TIME Basketball

Former NBA Player Darryl Dawkins Dies at 58

Darryl Dawkins
AP Darryl Dawkins, Philadelphia 76ers is shown in 1980

He was 58

Darryl Dawkins was once summoned in the Philadelphia 76ers’ locker room to come meet a celebrity who wanted to meet the man known for dunking with backboard-breaking force.

The guest was Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder. The entertainer is blind, yet even he could tell there was something very unique about Dawkins’ game.

“A guy who never saw me,” a beaming Dawkins said in a 2011 televised interview, “gave me the name ‘Chocolate Thunder.'”

The name stuck, and the rim-wrecking, glass-shattering dunks remain unforgettable — as will the giant of a man who changed the game with them. Dawkins died Thursday at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office. He was 58, and even though officials said an autopsy would be performed on Friday his family released a statement saying the cause of death was a heart attack.

“Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart,” his family said. “His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss.

“More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father,” his family added.

Dawkins, the first player to go from high school into the first round of the NBA draft, spent parts of 14 seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. He averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds in 726 career regular-season games.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Dawkins was “beloved around the league.”

“The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins,” Silver said. “We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity. He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old.”

Dawkins was selected No. 5 in the 1975 draft by the 76ers. His two backboard-shattering dunks came about a month apart early in the 1979-80 season, one against Kansas City, the other against San Antonio.

“You were one of my favorite players of all time,” Houston center Dwight Howard posted Thursday on Instagram under a photo of Dawkins dunking in a game. “You were very inspirational to a lot of young players. Thank u for the long talks and great memories. I can’t believe that you’re gone. But you are in a better place. You were the originator of the dunk.”

Dawkins’ shows of force unquestionably changed the game. The NBA soon went to breakaway rims and mandated that backboards be shatter-resistant.

“Simply put, Darryl Dawkins was beloved-by his family, friends, former teammates and his fans all over the globe,” 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil said. “His endearing charm, infectious smile and unparalleled sense of humor will be sorely missed. ‘Chocolate Thunder’ will always have a special place in our hearts. His family is in our thoughts and prayers.”

Dawkins was, by any measure, a character. His love for the game was unquestioned and unwavering — he appeared at an 76ers alumni event earlier this month and recently posted a photo to his Twitter account of him coaching a summer-league girls team.

Dawkins was as revered off the court as he was on it. He remained enormously popular after his playing days were done, even during his stint as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. He would name his dunks — the “look out below,” the “yo-mama” and the “rim wrecker” among them — and often boasted that he hailed from the “Planet Lovetron.”

In actuality, he was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, growing up impoverished with dreams of giving his mother and grandmother better lives.

“A great man, entertainer, athlete and ferocious dunker,” former NBA guard Kevin Johnson wrote on Twitter. “He will be missed but not forgotten.”

Injuries plagued Dawkins late in his NBA career, and he went overseas for several more years to play in the Italian league. He also briefly had stints in the Continental Basketball Association and the International Basketball Association. He also coached at times, at both the minor-league and junior-college levels.

He averaged double digits in nine consecutive NBA seasons, with his best year likely being the 1983-84 campaign for New Jersey. He averaged a career-best 16.8 points that year, with only foul trouble — 386 that season, still a league record — holding him back.

“Darryl Dawkins is the father of power dunking,” Shaquille O’Neal once said. “I’m just one of his sons.”

TIME celebrities

Man Who Surgically Transformed Himself to Look Like Justin Bieber Found Dead

Toby Sheldon
Hector Campos—Splash News/Corbis Toby Sheldon pictured at the "Tabloid Taco Time" Charity event for Feed My Starving Children in Woodland Hills Calif. on Apr. 27, 2014.

Tobias "Toby" Sheldon was reported missing

Tobias “Toby” Sheldon, the 35-year-old who spent more $100,000 on plastic surgery to look like Justin Bieber, was found dead last week, his rep confirms to PEOPLE.

According to TMZ, officials found his body on Aug. 21 in a Motel 6 in California’s San Fernando Valley. Officers found drugs at the scene, but no cause of death has been determined. Sheldon was reported missing on Aug. 18 and was last seen on the 1700 block of North Orange Grove Avenue in West Hollywood. At the time, friends told ABC7 that his disappearance was unusual, saying that he hadn’t left a note or anything to indicate he would be gone.

The Los Angeles Police Department speculated his disappearance may have been connected to a recent breakup with his boyfriend. Sheldon was known for appearances on TV series such as Botched and My Strange Addiction.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME People

Longtime Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes Dies at 90

Stokes was elected to the House in 1968, becoming Ohio's first black member of Congress

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Former U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes, a 15-term congressman from Ohio who took on tough assignments looking into assassinations and scandals, has died. He was 90.

