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December 5, 2017
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John B. Anderson was a 10-term Republican congressman from Illinois, decorated World War II veteran, lawyer, and skilled orator, but he will be remembered most for his third-party presidential run in 1980, when his National Unity ticket earned 7 percent of the vote and helped deliver a landslide for Ronald Reagan. Anderson died Sunday at his home in Washington, daughter Diane Anderson confirmed Monday. He was 95.

Anderson, born in 1922 to Swedish immigrants, won an open House seat in 1960, entering Congress as a conservative Republican opposed to President John F. Kennedy's agenda. By the end of the decade, he was known as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, and he left the Republican Party for good in 1980 after quitting the GOP primaries to run as an independent. His campaign, and erudite speeches, attracted what President Jimmy Carter's campaign dismissed as the Northeastern liberal "wine and cheese set." Paul Newman offered to make campaign ads for Anderson and TV producer Norman Lear promoted his campaign in newspaper ads.

On Election Day 1980, Anderson's 5.7 million votes came more from Carter than Reagan. "He didn't have any real hope of winning," David Gillespie, an expert on third-party candidates, tells the Los Angeles Times. "I think what he wanted to do was provide an alternative to more progressive Republicans, as the party of Lincoln became the party of Reagan that particular year, and also to provide an alternative to Democrats." Anderson never ran for office again, returning to practicing law, teaching at universities, and writing books and editorials. He is survived by his wife, Keke; a son, John Jr.; daughters Eleanora, Diane, Karen, and Susan; and 11 grandchildren. Peter Weber

November 30, 2017
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Jim Nabors, the actor best known for playing TV's Gomer Pyle, died at his home in Honolulu on Thursday. He was 87.

Nabors' husband, Stan Cadwallader, confirmed his death to The Associated Press. "Everybody knows he was a wonderful man," he said. "And that's all we can say about him. He's going to be dearly missed." Nabors became famous in the 1960s on The Andy Griffith Show, and then as the star of the successful spinoff Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. He also recorded 28 albums, performed often in Las Vegas, and appeared in the films The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Stroker Ace. Cadwallader was Nabors' longtime partner, and they married in 2013. Catherine Garcia

November 21, 2017
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The Partridge Family star and former teen heartthrob David Cassidy died from organ failure Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 67.

Cassidy's family confirmed his death to People magazine, saying he "died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long." He was hospitalized last week with liver and kidney failure, and had been in the intensive care unit.

Cassidy hit it big starring in The Partridge Family, alongside his stepmother, Shirley Jones. A singer, he toured the world in his early 20s, but decided to quit and focus on songwriting and recording. Cassidy publicly shared his struggles with alcohol, and in February announced he had dementia. He is survived by Jones; son Beau Cassidy; daughter Katie Cassidy; brothers Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan Cassidy; and several nieces and nephews. Catherine Garcia

November 20, 2017
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Actress and singer Della Reese, star of the television series Touched by an Angel, has died. She was 86.

Reese's husband, Franklin Lett, said in a statement that Reese died at her home in California "surrounded by love." Born in Detroit, Reese started singing in church when she was 6 years old, and at 12, gospel legend Mahalia Jackson asked her to go on tour with her. Reese had several hits, including "Don't You Know," and one year she appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 18 times, NPR reports.

Reese also became the first black woman to fill in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, and the first black woman to host her own syndicated variety series, Della, which ran from 1969 to 1970. In addition to being an actor and singer, Reese was an ordained minister and founder of the Understanding Principles for Better Living Church. The church grew over time, but she started out holding services in her living room for just eight members. Catherine Garcia

November 20, 2017
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Jana Novotna, the Czech tennis player who earned 17 Grand Slam titles over the course of her career, died Sunday at the age of 49, The New York Times reports. In a statement, the Women's Tennis Association said Novotna's passing followed "a long battle with cancer" and that she "died peacefully, surrounded by her family in her native Czech Republic."

Sixteen of Novotna's Grand Slam titles came in doubles and mixed doubles, and she also earned three Olympic medals in the category. Novotna was famously consoled by the Duchess of Kent after losing to Germany's Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1993. Novotna eventually won her solo Wimbledon singles trophy five years later after overcoming Venus Williams, Martina Hingis of Switzerland, and Nathalie Tauziat of France.

"Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her," said WTA CEO Steve Simon in a statement. "Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA." Jeva Lange

November 18, 2017

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young died Saturday, three years after he was diagnosed with dementia and retired from the band. He was 64. "With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band," said a statement posted on AC/DC's Facebook page. "He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed."

Born in Scotland and raised in Australia, Young co-founded AC/DC in 1973 with his brother Angus Young as lead guitarist. "As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special," Angus wrote in the Facebook post. "He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever." Their brother George, who also worked in the music industry, died last month at 70. Bonnie Kristian

November 12, 2017
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Liz Smith, the iconic gossip reporter who had her own syndicated column for more than 30 years, died Sunday. She was 94.

Smith's literary agent told The Associated Press that Smith died of natural causes. Known as the Dame of Dish, Smith broke major scoops throughout her career, including President Trump's divorce from his first wife, Ivana. Her column began in 1976 and ran through 2009, appearing in dozens of newspapers, including the New York Post and New York Daily News. She also wrote three books and several magazine articles. The New York Times reports that at one time, Smith was said to be the highest-paid print journalist in the United States.

A native of Texas, Smith arrived in New York City in 1949. She was known for not only attending the best parties and premieres but also raising money for various causes. In a 1987 interview with AP, she said it was important not to "take ourselves too seriously in this world of gossip. When you look at it realistically, what I do is pretty insignificant. Still, I'm having a lot of fun." Smith is survived by several nieces and nephews. Catherine Garcia

November 7, 2017
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Roy Halladay, the eight-time MLB All Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, died Tuesday when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast, the Pasco County Sheriff confirmed. He was 40.

Halladay's ICON A5 single-engine aircraft crashed at around noon, and Halladay's body was found in shallow water, law enforcement said. Police could not say if there were other passengers on the plane, or where it was headed. In a video posted on ICON's website, Halladay said he always wanted to fly, ESPN reports, but because of his contract, he couldn't get a pilot's license until he retired.

After 16 seasons, Halladay retired from baseball in 2013. In a statement, the Toronto Blue Jays said the entire organization is "overcome by grief with the tragic loss of one of the franchise's greatest and most respected players, but even better human being. It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise, the city, and its fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends." Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and sons Ryan and Braden. Catherine Garcia

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