Icons We Lost in 2007

David Halberstam was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. Halberstam began his career writing for small papers in the South and later covered the American civil rights movement for The New York Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize at the age of 30 for his reporting on the Vietnam War. From the 1970s through the '90s, Halberstam published a series of critically acclaimed books, including "The Best and the Brightest," a thesis on John F. Kennedy's foreign policy decisions on Vietnam. He later produced a series of books on sports, including "Summer of '49" and "The Breaks of the Game." Halberstam died in a traffic accident while on his way to give a talk at UC Berkeley.

Tammy Faye Messner
March 7, 1942 — July 20, 2007

Tamara "Tammy" Faye Messner helped revolutionize television evangelism in America. From 1976 to 1987, Messner and her former husband, Jim Bakker, co-hosted a show on the PTL, a cable network that reached 13 million American homes. At their peak, the power couple controlled the PTL, and was worth $125 million, until it was revealed that the organization had paid $287,000 in hush money to Jessica Hahn, who had had a sexual encounter with Bakker. Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison on fraud and conspiracy counts, and Messner married contractor Roe Messner, who was later convicted of bankruptcy fraud. Despite the scandals, Tammy Faye Messner was able to maintain her fame with a string of books, movies and television appearances, the most brazen being a VH-1 series called "The Surreal Life." Messner seemed comfortable, poking fun at herself, and called regret "a waste of good brain space." She died at the age of 65 after an 11-year battle with colon cancer, which spread to her lungs.

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