Brigido "Brig" Cabe January 17, 1943 - December 17, 2014

The most interesting man in the world is not a fictional character. In fact, one could argue that Brig Cabe was the inspiration for this man.

Brig Cabe was born in the Bronx to Brigido and Marialina Cabe in 1943. Always curious and dexterous, Brig would deconstruct and reconstruct everything from radios to homemade explosives. Often times, his unsuccessful attempts would overshadow his successful attempts, but this did not extinguish his interest and determination to wreak havoc.

If one were to look at Brig during his formative years, many would guess that he would be an engineer, rocket scientist or a pyromaniac. However, after watching Martin Luther King Jr. on the television one evening, Brig felt compelled to join the Civil Rights Movement in any way that he could. One evening, Brig quietly left his New Jersey home—abandoning a promising engineering career—picked up a camera and landed on Dr. King's doorstep. After knocking on the door in search of a job, Dr. King hired him as his personal photographer and wanted to keep Brig around because he enjoyed his tenacity and spirit. Brig's fast-paced life with the movement landed him in some unique situations including jail time with Dr. King and getting beaten by the Ku Klux Klan, to name a couple. Thankfully, Brig never became a permanent jailbird.

While Brig worked for the Civil Rights Movementas an active member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Brig and his then-wife, Vera, became the happy parents of two wonderful children, Ian and Sabina. Brig stayed with Dr. King until his unfortunate assassination in 1968. Following his time in Atlanta, Brig was recruited for a photojournalism job at the Washington Star and moved Washington, D.C. with the young family in tow.

Always the curious traveler, Brig's job gave him the opportunity to travel the world and experience many cultures. Photo assignments took him across the world to countries including: Egypt, Senegal, Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Japan, Laos, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile… to name a few. Brig's travels fueled his passion for local and exotic cuisine, often relying mostly on advice from cab drivers about the best local hole-in-the-wall—if there weren't any locals eating there, then stay away! Brig's passion for traveling and adventure was something he would soon pass along to his children.

Brig met Joanne in Washington, D.C. at a well-known restaurant and watering hole. Brig had a prospective client meeting to discuss a photography opportunity when Joanne and a couple friends walked into the restaurant. Joanne and her friends struck up a conversation with Brig and his client, which led to the exchange of phone numbers. After a yearlong courtship that included exploring the culture and cuisine of Washington, D.C., and Joanne assisting with photo assignments, Brig asked Joanne to marry him. Joanne said yes, and they were married at the Lutheran Church of Reformation in 1980.

After Brig and Joanne married, the Cabe clan grew—Jordan, Ariel and Leslie joined their older siblings. Ian and Sabina took on the roles of a caring older brother and sister. As life progressed and his children grew, Brig was blessed with a bountiful bunch of loving grandchildren: Oren, Ian, Devina, Zachary, Sade, Marc Anthony, Sereneti, Adrien, and twins Morgan and Paige. Brig's grandchildren filled him with joy and love, often proclaiming how proud they made him.

Although Brig officially retired, he never stopped taking photographs. He often inserted himself as the additional photographer for graduations, weddings, dinners and so on. Also, Brig was a staple on the sidelines of his children's soccer games, snapping photos with his trusty 400mm.At every family event, Brig was always able to capture the moments and memories that will last forever.

Brig's daughter Sabina has been known to say: "he lived life like it was a buffet." Brig was compassionate, patient, loving, wise, hungry, hilarious, thoughtful, sentimental, caring, humble, goofy, well traveled and well spoken. To say that he was a special person is a huge understatement. His soul and spirit will forever be honored through his wife, brother, children, grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and his legacy will never be forgotten.

Brig was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease seven years ago with his symptoms worsening over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, he developed a severe case of pneumonia due to complications with the disease, and lost his battle on December 17th. He was surrounded and comforted by his family as his spirit left his body to join his mother and father in eternity. While he is no longer with us physically, his spirit will remain with us forever.


Former Detroit News sports columnist Bryan Burwell dies

St. Louis — Bryan Burwell, a longtime sports columnist with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died Thursday after a short battle with cancer. He was 59. Burwell previously was a columnist for The Detroit News.

The Post-Dispatch made the announcement on its website,

"I worked with Bryan at three different newspapers," Detroit News sports editor Phil Laciura said Thursday. "He was a true professional and always upbeat. He was also a trailblazer for many African-American journalists."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor Roger Hensley said in a statement that Burwell was one of the most well-respected journalists in his field. The Associated Press Sports Editors named Burwell one of the top 10 sports columnists in the country in 2007.

