Entries in Died (8)


‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier Dies of Liver Cancer

Chris Smith/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- “Smokin’” Joe Frazier, a boxer who was the first fighter to defeat Muhammad Ali and held the heavyweight crown for five years, has died after a fight with liver cancer.  He was 67.

“We The Family of the 1964 Olympic Boxing Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame Member Smokin’ Joe Frazier, regrets to inform you of his passing,” his family said in a statement released Monday night. “He transitioned from this life as ‘One of God’s Men,’ on the eve of November 7, 2011 at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We thank you for your prayers for our Father and vast outpouring of love and support.”

Frazier won the Olympic gold medal in the 1964 Games and with his punishing left hook was one of the greatest heavyweights in boxing history.

After his grueling third fight with Ali, billed as the “Thrilla in Manilla,” Ali said, “It was the closest I’ve come to death.”

Ali issued a brief statement with kind words for Frazier and expressed sympathy for his family.

“The world has lost a great Champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones,”  Ali said Monday.

Frazier, the son of a South Carolina sharecropper born on Jan. 12, 1944 in Beaufort, got into boxing by accident, according to the biography on his website. He went to a gym to get into shape, and picked up the rudiments of the sport so quickly he was soon fighting competitively.

As an amateur he was undefeated until he lost to Buster Mathis in the 1964 Olympic trials, but got to go to the games after Mathis hurt his hand and couldn’t fight.

When he turned pro in 1965, he tore through other heavyweights, racking up a 25-0 record before his matchup with Ali at New York’s Madison Square Garden in March 1971.

When the match with Ali was made, billed as “The Fight of the Century,” it was for a purse of $2.5 million for each -- an astronomical figure for the sport at that time.

The fight lived up to all the hype, considered by many to be the greatest in boxing history. Frazier’s left hook knocked Ali down in the 15th round for a four count, and he won the decision, giving him the undisputed world championship.

Frazier held the crown until January 1973, when George Foreman knocked him down six times in the first two rounds and the fight was stopped.

He lost a 12-round rematch with Ali in January 1974, but after victories over Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis, he was ready to face Ali again.

For “The Thrilla in Manilla,” both fighters were past their prime, but despite the heat in the Philippines, the fight lived up to the billing. Ali seemed to be in control in the early rounds, slipping Frazier’s punches and connecting repeatedly.

Frazier wouldn’t fall so easily. Through the middle rounds, he punished Ali with body blows, but Ali survived and began connecting to Frazier’s face and head late in the fight, eventually doing so much damage that Frazier’s eyes were swollen shut and his ring stopped the fight after 14 rounds.

The fight essentially ended Frazier’s career. He lost a rematch with Foreman nine months later, and retired.

After an unsuccessful comeback attempt in 1981, he opened a gym in Philadelphia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Three Arrested for Death of Toddler in Overheated Day Care Van

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The owner of a Georgia day care center and two employees have been charged with cruelty to children and manslaughter in the death of a two-year-old girl who was left in a locked van for two hours while daytime temperatures soared into the mid-90s.

Jazmin Green's death came Monday, just three months after the day care center, Marlo's Magnificent Early Learning Center in Jonesboro, was found to be in violation of a Georgia law that requires a check of vehicles after trips "to assure that no child remains on the vehicle."

Marlo Fallings, the owner of the center, Fallings' daughter Quantabia Hopkins and a teenager whose name has not been released were arrested and charged with cruelty to children in the second degree, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, according to the Clayton County Police Department.

The children were taken in the center's van on a field trip to a Chuck E. Cheese. After returning to the center, Jazmin was overlooked and left in the van.

Officer John K. Schneller said it was Hopkins who realized at approximately 3:30 p.m. that Jazmin was not inside the center. The field trip van had returned to the day care center between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. The temperature outside was about 93 degrees.

"Hopkins went into the parking lot and found Jazmin still in her car seat inside the van," Schneller said in a press statement, adding that the two-year-old was nonresponsive and didn't appear to be breathing.

According to, a website that collects information on child care centers, Marlo's Magnificent Early Learning cares for over 40 children of infant, toddler, preschool and school age.

An average of 38 children die every year in hot cars from heat-related deaths, according to Kids And Cars, a group that documents and studies the dangers associated with children and motor vehicles. The organization reports that between 1998 and 2010, 495 children died from vehicular heat stroke, with 2010 breaking the record with 49 deaths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Eighth Grader Collapses and Dies at School Dance

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision(SAN MARCOS, Calif.) -- A California community is mourning the loss of 14-year-old Sabrina Keller, who collapsed at a school dance and died at a hospital.

