Justin Chapman - College basketball player at Wayne State University, who led the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game, and who was team co-captain, drowned on July 18 while swimming in Lake St. Claire, near Detroit. He was 22 years old.
John Davies - New Zealand Olympic runner who won a bronze medal at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, who went on to become the president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee as well as a prominent TV commentator, died July 21 of cancer at age 65.
Patrick Dennehy - College basketball player who played two years for the University of New Mexico, but who had been kicked off the team for problems with his temper and had transferred to Baylor where he was set to play for the team next season, was last seen June 14 in Waco, TX and is now presumed dead (Baylor teammate Carlton Dotson has been arrested for his murder though no body has yet been recovered). He was 21 years old.
Sinan Erdem - President of Turkey's Olympic Committee since 1989, who led three consecutive failed bids for Istanbul to host the Summer Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008, died July 24 of liver cancer in Istanbul at age 76.
Ferdinand - Surprise winner of the 1986 Kentucky Derby who had only two wins in nine career starts prior to the run and was a 17-1 long shot to win the race, who had another successful year in 1987 and was named Horse of the Year, but who was sold to a Japanese buyer in 1994 for breeding, was apparently slaughtered in September of 2002 at Goshima Farm near Niikappu, Japan after he became to old to breed and was in failing health. He was 19 at the time of his death.
Lu Gambino - All-American halfback for the University of Maryland who was the leading scorer in NCAA 1-A college football in 1947 with 16 touchdowns and 96 points, and who played two seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts in 1948 and 1949, died July 16 of heart disease in Chicago at age 79.
Henry Hair - Star tight end at Georgia Tech from 1951 to 1954, including the Yellow Jackets national championship team of 1952, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and played briefly in the Canadian Football League, died July 17 in Atlanta of complications of myasthenia gravis at age 71.
Bob Latford - NASCAR historian who is best known as the creator of the points system that is used to determine the winner of the Winston Cup, the prize given at the end of the season to the No. 1 driver in NASCAR's top racing series, died July 23 after a long illness in Concord, NC at age 67.
Duncan MacPherson - NHL first-round draft pick for the New York Islanders in 1984, who played three seasons in the minor leagues, but who disappeared in 1989 while snowboarding on the Stubaier Glacier in the Alps, was found dead (completely frozen and preserved) on July 16 in the mountains in Austria near the Italian border. He was 23 years old at the time of his disappearance.
LaVern Nance - Pioneer in sprint car racing and longtime owner of Nance Speed Equipment, who built cars for himself and well-known drivers like Sammy Swindell, Jeff Gordon and Al Unser Jr., and who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1995, died July 17 in Wichita, KS after a long illness at age 80.
Alida van den Bos - The world’s oldest surviving Olympic medal winner, who won a gold medal as a member of the 1928 Dutch gymnastics team as the only non-Jewish team member (all other team members and team coach died in concentration camps during WW2), and who coached the Dutch gymnastic team at the 1948 Olympics, died July 17 in Amsterdam, Netherlands at age 101.
Julian Yearwood - Arena League football player for the Bakersfield (California) Blitz, who had played for the team for three seasons, collapsed and died on July 19 in Valley Center, KS while sitting on the bench in the first quarter of the game against the Wichita Stealth. He was 31 years old and had been playing both offense and defense before his collapse.
Art and Literature
Nicolas Freeling - Award-winning and popular British novelist famous for his crime novels featuring detective Piet Van der Valk (13 books), including the book “Love In Amsterdam” and the successful TV series based on the character, and the not nearly as popular detective Henri Castang (16 books), died July 20 in France at age 76.
Carol Matthau - Actress-turned-author, who penned the 1992 best-selling memoir “Among the Porcupines: A Memoir” about her marriages to playwright William Saroyan and actor Walter Matthau, and who was known for her mercurial wit, died July 19 in New York City of a brain aneurysm at age 78.
Bhisham Sahni - Indian novelist, playwright and actor who was a key figure in Hindi literature, whose 1974 novel "Tamas (Darkness)" was made into the landmark 1986 film by neo-realist filmmaker Govind Nihalani, died July 11 at age 87.
John Weld - Author of a dozen fiction and nonfiction books including “Don’t You Cry For Me”, “Young Man In Paris” and the 1998 biography of John Huston, “September Song”, and who published the weekly newspaper, the Laguna Beach Post, from 1949 to 1965, died June 14 in Dana Point, CA at age 98.
Politics and Military
Othniel Askew - Enigmatic aspiring New York City politician who had filed papers to run against Councilman James Davis in the upcoming Democratic primary and had recently told the FBI that Davis had offered him $45,000 to drop out of the race and threatened to expose him as gay if he ran (none of these claims has been corroborated), but on the surface appeared to be a protégé of Davis, shot and killed Davis during a council meeting inside City Hall on July 23 and was then shot to death by a police officer. He was 31 years old.
