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10,000 Obituaries of

The New York Times Book of the Dead—the groundbreaking book-and-website package that features thousands of the most influential, notorious, and interesting New York Times obituaries of all time.

On sale October 18, 2016–wherever books are sold!

The book, which features 300 obituaries, includes a webkey that provides exclusive access to this website.


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Mark Twain

End comes peacefully at his New England home after a long illness.

Marilyn Monroe


Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.: Leader of Millions in Nonviolent Drive for Racial Justice

Annie Oakley

Markswoman Who Astounded Circus Crowds Was Born in an Ohio Log Cabin. WON PLAUDITS OF KINGS.

Harry Houdini

Magician, Conscious to Last, Loses Fight for Life in Detroit Hospital.

Isadora Duncan

Dancer Is Thrown to Road While Riding at Nice and Her Neck Is Broken.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock, Master of Suspense and Celebrated Film Director, Dies at 80

Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra, Yankee Who Built His Stardom 90 Percent on Skill and Half on Wit, Dies at 90


Prince, an Artist Who Defied Genre, Is Dead at 57.

About the Book & Website Package

The New York Times Book of the Dead features more than 300 obituaries in the book—all hand-selected by veteran Times obituary editor William McDonald—including tributes to Abraham Lincoln, Jesse James, David Bowie, and Harper Lee, PLUS exclusive online access to thousands more.

This website allows readers to explore 10,000 obituaries from the Times archive and search them by name, theme, dates and more—something no other resource provides.

About the Editor

William McDonald has been the obituaries editor for the New York Times since 2006. He joined the Times in 1988 and has held positions at the paper’s Metro, National and Culture desk. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2000 for the series, "How Race Is Lived in America".

  • ISBN: 9780316395472
  • Format: Hardcover book with webkey
  • Price: $45 US/ $60 CAN
  • Trim: 7-1/2" x 11-7/8"
  • Page Count: 656
  • Illustrations: 150 black & white photographs
  • Also available as an ebook (website access not included)
It is now ascertained with reasonable certainty that two assassins were engaged in the horrible crime, Wilkes Booth being the one that shot the President, who was at tending a performance at Ford’s Theatre, and the other, a companion of his, whose name is not known. It appears from a letter found in Booth’s trunk that the murder was planned before the 4th of March, but fell through then because the accomplice backed out until “Richmond could be heard from.” Booth and his accomplice were at the livery stable at 6 o’clock last evening, and left there with their horses about 10 o’clock. It would seem that they had for several days been seeking their chance, but it was not carried into effect until last night. The murderers have not yet been apprehended. One of them has evidently made his way to Baltimore. The other has not yet been traced. Two gentlemen, who went to the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, to apprize him of the attack on Mr. Lincoln, met at the residence of the former a man muffled in a cloak, who, when accosted by them, hastened away.


Mark Twain is Dead at 74

End Comes Peacefully at His New England Home After a Long Illness

Conscious a Little Before

Carlyle's "French Revolution" Lay Beside Him -- "Give Me My Glasses" His Last Words


Tragic Death of his Daughter Jean Recently did Much to Hurry his End

Danbury, Conn., April 21 -- Samuel Langhorne Clemens, "Mark Twain," died at 22 minutes after 6 tonight. Beside him on the bed lay a beloved book- it was Carlyle's "French Revolution" -and near the book his glasses, pushed away with a weary sigh a few hours before. Too weak to speak clearly, "Give me my glasses," he had written on a piece of paper. He had received them, put them down, and sunk into unconsciousness from which he glided almost imperceptibly into death. He was in his seventy-fifth year.

For some time, his daughter Clara and her husband, Ossip Cabrilowitsch, and the humorist's biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine, had been by the bed waiting for the end, which Drs. Quintard and Halsey had seen to be a matter of minutes. The patient felt absolutely no pain at the end and the moment of his death was scarcely noticeable.

Death came, however, while his favorite niece, Mrs. E. E. Looms, and her husband, who is Vice President of the Delaware, Lackawanna & amp; Western Railway, and a nephew, Jervis Langdon, were on the way to the railroad station. They had left the house much encouraged by the fact that the sick man had recognized them, and took a train for New York ignorant of what happened later.

Hopes Aroused Yesterday

Although the end had been foreseen by the doctors and would not have been a shock at any time, the apparently strong rally of this morning had given basis for the hope that it would be postponed for several days. Mr. Clemens awoke at about 4 o'clock this morning after a few hours of the first natural sleep he has had for several days, and the nurses could see by the brightness of his eyes that his vitality had been considerably restored. He was able to raise his arms above his head and clasp them behind his neck with the first evidence of physical comfort he had given for a long time.

His strength seemed to increase enough to allow him to enjoy the sunrise, the first signs of which he could see out of the windows in the three sides of the room where he lay. The increasing sunlight seemed to bring ease to him, and by the time the family was about he was strong enough to sit up in bed and overjoyed them by recognizing all of them and speaking a few words to each. This was the first time that his mental powers had been fully his for nearly two days, with the exception of a few minutes early last evening, when he addressed a few sentences to his daughter.

Calls for His Book

For two hours he lay in bed enjoying the feeling of this return of strength. Then he made a movement asked in a faint voice for the copy of Carlyle's "French Revolution," which he has always had near him for the last year, and which he has read and re-read and brooded over.

The book was handed to him, and he lifted it up as if to read. Then a smile faintly illuminated his face when he realized that he was trying to read without his glasses. He tried to say, "Given me my glasses," but his voice failed, and the nurses bending over him could not understand. He motioned for a sheet of paper and a pencil, and wrote what he could not say.

With his glasses on he read a little and then slowly put the book down with a sigh. Soon he appeared to become drowsy and settled on his pillow. Gradually he sank and settled into a lethargy. Dr. Halsey appreciated that he could have been roused, but considered it better for him to rest. At 3 o'clock he went into complete unconsciousness.

Later Dr. Quintard, who had arrived from New York, held a consultation with Dr. Halsey, and it was decided that death was near. The family was called and gathered about the bedside watching in a silence which was long unbroken. It was the end. At twenty-two minutes past 6, with the sunlight just turning red as it stole into the window in perfect silence he breathed his last.

Died of a Broken Heart

The people of Redding, Bethel, and Danbury listened when they were told that the doctors said Mark Twain was dying of angina pectoris. But they say among themselves that he died of a broken heart. And this is a verdict not of popular sentiment alone. Albert Bigelow Paine, his biographer to be and literary executor, who has been constantly with him, said that for the last year at least Mr. Clemens had been weary of life. When Richard Watson Gilder died, he said: "How fortunate he is. No good fortune of that kind ever comes to me."

The man who has stood to the public for the greatest humorist this country has produced has in private life suffered overwhelming sorrows. The loss of an only son in infancy, a daughter in her teens and one in middle life, and finally of a wife who was a constant and sympathetic companion, has preyed upon his mind. The recent loss of his daughter Jean, who was closest to him in later years when her sister was abroad studying, was the final blow. On the heels of this came the first symptoms of the disease which was surely to be fatal and one of whose accompaniments is mental depression. Mr. Paine says that all heart went out of him and his work when his daughter Jean died. He has practically written nothing since he summoned his energies to write a last chapter memorial of her for his autobiography.

He told his biographer that the past Winter in Bermuda was gay but not happy. Bermuda is always gay in Winter and Mark Twain was a central figure in the gayety. He was staying at the home of William H. Allen. Even in Bermuda, however, Mr. Clemens found himself unable to write and finally relied on Mr. Allen's fifteen-year old daughter, Helen, to write the few letters he cared to send.

His health failed rapidly and finally Mr. Allen wrote to Albert Bigelow Paine that his friend was in a most serious condition. Mr. Paine immediately cabled to Mrs. Babrilowitsch, his surviving daughter, who was in Europe, and started himself on April 2 for Bermuda, embarking with the humorist for the return to New York immediately after his arrival. On the trip over Mark Twain became very much worse and finally realized his condition.

"It's a losing game," he said to his companion. "I'll never get home alive."

Mr. Clemens did manage to summon his strength, however, and in spite of being so weak that he had to be carried down the gangplank he survived the journey to his beautiful place at Redding. The first symptom of angina pectoris came last June when he went to Baltimore to address a young ladies school. In his room at the hotel he was suddenly taken with a terrible gripping at the heart. It soon passed away, however, and he was able to make an address with no inconvenience. The pains however, soon returned with more frequency and steadily grew worse until they became a constant torture.

One of the last acts of Mark Twain was to write out a check for $6,000 for the library in which the literary coterie settled near Redding have been interested for a year; fairs, musicales, and sociables having been held in order to raise the necessary amount. The library is to be a memorial to Jean Clemens, and will be built on a site about half a mile from Stormfield at ... Cross Roads.

It is certain to be recalled that Mark Twain was for more than fifty years an inveterate smoker, and the first conjecture of the layman would be that he had weakened his heart by overindulgence in tobacco. Dr. Halsey said to-night that he was unable to say that the angina pectoris from which Mark Twain died was in any way [related to] nicotine poisoning. Some constitutions, he said, seem immune from the effects of tobacco, and his was one of them. Yet it is true that since his illness began the doctors had cut down Mark Twain's daily allowance of twenty cigars and countless pipes to four cigars a day.

No deprivation was a greater sorrow to him. He tried to smoke on the steamer while returning from Bermuda, and only gave it up because he was too feeble to draw on his pipe. Even on his death bed when passed the point of speech, and it was no longer certain that his ideas were held, he would make the motion of waiving a cigar, and smiling expel empty air from under the mustache still stained with smoke.

Where Mark Twain chose to spend his declining years was the first outpost of Methodism in New England, and it was among the hills of Redding that Gen. Israel Putnam of Revolutionary fame mustered his sparse ranks. Putnam Park now incloses the memory of his camp.

Mark Twain first heard of it at the dipper given him on his seventeenth birthday, when a fellow-gaest who lived there mentioned its beauties and added that there was a vacant house adjoining his own, "I think you may buy that old house for me," said Mark Twain. Sherwood Place was the name of that old house, and where it stood Mark Twain reared the white walls of the Italian villa he first named Innocence at Home, but a first experience of what a New England Winter storm can be in its whitest fury quickly caused him to christen it anew Stormfield.

Where Mark Twain Died

The house had been thus described by Albert Bigelow Paine: "Set on a fair hillside with such a green slope below, such a view outspread across the valley as made one catch his breath a little when he first turned to look at it. A trout stream flows through one of the meadows. There are apple trees and gray stone walls. The entrance to it is a winding, [text unreadable] lane."

"Through this lane the 'Innocent at Home' loved to wander in his white flannels for homely gossip with the neighbors. They remember him best as one who above all things loved a good listening, for Mark Twain was a mighty talker, stored with fairy tales for the little maids he adored, and [text unreadable], ruder speech for more [text unreadable] masculine ears. It is a legend that he was vastly proud of his famous mop of white hair, and used to spend the pains of a court lady in getting it to just the proper stage of artistic disarray.

The burial will be in the family plot at Elmira, N.Y., where lie already his wife, his two daughters, Susan and Jean, and his infant son, Langhorne. No date has yet been set, as the family is still undecided whether or not there should be a public funeral first in New York City.

It is probable that Stormfield will be kept as a Summer place by Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, who is very fond both of the house, and the country, although her husband's musical engagements make it necessary that she spend a part of each year abroad.

Mr. Paine said to-night that Mark Twain had put his affairs in perfect order and that he died well off, though by no means a rich man. He leaves a considerable number of manuscripts, in all stages of incompleteness and of all characters, many of them begun years ago and put aside as unsatisfactory.

Mrs. Gabrilowitsch will aid Mr. Paine in the final decision as to what use shall be made of these.

Mark Twain's Career

Long Life, Struggles, and Achievements of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was considered the best-known American man of letters. Often he was referred to as the "Dean of American literature." He was known far beyond the boundaries where English is spoken as the greatest humorist and satirist living. His famous telegram to a newspaper publishing a report of his death, when happily it was intrigue, has been quoted and requoted almost everywhere. "The report of my death," he wired, "is greatly exaggerated."

The father of Mark Twain was John Marshall Clemens, who migrated from Virginia to Kentucky, and then on to Adair County, Tennessee, when a young man. There he married a young woman named Langhorne, who brought him family prestige and many broad acres. But with the prevalent spirit of unrest among pioneers, the couple crossed over into Missouri, settling at Florida, Monroe County, where, [text unreadable] their [text unreadable] famous son was born. Mark Twain's life, however, really did not begin until [text unreadable] years later, when the family moved to Hannibal, Marion County. Hannibal has been described many times as a typical river town of that day, a sleepy place, filled with drawling, lazy, picturesque inhabitants, black and white.

