New York – Manning Marable, an influential historian whose forthcoming Malcolm X biography could revise perceptions of the slain civil rights leader, died Friday, just days before the book described as his life’s work was to be released. He was 60.
His wife, Leith Mullings, said Marable died from complications of pneumonia at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. She said he had suffered for 24 years from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease, and had undergone a double lung transplant in July.
She said Marable’s latest book, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” will be released Monday.
Two decades in the making, the nearly 600-page biography is described as a re-evaluation of Malcolm X’s life, bringing fresh insight to subjects including his autobiography, which is still assigned in many college courses, to his assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan on Feb. 21, 1965.
The book is based on exhaustive research, including thousands of pages of FBI files and records from the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department. Marable also conducted interviews with the slain civil rights leader’s confidants and security team, as well as witnesses to his assassination.
Blair Kelley, a history professor at North Carolina State University, called Marable’s death a “devastating” loss for black historians.
“I can’t believe he died before the book came out. He really deserved the opportunity to be celebrated for his groundbreaking scholarship,” Kelley wrote on Twitter.
Harry Coover, glue inventor
Kingsport, Tenn. – Harry Wesley Coover Jr., known as the inventor of Super Glue, died March 26. He was 94.
Coover was working for Tennessee Eastman Co., a division of Eastman Kodak, when an accident helped lead to the popular adhesive being discovered, according to his grandson, Adam Paul. An assistant was distressed that some brand new refractometer prisms were ruined when they were glued together by the substance.
In 1951, Coover and another researcher recognized the potential for the strong adhesive, and it was first sold in 1958, according to the Super Glue Corp.’s website.
Cyanoacrylate, the chemical name for the glue, was first uncovered in 1942 in a search for materials to make clear plastic gun sights for World War II. But the compound stuck to everything, which is why it was rejected by researchers, the website said.