Biography

Was van Gogh Killed? New Research Says He Was Shot

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The troubled life and demise of Vincent van Gogh follows a well-known trajectory: the precocious genius, the art world’s indifference, the onset of angst and madness, and then, tragically, his suicide at age 37. Or so we thought. But according to the groundbreaking research of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the painter didn’t shoot himself: he was ... Read More »

Obituary: Gough Whitlam’s Ideas Must Live On

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The local embodiment of a global movement, Gough Whitlam made himself a symbol of Australian social democracy. Remembering his life is a wake-up call to a new generation, writes Ben Eltham. E. Gough Whitlam, Chifley Memorial Lecture, 1957: “The way of the reformer is hard.” Edward Gough Whitlam, the 21st Prime Minister of Australia, died this morning. It’s a measure ... Read More »

Yves Klein: The man who invented a colour

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The Frenchman was an artist, showman and inventor – who created a hue that had never existed before. How did he achieve this? Alastair Sooke reports. One summer’s day in 1947, three young men were sitting on a beach in Nice in the south of France. To pass the time, they decided to play a game and divide up the ... Read More »

Robin Williams’ Death Reveals How Hard It Can Be To Climb Out Of Depression

Robin Williams

The suicide death of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shocked many of his fans. But those who knew him were aware of his ongoing struggle with depression. According to his publicist, Williams, 63, was completing a 12-step program for drug abuse and had been battling severe depression. “You’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet ... Read More »

Peter Sculthorpe, composer of Kakadu and Earth Cry, dies, aged 85

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AUSTRALIAN music’s elder statesman, composer Peter Sculthorpe, has died in Sydney. He was 85. Best known as a composer of orchestral and chamber works, Sculthorpe had a long career that started from his earliest compositions at age nine. From the 1960s he was a pioneer of music that sought an authentic expression of Australia, its landscape and people. He introduced ... Read More »

Baydzar and Galya: Legacies of Defiance from Diyarbakir to Stepanakert

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‘Special for the Armenian Weekly Two remarkable women passed away in June—one in Diyarbakir, the other in Karabagh. One symbolized resilience in the face of continued anti-Armenian policies of Ankara, the other defiance against the policies of Baku. Baydzar Eken and Galya Arustamyan embodied the Armenian struggle for survival on two hostile fronts. Baydzar greeted us in May, a bright ... Read More »

Nadine Gordimer, Novelist Who Took On Apartheid, Is Dead at 90

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Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer whose literary ambitions led her into the heart of apartheid to create a body of fiction that brought her a Nobel Prize in 1991, died on Sunday in Johannesburg. She was 90. Her family announced her death in a statement. Ms. Gordimer did not originally choose apartheid as her subject as a young writer, ... Read More »

Bobby Womack dies at 70

Bobby Womack, who died on 27 June, performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam in July last year. Photograph: Greetsia Tent/WireImage

Soul great who worked with musicians from Sam Cooke to Damon Albarn has died after career spanning nearly six decades Bobby Womack, who has died aged 70, was one of the great soulsingers, who, in a professional career that lasted nearly six decades, worked closely with leading musicians ranging from Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and Sly Stone to Damon ... Read More »

Maya Angelou obituary

Maya Angelou in 2005.

Maya Angelou in 2005. Photograph: Graeme Robertson Writer, poet and civil rights campaigner lauded for her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The writer Maya Angelou, who has died aged 86, won acclaim for her first autobiographical memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), a scathing and sardonic indictment of the racial discrimination she experienced as ... Read More »

Author, poet, civil rights activist Maya Angelou dead at 86

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Renowned author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. Angelou was due to receive the “Beacon of Life Award” at the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon on May 30 in Houston. The MLB announced that she had canceled her appearance, citing health reasons. She died in her home in Winston-Salem, according to My Fox ... Read More »