Young Clemens, so the record runs, went to school there and so also the record runs studied just as little as he could if he studied at all. He had been painted in that period of his career as an incorrigible truant, roaming the river banks and bluffs, watching the passing steamboats, and listening keenly to the trials that went on in the shabby office where the Justice of the Peace, his father, settled the disputes and punished the misdemeanors of his neighbors. In that period, while the ambition to be a pilot on the great river burned in him, was stored in his memory the material which in after years crystallized into "Tom Sawyer," "Huckleberry Finn," and "Pudd'nhead Wilson."

Mark Twain's school days ended when he was 12. The father died, leaving nothing behind save the reputation of being a good neighbor and an upright man and his children at once became bread winners. "Sam" was apprenticed as a printer at 50-cents a week in the office of The Hannibal Weekly Journal, doing as he afterward said, "a little of everything." After three years with a capital of a few dollars in his pocket, he became what was then a familiar sight, a wanderer from one printing office to another. About this period he paid his first visit to New York, having been drawn here by stories of a great exposition then in progress.

He worked here for a while, then moved on to Philadelphia, and later, obeying always the wandering instinct which finally carried him around the world and into all hands, to nearly all the larger cities of the South and West, including New Orleans. The trip down the river awakened the old desire to be a pilot, which had slumbered since the Hannibal days, and his career as a printer was ended. He paid in cash and promised $500 to a Mississippi pilot to take him on as an assistant and "teach him the river." He became a pilot and stuck to it until the outbreak of the civil war, earning $250 a month, but chief of all he got here his material for "Life on the Mississippi."

His experience as a Confederate soldier was brief and inglorious. Hardly had he enlisted before he was captured. Released on parole, he broke the parole and returned to the ranks, and soon was recaptured. He was in imminent peril, for recognition meant immediate and ignominious execution, but he got away, and determined never to take the risk again. He stopped flight only on reaching Nevada, where several letters of his to The Virginia City Enterprise resulted in an offer from the editor of that paper of a place on the staff. From that day forward Clemens earned his living with his pen, but with the exception of several excursions [text unreadable].

From Nevada, Mark Twain moved out to San Francisco where, after a brief service on the local staff of The Call, he was discharged as useless. Then he and Bret Harte were associated in the conduct of The Californian, but both soon deserted the paper to make their fortunes mining if they could. Neither did, and Mark Twain was soon back in San Francisco penniless and ill. This was in [text unreadable.] The Sacramento Union sent him to the Sandwich Islands to write a [text unreadable] of letters on the sugar trade- an arrangement which this time he filled to the editor's satisfaction- and returned restored to health.

That Winter, however, was one of "roughing it" for him. He could get little to do as reporter or editor, and finally took to lecturing in a small way. He was a success from the start. He spoke in many of the small towns of California and Nevada, earning more than a living, and meantime writing sketches for Eastern papers. These attracted considerable notice, and in March of 1867 he issued his first book, containing the "Jumping Frog" and other stories. Its reception was so cordial that Mark Twain decided to try his fortunes in the East. On reaching New York he learned that a secret excursion was about to start for the Holy Land in the steamer Quaker City. He persuaded the Alta California, for which he had been writing, to advance him the price of the ticket for this trip - [text unreadable]- to be paid in letters at $15 each. He made his trip, which proved the beginning of his fortune, for "Innocents Abroad," his first famous book, had taken shape in his mind before his return.

To write the book, however, and to live at the same time was a problem, but Senator W. M. Stewart of Nevada, becoming interested in the project, obtained for him a six-dollar-a-day committee clerkship, while the work was "farmed" out to another man at $100 a month.

"Innocents Abroad" Instant Success

The book was finished in August, 1868, but a publisher was hard to find. At last, the American Publishing Company of Hartford agreed to issue it. Its success was instant and overwhelming. Edition after edition was sold in such rapid succession that the presses could not turn them out fast enough. Mark Twain had become a man of note over night.

Among Mark Twain's friends on the Holy Land trip had been Judge Jervis J. Langdon of Elmira, N.Y., and his two children, Dan of the "Innocents" and Lizzie. Mark Twain fell in love with the latter, and it was said afterward that his desire to be near her led him to accept editorial connection in 1869 with the Buffalo Express. But Judge Langdon, who was rich, did not at first favor the union of his daughter and the nearly penniless journalist, and Miss Langdon twice rejected him. He sought a wife as he had sought a publisher, and his third proposal was accepted. His father-in-law gave him a handsome home in Buffalo, but the young couple remained there but a year, going to Hartford where they lived for many years and where Mark Twain did perhaps his most ... work... [unreadable.]

His Fortune Swept Away

Two years later the firm failed and Mark Twain's fortune was swept away. With courage as unbroken as when he could not get a job as reporter in San Francisco many years before he again took to the lecture field to regain his fortunes.

He received generous offers to go on tour and everywhere was greeted by large and enthusiastic audiences. He made a new fortune, paid his debts, as Sir Walter Scott had done and left the publishing business to others while he worked hard at his desk as ever. In 1896 appeared "The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc", "More Tramps Abroad" and "Following the Equator in 1897 and "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg," 1900. After an extended trip to Europe he published in 1902 "A Double-barreled Detective Story," and in recent years, besides writing frequently for magazines, particularly the Harper publications, the Harper Brothers having been his publishers for the last decade or more, he had been engaged with Albert Bigelow Paine, his literary assistant, in writing his autobiography. Much of it has already been published. It was estimated three years ago that he had then written 250,000 words, and was still turning out something like 1,000 a day, when he worked.

Mark Twain had outlived most of his family. His wife died some years ago and on the morning before Christmas, last year, his daughter, Miss Jean Clemens, was drowned in a bathtub in their home at Redding, Conn. Broken himself, in health, and utterly crushed by this sudden affliction, he wrote on that day: "She was all that I had left, except Clara, who married Mr. Gabrilowitsch lately, and has just arrived in Europe."

In 1905 Mark Twain celebrated his seventieth birthday with a notable gathering of literary folk. Two years later he was honored by Oxford University with the degree of Doctor of Laws. Though in his younger days he was a great traveler, and was known personally to nearly all the crowned heads of Europe, of late years he had confined his journeys chiefly to Bermuda, whither he was often accompanied by one of his best friends, the late H. H. Rogers, as long as he lived. In nearly all his public appearances in the last five years he had worn white flannel, and even had a dress suit, claw-hammer and all, made of this soft white material, whose evident cleanliness appealed so strongly to him.

Twain as Printer's Devil

His Own Stories of His Exploits in Boyhood as Acting Editor

One of the most interesting of all Mark Twain's books or series of personal sketches relate to the crucial, but happy-go-lucky period of his life. At 12 he began on his own account. He has told this characteristic story of his first literary venture, when the "devil" got out the paper.

"I was a very smart child at the age of 13- an unusually smart child, I thought at the time. It was then that I did my first newspaper scribbling, and most unexpectedly to me, it stirred up a fine sensation in the community. It did, indeed, and I was very proud of it, too. I was a 'devil' in a printing office, and a progressive and aspiring one. My uncle had me on his paper, (the Weekly Hannibal Journal, $2 a year, in advance- 500 subscribers, and they paid in cordwood, cabbages, and unmarketable turnips.) and on a lucky Summer day he left town to be gone a week, and asked me if I thought I could edit one issue of the paper judiciously. Ah, didn't I want to try! Higgins was the editor on the rival paper. He had been jilted, and one night a friend found an open note on the poor fellow's bed, in which he stated that he could no longer endure life and had drowned himself in Bear Creek.

"The friend ran down there and found Higgins wading back to shore. He had concluded he wouldn't. The village was full of it for a few days, but Higgins' did not suspect it. I thought this was a fine opportunity. I wrote an elaborately wretched account of the whole matter, and then illustrated it with villainous cuts engraved on the bottoms of wood type with a jackknife- one of them a picture of Higgins wading out into the creek in his shirt, with a lantern, sounding the depth of the water with a walking stick.

"Next I gently touched up the newest stranger, the lion of the day, the gorgeous journeyman tailor from Quincy. He was a simpering coxcomb of the first water, and the "loudest" dressed man in the State. He was an inveterate woman killer. Every week he wrote lushy 'poetry' for The Journal about his newest conquest. His rhymes for my week were headed, 'To Mary in H-1,' meaning to Mary in Hannibal, of course. But while setting up the piece I was suddenly riven from head to heel with what I regarded as a prefect thunderbolt of humor, and I compressed it into a snappy footnote at the bottom thus:

"'We will let this thing pass, just this once, but we wish Mr. J. Gordon Runnels to understand distinctly that we have a character to sustain, and from this time forth when he wants to commune with his friends in h-1, he must select some other medium than the columns of this journal.'

"The paper came out, and I never knew any little thing to attract so much attention as those playful trifles of mine. For once the Hannibal Journal was in demand- a novelty it had not experienced before. The whole town was stirred. Higgins dropped in with a double-barreled shotgun early in the forenoon. When he found that it was an infant (as he called me) that had done him the damage, he simply pulled my ears and went away, but he threw up the situation that night and left town."

Associate Editor of Morning Glory

On the advice of a physician, Mark Twain said he went South shortly after his week as "devil" and editor in chief in one, landing finally as associate editor on the Morning Glory and Johnson County [text unreadable], Tennessee. He gave this description of his "chief":

"When I went on duty I found the chief editor sitting tilted back in a three-legged chair with his feet on a pine table. There was another pine table in the room and another afflicted chair, and both were half buried under newspapers and scraps and sheets of manuscript. There was a wooden box of sand, sprinkled with cigar stubs and old soldiers, and a stove with its door hanging by its upper hinge. The chief editor had a long black cloth frock coat on and white linen pants. His boots were small and neatly blacked. He wore a ruffled shirt, a large seal ring, a standing collar of obsolete pattern, and checkered neck kerchief with ends hanging down. He told me to take the exchanges and skim through them and write up the 'Script of the Tennessee Press.' I wrote as follows:

"'The editors of The Semi-Weekly Earthquake evidently labor under a mistaken apprehension with regard to the Ballyhack Railroad. It is not the object of the company to leave Buzzardville off to one side, on the contrary, they consider it one of the most important points along the line, and consequently can have no desire to slight it. The gentlemen of The Earthquake will, of course, take pleasure in making the correction.'

"I passed my manuscript over to the chief editor for acceptance, alteration, or destruction.

"'Thunder and lightning,' he exclaimed. 'Do you suppose I am going to speak of those cattle that way? Do you suppose my subscribers are going to stand such gruel as that? Give me the pen.'"

"While he was in the midst of his work somebody shot at him through the open window and marred the symmetry of my ear.

"'Ah,' said he, 'that is that scoundrel Smith of the Moral Volcano; he was due yesterday.' And he snatched a navy revolver from his belt and fired. Smith dropped, shot through the thigh. The shot spoiled Smith's aim, who was taking a second chance, and he crippled a stranger. It was me. Merely a finger was shot off.

"'Now, here's the way this stuff ought to be written,' said the chief editor.

"I took the manuscript. It was scarred with erasures and interlineations till its mother wouldn't have known it if it had had one. It now reads as follows:

"The inveterate liars of the Semi-Weekly Earthquake are evidently endeavoring to palm off upon a noble and chivalrous people another of their vile and brutal falsehoods with regard to the most glorious conception of the nineteenth century, the Ballyhack Railroad. The idea that Buzzardville was to be left off at one side originated in their own fulsome brains- or rather, in the settlings which they regard as brains. They had better swallow this lie if they want to save their abandoned reptile carcasses the cowhiding they so richly deserve."

Mark Twain says he had written this way of the editor of an "esteemed contemporary":

"John W. Blossom, Esq., the able editor of the Higginsville Thunderbolt and Battle Cry of Freedom arrived in the city yesterday. He is stopping at the Van Buren House."

His chief editor changed it to read:

"That ass, Blossom, of the Higginsville Thunderbolt and Battle Cry of Freedom is down here again sponging at the Van Buren."

"Now, that is the way to write," he said, "peppery and to the point. Mush-and-milk journalism gives me the fantods."

Blow to His Friends Here

New York Editors and Authors Extol the Man and the Writer

The news of Samuel L. Clemens death shocked all his friends and literary associates with its suddenness. Although it had been known that he was in a serious condition, no one seemed to expect that his illness would terminate fatally so soon.

E. Hopkinson Smith, who has known Mr. Clemens for thirty years- ever since, in fact, the great humorist first came to this city and lectured at Cooper Union, -was dining at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Clark at 1,027 Fifth Avenue when he first heard of Clemen's death.

"It does not seem possible that Sam is dead," said Mr. Smith. "We had been friends ever since he first came from San Francisco and gave his readings of 'The Jumping Frog' on the lecture platform. He had the kindest heart in the world. The reading public knew him more for his humor. But his friends knew him as a big-hearted, human man. His attitude toward everyone was the kindest. In live and in art it was always the human that appealed to him most. The humor of his books was the real, the genuine humor. Humor to be lasting, must be clean. Clemens humor was essentially clean. It will be lasting for that reason. It was the humor of human nature. There was never anywhere in it any double entendre. It was always kindly. It never ridiculed anyone. It never made fun of the littleness of men. Twain did not make fun of Tom Sawyer painting the back yard fence. He brought out the human note in the boy. And that's what makes us always remember that passage with joy and read it over and over."