Hamer Budge - U.S. Congressman from Idaho who served as a Republican from 1950 to 1960, who was one of the 10 or 15 most influential people serving in the House of Representatives in his day, died July 22 in Scottsdale, AZ at age 92.
Jack Davis - Britain’s oldest surviving World War I veteran, who fought in the July 1917 battle at Ypres, and who was one of only 34 known WW1 survivors alive in England, died July 20 in Stoke Hammond, England at age 108.
James Davis - New York city councilman and former police officer, who was known as a crusader against urban violence and who was considered an up and coming political leader in the city, was gunned down during a council meeting inside City Hall on July 23 by political rival Othniel Askew (who was then shot to death by a police officer). He was 41 years old.
Pierre Graber - President of Switzerland in 1975 under that country’s rotating presidency system, whose term was dogged by international terrorism, including the bombing of a SwissAir jet in flight to Tel Aviv, died July 19 in Lausanne, Switzerland after a stroke at age 94.
H.E. "Early" Hoodenpyle - Tennessee’s last surviving World War I veteran, who served as a wagon master for the Camp Gordon, Ga., infantry from 1917 to 1919, died July 24 in Chattanooga, TN at age 109.
Qusay Hussein - One of the most feared men in Iraq under the regime of his father Saddam Hussein, nicknamed “The Snake” for his low-profile but bloodthirsty manner, who headed Iraq's intelligence and security services, who was the likely successor to Saddam, and who was the second most wanted Iraqi fugitive (the Ace of Clubs) behind Saddam, was killed on July 22 in a gunbattle with U.S. troops in Mosul, Iraq at age 37.
Uday Hussein - Murderous and erratic oldest son of Saddam Hussein, who was head of the Fedayeen Saddam paramilitary unit, who controlled propaganda in Iraq and helped his father eliminate all opponents, who allegedly oversaw the torture of athletes who failed to perform, and who was the third most wanted Iraqi fugitive (the Ace of Hearts) behind Saddam and his brother Qusay, was killed on July 22 in a gunbattle with U.S. troops in Mosul, Iraq at age 39.
Colin McMillan - Oil industry executive who chaired President Bush's New Mexico presidential campaign in 2000, and who had been nominated by Bush to serve as Secretary of the Navy, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head on July 24 near Roswell, NM at age 67.
Howard Morehead - Tuskegee Airman during World War II who went on to a career as a noted photographer for the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and Jet and Ebony magazines, died July 14 in Los Angeles at age 79.
Danny Staples - Missouri state Senator who served in state government for nearly 30 years, known as one of the state's most colorful characters during his time in government, died of a heart attack on July 22 in Eminence, MO at age 68.
Sun Yi - Chinese military commander during World War II and the communists' rise to power, who participated in the epic Long March (the Red Army's 7,750 mile retreat west to escape Chiang's forces in the mid-1930’s), died July 5 in Beijing at age 100.
Social and Religion
Jane Barbe - Woman known as the “voice of America”, who was the person employed by telecommunications companies around the globe to record those familiar telephone messages such as “Please check the number and dial again” and “All circuits are busy”, and who also announced the time and temperature for many services across the country, died July 21 of cancer in Roswell, GA at age 74.
Bill Bright - Evangelist and longtime associate of the Rev. Billy Graham, who founded Campus Crusade for Christ, who was famous for compacting the Christian message into “Four Spiritual Laws” and for the slew of “I Found It!” bumper-stickers, signs and buttons plastered around the country during the 1970’s, died July 19 of pulmonary fibrosis in Orlando, FL at age 81.
David Hampton - Man who made news as a teenager in 1983 when he suckered his way into the houses of some of Manhattan's glitziest socialites by presenting himself as the son of actor Sidney Poitier, and whose life and story inspired the 1990 hit play “Six Degrees of Separation” and the 1995 movie starring Will Smith as Hampton, died June 2003 in Passaic, NJ of AIDS-related illness at age 39.
Corinna Hilton-van Ee - Liberian activist who founded that nation's first private school, the Hilton-van Ee School, whose graduates include Liberia’s first female judge and a Catholic bishop, but which was recently destroyed during war maneuvers, died July 16 of cancer in Boston at age 81.
Allen Janecka - Texas man who as a contract killer hired by Markum Duff-Smith (executed in 1993) in the late 1970’s killed four of Duff-Smith’s family members (mother Gertrude Duff-Smith Zabolio, sister Diana Wanstrath and her husband John, and their 14-month old son Kevin) so he could receive an $800,000 inheritance, was executed by lethal injection on July 24 in Huntsville, TX at age 53.
Cedric Ransom - Texas man who was convicted of the 1991 shooting of 44-year-old gun dealer Herbert Primm and stealing the guns he was selling from the trunk of his car, and who was also linked to several convenience store robbery/murders in the area, was executed by lethal injection on July 23 in Huntsville, TX at age 29.
