Archerd with his wife, Selma, in 2007.(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)

Legendary Variety columnist Army Archerd died yesterday after a 50-year career at the paper. He broke the news that Rock Hudson was being treated for AIDS in 1985, told colleagues he fought alongside Herman Wouk in World War II (providing the novelist inspiration for a character in the Pulitzer-winning novel The Caine Mutiny), and, most importantly (for those still grieving over Michael Jackson), was the catalyst for the King of Pop’s rewriting parts of his 1995 song “They Don’t Care About Us,” which originally included the controversial lyrics “Jew me/Sue me.” According to Variety, Archerd wrote a column criticizing the song, and Jackson telephoned him to inform him he would change it.

Obit: Variety Columnist Army Archerd [Variety]