Adrian Burk - NFL quarterback who played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1951-56, who holds the team record for most touchdown passes in one game, 7 in 1954 against the Redskins, and who later became a lawyer and signed the first Houston Oilers’ player, Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, to a contract, died July 28 in Henderson, TX at age 75.
Dave Engerbretson - Fly-fishing authority and co-star of PBS’s “Fly-Tying: An Angler’s Art”, a show where co-star LeRoy Hart would tie the flies and he would explain their use, died July 30 of diabetes complications in Moscow, ID at age 67.
Alex Gong - World champion kickboxer who appeared regularly on HBO and ESPN and headlined fights at the MGM Grand and the Mirage in Las Vegas, was shot to death on August 1 on a busy San Francisco street after attempting to stop a driver who was attempting to flee after hitting his parked vehicle minutes earlier (Gong was wearing boxing gloves and training trunks and came running out of the gym where he was training). He was 30 years old.
Steve Hislop - British Superbike champion who was one of the best known British motorcycle racers of the last 20 years, winning eleven TT titles and the British Superbike championship twice, last year and in 1995, was killed in a helicopter crash on July 30 near Hawick, Scotland at age 41.
Danny “Bullwhip” Johnson - Ontario, Canada-based professional wrestler, who wore leathers, vest and cowboy hat and wielded a whip, who won the NWA world tag in 1980 and appeared on the 1990 Starrcade pay-per-view, and who was the son of 50’s pro wrestler Bull Johnson, died July 20 in Ontario, Canada of cirrhosis of the liver at age 49.
George Maloney - American League baseball umpire from 1969 to 1984, who worked the 1975 World Series, three league championship series and three All-Star games, died July 29 in Barstow, AZ of undisclosed causes at age 75.
Norman McRae - Baseball pitcher who appeared in 22 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1969 and 1970, but never registered a decision, died July 25 in Garland, TX of cancer at age 55.
Drean Rucker - All-American prep linebacker who was considered among Southern California's top high school football players last season, and who was recruited by and was scheduled to play for USC this coming fall, drowned on July 21 while swimming in the ocean at Huntington Beach, CA. He was 18 years old.
Max Weisberg - St. Paul, Minnesota bookie, who had an IQ estimated at 71 (borderline mental retardation), best known for his prodigious sports bookmaking skills (he was a savant with numbers), and who repeatedly after raids on his home, avoided convictions for gambling by reason of mental incompetence, died July 24 of pancreatic cancer in St. Paul at age 79.
Art and Literature
Harold Altman - Noted artist whose lithographs are displayed in dozens of museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and who was twice awarded Guggenheim Fellowships, died July 28 in State College, PA at age 79.
Guido Crepax - Italian comics legend and master of erotic illusion, who is best known for his comic book heroine Valentina as well as other adult-oriented illustrations, and whose work was often featured in Heavy Metal magazine, died on July 30 in Milan, Italy of multiple sclerosis at age 70 or 80.
Sir William Dargie - One of Australia’s best-known portrait artists, whose famous portrait of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II from 1954 still hangs in Australia’s Parliament House, and who won the prestigious Archibald prize a record eight times between 1941 and 1956, died July 26 in Melbourne at age 91.
Don Giffin - American abstract painter who expanded the Southern California modes of "color and light" and "finish fetish" art, melding impressions of photography, printmaking and painting into a single work, and whose work has been exhibited all over the U.S., died July 22 of natural causes in Marina Del Ray, CA at age 55.
Norman Lewis - Acclaimed British travel writer who journeyed to venues all over the world and wrote about the places and his experiences in books like “Sand and Sea in Arabia” and “A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Indochina”, and who also wrote a number of successful suspense novels, died July 22 in Saffron Walden, England at age 95.
Dorothea Malm - Author of Gothic romance novels with such titles as “To the Castle”, “He’s Not For You”, “On a Fated Night” and “Every Third Thought”, died July 17 in Minneapolis at age 88.
Judy Milhon - Editor of Mondo 2000, a magazine dedicated to the culture of computer users, who was a self-claimed hacker known as St. Jude, and who wrote “The Cyberpunk Handbook” where she coined the term ‘cypherpunk’, referring to computer users dedicated to online privacy through encryption, died July 19 of cancer in Berkeley, CA at age 64.
Subhas Mukhopadhyay - Bengali poet, writer and translator best known for his collections of poetry like “Padatik (On Foot)” and “Phul Phutuk Na Phutuk (Flowers Bloom or Not)”, whose publications stayed loyal to the Communist party, died July 8 in Calcutta, India at age 84.
Datus Proper - Well-known outdoorsman and author who wrote several books about hunting and fishing including “What The Trout Said” and “Meditations on Hunting”, drowned on July 27 while fishing near Belgrade, MT at age 69.
Harold Schonberg - Music critic for the New York Times from 1960 to 1980, whose Pulitzer Prize in 1971 was the first ever awarded to a music critic, whose musical specialty was the piano (he championed the work of several Russian pianists), and who published 13 books during this career, died June 26 in New York City at age 87.