Col. George M. Harvey of Harper & amp; Brothers, who was Mr. Clemens's publisher, is abroad. But Henry M. Alden, editor of Harper's, at his home in Metuchen, N.J., last night spoke with emotion of the man who had been not only a contributor, but a friend.

"In Mr. Clemens's death I have lost a dear friend," Mr. Alden said. "I feel a deep sense of personal loss. And I can't express my sense of the loss to literature. As for our personal relations, they were much more than those of editor and contributor. Nobody could tell anything about Mark Twain better than he could tell it himself-or; indeed, half so well. He has always been writing his autobiography, I have always believed that literature has lost much by not having had more of his imaginative creations on a higher plane- more works like 'Joan of Arc,' for example."

Mr. Alden has published his personal recollections of Mr. Clemens in The Book News Monthly for April.

"Mark Twain was, with one exception, the best-known American of his time, and, without exception, outside of Poe and the New England school, he was our most distinguished writer," said Robert Underwood Johnson, of the Century. "He had the singular distinction of having, so to speak, naturalized American humor in many lands. This, it seems to me, was due to the fact that his humor was not greatly dependent on difficult dialects, but on large underlying ideas and on a keen appreciation of human nature, and on a skillful use of the incongruous.

"In dramatic effect, in surprise, and in climax he was unequaled and inexhaustible. I think that these things are likely to give more than usual permanency to his writings. We have outgrown many once popular humorists. But I can't conceive of a generation of readers to whom, on the whole, his work will not be of enjoyable interest. While literally he has added to the gayety of nations and made us all his debtors, he has also in his serious work, revealed an admirable and tender sympathy for children and a chivalry toward the oppressed. So much has he become a part of our lives that it is difficult to think of a world without Mark Twain."

His Countrymen's Tributes

Express Deep Sense of What Mark Twain Means to Americans

Mark Twain's death has meant to Americans everywhere and in all walks of life what the death of no other American could have meant. His personality and his humor have been an integral part of American life for so long that it has seemed almost impossible to realize an America without him. Something of this feeling is expressed in the tributes to his memory which, following hard upon his end, have come from all parts of the country. Some of these tributes are printed below:

William Lyon Phelps, Professor of English Literature at Yale University: "The death of Mark Twain is a very great loss to American letters. I regarded him as our foremost representative in literature at the present day. "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn," his two masterpieces, will live for many years as illustrative of a certain phase of American life."

Col. Thomas Wentworth of Higginson in Boston: "It is impossible to exaggerate the loss to the country."

Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, now in her ninety-first year, in Boston: "The news of Mark Twain's death will be sad to many people. He was personally highly esteemed and much beloved; a man of letters with a very genuine gift of humor and of serious thought as well."

Handin Garland, novelist, in Chicago: "Mark Twain's death marks the exit of a literary man who was as distinctly American as was Walt Whitman. The work of most writers could be produced in any country, but I think we, as well as everybody in foreign lands will look upon Twain's work as being as closely related to this country as the Mississippi River itself. We who knew him personally hardly need to speak of him as a man, for all the world knew him. No one ever heard him speak without being inspired, and no one ever saw him without being proud of him."

George Ade, at Kentland, Ind: "I read every line Twain wrote, for he was a kind of literary god to me. His influence has already worked itself into the literature of our day. We owe much of our cheerfulness, simplicity, and hope to him. Most of all, Twain grew old beautifully, showing his simple, childlike faith for ultimate success throughout all his adversities."

Booth Tarkington, at Indianapolis: "He seemed to me the greatest prose writer we had, and beyond that a great man. His death is a National loss, but we have the consolation that he and his genius belonged to and were of us."

Charles Major, at Indianapolis: "He created a new school of humor, the purpose of which was not only to be funny but to be true. He could write nothing that he did not at least feel to be true. All that he wrote was half fun and whole earnest."

James Whitcomb Riley: "The world has lost not only a genius, but a man of striking character, of influence, and of boundless resources. He knew the human heart and he was sincere. He knew children, and this knowledge made him tender."


Marilyn Monroe Dead, Pills Near

Hollywood, Calif., Aug. 5 -- Marilyn Monroe, one of the most famous stars in Hollywood's history, was found dead early today in the bedroom of her home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. She was 36 years old.

Beside the bed was an empty bottle that had contained sleeping pills. Fourteen other bottles of medicines and tablets were on the night stand.

The impact of Miss Monroe's death was international. Her fame was greater than her contributions as an actress.

As a woman she was considered a sex symbol. Her marriages to and divorces from Joe DiMaggio, the former Yankee baseball star, and Arthur Miller, the Pulitzer Prize playwright, were accepted by millions as the prerogatives of this contemporary Venus.

The events leading to her death were in tragic contrast to the comic talent and zest for life that had helped to make "Seven Year Itch" and "Some Like It Hot" smash hits all over the world.

Miss Monroe's physician had prescribed sleeping pills for her for three days. Ordinarily the bottle would have contained forty to fifty pills.

The actress had also been under the care of a psychoanalyst for a year, and had called him to her home last night. He had suggested she take a drive and relax. She remained home, however.

After an autopsy the Los Angeles coroner reported that Miss Monroe's "was not a natural death." He attributed it to a drug. He added that a toxicological study, to be completed within forty-eight hours, should yield more detailed information. He refused, until then, to list the death as a suicide.

Pending a more positive verdict by Dr. Theodore J. Curphey, the coroner, the Los Angeles police refused to call the death a suicide. They said they had no idea how many pills the actress might have taken, or whether any overdose might have been accidental. Miss Monroe left no notes, according to the police.

In addition to a physical autopsy, Los Angeles has a "psychological" autopsy. Two experts will look into the psychological history of Miss Monroe.

However, the non-physical study will reach no conclusions as to whether she committed suicide. Nor will it have a bearing on the toxicological tests.

During the last few years Miss Monroe had suffered severe setbacks. Her last two films, "Let's Make Love," and "The Misfits," were box-office disappointments. After completion of "The Misfits," written by Mr. Miller, she was divorced from him.

On June 8 Miss Monroe was dismissed by Twentieth-Century-Fox for unjustifiable absences during the filming of "Something's Got to Give," in which she was starred. Filming on the picture has not resumed.

Shortly before she was dismissed, Miss Monroe angrily protested to a reporter about attacks on stars. She said she had never wanted to do "Something's Got to Give."

"We're what's O.K. with the movie business," she asserted. "Management is what's wrong with the business. To blame the troubles of Hollywood on stars is stupid. These executives should not knock their assets around."

But a few weeks later, during which a $500,000 suit had been filed against her, Miss Monroe pleaded with Fox to let her return to work on the picture.

In low spirits she withdrew to her one-story stucco house in an upper middle-class section, which was far different from the lavish suites of the Beverly Hills Hotel that had been more typical of her. She died in the house at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive.

Housekeeper Last to See Her

The last person to see her alive was her housekeeper, Mrs. Eunice Murray, who had lived with her. Mrs. Murray told the police that Miss Monroe retired to her bedroom about 8 P.M. yesterday.

About 3:25 A.M. today, the housekeeper noticed a light under Miss Monroe's door. She called to the actress, but received no answer. She tried the bedroom door. It was locked.

Mrs. Murray went outside and peered into the bedroom through the closed French windows. Miss Monroe, she later told the police, looked "peculiar." An arm was stretched across the bed and a hand hung limp on a telephone, she said.

The housekeeper rushed back into the house and telephoned Miss Monroe's analyst, Dr. Ralph R. Greenson. When he arrived a short time later, he broke a pane of the French window and opened it.

He quickly examined the star. She was dead. He phoned Miss Monroe's personal physician, Dr. Hyman Engelberg. After his arrival, the police were called. This was at 4:20, almost an hour after the housekeeper had called Dr. Greenson.

Inspector Edward Walker of the Los Angeles police was asked if he regarded such a delay in calling the police as unusual. He said he did not think so.

"So far as the doctors were concerned, there was no evidence of crime, and the first doctor already knew she was dead," he said. "I have no criticism to make of them."

Two radio patrolmen and a sergeant were the first policemen to arrive in the tree-lined neighborhood. Shortly afterward the case was taken over by Detective Sgt. R. E. Byron.

Room Simply Furnished

Sergeant Byron said Miss Monroe's bedroom was neat, but sparsely furnished. He estimated it at fifteen feet square.

"All she had in the room, so far as I can recall, was the bed, a little dressing table and the night table. And the telephone that she pulled on the bed."

After the police had completed their investigation, Miss Monroe's body was removed to the Westwood Village Mortuary. The house was sealed and placed under guard.

The body was later taken to the county morgue for the autopsy, which was performed by Dr. Tsunetomi Noguchi, a pathologist.

In the last two years Miss Monroe had become the subject of considerable controversy in Hollywood. Some persons gibed at her aspirations as a serious actress. They considered it ridiculous that she should have gone to New York to study under Lee Strasberg.

Miss Monroe's defenders, however, asserted that her talents had been underestimated by those who thought her appeal to moviegoers audience was solely sexual.

The disagreement about Miss Monroe took another form. One group contended she was typical of stars who had abused their privileges on sets.

An opposite group argued that Miss Monroe was an outstanding example of how Hollywood wanted to treat talent as just another commodity.

Peter G. Levathes, executive vice president of Fox, said the suit would not be pressed against her estate.

Miss Monroe wound up as a virtual recluse.

This was the portrait drawn by neighbors hours after the death of the actress.

Hardly any of her neighbors had seen her more than once or twice in the six months since she had moved into her two-bedroom bungalow, which is modest by Hollywood standards.


Annie Oakley

Greenville, Ohio—Annie Oakley, champion markswoman, who in private life was Mrs. Frank Butler, died at the home of a relative here last night. She had been in ill health for some time. Injuries received in a train accident in 1901 resulted in one side of her body being almost completely paralyzed. Some of her best records for straight and fancy shooting, however, were made after she recovered. At Pinehurst, N.C., in 1922, she broke 100 clay targets straight from the 16-yard mark.

Her husband, who was her manager, has been seriously ill in Detroit for several days. He is the only survivor. The funeral services Saturday will be private. (AP) Annie Oakley was born in a log cabin in Ohio 66 years ago. Her father died when she was four years old and she soon helped out her mother by bringing in rabbits and other game that fell to her shotgun. At nine she was shooting so much game that she sent what the family did not need to town by stagecoach. For the rest of her life she supported herself with her keen eye and steady hand.

She was almost 16 years old when she met Frank Butler in her first public shooting match. Her husband lost the match and fell desperately in love with his conqueror. They were soon married andmnearly 50 years later Mrs. Butler remarked: “Frank really reared me. And we’re not fashionable, either; we’ve never been to Reno.”

She joined Buffalo Bill in the late 70’s. The great Western scout and showman needed less than 15 minutes’ observation before he signed up the young girl, whom he always called “Missie,” and for the rest of his career they were firm friends and business associates.

“I never had a written contract with Buffalo Bill,” said Annie Oakley. “I didn’t need any. Our outfit was more like a clan than a show or a business. Even with all the

thousands of men and women, the cowboys and Comanches, the Cossacks and the Arab, we remained just one big family with Buffalo Bill at its head.”

Touring Europe with the Buffalo Bill show, Annie Oakley met many crowned heads and one head that later wore a crown she came within four inches of hitting with a bullet. It was the head of William Hohenzollern.

She was giving an exhibition of sharpshooting at Berlin and one of her tricks was the removal of the ashes from a cigarette held in a man’s mouth. The Crown Prince stepped forward, cigarette in mouth, and asked to have the trick performed on him. Manager Butler was none too pleased at the prospect, but his wife coolly took aim and removed the ashes in the manner desired by the Prince, who later became Kaiser Wilhelm II. Edward VII of England told her she was “the best rifle shot in the world” and gave her a medal.

One of the picturesque friends she made was Sitting Bull, the Indian chief. He called her “Watanic Cicilia,” or “Little Sureshot.” He bequeathed her all his property.

Annie Oakley will be buried in the hills of Darke County, Ohio, where she learned to handle a gun. Last year she arranged for a final resting place at Woodland.


Martin Luther King Jr.: Leader of Millions in Nonviolent Drive for Racial Justice

To many million of American Negroes, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the prophet of their crusade for racial equality. He was their voice of anguish, their eloquence in humiliation, their battle cry for human dignity. He forged for them the weapons of nonviolence that withstood and blunted the ferocity of segregation.

And to many millions of American whites, he was one of a group of Negroes who preserved the bridge of communication between races when racial warfare threatened the United States in the nineteen-sixties, as Negroes sought the full emancipation pledged to them a century before by Abraham Lincoln.

