• U.S.

Milestones Oct. 14, 2002

3 minute read
Melissa August, Harriet Barovick, Elizabeth L. Bland, Carole Buia, Sora Song and Rebecca Winters

PLEADED GUILTY. RICHARD REID, 29, British citizen and terror suspect known as the shoe bomber; to attempting to blow up an American Airlines flight using explosives contained in his hiking shoes; at a hearing in Boston. He faces 60 years to life in prison. “Basically, I got on the plane with the bomb,” he told the court, smirking and chuckling at times. “I am a member of al-Qaeda and I pledged to Osama bin Laden. I am an enemy of your country.”

CHARGED. Ten Milwaukee youths, the youngest age 10, with reckless homicide after beating a 36-year-old man to death with bats, bricks, broomsticks and chairs; in Milwaukee, Wis. The incident, which started with an altercation over a tossed egg, jolted the city and prompted the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to urge local leaders to “do more than wring their hands.”

DIED. BRUCE PALTROW, 58, influential TV producer and director responsible for such critically acclaimed shows as The White Shadow, about a white coach of a racially mixed high school basketball team, and the quirky, Emmy-winning medical series St. Elsewhere; of pneumonia, after suffering a recurrence of throat cancer; in Rome. He also directed episodes of such TV shows as Homicide, as well as movies, most recently 2000’s Duets, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, his daughter with wife Blythe Danner. Paltrow was in Rome to celebrate Gwyneth’s 30th birthday .

DIED. ELLIS LARKINS, 79, classical prodigy turned jazz pianist whose elegant, understated style made him one of the most coveted accompanists in jazz; of pneumonia; in Baltimore. Famous for his collaborations with Ella Fitzgerald, he also played with Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan and Frank Sinatra.

DIED. JOHN WEITZ, 79, proudly populist fashion designer; of cancer; in Bridgehampton, N.Y. Among the first to engage in licensing agreements for the production of neckties, men’s cologne and socks, Weitz was also, to the puzzlement of fashionistas, a historian and an author, whose works include a biography of Hitler diplomat Joachim von Ribbentrop. He was the father of filmmakers Paul and Chris Weitz, who directed About a Boy and American Pie.

DIED. NORMAN O. BROWN, 89, critic-philosopher beloved of the counterculture; in Santa Cruz, Calif. In such books as Closing Time, a unique look at James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and Life Against Death, which analyzed history from a psychoanalytic perspective, Brown drew on Marx and Freud to produce original, erudite, occasionally baffling insights. “Reading Brown was a little like taking drugs,” said a critic, “only it was more likely to lead to tenure.”

–DIED. WALTER ANNENBERG, 94, publishing magnate, philanthropist and art connoisseur; in Wynnewood, Pa. After inheriting the Philadelphia Inquirer from his father, he founded two hit magazines, Seventeen in 1944 and TV Guide in 1953. One of the world’s wealthiest men (estimated net worth: $4 billion), Annenberg served as ambassador to the Court of St. James’s under Nixon and sometimes used his journalistic clout to settle political and personal scores. He once barred his TV stations from airing a documentary critical of Nixon. Among his gifts: a $1 billion collection of Impressionist paintings to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, endowments for communications schools at two universities and $1 million to Israel after the Six-Day War.

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