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April 22, 2018

The oldest person in the world, a Japanese woman named Nabi Tajima, died Saturday at the age of 117.

Tajima had been the world's oldest person since September, and she was hospitalized beginning in January. Born on August 4, 1900, Tajima had nine children and about 160 descendants over the course of her life. She was the last person verified to have lived in the 19th century.

The oldest person in the world now is another Japanese woman, one Chiyo Miyako. She will turn 117 next month. Bonnie Kristian

April 21, 2018

An estimated 1,500 mourners turned out for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday.

Her widower, former President George H.W. Bush, was joined by former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura; former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle; and former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary. First lady Melania Trump attended without President Trump — sitting presidents typically do not go to funerals of former first ladies — who tweeted about the funeral from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida:

Barbara Bush died Tuesday at 92 after electing not to receive further treatment for multiple ailments. Read The Week's Matthew Walther on her life here. Bonnie Kristian

April 16, 2018
AP Photo/Richard Drew

Actor Harry Anderson, best known for starring in Night Court and Dave's World, was found dead in his Asheville, North Carolina, home Monday morning. He was 65.

Police say no foul play is suspected. Born in Rhode Island in 1952, Anderson moved to Los Angeles as a teen, and after graduating from Hollywood High School, he moved to San Francisco, where he reportedly made money as a street magician. Following a guest spot on Saturday Night Live, Anderson was approached by Cheers producer Les Charles, who asked if he'd be a guest star on the show. From there, Anderson landed the role of Judge Harry T. Stone on Night Court.

"I guess they figured I was an actor," he told the Bradenton Herald. "I never auditioned for anything. I had the scripts next to me behind the bench. They named the character Harry so I'd remember to react when someone said my name. By the time they figured out that I couldn't act scared on the subway at 4 a.m., I already had a five-year contract." He also appeared in the 1990 television adaptation of Stephen King's It, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, 30 Rock, and The John Larroquette Show. Catherine Garcia

April 16, 2018
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

R. Lee Ermey, famous for playing Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, died Sunday from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.

A U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant, drill instructor, and honorary gunnery sergeant, he spent 11 years in the military, including 14 months in Vietnam. When he retired, Ermey decided to take acting classes, and ended up working as a technical adviser on Apocalypse Now, in addition to playing a helicopter pilot. His Full Metal Jacket performance earned Ermey a Golden Globe nomination, and in addition to acting in films, he also had several voiceover roles, including as the lead green plastic soldier in the Toy Story movies. Catherine Garcia

April 14, 2018

Renowned director Milos Forman died early Saturday morning at a hospital near his Connecticut home, his family announced through his agent. He was 86. Known for films including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, and Man on the Moon, Forman won two Oscars in the best director category and was nominated for a third.

Forman was born in 1932 in what was then known as Czechoslovakia, and during World War II, his mother was killed at Auschwitz. He was part of the "Czechoslovak new wave" of film but fled his home country after the imposition of Soviet rule. Forman is survived by four children. Bonnie Kristian

April 2, 2018

South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at the age of 81 after "a long illness," a family spokesperson said Monday.

The ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, who was the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Madikizela-Mandela was known as "the Mother of the Nation." The Guardian writes that "her uncompromising methods and refusal to forgive contrasted sharply with the reconciliation espoused by her husband," and that their 1992 divorce ultimately tarnished her reputation in the eyes of some South Africans, although she "retained the support of radical black nationalists to the end."

She faced convictions and allegations ranging from corruption to murder over the course of her career. In a 1996 American University speech, she recalled: "I learned to deal with the police ... to be tough ... to survive." Learn more about Madikizela-Mandela in a video made on the occasion of her 80th birthday in 2016 below. Jeva Lange

April 1, 2018
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Emmy-winning TV writer and producer Steven Bochco, the creator of Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, died Sunday morning, his family's spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 74.

Bochco had leukemia, and spokesman Phillip Arnold said he "fought cancer with strength, courage, grace, and his unsurpassed sense of humor." The New York City native earned a theater degree from Carnegie Mellon University, but made his name in Hollywood as the creator of such hits as L.A. Law, Doogie Howser, M.D., and Murder in the First. Disney CEO Bob Iger, president of ABC when NYPD Blue started, said Bochco was a "visionary, a creative force, a risk taker, a witty urbane story teller with an uncanny ability to know what the world wanted." Catherine Garcia

March 26, 2018
AP Photo/File

Linda Brown Thompson, who as a child living in Topeka, Kansas, was in the middle of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation, has died. She was 76.

Brown's death was confirmed by her sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson. Their father, Rev. Oliver Brown, sued the Topeka school district when Linda Brown was a third grader, after she was denied admission to an all-white elementary school only five blocks away from their home; the all-black school was 20 blocks away. The NAACP took up Brown's case, and it was combined with several other school segregation lawsuits into Brown v. Board of Education. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that school segregation was unconstitutional, and struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine.

In a statement, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) said that Brown's life "reminds us that sometimes the most unlikely people can have an incredible impact and that by serving our community we can truly change the world." Catherine Garcia

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