To the world Dr. King had the stature that accrued to a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a man with access to the White House and the Vatican; a veritable hero in the African states that were just emerging from colonialism.

Between Extremes

In his dedication to non-violence, Dr. King was caught between white and Negro extremists as racial tensions erupted into arson, gunfire and looting in many of the nation's cities during the summer of 1967.

Militant Negroes, with the cry of, "burn, baby burn," argued that only by violence and segregation could the Negro attain self-respect, dignity and real equality in the United States.

Floyd B. McKissick, when director of the Congress of Racial Equality, declared in August of that year that it was a "foolish assumption to try to sell nonviolence to the ghettos."

And white extremists, not bothering to make distinctions between degrees of Negro militancy, looked upon Dr. King as one of their chief enemies.

At times in recent months, efforts by Dr. King to utilize nonviolent methods exploded into violence.

Violence in Memphis

Last week, when he led a protest march through downtown Memphis, Tenn., in support of the city's striking sanitation workers, a group of Negro youths suddenly began breaking store windows and looting, and one Negro was shot to death.

Two days later, however, Dr. King said he would stage another demonstration and attributed the violence to his own "miscalculation."

At the time he was assassinated in Memphis, Dr. King was involved in one of his greatest plans to dramatize the plight of the poor and stir Congress to help Negroes.

He called this venture the "Poor People's Campaign." It was to be a huge "camp-in" either in Washington or in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention.

In one of his last public announcements before the shooting, Dr. King told an audience in a Harlem church on March 26:

"We need an alternative to riots and to timid supplication. Nonviolence is our most potent weapon."

His strong beliefs in civil rights and nonviolence made him one of the leading opponents of American participation in the war in Vietnam. To him the war was unjust, diverting vast sums away from programs to alleviate the condition of the Negro poor in this country. He called the conflict "one of history's most cruel and senseless wars." Last January he said:

"We need to make clear in this political year, to Congressmen on both sides of the aisle and to the President of the United States that we will no longer vote for men who continue to see the killing of Vietnamese and Americans as the best way of advancing the goals of freedom and self- determination in Southeast Asia."

Object of Many Attacks

Inevitably, as a symbol of integration, he became the object of unrelenting attacks and vilification. His home was bombed. He was spat upon and mocked. He was struck and kicked. He was stabbed, almost fatally, by a deranged Negro woman. He was frequently thrown into jail. Threats became so commonplace that his wife could ignore burning crosses on the lawn and ominous phone calls. Through it all he adhered to the creed of passive disobedience that infuriated segregationists.

The adulation that was heaped upon him eventually irritated some Negroes in the civil rights movement who worked hard, but in relative obscurity. They pointed out--and Dr. King admitted--that he was a poor administrator. Sometimes, with sarcasm, they referred to him, privately, as "De Lawd." They noted that Dr. King's successes were built on the labors of may who had gone before him, the noncoms and privates of the civil rights army who fought without benefit of headlines and television cameras.

The Negro extremists he criticized were contemptuous of Dr. King. They dismissed his passion for nonviolence as another form of servility to white people. They called him an "Uncle Tom," and charged that he was hindering the Negro struggle for equality.

Dr. King's belief in nonviolence was subjected to intense pressure in 1966, when some Negro groups adopted the slogan "black power" in the aftermath of civil rights marches into Mississippi and race riots in Northern cities. He rejected the idea, saying:

"The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt. A doctrine of black supremacy is as evil as a doctrine of white supremacy."

The doctrine of "black power" threatened to split the Negro civil rights movement and antagonize white liberals who had been supporting Negro causes, and Dr. King suggested "militant nonviolence" as a formula for progress with peace.

At the root of his civil rights convictions was an even more profound faith in the basic goodness of man and the great potential of American democracy. These beliefs gave to his speeches a fervor that could not be stilled by criticism.

Scores of millions of Americans--white was well as Negro--who sat before television sets in the summer of 1963 to watch the awesome march of some 200,000 Negroes on Washington were deeply stirred when Dr. King, in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, said:

"Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'"

And all over the world, men were moved as they read his words of Dec. 10, 1964, when he became the third member of his race to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Insistent on Man's Destiny

"I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life which surrounds him," he said. "I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

"I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

For the poor and unlettered of his own race, Dr. King spoke differently. There he embraced the rhythm and passion of the revivalist and evangelist. Some observers of Dr. King's technique said that others in the movement were more effective in this respect. But Dr. King had the touch, as he illustrated in a church in Albany, Ga., in 1962:

"So listen to me, children: Put on your marching shoes; don'cha get weary; though the path ahead may be dark and dreary; we're walking for freedom, children."

Or there was the meeting in Gadsen, Ala., late in 1963, when he displayed another side of his ability before an audience of poor Negroes. It went as follows:

King: I hear they are beating you.

Audience: Yes, yes.

King: I hear they are cursing you.

Audience: Yes, yes.

King: I hear they are going into your homes and doing nasty thing and beating you.

Audience: Yes, yes.

King: Some of you have knives, and I ask you to put them up. Some of you have arms, and I ask you to put them up. Get the weapon of non-violence, the breastplate of righteousness, the armor of truth, and just keep marching."

It was said that so devoted was his vast following that even among illiterates he could, by calm discussion of Platonic dogma, evoke deep cries of "Amen."

Dr. King also had a way of reducing complex issues to terms that anyone could understand. Thus, in the summer of 1965, when there was widespread discontent among Negroes about their struggle for equality of employment, he declared:

"What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can't buy a hamburger."

The enormous impact of Dr. King's words was one of the reasons he was in the President's Room in the Capitol on Aug. 6, 1965, when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act that struck down literacy tests, provided Federal registrars to assure the ballot to unregistered Negroes and marked the growth of the Negro as a political force in the South.

Backed by Organization

Dr. King's effectiveness was enhanced and given continuity by the fact that he had an organization behind him. Formed in 1960, with headquarters in Atlanta, it was called the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, familiarly known as SLICK. Allied with it was another organization formed under Dr. King's sponsorship the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, often referred to as SNICK.

These two organizations reached the country, though their basic strength was in the South. They brought together Negro clergymen, businessmen, professional men and students. They raised the money and planned the sit-ins, the campaigns for Negro vote registration, the demonstrations by which Negroes hacked away at segregationist resistance, lowering the barriers against Negroes in the political, economic and social life of the nation.

This minister, who became the most famous spokesman for Negro rights since Booker T. Washington, was not particularly impressive in appearance. About 5 feet 8 inches tall, he had an oval face with almond-shaped eyes that looked almost dreamy when he was off the platform. His neck and shoulders where heavily muscled, but his hands were almost delicate.

Speaker of Few Gestures

There was little of the rabblerouser in his oratory. He was not prone to extravagant gestures or loud peroration. His baritone voice, though vibrant, was not that of a spellbinder. Occasionally, after a particular telling sentence, he would tilt his head a bit and fall silent as though waiting for the echoes of his thought to spread through the hall, church or street.

In private gatherings, Dr. King lacked that laughing gregariousness that often makes for popularity. Some thought he was without a sense of humor. He was not a gifted raconteur. He did not have the flamboyance of a Representative Adam Clayton Powell Jr. or the cool strategic brilliance of Roy Wilkins, head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

What Dr. King did have was an instinct for the right moment to make his moves. Some critics looked upon this as pure opportunism. Nevertheless, it was this sense of timing that raised him in 1955, from a newly arrived minister in Montgomery, Ala., with his first church, to a figure of national prominence.

Bus Boycott in Progress

Negroes in that city had begun a boycott of buses to win the right to sit where they pleased instead of being forced to move to the rear of buses, in Southern tradition or to surrender seats to white people when a bus was crowded.

The 381-day boycott by Negroes was already under way when the young pastor was placed in charge of the campaign. It has been said that one of the reasons he got the job was because he was so new in the area he had not antagonized any of the Negro factions. Even while the boycott was under way, a board of directors handled the bulk of administrative work.

However, it was Dr. King who dramatized the boycott with his decision to make it the testing ground, before the eyes of the nation, of his belief in the civil disobedience teachings of Thoreau and Gandhi. When he was arrested during the Montgomery boycott, he said:

"If we are arrested every day, if we are exploited every day, if we are trampled over every day, don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn."

Home Bombed in Absence

Even more dramatic, in some ways, was his reaction to the bombing of his home during the boycott. He was away at the time and rushed back fearful for his wife and children. They were not injured. But when he reached the modest house, more than a thousand Negroes had already gathered and were in an ugly mood, seeking revenge against the white people. The police were jittery. Quickly, Dr. King pacified the crowd and there was no trouble.

Dr. King was even more impressive during the "big push" in Birmingham, which began in April, 1963. With the minister at the limelight, Negroes there began a campaign of sit-ins at lunch counters, picketing and protest marches. Hundreds of children, used in the campaign, were jailed.

The entire world was stirred when the police turned dogs on the demonstrators. Dr. King was jailed for five days. While he was in prison he issued a 9,000-word letter that created considerable controversy among white people, alienating some sympathizers who thought Dr. King was being too aggressive.

Moderates Called Obstacles

In the letter he wrote:

"I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace, which is the absence of tension, to a positive peace, which is the presence of justice."

Some critics of Dr. King said that one reason for this letter was to answer Negro intellectuals, such as the wrier James Baldwin, who were impatient with Dr. King's belief in brotherhood. Whatever the reasons, the role of Dr. King in Birmingham added to his stature and showed that his enormous following was deeply devoted to him.

He demonstrated this in a threatening situation in Albany, Ga., after four Negro girls were killed in the bombing of a church. Dr. King said at the funeral:

"In spite of the darkness of this hour, we must not despair. We must not lose faith in our white brothers."

As Dr. King's words grew more potent and he was invited to the White House by President Kennedy and Johnson, some critics--Negroes as well as white--noted that sometimes, despite all the publicity he attracted, he left campaigns unfinished or else failed to attain his goals.

Dr. King was aware of this. But he pointed out, in 1964, in St Augustine, Fla., one of the toughest civil rights battlegrounds, that there were important intangibles.

"Even if we do not get all we should," he said, "movements such as this tend more and more to give a Negro the sense of self-respect that he needs. It tends to generate courage in Negroes outside the movement. It brings intangible results outside the community where it is carried out. There is a hardening of attitudes in situations like this. But other cities see and say: "We don't want to be another Albany or Birmingham,' and they make changes. Some communities, like this one, had to bear the cross."

It was in this city that Negroes marched into the fists of the mob singing: "We love everybody."

Conscious of Leading Role

There was no false modesty in Dr. King's self appraisal of his role in the civil rights movement.

"History," he said, "has thrust me into this position. It would be both immoral and a sign of ingratitude if I did not face my moral responsibility to do what I can in this struggle."

Another time he compared himself to Socrates as one of "the creative gadflies of society."

At times he addressed himself deliberately to the white people of the nations. Once, he said:

"We will match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. We will not hate you, but we cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws. . .We will soon were you down by our capacity to suffer. And in winning our freedom we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process."

The enormous influence of Dr. King's voice in the turbulent racial conflict reached into New York in 1964. In the summer of that year racial rioting exploded in New York and in other Northern cities with large Negro populations. There was widespread fear that the disorders, particularly in Harlem, might set of unprecedented racial violence.

At this point Dr. King became one of the major intermediaries in restoring order. He conferred with Mayor Robert F. Wagner and with Negro leaders. A statement was issued, of which he was one of the signers, calling for "a broad curtailment if not total moratorium on mass demonstrations until after Presidential elections."

The following year, Dr. King was once more in the headlines and on television--this time leading a drive for Negro voter registration in Selma, Ala. Negroes were arrested by the hundreds. Dr. King was punched and kicked by a white man when, during this period of protest, he became the first Negro to register at a century-old hotel in Selma.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta on Auburn Avenue. As a child his name was Michael Luther King and so was his father's. His father changed both their names legally to Martin Luther King in honor of the Protestant reformer.

Auburn Avenue is one of the nation's most widely known Negro sections. Many successful Negro business or professional men have lived there. The Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church at Jackson Street and Auburn Avenue.

Young Martin went to Atlanta's Morehouse College, a Negro institution whose students acquired what was sometimes called the "Morehouse swank." The president of Morehouse, Dr. B. E. Mays, took a special interest in Martin, who had decided, in his junior year, to be a clergyman.

He was ordained a minister in his father's church in 1947. It was in this church he was to say, some years later:

"America, you're strayed away. You've trampled over 19 million of your brethren. All men are created equal. Not some men. Not white men. All men. America, rise up and come home."

Before Dr. King had his own church he pursued his studies in the integrated Crozier Theological Seminary, in Chester, Pa. He was one of six Negroes in a student body of about a hundred. He became the first Negro class president. He was named the outstanding student and won a fellowship to study for a doctorate at the school of his choice. The young man enrolled at Boston College in 1951.

