Notable July deaths: Monteith, Farina & more

By Krystal Hagan of MSN News
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In Memoriam

This month we lost the inventor of Twister, a "Glee" star and the wife of an iconic folk singer. Click through to read about notable people who passed away in July. See gallery

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Oscar "Ossie" Schectman

Died July 30 (b. 1919)

Oscar "Ossie" Schectman (see photos) was the first player to score a basket in the National Basketball Association. Playing for the New York Knicks on Nov. 1, 1946, Schectman, a guard, cut through the lane and scored on a layup against the Toronto Huskies for the first official points recorded in the NBA. Commissioner David Stern called Schectman "a true NBA pioneer."

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He was featured in this documentary

Schectman was elected to inaugural New York City Basketball Hall of Fame

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Eileen Brennan

Died July 28 (b. 1932)

Eileen Brennan (see photos) was an actress best known for her role in the 1980 film "Private Benjamin," for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. (Who won the Oscar?) Brennan reprised the role on TV and won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her performance. She also played Mrs. Peacock in "Clue."

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Cause of death

She was a breast cancer survivor

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Lois DeBerry

Died July 28 (b. 1945)

Lois DeBerry (see photos) was a Democratic Tennessee state representative and one of the longest-serving female lawmakers in the country. She was first elected to the state House in 1972 and became its first female speaker pro tempore. In 2000, she was chosen to give the presidential nominating speech at the Democratic National Convention.

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Cause of death

Friendship with a former vice president

Received a legislative award in 2000

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Col. George "Bud" Day

Died July 27 (b. 1925)

Col. George "Bud" Day (see photos) was a former Marine known for being Sen. John McCain's cellmate in the infamous Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. Day had been taken by captors when his plane was shot down on Aug. 26, 1967. After the war he fought for veterans' health-care benefits and campaigned for his former cellmate's presidential bids in 2000 and 2008.

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Cause of death

Watch McCain talk about Day's passing

His high honor

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JJ Cale

Died July 26 (b. 1938)

JJ Cale (see photos) was a Grammy-winning songwriter known for such hits as Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" and "After Midnight." He was a former member of the Grand Ole Opry touring company and also had his songs covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana and Johnny Cash.

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Cause of death

He wrote for many other artists

Watch him perform

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AP Photo: Isaac Brekken
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Barnaby Jack

Died July 25 (b. 1977)

Barnaby Jack (see photos) was a New Zealand-born computer hacker known for exploiting bugs in medical devices and ATMs, including getting cash machines to spit out bills, a trick also known as "jackpotting." He had most recently worked for IOActive and was due to present his pacemaker demonstration at an annual hacker conference.

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Showtime series 'Homeland' used his idea

Watch his jackpotting demo

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Juan David Ochoa

Died July 25 (b. 1949)

Juan David Ochoa (see photos) co-founded the notorious Colombian Medellin drug cartel along with his brothers and Pablo Escobar in the 1980s. He had served more than five years in prison when he was released in 1996, and raised gait horses after his release.

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Cause of death

Brother serving time in US

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Virginia Johnson

Died July 24 (b. 1925)

Virginia Johnson (see photos) was a sex-research pioneer known for her groundbreaking work with her partner — and later husband — William Masters. She began working as a secretary in the medical school at Washington University in St. Louis in the 1950s, where she met Masters, an obstetrician-gynecologist. Together, they conducted one of the largest sex experiments in U.S. history and became celebrities, appearing on magazine covers and co-authoring several books.

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Cause of death

Biography about the couple

Upcoming Showtime series based on their lives

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Emile Griffith

Died July 23 (b. 1938)

Emile Griffith (see photos) was a retired welterweight and middleweight fighter who was the first boxer to be crowned world champion from the U.S. Virgin Islands. In a nationally televised fight in 1962, he knocked out his opponent, Benny ''The Kid'' Paret, who died 10 days later. Griffith was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

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Cause of death

Documentary about the fatal bout

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Reuters: Gus Ruelas, Files
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Dennis Farina

Died July 22 (b. 1944)

Dennis Farina (see photos) was a character actor known for his roles in the movies "Midnight Run" and "Get Shorty" and for playing Detective Joe Fontana on the TV series "Law and Order." One of his last roles was a guest stint on "New Girl." Before becoming an actor, the Chicago native was a policeman for 18 years.

