TIME Rememberance

Former Notre Dame President Theodore Hesburgh Dies at 97

FILE - The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, talks about his experiences over 90 years of life at his desk in the Hesburgh Library on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., in this Sept. 24, 2007 file photo
Joe Raymond—AP Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, talks about his experiences over 90 years of life at his desk in the Hesburgh Library on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 24, 2007

A champion of human rights, Hesburgh transformed Notre Dame into a premier academic institution

(South Bend, Ind.) — The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who transformed the University of Notre Dame into a school known almost as much for academics as football and who championed human rights around the globe, has died. He was 97.

University spokesman Paul Browne told The Associated Press that Hesburgh died on the South Bend, Indiana, campus around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known, he said.

“We mourn today a great man and faithful priest who transformed the University of Notre Dame and touched the lives of many,” said the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s current president. “With his leadership, charisma and vision, he turned a relatively small Catholic college known for football into one of the nation’s great institutions for higher learning.”

Hesburgh spent 35 years at the Notre Dame helm, earning a reputation as one of the nation’s top Catholic educators. But the man known simply as Father Ted to the thousands who attended the school while he was president from 1952 to 1987 was perhaps even more recognized for his work around the world on issues such as civil rights, immigration, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and Third World development.

That work often took him far from campus — including Washington, Moscow and El Salvador — as he advised popes and presidents, at times challenging their policies. His aim was constant: Better people’s lives.

“I go back to an old Latin motto, opus justitiae pax: Peace is the work of justice,” Hesburgh said in a 2001 interview. “We’ve known 20 percent of the people in the world have 80 percent of the goodies, which means the other 80 percent have to scrape by on 20 percent.”

Hesburgh, who grew up in Syracuse, New York, was a charming and personable man who found as much ease meeting with heads of state as he did with students. His goal after coming out of seminary was to be a Navy chaplain during World War II, but he instead was sent to Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to pursue a doctorate, which he received in 1945. He joined the Notre Dame faculty that same year.

His star rose quickly. Hesburgh was named head of the Department of Theology in 1948 and became the university’s executive vice president a year later. He took over as president in 1952 at age 35.

His passion for civil rights earned him a spot as a founding member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1957 and found him joining hands with Martin Luther King Jr. at a 1964 civil rights rally in Chicago, singing “We Shall Overcome.”

Hesburgh was a man who wasn’t afraid to challenge authority. As Notre Dame’s executive vice president in 1949, he took on powerful football coach Frank Leahy while reorganizing the athletic department. When the Vatican demanded conformity to church dogma, Hesburgh insisted that Notre Dame remain an intellectual center for theological debate. He also famously challenged the civil rights record of President Richard Nixon, who fired him from the Civil Rights Commission in 1972.

“I said, ‘I ended this job the way that I began 15 years ago — fired with enthusiasm,'” Hesburgh said in 2007.

Hesburgh’s relationship with other presidents was smoother. He received the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and later served on President Gerald Ford’s Presidential Clemency Board, charged with deciding the fate of various Vietnam offenders. In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton hailed Hesburgh as “a servant and a child of God, a genuine American patriot and a citizen of the world” as he bestowed upon him the government’s highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.

Hesburgh wrote several books, including one, “God, Country, Notre Dame,” that became a best-seller. Throughout his writings, he shared his vision of the contemporary Catholic university.

“The Catholic university should be a place,” he wrote, “where all the great questions are asked, where an exciting conversation is continually in progress, where the mind constantly grows as the values and powers of intelligence and wisdom are cherished and exercised in full freedom.”

In keeping with that philosophy, Notre Dame underwent profound changes under Hesburgh. Control of the school shifted in 1967 from the Congregation of the Holy Cross priests who founded the school to a lay board. The school ended a 40-year absence in football post-season bowl games and used the proceeds from the 1970 Cotton Bowl to fund minority scholarships. In 1972, Notre Dame admitted its first undergraduate women. Hesburgh called it one of his proudest accomplishments.

Hesburgh’s ambitions helped mold the university. The school was rather undistinguished academically when he became president. It had 4,979 students, 389 faculty and an annual operating budget of $9.7 million. When he retired in 1987, Notre Dame had 9,600 students, 950 faculty and an operating budget of $176.6 million. The school’s endowment grew from $9 million to $350 million during his presidency. When he retired, the school was rated among the nation’s most prestigious.

“I’m sure I get credit for a lot of things that I’m part of but not necessarily the whole of,” he said. “We began a great university and those who followed continued the motion forward.”

Hesburgh’s work earned him the cover of Time magazine in a 1962 article that described him as the most influential figure in the reshaping of Catholic education. He was granted 150 honorary degrees during his lifetime.

