The reason for his cult status as an architecture critic was not the clarity of Herbert Muschamp's prose, which was known to irk readers with its effusive, stream-of-consciousness style. Instead, by freely celebrating the emotional impact of skyscrapers and other structures, the author and longtime New York Times critic changed the way people think about architecture. In a characteristically exuberant 1997 article that brought him national attention, he likened Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, to Marilyn Monroe. (The building had a "voluptuous style" and an apparent urge to "let its dress fly up in the air.") Muschamp was 59 and had lung cancer.
In 1971, two years before abortion was legalized, feminist medical pioneer Lorraine Rothman set out to put women's health care in the hands of women. The California clinic she co-founded taught patients how to perform their own cervical exams and pregnancy tests and, controversially, offered an extraction device Rothman developed that could be used for at-home abortions in the early stages of pregnancy. The method angered medical professionals but, in the words of social critic Barbara Ehrenreich, "legitimized the notion that [women] have the right to ... decide about procedures ... that affect our bodies." Rothman was 75 and had cancer.
If one movie scene defined the high-flying action genre of the 1960s, it was the finale of The Great Escape, in which the prisoner of war played by Steve McQueen defies the Nazis and jumps a barbed-wire fence on his motorcycle. The real hog jumper? Bud Ekins, the go-to stuntman of his era. Ekins' later credits included doubling for McQueen again in a famous car chase through San Francisco in the 1968 thriller Bullitt and overseeing stunts for the '70s TV show CHiPs. He was 77. His exploits as an Air Force pilot in the Pacific during World War II included 219 combat missions; he counted among his myriad awards an honorary title from the Queen of England. But Major General John (Jock) Henebry was best known as a member of the Grim Reapers, an élite group who mastered a dangerous but accurate technique called "skip bombing" that required flying low enough to make bombs skip along the surface of the water before hitting a ship. Among the missions he led: a bloody assault on the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul, New Britain Island, that became a turning point for the Allies. He was 89.
After witnessing the japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor as a dockworker in his native Hawaii, Al Chang joined the Army, got recruited as a cameraman and quickly became one of the country's best combat photographers. His most famous image, above, was of a U.S. soldier in the Korean War who, upon learning of a friend's death, broke down in another soldier's arms. Chang was 85.
"The idea," William Golden said of his investment-banking career, "was to make a lot of money and then do interesting things." So the longtime chairman of the board of the American Museum of Natural History--who turned away from his first love, physics, because he hated math--promoted science wherever he could. As an adviser to President Harry Truman, Golden helped create the National Science Foundation and came up with the idea of a presidential science adviser, a post that still exists. He was 97.
PLEADED GUILTY For years she angrily dismissed the rumors and even filed a defamation suit after an associate claimed to have supplied her with performance-enhancing drugs. But as a federal probe closed in on her, track great Marion Jones, 32, acknowledged lying to investigators and admitted to ingesting the steroid THG between 1999 and 2001. Jones, who faces prison time, returned the five medals she won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and tearfully apologized to fans outside a New York City courthouse for having "betrayed your trust." U.S. Olympics chief Peter Ueberroth asked Australians for forgiveness. But the apologies fell short for Jones' clean Olympic relay teammates, who are now being urged to give back their medals as well.