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obituary

Author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie waits with dancers backstage for his turn on stage as the keynote speaker at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, at Seattle's City Hall.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Sherman Alexie, author and friend of KUOW, posted this letter to his Facebook page on Thursday.

Remembering Chris Cornell: 'It's so devastating'

May 18, 2017
Chris Cornell performing in 2011.
Flickr Photo/Sebastian R. (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cC1AXE

Bill Radke speaks with Charles R. Cross about the sudden, shocking suicide of Chris Cornell. Cross knew the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman for decades, and he reflects on the massive impact Cornell had on Seattle and the world. He also discusses the circumstances surrounding Cornell's death and how fans and friends may be able to cope with the tragedy. 

Mary Tyler Moore played the girl who could turn the world on with her smile. The actress is beloved for two TV roles: the single young professional Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and before that, the earnest homemaker Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Moore died Wednesday at the age of 80, her longtime representative told NPR.

Clare Hollingworth, the war correspondent who told the world of the outbreak of World War II, has died at 105.

She died Tuesday evening in Hong Kong, according to long-time friend Cathy Hilborn Feng, who says Hollingworth "had a smile before she left us."

Alan Sugiyama in an interview on CityStream in 2016. He dedicated his life and career to social justice. He died January 2, 2017.
City of Seattle

Local civil rights leader Alan Sugiyama died Monday at the age of 67 after a two-year battle with cancer.

He emerged as a leader in the Asian-American rights movement at a young age, co-founding the Oriental Student Union at Seattle Central Community College.

Some people possess a quality — a highly specific fuel mixture of intelligence and humor — that makes them seem like they've always got a secret they want to share with you, and only you.

It's not obvious. That's the whole point of it: It lives on the sly, this quality, around the edges of what they say and do. It sidles up to you and draws you in, it whispers to you that you are important and special, and that's why this person chose you. You share something, the two of you.

Washington state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, is being remembered as a social liberal who was a friend to rural Washington. Hill died last month after a recurrence of cancer. He was memorialized Monday on the Senate floor.

Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as attorney general of the United States, died early Monday from complications of Parkinson's disease. Reno's goddaughter Gabrielle D'Alemberte and sister Margaret Hurchalla confirmed her passing to NPR.

Reno spent her final days at home in Miami surrounded by family and friends, D'Alemberte told The Associated Press. She was 78.

Reno served longer in the job than anyone had in 150 years. And her tenure was marked by tragedy and controversy. But she left office widely respected for her independence and accomplishments.

The lead budget writer in the Washington state Senate has died of lung cancer at age 54. Republican Andy Hill’s family announced his death Tuesday.

Poet Lucia Perillo
Courtesy of James Rudy

The accolade "local treasure" is not easily awarded. Poet Lucia Perillo earned that and many other awards, including a MacArthur Genius Grant. 

Perillo died in Olympia on October 16 at the age of 58. She had lived with multiple sclerosis since her diagnosis in 1988.

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW economy reporter Carolyn Adolph about Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who led the development of the 747, the biggest airplane the world had ever seen.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum called Sutter "the father of the 747," and gave him the 2013 Lifetime Achievement award.

Actor and writer Gene Wilder, who brought his signature manic energy to films such as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and the role that forever ensconced him in the collective memory of a generation of children, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has died. He was 83.

Wilder died early Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn., of complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to a statement from his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman.

Bob Santos (right) and Larry Gossett at a 2015 racial equity conference. Both men were part of the so-called "Gang Of Four" group of civil rights activists.
King County

Condolences are pouring in for the family of longtime Seattle civil rights activist Bob Santos, who died Saturday at the age of 82.

In an interview with KUOW last year, Santos explained that he first felt the need for political activism at a very young age. He had his awakening when he was in first grade, in 1942.

A hometown hero is being laid to rest in Louisville, Ky., as Muhammad Ali, the boxer and humanitarian, is buried Friday. Fans came to the city from far and wide to pay their respects as Ali's body passed by on its way to a private burial.

Updated 3:15 a.m. ET

David Gilkey, an NPR photojournalist who chronicled pain and beauty in war and conflict, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday along with NPR's Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna.

