Monthly Archive: August 2007

The Man Who Wasn’t a Terrorist

Richard Jewell has died at age 44, apparently of natural causes. He was diagnosed with diabetes in February and has been in poor health since.Jewell, you may recall, was the security guard who discovered a suspicious knapsack at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He helped clear the area before the knapsack, which turned out to be a bomb, exploded.

Leona’s $12 Million Dog

Real estate magnate Leona Helmsley has willed a $12 million trust fund to her dog Trouble, according to CBS News.Helmsley cut two grandchildren out of her will entirely, cut two others in for $5 million each — if they visit their father’s grave once per calendar year — and left $100,000 to her chauffeur.The will also calls for her mausoleum to be steam-cleaned once a year.

More on Craig

More on the Larry Craig story:The Idaho Statesman has now published a lengthy recap of a five-month investigation it recently made into rumors that the Idaho senator was gay.

Larry Craig: ‘I Should Not Have Pled Guilty’

Roll Call reported today that Idaho Senator Larry Craig was arrested and charged with lewd conduct in a men’s room at Minneapolis International Airport in June. The story sounded a bit outlandish — Craig was arrested after tapping his foot and touching shoes with a plainclothes officer — but in fact, Craig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct on August 8th in Minnesota’s Hennepin County District Court.

The Mysterious Thumbs of Roger Ebert

Odd legal note of the day: movie critic Roger Ebert holds a trademark on “thumbs up.” Who knew?The famed film reviewer is in a contract dispute with Disney-ABC Domestic Television, which distributes At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper. Disney claimed last week that Ebert was barring the thumbs from his show as a negotiating tactic; now Ebert claims on his official site that he is only withholding the thumbs until Disney negotiates in good faith.

John Singleton Innocent in Jaywalker Death

Director John Singleton has been declared innocent of any wrongdoing in the death of a pedestrian hit by his Lexus SUV last week in Los Angeles.The victim was 57-year-old Constance Russell, who apparently jaywalked in front of Singleton’s car. An LAPD news release said Singleton stopped at the scene, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and was questioned and released.

Elvis Presley + 30

Elvis Presley died 30 years ago, on 16 August 1977.Time Magazine has a rather cynical report in the “good career move” vein. Elvis’s estate is holding an anniversary concert, “starring the real Elvis Presley, via video,” with a $90 top ticket price.

Goodbye, Scooter

Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto, beloved New York Yankees shortstop and broadcaster, has died at age 89. The New York Post has the full story.The Yankees won seven World Series titles with Rizzuto at shortstop from 1941-56.

Rove Steps Down

Karl Rove, the powerful political adviser who guided George W. Bush to the Texas statehouse and then to the White House, is resigning as deputy chief of staff on August 31.

Merv Griffin Dies at 82

Merv Griffin, creator of the game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, has died at age 82.Bloomberg News quotes a spokesperson as saying Griffin died of “prostate cancer that spread to other organs in an ‘unexpected and immediate’ manner.”

Ankiel’s (Wildly) Successful Return

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel was a sad figure when we profiled him back in 2000. The 21-year-old had suddenly, shockingly lost his ability to pitch during the third inning of a playoff game against the Atlanta Braves. He threw five wild pitches before being pulled from the game. The Cardinals started him in another playoff game a few days later, and Ankiel didn’t even make it out of the first inning.

The Few, the Proud

With Roberto Clemente in the books (see below), this seems like a good time to salute those who made 3000 profiles possible: managing editor (since 1998!) and First Lady aficionado Paul Hehn, religion and show tunes editor Hans Holznagel, and the indispensable boys in the boiler room: Mike Duffy and Adam DuVander. Thanks, fellahs!

Mister 3000

Our 3000th profile is up, and the subject is a fitting one: baseball’s Roberto Clemente.Clemente had exactly 3000 hits in his major league career; the last was a double in his final game on 30 September 1972. That made him one of only 27 players in major league history to collect 3000 hits.

2997… 2998… 2999…

Who2 is very close to the magical round number of 3000 profiles. The profiles leading up to 3000 have been the usual marvelous jumble of types. 2997 was Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon icon Bugs Bunny. 2998 was Mary Todd Lincoln, the troubled wife of President Abraham Lincoln. And 2999, just published, is of clergyman and anti-war activist William Sloane Coffin.

Bonds Hits 756

Yup, he did it. Barry Bonds hit his 756th career home run on Tuesday night to become American baseball’s all-time home run leader. He did the trick with a homer off of Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik.The San Francisco Chronicle is a good place to read all about it.

Duelling Herods

Religion and antiquities editor Hans Holznagel has just come up with two new profiles of juicy Biblical villains: King Herod and Herod Antipas.Herod #1 is the ruler who, in the famous story, ordered the murder of all Bethlehem boys under age 2. (The toddler Jesus of Nazareth escaped just in time.) Herod #2, Herod Antipas, is the dude who beheaded John the Baptist.

The Third (and Final?) Bourne

Matt Damon returns this weekend in The Bourne Ultimatum, his third film as the heroic amnesiac Jason Bourne.