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Cause of death

Farina spent time on stage

His first film

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John Casablancas

Died July 20 (b. 1942)

John Casablancas (see photos) was a playboy agent whose Elite Model Management agency became one of the biggest players in the fashion world of the 1970s and '80s. He represented top supermodels including Heidi Klum, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. His relationship with 15-year-old Stephanie Seymour in 1983 ended his second marriage. A 1999 scandal led to him leaving the agency, which filed for bankruptcy five years later.

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Cause of death

His rock-star son

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Helen Thomas

Died July 20 (b. 1920)

Helen Thomas (see photos) was a reporter known for being one of the few female journalists in the White House Press Corps. She began her career at United Press in 1943 and became the first woman assigned to the White House full time during the Kennedy administration. Her controversial remarks about Jews in 2010 led her to retire from Hearst Newspapers at the age of 90.

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Cause of death

Watch videos

Her signature statement

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Mel Smith

Died July 19 (b. 1952)

Mel Smith (see photos) was a British comedian who teamed up with fellow funny man Griff Rhys Jones on shows such as "Alas Smith and Jones" and "Not the Nine O'Clock News." Across the pond, he's probably most well-known for playing The Albino in 1987's "The Princess Bride." He took his talents behind the camera as director of the 1997 Mr. Bean movie.

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Cause of death

Watch his 'Princess Bride' scene

Stars pay tribute

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AP Photo: Courtesty of Mike Small
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Willie Louis

Died July 18 (b. 1937)

Willie Louis (see photos) was one of the last living witnesses who testified at the Emmett Till murder trial in 1955. After testifying, he moved from Mississippi to Chicago and changed his last name from Reed. He wasn't known for discussing the case publicly until he was interviewed for a 2003 PBS documentary.

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Another 2005 documentary

He talked to '60 Minutes' in 2004

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Talia Castellano

Died July 16 (b. 1999)

 

Talia Castellano (see photos) was a teenager known for her YouTube makeup tutorials and her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she learned about her honorary CoverGirl status.

 

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Cause of death

DeGeneres' reaction

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Bill Warner

Rex Features
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Dennis Burkley

Died July 14 (b. 1945)

Dennis Burkley (see photos) was an actor known for towering over his fellow actors (how tall was he?) in TV shows such as "Sanford" and "Hill Street Blues." He voiced a character on "King of the Hill" from 1997 to 2010.

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Cause of death

His first feature-film credit

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Cory Monteith

Died July 13 (b. 1982)

Corey Monteith (see photos) was a Canadian actor (where was he born?) known for his starring role in "Glee" and his high-profile relationship with his co-star Lea Michele. He had talked about his struggles with addiction in past interviews.

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Cause of death

Celebrities respond to his death

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Leonard Garment

Died July 13 (b. 1924)

Leonard Garment (see photos) was a New York City lawyer known for being President Richard Nixon's adviser during the Watergate scandal. He put himself through Brooklyn Law School by playing saxophone and clarinet in jazz bands. In 2000, he published the book "In Search of Deep Throat," five years before the tipster was revealed to be Mark Felt.

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His unusual birthplace

His advice to Nixon

His musical passion

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Amar Bose

Died July 12 (b. 1929)

Amar Bose (see photos) was a billionaire inventor who founded the Bose Corp., which began selling high-end audio systems and speakers in the late 1960s. He was on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than 40 years.

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Cause of death

His big donation to MIT

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Pran Krishan Sikand

Died July 12 (b. 1920)

Pran Krishan Sikand (see photos) was a Bollywood actor who appeared in more than 350 movies since the 1940s. Pran — as he was popularly known — became famous for playing bad guys, which earned him a cool nickname and the prestigious Indian Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

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Cause of death

Watch videos

Prime minister's response

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Eugene Wilkinson

Died July 11 (b. 1918)

Eugene Wilkinson (see photos) was a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral who served during World War II and later commanded the first nuclear-powered submarine. During his career, he earned the Silver Star and Legion of Merit awards in addition to many other honors.  

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His birthplace

Sub is now in a museum

He received several awards

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Philip Caldwell

Died July 10 (b. 1920)

Philip Caldwell (see photos) became the first Ford Motor Co. chief executive officer who wasn't a member of the founding family when he took over in 1978. The best-selling Ford Taurus became his biggest success story during his time at the helm.

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Cause of death

He replaced a famous CEO

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Jim Foglesong

Died July 9 (b. 1922)

Jim Foglesong (see photos) was a country-music executive known for discovering such superstars as Garth Brooks and George Strait. A singer himself, he provided background vocals for Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl" and taught music at the Blair School of Music for more than 20 years.

