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Umberto Eco, writer (1932 - 2016)

umbertoecoUmberto Eco, who has died aged 84, was a polymath of towering cleverness. His novels, which occasionally had the look and feel of encyclopedias, combined cultural influences ranging from TS Eliot to the Charlie Brown comic-strips. Linguistically technical, they were at once impishly humorous and robustly intellectual. For relaxation, Eco played Renaissance airs on the recorder, and read dictionaries (he was a master of several foreign languages).

Lisbon Architecture Triennale curator Diogo Seixas Lopes dies aged 43

diogolopesarchitectThis year's Lisbon Architecture Triennale chief curator Diogo Seixas Lopes, who has been described as one of the most important thinkers on Portuguese architecture, has died.

Diogo Seixas Lopes, 43, died on Thursday – eight months before the fourth edition of the architecture event he was curating alongside Portuguese architecture critic and editor André Tavares.

Peter Maddison (October 1932 - January 2016)

petermaddisonSmallPeter Maddison, former Head of the International School of the Algarve, who died in France on the 11th January at the age of 83, I to be buried  today, February 4, alongside his wife, Una, in Maldon, Essex. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Prior to his Algarve appointment, Peter had been a successful modern languages teacher for a number of years in a large school in Cambridgeshire, UK. Earlier in his career he had graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a BSc in Economics, and from Trinity College, Dublin, with an Education Diploma. He had taught in France, the USA and London before moving to Cambridge.

'Great Train Robber' Gordon Goody (1930 - 2016)

gordongoodyGordon Goody, the mastermind behind one of UK’s most notorious crimes, has died aged 86.  He was thought to be the last surviving member of a gang that in 1963 pulled off the crime of the decade to get away with £2.6m - equivalent to €50m+ today.  

Until breaking his silence last year, Gordon Goody was known as the quiet man of the Great Train Robbery. Now, what secrets he may have held about the notorious 1963 heist will never be revealed after the 86-year-old passed away on Friday, January 28th, 2016 in the Spanish village he came to call home.

Terry Wogan (1938 – 2016)

terrywoganSir Michael Terence "Terry" Wogan, KBE DL (3 August 1938 – 31 January 2016) was an Irish radio and television broadcaster who worked for the BBC in the United Kingdom for most of his career.

"Sir Terry Wogan died today after a short but brave battle with cancer," reads a family statement today.

Before he retired from his weekday breakfast programme Wake Up to Wogan on BBC Radio 2 in 2009, it had eight million regular listeners, making him the most listened-to radio broadcaster in Europe. Wogan began his career at Raidió Teilifís Éireann where he presented shows such as Jackpot in the 1960s.

Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

alanrickmanThe world became fully aware of the sly, languid and villainous charms of Alan Rickman, who has died aged 69 of cancer, as the self-parodying Sheriff of Nottingham pitted against Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

However, the actor had already established himself as a star name at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the mid-1980s and as the hilarious German terrorist, Hans Gruber, in the action thriller Die Hard (1988) with Bruce Willis.

Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, Mott the Hoople Drummer, (1949-2016)

davegiffinDale "Buffin" Griffin, drummer and founding member of the Seventies glam rock group Mott the Hoople, passed away in his sleep following a long battle with Alzheimer's. He was 67.

The band's manager Peter Purnell confirmed Griffin's death to the BBC, adding that the drummer was "one of the nicest, friendly and talented men I have ever known." Griffin's death comes just one week after the passing of David Bowie, who penned and produced Mott the Hoople's biggest hit, "All the Young Dudes."

Cecil Parkinson (1932-2016)

cecilparkinsonCecil Parkinson, who has died aged 84 after suffering from cancer, rose from humble origins to become an archetypal figure of 1980s Conservatism, with a string of ministerial appointments in government.

These culminated in his becoming trade secretary at the start of Margaret Thatcher’s triumphalist second administration, following her landslide, post-Falklands general election victory in 1983.