Burwell joined the Post-Dispatch in 2002 after working as a correspondent for HBO's "Inside the NFL." During a long career, Burwell also wrote columns for USA Today, wrote for the Washington Star and worked in New York at the Daily News and Newsday.

In recent seasons, Burwell had begun working in sports video.

Attribution: Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Conservation pioneer John Kauffmann dies at 91

Longtime Somesville resident John Kauffman, who was one of the country’s conservation pioneers, died peacefully at his home in Yarmouth on Nov. 16. He was 91.

Kauffman was born in Champaign IL, but grew up in Washington D.C., and Stark, NH.

After a career in the diplomatic service he worked as a reporter at the Washington Star newspaper where his family was part owner. He later worked as a National Park Service planner assisting in the establishment of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the Cape Cod National Seashore.

In 1972 he was assigned to Alaska and helped study which areas of that state would become national parks, monuments and preserves. His efforts helped preserve more than 100 million acres.

In his book “Coming into the Country,” author John McPhee, who credits Kauffmann with inspiring many of his works, recounts accompanying Kauffmann on one of his field explorations in Alaska. McPhee writes, obviously tongue in cheek that any bear that would bite Kauffmann, would be “most unlikely to complete the meal.”

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Kelly Leiter, former UT dean of communications, dies

Barnard Kelly Leiter, former dean of the College of Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee and a one-time reporter for the Chicago Daily News, among other publications, remained a journalist even after his death last week at age 89.

It turns out, Mr. Leiter had carefully crafted his own four-page typed obituary and sent it to his friend and lawyer, Rick Hollow, in 2009.

“The four pages relating to my unimpressive trek through life may seem a bit overindulgent. (Like who really cares.),” Mr. Leiter wrote in an accompanying letter, which Hollow was instructed to open only after its author’s death. “But I’m including it so that if anyone should ask you, you will have it on hand.”

His close friend and fellow former UT dean, Dwight Teeter, upon learning about the self-penned obituary, laughed.

“He was a journalist to the core, and you might as well get it right,” Teeter said.

Mr. Leiter, who had never married, was found dead Saturday by another close friend, Teeter said. He was discovered in bed “as if he was reading,” Teeter said.

Mr. Leiter was born Oct. 25, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Indiana University and twice served in the Navy, first as an enlisted 17-year-old seaman during World War II and again as a reservist during the Korean War.

After completing his second tour of service in the Pacific, he began his newspaper career in Rockford, Ill. Mr. Leiter went on to a 15-year career as a reporter, feature writer, columnist and editor at the Indianapolis News, the Chicago Daily News, the Washington Star and the Hialeah (Fla.) Home News. He also served as a Midwest correspondent for Life magazine.

Full Story: Barnard Kelly Leiter

Attribution: Megan Boehnke -

Thomas J. Burke, Sr., 89, Star Reporter, Editor Arlington Daily

Thomas J. Burke, Sr., 89 of Hollywood, MD, passed away November 10, 2014 surrounded by loving family at his home. He was born in Bronx, NY, on January 29, 1925 to William P. Burke and Eleanor White Burke.

Leaving high school early, Tom proudly served in the United States Army during World War II in the Bomb Disposal Unit. After the war, Tom earned his Bachelors Degree from George Washington University and began his career in the field of Public Relations. He was a reporter for The Washington Star, Editor of the Arlington Daily, Director of Public Affairs for the Maryland-National Park & Planning Commission, Director of Public Relations for American National Bank and then became a Partner with Hoffman Associates Public Relations Firm. Tom finally settled at Holy Cross Hospital as the Director of Public Relations in Silver Spring, MD, where he ultimately retired in 1985, after 15 years of service.

Upon retirement, Tom moved to St. Mary’s County with his wife Sally permanently. In St. Mary’s County, he continued in the public relations field and in community service as a volunteer and active member with the Rotary Club, St Mary’s Historical Society, St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary, Optimists Club, the Barbershop Quartet, and presided over the annual Oyster Festival for several years. Tom was well-known for his love of family and country, eloquence as an orator, and the stories he shared. His generous nature, smile and voice and solid presence will be dearly missed by so many.

Attribution: smnewsnet. com

Edward Nicholas Duplinsky, Personnel Director at The Washington Star, November 4, 2014

Of Kensington, Maryland passed away on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, at Suburban Hospital, at the age of 89.

