Founder of Elite modeling agency, father of Julian and lover of Stephanie Seymour, a former Miss Denmark and many, many others has passed away.
We’d like to pay our respects this morning to the late James Gandolfini, known best for his three-time-Emmy-winning role as Tony Soprano. His was a life and career cut short, and he certainly will be missed.
Rest in peace, Boss.
Sad news for honky-tonk and the music world in general: George Jones has passed on.
The man was a bona fide living legend and exactly what you wanted out of a country star—even if it wasn’t always the healthiest way to live. His reputation preceded him (Waylon Jennings once sang, “He may be, unconsciously, the greatest of them all”) and we may never see another like him.
They were pillars of the modernist aesthetic (and sound) that’s been experiencing a renaissance lately—from the show Mad Men to that credenza your favorite Tumblr just posted a few minutes ago—Brubeck for creating a new offbeat-but-on-beat sound and Niemeyer for bending concrete into curvaceous monuments. And we’d like to take a moment to salute these visionaries who helped shape styles that still influence our lives to this day. Farewell, gentlemen—it’s been a good-looking run.
You only live once.
Fitch was a fighter pilot who survived being shot down. Then he went on to be a successful race car driver—after racing yachts. Fitch socialized with royals—he was kissed by Evita after he won the 1951 Grand Prix of Argentina, and the best line of his obituary might be this one:
He liked to tell the story of how he met the Duke of Windsor at one soiree: they were relieving themselves on a bush at the time. The duke became a friend.
Fitch also was a leader in automobile safety; he invented the impact-softening barrels ubiquitous on highway off-ramps to this day, credited with saving 17,000 lives. He was even tapped to design a Chevy sports car, which led to him being “Nadered” before the term had been invented—Ralph was a consumer advocate at the time and pushed Chevy to stop production. The way this philosopher/Ricky Bobby summed it all up: “I always needed to go fast.” Needless to say, it’s worth a read.
And worth reconsidering the notion of “live fast, die young.”
John Glenn coincidentally (but awesomely) threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium yesterday as part of a previously scheduled ceremony to honor Glenn’s service as both an orbiting astronaut and United States senator. Before heading out to the mound, Glenn, 91, was asked an extraordinary question: “Were you jealous of Neil Armstrong?”
The world got a little less sweet over the weekend with the passing of Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. “I saw parts of myself in him,” Stuart said of Wonka. “I had always treated my children as little adults growing up. This made us all a little happier.”
You can live in happiness, too. (Like the Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo.)
Gore Vidal published 25 novels, two memoirs and reams upon reams of historical and opinionated essays, plays, television dramas and screenplays. “Style,” he once wrote, “is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” By that definition, one of the most stylish gentlemen we have ever known passed away last night at the age of 86.
We’re not ones to flippantly eulogize. (That’s what Facebook is for.) But every so often, the passing of a great man consequently marks the passing of something greater than just one man, or in the case Mr. Vidal, a Man of Letters—erudite, wittily cynical, well-informed, prolific, compassionate and fearless.
A title may never again befit a gentleman so justly.
We usually don’t make exceptions. But when we stumbled upon The Telegraph’s obituary of Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees, we felt obligated to honor him as Kempt Man of the Hour—even if it is a week past his ability to collect on it.
Mirrlees’s life story is the kind you couldn’t make up if you tried–so fantastically “Ruritanian,” in fact, that Ian Fleming leaned on their friendship for inspiration when writing the Bond novels. The obit is worth a read, and lends some insight into the sort of well-lived life a gentleman should strive for. (You’ll want to start by logging a few hundred more hours in your tuxedo.) In just a sampling of the article, things go from reading like your typical social diary (“he embarked upon a rococo career”), to verging on the absurd monologue of an arch villain who spent summers in Rangoon (he “claimed descent from an ancient Basque family, whose members were said to be born without earlobes”), to near-mythical moments of iconoclasm (as legend has it, he coined the Bond family motto, “The world is not enough”).
It’s how we all should want to be remembered one day.
Sunday’s annular eclipse through binoculars in Sacramento, CA.
(Turn around), every now and then the moon passes in front of the sun, leaving only a golden ring around its edges. Such was the case across China, Japan and the West Coast of the United States on Sunday, where the annular eclipse was most visible. Elsewhere, as expected, the eclipse was incredibly anticlimactic and simply led to some late-afternoon impromptu sneezing.
Raise a glass, men. One of the most iconic gentlemen of our time passed away last night, the boxing writer Bert Sugar. He was the platonic ideal of a sportswriter—rarely seen without an unflipped fedora, a cigar and some of the loudest ties ever seen in a newspaper. He was larger than life from the beginning, looking and dressing as if he’d just walked out of His Girl Friday. And given that he covered both Sugar Rays and all three Ali-Frazier bouts, the nostalgia was well earned. He’ll be missed.
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