obituary

Martha Flores, Cuban Radio Pioneer, Dies At 92

Jul 19, 2020
Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

The Miami night has been left without its “Queen”.

Martha Flores, one of the leading figures of Miami’s Cuban exile radio, who for decades cooed with charisma and delivered to listeners of Spanish-language radio in Miami where she was known as the “Queen of the Night,” died Saturday.

For the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a jail cell was about as familiar as a police officer's fist. For his work during the height of the civil rights movement, the minister and activist was arrested more times than he cared to count and suffered several brutal beatings at the hands of officers throughout the South.

All the while, he held fast to one principle: "In no way would we allow nonviolence to be destroyed by violence," he recalled in an oral history recorded in 2011.

When Jerry Stiller told his father he wanted to become an actor, his father offered an alternate plan. He said, "Why don't you be a stagehand — that's like being on the stage — at least you'll be working every night," Stiller told Fresh Air in 1993.

Betty Wright, a luminary R&B singer known for her hits "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight is the Night," has died at the age of 66.

Steve Greenberg, president of S-Curve Records, confirmed the singer's death on Sunday, saying it came after a battle with cancer. Greenberg, who collaborated on several recordings with Wright, called her "one of the most significant women in the history of R&B music, period."

JENNIFER KING / Via Miami Herald

The South Florida theater world is mourning the loss of one of its giants.

Miami-Dade Political Activist Patrick Hidalgo, An Obama Appointee, Dies At 41

Mar 5, 2020
Hidalgo family photo

Patrick Hidalgo, a Miami-Dade political organizer and former President Obama appointee whose loved ones say he was dedicated to bridging the gap between the United States and Cuba, died this week in Miami.

Hidalgo, 41, died Monday of heart failure, his sister said on Facebook. Two days before, he spoke at an Elizabeth Warren campaign event in Miami.

Justin Flippen
City of Wilton Manors

This story has been updated with new details at 7:25 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. 

 

People in Broward and beyond are mourning the sudden loss of Wilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen, who died of a brain aneurysm Tuesday evening at age 41.

 

The City of Wilton Manors announced details Friday evening for a Celebration of Life to honor Flippen. 

The event will take place Friday, March 6 at The Venue Fort Lauderdale, located on Wilton Drive, from 6 - 8 p.m.

Wilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen Dies At 41

Feb 25, 2020
Sun Sentinel file

Justin Flippen, the mayor of Wilton Manors, died suddenly Tuesday.

Flippen was 41. He was elected mayor in 2018 after serving 10 years as a city commissioner.

City officials said that Flippen apparently was driving to Tuesday evening’s City Commission meeting when he became ill and died.

Hair Club for Men founder — and client — Sy Sperling dies in Boca Raton

Feb 20, 2020
YouTube

Hair Club for Men founder Sy Sperling, famous for the TV commercials where he proclaimed "I'm not only the Hair Club president but I'm also a client," died in Boca Raton. He was 78.

Sperling died Wednesday after a lengthy illness, spokeswoman Terri Lynn said Thursday.

In the late 1960s, Sperling was a balding New York City swimming pool salesman who was growing frustrated with toupees. "If you're dating and going to be having special moments, how do you explain, 'I got to take my hair off now?'" he said.

Jazz Saxophone Legend Jimmy Heath Has Died

Jan 19, 2020

Jimmy Heath, a prolific saxophonist, composer and bandleader who played alongside some of the biggest names of jazz, including Miles Davis and John Coltrane, has died.

Heath died Sunday morning in Loganville, Georgia of natural causes, his grandson told NPR. He was 93 years old. His family was at his side, including his wife of 60 years, Mona Heath, his children Mtume and Rozie, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and his brother, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.

David Stern, a basketball Hall of Famer and former commissioner of the NBA, died on Wednesday at age 77. The NBA issued a statement saying that his death was the result of a brain hemorrhage that he suffered in mid-December.

Legendary Broadway songwriter Jerry Herman has died. The author of the hit musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles was 88.

Publicist Harlan Boll said Herman was taken to a Miami hospital Thursday night complaining of chest pain and later died of pulmonary complications.

The title of Jerry Herman's autobiography was Showtune, and if there ever was a Broadway composer who wrote good, old-fashioned, hummable show tunes, it was Jerry Herman.

Songwriter Allee Willis, whose credits include the theme for the show Friends, and Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" and "September," died Tuesday. She was 72.

Willis' long career included a Grammy win and nominations for an Emmy and a Tony. In 2018, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

COURTESY OF CESAR ALVAREZ

Arturo Alvarez, trailblazing Miami trial lawyer and co-founder of the Cuban American Bar Association, died Monday at the age of 71.

A native of Havana, Cuba, Alvarez was one of a handful of Cuban law students at the University of Florida when he graduated in 1972. He entered his field at a time when South Florida firms were in dire need of bilingual attorneys, but they still lacked a community to rely on.

Caroll Spinney, the actor and puppeteer who portrayed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street over five decades, died Sunday at age 85.

The Sesame Workshop said Spinney had died at home in Connecticut, and that he had long lived with dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions.

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