Born in Connecticut, Ed served in World War II and received his B.A & Psychology at George Washington University. His business career included serving as Personnel Director at The Washington Star, Personnel Director at Omni Construction, Inc., Vice President at Drake, Beam, Morin and President of the Washington Board of Trade.


Bill McIlwain, longtime newspaper editor and local resident, dies at 88

Bill McIlwain, a longtime Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach resident who went on to edit some of America's greatest newspapers, died Friday in Winston-Salem. He was 88.

In the 1960s, McIlwain was founding editor of the New York City edition of Newsday. He also edited The Toronto Star, Bergen Record, Boston Herald-American, Washington-Star, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Sarasota, Fla., Herald-Tribune.

In the 1960s, McIlwain and other Newsday staffers collaborated on "Naked Came the Stranger," a spoof of sex-soaked novels of the period such as "Valley of the Dolls." Published in 1969 under the pen name "Penelope Ashe," The hoax-novel spent 13 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.

In later years, McIlwain acted as a mentor and coach to a number of young reporters, "He was quick with the sincere compliment, singling out people for their good work and praising them in public," said StarNews public safety editor Jim Ware.

William Franklin McIlwain Jr. was born Dec. 15, 1925, on a farm near Lancaster, S.C., the son of William F. McIlwain and Docia Higgins McIlwain. The family relocated to Wilmington when McIlwain was in the sixth grade, and he later said he always considered himself a Wilmington resident.

Elwyn Leland "Lee" Flor, 83, Monday, July 28, 2014

Elwyn Leland "Lee" Flor, 83, passed away Monday, July 28, 2014, at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

Lee was born Feb. 6, 1931, at Akron, Ohio, son of Dewey M. Flor and Gladys Underwood Flor. He and Joan Schubert were married Jan. 30, 1960.

Lee served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War as a combat crew member. He was an airborne radio operator with the 61st Squadron of the 314th Troop Carrier Wing. He was awarded the Air Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, Air Crew Member Wings and the Korean Service Medal. After his service he graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis.

Lee was a reporter for the Indianapolis Times and the Washington, D.C. Evening Star. In 1976, he and his family moved to Marble Hill, Missouri, becoming owners and editors of the Banner Press newspaper there. In 1994 that newspaper was sold to Gary Rust Communications. After retirement, Lee volunteered at the Missouri Veterans Home. He retained his interest in local and national affairs and his love of history. He was a member of the Civil War Roundtable, an avid reader and enjoyed his pets.

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Diana McLellan, who dished Washington gossip with verve, dies at 76

Diana Blanche Dicken was born Sept. 22, 1937, in Leicester, England. Her father was a British military officer who became a defense attache in Washington in 1957, and she accompanied him to the city.

Her first marriage, to Robin Bull, ended in divorce. In 1963, she wed Richard X. McLellan Jr. Besides her husband, of Easton, Md., survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Fiona Weeks of Easton, Md.; a sister; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Mrs. McLellan died at her daughter’s home of cancer, said her daughter.

In her post-column years, Mrs. McLellan wrote for magazines such as Washingtonian and Ladies’ Home Journal. Her books included “Ear on Washington” (1982), “The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood” (2000), which explored the lesbian scene in the film capital during the 1930s and ’40s, and “Making Hay” (2012), a poetry collection.

Mrs. McLellan once offered advice for those hoping to stay out of the news: Do whatever you want in August.

“August is when congressmen go away and drop one wife and marry another, when people build additions to their houses that other people don’t want built, when shops in Georgetown turn into porno shops,” she once told the reference guide Contemporary Authors.

“It is sort of the Mardi Gras of Washington,” she added, “when everybody gets away with everything. The Senate is out, the House is out, the Supreme Court is out, and the White House people are usually away. So the gossip columnists go away too.”

Diana McLellan,who died June 25 at 76, was a self-described “jolly pariah” whose Washington gossip column the Ear became a puckish, first-read chronicle of social news and intrigue in the 1970s and 1980s.

She mock-lamented the foibles of public officials (“Where are standards?”). She detailed who was going “wok shopping” (getting married) or “expecting more than the mailman” (pregnant).

She coyly alluded to extramarital dalliances sometimes under the very nose (or coats) of chic partygoers. “It is very poor form in Washington,” she wrote, “to use your host’s bed for any purpose other than storing outer clothing.”

