Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Obituaries

Longtime announcer Don Pardo, announcer of such shows as the original Jeopardy! and Saturday Night Live, has died. He was 96.

"But ('SNL' executive producer) Lorne Michaels called me soon after and asked if I would continue for three more weeks, so I did," Pardo told the AP in 2010. "Then he called and asked if I would do five more, and so on. I never really left." For several years, Pardo commuted from his retirement town of Tucson, Ariz., each week the show aired. He arrived to open the show in Rockefeller Center's fabled Studio 8H, just as he had always done, then caught a returning flight.

At the end of the show on Feb. 23, 2008, he was brought on camera to blow out the candles of a birthday cake in celebration of his 90th birthday.

In later years, he recorded his introductions each week from home.

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Former Vermont senator Jim Jeffords, 80, has died. Once a Republican, he got sick of the rightward lurch of the party and became an independent in 2001, thus giving control of the Senate to Democrats. He had caucused with them.

Jeffords served more than 30 years in Washington. He won election to the House in 1974 as a Republican. The post-Watergate year was a strong one for Democrats nationally, but Jeffords was running as Vermont was just beginning its shift from a century of solid Republicanism to its current status as among the most liberal states.

The Rutland native, a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, already had won statewide office as attorney general and was from a well-known Vermont Republican family. His father, Olin Jeffords, had been chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

When he first moved to Washington he lived in his office and a travel trailer as a way to save money.

"He was a very frugal guy, both with his own resources and the resources of the people," said Karen Meyer, a former Jeffords aide.

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