For his doctoral thesis he sought to resolve the differences between the Harvard theologian Paul Tillich and the neo-naturalist philosopher Henry Nelson Wieman. During this period he took courses at Harvard, as well.

While he was working on his doctorate he met Coretta Scott, a graduate of Antioch College, who was doing graduate work in music. He married the singer in 1953. They had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King 3d, Dexter Scott and Bernice.

In 1954, Dr. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. At that time few of Montgomery's white residents saw any reason for a major dispute with the city's 50,000 Negroes. They did not seem to realize how deeply the Negroes resented segregated seating on buses, for instance.

Revolt Begun by Woman

On Dec. 1, 1955, they learned, almost by accident. Mrs. Rosa Parks, a Negro seamstress, refused to comply with a bus driver's order to give up her seat to a white passenger. She was tired, she said. Her feet hurt from a day of shopping.

Mrs. Parks had been a local secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She was arrested, convicted of refusing to obey the bust conductor and fined $10 and cost, a total of $14. Almost as spontaneous as Mrs. Parks's act was the rallying of many Negro leaders in the city to help her.

From a protest begun over a Negro woman's tired feet Dr. King began his public career.

In 1959, Dr. King and his family moved back to Atlanta, where he became a co-pastor, with his father, of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

As his fame increased, public interest in his beliefs led him to write books. It was while he was autographing one of these books, "Stride Toward Freedom," in a Harlem department store that he was stabbed by a Negro woman.

It was in these books that he summarized, in detail, his beliefs as well as his career. Thus, in "Why We Can't Wait," he wrote:

"The Negro knows he is right. He has not organized for conquest or to gain spoils or to enslave those who have injured him. His goal is not to capture that which belongs to someone else. He merely wants, and will have, what is honorably his."

The possibility that he might someday be assassinated was considered by Dr. King on June 5, 1964, when he reported, in St. Augustine, Fla., that his life had been threatened. He said:

"Well, if physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive."


Harry Houdini Dies After Operations

DETROIT, Oct. 31.--Harry Houdini, world famous as a magician, a defier of locks and sealed chests and an exposer of spiritualist frauds, died here this afternoon after a week's struggle for life, in which he underwent two operations.

Death was due to peritonitis, which followed the first operation, that for appendicitis. The second operation was performed last Friday. Like a newly discovered serum, used for the first time in Houdini's case, it was of no avail.

The chapter of accidents which ended fatally for the man who so often had seemed to thousands to be cheating the very jaws of death began early in October at Albany, N. Y. On the opening night of his engagement at a theatre there a piece of apparatus used in his "water torture cell" trick was overturned and struck him on the foot. Houdini called a physician from the audience, had his foot examined and then completed his performance. Afterward he went to a hospital and had the injured foot X-rayed.

Appendicitis Follows Blow

A bone was found to be partly fractured and Houdini was advised to discontinue his tour a few days and give prompt attention and plenty of rest to the injured foot. He declined to cancel his engagements, however, and did not miss a show.

From Albany he and his company went to Schenectady. Houdini was suffering continuous pain and returned to Albany for several treatments. By the time he left Schenectady for Montreal his whole system was in a weakened condition.

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, while in Montreal he addressed a class of students on spiritualistic tricks. During a reception following the address he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows without injury.

One of the students without warning or giving time for Houdini to prepare struck him twice immediately over his appendix. He suffered no distress at the time but after he had boarded a train for Detroit he complained of pain. At first he attributed it to something he had eaten but as it increased he called in the company's nurse, who in turn arranged by wire to have a physician meet the magician in Detroit.

Dr. Leo Kretzka, a prominent physician, made a hurried examination and told the patient there were symptoms of appendicitis. He left it to Houdini to decide whether it would be advisable for him to appear that evening at the Garrick Theatre for the opening night of the show. Houdini would not disappoint his admirers.

Looking back on that last performance, the large audience now realizes that the famous magician did his tricks under a great strain. He felt the grip of bonds he had never tested, the snap of a lock not forged by human hands. He was worried for one of the few times in his career and was plainly not up to his best form in some of his tricks.

Conscious Until Death

At his hotel after the performance the pain increased. The house physician and the best Detroit could furnish were called. Houdini was taken to Gray Hospital and the following afternoon underwent an operation for appendicitis. His removal from the hotel to the hospital was made at the suggestion of his family physician, William Stone of New York City, who had been notified by telephone of his friend's condition.

Until his death Houdini was conscious and his mind was keen and alert. The physicians who attended him say he was the best patient they ever had, and he helped them wonderfully. His mental attitude, combined with his unusual stamina, did much to prolong his life.

According to statements made by the physicians, the playful punches he received in Montreal were the direct cause of Houdini's death, for one of the blows caused the appendix to burst, saturating his system with poison.

Streptococcus peritonitis, which developed soon after the operation last Monday, seriously complicated the case. This is a particularly virulent form of poisoning, and few cases are known to the medical profession where persons suffering from it have recovered.

The body will leave Detroit for New York in a special car Monday evening, arrive in New York Tuesday morning about 9 o'clock.


Houdini World Famous

No Locks Could Hold Him--Foe of Mediums

Whatever the methods by which Harry Houdini deceived a large part of the world for nearly four decades, his career stamped him as one of the greatest showmen of modern times. In his special field of entertainment he stood alone. With a few minor exceptions, he invented all his tricks and illusions, and in certain instances only his four intimate helpers knew the solution. In one or two very important cases Houdini, himself, alone knew the whole secret.

Houdini was born on March 24, 1874. His name originally was Eric Weiss and he was the son of a rabbi. He did not take the name Harry Houdini until he had been a performer for many years. Legend has it that he opened his first lock when he wanted a piece of pie in the kitchen closet. It is certain that when scarcely more than a baby he showed skill as an acrobat and contortionist, and both these talents helped his start in the show business and his later development as an "escape king."

Joined Circus at 9

At the age of 9 Houdini joined a traveling circus, touring Wisconsin as a contortionist and trapeze performer. The Davenport brothers were then famous, doing the first spiritualist work ever seen in this country. They would ring bells while bound inside a cabinet and would agree to free themselves from any bonds. This inspired Houdini to a somewhat similar performance. Standing in the middle of the ring, he would invite any one to tie him with ropes and would then free himself inside the cabinet.

In the ring at Coffeyville, Kan., a Sheriff tied him and then produced a pair of handcuffs with the taunt:

"If I put these on you, you'll never get loose."

Houdini, still only a boy, told him to go ahead. After a much longer stay in the cabinet than usual, the performer emerged, carrying the handcuffs in his free hands. That was the beginning of his long series of escapes from every known sort of manacle. For years he called himself the Handcuff King, a title discarded as he extended and elevated the range of his performances.

From 1885 to 1900 he played all over the United States, in museums, music halls, circuses, and medicine shows, gradually improving his technique and giving up his purely contortionistic and acrobatic feats. In 1900 he made his first visit abroad, and in London his sensational escapes from handcuffs at Scotland Yard won him a six months engagement at the Alhambra. This was the first instance of his cleverly obtaining notoriety by a public or semi-public exhibition outside the theatre. No other showman, unless it was Barnum, knew better how to arouse the curiosity and amazement of the public in this manner.

Escaped From Dozens of Prisons

During a six-year tour of the Continent he escaped from dozens of famous prisons. In the Krupp plant at Essen he met the challenge of the workmen and freed himself from expertly constructed shackles before 70,000 persons. He returned to America to find his fame greatly increased and a newly organized vaudeville ready to pay him many times his old salary. He continued his prison escapes over here and in January, 1902, broke from Cell 2 in the Federal prison at Washington, the cell in which Guiteau, President Garfield's assassin, had been confined.

In 1908 Houdini dropped the handcuff tricks for more dangerous and dramatic escapes, including one from an air-tight galvanized vessel, filled with water, locked in an iron- bound chest. And he would free himself from the so-called torture cell, his own invention. In this he was suspended, head down, in a tank of water. To thrill the general public he would hang from the roof of a skyscraper, bound in a strait-jacket, from which he would wriggle free to the applause of the crowd in the street below. Thrown from a boat or bridge into a river, bound hand and foot and locked and nailed in a box, doomed to certain death by drowning or suffocation, he would emerge in a minute or so, a free man, swimming vigorously to safety.

In the last twenty years Houdini made many long tours, playing in nearly every important city in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Occasionally others would attempt to imitate him, but his supremacy never was remotely threatened. An evidence of the deep impression his work made on the public mind is the fact that the Standard Dictionary now contains a verb, "houdinize," meaning "to release or extricate oneself (from confinement, bonds, or the like), as by wriggling out." A slang dictionary probably would list the expression, "do a Houdini," with a similar meaning.

Owned Valuable Library

During the last few years Houdini had become internationally known as a tireless enemy and exposer of fraudulent mediums and all false claims in the field of spiritualism. He was a member of The Scientific American committee that investigated Margery, the Boston medium, whom he denounced in vigorous language. He was the author of "Spooks and Spiritualism," "The Unmasking of Robert Houdin," "Handcuff Secrets," and "Rope Ties and Escapes." At his home, 278 West 113th Street, he possessed a remarkable library, chiefly devoted to works on the theatre, to magic and the black arts. The collection has been valued at $500,000 and was insured for $350,000. Most of it has been willed to the National Museum at Washington.

In July, 1926, Houdini was elected for the ninth successive time President of the Society of American Magicians. He also was President of the Magicians' Club of London and a life member of the Authors' Club of London. He married in 1894 Wilhelmina Rahner of Brooklyn. He was a member of St. Cecile Lodge No. 568, F. & A. M.


Bizarre Experiences Told by Houdini

Tricked Roosevelt on River of Doubt--Had Four "Close-Ups With Death"

Few men could relate more interesting anecdotes and experiences than Harry Houdini. He was fond of telling how he beguiled the late Theodore Roosevelt and the late Victor Herbert on a voyage to Europe aboard the Imperator. Colonel Roosevelt had just returned from his exploration of the River of Doubt in Brazil.

"I was asked to give an entertainment," Houdini would relate, "and the subject of spirit writing came up. A number of other well-known men were present, all of them having intelligence of a high order. Certainly it was not a credulous audience. I offered to summon the spirits and have them answer any questions that might be asked.

"Roosevelt wanted to know if they could tell him where he had spent Christmas Day. I had a slate with the usual covering and in a few moments brought forth a map, done in a dozen different colors of chalk, which indicated the spot where he had been on the famous River of Doubt. That map was an exact duplicate of one that was to appear in his book which had not been published. I had never seen the map and, to make my case stronger, the name of W. T. Stead, the English spiritualist and writer who lost his life on the Titanic, was signed below the map in a handwriting which one man present instantly recognized as that of Stead. And I might add that I was unfamiliar with Stead's signature.

Colonel Roosevelt Dumfounded

"Roosevelt was dumfounded.

"'Is it really spirit writing?' he asked.

"'Yes,' I replied with a wink."

Of course, Houdini never explained how the trick was done, at least to the public.

The magician tried his hand at the medium business in his early days in Kansas and used to tell in this wise how he prepared for one of his first seances:

"I had gone around to the cemeteries and read all of the inscriptions on tombstones, looked over a few birth and death records and acquired a lot of information from the gossips. When the time arrived for my act I puzzled the crowd by giving particulars of births and deaths in half of the families of the town. Gradually I worked up to a climax, exclaiming:

"'Now what do I see? What is this coming before me? Why, it is a man--a black man. He's lame--and his throat is cut from ear to ear. Who is this man?--why, I know him; he is Efram--Efram Alexander.' The negroes at the meeting deserted in a body with shrieks because they recognized a negro who had been killed recently."

For thirty-three years Houdini tried to solve the mysteries of spiritism. He told friends he was ready to believe, was anxious to believe, because he would find joy in proof that he could communicate with his father, mother and friends who had passed on. He had agreed with friends and acquaintances, numbering hundreds, that the first to die was to try to communicate from the spirit world to the world of reality. Fourteen of those friends had died, but none had ever given a sign, he said.

Anxious for Spirit Messages

"One of those pledges," Houdini once told, "was with my secretary, John W. Sargent, one of those who exposed Palladino in this city. Our relations were most intimate. He died and I have not heard from him. Such an agreement I made with both my parents. They died and I have not heard from them. I thought once I saw my mother in a vision, but I now believe it was imagination.

"Another thing that seemed almost supernatural to me occurred at the death of William Berol, a mystifier and close friend of mine. We had worked together on the stage and had a private telegraphic code for signaling messages. We made a compact that the first who died should use that code to communicate with the other. At his deathbed I held Berol's hand. He had been unconscious for some time. He showed no outward signs of a return to consciousness. His eyes remained closed. But just as he passed away I could feel his hand making a faint pressure upon mine. That was repeated at intervals and I could recognize that the man who seemed unconscious and at death's door was talking to me in code. I received and understood his message. But I hold it sacred and have never repeated it."

