Categotry Archives: Education


Norman Rose


Categories: Actors, Education, Hollywood, Media

Norman Rose, a veteran actor whose velvety baritone was often called “the Voice of God,” died on Nov. 12 of pneumonia. He was 87.

The Philadelphia native attended George Washington University before moving to the Big Apple in the 1940s. Rose honed his craft at the Actor’s Studio Drama School, then landed parts in plays on- and off-Broadway. During World War II, he was recruited by the Office of War Information to work as a radio newscaster.

In 1948, Rose co-founded New Stages, an off-Broadway repertory company, with producer David Heilweil. New Stages presented the American debut of Jean-Paul Sartre’s best-known play, “The Respectful Prostitute,” prior to its run on Broadway.

After the war, Rose lent his distinctive voice to radio programs such as “Dimension X,” “The Martian Chronicles” and “CBS Radio Mystery Theater.” He narrated the short film “Harold and the Purple Crayon” in 1959, and provided several of the voices on the CBS cartoon “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales.” From 1969 to 1974, Rose stepped in front of the camera to portray the same character — psychiatrist Dr. Marcus Polk — on two ABC soap operas (“One Life to Live” and “All My Children”).

A former drama instructor at The Juilliard School, Rose lived up to his reputation in 1975 when he provided the voice of God in the Woody Allen film “Love and Death.” The prolific performer later narrated the 70th anniversary broadcast of the Academy Awards and recorded numerous books for the blind, but he was most famous for giving a voice to Juan Valdez, the long-time advertising spokesman for Colombian coffee.


Anthony Hecht

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Categories: Education, Military, Writers/Editors

ahecht.jpgAnthony Hecht, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and educator, died on Oct. 20 after suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 81.
The native New Yorker was an average student, but he found a passion for poetry while attending Bard College. Despite this literary yearning, Hecht left school in his sophomore year to serve with the Army’s 97th Infantry Division during World War II. He saw combat in France, Germany and Czechoslovakia and witnessed the liberation of the Flossenburg concentration camp near the Czech-German border.
Upon his return to the states, Hecht studied at Kenyon College in Ohio and at Columbia University. He invented the double dactyl, a humorous poetic form that begins with two three-syllable nonsense words (“Higgledy, piggledy”), in the 1950s then embarked on a teaching career at the University of Rochester in New York.
In between classes, Hecht penned dark and precise poetry that defied modern convention. He published nine poetry books, including the 1968 collection “The Hard Hours,” which won the Pulitzer Prize. In his later years, Hecht wrote three books of essays, translated Aeschylus’s “Seven Against Thebes” and edited “The Essential Herbert” and “Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls.”
Hecht moved to Washington D.C. in 1982 to work as a poetry consultant to the Library of Congress. After his two-year term expired, he taught at Georgetown University until his retirement in 1993. A chancellor emeritus of the Academy of American Poets, Hecht also won the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize and the Los Angeles Book Prize.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR


John Mack


Categories: Education, Medicine, Scientists, Writers/Editors

jmack.jpgDr. John Edward Mack, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a leading authority on alien abductions, died on Sept. 27. He was 74.
The New York native earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a medical degree from Harvard University. Mack spent two years in the U.S. Air Force after interning at Massachusetts General Hospital and doing his residency at Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He later graduated from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and became a certified practitioner of child and adult psychoanalysis.
Mack joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1964 and was named a full professor of psychiatry eight years later. He started the psych unit at Cambridge Hospital, then founded the Center for Psychology and Social Change; the center was later renamed the John E. Mack Institute, in his honor. He also wrote or collaborated on 11 books, including “A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence,” which won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for biography.
In the final years of his life, Mack earned a worldwide reputation for studying people who claimed to have been kidnapped by aliens. With a grant from Laurance Rockefeller, Mack became the founding director of the now-defunct Program for Extraordinary Experience Research, a project that examined how alien abductions affected people’s lives.
Although his work was criticized in scientific and media circles, Mack found researching abductees a fascinating endeavor. After a decade of study and about 200 interviews with “experiencers,” he marveled at the consistency of their stories and noted that such otherworldly encounters often resulted in a heightened sense of spirituality and environmentalism. Mack penned two books on the subject: “Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens” and “Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters.” His controversial work served as the subject of the 2003 documentary “Touched.”
Mack was attending the T.E. Lawrence Society Symposium in Oxford, England, when he was struck by a car while walking across a street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR
Listen to a Short Interview From the Film “Touched”