Washington — the city where hostess Alice Roosevelt Longworth popularized the quip, “If you haven’t anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me” — has long been a free-trade zone of rumor. In the 1960s, The Washington Post’s Maxine Cheshire brought an investigative zeal to the gossip trade, while the Washington Star’s genteel Betty Beale scouted human-interest items in the lives of the black tie and champagne set.

Into this mix came the British-born McLellan, who wrote gossip in the 1970s and 1980s, first for the Star, then for The Post (where she narrowly avoided libel action from President Jimmy Carter) and finally at the Washington Times.

Chuck Conconi, a former editor at Washingtonian magazine who for seven years wrote a gossip and celebrity column in The Post, described Mrs. McLellan as “the best of any of us. She wrote a smart, sassy little column that had this effervescence of British humor.”

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Newspaper editor C. David Burgin dies at 75

C. David Burgin, a longtime editor who gained a reputation as a troubleshooter for fading newspapers, died Monday at his home in Houston after a lengthy illness. He was 75.

Burgin died of the effects of four serious strokes he had suffered since 1997, said his wife, Judy Burgin.

Burgin had served as editor-in-chief of seven U.S. daily newspapers, starting with New Jersey’s Paterson News in 1977.

His first top management jobs came at The Washington Star, where he rose through the ranks of sports editor and city editor to assistant managing editor and hired such young talent as future New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and sportswriter Ira Berkow. He talked two Washington bartenders, future Boston Globe business writer Chris Reidy and future Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Daley, into trying newspaper work.

After getting his first assignment of running a newspaper in 1977, as editor-in-chief of the Paterson News in New Jersey, The Tribune Co. hired him a year later to merge two of its San Francisco Bay area dailies into the Peninsula Times Tribune, then later sent him to improve and expand the Orlando Sentinel.

In 1985, Hearst Newspapers hired Burgin to revive the fading fortunes of its flagship San Francisco Examiner. In a 1996 profile published in the alternative publication SF Weekly, Burgin said he was fired seven months later after spurning an invitation to meet with the Hearst Corp. board.

After doing consulting work for a year, Burgin took the offer of former Washington Star colleague William Dean Singleton to be editor-in-chief of the Dallas Times Herald, which Singleton had just bought from the Times Mirror Corp. From 1986 to 1990, Burgin worked to try to save two Singleton dailies from extinction, running the Dallas daily for two years before the owner of its crosstown rival, The Dallas Morning News, bought and folded it.

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C. David Burgin, a newspaper legend who served stints as editor of three Bay Area newspapers, died Monday at his home in Houston from the effects of a series of strokes. He was 75.

Mr. Burgin worked his way up from part-time reporter to editor at posts all over the country. He served as editor in chief of seven different American papers, possibly a record. Among the papers he ran were the San Francisco Examiner, where he served as editor in chief twice, the Peninsula Times Tribune and the Alameda Newspaper Group, which published six Bay Area papers, including the Oakland Tribune.

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Attribution: Carl Nolte - SFGate

Dale Austin, longtime Sun and Washington Star racing reporter, dies

Dale Austin, a retired Baltimore Sun reporter whose coverage of Maryland horse racing spanned a half-century and took him on assignments as far away as England, died in his sleep Friday at his Bayside Beach home. He was 81.

Born on St. Patrick's Day in Poteau, Okla., Mr. Austin was the son of Jefferson Davis and Eula Grace Austin. He graduated in the late 1940s from Bokoshe High School.

While a senior engineering student at Oklahoma State University, Mr. Austin was drafted by the Army and served two years at Fort Myer in Northern Virginia. He then took an opening for a part-time sports writer at The Washington Post in 1959.

He wrote for the Washington Star and the Air Force Times before joining The Evening Sun in January 1962. Mr. Austin's career highlights included covering the Grand National in England.

Mr. Austin, who retired from the newspaper in December 1990, served as president of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters and of the Maryland Racing Media Association. In his retirement, the award-winning journalist wrote for The Capital in Annapolis.

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Attribution: Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

John R. Oravec, veteran of the Washington Star and AFL-CIO News and NPC member, March 18, 2014

John R. Oravec, a veteran of the Washington Star and AFL-CIO News and a Silver Owl member of the National Press Club, died Tuesday morning, March 18. He was 83 and lived in Rockville, Md.

Often called "Teal" by friends and family, he joined the NPC in 1985 and loved to discuss politics and current events with colleagues at the Club, especially on Friday nights. And he enjoyed telling colorful stories, including about his Catholic upbringing and days as a mischievous altar boy.

