Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had “never been any of these things, in any profound sense.” Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.
In the early 20th century, Russell led the British “revolt against idealism”. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics, the quintessential work of classical logic. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy”. His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics.
Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would “welcome with enthusiasm” world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, Russell concluded that war against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany was a necessary “lesser of two evils” and criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought”.
Robert Conrad, the actor best known for his role in the television show The Wild Wild West, died today in Malibu, Calif. of heart failure. He was 84 and his death was announced by a family spokesman. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Conrad moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and found almost instant success, booking a recurring role on the TV show Hawaiian Eye in 1959.
Robert Conrad (born Conrad Robert Falk; March 1, 1935 – died February 8, 2020) was an American film and television actor, singer, and stuntman. He is best known for his role in the 1965–69 television series The Wild Wild West, playing the sophisticated Secret Service agent James T. West. He portrayed World War II ace Pappy Boyington in the television series Baa Baa Black Sheep (later syndicated as Black Sheep Squadron). In addition to acting, he was a singer, and recorded several pop/rock songs in the late 1950s and early 1960s as Bob Conrad. He hosted a weekly two-hour national radio show (The PM Show with Robert Conrad) on CRN Digital Talk Radio since 2008.
From a New Yorker online article (February 5, 2020):
He was the real thing, the last of the great middle-European intellectual journeyers, one with Benjamin and Cioran and the other exiles, for whom books were the one constant country and reading them a matter of life and death. With him gone, we can only reread his writing, determined to honor the intensity of his commitment by intensifying our own.
The word “awesome” is most easily used by adolescents these days, but the range of learning that the critic and novelist George Steiner possessed was awesome in the old-fashioned, grown-up sense: truly, genuinely awe-inspiring. Steiner, who died on Monday, at the age of ninety, knew modern languages, ancient languages, classical literature, and modern literature. He had memorized the rhymes of Racine and he could elucidate the puns in Joyce and he could tell you why both were, in his thorny but not cheaply won view, superior to the prolixities of Shakespeare. He was what many people call a human encyclopedia—not in the American sense, a blank vault of facts, but in the French Enlightenment one: a critical repository of significant knowledge.
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“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103. To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.
But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.
Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet.
Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”
Michael Douglas on Instagram, February 5, 2020
From Carolyn K. Reidy, President & CEO of Simon & Schuster:
“She was unique. Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did; she understood them as if they were members of her own family. She was always absolutely sure of what they wanted to read—and, perhaps more important, what they didn’t want to read—and yet she managed to surprise them with every book. She was the Queen of Suspense, it wasn’t just a phrase; she always set out to end each chapter on a note of suspense, so you just had to keep reading. It was at once a gift, but also the result of hard work, because nobody worked harder than Mary did on her books to deliver for her readers. She was also, unfailingly, cheerful under pressure, generous, good humored and warm-hearted, the least ‘temperamental’ of bestselling authors, and the most fun to be around.
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Mary Higgins Clark died January 31, 2020 in Naples, Florida, at the age of 92. The cause was complications of old age.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Mary’s contribution to our success, and her role in the modern history of Simon & Schuster. Beginning in 1975 with the publication of WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN, each of her 56 books has been a bestseller. There are more than 100 million copies of her books in print in the United States; they are international bestsellers and have been translated into every major and many less well-known languages.
PBS NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer, a giant in journalism known for his tenacity and dedication to simply delivering the news, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Thursday, at the age of 85.
Terry Jones, Monty Python founder and Life of Brian director, dies aged 77. Jones, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2015, was the main directing force in Python’s films, as well a prolific creator of TV documentaries and children’s books.
In 1969, Palin and Jones joined Cambridge graduates Cleese and Graham Chapman – along with Idle and animator Terry Gilliam – on a BBC comedy sketch show. Eventually broadcast under the title Monty Python’s Flying Circus, it ran until 1974, with Jones largely writing with Palin (complementing Cleese’s partnership with Chapman). Seemingly chaotic, frequently surreal and formally daring, Monty Python’s Flying Circus would became one of the most influential shows in BBC history, revolutionising comedy formats, spawning scores of catchphrases, and inspiring an entire generation of comedians. Jones’s fondness for female impersonation was a key feature of the show, as was his erudite writing.