Despite the accolades, Hesburgh drew his share of criticism. Some said he spent too much time away from campus pursuing other issues. Others objected to the “15-minute rule” he implemented after students protesting the Vietnam War clashed with police on campus. Under the policy, students who disrupted the university’s normal operations would be given 15 minutes of meditation to cease and desist or would be expelled from school.

As a young priest, Hesburgh’s students included Jose Napoleon Duarte, whose 1984 election as El Salvador’s president set that country on a path to democracy after years of civil war. Hesburgh’s decision to have Duarte give Notre Dame’s 1985 commencement address was met by protests blaming Duarte and the Reagan administration for continued political killings and poverty in the Central American nation. Hesburgh wrote that the presentation of an honorary degree to Duarte didn’t mean the university has to agree with all he was doing.

Hesburgh also supported the university’s decision in 2009 to invite President Barack Obama to speak at commencement. At least 70 bishops opposed Obama’s appearance and Notre Dame’s decision to award him an honorary degree because of the president’s support of abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research. Hesburgh said universities are supposed to be places where people of differing opinions can talk.

Through it all, he stayed true to what he called his basic principle: “You don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”

Hesburgh remained active at Notre Dame in his retirement, lecturing occasionally, presiding over residence hall Masses and helping develop the school’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Most of all, though, he was a priest. He said Mass daily throughout his life.

“I’ve said Mass in airplanes at 50,000 feet. I’ve said Mass in the South Pole. I’ve said Mass in jungles all over the world. I’ve said Mass in African huts. I’ve said Mass in cathedrals. Wherever I am, I’ve been able to do it for over 60 years every day and only miss a couple of times in all those years,” Hesburgh said.

Jenkins, the current president, said Hesburgh’s greatest influence may have been on the generations of Notre Dame students he taught, counseled and befriended.

“Although saddened by his loss, I cherish the memory of a mentor, friend and brother in Holy Cross and am consoled that he is now at peace with the God he served so well,” Jenkins said.

The university said that a customary Holy Cross funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus at a time to be announced. The university also said a tribute to Hesburgh will be held at the Joyce Center.

TIME remembrance

First Black NBA Player Earl Lloyd Passes Away Aged 86

Earl Lloyd
Edward Kitch—AP Earl Lloyd, Oct. 30, 1972.

The Virginia native was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003

Earl Lloyd, the first black professional NBA player, passed away Thursday at the age of 86.

Known as “the Big Cat,” the 6’5″ forward made his league debut in October 1950, playing for the Washington Capitals. During his legendary career, Lloyd averaged 8.4 points during 560 regular-season NBA games.

Lloyd was also twice included in the CIAA All-America team and was three-time all-conference selection. Lloyd retired in 1960, after serving in the U.S. army, playing for the Detroit Pistons and winning the 1955 NBA championship for the Syracuse Nationals. He was also the NBA’s first black assistant coach in 1968 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Born in Alexandria, Va., Lloyd is survived by a wife and three sons.

[Charleston Gazette]

TIME Television

Parks and Rec Co-Producer Harris Wittels Has Died, Aged 30

The cause of death has not been confirmed, but police responded to a 911 call about a possible drug overdose

Harris Wittels, a co-executive producer and writer on Parks and Recreation, was found dead in his home in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The 30-year-old was discovered by his assistant around 12 p.m. on Thursday, and police subsequently responded to a 911 call about a possible drug overdose, writes the Hollywood Reporter. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, however.

In addition to writing and producing Parks and Rec, which airs its series finale next week, Wittels had a small on-screen role, playing an employee from the animal-control department.

He also worked on series such as Eastbound and Down and The Sarah Silverman Program, was a stand-up comedian and is credited with coining the term “humblebrag,” meaning a boast disguised as modesty.

Tributes to the young writer-comedian poured onto Twitter.

[THR]

TIME Crime

Dentist Charged in Death of Patient Getting 20 Teeth Pulled

Rashmi Patel
Enfield, Connecticut Police Department/AP This photo provided by the Enfield, Connecticut Police Department shows dentist Rashmi Patel, who has been charged in the death of a patient who became unresponsive while having 20 teeth pulled and several implants installed last year.

A report said Rashmi Patel "ignored" signs that his patient was in distress

(HARTFORD, CONN.) — A dentist has been charged in the death of a patient who became unresponsive while having 20 teeth pulled and several implants installed.

Rashmi Patel turned himself in Tuesday at the Enfield Police Department and was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminally negligent homicide and a felony count of tampering with evidence, police said. Patel has offices in Enfield and Torrington.

The charges came a year after Patel’s patient Judith Gan died at a hospital on Feb. 17, 2014. State dental regulators concluded that Patel failed to adequately respond when Gan’s oxygen levels dropped dangerously low as she was consciously sedated in the middle of the tooth extraction and implant procedures in his Enfield office that day.

Patel, who posted $25,000 bail, has denied any wrongdoing in his treatment of Gan.

“Dr. Patel disputes the charges and urges that the charges be dropped,” his attorney Paul Knag said in a statement Wednesday.

Gan’s death and other incidents prompted the State Dental Commission in December to suspend Patel’s license pending a months-long review of his practice and permanently ban him from performing conscious sedation.

But, Krag said, the commission did not revoke Patel’s license.

“In the Dental Commission proceeding, multiple expert witnesses testified that Dr. Patel followed the standard of care,” Krag said. “The state’s seeking of criminal charges is contrary to this evidence and inconsistent with the decision of the Commission not to revoke his license.”

The commission said in a report that Patel “ignored” signs that Gan, of Ellington, was in distress, including the drop in her oxygen saturation, changes in the color of her face and hands and wheezing and gurgling sounds. The commission said Patel, who lives in Suffield, also ignored warnings from his dental assistants that Gan was in danger and continued with the procedures.

When one of Patel’s assistants yelled that Gan was “flat lining,” Patel tried to revive Gan while the assistant called 911, according to the Dental Commission’s report. Gan, 64, was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The commission also found that Patel should not have attempted to perform so many procedures on Gan in one office visit given that her medical history included a heart attack six months before the visit, two strokes within the last two years and medication that could have affected her response to the sedation.

Patel also violated care standards in December 2013 when another patient under conscious sedation to have teeth extracted inhaled a piece of gauze called a throat pack, which was designed to protect him from swallowing foreign objects, the commission found. The patient began flailing, his blood pressure spiked and he was rushed to a hospital but recovered.

A lawyer for Gan’s husband has said a lawsuit against Patel is planned.

TIME People

This Husband Passed Away But Arranged to Send His Wife Flowers Every Valentine’s Day

Close up of bouquet of roses
Jamie Grill—Tetra images RF/Getty Images

Now that is true love

A devoted husband took romance to an ethereal level on Valentine’s Day by sending his wife a bouquet of flowers from beyond the grave.

Jim Golay, from Casper, Wyo., was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor almost exactly one year ago. He wanted to make Valentine’s Day special for his wife but he knew he wasn’t going to be around for much longer, reports KCWY13.

So before he died, Golay hatched a plan with the local florists to send Shelley Golay a bouquet of flowers each Valentine’s Day for the rest of her life, just to remind her how much he loved her.

“He’s such an amazing man and he just can love beyond boundaries,” Shelley Golay said. “There is no boundaries with him, even in death. He’s just amazing.”

The flowers arrived two days before Valentine’s Day. When Shelley saw they were from her deceased husband, she phoned the florists and found out about his eternal Valentine’s Day plan.

[KCWY13]

Read next: Watch a Husband Surprise His Wife With the One Thing She Always Wanted

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Education

Princeton Receives $300M Rare Book Collection, University’s Largest Gift Ever

Blair Hall on the campus of Princeton University
John Greim—Getty Images Blair Hall on the campus of Princeton University on Aug. 5, 2012

Donation includes the earliest Bible prints, the original print of the Declaration of Independence and Beethoven's signed music sketchbook

Princeton University declared Monday that it received a donation of books and manuscripts worth approximately $300 million, amounting to the most generous gift in its history.

Class of 1936 alumnus William Scheide died last year at age 100, bequeathing a 2,500-volume rare book and manuscript collection to the Ivy League university. The haul includes historic treasures like the six earliest prints of the Bible and the original printing of the Declaration of Independence. He also gifted the 1746-founded seat of learning with Beethoven’s music sketchbook, signed by the composer himself.

It is “one of the greatest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world today,” said Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber in a statement. “I cannot imagine a more marvelous collection to serve as the heart of our library.”

The collection will be fully digitized to increase its accessibility to the public, which can view it upon request. It will remain in Princeton’s Firestone Library.

TIME Music

1980s Pop Pioneer Steve Strange Has Died

He pioneered a look and sound that inspired many of the era's biggest acts, including Boy George and Duran Duran

Steve Strange, the former lead singer of popular 80s band Visage, best known for their breakout single Fade to Grey, died of a heart attack in Egypt on Thursday.

Strange, 55, was in a hospital in Sharm-el-Sheikh, the BBC reported.

Born Steve Harrington, Strange co-founded the Blitz Club in London’s trendy Soho district, a venue that pioneered the New Romantic movement and gave several top U.K. acts of the 1980s — including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Boy George’s Culture Club — a stepping stone on their way to global stardom.

Members of all three bands expressed their condolences on social media.

TIME celebrities

Publicist: Bruce Jenner Wasn’t Texting During Fatal Crash

The SUV with a trailer belonging to Bruce Jenner is seen at the scene of a car crash on Feb. 7, 2015
Ringo H.W. Chiu—AP The SUV with a trailer belonging to Bruce Jenner is seen at the scene of a car crash on Feb. 7, 2015

He's giving over his cell-phone records to prove it, if needed

(LOS ANGELES) — Bruce Jenner was not texting while driving when he got into a chain-reaction crash in Malibu that left a woman dead, a publicist for the Olympic gold medalist said Sunday.