Derek Ali


Categories: Education, Media, Writers/Editors

dali.jpgDerek Ali, a veteran reporter for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and a part-time disc jockey, was murdered on Sept. 5. He was 47.
After DJ’ing for a private party at the Lakeridge Community Center, Ali unplugged his equipment and began to pack it into his car. At the same time, a group of teens who had been denied entry to the event became unruly. In anger, one opened fire on the building.
Ali heard the shooting and pushed a female bystander out of harm’s way. He was shot in the chest, however, and died at the scene. On Friday, a 16-year-old boy was charged with Ali’s murder.
The Philadelphia native graduated from Glassboro State College in New Jersey. He moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1984 after landing a job as an Action Line Reporter with the Dayton Daily News. Ali later worked as a regional reporter and as an adjunct adviser to the Tiger Times, a student newspaper at the Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton.
A past president of the Dayton Association of Black Journalists, Ali was named a YMCA Black Achiever in 1999. At the time of his death, he was planning a trip for area youths to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
Complete Coverage From the Dayton Daily News
[Update – Aug. 27, 2005: A judge denied a 17-year-old boy’s last-minute bid to withdraw a guilty plea and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Dayton Daily News reporter Derek Ali. Elijah Griffin, who was 16 at the time of the incident, was among a group of youths turned away from a party at the Lakeridge Community Center, where Ali was moonlighting as a DJ. Griffin later returned with a gun and started shooting. The teen had previously pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter with a firearm and single counts of having a weapon under restriction from a previous juvenile case and shooting into a habitation, both charges also with firearm specifications.]


David Raksin


Categories: Education, Hollywood, Media, Musicians

draksin.jpgDavid Raksin, the Oscar-nominated composer who wrote the theme to the 1944 film “Laura,” died on Aug. 9 of heart failure. He was 92.
The Philadelphia native was raised to have an appreciation of music. His father ran a music store, conducted an orchestra at a silent movie house and occasionally served as a substitute reed player for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Raksin learned to play several instruments as a child and later attended the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of classes, he moonlighted as a jazz clarinetist and arranger.
Raksin moved to Hollywood in 1935 and launched what would become a six-decade career composing soundtracks for the film industry. He worked with a few temperamental directors — both Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock fired him — and developed scores for more than 100 movies, including “The Bad and the Beautiful,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Father of the Bride,” “Force of Evil” and “Al Capone.” He also received two Academy Award nominations, for “Forever Amber” and “Separate Tables.”
But Raksin was best known for composing the mournful theme to “Laura.” One of the most recorded songs in history, it was inspired by a letter Raksin received from his wife asking for a divorce. Cole Porter once remarked that “Laura” was a song he wished he had written.
Raksin’s greatest challenge, however, came during the McCarthy era, when he was forced to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. After admitting he was a former member of the Communist party and naming 11 Communist sympathizers (all of whom were either dead or previously identified), Raksin was blacklisted for six years.
Raksin also taught film composition at the University of Southern California from 1958 to 2003, and hosted “The Subject Is Film Music” radio show on NPR. A former president of the Composers & Lyricist Guild of America, he was the first film composer invited to establish a collection of his manuscripts in the music division of the Library of Congress. In 1992, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awarded Raksin the Golden Soundtrack Award for a lifetime of achievement in film and television music.
Theme from "Laura" Download “Laura”

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