Latest Obituaries headlines

Robert I. Sperber, 87, innovative leader of Brookline schools

In later years, Dr. Sperber was a special adviser to the president of Boston University.

Zhou Youguang, 111; created system of written Chinese

Mr. Zhou’s Pinyin vastly increased literacy throughout the country and eased the classroom agonies of foreigners studying Chinese.

Peter Nowell, 88; revolutionized cancer research by accident

Dr. Nowell helped uncover the first clear sign of a genetic cause of cancer in the simple process of cleaning slides bearing leukemic cells.

Steven McDonald, 59, gun victim and peace advocate

Detective McDonald, paralyzed by a teenage shooter’s bullet, became an international voice for peace.

Jeremy Stone, 81; worked to advance arms control

Mr. Stone cajoled scientists and foreign-policy experts about the wisdom of limiting missile defense systems.

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Roy Innis, 82; led Congress of Racial Equality and battled Al Sharpton

Mr. Innis tussled with other activists during a decadeslong tenure at the helm of the Congress of Racial Equality.

Tommy Allsup, 85; guitarist’s life turned on a coin flip

Mr. Allsup became a renowned backup player for Bob Wills, Kenny Rogers, and hundreds of other entertainers.

Mr. Chamberlain joined his ex-wife, Lindy, when she released a book on the plight of their missing daughter.

Michael Chamberlain, 72, father of baby killed by dingo

Mr. Chamberlain waged a decades-long battle to prove that, in fact, the dingo ate his baby.

Roman Herzog, 82, German president famed for ‘malaise’ speech

Mr. Herzog called for “confidence and joie de vivre” during a time of economic woes in Germany.

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 29, 2009 shows veteran British journalist Clare Hollingworth speaking to AFP in Hong Kong. Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth, who broke the news that World War II had started, died on January 10, 2017 at the age of 105. / AFP PHOTO / MIKE CLARKEMIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images

Clare Hollingworth, 105, daring war reporter for decades

Ms. Hollingworth, the undisputed doyenne of war correspondents, broke news that Germany was ready to invade Poland in 1939.

Chip Harkness.

Chip Harkness, 99, last living founder of The Architects Collaborative

“We were on a mission to make a better world after the war,” Mr. Harkness told the Globe in 2002.

Willie Evans flipped through a scrapbook in 2008.

Willie Evans, 79, was barred from a bowl game because he was black

Mr. Evans’s teammates elected to boycott the Tangerine Bowl, instead of playing in the game.

Mr. Lilly’s clients included former President Carter and Tom Brokaw.

Bud Lilly, 91, fly-fishing legend, catch-and-release pioneer

Mr. Lilly, whose clients included former President Carter and Tom Brokaw, also was an ambassador for his home state of Montana.

Barbara Scannell.

Barbara Scannell, 89, famously forgave drunk driver who left son in coma

Mrs. Scannell hugged the driver who had injured her son, speaking words of kindness to put his mind at ease.

Mr. Rafsanjani was credited with seeking a less confrontational relationship with the United States and suggesting that “Death to America’’ slogans be dropped.

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 82, pragmatic Iranian leader

Mr. Rafsanjani navigated the opaque shoals of his country’s theocracy as one of its most enduring, wiliest, and wealthiest leaders.

Nat Hentoff in his New York apartment in 2009. The Roxbury raised Hentoff, known for his work at The Village Voice and for writing 35 books, died Saturday.

Nat Hentoff, a jazz critic, free speech advocate, and ‘Boston Boy’ memoirist, dies at 91

His was a life of improvisation, provocation, and dedication to free speech, rooted in a rebellious upbringing in Roxbury.

Mr. Weedon began honing his fund-raising skills for MIT in the 1950s and was a member of its corporation.

D. Reid Weedon Jr., 96; helped lead MIT, Museum of Science

As a consultant, Dr. Weedon kept tabs on how well American corporations were treating black workers in South Africa.

