• U.S.

Milestones Jul. 28, 2003

3 minute read
Melissa August, Harriet Barovick, Elizabeth L. Bland and Molly Worthen

APPOINTED. BILL KELLER, 54, low-key former managing editor and foreign editor of the New York Times; as executive editor, the paper’s highest-ranking newsroom post; in New York City. Keller takes over from former executive editor Joseph Lelyveld, who was brought back as acting newsroom chief after the June resignation of Howell Raines amid newsroom dissension following disclosures of extensive fabrications in stories by reporter Jayson Blair.

DIED. CAROL SHIELDS, 68, Canadian novelist whose graceful, sympathetic portrayals of ordinary people, often married women, led to a flood of honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for her 1993 novel The Stone Diaries, which detailed nearly nine decades in the life of a housewife turned gardening columnist; of complications from breast cancer; in Victoria, B.C. Rejecting the idea that fiction must be high concept, she said, “I wanted wallpaper in my novels, cereal bowls, cupboards … head colds, cramps.”

DIED. TEX SCHRAMM, 83, passionate pro football innovator who engineered the ascent of the Dallas Cowboys; in Dallas. As general manager for 29 years of the club that became known as America’s Team, he hired coach Tom Landry and went on to 20 consecutive winning seasons and two Super Bowl victories. The first executive inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he championed the instant replay and was instrumental in the 1966 merger of the American and National football leagues.

DIED. BENNY CARTER, 95, versatile jazz arranger, songwriter and bandleader regarded as one of the three modern masters of the alto sax (with Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker); in Los Angeles. Idolized by peers for his clean, lilting, meticulous style, he was less famous in the U.S. than fellow bandleaders Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller–all of whom flocked to him for arrangements. The author of such hits as Only Trust Your Heart and the novelty tune Cow Cow Boogie, Carter turned his focus to Hollywood in the early 1940s, arranging and composing for films like Stormy Weather and An American in Paris, and later TV series including M Squad and Ironside.

DIED. ELISABETH WELCH, 99, American-born expatriate cabaret and jazz singer, adored by Cole Porter, Noel Coward and Paris cafe society; outside London. A hit on the London stage, she later took her mellow voice to New York City; she made a splash in Porter’s New Yorkers by singing Love for Sale, a song about prostitution. In the 1980s she won acclaim for her one-woman show A Time to Start Living and the musical revue Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood.

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