James Shenton - A noted scholar of American history, author and TV commentator, who wrote numerous books including “The Historians' History of the United States” and “The Melting Pot”, and who helped New Jersey win jurisdiction over Ellis Island in 1998, died July 25 in Wayne, NJ after heart surgery at age 78.
Robert W. Stevens - Airline pilot who became an Alaskan explorer and spent 15 years researching and gathering information for a six-volume series on Alaska's aviation history (the first two volumes, “Alaskan Aviation History 1897-1930” were published in 1990), died July 23 in Des Moines, WA at age 85.
William Woolfolk - Author and early writer of comics during the 1940’s and 50’s who produced some of the original strips for superheroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America and Captain Marvel in the day when the art form was new, and who went on to write some 19 books including the sci-fi thriller “The Adam Project” and the crime novel “Run While You Can”, died July 20 in Syracuse, NY of congestive heart failure at age 86.
Politics and Military
Ludwig Boelkow - German flight engineer who helped develop the first fighter jet, the Me-262, used during World War II, and who after the war helped shape the airline industry in Germany like no other individual, died July 25 in Munich of an apparent heart attack at age 91.
Walter Brewer - Prominent Florida attorney who had just been re-elected to his second term as chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, the government-appointed body that oversees the Florida Department of Citrus, was killed July 31 in Arcadia, FL when a stolen vehicle being chased by police crashed into his vehicle and he became trapped inside (his two sons were freed from the burning vehicle before it became engulfed in flames – the driver of the stolen vehicle was also killed). He was 43 years old.
Maj. Gen. Norma Brown - The Air Force’s first female wing commander who served as chief of military personnel for Flight Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., before commanding wings in Texas and Illinois, died July 22 in San Antonio, TX at age 77.
Alois Grebenicek - Feared officer of Czechoslovakia’s communist-era secret police, known for the brutal torture of political prisoners, whom Czech authorities have attempted to bring to trial on torture charges, but who has repeatedly dodged the court dates over the years due to claimed ailing health, died July 27 of heart and pulmonary ailments in Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic at age 81.
Vance Hartke - U.S. Senator from Indiana who served three terms as a Democrat from 1958 to 1976, who was known for his opposition to the Vietnam War, and who entered the Democratic primary for president in 1972 using total and unconditional American withdrawal from Indochina as his theme, died July 27 of a heart attack in Fairfax, VA at age 84.
Jiri Horak - Leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party from 1990 to 1992, who was the first democratic leader after Vaclav Havel peacefully toppled communist rule in Czechoslovakia, and who in 2000 was awarded the Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order, one of that country’s highest honors, for outstanding contributions to democracy, died July 25 of brain cancer in Florida at age 79.
Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim - Pakistani political leader who was appointed president of Pakistan's part of Kashmir after Pakistan and India became separate states following independence from Britain in 1947, and who also held that post in 1975-1977 and briefly in 1996, died July 31 in Pakistan at age 88.
Carlos Lemos - Leader in Columbia’s Liberal Party, who was vice-president under President Ernesto Samper, and who served as president of Columbia for 10 days in 1998 when Samper was out of the country for medical reasons, died July 29 in Bogota of lung cancer at age 68.
Letuli Olo Misilagi - Ranking American Samoan traditional leader, who was elected to that country’s senate in 1977 and again in 1993, and who also was an entertainer for many years as a dancer and knife thrower, appearing in the Hollywood film “Adventure in Paradise”, died July 22 in Honolulu at age 84.
Norman Roettger - Senior U.S. District Judge in Florida appointed by Richard Nixon in 1972, who was known as a colorful character with a reputation for being both independent and unpredictable on the bench, died July 26 of a heart attack in Fort Lauderdale, FL at age 72.
Nadav Safran - Expert in Middle Eastern politics at Harvard University who wrote several encyclopedic political histories including “Israel: The Embattled Ally” and “Egypt in Search of Political Community”, but who was forced to resign from Harvard in 1986 after it was revealed that he had accepted grants from the CIA, died July 5 in State College, PA of cancer at age 77.
Foday Sankoh - Leader of Sierra Leone’s machete-wielding rebel force, who attempted to take control of his country’s government and diamond fields in the 1990’s by attacking civilians and cutting off the hands, feet, lips and ears of men, women and children, including babies, who killed an estimated 75,000 civilians during their quest before intervention by Britain, Guinea and the U.N. ended the insurgency, and who was imprisoned for war crimes after his capture in 2000, died July 29 of natural causes in Freetown, Sierra Leone at age 65.
Social and Religion
Harold Bennett - President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1979 to 1992, who led the organization during the period when conservatives seized control from moderates, and when membership grew by 15%, died July 27 of pancreatic cancer in Brentwood, TN at age 78.
Caitlin Wright Binning - Advocate for the mentally ill who as former director of research at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Virginia helped expose abuse and neglect in Virginia's mental-health system, died July 25 of cancer in Richmond, VA at age 37.
Matt Brown - Poster child and Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 1977 and 1978, who appeared on the Labor Day telethons with Jerry Lewis and on TV shows like “60 Minutes” and “Good Morning America” as well as visiting President Jimmy Carter at the White House, succumbed to the disease on July 18 in Toccoa, GA at age 35.
