Ruby Dee, one of the most enduring actresses of theater and film, whose public profile and activist passions made her, along with her husband, Ossie Davis, a leading advocate for civil rights both in show business and in the wider world, died on Wednesday at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 91.
Vincent Harding, a historian, author and activist who wrote one of the most polarizing speeches ever given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in which Dr. King expressed ardent opposition to the Vietnam War, died on Monday in Philadelphia. He was 82.
Arthur Gelb, who by sheer force of personality was a dominant figure at The New York Times for decades, lifting its metropolitan and arts coverage to new heights and helping to shape the paper in its modern era, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 90.
Jack Agüeros was an activist. The term is concise, like his many sonnets, but it hardly captures the expanse of his life, which saw him go from a childhood in East Harlem to defending its Puerto Rican people as an antipoverty official, celebrating its culture by expanding and moving El Museo del Barrio, and memorializing its greatest poet by translating the complete works of Julia de Burgos.
Basil Paterson, the father of former Gov. David A. Paterson and one of the pioneering lions of Harlem politics, died Wednesday night, according to a spokesman for his son. He was 87.
In his tennis whites on the courts of a retirement community in Sarasota, Florida, Nat Lehrman doesn’t fit the image of an aging sexual revolutionary: he’s no jowly Hugh Hefner in a red silk robe, nor Al Goldstein, homeless and pathetic. But then Lehrman, the editor responsible for transforming Playboy in the 1960s from just another spicy Esquire knockoff into a path-breaking national forum for the discussion of sexuality, has always been less a sex fiend than an old-school Brooklyn journalist.
Joan Miller, a dancer, teacher and enduring presence in modern dance in New York since the 1970s, died on March 23 at her home in Manhattan. She was 77.
When Eddie Lawrence first performed his new comedy routine for his agent and a few entertainment executives, they told him that they loved it but that it was too clever for most people to understand. Mr. Lawrence had more faith in his audience.
Charlotte Brooks, one of only a handful of women ever hired to work as a full-time staff photographer at Look magazine, the major rival to Life in the heyday of American glossy photojournalism, died on March 15 at her home in Holmes, N.Y. She was 95.
Timothy Perper, 74, of Bella Vista, a writer and independent researcher on human courtship, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday, Jan. 21, at his home.