Oravec served as an Air Force photographer during the Korean War and subsequently had what he described as "not a bad job" with photographic assignments in much of Europe and North Africa. He was a member of NPC American Legion Post 20 and remained an enthusiastic traveler and photographer.

Born in Lorain, Ohio, Oravec earned a journalism degree from Ohio State University. He worked at the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle and Cleveland Plain Dealer before becoming photo editor at the Washington Star. He finished his career as news editor for the AFL-CIO News.

Attribution: National Press Club, By Ken Dalecki

Full story: Death of NPC Member John Oravec

Dick Heller, Times Columnist Dead at 76, Launched ‘The Sports Junkies’ Careers Jan. 10, 1938 - March 20, 2014

Washington, D.C. sports media has lost one of its own: Dick Heller.
The renowned Washington Times columnist, reporter and copy editor passed away from complications from lung cancer at the age of 76 on Thursday.
Heller, a D.C. native, was regarded as a mentor to many within the industry who would go on to flourish within the sports landscape, in and around the beltway, and beyond.
“He really was kind of this avuncular Walter Cronkite figure in a way,” said once understudy and Times colleague of 23 years David Elfin, of Heller, a revered figure in D.C. media.
Elfin, who first kept quarters with his parents after returning home to join Heller in writing at The Times, recalled, vividly and fondly, the late night phone calls he’d receive in those early years.
“The phone would ring and my mom would answer, and she would say it was ‘timely old Dick Heller,’” he said. “She thought he was like 70 … he was 45-years-old.”
Another Times colleague, Rick Snider, reminisced of Heller as “a real newspaper man” who placed specific focus on each word he wrote, and every last word he edited.
“It took a lot of yelling as an old-school journalist, but he finally taught me to write a decent story,” Snider said. “I owe everything I have to Dick teaching me the business and I will miss my mentor greatly.”
Heller was not only instrumental to the careers of his own colleagues; he was responsible for the success of others, outside the margins of The Times as well.
Of those remembering and thanking Heller, are four radio hosts – Eric Bickel, John-Paul Flaim, Jason Bishop and John Auville — of the D.C.-based show, “The Sports Junkies (or The Junkies, as they’re referred to colloquially),” who credit Heller with discovering them, going on 18 years ago, and singlehandedly launching their media careers.

Attribution: CBS, Chris Lingebach

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Robert 'Jake' Jacobs, retired newspaperman, March 1, 2014

Robert "Jake" P. Jacobs, 93, of Lewes, formerly of Bethesda, Md,, passed away Saturday, March 1, 2014, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. He was born Feb. 12, 1921, son of the late Chester and Anna Jacobs.

As a young man he was a newspaper carrier which fueled his fascination for news media. Mr. Jacobs served his country honorably and proudly with the U.S. Army during World War II, primarily in Europe. After serving his country, Mr. Jacobs attended George Washington University before embarking on a newspaper career.

He had a lifelong career with the Washington Star newspaper in their advertising department. Mr. Jacobs retired in 1981 and began enjoying the little things in life, such as a great round of golf with an old friend, but especially fishing on the Potomac. He loved telling stories about his great fishing day, but seemed to never have a fish to bring home!

Mr. Jacobs truly was a jokester and could tell a story like no other could. He loved American history and considered himself an American history buff. He loved learning throughout his entire life and sharing his knowledge with others.


Martha Livdahl Grigg, Prize-Winning Writer/Editor, February 22, 2014

One of God's most generous creatures died in her sleep at home in Chevy Chase Saturday Feb. 22. A prize-winning writer and editor, Martha had been in and out of hospital and rehab since Christmas for fluid buildup related to a uterine cancer diagnosed seven years ago.

Never happier than when giving a party, she also for 25 years organized a "Phantom Dinner" which people subscribed to knowing there would be no real event. The "dinners" raised about a million dollars for the House of Mercy, a Washington charity est. 1882 to help unwed mothers but which by the 70's, as needs changed, supported the Rosemount model preschool program for inner city kids. In 1991, when the "Phantom of the Opera" came to town, Martha sold out a night's performance for the charity and organized a real dinner preceding the show.

She was the director of GEICO's employee communications -- editing a prize-winning magazine and many pamphlets. She wrote "Breast Cancer and You" and a Gothic mystery, "The Bethnal Inheritance," articles for the Post and Star, and a best-selling government publication on the safety of breast implants. She was president of the Intl. Assoc. of Business Communicators/ DC Metro and of the House of Mercy.