| Jan 19, 2012
| 11:15 AM
The legendary publisher Alfred A. Knopf was a man who valued excellence. For years he searched for someone to write a biography of his friend Henry Louis Mencken. In his opinion, no biography up to then, including that of William Manchester, was right....
| Nov 25, 2011
| 9:46 AM
Wallace "Wally" Henry Coberg, a theatrical designer and filmmaker who was at work on a new Edgar Allan Poe documentary, died of an apparent heart attack Nov. 18 at his Bolton Hill home. He was 63.
Born in New York, N.Y, he lived in Edison, N.J., and...
| Nov 27, 2011
To organize his research on the Watts riots, journalist Robert E. Conot sketched out the hour-by-hour progress of events in 1965 on a 25-foot-long stretch of paper, then dressed the diagram in the exhaustive detail for which he became known.
| Nov 29, 2011
Ken Russell, the often controversial British director known for his flamboyant visual style in films such as "The Devils," "Altered States" and the Who's rock opera "Tommy," has died. He was 84.
Russell, who lived in Lymington in southern England, died...
| Feb 11, 2012
| 9:36 PM
Re "Iron Lady' portrayal is inaccurate," Mailbag, Jan. 27
I read with great interest Dr. R. Claire Friend's letter regarding "The Iron Lady," currently in release in movie theaters. While I share Friend's disappointment in how the story unfolded (all too...
| Feb 22, 2012
| 1:03 PM
Without Cab Calloway, it is hard to imagine there would have been a Michael Jackson or a Prince or hip-hop moves.
If that sounds like hyperbole, tune in to PBS' "Cab Calloway: Sketches," an "American Masters" presentation airing Monday, Feb. 27 (check...
| Feb 27, 2012
| 10:07 PM
Margaret E. Yaffe, one of the Enoch Pratt Free Library's oldest cardholders who was also a longtime active member of the Friends of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, died Feb. 18 of multiple organ failure at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson.
The Howard Park...
| Sep 30, 2011
| 2:45 PM
Heartbroken by my failure to hear biographer Stacy Schiff speak when she was in Chicago last week, I lassoed her by email to discuss one of my favorite subjects: biography.
Q: What is essential to the perfect biography subject?
A: In an ideal world, the...
| Oct 5, 2011
| 2:38 PM
Author Jeff Pearlman is the latest to find himself in the Shoot the Messenger Dunking Booth, for his comprehensive and unsparing biography of the late Walter Payton.
Mike Ditka said he'd spit on Pearlman. Ex-teammates are critical and skeptical of his...
| Oct 12, 2011
| 1:53 PM
A deceased biographer and a first-time bestselling novelist are among the finalists for the 2011 National Book Awards. Five finalists in four categories – fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature – were announced Wednesday...
| Oct 17, 2011
| 4:40 AM
One measure of a great biography is that you start into it thinking you know the subject. and by the end of it, you admit to yourself that you knew only the tip of the iceberg.
"Sing Your Song," n HBO documentary film on the life and word of Harry...