Frank Page 1925 to last Wednesday
Frank was the first to put Elvis in front of a live, radio audience on his show, The Louisiana Hayride. He leaves behind this seminal recording and a whole new way of looking at what the pelvis can do:
Aaron Swartz 1986 to Friday
Mr. Swartz is perhaps the Johannes Gutenberg of our time. How many people get arrested for pirating academic journals with the intent to share them with the general public in a stab at freedom of information? I think Swartz may be on his own here. This cofounder of reddit “broke into computer networks at M.I.T. by means that included gaining entry to a utility closet on campus and leaving a laptop that signed into the university network under a false account” to which he downloaded 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, “a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals.” All this after Aaron gained fame by inventing RSS, a code that delivers “ever-changing web content to users.” Swartz committed suicide after being charged by the federal government for crimes stemming from his JSTOR piracy “carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.” His tragic end leaves behind a call for freedom of information so profound that JSTOR now lets users view articles for free.
John Wilkinson 1945 to Friday
You could call John Wilkinson a self-made man. Or you could credit Elvis with his success. You decide: Wilkinson was 10 when he snuck into Presley’s dressing room and wound up with a gig as the King of Rock and Roll’s rhythm guitarist. How’d he talk his way into that? He berated Elvis–that is, as much as a ten-year-old can berate the King of Rock and Roll: “You can’t play guitar worth a damn,” he said. Elvis remembered that fateful encounter and thirteen years later invited Wilkinson to join his backing band where he remained for 1,200 performances. He leaves behind the realized dream of every kid (read: me) who’s ever air-guitared in his bedroom.
Lt. Damien Boiteux 1971 to Friday
A helicopter pilot in the French army, Boiteux was mortally wounded while flying an emergency combat mission to protect a northern Mali military airport from falling to a radical Islamist force. He is counted among hundreds of Islamist rebels, civilians and French who have died in the last week as hostilities have escalated between the Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Dine in the north and and an embattled government in the south. These casualties leave behind a civil war turned international conflict approaching its first anniversary.