Houdini counted that he had had "four close-ups with death" in his career of more than thirty years as a mystifier. The closest was in California, where he risked his life on a bet and not as a public performance. Seven years ago in Los Angeles he made a wager that he could free himself from a six-foot grave into which he was to be buried after being manacled. He had first accustomed himself to the sensation of burial by more shallow interments.

Scare Nearly Cost Life

"The knowledge that I was six feet under the sod gave me the first thrill of horror I had ever experienced," Houdini was wont to say in telling of his hair-raising escape. "The momentary scare, the irretrievable mistake of all daredevils, nearly cost me my life, for it caused me to waste a fraction of breath when every fraction was needed to pull through. I had kept the sand loose about my body so that I could work dexterously. I did. But as I clawed and kneed the earth my strength began to fail. Then I made another mistake. I yelled. Or, at least, I attempted to, and the last remnants of my self-possession left me. Then instinct stepped in to the rescue. With my last reserve strength I fought through, more sand than air entering my nostrils. The sunlight came like a blinding blessing, and my friends about the grave said that, chalky pale and wild-eyed as I was, I presented a perfect imitation of a dead man rising.

"The next time I am buried it will not be alive if I can help it."

But Houdini did later permit himself to be "buried alive" in a hermetically sealed casket of zinc which was submerged in a pool at a New York hotel. He remained there for more than an hour and a half, bettering the record of the Egyptian fakir, Rahmin Bey.

When there was talk of a "return" submergence contest between the magician and the fakir, Houdini made preparations to defend his title with all the care that he was wont to exercise in working up his baffling feats. He began to cancel engagements that conflicted with a period of training he mapped out for himself.

"I can't dine with you this afternoon at 6 o'clock because I have to go down at 5," said Houdini to a friend. Houdini went "down" or submerged in his sealed casket for half an hour daily.

Friends of the showman said yesterday that he had developed a dislike for being called by his first name, Harry. He always wished to be called Houdini and disliked the prefix, Mr.



Dancer Is Thrown to Road While Riding at Nice and Her Neck Is Broken.


“I Am Frightened That Some Quick Accident Might Happen,” She Said the Day Before.


Founder of Modern Classical Dance Gained World Fame, but Often Could Not Pay Debts.

PARIS, Sept. 14.—Isadora Duncan, the American dancer, tonight met a tragic death at Nice on the Riviera. According to dispatches from Nice Miss Duncan was hurled in an extraordinary manner from an open automobile in which she was riding and instantly killed by the force of her fall to the stone pavement.

Affecting, as was her habit, an unusual costume, Miss Duncan was wearing an immense iridescent silk scarf wrapped about her neck and streaming in long folds, part of which was swathed about her body with part trailing behind. After an evening walk along the Promenade des Anglais about 10 o’clock, she entered an open rented car, directing the driver to take her to the hotel where she was staying.

As she took her seat in the car neither she nor the driver noticed that one of the loose ends fell outside over the side of the car and was caught in the rear wheel of the machine.

Dragged Bodily From the Car.

The automobile was going at full speed when the scarf of strong silk suddenly began winding around the wheel and with terrific force dragged Miss Duncan, around whom it was securely wrapped, bodily over the side of the car, precipitating her with violence against the cobblestone street. She was dragged for several yards before the chauffeur halted, attracted by her cries in the street.

Medical aid immediately was summoned, but it was stated that she had been strangled and killed instantly.

This end to a life full of many pathetic episodes was received as a great shock in France, where, despite her numerous eccentric traits, Miss Duncan was regarded as a great artist. Her great popularity in France was increased by the entire nation’s sympathy when in 1913 her two young children also perished in an automobile tragedy. The car in which they had been left seated started, driverless, down a hill and plunged over a bridge into the Seine River.

During the war she acquired the further gratitude of the French by turning over her palatial home here for war relief headquarters.

Husband Committed Suicide.

Her love affair with the young poet laureate of Soviet Russia, Serge Essinin, terminated in divorce and Essinin’s suicide two years ago. She herself was reported to have made an attempt at suicide in the Mediterranean.

Miss Duncan, reduced in her resources recently, succeeded through the aid of friends in completing plans for a school of aesthetics which she meant to start on the Riviera.

It was recently a current rumor among the friends of Miss Duncan that she would find happiness in a marriage with an American, which was to be celebrated at Nice Oct. 11.

In connection with her fatal accident it is recalled that Miss Duncan for years affected an unusual dress cult and, with her brother, Raymond, often appeared in the streets of Paris and elsewhere garbed in a Roman toga with bare legs and sandals. Roman purple in recent years was her preferred color and she often walked about Nice in flowing scarfs and robes.


Alfred Hitchcock Dies; A Master of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock, whose mastery of suspense and of directing technique made him one of the most popular and celebrated of film makers, died yesterday at the age of 80 at his home in Los Angeles. Mr. Hitchcock, ailing with arthritis and kidney failures, had been in declining health for a year.

In a characteristically incisive remark, Mr. Hitchcock once summed up his approach to moviemaking: "Some films are slices of life, mine are slices of cake." The director of scores of psychological thrillers for more than half a century was the master manipulator of menace and the macabre, and the leading specialist in suspense and shock.

His best movies were meticulously orchestrated nightmares of peril and pursuit relieved by unexpected comic ironies, absurdities and anomalies. Films made by the portly, cherubic director invariably progressed from deceptively commonplace trifles of life to shattering revelations, and with elegant style and structure, he pervaded mundane events and scenes with a haunting mood of mounting anxiety.

In delicately balancing the commonplace and the bizarre, he was the most noted juggler of emotions in the longest major directorial career in film history. His distinctive style was vigorously visual, always stressing imagery over dialogue and often using silence to increase apprehension. Among his most stunning montages were a harrowing attack by a bullet-firing crop-dusting plane on Cary Grant at a deserted crossroad amid barren cornfields in "North by Northwest," a brutal shower-slaying in "Psycho" and an avian assault on a sleepy village in "The Birds."

Hitch, as he was called by his friends and colleagues, doubtlessly frightened more audiences than any other director in movie history, and he was one of the few film makers who was a household name for many decades. A trademark was the fleeting, nonspeaking appearances he made in his films.

As the leading British director of the 30's, he set the standard for international intrigue and espionage with such classic thrillers as "The 39 Steps" and "The Lady Vanishes."

Increasingly Pessimistic

After moving to Hollywood in 1939, he made such taut melodramas as "Rebecca," "Foreign Correspondent," "Suspicion," "Shadow of a Doubt," "Lifeboat," "Spellbound," "Notorious," "Strangers on a Train," "Rear Window" and "Vertigo." His later shockers mirrored his increasingly pessimistic view of most people and mounting evil in the world.

Reflecting his motif of a world in disorder, Mr. Hitchcock placed endangered protagonists in settings epitomizing order--citadels of civilization, the Statue of Liberty, United Nations headquarters, Mount Rushmore and Britain's Parliament.

Reviewers acclaimed his virtuosity in creating a rhythm of anticipation with understated, sinister overtones, innovative pictorial nuance and montage, brilliant use of parallel editing of simultaneous action, menacingly oblique camera angles and revealing cross-cutting of objective shots with subjective views of a scene from an actor's perspective.

Detractors accused Mr. Hitchcock of relying on slick tricks, illogical story lines and wild coincidences, but he usually did not allow viewers time to ponder implausibilities because of the whiplike speed of his films.

Spinning his sophisticated yarns to create maximum tension, Mr. Hitchcock was not concerned with plausibility, which he regarded as no more important than the "MacGuffin," the term he used for the device about which his suspense revolved, whether it be the secret or documents or whatever the villains were seeking or trying to protect.

Sought Exotic Settings

A favorite Hitchcock theme centered on "the wrong man" who was unjustly accused of a crime and hunted by both the villains and the police because of mistaken identity or incriminating information he inadvertently acquired. The storyteller sought consistently to freshen the concept with novel variations and plot twists and to avoid cliches in a careerlong effort to refine his style and enrich his films.

His films were spiced with unusual peripheral characters and often shot on location in exotic settings. His heroines were usually "cool" classic beauties who "don't drip sex," he said. "You discover sex in them."

At its best, the Hitchcock touch revealed a cornucopia of conjurer's tricks, dextrously juxtaposing tension and relaxation, relieving horror with humor. "After a certain amount of suspense," he told an interviewer, "the audience must find relief in laughter."

He deplored James Bond-type gimmicks and played on childhood anxieties--fear of heights, enclosed places and open spaces--and his plots dealt with suspicion, guilt, complicity, delusion, vulnerability, irrationality, violence and sexual obsession. He manipulated moviegoers so adroitly that at times they felt implicated in the most despicable acts, including those of a homicidal maniac.

In Mr. Hitchcock's world, people may or may not be what they appear to be, but the audience sees and knows more than the protagonists. He invariably alerted viewers to imminent dangers such as a ticking time bomb, withholding the knowledge from imperiled characters, and identified the villains early on, eschewing the "whodunit" as "a sort of intellectual puzzle" that is void of emotion."

Technical Challenges

The director was intrigued by technical challenges, in making things work. He had a profound knowledge of all aspects of moviemaking, and wrote the production section for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He made expert use of objects, placing, for example, a light in a glass of possibly poisoned milk in "Suspicion" to rivet attention on it.

Before filming, he drew precise sketches of every scene, meticulously listing each camera angle. Working with his screenwriter for months, he freely adapted material, writing up to 100-page shot schedules without dialogue. He almost never looked through the camera's viewfinder and scrupulously avoided improvising on the set.

His films had such consistent mass appeal that reviewers were sometimes condescending to them. But in the '50s, a group of young French film makers and critics associated with Cahiers du Cinema newly extolled his achievements.

Francois Truffaut, a leading director of France's New Wave, praised him as "the most complete film maker" of all American directors and "an all-round specialist, who excels at every image, each shot and every scene."

Lauding Mr. Hitchcock as a leading "artist of anxiety" with a "purely visual" style, Mr. Truffaut commented that "Hitchcock is almost unique in being able to film directly, that is, without resorting to explanatory dialogue, such intimate emotions as suspicion, jealousy, desire and envy."

Detractors acknowledged his technical expertise in entertaining, but faulted his films for lacking substance and significance, for moral opportunism and for being cynical, superficial and glib in their views of human nature. Admirers vehemently disagreed, terming him a compulsive storyteller who showed human nature as it is and not as it should be, and describing the psychological probing of much of his later work as profound in its foresight of an irrational and disordered world.

Resembling a pixieish gargoyle, the rotund director had a pudgy, basset-hound face with heavy jowls and pouting lips. He was a witty raconteur who gave sly, sardonic and eminently quotable interviews peppered with put-ons and whimsical ideas for new movies. He became somewhat of a national institution in shaping a public image as a genially ghoulish cynic noted for barbed pronouncements about life and commercials in two popular weekly television series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and the "Alfred Hitchcock Hour," which he supervised and was host of in the late 50's and early 60's.

Behind his somewhat fictional self-projected image was a highly skilled and dedicated artist who withstood exhaustive study by debunkers. Regarded as one of the shrewdest businessmen in Hollywood, he became a multimillionaire. He also gained more complete control over every aspect of his productions, screenplay, casting, photography, editing, soundtrack and publicity, than any Hollywood director.

Mr. Hitchcock, who also produced many of his later films, was showered with laurels. He won the 1967 Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and "Rebecca," his first American movie, won an Oscar as the best film of 1940. He was nominated for directorial Oscars five times, for "Rebecca," "Lifeboat," in 1944, "Spellbound" in 1945, "Rear Window" in 1954 and "Psycho" in 1960.

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in London on Aug. 13, 1899, to a poultry dealer, greengrocer and fruit importer and the former Emma Whelan. He graduated from St. Ignatius College, a Jesuit school in London, where he studied engineering, and took art courses at the University of London.

In childhood incidents, he developed a lifelong fear of the police and punishment, major influences on his movies. At about the age of 5, he was sent by his father with a note to a local police chief, who locked him in a cell for five minutes. In releasing him, the officer said, "That's what we do to naughty boys." Mr. Hitchcock later said he could never forget "the sound and the solidity of that closing cell door and the bolt."

Mr. Hitchcock attributed his fear of punishment to ritual beatings of the hands with a hard rubber strop, administered for infractions at St. Ignatius, that he recalled "was like going to the gallows."

Became a Draftsman

He worked briefly as a technical calculator for a cable company, but soon abandoned technology for art, becoming an advertising layout draftsman for a London department store.

In his teens, he was determined to break into film making, and by brashness and ability he won a job in 1920 writing and illustrating title cards for silent pictures. He rose quickly, to script writer, art director and assistant director.

By 1925, Mr. Hitchcock had become a director, making a melodrama called "The Pleasure Garden" on a shoestring budget in Munich, West Germany. He began shaping his genre with "The Lodger," about Jack the Ripper. Early influences, he said, were German Expressionistic and American films.