At his peak, he was incandescent, a light that glowed beyond the limitations of boxing and the era in which he was born. Muhammad Ali was an international superstar, loved for his humanity and wit. And now he's being mourned by everyone from former foes to the president.

Ali's daughter, Laila, posted an image of her father planting a proud kiss on his granddaughter Sydney.

"Thanks for all the love and well wishes," she wrote, in a post that has drawn nearly 300,000 responses on Facebook. "I feel your love and appreciate it!!"

Prince Rogers Nelson, the artist known just by his first name, has died. He was 57.

Joseph Medicine Crow, a Native American historian and the last war chief of the Crow Tribe of Montana, has died. He was 102.

Medicine Crow earned the title war chief "for his deeds in Europe in World War II, which included stealing enemy horses and showing mercy on a German soldier he could have killed," Montana Public Radio's Eric Whitney reports.

He was also a living link to the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, having heard direct testimony from someone who took part in the battle and later chronicling it as a historian.

Zaha Hadid, the Pritzker-winning architect whose designs — both realized and unrealized — profoundly influenced the world of architecture, has died in Miami after contracting bronchitis and experiencing a sudden heart attack, according to her architecture firm.

She was 65.

Portland environmental photographer Gary Braasch described himself as a witness to climate change. He dedicated himself to making images that helped the rest of the world witness it too. Braasch died this week while snorkeling and photographing Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Sir George Martin, the music producer who signed the Beatles to a recording contract in 1962 and was their intimate collaborator as they together transformed popular music, died Tuesday at the age of 90.

Martin's death was confirmed by Adam Sharp, his manager in the U.K. In a statement, Sharp said:

Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday March 8th. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.

Bill Hobson, former executive director of the Downtown Emergency Services Center in Seattle, is interviewed Thursday, April 5, 2007.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Bill Radke talks with Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess about the impact of Bill Hobson on Seattle. Hobson was the former executive director of Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center. He died Friday at the age of 76.

Also: Listen to an archived interview between Hobson and KUOW's Marcie Sillman, originally aired last summer, at the time of Hobson's retirement from the DESC.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94. The elegant, famously adoring wife off Ronald Reagan is being remembered by political figures and everyday Americans for her character, her advocacy work and her unflagging support for her husband — as well as, in some cases, for more controversial elements of her legacy.

Here's a sample from the tributes released in the world of politics:

Former president George W. Bush:

Former first lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure, according to the Reagan Foundation. She was 94.

Allie and Matthew McClintock. It was a big deal for him to be photographed in his uniform.
Courtesy of Allie McClintock

When two Green Berets pulled up outside Allie McClintock’s Tacoma home in January and came through the white picket fence to front porch, her first thought was that her husband, Sgt. First Class Matthew McClintock, was injured.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the nation's highest court, was found dead Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed. Scalia, who had been staying at a luxury ranch in West Texas, was 79 years old.

David Bowie, shooting his video for Rebel Rebel in AVRO's TopPop (Dutch television show) in 1974.
Wikipedia Photo/AVRO - Beeld En Geluid (CC BY SA 3.0)/ http://bit.ly/1W13Zbk

Bill Radke speaks with Kurt Reighly, DJ El Toro on KEXP, about David Bowe's impact on the Seattle music scene. Bowie died Sunday at the age of 69. 

Today I was thinking about a friend of mine — a teacher, a neighbor — who passed away earlier this week. Out of respect for her family's privacy, I won't call her by her name. But believe me when I say she will be missed — by her family, of course, but also by me and other neighbors, by my children and the many, many other children (and adults) she taught over the years. There was so much to cherish: her generous spirit, her quiet, consistent encouragement, her appreciation of all the different personalities that came into her life.

In France, today, it was a day of remembrance. Thousands dropped off flowers and lit candles near the places where terrorists killed 129 people in six coordinated attacks.

All the names of those victims have not yet been released by authorities. But here are a few portraits of some of those who were killed on Friday:

-- Nick Alexander, 36, worked for many bands in his life. He was handling merchandise for Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan on Friday, when he was killed.

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