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He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

He became a university professor

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Toshi Seeger

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Masao Yoshida

Died July 9 (b. 1955)

Masao Yoshida (see photos) was an engineer and manager at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which suffered major damage after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami hit Japan in 2011. He once said after the disaster that retreat was "never an option."

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Cause of death

He attended college in Tokyo

Who are the Fukushima 50?

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Edmund S. Morgan

Died July 8 (b. 1916)

Edmund S. Morgan (see photos) was a historian and Yale University professor who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on early American history. After retiring in 1986, he went on to receive a Humanities Medal from President Bill Clinton in 2000, when he was 84 years old.

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Cause of death

He wrote a best-selling Benjamin Franklin biography

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Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti

Died July 8 (b. 1947)

Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti (see photos) was a half-brother and presidential adviser to Saddam Hussein who was captured in 2005 and received a death sentence in 2009. Up until his capture, he was known as the Six of Diamonds in the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards.

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Cause of death

He led Iraq's secret service

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Hannah Warren

Died July 6 (b. 2011)

Hannah Warren (see photos) — who was from Seoul, South Korea — became the youngest person to receive an artificial windpipe during a surgery earlier this year at the Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. She was born with a rare birth defect called tracheal agenesis.

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Cause of death

Harvard Bioscience responds

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Lo Hsing Han

Died July 6 (b. 1935)

Lo Hsing Han (see photos) was a drug-trafficker-turned-business-tycoon from Burma known as the "Godfather of Heroin." He reportedly began dealing in heroin and opium as a militia leader fighting Communists in the 1960s in his country, also known as Myanmar. He was arrested and sentenced to death in 1973 but was released in 1980.

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He ran a business with his son

He was on US sanctions list

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David F. Cargo

Died July 5 (b. 1929)

David F. Cargo (see photos) known as "Lonesome Dave" was a Republican who became the youngest governor of New Mexico when he won the 1966 election at the age of 37. He ran for several political seats after leaving office, including mayor of Albuquerque and Oregon state treasurer, but never won again.

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Cause of death

Cargo wrote an autobiography

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Douglas Dayton

Died July 5 (b. 1924)

Douglas Dayton (see photos) took over his family's Minneapolis department store in 1948 after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II and receiving a Purple Heart. He became the first president of Target in 1960. He retired in 1994 after leaving Target Corp. to form a venture capital firm.

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Cause of death

His governor nephew

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Radu Vasile

Died July 3 (b. 1942)

Radu Vasile (see photos) was a former prime minister of Romania who was fired by President Emil Constantinescu after only a year in the position. While in office, he mediated a miners' protest and welcomed Pope John Paul II to the country in 1999.

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Cause of death

He supported Romania's membership in European Union

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Doug Engelbart

Died July 2 (b. 1925)

Doug Engelbart (see photos) was a scientist known for inventing the first computer mouse prototype (see photos) in 1964. In addition to the mouse, he was instrumental in the creation of Internet precursor ARPANET and a pioneer in interactive computing.  

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Cause of death

He received many awards later in life

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak paid tribute

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Princess Fawzia

Died July 2 (b. 1921)

Princess Fawzia (see photos) was famous for being part of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, Egypt’s last royal family. At the age of 17, she married Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran and became queen in 1941. They divorced in 1946, and she married Egyptian diplomat Ismail Chirine in 1949.

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Her children

She spent her later years in Alexandria, Egypt

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Charles Carr

Died July 1 (b. 1934)

Charles Carr (see photos) was known as the teenage driver of the blue 1952 Cadillac in which country singer Hank Williams died while traveling between tour dates on Jan. 1, 1953. Carr was a Williams family friend who reportedly didn't talk much about the incident until his later years.

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Cause of death

See photos of the car

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William H. Gray III

Died July 1 (b. 1941)

William H. Gray III (see photos) was a former minister and politician who became the first African-American to lead the House Budget Committee in 1985 and to serve as Majority Whip in 1989. After leaving Congress, he headed up the United Negro College Fund from 1991 to 2004. He also held directorial positions at Dell, Pfizer and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Cause of death

His birthplace

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Chuck Foley

Died July 1 (b. 1930)

Chuck Foley (see photos) was known for co-inventing the popular party game Twister in the mid-1960s, which was later sold to Milton Bradley. In addition to Twister, he invented un-du adhesive remover.

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Cause of death

Son now runs his company

Famous couple popularized the controversial game

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