in memoriam

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:

Two Shreveport Navy SEALs who died when their Chinook helicopter came under enemy fire in Afghanistan in 2011 are now permanently memorialized in the city’s Riverview Park.

Lt. Cmdr. Jonas Kelsall and Chief Petty Officer Robert Reeves, both 32, rose to the most elite force – Seal Team 6 – which is known for killing Osama Bin Laden. At the dedication ceremony, Reeves’ father, Jim, said they were patriots with unfailing loyalty to country and each other.   

Jazz and Heritage Archive

When the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival first began in 1969, it was radical. Here in the South, still reeling from the Civil Rights movement and race integration, the festivals’ founders — Quint Davis, George Wein, and Allison Miner — created a safe space for New Orleanians to come together, to hear each others’ music and to party — together. Eve Abrams brings us this profile of Allison Miner, a titan in New Orleans music, and the only person with a Jazz Fest stage named for her.

The CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce has died in New Orleans. Paul C.P. McIlhenny was 68.

McIlhenny died Saturday, according to a Sunday statement from the Avery Island, La.-based McIlhenny Co.

Marion Edwards, an amiable, wisecracking political operative and businessman who shared numerous political campaigns and also a courtroom defense table with his older brother, four-time Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, has died.

He was 84.

Family friend and spokeswoman Bonnie Warren in New Orleans said Marion Edwards died at his home in Broussard. The family did not release a cause of death but noted that Edwards was a cancer survivor who often made efforts to counsel other cancer patients over the years.

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