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The Eulogizer: Jews who died in 2010

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(JTA) — When The New York Times Sunday Magazine published its annual list of notable 2010 deaths, there were three Jewish names: Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, innovative mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot and caricaturist David Levine, who actually died on Dec. 29, 2009.

We’ve come up with many more notable figures, divided here by category.

Politics/Government

Theodore "Ted" Sorensen, 82, was President John F. Kennedy’s speechwriter, a longtime adviser and a ghostwriter of Kennedy’s "Profiles in Courage." 

Daniel "Danny the Red" Bensaid, 63, a French philosopher and former student radical who was a leader in the student revolt in Paris in 1968, was described as France’s leading "Marxist public intellectual" upon his death.

Ruth Proskauer Smith, 102, was an abortion rights pioneer.

Harry Schwarz, 85, was a South African anti-apartheid activist who was his country’s ambassador to the United States during the transition from apartheid to the Mandela government. He also was a leader of South Africa’s Jewish Board of Deputies, and he worked with Israeli leaders to ensure the safety and future of South African Jewry. Schwarz told his own story as part of a museum exhibit of German refugees in South Africa.

David Kimche, 82, was a founding father of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency and a spy who worked undercover in Africa and with the Christian Phalangists in Lebanon before Israel’s 1982 war there.

Dov Shilansky, 86, was a former Speaker of the Knesset.

Actors/Filmmakers

Tony Curtis, 85, actor and artist, was born in the Bronx as Bernard Schwartz. A major sex symbol on the big screen from the 1950s on, Curtis helped finance the rebuilding of the Great Synagogue in Budapest in honor of his Hungarian roots.

Tom Bosley, 83, was probably best known as Richie Cunningham’s dad, Howard, on the sitcom "Happy Days." The Jewish Exponent published a piece on Bosley in 2006 when he appeared in a stage production of "On Golden Pond" in Philadelphia.

Zelda Rubinstein, 76, a diminutive (4-foot-3) actress who won a science fiction film award for her role in "Poltergeist" in 1982, was an activist for "little people."

Harold Gould, 86, was best known for his role as the father of Rhoda Morgenstern in the TV sitcoms "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda." Gould, who held a doctorate in theater, taught for four years at the University of California, Riverside, before turning to acting. He appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies, including "The Sting." Gould was originally cast as Howard Cunningham in "Happy Days."

Maury Chaykin, 61, known for portraying detective Nero Wolfe on TV, had film roles in "Dances With Wolves," "WarGames" and "My Cousin Vinny." 

Steve Landesberg, 74, an actor, comedian and voice actor, was best known for his work on TV’s "Barney Miller."

Bud Greenspan, 84, who was best known for his production of documentaries about the Olympics, was called a "trailblazing filmmaker" by The Los Angeles Times.

Irvin Kershner, 87, a film director, was most noted for "The Empire Strikes Back," the 1980 sequel to the original "Star Wars" film.

Ingrid Pitt, 73, a Holocaust survivor, was an actress in horror films in the 1960s and 1970s.

Musicians

Eddie Fisher, 82, was a pre-rock-era pop singer. He was married to actress Debbie Reynolds, but left her, scandalously, for actress Elizabeth Taylor — a move that cost him his "Coke Time" TV series and a recording contract in 1959. Fisher made the first commercial recording of "Sunrise, Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof." 

Mitch Miller, 99, a record company executive and conductor who became famous for his 1960s TV show "Sing Along With Mitch," (video clip here) was known for speaking derisively about rock and roll. He passed on signing contracts with Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.

Malcolm McLaren, 64, was a rock and punk music impresario and performer who was most noted for managing the Sex Pistols, a seminal British punk band in the 1970s. London’s The Telegraph ran an extensive obituary and photographs after his death.

Doug Fieger, 57, was co-founder of the power pop band The Knack and writer of the 1979 hit song "My Sharona."

David Soyer, 87, was founding cellist of the Guarnieri String Quartet, one of the modern era’s most celebrated chamber music ensembles.

David Deckelbaum, 71, a Canadian/Israeli folk musician from the group "The Taverners," was described by the Israeli daily Haaretz as an "iconic banjoist" on the folk music scene in Israel. Click here to see a video of Deckelbaum and the Taverners on Israeli television.

Literature/Media/Art

Daniel Schorr, 93, was an award-winning journalist whose name appeared on Richard Nixon’s "enemies list" and who angered both government officials and his employers for being a stickler for journalistic ethics and the protection of sources. Schorr spent many years as a commentator for National Public Radio. The station produced a lovely package of stories, audio clips and tributes about Schorr after his death.

Harvey Pekar, 69, was a cartoonist best known for his autobiographical comic series, "American Splendor." His life was the subject of a 2003 film with the same title, starring actor Paul Giamatti as Pekar and featuring a cameo by Pekar himself.

J.D. Salinger, 91, was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated and reclusive American authors. Salinger’s 1951 novel, "The Catcher in the Rye," still sells a quarter-million copies a year. The New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani said Salinger "domesticated the innovations of the great modernists" and presaged the work of writers such as Philip Roth and Saul Bellow.

Erich Segal, 72, was an author and professor whose novel (and later film), "Love Story," became a touchstone of youthful romance in the 1970s. The film’s signature line, "Love means never having to say you’re sorry," was 13th on the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 movie quotes. Segal, the son of a rabbi, also produced scholarly works in the fields of Greek and Latin literature.

Abraham Sutzkever, 96, was an acclaimed Yiddish poet who was considered one of the great poets of the Holocaust. Born in the Russian Empire, he was a partisan during World War II and spent more than 50 years in Israel, writing what Israeli scholar Miriam Trin called some of the greatest poetry of the 20th century. However, he was largely unknown in Israel because he wrote in Yiddish.

Shmuel Katz, 83, was a well-known Israeli caricaturist and illustrator of children’s books. Haaretz said Katz, an Austrian Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel in 1948, drew some of Israel’s "best-loved" children’s books.

David Slivka, 95, who once famously made a death mask of his friend Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, was a sculptor and painter. The New York Times described Slivka  as "one of the last living members of the New York school of Abstract Expressionists." His paintings and sculptures are in the permanent collections of many major museums, including the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Brooklyn Museum.

Academia/Science

Martin Ginsburg, 78, was an internationally renowned taxation law expert and law professor, as well as the husband of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Howard Zinn, 87, was a radical historian and author of, among other titles, "A Peoples History of the United States."

Adam Max Cohen, 38, was an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. A Shakespeare scholar, he wrote about how the illiteracy caused by his terminal brain tumor enabled him to gain new insights into appreciating Shakespeare’s plays as performance art, and not only as great literature.

Crime

Martin Grossman, 45, was executed in Florida 26 years after his conviction for the murder of a Florida wildlife officer. The Orthodox world campaigned to keep Grossman from execution.

Other

Rosa Rein of Switzerland, who was believed to be the world’s oldest Jew and the oldest Swiss citizen, died in February, just weeks before her 113th birthday.

Mark Madoff, 46, was an American businessman and son of the infamous Bernard Madoff.

Honorary

Miep Gies, 100, was a non-Jewish Dutch woman who enabled Anne Frank and her family to hide, and who later discovered and preserved Frank’s diary. She was honored by many organizations in later years, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial organization in Israel.

Who did we miss? Send your nominees to

eulogizer@jta.org

. Please include a link to the person’s obituary or another online reference.

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