.

Reese also became the first black woman to fill in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, and the first black woman to host her own syndicated variety series, Della, which ran from 1969 to 1970. In addition to being an actor and singer, Reese was an ordained minister and founder of the Understanding Principles for Better Living Church. The church grew over time, but she started out holding services in her living room for just eight members. Catherine Garcia

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