Categotry Archives: Military

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Lord Blake

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Categories: Education, Military, Politicians, Writers/Editors

Lord Robert Norman William Blake, an historian, educator and biographer, died on Sept. 20. Cause of death was not released. He was 86.
Blake graduated from Magdalen College in Oxford. He intended to become a lawyer when World War II began. Instead, Blake served with the 124th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, for two years before he was captured in north Africa. After spending 15 months as a prisoner of war, Blake escaped and joined the British intelligence service, MI6.
Once the war ended, Blake moved back to England to teach. He spent 21 years at Oxford University’s Christ Church College, working as a politics professor, dean and pro-vice-chancellor. His Ford Lectures were collected into the textbook, “The Conservative Party, From Peel to John Major,” which was taught to a generation of students.
Blake also took on various editorial projects. He edited the manuscripts, “The Private Papers of Douglas Haig” and “The Unknown Prime Minister,” and spent a decade as the joint editor of Oxford University Press’ Dictionary of National Biography. His greatest achievement, however, was in writing “Disraeli,” one of the definitive biographies of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, a Conservative leader and unprincipled rake.
In 1971, Robert was appointed to the House of Lords and became Lord Blake of Braydeston. He was also an unofficial constitutional adviser to the Queen.

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Donald O’Connor

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Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Military

doconnor.jpgDonald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor, an acrobatic dancer and Emmy award-winning actor who was best known for his role in “Singin’ in the Rain,” died on Sept. 27 from heart failure. He was 78.
Born in Chicago to a vaudeville family, O’Connor first appeared in movies as a child, starring as Huckleberry Finn in “Tom Sawyer — Detective.” At 18, he was drafted into the Army, and spent World War II performing in 3,000 shows for the troops.
Once the war ended, O’Connor became one of the top Hollywood stars of the 1940s and 1950s. He made a name for himself in musical comedies like “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything Goes” and “Walking My Baby Back Home.” His dance routine in the 1952 hit, “Singin’ in the Rain,” had him tumbling on the floor, running up walls and doing back flips while singing the song, “Make ’em Laugh.” O’Connor won a Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance.
In 1949, he starred in “Francis, The Talking Mule,” a film about an Army private who speaks, Dr. Doolittle-fashion, with a mule. It was such a hit that five sequels followed. As one of the rotating hosts of “The Colgate Comedy Hour,” O’Connor won an Emmy in 1952 for Outstanding Personality. That same year, he hosted the Academy Awards.
O’Connor continued acting well into his 70s, making memorable appearances in the films, “Toys” and “Out to Sea.” His family, who was by his side when he died, said his last words were: “I’d like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get.”

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Arthur Kinoy

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Categories: Education, Law, Military

akinoy.jpgArthur Kinoy, a law professor and veteran civil rights lawyer, died on Sept. 19 of a heart attack. He was 82.
Kinoy graduated from Harvard University and served in the U.S. Army in north Africa and Italy during World War II. When he returned to the states, he received his law degree from Columbia University and set out to establish voting privileges, integration and civil rights for African-Americans.
In 1965, Kinoy was investigated by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee for representing the International Workers Order and the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers Union of America, both of which the government considered to be fronts for the Communist Party. When he was called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Kinoy caused such a ruckus that he was ejected from the hearing room and convicted of disorderly conduct. Three years later, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the conviction.
Known as “The People’s Lawyer,” Kinoy worked on the appeal of the 1950s espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and on the trial of the Chicago Seven, a group of anti-war activists who were charged with conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention. He also co-founded the Center for Constitutional Rights, an organization dedicated to using the law to advance human rights and fight oppression.
In 1972, Kinoy argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that President Richard Nixon’s use of wiretaps was a violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. He won that case and four others before the highest court in the land.
For more than a quarter of a century, Kinoy taught at Rutgers University Law School. An autographed copy of his memoirs, “Rights on Trial: The Odyssey of a People’s Lawyer,” is available in the Rutgers Law Library.

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Gordon Mitchell

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Categories: Actors, Education, Hollywood, Military

Gordon Mitchell, a bodybuilder who appeared in more than 200 B-movies, died on Sept. 20 from a heart attack. He was 80.
Born Charles Pendleton, Mitchell served in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II, taking part in the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Buchenwald. After he returned to the states, he became a high school teacher and bodybuilder.
His handsome physique caught the eye of actress Mae West, who hired him to work on her all-male chorus line, the Mae West Revue. That job opened the doors to roles in films like “Man With the Golden Arm” and “The Ten Commandments.”
In 1961, Mitchell moved to Italy to star in “Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops.” Because of his muscular form, he spent the next 30 years appearing in Italian and American sword-and-sandal films, mythic features, spaghetti westerns and martial arts movies.

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Louis Goodman

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Categories: Military

Louis Goodman, a World War I veteran, died on Sept. 16 of cancer. He was 106.
Born in Ukraine, Goodman’s family immigrated to the United States to escape poverty and religious persecution. He became a citizen after he was drafted into the Army to serve as a medic in France during World War I.
When he returned to America, Goodman became a linotype operator for the Philadelphia Ledger. He remained there until the paper folded during World War II, then moved to Atlanta to run a variety store until his retirement in 1967.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, less than 200 World War I veterans are still living.

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