Keller was named San Marcos County's top Girl Scout cookie seller after selling 3,463 boxes of cookies, according to the North County Times. San Marcos is a city about 40 miles north of San Diego.

Keller collapsed at about 9 p.m. Thursday night while on the dance floor at a Woodland Park Middle School dance, ABC's San Diego affiliate KGTV reports.

According to the school principal, a parent who is a nurse performed CPR on Keller while others at the dance called 911. Emergency crews arrived on the scene, and Keller was flown to Rady Children's Hosptial where she was pronounced dead an hour later.

About 250 students were at the dance celebrating the end of their eighth grade year.

An autopsy completed Friday was inconclusive and the Medical Examiner's office will be conducting further tests, which could take up to 90 days.

KGTV reported that the medical examiner is looking into the possibility Keller used marijuana before the dance, but school officials and the girl's parents said that doesn't fit with the Sabrina Keller they knew.

"I know the media can sometimes jump to conclusions, but let's keep it  positive that she still was a good girl," her father, Brian Keller, said at a vigil for his daughter, hugging his wife and choking back tears. "If she made a bad choice, let's not take her down for that one bad choice if that's what the true outcome is."

Hundreds of friends, family and community members attended a vigil for Keller on Friday and shared their memories of the vibrant teenager.

The Keller family made a Facebook page for a memorial service, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14.

The family says there will be an empty photo album at the memorial for people to put photos in that they would like the family to have. They also ask that everyone wear "fun bright colors (no black)."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger Passes Away

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger died on Saturday. He was 80.

Details about Eagleburger’s death were not immediately available, however, on Saturday several political figures expressed their condolences to Eagleburger’s family over the loss of the former statesman.

"With the passing of former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, our nation has lost a distinguished diplomat and public servant," President Obama said in a statement. "Through more than four decades of service, first in the Army and then as a dedicated foreign service officer and statesman, Lawrence Eagleburger devoted his life to the security of our nation and to strengthening our ties with allies and partners."

Eagleburger served as Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush, with the nation’s 41st president describing Eagleburger as being the "real deal."

"Larry Eagleburger was one of the most capable and respected diplomats our foreign service ever produced, and I will be ever grateful for his wise, no-nonsense counsel during those four years of historic change in our world," Bush said in a statement.

Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also issued a statement Saturday, describing Eagleburger as someone who believed in the strength of America’s values.

"Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger was a strong voice and stalwart champion for America’s values," Clinton said. "His passing is America’s loss."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Assisted Suicide Doctor Jack Kevorkian Dies 

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO(DETROIT) -- Jack Kevorkian, the enigmatic pathologist known as "Dr. Death" and "Jack the Dripper," who assisted in more than 130 suicides with his "mercy machine" leaves a legacy of activism and controversy.

The flamboyant doctor has died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 83, according to his lawyer Mayer Morganroth. He'd been hospitalized for about two weeks for kidney and heart problems. A clot broke free from his left leg and lodged in his heart.

Kevorkian, whose tactics included fasting, appearing at a trial in Puritan-era stocks and protesting in a ball and chain, was at once lambasted and praised for his passionate belief in personal autonomy.

Today, partially as a result of his efforts, Oregon, Washington and Montana allow terminally ill patients to ask a doctor for a lethal amount of medication after a medical and psychological evaluation, but they have rejected Kevorkian's call for "death on demand."

Those who have pushed for more liberal laws and legislation in other states say there is no single advocate with the same riveting rhetoric who could have the same impact as Kevorkian.

"He started at a time when it was hardly talked about and got people thinking about the issue," said Philip Nitschke, founder and director of Exit International, which leads the worldwide right-to-die movement. "He paid one hell of a price and that is one of the hallmarks of true heroism."

That price was a murder conviction in 1999. Kevorkian served eight years in prison, but was released early on parole on the condition he would not kill again.

Kevorkian never married and had no children, but his niece, Ava Janus, was with him when died.

The doctor's mantra was "dying is not a crime," and he made national headlines with his invention -- the thanatron, Greek for suicide machine -- which gave patients a "dignified, humane and painless" death. A pull of the trigger released a drug to induce a deep coma. Once asleep, a timer would inject a lethal dose of potassium chloride to stop the heart.

