Obituaries, 19th-26th of July, 2012

Frank Pierson, Sally Ride, Alexander Cockburn, Miriam Ben-Porat, Jack Davis have passed away. May their souls rest in peace


Oscar winning screenwriter, producer and director Frank Pierson was one of the people who passed away this week, he was aged 87. In total, Pierson wrote ten major Hollywood movies, but he is most well-known for “Cool Hand Luke,” “Cat Ballou” and “Dog Day Afternoon” for which he won the Academy Award for best original screenplay. Born in Chappaqua, New York, Pierson served in the army during World War Two before gaining a degree from Harvard University. After working for Time Magazine, he followed his dream of moving to Hollywood to write movies, though initially worked on the TV show “Have Gun – Will Travel.” He directed his first movie, “The Looking Glass War” in 1969 and his last, “King of the Gypsies” nine years later. He is survived by his third wife and two children from his first marriage.

Frank Pierson: born May 12th 1925; died July 22nd 2012


America’s first female astronaut Sally Ride has lost her battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 61. She was sent to space exactly two decades after the Russians sent their first woman to the stars, aboard the Challenger space shuttle in 1983. Being only 32 at the time, Ride also entered the record books as the youngest ever astronaut to venture into space. A year later, she accompanied America’s second woman on the trip and her third mission was cancelled following the Challenger’s explosion in 1986. She was born in Los Angles and as a youngster dreamt of becoming a tennis player, before gaining a degree in astrophysics in 1978. She is survived by her partner, mother and sister.


Sally Ride: born May 26th 1951; died July 23rd  2012 

One of the people who passed away this week was journalist Alexander Cockburn, he was 71. Considered a maverick writer, with a career spanning over five decades, Cockburn was a highly respected member of his profession which saw him work for the Nation, the Village Voice and co-found the political newsletter, Counterpunch. He was born in Scotland before moving to Ireland in 1947. From 1968 to 1973 Cockburn was married to fellow writer Emma Tennant with whom he had a daughter who survives him along with his two brothers.


Alexander Cockburn: born June 6th 1941, died July 21st 2012

The first female judge of Israel’s Supreme Court, Miriam Ben-Porat, has died aged 94. She was also the first woman to achieve the position of state comptroller, the government’s watchdog. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called her a trailblazer, before going on to state that she “sanctified the values of integrity and transparency.” In 1991 she was awarded the Israel Prize “for her special contribution to society and the state.” She was born in Vitebsk, Russia and emigrated to Palestine aged 18. She is survived by her daughter, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren.


Miriam Ben-Porat: born April 26th 1918, died July 26th 2012


US Athlete Jack Davis was another one of the people who passed away this week, he was 81. Davis won silver medals at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games and the 1956 Melbourne Games in the 110 meter hurdle, both times missing out on the gold by a whisker. Also in 1956 he set a world record of 13.4 seconds. He was born in Amarillo, Texas and served in the Navy before turning to athletics. Davis was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004. He is survived by his second wife, two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.


Jack Davis: born September 11th 1930, died July 20th 2012








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