in memoriam

Ray Dolby, who invented some of the technologies that revolutionized film and sound recording, died at age 80 today in San Francisco.

Even if Ray Dolby doesn't ring a bell, you have undoubtably come upon his name in the movie theater or along the edge of a cassette tape. You've also heard his work: He pioneered a noise reduction format called Dolby SR and his company was instrumental in developing surround sound technology.

United States Congress

A New Orleans mass for veteran stateswoman Lindy Boggs will be celebrated Thursday, August 1, at 11 a.m. at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Visitation begins at 9 a.m.

Boggs often walked to mass at the cathedral from her home on Bourbon Street.

The first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana, Boggs died Saturday at her home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, at age 97.

Lindy Boggs, the former congresswoman from Louisiana, died Saturday at the age of 97. Boggs came to Washington in 1941, the year her husband, Hale Boggs, began his first term as a Democratic congressman from Louisiana. She was 24 years old.

In 1972, on a campaign trip through Alaska, Hale Boggs' plane disappeared, never to be found. Lindy Boggs ran for her late husband's seat and won, becoming the first woman elected to Congress from her state. She remained in Congress through 1990. In 1997, President Clinton appointed her ambassador to the Vatican.

New Orleans is preparing a funeral service for former Congresswoman and Vatican Ambassador Lindy Boggs, who died Saturday in her Maryland home. The trailblazing political figure will be buried near the sugar plantation in rural Louisiana where she was born.

Former Rep. Lindy Boggs, the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana and an ardent civil rights campaigner, has died at age 97.

Boggs went to Congress after a special election to succeed her late husband, Thomas Hale Boggs, Sr., who had died in a plane crash in Alaska. She served in the House for nearly two decades.

She died of natural causes at her home in Chevy Chase, Md., according to her daughter, NPR senior news analyst and ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts.

Former Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana, who used the soft-spoken grace of a plantation lady to fight for civil rights during nearly 18 years in Congress, has died. She was 97.

Her daughter, ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts, says her mother died Saturday of natural causes at her home in Chevy Chase, Md.

Boggs' years in Congress started with a special election in 1973 to finish the term of her husband, Hale, whose plane disappeared over Alaska six months earlier. Between them, they served a half-century in the House.

New Hope Baptist Church

New Orleans religious and civic leaders were among mourners at the funeral Wednesday for Pastor John Raphael of the New Hope Baptist Church. He died from cancer June 25. Many wondered who could fill the void left by the minister who was dedicated to stopping violence in the city.

Anthony Soprano, a waste-management consultant from Essex County, N.J., died this week.

Tony Soprano was — according to reports that aired for six years on HBO — head of the DiMeo crime family, which allegedly ran illicit drugs, untaxed alcohol, illegal sports betting and other criminal enterprises from the back of an adult entertainment venue called the Bada Bing club on Route 17 in Lodi.

Mr. Soprano denied his involvement in organized crime. He said it was a "vicious stereotype" that slurs waste-removal professionals who promote a green, healthy environment.

Actor James Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest, The Los Angeles Times reports, citing the doctor in charge of the emergency department at the hospital in Rome where the Sopranos star was admitted.

Dr. Claudio Modini told the Times that Gandolfini, 51, was already in cardiac arrest when he arrived at Policlinico Umberto I Hospital Wednesday night.

Actor James Gandolfini, 51, has died, HBO and other sources confirm. The former star of the HBO series The Sopranos was reportedly on holiday in Italy when he died. The cause of death is not yet known with certainty, but HBO says the actor may have suffered a heart attack. Other reports have indicated Gandolfini had a stroke.

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET: Confirmation From HBO:

Initial reports of Gandolfini's death were confirmed to NPR by HBO, which has released a statement: