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David McCullough & Ron Sider

David McCullough Stephen Rose/Getty Images

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David McCullough

Best-selling historian, storyteller, and narrator David McCullough died on Aug. 7 in Hingham, Mass., at the age of 89. The Pulitzer Prize winner authored 23 books covering subjects ranging from the Panama Canal to President Harry Truman. McCullough chronicled the determination and courage of the American spirit, doing much of his writing on a typewriter in an 8-by-10-foot backyard shed. His 751-page biography of John Adams took seven years to complete. He read his drafts aloud with his wife, Rosalee, whom he married in 1954 and with whom he raised five children. “People often ask if I’m working on a book,” he once told The New York Times. “That’s not how I feel. I feel like I work in a book.”

—This item has been updated to correct the date of McCullough’s death.

Ron Sider

Ron Sider Palmer Theological Seminary

Ron Sider

Theologian Ron Sider, whose 1977 book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger sold nearly half a million ­copies while sparking a debate about Christians’ duty to the poor, died July 27. He was 82. After growing up as a self-described Mennonite farmer, Sider earned a Yale doctorate and argued that not just wealthy believers but ­governments should do more for the poor—putting him at odds with some evangelicals who promoted market capitalism. But Sider also opposed abortion and affirmed traditional marriage. In a 2015 revised edition of Rich Christians, he noted that market capitalism had proven more capable of lifting people out of poverty than Marxism.


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