Mitford died of cancer at the age of 78 on Tuesday (July 23). She was considered one of the premiere investigative journalists of her day, a muckraker in the tradition of Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos. Her targets included the Famous Writers School, a Midwest correspondence school, and the U.S. penal system ("Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison Business"). Mitford's most recent book, "The American Way of Birth" (1992), declares that doctors perform too many C-Sections and de-legitimize midwifery.
Joseph and Julia Quinlan. They are the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan. Joseph Quinlan died this past Saturday at the age of 71. A lawyer for the family said the cause was bone cancer. He and his wife became early pioneers in the "right to die" debate" after they fought for the legal authority to remove a respirator that their daughter was attached to after doctors said she had no hope of coming out of a coma. She then lived nine more years.
Tsongas died Saturday at the age of 55 from complications of lymph cancer. He ran his presidential campaign in 1992 on the issue of the economy, offering tough solutions to the nation's economic problems. During the campaign his cancer (which was in remission) was an issue. His book "Heading Home" was about his fight with cancer. He also wrote the book "Economic Call to Arms" which was published by his presidential campaign. (REBROADCAST from 6/19/92)
Pulitzer Prize winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. has died at 89. We listen back to an interview recorded with him at the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. Schlesinger was a special assistant in the White House to President Kennedy.
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder and pastor of Lynchburg, Va.,'s Thomas Road Baptist Church and an outspoken leader of the religious right, died yesterday at age 73; we remember him with an interview recorded in the early days of Fresh Air's national broadcast. In 1979, Falwell founded a movement he called the Moral Majority and helped return the Republican Party to power with the election of President Ronald Reagan. Falwell also founded Liberty University, an evangelical institution believed to be the largest of its kind. Rebroadcast from March 14, 1986.
Former defense secretary Robert McNamara died Monday. In a 1995 interview with Terry Gross, McNamara reflects on Vietnam and admits his serious doubts about US policy and the decision-making that escalated the war.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy died Tuesday night of complications related to a cancerous brain tumor. In this archival interview from 2006, Kennedy spoke with guest host Dave Davies about the problem of — and possible solutions to — America's burgeoning health care costs.
The New York Times columnist and political spitfire, who died Sept. 27 of pancreatic cancer, left behind an indelible legacy in speechwriting and political reporting. We remember Safire with a conversation from the Fresh Air archives.