Sprent Dabwido

One of the “to do” tasks in the DDP in-tray is going through some of the facts and figures and pulling out any interesting statistics. A kind of “OptaDeath”, if you will. However, I’m 99% sure we can say that Sprent Dabwido is the first ever DDP hit from the nation of Nauru. A former […]

Norma Miller

In 2019, lindy-hopping may have a reputation of an artform solely for vintage dressing-wearing white people who can sit through more than 25 seconds of Postmodern Jukebox without vomiting, but it was originally an authentic, vital African-American artform. And its last living great performer, up until congestive heart failure saw her off a few days […]

David McNee

Another name that took its time coming through with a qualifying obituary was David McNee. McNee was the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police throughout that famously law-abiding, copper-respecting period of 1977 to 1982. A brief runthrough of the highlights of his five-year reign: The Iranian Embassy siege, which he was in charge of operations against […]

Alan Moss

With the deaths slowing down slightly after a hectic few weeks, obituary desks are taking the opportunity to clear their Evernote “to do” lists. Among those to get a tardy pass for their tardy passing is the cricketer Alan Moss. Moss was a right-arm fast-medium bowler who opened the order for Middlesex in the 1950s […]

Peter Mayhew

Peter Mayhew was working as a hospital porter in Croydon when an article about the town’s largest residents was spotted by a Hollywood producer. And while the film in question (Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger) is lost to history, it got him a role in a slightly more significant work: Star Wars. Mayhew’s […]

Oliver Harrison

Jamaica-born but Manchester-raised, Oliver Harrison’s in-ring boxing career wasn’t much to write home about (6-4-0 as a super-lightweight), but he had significantly more impact as a trainer. His highest profile charge was Amir Khan, and he took the Bradford-born Olympian from a fresh-faced Olympic graduate to an 18-0-0 WBO intercontinental champion. The pair’s working relationship […]

Johan Witteveen

Ask the average man on the street to name you their favourite former Dutch deputy prime minister, and 98 out of 100 would surely respond “Johan Witteveen”. Is it any wonder the streets of Britain shut down to mourn the man we simply knew as “Johan” on his passing, in scenes not seen since Lady […]

Manuel Lujan Jr.

Born into one of New Mexico’s most prominent Hispanic families, Manuel Lujan Jr. was named after his father – the former mayor of Santa Fe and a failed Republican candidate for state governor. Sonny went a step further though: he served in the House of Representatives for 20 years, and then served as the Secretary […]

Grand Duke Jean I of Luxembourg

If you get the actual Pope (Benedict XV) as a godfather, it’s highly likely you’re destined for major things. Jean, along with the rest of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg, fled the country exactly one night before German invasion in 1940. He saw active service in World War II as a member of the […]

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was arguably the most notable female artist from the Arabic world over the past 100 years. Born in Qazvin, she moved to the US in 1944 where she studied at the Art Students League and became close friends with a young Andy Warhol. She moved back to Iran three times over the […]