Colorado black bear - Bear in the Rocky Mountain National Park, who was aggressively approaching and following day hikers, and who had terrorized campers, attacking and seriously injuring two men sleeping in a tent on July 13, was shot and killed by a park ranger on July 26.
Phil Halpin - Veteran Los Angeles County prosecutor who won murder convictions against “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and Jimmy Lee Smith, the slayer of a policeman in what became known as the “Onion Field” killing, died July 25 of cancer in Bend, OR on his 65th birthday.
Harold McElmurry - Oklahoma man who in 1999 along with his wife Vickie McElmurry, stabbed and bludgeoned elderly couple Robert (a paraplegic) and Vivian Pendley to death in Eufaula, Oklahoma in order to steal their car, two guns and $70, was executed on July 29 by lethal injection in McAlester, OK at age 33.
Ramchandra Paramhans - Hindu spiritual leader noted for his efforts to build a temple at the site of the destroyed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, the place they believed to be the birthplace of the Hindu supreme diety Rama, died July 31 in Lucknow, India of liver cancer at age 93.
Paschal's Restaurant - Historic Atlanta restaurant, at one time known as the “Black City Hall” because of the meetings held there by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, which was purchased and had been run by Clark University since 1996, closed its doors on July 28 for the last time after 56 years in business. It is to be demolished and a dormitory is to be built on the site.
Business and Science
Ismail Akbay - NASA engineer in the Apollo program who led efforts to transfer the space program's technology into commercial use, who helped establish a Space Camp in his native country of Turkey, and who was considered somewhat of a hero there, was killed in a house fire on July 27 at his home in Athens, AL when he went back into the house to try to save the family dog. He was 72 years old.
Henry Boorse - Physicist who was a neighbor to scientists Harold Urey and Enrico Fermi during WW2, which led to his involvement with the Manhattan Project and the development of the A-bomb, and who later co-wrote the books “The World of the Atom” and “The Atomic Scientists”, died July 28 in Houston at age 98.
Bill Finch - Stadium and arena architect best-known for designing Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium and Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati (both now demolished), and the University of North Carolina’s ‘Dean Dome’ and the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, died July 28 in Atlanta of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 89.
J. Wilson Newman - Chairman and chief executive of Dun & Bradstreet from 1952 to 1968, who had joined the R.G. Dun Company in 1931 as a credit reporter and worked through its merger with the John M. Bradstreet Company in 1933, and who oversaw the computerization of Dun's business databases in the early 1960's, died July 8 in Charlottesville, VA at age 93.
Pillowtex - Textile giant formerly known as Fieldcrest Cannon, who manufactured products sold under the Cannon, Fieldcrest and Royal Velvet brand names, who employed about 8,000 people in the U.S. and Canada, and who emerged from bankruptcy in May 2002 but continued to struggle financially, filed chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 30 and shuttered its 16 manufacturing and distribution plants, immediately eliminating 6,450 jobs (workers were told they would not be paid for work done over the last 2 weeks and that all benefits were immediately terminated) with the remainder of employees cut as the company is liquidated. The company was over 100 years old, originating in the Cannon and Fieldcrest mills in the 1800’s.
Norman Rasmussen - Nuclear engineer at M.I.T. who pioneered a technique for measuring risk at nuclear power plants, who oversaw the production of the landmark 21-volume Reactor Safety Study sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission, died July 18 of Parkinson’s disease complications in Concord, MA at age 75.
Charles S. Rhyne - Prominent trial attorney and president of the American Bar Association in the 1950’s, who is best known for trying the landmark 1962 case Baker v. Carr that reshaped American politics by forcing reapportionment, was found dead on July 27 in his swimming pool in McLean, VA, an apparent drowning victim, at age 91.
Sax Riley - Chairman of Lloyd's of London from 2000 to 2002, who pushed through reforms that involved the market switching to annual accounting and accepting no more unlimited liability, died July 25 of a heart attack while playing golf in England at age 64.
Dr. Kurt Semm - Gynecologist known as the father of laparoscopic surgery, who developed techniques in the 1960’s where surgery is done with only small incisions to insert a scope and instruments, allowing for a much quicker patient recovery period, whose methods were derided and called unethical for many years but which are now routine for surgeries like hysterectomies and appendectomies, died July 16 in Tucson, AZ from Parkinson’s disease at age 76.
Jack Steiner - Aerospace engineer at Boeing, regarded as one of the best airplane designers in industry history, who is best known for his design work on Boeing's 727, first built in 1963, which was the first to have the triple-slotted flap, a device that helps improve its low-speed handling, accidentally drowned near is home near Medina, WA on July 29 at age 85.
The original Volkswagen Beetle - The squatty little car introduced in Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the 1930’s, and sold throughout the world before being discontinued everywhere in the 1980’s except Mexico, where it remained the most popular car on the road, was finally discontinued in Mexico on July 30 as the last production line was shut down at the Puebla plant, where the final car produced, a baby blue version that will go to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.