I know you've heard that Bernie Mac died last week at age 50 and Isaac Hayes at 65.
When I was a kid they would have seemed like old men who had lived their lives. Now how way too soon that seems, especially Mac. And what accomplished men they were.
I didn't always dig Mac's humor, but I was totally impressed with his intelligence and achivements. A guy who always wanted to be a comedian working manual labor jobs until he made it and then making it so big (I read somewhere that THE KINGS OF COMEDY tour made $57 million!). And by the innovative twist he put on the family sitcom with his TV show.
And I loved him in those OCEAN'S ELEVEN movies. What a sad day for his family and friends and fans.
Hayes was another amazing person. Born into dire poverty from what I've read, he went on to not only write over a hundred hit songs but to change the sound and look of music for awhile and to win an Oscar for the theme to SHAFT and then to act in many movies (one he just did with Bernie Mac that hasn't been released yet called, I think, SOUL MEN) and find a place among the current generation as the voice of "chef' on SOUTH PARK.
But what I'm most impressed with is his philanthropy. You don't, or i certainly don't, hear much about that. But it seems he was amazingly generous with the fortune he made, including building schools and other much needed institutions in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. Wonder why he didn't get the kind of publicity Oprah got for her similar efforts.
Maybe he didn't want the recognition for his philanthropy, but it would sure contribute to the changing attitudes about "race" and "Black men" that has been ongoing for the past several decades and continues to with the current presidential campaign.
Two giants in their fields, gone too soon, but not before they made their mark, which will outlive them.