In 1926, he married Alma Reville, his assistant, who collaborated on many of his movies as a writer, adviser and general assistant. Their daughter, Patricia, acted in a number of his movies and television thrillers.

The pictorial and technical innovations of Mr. Hitchcock's early melodramas garnered him increasing praise. In 1929, he directed "Blackmail," Britain's first widely successful talking feature. In the 30's, he won international acclaim for his pacesetting spy thrillers, including "The Man Who Knew Too Much"; "The 39 Steps"; "Secret Agent"; "Sabotage," called "The Woman Alone" in the United States, and "The Lady Vanishes."

Lured to Hollywood

David O. Selznick lured Mr. Hitchcock to Hollywood, with its incomparable technical facilities, and he stayed, becoming an American citizen. His first American production, the adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Gothic novel "Rebecca," with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, began a long string of successes.

In the film maker's early years in Hollywood, he created a stir when he quipped that "all actors are children" and "should be treated like cattle." He later showed particular disdain for Method school actors. But he never raised his voice on a set and never argued with a performer in front of the crew. A number of stars later described him as a vividly persuasive man who knew exactly what he wanted in a picture--and got it.

Despite his recent illness, the director was reportedly at work at Universal Studios on a new film, a spy story to be called "The Short Night." With him at his death were his wife, Alma; his daughter, Patricia, and his three grandchildren. In the last year of his life, Mr. Hitchcock, although a United States citizen, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of his native Britain.

In contrast with the disordered Hitchcockian cinema world, the moviemaker's personal life was routinized, stable and serene. Unless he was shooting a film or out promoting one, he rarely ventured away from his home or office, according to Richard Schickel, who interviewed him for a public-television series, "The Men Who Made the Movies," in 1975.

The director had a measured, courtly manner and wore dark suits, white shirts and conservative narrow ties. He was a gourmet and wine connoisseur, and, with a 5-foot-8-inch frame, his weight once soared to 290 pounds, though he tried to keep it down by dieting to about 220 pounds. He avoided exercise and fiction, and voraciously read contemporary biographies, travel books and true- crime accounts. He increased his fame and fortune by lending his name to, and supervising for decades, popular suspense anthologies and magazines with tales by many writers.

Mr. Hitchcock was a noted practical joker whose favorite prank was telling a tantalizing story in a loud voice to a companion in an elevator, perfectly timing his exit just before the punch line and then bowing politely to the intrigued but frustrated passengers.


Yogi Berra, Yankee Who Built His Stardom 90 Percent on Skill and Half on Wit, Dies at 90

Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankees championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and the Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.

The Yankees and the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J., announced his death. Before moving to an assisted living facility in nearby West Caldwell, in 2012, Berra had lived for many years in neighboring Montclair.

In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankees career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

And so he was, and so he proved to be. Universally known simply as Yogi, probably the second most recognizable nickname in sports — even Yogi was not the Babe — Berra was not exactly an unlikely hero, but he was often portrayed as one: an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons whose skills were routinely underestimated; a well-built, appealingly open-faced man whose physical appearance was often belittled; and a prolific winner, not to mention a successful leader, whose intellect was a target of humor if not outright derision.

That he triumphed on the diamond again and again in spite of his perceived shortcomings was certainly a source of his popularity. So was the delight with which his famous, if not always documentable, pronouncements — somehow both nonsensical and sagacious — were received.

“You can observe a lot just by watching,” he is reputed to have declared once, describing his strategy as a manager.

“If you can’t imitate him,” he advised a young player who was mimicking the batting stance of the great slugger Frank Robinson, “don’t copy him.”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” he said, giving directions to his house. Either path, it turned out, got you there.

“Nobody goes there anymore,” he said of a popular restaurant. “It’s too crowded.”

Whether Berra actually uttered the many things attributed to him, or was the first to say them, or phrased them precisely the way they were reported, has long been a matter of speculation. Berra himself published a book in 1998 called “The Yogi Book: I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said!” But the Yogi-isms testified to a character — goofy and philosophical, flighty and down to earth — that came to define the man.

Berra’s Yogi-ness was exploited in advertisements for myriad products, among them Puss ’n Boots cat food and Miller Lite beer but perhaps most famously Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink. Asked if Yoo-Hoo was hyphenated, he is said to have replied, “No, ma’am, it isn’t even carbonated.”

If not exactly a Yogi-ism, it was the kind of response that might have come from Berra’s ursine namesake, the affable animated character Yogi Bear, who made his debut in 1958.

An Impressive Résumé

The character Yogi Berra may even have overshadowed the Hall of Fame ballplayer Yogi Berra, obscuring what a remarkable athlete he was. A notorious bad-ball hitter — he swung at a lot of pitches that were not strikes but mashed them anyway — he was fearsome in the clutch and the most durable and consistently productive Yankee during the period of the team’s most relentless success.

In addition, as a catcher, he played the most grueling position on the field. (For a respite from the chores and challenges of crouching behind the plate, Berra, who played before the designated hitter rule took effect in the American League in 1973, occasionally played the outfield.)

Stengel, a Hall of Fame manager whose shrewdness and talent were also often underestimated, recognized Berra’s gifts. He referred to Berra, even as a young player, as his assistant manager and compared him favorably to star catchers of previous eras like Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Hartnett and Bill Dickey. “You could look it up” was Stengel’s catchphrase, and indeed the record book declares that Berra was among the greatest catchers in the history of the game — some say the greatest of all.

Berra’s career batting average, .285, was not as high as that of his Yankees predecessor, Dickey (.313), but Berra hit more home runs (358 in all) and drove in more runs (1,430). Praised by pitchers for his astute pitch-calling, Berra led the American League in assists five times and from 1957 through 1959 went 148 consecutive games behind the plate without making an error, a major league record at the time.

He was not a defensive wizard from the start, though. Dickey, Berra explained, “learned me all his experience.”

On defense, he certainly surpassed Mike Piazza, the best-hitting catcher of recent vintage, and maybe ever. On offense, Berra and Johnny Bench, whose Cincinnati Reds teams of the 1970s were known as the Big Red Machine, were comparable, except that Bench struck out three times as often. Berra whiffed a mere 414 times in more than 8,300 plate appearances over 19 seasons — an astonishingly small ratio for a power hitter.

Others — Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter and Ivan Rodriguez among them — also deserve consideration in a discussion of great catchers, but none was clearly superior to Berra on offense or defense. Only Roy Campanella, a contemporary rival who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and faced Berra in the World Series six times before his career was ended by a car accident, equaled Berra’s total of three Most Valuable Player Awards. And although Berra did not win the award in 1950 — his teammate Phil Rizzuto did — he gave one of the greatest season-long performances by a catcher that year, hitting .322, smacking 28 home runs and driving in 124 runs.

Big Moments

Berra’s career was punctuated by storied episodes. In Game 3 of the 1947 World Series, against the Dodgers, he hit the first pinch-hit home run in Series history, and in Game 4 he was behind the plate for what was almost the first no-hitter and was instead a stunning loss. With two outs in the ninth inning and two men on base after walks, the Yankees’ starter, Bill Bevens, gave up a double to Cookie Lavagetto that cleared the bases and won the game.

In September 1951, once again on the brink of a no-hitter, this one by Allie Reynolds against the Boston Red Sox, Berra made one of baseball’s famous errors. With two outs in the ninth inning, Ted Williams hit a towering foul ball between home plate and the Yankees’ dugout. It looked like the end of the game, which would seal Reynolds’s second no-hitter of the season and make him the first American League pitcher to accomplish that feat. But as the ball plummeted, it was caught in a gust of wind; Berra lunged backward, and it deflected off his glove as he went sprawling.

Amazingly, on the next pitch, Williams hit an almost identical pop-up, and this time Berra caught it.

In the first game of the 1955 World Series against the Dodgers, the Yankees were ahead, 6-4, in the top of the eighth when the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson stole home. The plate umpire, Bill Summers, called him safe, and Berra went berserk, gesticulating in Summers’s face and creating one of the enduring images of an on-the-field tantrum. The Yankees won the game although not the Series — it was the only time Brooklyn got the better of Berra’s Yankees — but Berra never forgot the moment. More than 50 years later, he signed a photograph of the play for President Obama, writing, “Dear Mr. President, He was out!”

During the 1956 Series, again against the Dodgers, Berra was at the center of another indelible image, this one of sheer joy, when he leapt into the arms of Don Larsen, who had just struck out Dale Mitchell to end Game 5 and complete the only perfect game (and only no-hitter) in World Series history.

When reporters gathered at Berra’s locker after the game, he greeted them mischievously. “So,” he said, “what’s new?”

Beyond the historic moments and individual accomplishments, what most distinguished Berra’s career was how often he won. From 1946 to 1985, as a player, coach and manager, Berra appeared in a remarkable 21 World Series. Playing on powerful Yankees teams with teammates like Rizzuto and Joe DiMaggio early on and then Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle, Berra starred on World Series winners in 1947, ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’56 and ’58. He was a backup catcher and part-time outfielder on the championship teams of 1961 and ’62. (He also played on World Series losers in 1955, ’57, ’60 and ’63.)

All told, his Yankees teams won the American League pennant 14 out of 17 years. He still holds Series records for games played, plate appearances, hits and doubles.

No other player has been a champion so often.

Lawrence Peter Berra was born on May 12, 1925, in the Italian enclave of St. Louis known as the Hill, which also fostered the baseball career of his boyhood friend Joe Garagiola. Berra was the fourth of five children. His father, Pietro, a construction worker and bricklayer, and his mother, Paulina, were immigrants from Malvaglio, a northern Italian village near Milan. (As an adult, on a visit to his ancestral home, Berra took in a performance of “Tosca” at La Scala. “It was pretty good,” he said. “Even the music was nice.”)

As a boy, Berra was known as Larry, or Lawdie, as his mother pronounced it. As recounted in “Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee,” a 2009 biography by Allen Barra, one day in his early teens, young Larry and some friends went to the movies and were watching a travelogue about India when a Hindu yogi appeared on the screen sitting cross-legged. His posture struck one of the friends as precisely the way Berra sat on the ground as he waited his turn at bat. From that day on, he was Yogi Berra.

An ardent athlete but an indifferent student, Berra dropped out of school after the eighth grade. He played American Legion ball and worked odd jobs. As teenagers, he and Garagiola tried out with the St. Louis Cardinals and were offered contracts by the Cardinals’ general manager, Branch Rickey. But Garagiola’s came with a $500 signing bonus and Berra’s just $250, so Berra declined to sign. (This was a harbinger of deals to come. Berra, whose salary as a player reached $65,000 in 1961, substantial for that era, proved to be a canny contract negotiator, almost always extracting concessions from the Yankees’ penurious general manager, George Weiss.)

In the meantime, the St. Louis Browns — they later moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles — also wanted to sign Berra but were not willing to pay any bonus at all. Then, the day after the 1942 World Series, in which the Cardinals beat the Yankees, a Yankees coach showed up at Berra’s parents’ house and offered him a minor league contract — along with the elusive $500.

A Fan Favorite

Berra’s professional baseball life began in Virginia in 1943 with the Norfolk Tars of the Class B Piedmont League. In 111 games he hit .253 and led the league’s catchers in errors, but he reportedly once had 12 hits and drove in 23 runs over two consecutive games. It was a promising start, but World War II put his career on hold. Berra joined the Navy. He took part in the invasion of Normandy and, two months later, in Operation Dragoon, an Allied assault on Marseilles in which he was bloodied by a bullet and earned a Purple Heart.

In 1946, after his discharge, he was assigned to the Newark Bears, then the Yankees’ top farm team. He played outfield and catcher and hit .314 with 15 home runs and 59 R.B.I. in 77 games, although his fielding still lacked polish; in one instance he hit an umpire with a throw from behind the plate meant for second base. But the Yankees still summoned him in September. In his first big league game, he had two hits, including a home run.

As a Yankee, Berra became a fan favorite, partly because of his superior play — he batted .305 and drove in 98 runs in 1948, his second full season — and partly because of his humility and guilelessness. In 1947, honored at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, a nervous Berra told the hometown crowd, “I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”

Berra was a hit with sportswriters, too, although they often portrayed him as a baseball idiot savant, an apelike, barely literate devotee of comic books and movies who spoke fractured English. So was born the Yogi caricature, of the triumphant rube.

“Even today,” Life magazine wrote in July 1949, “he has only pity for people who clutter their brains with such unnecessary and frivolous matters as literature and the sciences, not to mention grammar and orthography.”

Collier’s magazine declared, “With a body that only an anthropologist could love, the 185-pound Berra could pass easily as a member of the Neanderthal A.C.”

Berra tended to take the gibes in stride. If he was ugly, he was said to have remarked, it did not matter at the plate. “I never saw nobody hit one with his face,” he was quoted as saying. But when writers chided him about his girlfriend, Carmen Short, saying he was too unattractive to marry her, he responded, according to Colliers, “I’m human, ain’t I?”