Later, he used a "mercitron," or mercy machine, after his medical license was revoked after the first two deaths and he could no longer get the substances required for the thanatron.

Kevorkian became the face of the assisted suicide movement, which had its roots in the United States in the 1930s and gathered steam in the 1990s.

Kevorkian was born in Pontiac, Mich., the son of working-class parents who left Armenia after the genocide of 1915. He was trained as a pathologist and first got his name, Dr. Death, because of a 1956 paper he wrote about photographing the eyes of dying patients.

Kevorkian's lawyer said there were no plans for a memorial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


World's Oldest Living Man Dies in Montana at 114

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Thinkstock(GREAT FALLS, Mont.) -- Walter Breuning, known as the world's oldest living man, passed away in Montana Thursday.  He was 114.

According to Stacia Kirby, the spokeswoman for the retirement home where Breuning lived since 1980, the supercentenarian died of natural causes at a Great Falls hospital.

Breuning was born in Melrose, Minnesota on Sept. 21, 1896.  In 1913, he began a 50-year career working on railroads.  Two years later, he moved to Montana, where he continued his career before retiring in 1963 at the age of 67.

In 1922, he married Agnes Twokey, who passed away in 1957.  The couple never had children and Bruening never remarried.

The title of the world's oldest living man now goes to Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, according to the Gerontology Research Group's website.  Kimura is 113 years old and will turn 114 on Tuesday, April 19.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Aspiring Pop Star Wanted for Questioning in Fatal Butt Injection Case

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The woman wanted for questioning in the case of an illegal butt implant procedure that left a 20-year-old British woman dead is a transsexual performer who goes by the stage name "Black Madam," according to Philadelphia police.

The "Black Madam" has been on the lam since last Tuesday, when Claudia Aderotimi died after receiving illegal buttocks injections at a Hampton Inn in Southwest Philadelphia.

British papers, including the Daily Mail, reported that Aderotimi wanted a career in show business and sought the implants to boost her chances of being a "video girl."

A search of the home belonging to Padge Victoria Windslowe, the so-called "Black Madam," turned up silicone, ABC news affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported.

Windslowe, an aspiring musician who sings what she calls "black Goth," enlisted the help of Philadelphia photographers to try to launch her career.  Her Facebook page shows that she has more than 1,000 fans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Elizabeth Edwards Dies After Long Battle with Cancer

Photo Courtesy - AmericanProgress [dot] org(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- After a six-year battle with breast cancer, Elizabeth Edwards succumbed to the disease Tuesday morning at age 61.

"Elizabeth Anania Edwards, mother, author, advocate, died today at her home in Chapel Hill, surrounded by her family," said a statement released Tuesday by her family. "Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family."

"We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life," the statement read.

Earlier this week it was announced that Edwards, who had been admitted and then released from the hospital over Thanksgiving, had stopped all cancer treatment.

Edwards, who was estranged from her husband, one-time presidential hopeful John Edwards, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. A close friend of the Edwards family told ABC News that John Edwards was among those who were at her side during her final days.

Edwards’ cancer returned in 2007, when her husband was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. The stage-four cancer was deemed incurable and within a year, Edwards was fighting another battle.

In January, the couple separated after 30 years of marriage when John admitted he had fathered a daughter with filmmaker Rielle Hunter.

Born Mary Elizabeth Anania, Elizabeth Edwards grew up in Virginia as the daughter of a Navy pilot. She initially planned to teach literature, but ultimately pursued a law degree at the University of North Carolina, where she met John.

The couple had four children. Their oldest, Wade, was killed in an automobile accident in 1996 at the age of 16.

In recent years, Elizabeth authored two best-selling books and became a champion of causes involving poverty and cancer.

But always, she said, her children were her top priority: 28-year-old Cate, 12-year-old Emma Claire and 10-year-old Jack.

In her 2009 book, Resilience, Edwards wrote that she hoped to live long enough to see her three children graduate from school and, hopefully, have a grandchild. "Eight years," she wrote. "That's all I ask for...I want to walk them to the door of the next part of their lives."

Edwards' death has prompted several prominent political heads and friends to offer praise of her life and condolences to the Edwards family.

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards," President Obama said in a written statement.  "Through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends," he added.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Elizabeth Edwards "made her mark on America, and she will not be forgotten."

A source close to the family has said that a funeral for Edwards will likely take place Friday or Saturday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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