Jenner will provide his cellphone records if requested by investigators looking into the cause of the four-vehicle crash on Pacific Coast Highway, Alan Nierob said.

“The evidence will show that Bruce was not texting at the time of the accident,” he said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said investigators will likely seek cellphone records for all the drivers to determine if distracted driving played a role in the accident.

Jenner was driving a black Cadillac Escalade when he rear-ended a Lexus sedan that slammed into a Toyota Prius that had slowed down or stopped on the famous coastal highway, sheriff’s Sgt. Philip Brooks said.

The Lexus veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a black Hummer.

The driver of the Lexus — Kim Howe 69, of Calabasas, California — was pronounced dead at the scene.

In his first comments since Saturday’s crash, called the accident “a devastating tragedy” and vowed to cooperate with investigators.

“My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident,” Jenner said in a statement Sunday evening. “It is a devastating tragedy I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them.”

The moment of impact was captured by celebrity photographers, who quickly posted the images on the Internet. The photos show the white Lexus mangled in the front and back, facing the Hummer, which had a heavily damaged engine and its hood popped open. Jenner’s Escalade, which was pulling an off-road vehicle, had a damaged front end.

There was no indication Jenner was being chased by paparazzi at the time of the crash, authorities said. “Being a celebrity, he is often followed by paparazzi. He was aware of that, and it doesn’t appear he took any evasive action to avoid the paparazzi,” Brooks said.

Authorities said Jenner passed a field sobriety test and voluntarily submitted a blood sample to determine whether he was intoxicated.

The sheriff’s department has custody of all the vehicles and will be inspecting them to ensure they are mechanically sound or whether a defect prevented somebody from stopping in time.

Investigators could also request search warrants, if necessary. The information gleaned from those records could help inform prosecutors, if they were to consider charges against the drivers involved.

However, Brooks said it is difficult to determine if a driver was texting at the exact time of a collision. Investigators will look at signs of driver behavior such as multiple texts that span a period of time leading up to, or including, the crash, Brooks said.

The crash comes at a time of widespread talk that Jenner, 65, is becoming a woman. Though Jenner himself has declined public comment, his appearance has gradually become more traditionally feminine. Those in his inner circles have not challenged speculation that he is preparing to live as a woman and perhaps will appear in a new reality series about his transition.

Jenner won a gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Games, but he is known to a younger generation as Kim Kardashian’s stepfather. He and Kris Jenner appeared on the reality series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” along with their children, and the pair’s relationship and its troubles have been featured prominently on the show. The two finalized their divorce late last year, ending 23 years of marriage.

TIME Bizarre

13 Weirdly Morbid Vintage News Stories

What were they thinking?

In the earlier days of TIME, the magazine ran a weekly round-up of local news items of note — and, as we pointed out earlier this month, it’s proof positive that funny flubs and weird happenings have always had the ability to go viral, albeit at a slightly slower pace than they do today.

But that “Miscellany” column, in the 1920s and ’30s, wasn’t just a repository of the benignly strange. On a regular basis, it also featured deaths and killings (and, as seen above, freak accidents that result in mere permanent blindness) that we can only hope weren’t meant to be funny. Here are a few of the strangest, most macabre items we could find.

TIME Crime

Mommy Blogger Stands Trial Accused of Killing Her 5-Year-Old Son With Salt

Lacey Spears
Westchester County District Attorney’/AP This undated photo provided by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office shows Lacey Spears, who was indicted June 17, 2014, in White Plains, N.Y., on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter in the death of her son, 5-year-old Garnett-Paul Spears.

Lacey Spears tweeted updates on her son's worsening condition

A mommy blogger is on trial outside New York City regarding the death of her 5-year-old son, whom she allegedly poisoned with high levels of salt while sharing his worsening medical condition over the Internet.

Lacey Spears, 27, of Scottsville, Ky., has been charged with the depraved murder and manslaughter of Garnett-Paul Spears. She allegedly fed him salt through a hospital tube at the Westchester Medical Center in White Plains, N.Y., precipitating a spike in his sodium levels that led to seizures, brain swelling and eventually death.

“This mother was intentionally feeding her child salt at toxic levels,” said prosecutor Doreen Lloyd, according to the Associated Press.

Spears, originally from Alabama, kept her social-media followers apprised of Garnett-Paul’s worsening medical condition during the last few days of his life, writing “My sweet angel is in the hospital for the 23rd time” and “Please pray he gets to come home soon.”

On her son’s final day, she wrote, “Garnett the great journeyed onward today at 10:20 a.m.”

The trial continues.

[AP]

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