He died peacefully with his wife, Jay, at his side, a month after he announced he had brain and lung cancer, his family said in a statement.

“During his illness, he confronted it as he did life — with bravery and strength,” the family said.

Stokes was elected to the House in 1968, becoming Ohio’s first black member of Congress and one of its most respected and influential. Just a year earlier, his brother, Carl, had been elected mayor of Cleveland — the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city.

Louis Stokes was the dean of the delegation until he stepped down in 1999.

Stokes headed the House’s Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the slayings of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1970s and concluded that in both cases, there “probably” had been a conspiracy.

Later, he served on the Iran-Contra investigative committee, where he drew attention with his unflinching interrogation of Lt. Col. Oliver North.

“What we seek to do in covert operations is to mask the role of the United States from other countries, not from our own government,” Stokes told North at a highly publicized hearing in 1987.

He was just as unflinching with his probe of fellow Democrats when he led the ethics committee investigation of a corruption scandal known as ABSCAM, which led to convictions of one senator and six House members. The senator and five of the House members were Democrats.

Recalling the example Stokes set, the U.S. attorney in Cleveland said Wednesday that he once had Stokes address his region’s prosecutors.

“We were in the midst of a huge county corruption scandal, and public service was taking a public beating. But Lou Stokes was a there as a shining beacon of integrity, of excellence and most important of all for us, of justice,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said in a statement Wednesday.

Stokes was repeatedly called upon to exercise his law training and diplomatic skills. He did two tours of duty as chairman of the ethics committee and stepped in upon request during the investigation of a case involving the private life of Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who retired in 2013.

He was one of the Cold War-era chairmen of the House Intelligence Committee, headed the Congressional Black Caucus and was the first black on the House Appropriations Committee — a powerful panel that decides how much each authorized federal project actually gets to spend.

That post gave him a platform for protecting major Cleveland employers, such as NASA Lewis Research Center, and for directing federal dollars toward hometown projects.

He said he was proud to be in a position to put money into programs that he hoped would improve the quality of life of black people and poor people.

His seniority on that panel eventually brought him the chairmanship of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over all federal housing programs, plus the Department of Veterans Affairs, NASA and many other independent agencies.

Stokes’ public demeanor was patient and analytical, but colleagues also knew him as tough, principled and skillful.

He was one of only nine blacks in the 435-member House when he first took the oath of office in 1969 and never forgot his roots as the child of poverty and great-grandson of a slave.

He spoke often of his admiration for his younger brother, who served two terms as Cleveland mayor and was later a broadcaster and judge. Stokes lost some of his zest for politics after his brother died of cancer in 1996.

He also spoke of his mother, Louise C. Stokes, a widow with an eighth-grade education who supported her sons by working as a cleaning woman. She constantly prodded her boys to “get something in your head so you don’t have to work with your hands like I did,” he recalled. When her boys wanted games, she instead bought books.

Stokes served in the Army from 1943 to 1946 in a segregated unit where he said he experienced racism for the first time in his life.

Heading from Cleveland to take his entrance physical in Columbus, he was warned by his mother that “colored people cannot go in restaurants in downtown Columbus.”

Stationed in Mississippi, he and other blacks were sentenced to the guard house for refusing to pick up papers around the white soldiers’ barracks, and once confined, found the guard house had separate toilets for white and black soldiers.

Years later, when an anti-busing amendment was debated on the House floor, Stokes described the humiliation of segregation. “I was forced to ride in the back of the bus wearing the uniform of my country,” he said.

Struggles with racism lasted a lifetime.

In 1991, a Capitol Hill police officer ignored Stokes’ valid parking tag and refused to let the congressman into his own office building; he didn’t believe the black man behind the wheel was a member of Congress.

Stokes leveled his complaint through official channels and did not complain publicly about the demeaning delay at his own office building.

At one point in his career he said he had his eye on the Senate. But long careers by fellow Democrats John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum meant no open seat until Stokes was well entrenched in the House and on his way to becoming one of the powerful appropriations subcommittee chairmen.

In 1992, Stokes ran for president as a favorite son, winning the delegates from his home district and then, in a minor convention drama, refusing to release their votes until the Clinton campaign formally asked.

The G.I. Bill made it possible for Stokes to go to college and law school.

A criminal lawyer for two decades before running for Congress, he argued a landmark “stop and frisk” case before the Supreme Court and worked on the NAACP lawsuit that forced Ohio to redraw the lines of what would become the state’s first black-majority congressional district.