Clara Shaver - California woman who at age 98 became the oldest person to receive a degree from UCLA, died July 22 in Riverside, CA at age 103.
Bobby Swisher - Virginia man who in 1997 kidnapped 22-year-old Dawn Snyder from a flower shop that she co-owned in Stuarts Draft, Virgina, then raped her, slit her throat and threw her in the river, was executed by lethal injection on July 22 in Jarratt, VA at age 27.
Bryan Toles - Oklahoma man convicted of the 1993 senseless middle-of-the-night home invasion murders of 15-year-old Lonnie Franceschi and his father Juan Franceschi in Comanche County, Oklahoma, whose motivation for the killing was to steal a red Mustang he saw in the Franceschi driveway while walking home from a bar (he was too tired to finish walking home), was executed by lethal injection on July 22 in McAlester, OK at age 31.
Jackie Lee Willingham - Oklahoma man who while selling perfume as a traveling salesman in 1994, became enraged at a customer, 62-year-old Jayne Van Wey, who refused to buy perfume and was rude to him, robbed her and beat her to death, was executed by lethal injection in McAlester, OK at age 33.
Liu Yang-wan - Chinese woman who married her husband Liu Yung-yang in 1917 (she had been adopted by her husband’s parents as a baby specifically to marry their son), and who remained married to him for 85 years and seven months, which was certified by the Guinness Book in 2002 as the world’s longest marriage, died July 21 in Taoyuan County, China at age 103 (Her 104 year old husband survives).
Business and Science
Ken Dayton - Chief executive from 1970 to 1976 of Dayton Hudson Corporation (now Target Corporation), a company started by his father in 1902, which he and his four brothers inherited and grew into a retailing empire that now includes Target, Mervyn’s and Marshall Fields, died July 19 of refractory anemia (blood disease) in Minneapolis at age 80.
Dr. Robert Donaldson - Medical researcher at the Yale School of Medicine who researched digestive diseases, studying the role of bacteria in digestion, the absorption of vitamin B12, peptic ulcers and chronic liver disease, and who served as that school’s dean from 1991 to 1993, died July 8 of heart disease in West Falmouth, MA at age 75.
Dr. John Eisenberg - One of the world’s foremost experts on mammals, who studied animal behavior, genetics and evolution, and whose book “The Mammalian Radiations: An Analysis of Trends in Evolution, Adaptation and Behavior” is considered one of the most influential works in the field, died July 6 of renal cancer in Bellingham, WA at age 68.
H. Warren Ghormley - Co-founder of the Seattle fast food chain Dick's Drive-In, which in 1954 featured a 19 cent hamburger and in-car dining, and which still operates in 2003, died July 19 in Seattle of Alzheimer’s complications at age 85.
Saul Gold - Advertising executive at Maslow, Gold, and Rothschild who developed several notable campaigns for Reebok including the “Life is not a spectator sport” campaign and the “Dan and Dave” spots during the 1992 Olympics, died July 8 of cancer in Marblehead, MA at age 73.
Gerald Hawkins - Astronomer who in 1963 published the controversial book “Stonehenge Decoded”, in which he claimed Stonehenge was a neolithic computer-observatory for predicting eclipses of the sun and moon, whose work while mostly discredited today, still sparks debate and inspired the first generation of archaeo-astronomers, died May 26 in England at age 75.
Theodor Jacobsen - Astronomer and longtime faculty member at the University of Washington who studied the pulsation of variable stars for 70 years, and who conducted groundbreaking research on binary solar systems (stars that revolve around each other - but you already knew that I'm sure), and who published his final book “Planetary Systems from the Ancient Greeks to Kepler” at age 98, died July 17 in Seattle at age 102.
John Krutilla - Economist who specialized in the dollars and cents related to environmental preservation, who in 1955 established Resources for the Future, a Washington DC-based research center that provided a conceptual framework for estimating the intrinsic value of undisturbed nature, died June 27 of lung cancer in McLean, VA at age 81.
Dr. Barbara Lazarus - Educational anthropologist who studied barriers to women entering science and engineering fields and who created programs to overcome these barriers, died July 15 in Pittsburgh of cancer at age 57.
Harold Lewis - Pioneer in the field of social work, who was longtime dean of Hunter College School of Social Work, who was editor of The Journal of Teaching in Social Work, and who wrote the classic social work text “Intellectual Base of Social Work Practice: Tools for Thought in a Helping Profession”, died July 18 in New York City at age 83.
William Russell - Pioneering biologist whose studies of the effects of radiation on mice helped set the standards for acceptable levels of human exposure to radiation, died July 23 in Oak Ridge, TN at age 92.
Walter Zapp - Latvian photographer who in 1935 invented the groundbreaking Minox camera, at the time the smallest camera in the world, which became a “must-have” piece of equipment for intelligence services, and whose company Minox is still in the business of producing subminiature photographic equipment, died July 17 in Binningen, Switzerland at age 97.