Patches relaxes at the zoo.
NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo's popular polar bear, Patches, died on Sunday.

In recent weeks, Patches had become uninterested in food, and was lethargic, according to Ken Reininger, the zoo’s general curator. Tests revealed the female bear had an extensive lung mass which was likely cancer.

“In the wild the average life span of a polar bear is 15-to-18 years old,” said Dr. David Jones, director of the zoo. “Patches was 26-years-old. She exceeded wildlife expectations by living a long life.”

I had what the guys would call the dubious distinction of putting Tom on NPR's air. For 10 years they'd had a weekly program on WBUR in Boston. In 1987, when we were launching Weekend Edition Sunday, we asked stations for tapes of local programs that might work nationally. WBUR sent cassettes of Tom and Ray, and their five-minute spots became the hit of Sunday mornings.

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

Edwin Lanier (left) with David Wright at StoryCorps in Durham, N.C.  2006

StoryCorps fans might remember the stories told by Edwin "Eddie" Lanier, of battling alcoholism and finding peace. Lanier died on October 14th. He was 68. 

The first interview aired on NPR's Morning Edition in 2006. In that interview, Lanier talked with his friend David Wright. After almost drinking himself to death, Lanier had been sober for five years.

When he was a child, Lanier had been told by his father that alcoholism ran in the family.

Maya Angelou
Wake Forest University

More than 2,000 people attended a private memorial service for Maya Angelou Saturday at Wake Forest University. She died at her home in Winston-Salem on May 28th. The iconic writer and poet was remembered by family, friends and some distinguished guests.

Burns Library / Boston College

One of America’s most beloved poets and activists, Maya Angelou, 86, died this morning at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

A civil rights and women’s rights activist, Angelou served as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University until her death.

Julius Chambers
Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter


Julius Chambers has been a fixture on North Carolina’s legal scene for decades, helping lead the battle for civil rights and playing an instrumental role in the desegregation of Charlotte/Mecklenburg schools.

He died last Friday at 76.

Former NC Governor Jim Holshouser
The family of Jim Holshouser

Political luminaries, friends, and family gathered today to remember and honor Former Governor Jim Holshouser, who passed away earlier this week after an extended illness.

Guests at today’s funeral included current Governor Pat McCrory and former Governors Jim Hunt, Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue.

Former NC Governor Jim Holshouser
The family of Jim Holshouser

One of North Carolina’s few Republican governors of the twentieth century, Jim Holshouser, died yesterday after suffering from a long illness.

He was known for a wide range of progressive accomplishments, from establishing statewide enrollment for kindergarteners to setting up health clinics in under-served rural areas.

The former governor was known as a centrist who worked well with both Democrats and Republicans.

Former NC Governor Jim Holshouser
The family of Jim Holshouser

Former North Carolina Governor Jim Holshouser has died.  Holshouser's family says he died this morning at a hospital in Pinehurst.  A native of Boone, he was North Carolina's first Republican governor in the 20th century, serving from 1973 to 1977.  Holshouser received an undergraduate degree from Davidson College and a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. 

While in office, Holshouser created a UNC Board of Governors and supported the expansion of public school kindergartens. He also established rural health clinics and added to the state parks system.