How a Writer Dies

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Herman Wouk, a consummate writer until the end, dies at 103

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You can form your own view. Subscribe now. Shape Created with Sketch. Notable deaths in — in pictures Show all Spider-Man creator whose web of Marvel characters brought joy to millions died on 12 November, aged The prolific writer-editor worked through the Second World War, transformed the struggling publisher and paved the way for the empire it is today. Billionaire businessman who helped bring the Premiership to Leicester City died on 27 October, aged The media-shy but hugely popular Thai Bhuddist made his fortune in duty-free and was known for his love of football and polo.

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Billionaire investor and philanthropist who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma aged 65 on 15 October. Despite leaving the company in the early s, he remained a powerful force in technology and charity work for decades. Jamal Khashoggi was a well-connected, bilingual Saudi journalist who became a globally recognised symbol of press freedom and Middle East democratic aspirations during the 17 days he was officially missing.

But he never lived to see the campaign by journalists, rights advocates and political leaders worldwide to draw attention to his disappearance and conditions for democracy advocates in Saudi Arabia. He was Passionate, devoted and fearlessly honest, James Lawton was a true giant of sports writing, he died on 27 September, aged The musician Chas Hodges was best known as one half of the cockney rock duo Chas and Dave, he died on 22 September, aged Hodges and Dave Peacock rose to fame in the English pop-rock band, known for their witty lyrics about living in London, in the s.

Poet whose sense of injustice spanned Greenham Common and Guatemala died on 18 September, aged Her aristocratic background notwithstanding, she was a Labour Party supporter through and through and her verse was packed with politics. Trailblazer of ballet who ran circles around racism in America died on 19 September, aged He braved racist taunts for doing what he loved best — dancing — but once his talent was embraced by the great George Balanchine he was unstoppable.

Whether bringing traffic to a standstill or playing his trademark ultraviolet horn, McNeely was a pioneer who brought showmanship to jazz. Translator of Italian, Spanish and French literature died on 14 September, aged An outstanding Cambridge scholar, she got a job at Penguin and went on to become a Booker judge and film critic for the Spectator. Carry On star who turned down a role in a Fellini film died on 11 September, aged The actress, who started her career in and shot to fame with 'Pieces of Eight' and 'Hancock's Half Hour', was known for her husky voice, wicked humour and seductive eyelashes.

Rapper who Trump called 'next Eminem' before he made his feelings known about the president died on 7 September, aged Charismatic star known for having fun both on and off the screen died on 6 September, aged England first-class cricketer who helped beat Australia at Old Trafford in the Fifties died on 6 September, aged He was at his best on hard wickets against medium or fast-medium bowling when, using his immense reach, he would unleash a stream of majestic drives.

The opera singer who became a star of the stage in postwar Germany as Elektra and Salome died on 26 August, aged With a powerful voice and commanding stage presence, she triumphed in portraying any number of tempestuous operatic heroines. The war hero Republican whose last stand was against his party's own president died on 25 August, aged 81 Mr McCain was a principled conservative in the Senate, and once survived five years as a war prisoner.

Israeli journalist whose voice of dissent was radical until the end died on 20 August, aged One of the first advocates of a two-state solution in Israel, he was shunned by the establishment whose unreason he was never afraid to call out. Record-breaking sailor who made a splash in newspapers as she defied disability died on 18 August, aged She risked her life and inspired awe as she refused to allow being quadriplegic to deny her the chance to chart the oceans.

Queen of Soul who won 18 Grammys and sold 75 million records died on 16 August, aged Former prime minister of India who fuelled the nuclear arms race in south Asia died on 16 August, aged Hollywood actress of the Thirties who was typecast as the blonde ingenue died on 1 August, aged If her looks were a strength in helping her land roles at the outset of her career, they proved a weakness in the end as male producers failed to see beyond them.

At a time when women in the cockpit were frowned upon, Ellis made a name for herself flying Spitfires to RAF bases to help the war effort. The stylish cricketer, John Murray, who rewrote the record books died on 24 July, aged A wicket-keeper who enjoyed outstanding first-class career with Middlesex, spread over a quarter of a century. Civil rights champion who sought redress for Japanese Americans interned during World War Two died on 18 July, aged Among , people were displaced and sent to camps by the US during the war simply because of their Japanese heritage. Ballerina and dancer, Dame Gillian Lynne, who revolutionised choreography died on 1 July, aged The founding member of the Bay City Rollers died on 1 July aged Wouk, the son of Russian Jews, was born in New York in His father would read to him from Sholem Aleichem, the great Yiddish writer.

Had war not intruded, he might have stuck to comedy sketches. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Navy and served as an officer in the Pacific. But his next book turned to domestic matters. Wouk spoke often of his concern about assimilation and this story told of an aspiring Jewish actress whose real name was Marjorie Morgenstern.

Then he writes about this girl and nothing happens. He should burn this book and forget it. He was famous enough to appear on the cover of Time magazine, even as some Jews complained his book perpetuated stereotypes and critics complained he was too old-fashioned, too deferential.

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Wouk preached not to the converted, but to the curious. He anticipated arguments about religion and tried his best to answer them. In , Wouk married Betty Sarah Brown, who also served as his agent until her death in Postmedia is pleased to bring you a new commenting experience. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful.

Visit our community guidelines for more information. Wouk died in his sleep early Friday, May 17, , according to his literary agent Amy Rennert. He was The Associated Press.