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The Daily Goodbye

After a long layoff, we're reviving the Daily Goodbye, a compendium of the best recent obits on the web. You can tell us what we missed in the comments section below, and you'll be able to vote on your favorites tomorrow. We're going to try to make this a much more regular part of our morning. Now, on to it:

Who could resist a boxer dubbed One Punch Rowe, probably Canada's only professional race walker.

Way back in 1969, two officers from the Cook County, Ill. state's attorney's office burst into the apartment of Black Panther Party members Mark Clark and Fred Hampton, and killed them. The incident triggered outrage, demonstrations, lawsuits, and Edward V. Hanrahan, who was in charge of the office, never recovered politically. He died June 9.

Luke Cole, who entered the fledgling field of environmental law in 1989, and fought on behalf of the poor whose neighborhoods were becoming toxic dumping grounds, died in a traffic crash in Uganda.

A man who worked to ease religious tensions shouldn't be overlooked in these stressful times. Zia Rahman, the soft-spoken managing director of the Muslim American Community Association who forged an agreement between the group and the Catholic Diocese of Camden, N.J., died June 9 of brain cancer.

From our old friend Miguel Helft at the NYTimes, an insightful look at Rajeev Motwani , mentor to the Google boys Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who got their start at Stanford University.

Anyone who lived through the dearth of pop music in the 1970s remembers Kenny Rankin. But Paul McCartney was a fan; McCartney was so pleased with Rankin's covers of the Beatles hits, he asked him to sing a medley of them when McCartney was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.

We had our own version, but I'm still partial to the Miami Herald's retelling of Watergate burglar Bernard Barker's unique life story.

Not to mention the obit of Holocaust Museum guard Stephen T. Johns, who friends described as a "gentle giant."

Late addition: the author of the 1,400-page Companion to British History (and yes, it was compiled by a single author), has died. Charles Arnold-Baker, an amateur, accepted the challenge of the job after complaining about the errors in Everyman's Dictionary of Dates.

So long for now!

By Patricia Sullivan  |  June 11, 2009; 8:14 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Goodbye  
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