Obituary of Whitney Houston
Pop Superstar dies: Music world greatly impacted
By: Mary DeGregorio
On February 11, 2012 a legendary and talented pop superstar passed away. The 48-year-old multimillion-selling singer was found dead Saturday afternoon in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub.
On August 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born. She seemed destined from birth to become a singer because her mother, cousin and godmother were all legendary figures in American gospel and soul music. Houston was more than a singer; she was a recording artist, actress, producer, songwriter and model. She "emerged in the 1980s as one of her generation's greatest R & B voices." In the 1990s the gospel-based singer turned into a pop powerhouse. As one of the biggest female pop stars of all time, Houston will never be forgotten; fans continue to celebrate her today.
One of the world's best-selling music artists, Houston sold over 200 million records worldwide. By the time she turned 15, she was performing often with her mother and tried to get a record deal of her own. At age 22, she released her debut album. One of the first African American women to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine in 1981, Houston was discovered by a photographer for her natural beauty. Music still remained her true love.
According to Adam Markovitz from Entertainment Weekly "--- a year after her death it's clear that Whitney didn't - and never will - just disappear. Not in the music industry that she helped shape, breaking boundaries as an African American, as a woman, as a crossover star, as a voice awe-inspiring enough to redefine what pop itself could sound like."
By the mid-1990s Houston's acting career developed with films like "The Bodyguard," where she played a pop diva, and "The Preacher's Wife." In the late 1990s and early 2000s, quite a few factors threatened to disrupt Houston's career: an unstable, abusive marriage to Bobby Brown, challenges with drugs and health problems.
The iconic pop singer spent her last days doing what she loved, singing, and surrounded by family and friends. Houston's death came hours before she was supposed to appear at an annual pre-Grammy party. Authorities believe her death was due to a combination of cocaine use and heart disease. "With her passing, the music world has lost one of its most legendary stars."
Houston left behind her mother, Cissy Houston, her 19-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and her sister-in-law and former manager, Pat Houston.
Houston's daughter "revealed she wants to follow in her mother's footsteps" in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Her mother continues to remain an important part of her young life: "I can hear her voice and her spirit talking to me telling me keep moving, baby. I can always feel her with me," she said. "She humbles me. I remember what she told me, I remember what she taught me ... She was a sister, a comforter. The spirit that she had -- no matter where she was ... she touched everyone."
Former Mayor of New York City Dies
By: Lindsay Marchese
Edward Koch, best known as the three time mayor of New York City, passed away on February 1st due to congestive heart failure. Koch died at New York Presbyterian/ Columbia Hospital at 2 a.m. that Friday at 88 years old.
Koch was born in the Bronx in December of 1924, and grew up in Newark, New Jersey. Two years after he graduated high school, Koch was drafted into the United States Army in 1943. He returned to New York after earning three campaign stars for his service and obtained his law degree from New York University Law School in 1945. He later became an active democrat in the New York City political scene.
Koch served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977. Although he first attempted to run for New York City mayor in 1973, but dropped out before the Democratic Primary. He decided to run again in the 1977 elections, where he won consecutively for the next three terms.
While in office, Koch was known for his friendly but feisty attitude and his help in saving the city from near financial ruin. He fought for what he believed in and placed though fiscal cuts and budgets throughout the city.
Once his twelve year stint in office was over, Koch returned to his previous work as an attorney. He also kept up many media positions such as writing columns and showing up on television here and there. He even became a judge on the television show “The People’s Court.” Over the course of his lifetime, Koch wrote 17 books about politics.
Even though Koch was a Democrat, he was also known to throw his weight across party lines. He endorsed former mayor Rudolph Guliani and former president George W. Bush in their elections, despite the fact that they were Republicans.
Since his terms as mayor ended, Koch had been having heart conditions that led him to a pacemaker and quadruple bypass surgery in 2009. His hard but loving personality and changes in New York City will be remembered by its residents always.
Michael Clarke Duncan
By Melanie Dolan
Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, passed away Monday, September 3, 2012, at a Los Angeles hospital. He had been a patient there since having a heart attack more than seven weeks ago. A written statement from his family representative announced that he “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13, and never fully recovered.”
Duncan was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 1957 and was raised by his older sister and mother. He attended Kankakee Community College, where he played basketball and football, but dropped out before receiving his diploma.
He worked a wide range of jobs before becoming an actor, including being a ditch digger for many years, a nightclub bouncer and even a stripper at one point. He then became a bodyguard for famous actors such as Will Smith. Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx, but ended up quitting in 1997 to pursue a full-time acting career.
Known for his deep voice and huge figure (6-foot 5), Duncan scored parts in films such as “Sin City”, “Armageddon” and "The Planet of the Apes". However, his breakout role was starring alongside Tom Hanks in “The Green Mile” for which he received an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination. Throughout his career Duncan appeared in several public service announcements about the importance of recognizing the symptoms of a stroke and was featured in a video for PETA, where he spoke about becoming a vegetarian. Duncan was known for his sweet personality and sense of humor, he enjoyed being recognized and would pay $5 to strangers on the street who knew his full name.
Late night, talk show host and friend Jay Leno commented on Duncan’s death saying “Just to see such a pure heart and pure kindness, and to see it taken so early. There are no sadder words than what might have been.”
Duncan leaves behind fiancée Omarosa Manigault, who is best known for her reality TV appearance on “The Apprentice”, his sister Judy Duncan and his mother Jean Duncan.
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