Sunday, December 17, 2017
Obituaries of Note

Parker Thomson, defender of the First Amendment, dies at 85

Prominent First Amendment attorney and Miami arts pioneer Parker Thomson died Friday. He was 85.

Before he was a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, the Harvard-trained attorney teamed up with fellow Harvard grad Dan Paul to form Paul & Thomson. From 1968 to 1983 the duo represented the likes of the Miami Herald, the New York Times, AT&T and Bank of America in First Amendment cases. His expertise included helping newspapers obtain public records.

Thomson argued three cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Miami Herald Publishing Company vs. Tornillo in 1974. He and Paul represented the Herald and won, overturning a state law that required newspapers to allocate equal space to political candidates on the editorial pages.

He also fought news organizations in court. In 1998 he represented the family of Gianni Versace, winning an injunction permanently sealing the autopsy photos of the slain fashion designer. He also worked for Teresa Earnhardt, who sought to keep autopsy photos of her husband, NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt, from being made public. The case was settled in 2001 when Teresa Earnhardt and news organizations agreed an expert would examine the photos without making them public.

Thomson also performed pro bono work for groups such as the League of Women Voters and the Miccosukee tribe.

The Coral Gables resident also spearheaded the creation of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, which opened in 2006 and has grown into one of the leading community-driven performing arts centers in the country.

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report, which uses information from the Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and law.com.

Comments
Ybor City remembers Ferdie Pacheco, a true ‘Tampaiño’

Ybor City remembers Ferdie Pacheco, a true ‘Tampaiño’

TAMPA — The speakers at Dr. Ferdie Pacheco’s memorial on Thursday evening were asked to keep their remarks to under 10 minutes, and to refrain from using profanity.They all thought that was pretty funny, of course."Like Ferdie ever spoke for less tha...
Published: 12/15/17
Tampa memorial for

Tampa memorial for "Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco to be held Thursday

TAMPA — A memorial service for "The Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco will be held Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Centro Asturiano, 1913 N Nebraska Ave.He died in his Miami home on November 16 at the age of 89.Born and raised in Ybor City, Pache...
Published: 12/12/17
Epilogue: Anthony Acosta, 67, remembered for love of ER, family

Epilogue: Anthony Acosta, 67, remembered for love of ER, family

ST. PETE BEACH — Anthony Acosta, the former medical director of the emergency room at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, spent more than four decades in an ER he was remembered for loving second to only his family.Mr. Acosta, 67, died Nov. 19 after a t...
Published: 12/08/17
Epilogue: Longtime Hernando County educator remembered for friendship, faith

Epilogue: Longtime Hernando County educator remembered for friendship, faith

Whether at the front of a classroom or in the garden, Maria Rybka was a teacher to her core. Those who loved her say she lived with purpose: to educate, inspire and demand the most from life.Following a lengthy illness, the longtime Hernando County e...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17
John Anderson, who ran against Reagan and Carter in 1980, dies at age 95

John Anderson, who ran against Reagan and Carter in 1980, dies at age 95

John Anderson, a former Republican congressman from Illinois who bolted his party to run as a plain-spoken independent candidate for president in 1980, drawing an enthusiastic if transient following among liberals and college students, died Sunday ni...
Published: 12/04/17
Jim Nabors, the beloved Gomer Pyle from two TV shows, has died at 87

Jim Nabors, the beloved Gomer Pyle from two TV shows, has died at 87

HONOLULU — Jim Nabors, the shy Alabaman whose down-home comedy made him a TV star as Gomer Pyle and whose surprisingly operatic voice kept him a favorite in Las Vegas and other showplaces, died Thursday. He was 87. Nabors, who underwent a liver trans...
Updated one month ago
New Tampa Players lose their founder

New Tampa Players lose their founder

NEW TAMPA — Doug Wall devoted the last 20 years of his life to a cultural center in New Tampa — one that supporters say will be a reality in the next three years.His dream of being a Broadway co-producer also is set to happen next year, an event his ...
Updated one month ago
Alton White, civil rights leader who loved ‘every blade of grass in Tampa,’ dies at 77

Alton White, civil rights leader who loved ‘every blade of grass in Tampa,’ dies at 77

TAMPA — Born into the civil rights movement, Alton Maurice White Sr. embraced it as his own while playing college football in Tallahassee.He brought his passion home to Tampa and, for decades, played a guiding role in advancing the cause.By his count...
Updated one month ago
Teen idol David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Teen idol David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

David Cassidy, the former star of "The Partridge Family" TV hit of the 1970s and a reluctant teen idol to the boomer generation, died Tuesday evening of liver failure, his publicist confirmed. He was 67.The singer and actor died in Fort Lauderdale af...
Updated one month ago
Epilogue: The Divine Miss Em - loud, proud and Broadway-bound

Epilogue: The Divine Miss Em - loud, proud and Broadway-bound

ST. PETERSBURG – You could never sing solo, when Emma Couture was around. Even if you were humming softly to yourself, she would jump in and belt along. That girl couldn’t remember to turn in her biology homework, but she knew every word to every Bro...
Updated one month ago