He Helped Shape Democratic Party

Article excerpt

George McGovern once joked that he had wanted to run for president in the worst way and that he had done so.

A proud liberal who had argued fervently against the Vietnam War as a Democratic senator from South Dakota and three-time candidate for president, McGovern died at a Sioux Falls hospice, at age 90.

"I am a liberal and always have been," McGovern said in 2001. "Just not the wild-eyed character the Republicans made me out to be."

Former President Bill Clinton got his start in politics when he signed on as a campaign worker for McGovern in 1972 and is among the legion of Democrats who credit him with inspiring them to pursue public service.

"I believe no other presidential candidate ever has had such an enduring impact in defeat," Clinton said in 2006 at the dedication of McGoverns library in Mitchell, S.D. "Senator, the fires you lit then still burn in countless hearts."

Russell Means spent a lifetime as a modern American Indian warrior. He railed against broken treaties, fought for the return of stolen land and even took up arms against the federal government.

Means, who died from throat cancer at age 72, helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee a bloody confrontation that raised Americas awareness about the struggles of Indians and gave rise to a wider protest movement that lasted for the rest of the decade.

Means said his most important accomplishment was the proposal for the Republic of Lakotah, a plan to carve out a sovereign Indian nation inside the United States.

With his rugged good looks and long, dark braids, he also was known for a handful of Hollywood roles, most notably in the 1992 movie "The Last of the Mohicans," in which he portrayed Chingachgook alongside Daniel Day-Lewis Hawkeye.

Emanuel Steward, earnest yet easygoing, proved rough and tough wasnt the only way to win in boxing.

With a twinkle in his eyes, a smile on his face and a soothing voice, Steward developed unique bonds in and out of the ring with a long line of champions that included Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Wladimir Klitschko.

Steward, owner of the Kronk Gym in Detroit and an International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer, has died at 68.

Even though Steward had a lot of success with Hearns, some of his setbacks from his corner were among the most memorable in the sport. Hearns was knocked out in the 14th round by Sugar Ray Leonard in 1981 Steward said that was the most painful experience of his life and Hearns was on the short end of a three-round fight with Marvin Hagler in 1985 that is considered one of the best bouts in boxing history.

"He brought the very, very best out of me," Hearns once said of Steward.

Steward also trained actor Wesley Snipes for his role as a boxer in "Undisputed" and worked since 2001 as a boxing analyst for HBO.

The images are haunting: naked and emaciated children at Auschwitz standing shoulder-to-shoulder, adult prisoners in striped garb posing for police-style mug shots.

One of several photographers to capture such images, Wilhelm Brasse, has died at the age of 95. A Polish photographer who was arrested and sent to Auschwitz early in World War II, he was put to work documenting his fellow prisoners, an emotionally devastating task that tormented him long after his liberation.

Brasse, who was born in 1917 and was not Jewish, was sent to Auschwitz at 22 as a political prisoner for trying to sneak out of German-occupied Poland in the spring of 1940.

At the wars end, with the Soviet army about to liberate Auschwitz, the Germans ordered the photos destroyed. Brasse and others refused the order and managed to save about 40,000 of them.

German composer Hans Werner Henze, whose prolific and wide-ranging work included a wealth of operas and 10 symphonies, has died at 86.

His operas ranged from the 1950s "Ein Landarzt" ("A Country Doctor"), based on a story by Franz Kafka, to "LUpupa," written in 2002 and the only opera for which Henze wrote his own libretto. …