Mr. Puri at the premiere of “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

Om Puri, 66, Indian character actor

Mr. Puri worked in critically acclaimed films at home and abroad, collecting a slew of awards.

Sam Lovullo (center left), Willie Nelson, and the cast of “Hee Haw” accepted the Entertainer's Award during the 2007 TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, Calif.

Sam Lovullo, 88, producer and cocreator of ‘Hee Haw’

Mr. Lovullo’s son Torey formerly was the bench coach for the Red Sox.

Mr. Soares (right) met Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa in 1995.

Mario Soares, 92, Portugal’s former president

Mr. Soares helped steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military coup.

Tommie Ferguson was later the equipment manager for the Los Angeles Angels.

Tommie Ferguson, at 86; former bat boy was among last links to Boston Braves era

Mr. Ferguson was the bat boy when the team won the 1948 National League pennant, its final championship during its Boston era.

Dewey Daane, member of Fed Reserve, Vanderbilt professor

Before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 1974, Dr. Daane had 35 years of combined government service in the Federal Reserve System and at the US Treasury Department.

George Kosana; was sheriff in ‘Night of the Living Dead’

‘‘It seemed to fit his personality,’’ a longtime friend recalled, describing Mr. Kosana as ‘‘cantankerous, amusing, blustery and sincere.’’

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 23, 2007 shows French conductor Georges Pretre leading a rehearsal on the stage of the Opera Bastille in Paris. French conductor Georges Pretre, who spent half a century at the head of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, died on January 4, 2016 at the age of 92, the Vienna Philharmonic announced. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Georges Prêtre, 92, conductor known for improvisation

Mr. Prêtre led many of the world’s leading orchestras during a remarkable 70-year career that lasted through October.

Karel Husa, 95, composer, influential college teacher

Among Mr. Husa’s works for concert band are two compositions that have become staples, “Music for Prague 1968” (1969) and “Apotheosis of This Earth” (1970).

Anthony Atkinson, authority on income inequalities

“Tony was the founder and godfather of modern scholarship on the distribution of income and wealth and the historical study of inequality,” said economist Thomas Piketty.

epa05695832 (FILE) A file dated 26 November 2010 shows British art historian, critic, author and painter John Berger posing for a photo during the Project'Images 2010 Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. British art critic John Berger died at the age of 90 on 02 January 2017. EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

John Berger, 90, British critic, novelist, and screenwriter

Mr. Berger was a public intellectual who became a countercultural celebrity in 1970s Britain.

Sister Frances Carr, with Brother Arnold Hadd, sang with the Boston Camerata during a rehearsal  in New York.

Sister Frances Carr, at 89; one of last Shakers

Sister Carr remained hopeful to the end that her religious society would grow, and she bristled when those in the village were described as the “last” Shakers.

Joyce Appleby, historian of capitalism, revolution

Dr. Appleby was part of a generation of historians who examined the ideologies and beliefs that animated the American Revolution.

Angus Jamerson, 89, a WWII Marine

‘‘He started out wanting to serve and ended up making a historical difference,’’ his wife said. ‘‘But he had no idea of the significance of it at all.’’

Mr. Christopher (top right, alongside Jamie Farr) played a soft-spoken chaplain on “M*A*S*H.’’ Other cast members included (clockwise from left) Loretta Swit, Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, Gary Burghoff, Harry Morgan, and Larry Linville.

William Christopher, 84; played Father Mulcahy on ‘M*A*S*H’

Mr. Christopher “became TV’s quintessential padre,” said “M*A*S*H” co-star Loretta Swit.

Archbishop Monsignor Hilarion Capucci (right) met with an Italian hostage freed by the Iraqis in 1990.

Hilarion Capucci, 94, archbishop convicted of smuggling arms

Monsignor Capucci, a Greek Melkite Catholic archbishop in Jerusalem, was convicted of using his diplomatic status to smuggle arms to Palestinians.

Mr. Vuarnet helped pioneer the tuck position and was the first skier to win an Olympic gold on metal skis.