TIME Civil Rights

See Julian Bond’s Life in Photos

The longtime civil rights leader and board chair of the NAACP died at 75. He was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement

TIME India

India Pays Tribute to ‘People’s President’ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Kalam died on Monday aged 83

India continued to mourn one of its most beloved Presidents and iconic leaders on Tuesday, as tributes and condolences poured in for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam following his sudden passing Monday evening.

The Indian government declared a seven-day state mourning until Aug. 2 during which national flags across the country will be flown at half-mast, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Kalam, 83, collapsed from an apparent cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to a group of students in India’s northeastern city of Shillong and was declared dead at the hospital about two hours later. His body was flown to the country’s capital, New Delhi, on Tuesday afternoon, where it was received by the chiefs of all three military branches as well as several politicians including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and current President Pranab Mukherjee. It will then be taken to his residence in the city in order for people to pay their respects before being flown to his hometown Rameshwaram, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, for the last rites, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.

Modi earlier mourned Kalam’s loss on Twitter, calling him “a great scientist, a wonderful President and above all an inspiring individual.”

Mukherjee, who took office after Kalam’s successor Pratibha Patil, also tweeted a heartfelt tribute before announcing that he would make an unscheduled return to New Delhi from his tour of the country’s south.

International leaders like former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also added their condolences via social media.

Although the office of the President in India is a largely ceremonial one, with the Prime Minister as the de facto head of state, Kalam used his tenure to reach out to the masses — India’s youth in particular — which earned him the moniker the People’s President.

He is also commonly referred to as the Missile Man of India, a reference to his role in shaping India’s missile program during his tenures at India’s space and defense-research agencies respectively from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was also a key player in India’s emergence as a nuclear power, playing an integral part in the country’s infamous nuclear tests of 1998.

Few Indian leaders in the 21st century enjoyed the kind of popular support experienced by Kalam, evidenced by the near-unanimous backing of his election as India’s 11th President in 2002 among all the parties across India’s fractious political spectrum, as well as the overwhelming outpouring of grief at his death.

Born in a small town in Tamil Nadu in 1931 to a boatman father, Kalam always encouraged young people to follow their dreams and genuinely believed India could be the next superpower. He advocated as much through his best-selling books like India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium and Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India, as well as his iconic autobiography Wings of Fire.

“My message, especially to young people, is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed,” he once said. “These are the great qualities that they must work towards.”

TIME viral

This Hilarious Obituary Celebrates a Woman—And Her Stuff

Anyone need a large ceramic stork?

When Mary Stocks died at age 94, she left a bunch of things to her children that, frankly, they didn’t want.

So instead they used the junk to create a tribute to their mother, in the form of a delightfully funny obituary. “She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and sons who have no idea what to do with it,” the obituary reads. “So if you’re looking for 2 extremely large TV’s from the 90s, a large ceramic stork (we think) umbrella/cane stand, a toaster oven (slightly used) or even a 2001 Oldsmobile with a spoiler (she loved putting the pedal to the metal), with only 71,000 kilometers and 1,000 tools that we aren’t sure what they’re used for. You should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch. Tomorrow would be fine.”

Mary’s son, Sandy Stocks, told Today.com why he decided to write such a unique obituary: “Everything I could think of about my mother was funny. I didn’t want to write a really boring obituary,” he said. “I did it more for my family, so they would have something to remember her that would be fun.”

He said he thinks his mother who, according to the obituary, loved to swear and was a terrible cook, (“If anyone would like a copy of her homemade gravy, we would suggest you don’t”), would laugh if she read it. “I think she would appreciate it.”

Read more viral obituaries:
Teacher’s Sassy Obituary For Herself Is Going Viral for All the Right Reasons
Man’s Obituary Asks Mourners Not to Vote for Hillary Clinton
This Obituary Is Only 2 Words But It’s Perfect

TIME People

E.L. Doctorow, Master of Historical Fiction, Dies at 84

The cause was complications from lung cancer, his son said

E.L. Doctorow, the celebrated American author of historical novels including Ragtime and The March, died on Tuesday in New York City. He was 84.

Doctorow’s son, Richard, said the cause of death was complications from lung cancer, the New York Times reports.

Published in 1975, Ragtime followed three families over the course of the early 20th century as they lived their daily lives, often interacting briefly with famous Americans.

It was included on a list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library in 1999 and on a list of the 100 greatest English-language novels since 1923 by TIME magazine in 2010.

Read more at the Times.