Berra outlasted the ridicule. He married Short in 1949, and the marriage endured until her death in 2014. He is survived by their three sons — Tim, who played professional football for the Baltimore Colts; Dale, a former infielder for the Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros; and Lawrence Jr. — as well as 11 grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Certainly, assessments of Berra changed over the years.

“He has continued to allow people to regard him as an amiable clown because it brings him quick acceptance, despite ample proof, on field and off, that he is intelligent, shrewd and opportunistic,” Robert Lipsyte wrote in The New York Times in October 1963.

Success as a Manager

At the time, Berra had just concluded his career as a Yankees player, and the team had named him manager, a role in which he continued to find success, although not with the same regularity he enjoyed as a player and not without drama and disappointment. Indeed, things began badly. The Yankees, an aging team in 1964, played listless ball through much of the summer, and in mid-August they lost four straight games in Chicago to the first-place White Sox, leading to one of the kookier episodes of Berra’s career.

On the team bus to O’Hare Airport, the reserve infielder Phil Linz began playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the harmonica. Berra, in a foul mood over the losing streak, told him to knock it off, but Linz did not. (In another version of the story, Linz asked Mickey Mantle what Berra had said, and Mantle responded, “He said, ‘Play it louder.’ ”) Suddenly the harmonica went flying, having been either knocked out of Linz’s hands by Berra or thrown at Berra by Linz. (Players on the bus had different recollections.)

News reports of the incident made it sound as if Berra had lost control of the team, and although the Yankees caught and passed the White Sox in September, winning the pennant, Ralph Houk, the general manager, fired Berra after the team lost a seven-game World Series to St. Louis. In a bizarre move, Houk replaced him with the Cardinals’ manager, Johnny Keane.

Keane’s Yankees finished sixth in 1965.

Berra, meanwhile, moved across town, taking a job as a coach for the famously awful Mets under Stengel, who was finishing his career in Flushing. The team continued its mythic floundering until 1969, when the so-called Miracle Mets, with Gil Hodges as manager — and Berra coaching first base — won the World Series.

After Hodges died, before the start of the 1972 season, Berra replaced him. That summer, Berra was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Mets team he inherited, however, faltered, finishing third, and for most of the 1973 season they were worse. In mid-August, the Mets were well under .500 and in sixth place when Berra supposedly uttered perhaps the most famous Yogi-ism of all.

“It ain’t over till it’s over,” he said (or words to that effect), and lo and behold, the Mets got hot, squeaking by the Cardinals to win the National League’s Eastern Division title.

They then beat the Reds in the League Championship Series before losing to the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Berra was rewarded for the resurgence with a three-year contract, but the Mets were dreadful in 1974, finishing fifth, and the next year, on Aug. 6, with the team in third place and having lost five straight games, Berra was fired.

Once again he switched leagues and city boroughs, returning to the Bronx as a Yankees coach, and in 1984 the owner, George Steinbrenner, named him to replace the volatile Billy Martin as manager. The team finished third that year, but during spring training in 1985, Steinbrenner promised him that he would finish the season as Yankees manager no matter what.

After just 16 games, however, the Yankees were 6-10, and the impatient and imperious Steinbrenner fired Berra anyway, bringing back Martin. Perhaps worse than breaking his word, Steinbrenner sent an underling to deliver the bad news.

The firing, which had an added sting because Berra’s son Dale had recently joined the Yankees, provoked one of baseball’s legendary feuds, and for 14 years Berra refused to set foot in Yankee Stadium, a period during which he coached four seasons for the Houston Astros.

In the meantime private donors helped establish the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the New Jersey campus of Montclair State University, which awarded Berra an honorary doctorate of humanities in 1996. A minor league ballpark, Yogi Berra Stadium, opened there in 1998.

The museum, a tribute to Berra with exhibits on his career, runs programs for children dealing with baseball history. In January 1999, Steinbrenner, who died in 2010, went there to make amends.

“I know I made a mistake by not letting you go personally,” he told Berra. “It’s the worst mistake I ever made in baseball.”

Berra chose not to quibble with the semi-apology. To welcome him back into the Yankees fold, the team held a Yogi Berra Day on July 18, 1999. Also invited was Larsen, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which Berra caught.

Incredibly, in the game that day, David Cone of the Yankees pitched a perfect game.

It was, as Berra may or may not have said in another context, “déjà vu all over again,” a fittingly climactic episode for a wondrous baseball life.


Prince, an Artist Who Defied Genre, Is Dead at 57

Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died on Thursday at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57.

His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed his death but did not report a cause. In a statement, the Carver County sheriff, Jim Olson, said that deputies responded to an emergency call at 9:43 a.m. “When deputies and medical personnel arrived,” he said, “they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator. Emergency medical workers attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 a.m.”

The sheriff’s office said it would continue to investigate his death.

Last week, responding to news reports that Prince’s plane had made an emergency landing because of a health scare, Ms. Noel-Schure said Prince was “fighting the flu.”

Prince was a man bursting with music — a wildly prolific songwriter, a virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums and a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop, even as his music defied genres. In a career that lasted from the late 1970s until his solo “Piano & a Microphone” tour this year, he was acclaimed as a sex symbol, a musical prodigy and an artist who shaped his career his way, often battling with accepted music-business practices.

“When I first started out in the music industry, I was most concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to,” he said when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. In a tribute to George Harrison that night, Prince went on to play a guitar solo in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that left the room floored.

A seven-time Grammy winner, Prince had Top 10 hits like “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”; albums like “Dirty Mind,” “1999” and “Sign O’ the Times” were full-length statements. His songs also became hits for others, among them “Nothing Compares 2 U” for Sinead O’Connor, “Manic Monday” for the Bangles and “I Feel for You” for Chaka Khan. With the 1984 film and album “Purple Rain,” he told a fictionalized version of his own story: biracial (although Prince’s parents were both African-American), gifted, spectacularly ambitious. Its music won him an Academy Award, and the album sold more than 13 million copies in the United States alone.

In a statement, President Obama said, “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent.”

He added, “He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”

A Unifier of Dualities

Prince recorded the great majority of his music entirely on his own, playing every instrument and singing every vocal line. Many of his albums were simply credited, “Produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince.” Then, performing those songs onstage, he worked as a bandleader in the polished, athletic, ecstatic tradition of James Brown, at once spontaneous and utterly precise, riveting enough to open a Grammy Awards telecast and play the Super Bowl halftime show. He would often follow a full-tilt arena concert with a late-night club show, pouring out even more music.

On Prince’s biggest hits, he sang passionately, affectionately and playfully about sex and seduction. With deep bedroom eyes and a sly, knowing smile, he was one of pop’s ultimate flirts: a sex symbol devoted to romance and pleasure, not power or machismo. Elsewhere in his catalog were songs that addressed social issues and delved into mysticism and science fiction. He made himself a unifier of dualities — racial, sexual, musical, cultural — teasing at them in songs like “Controversy” and transcending them in his career.

He had plenty of eccentricities: his fondness for the color purple, using “U” for “you” and a drawn eye for “I” long before textspeak, his vigilant policing of his music online, his penchant for releasing troves of music at once, his intensely private persona. Yet for musicians and listeners of multiple generations, he was admired well-nigh universally.

Prince’s music had an immediate and lasting influence: among songwriters concocting come-ons, among producers working on dance grooves, among studio experimenters and stage performers. He sang as a soul belter, a rocker, a bluesy ballad singer and a falsetto crooner. His most immediately recognizable (and widely imitated) instrumental style was a particular kind of pinpoint, staccato funk, defined as much by keyboards as by the rhythm section. But that was just one among the many styles he would draw on and blend, from hard rock to psychedelia to electronic music. His music was a cornucopia of ideas: triumphantly, brilliantly kaleidoscopic.

Runaway Success

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958, the son of John L. Nelson, a musician whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and Mattie Della Shaw, a jazz singer who had performed with the Prince Rogers Band. They were separated in 1965, and his mother remarried in 1967. Prince spent some time living with each parent and immersed himself in music, teaching himself to play his instruments. “I think you’ll always be able to do what your ear tells you,” he told his high school newspaper, according to the biography “I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon” (2013) by the critic Touré.

Eventually he ran away, living for some time in the basement of a neighbor whose son, André Anderson, would later record as André Cymone. As high school students they formed a band that would also include Morris Day, later the leader of the Time. In classes, Prince also studied the music business.

He recorded with a Minneapolis band, 94 East, and began working on his own solo recordings. He was still a teenager when he was signed to Warner Bros. Records, in a deal that included full creative control. His first album, “For You” (1978), gained only modest attention. But his second, “Prince” (1979), started with “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” a No. 1 R&B hit that reached No. 11 on the pop charts; the album sold more than a million copies, and for the next two decades Prince albums never failed to reach the Top 100. During the 1980s, nearly all were million-sellers that reached the Top 10.

With his third album, the pointedly titled “Dirty Mind,” Prince moved from typical R&B romance to raunchier, more graphic scenarios; he posed on the cover against a backdrop of bedsprings and added more rock guitar to his music. It was a clear signal that he would not let formats or categories confine him. “Controversy,” in 1981, had Prince taunting, “Am I black or white?/Am I straight or gay?” His audience was broadening; the Rolling Stones chose him as an opening act for part of their tour that year.

Prince grew only more prolific. His next album, “1999,” was a double LP; the video for one of its hit singles, “Little Red Corvette,” became one of the first songs by an African-American musician played in heavy rotation on MTV. He was also writing songs with and producing the female group Vanity 6 and the funk band Morris Day and the Time, which would have a prominent role in “Purple Rain.”

Prince played “the Kid,” escaping an abusive family to pursue rock stardom, in “Purple Rain.” Directed by Albert Magnoli on a budget of $7 million, it was Prince’s film debut and his transformation from stardom to superstardom. With No. 1 hits in “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” he at one point in 1984 had the No. 1 album, single and film simultaneously.

He also drew some opposition. “Darling Nikki,” a song on the album that refers to masturbation, shocked Tipper Gore, the wife of Al Gore, who was then a United States senator, when she heard her daughter listening to it, helping lead to the formation of the Parents’ Music Resource Center, which eventually pressured record companies into labeling albums to warn of “explicit content.” Prince himself would later, in a more religious phase, decide not to use profanities onstage, but his songs — like his 2013 single “Breakfast Can Wait” — never renounced carnal delights.

Prince didn’t try to repeat the blockbuster sound of “Purple Rain,” and for a time he withdrew from performing. He toyed with pastoral, psychedelic elements on “Around the World in a Day” in 1985, which included the hit “Raspberry Beret,” and “Parade” in 1986, which was the soundtrack for a movie he wrote and directed, “Under the Cherry Moon,” that was an awkward flop. He also built his studio complex, Paisley Park, in the mid-1980s for a reported $10 million, and in 1989 his “Batman” soundtrack album sold two million copies.

Business Battles

Friction grew in the 1990s between Prince and his label, Warner Bros., over the size of his output and how much music he was determined to release. “Sign O’ the Times,” a monumental 1987 album that addressed politics and religion as well as romance, was a two-LP set, cut back from a triple.

By the mid-1990s, Prince was in open battle with the label, releasing albums as rapidly as he could to finish his contract; quality suffered and so did sales. He appeared with the word “Slave” written on his face, complaining about the terms of his contract, and in 1993 he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable glyph, only returning to Prince in 1996 after the Warner contract ended. He marked the change with a triple album, independently released on his own NPG label: “Emancipation.”

For the next two decades, Prince put out an avalanche of recordings. Hip-hop’s takeover of R&B meant that he was heard far less often on the radio; his last Top 10 hit was “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” in 1994. He experimented early with online sales and distribution of his music, but eventually turned against what he saw as technology companies’ exploitation of the musician; instead, he tried other forms of distribution, like giving his 2007 album “Planet Earth” away with copies of The Daily Mail in Britain. His catalog is not available on the streaming service Spotify, and he took extensive legal measures against users of his music on YouTube and elsewhere.

But Prince could always draw and satisfy a live audience, and concerts easily sustained his later career. He was an indefatigable performer: posing, dancing, taking a turn at every instrument, teasing a crowd and then dazzling it. He defied a downpour to play a triumphal “Purple Rain” at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007, and he headlined the Coachella festival in 2008 for a reported $5 million. A succession of his bands — the Revolution, the New Power Generation, 3rdEyeGirl — were united by their funky momentum and quick reflexes as Prince made every show seem both thoroughly rehearsed and improvisational.

His survivors include a sister, Tyka Nelson, and several half-siblings. His marriages to Mayte Garcia and Manuela Testolini ended in divorce.

A trove of Prince’s recordings remains unreleased, in an archive he called the Vault. Like much of his offstage career, its contents are a closely guarded secret, but it’s likely that there are masterpieces yet to be heard.