Obituaries, 20th-27th of September 2012

Andy Williams, Jerome Horwitz, Herbert Lom, Fred Begun & John R Silber Have passed away. May their souls rest in peace.

Silky smooth crooner, Andy Williams lost his fight with cancer and passed away this week aged 84. One of the most loved American singers of all time, he also starred in "The Andy Williams Show" throughout the 60's for which he won three Emmy Awards. His most famous hit, "Moon River" was also nominated for an Oscar having appeared in Audrey Hepburn's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Williams was born in Iowa on December 3rd 1927 and as a youngster took up singing with his three brothers. They would perform together for years to come, even heading to Hollywood where they provided backing vocals for Bing Crosby. Williams is survived by his second wife, three children, six grandchildren and two brothers.

Medical researcher Jerome Horwitz, the man who accidentally developed a highly potent anti-AIDS drug has passed away. He was 93. In 1970 at Detroit's Wayne State University Horwitz was forced to discard a drug, AZT that he had spent a decade working on after it failed in its tests to combat cancer, the purpose for which it was intended. Nearly 20 years later AZT was found to be the first ever drug to make progress against HIV. In 1987 it became the first of its kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Horwitz was born in Detroit on January 16th 1919. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

Actor Herbert Lom, most well-known for his role as Charles Dreyfus, the boss of Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther series has passed away at the age of 95. Born September 11th 1917 in the Czech capital Prague, Lom took philosophy at the city's University where he also discovered his love for acting. He immigrated to Britain before his country was invaded by Germany in 1939 and landed a job with the BBC. Later film roles included parts in "Spartacus," the lead in "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Ladykillers." Lom is survived by his daughter and two sons.

Musician Fred Begun who for nearly half a century was the head percussionist of the National Symphony Orchestra has passed away this week at the age of 84. According to Pulitzer-Prize winning classical music critic Paul Hume, Begun was a "virtuoso artist of rare caliber." Born in Brooklyn on August 30th 1928, he moved to Washington, graduated from Eastern High School and later studied under experts from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. After he retired from professional playing, Begun dedicated his time and talent to musicians with learning difficulties. He is survived by his partner, two daughters, a grandson and a brother.

Former president of Boston University, John R Silberpassed away this week. He was 86. Silber, who was the head of the university for 25 years, also garnered political aspirations, narrowly losing out as Democratic governor of Massachusetts in 1990. Silber dramatically changed the fortunes of Boston University for the better, both educationally and economically, but divided opinion greatly through his almost autocratic leadership, facing off many calls for his resignation throughout his tenure. He once called in the police to break up a Vietnam demonstration on college grounds. Born on August 15th 1926 in San Antonio, he graduated from Trinity University in 1947 and went on to gain a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Yale nine years later. Silber is survived by 7 children, 26 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and a brother.


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