TIME fashion

The King of Stretch Jeans, Elio Fiorucci, Has Passed Away

Elio Fiorucci Next To A Sculpted Red Horse
Adriano Alecchi—Mondadori via Getty Images The Italian stylist Elio Fiorucci poses resting his left hand on a sculpted red horse in 1994

Fiorucci introduced stretch jeans to show off women's curves

Elio Fiorucci, the man behind stretch jeans, was found dead at the age of 80 at his home in Milan on Monday morning, according to New York magazine’s fashion news portal, the Cut.

He started his Milan-based fashion label in 1967, churning out pieces initially inspired by ’60s mod fashion in London.

But what he is best known for are form-fitting stretch jeans. Fiorucci got the idea for the pants after a trip to Ibiza, the Spanish island now known as one of the party capitals of Europe. He was impressed with the way wet jeans fit a woman’s body better, the Cut says, and wanted to re-create the effect.

At the time of waifish models like Twiggy, Fiorucci introduced his stretch jean silhouette to show off women’s curves. Once the 1970s hit, his designs spread globally, and he opened a store in New York City on 59th Street. Famous patrons like Andy Warhol, Liz Taylor and Cher came to buy up his designs, while a 15-year-old Marc Jacobs used the store as a hangout, the Cut reports.

Even in post-9/11 New York, Fiorucci fashioned a lasting legacy. His shop, which moved downtown, eventually transformed into a place for Fiorucci to sponsor and inspire new artists, among them DJ and design duo Andrew Andrew, who used the shop to launch their careers.

Fiorucci’s New York shop eventually closed down in 2003 because of financial troubles, but his iconic leopard-printed Americana style remains the inspiration of many designers and fast fashion labels.

[The Cut]


Pioneering Television Journalist Marlene Sanders Dies at Age 84

Marlene Sanders,
Bryan Bedder—Getty Images Journalist Marlene Sanders at an event in New York in 2005.

She was the first female journalist to report from Vietnam for network TV

Emmy-winning television journalist Marlene Sanders died Tuesday at age 84. The cause of death was cancer.

Her son, The New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, announced the news on Facebook. “She informed and inspired a generation,” he wrote. “Above all, though, she was a great Mom.”

Sanders was the first female journalist to anchor a primetime newscast in 1966 when she filled in for ABC’s Ron Cochran, and she was also the first female journalist to report from Vietnam for network TV in 1966. A decade later, she became the first female vice-president of a news division.

She began working for CBS as a documentary correspondent and producer in 1978 and remained there nearly decade and won three Emmys. She taught journalism at New York University as an adjunct professor after her broadcast career.

[USA Today]



TIME remembrance

Ed Hardy Designer Christian Audigier Dies at 57

Christian Audigier at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party in West Hollywood, Calif. on Feb. 26, 2012.
Dan Steinberg—AP Christian Audigier at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party in West Hollywood, Calif. on Feb. 26, 2012.

Audigier had been battling myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone disease

Christian Audigier, whose clothes and trucker hats were once worn by every trendy young celebrity, has died of bone cancer at the age of 57, Variety reports.

The French-born designer (turned tabloid celebrity himself) got his rise in fashion designing “rock and roll-influenced” denim in France. He slowly made a name for himself as the “King of Denim” in his home country.

But it wasn’t until 2002 that he began to make a name for himself stateside, after being tapped as the denim designer for the newly formed Von Dutch company.

“I was dreaming all my life of America, of the blue jean, of Marlon Brando. And the trucker hat,” he told GQ in a 2009 article of taking on the role.

Soon, the infamous Von Dutch trucker hat business began booming. The cap, which was targeted at celebs and sold for $100 and up, was made hugely popular by young stars like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

After the success of Von Dutch, Christian Audigier launched Ed Hardy, a brand that featured the colorful artwork of a tattoo artist. It was instantly embraced by stars like Madonna, David Beckham and Jessica Alba — plus many a club-goer across the globe.

Audigier’s friendly relationship with celebrities — and his ability to promote himself as a star designer — helped push Ed Hardy sales through the roof. In 2009, sales were reported to have exceeded $700 million globally, and he was rumored to be working with both Madonna and Michael Jackson on clothing lines.

But its popularity didn’t last. The brand was quickly seen in every mall across America, and the celebrities stopped favoring it. It also became synonymous with a certain frat-boy culture and the celeb designer fell from the height of his fame.

In April of this year, TMZ reported that Audigier had been battling myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone disease, since January.

Audigier also told the site that he had been doing much better after a bone marrow transplant in March.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

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