We listen back to excerpts from a 1988 interview with the NBC broadcaster, whose fascination with linguistic excess led to a series of books about the English language. During his long career Newman covered President Kennedy's assassination and the Six-Day War. He died on Aug. 13 at age 91.
In the 1970s, George Carlin's seven dirty words routine was the center of a famous obscenity case. More recently, the comic was named the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Carlin died of heart failure Sunday at the age of 71.
Writer Susan Sontag died Wednesday at age 71 of leukemia. We listen back to two interviews with her: a 1989 conversation about her book AIDS and Its Metaphors; and 1993 interview conducted shortly after Sontag returned from Sarajevo, where she directed a performance of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in Serbo-Croatian.
Isaac Asimov [a.k.a. Paul French], the prolific science fiction writer, has passed away at the age of 72. Asimov wrote nearly 500 books, and was honored, among other times, in 1966 with a special Hugo Award for the best science fiction series ever for his "Foundation" trilogy. We present highlights from an earlier interview. (Rebroadcast. Originally aired 9/25/87.)
Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg looks at the contributions made by two men of language: former Senator S.I. Hayakawa, an English professor and former president of San Francisco State University; and Professor Dwight Bolinger, who he calls "one of the most distinguished semanticists of the age." Both men died last week.