Jean Vuarnet, 83, skier who lost family to doomsday cult

Mr. Vuarnet, an Olympic champion, helped pioneer the aerodynamic tuck position for downhill racers.

The Rev. Anthony Kuzniewski.

Rev. Anthony J. Kuzniewski, 71, Holy Cross historian and chaplain to sports teams

“Being a chaplain is always a wonderful kind of gift,” said the man known at the College of Holy Cross as Father K.

Allan Williams also played a role in the Beatles’ early history as the owner of the iconic Jacaranda pub in Liverpool.

Allan Williams, Beatles’ first manager; at 86

Mr. Williams played a crucial role in the group’s transformation from a mediocre local dance band to hard-rocking ensemble.

Walter E. Mattson, 84, former New York Times president and advocate of Globe purchase

Mr. Mattson, a Northeastern graduate who also worked at The Boston Herald Traveler, helped transform the Times.

Mr. Threadgold played in and officiated NCAA hockey championship games.

Giles Threadgold, 92, referee known for his knowledge, personality

Mr. Threadgold, also a pesky winger on Boston College’s 1949 NCAA champion hockey team, had a flair for showmanship.

Mr. Harris had a recurring role in the ‘‘Everybody Hates Chris’’ sitcom.

Ricky Harris, 54, comedian, actor in TV, films

Mr. Harris, a friend of Snoop Dogg, also voiced several characters that appeared in hip-hop albums.

Mr. Wong spent two years painting the illustrations that would inform every aspect of “Bambi.”

Tyrus Wong, 106, ‘Bambi’ artist thwarted by bias

Because of the marginalization to which Asian-Americans were long subject, Mr. Wong passed much of his career unknown to the general public.

Mr. Tyson led antipoverty programs from inside and outside government in New York City and Newark, N.J. He was also the father of noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Cyril D. Tyson, 89, poverty fighter

Mr. Tyson led antipoverty programs from inside and outside government in New York City and Newark, N.J., in the 1960s.

Ms. Tarbuck appeared in dozens of prime-time television series, including ‘‘American Horror Story: Asylum,’’ ‘‘Dallas,’’ and ‘‘Mad Men.’’

Barbara Tarbuck, 74, of ‘General Hospital’

Ms. Tarbuck also played Mother Superior Claudia on “American Horror Story: Asylum.”

Mr. Kuebler won the 1950 Tour de France contest.

Ferdy Kuebler, 97, Tour de France champion

Mr. Kuebler came back from injury and the interruption of World War II to win the 1950 race.

George S. Irving, 94, Tony-winning actor

Mr. Irving, a Springfield native, was in the Broadway casts of prominent musicals, including “Oklahoma!”

Alphonse Mouzon, 68, jazz and fusion drummer

Mr. Mouzon combined volcanic intensity with a brisk attunement to dynamic flow.

Mr. Hulseman invented the cup for family picnics, only to see it embraced as the go-to beverage holder at college keg parties and football tailgates.

Robert Hulseman, 84, Red Solo Cup inventor

Mr. Hulseman invented the cup for family picnics, only to see it embraced as the go-to beverage holder at college keg parties and football tailgates.

Mr. Edwards’s teams won or shared 19 conference titles and played in 22 bowl games.

LaVell Edwards, 86; made BYU a football power

Mr. Edwards, 86, coached the Cougars for 29 seasons. He retired with a 257-101-3 record, the seventh-most wins in FBS history.

Dr. Frigoletto became Mass. General’s chief of obstetrics in 1993 after working at Brigham and Women’s.

Dr. Fredric Frigoletto Jr., 83, former chief of obstetrics at Mass. General

Dr. Frigoletto’s friendly demeanor and steadfast work ethic made him a sought-after physician in maternal and fetal medicine.

May 1988 / Josephy Turley, President of Gillette / Handout picture

Joseph Turley; Gillette president helped company expand overseas

Mr. Turley also helped ward off takeover threats from the likes of Coniston Partners and Ronald Perelman, chairman of the Revlon Group.