Sunday, September 08, 2013


Furniture designer Charles Pollock

June 20, 1930 - August 24, 2013

The Michigan-raised designer of the famous Pollock Executive Chair that became ubiquitous in offices in the mid-20th century has died in a fire at his New York City home. Charles Pollock was 83.

Pollock was raised in the Detroit area, worked part-time on the assembly line at Chrysler while attending Detroit Cass Technical High School. After graduation, he attended the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute in New York.

He introduced his chair in 1963. Set on rolling wheels, the chair was visually distinctive with tufted upholstery and an aluminum band around its edges. In following decades, Pollock moved away from furniture design.

He returned to it recently. After being sought out by Jerry Helling of Bernhardt Design, Pollock created a lounge chair that debuted last year.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press


Writer Elmore John Leonard Jr.

October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013

After graduating from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943, Leonard joined the Navy, where he served with the Seabees for three years in the South Pacific. 

Enrolling at the University of Detroit in 1946, he pursued writing more seriously, entering his work in short story contests and sending it off to magazines. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in English and philosophy. A year before he graduated, he got a job as a copy writer with Campbell-Ewald Advertising Agency, a position he kept for several years, writing on the side.

Leonard had his first success in 1951 when Argosy published the short story "Trail of the Apaches." During the 1950s and early 1960s, he continued writing Westerns, publishing more than 30 short stories. He wrote his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, in 1953 and followed this with four other novels. Two of his stories were turned into movies at that time: The Tall T and 3:10 to Yuma.


Actress Julia Ann "Julie" Harris

December 2, 1925 – August 24, 2013

One of Broadway’s most honored performers whose roles ranged from the flamboyant Sally Bowles in “I Am a Camera” to the reclusive Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst,” died Saturday at her West Chatham, Mass., of home of congestive heart failure. She was 87. 

Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, the daughter of Elsie L. (née Smith), a nurse, and William Pickett Harris, an investment banker. She graduated from Grosse Pointe Country Day School, which later merged with two others to form the University Liggett School.

READ MORE in The Detroit Free Press

From Frank W. Gesinski:

Julie Harris, the actress who passed away a day or two ago, was proud of being from the Detroit area. I was part of UofD's Singing Titans choir at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. At the Michigan Day Breakfast, the MSU Marching Band played played(!), and the guest speakers were Republican presidential nominee hopefuls including George Romney and Nelson Rockefeller. The emcee was Arthur Godfrey. Also, a speaker at that table was Julie Harris.

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