Passage: Dorothy Thomas and Ervin Drake

Bone marrow transplant pioneer Dorothy Thomas and songwriter Ervin Drake.

CBS News/Matthew Peyton, Getty Images

It happened this past week . . . word of the loss of two talented Americans who had much to tell us about the years of our lives.

We learned of the death near Seattle earlier this month of Dorothy Thomas, known as the "mother" of bone marrow transplants.

A trained hematology technician, Thomas provided invaluable assistance to her husband, the late Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, whose transplant research won him a share of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1990.

Their work is credited with extending the lives of thousands with leukemia, among other blood cancers.

Dorothy Thomas was 92.


Songwriter Ervin Drake died Thursday at his home outside New York City.

Drake broke from his father's furniture business at an early age to become a composer of a number of popular songs, among them "It Was a Very Good Year."

To hear Frank Sinatra sing "It Was a Very Good Year," click on the video player below.

Speaking of very good years, Ervin Drake was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983.

The New York Times quotes him as saying: "I had a feeling I never would have been in the Furniture Man's Hall of Fame."


Ervin Drake was 95.

To watch a 2013 interview with songwriter Ervin Drake and singer Gloria Estefan from "CBS This Morning: Saturday," click on the player at left.