Fanny Blankers-Koen - Dutch track and field star who was honored in 1999 as the best female athlete of the 20th century by the International Association of Athletics Federations, who won a record four gold medals for the Netherlands at the 1948 Olympics (tying Jesse Owens record from 1936 and later tied by Carl Lewis in 1984), who during her career set 20 track and field world records, and who is a national icon in her home country, died Jan. 25 in Amsterdam of Alzheimer's disease at age 85.
Harry "The Cat" Brecheen - All Star pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals who played from 1943 to 1953, who is one of only 11 pitchers in history to win 3 games in a World Series, accomplishing the feat in the 1946 series against the Boston Red Sox, who also pitched in the 1943 and 1944 Series for the Cardinals, and whose best season came in 1948 when he went 20-7 and led the National League with a 2.24 ERA, died Jan. 17 in Bethany, Oklahoma at age 89.
John Blatnik - Outfielder who played three seasons in the majors with the Phillies and Cardinals, whose best season was 1948 when he hit .260, died Jan. 21 in Lansing, Ohio at age 82.
Jordan Bonne - Up and coming gymnast who was one of the U.S.'s top 15 trampoline gymnasts, who in 2003 represented the United States at the World Age Group Games in Hanover, Germany in synchronized trampoline, and who was among the gymnasts competing on Jan. 18 at the Flip Fest in Knoxville, Tennessee, died on Jan. 20 from injuries he suffered in a freak accident while performing a flip at the competition when he flew off the trampoline and hit his head on the cement floor in front of stunned spectators. He was 15 years old.
Taylor Duncan - Major league baseball player who was an infielder with the A's and Cardinals during the late 1970's, whose best year was 1978 with Oakland when he played 104 games and hit .257, died Jan. 3 in Ashville, North Carolina after a stroke at age 50.
David Hookes - One of Australia's most famous test cricket players, known for his dashing style and fine first class batting record, who scored almost 13,000 in Australian Sheffield Shield competition, and who was currently the cricket coach of the Victorian Bushrangers, died Jan. 19 in a Melbourne hospital after being in a fight outside a Melbourne nightclub and receiving a blow to the head. He was 48 years old. A 21-year-old security guard has been charged in the attack.
Alisa Lewis - Junior reserve on the University of California's women's basketball team, who was averaging 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game for the Golden Bears this season, who was taken to the hospital on Jan. 19 after complaining of a massive headache, rash, and flu-like symptoms, died at the hospital of what doctors believe to be bacterial meningitis, a sudden and very rare disease causing an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal column. She was 20 years old.
Ewald Pyle - Baseball player who pitched parts of five seasons in the major leagues from 1939 to 1945 for teams like the Brooklyn Giants and St. Louis Browns, and who had a career record of 11-21, died Jan. 10 in DuQuoin, Illinois at age 93.
Pauline Richards - Well-known Australian skydiver who recently had won gold in the Australian women's skysurfing championship for the fourth time, who was the only female tandem dive instructor in the country and the only corporate sponsored skydiver in Australia, died on Jan. 22 from injuries suffered in a fall during a skydiving competition near Albury, Australia. She was 44 years old.
Don Shinnick - NFL linebacker whose 37 career interceptions with the Baltimore Colts from 1957 to 1969 is still an NFL record for a linebacker, who played on both of the Colts championship teams in 1958 and 1959, who in college played on UCLA's 1954 national championship team, and who later worked as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots, died Jan. 20 in Modesto, California of frontal lobe dementia, a degenerative brain disease, at the age of 68.
Royce Smith - All-American football player at the University of Georgia in the early 1970's, who was captain of the 1971 Gator Bowl team, who played two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons, died Jan. 22 of undisclosed causes in Claxton, Georgia at age 54.
Albert Tillman - Scuba diving pioneer and luminary, who created the first university degree program in recreation and leisure studies at Cal State-Los Angeles, who wrote several of scuba diving's first textbooks, who in 1959 co-founded the National Assn. of Diving Instructors, or NAUI, the first international scuba diving certification agency, and who, along with Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was an original inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in 2000, died Jan. 16 in Seattle at age 75.
Art and Literature
Rose Cree - American Indian artist recognized as one of the most talented modern weavers of traditional red willow baskets, whose work is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and in museums across the United States, Canada and other countries, died Jan. 13 in Dunseith, North Dakota at age 82.
Peter W. Fay - Historian and expert on China and India who wrote several history texts including "The Opium War, 1840-1842" and "The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence, 1942-1945", died Jan. 18 at his home in Sierra Madre, California after a long illness at age 79.
Diana Hacker - Educator and textbook author best known for "A Writer's Reference", a staple for college freshman that has sold nearly 3 million copies since its first edition in 1989 (now in its fifth edition), who wrote several other handbooks including "Rules For Writers" and "The Bedford Handbook", died Jan. 12 in Washington, DC of cancer at age 61.
Therese Heyman - Expert on American photographic history who worked at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American Art, who wrote or contributed to several books including "Dorothea Lang: American Photographs" and "On the Edge of America: California Modernist Art, 1900-1950", died Jan. 16 in Berkeley, California of pneumonia at the age of 74.
Thomas Holland - Sculptor who created the Pony Express Statue which sits in the heart of Old Sacramento, California and which was dedicated in 1976, and who had previously worked in Hollywood sculpting props for films like the 1960 science fiction film "The Time Machine", died Jan. 3 in Ajijic, Mexico at age 87.
Abdelrahman Munif - Critically praised Arab author, whose novels looked at political oppression in the Middle East including the five-book series "Cities of Salt", considered his masterpiece, and "East of the Mediterranean", whose books were often banned in Arab countries, and who was expelled from his homeland of Saudi Arabia in 1963 for his political activities and was exiled to Iraq, died Jan. 24 in Damascus, Syria of kidney failure and heart problems at age 71.
Helmut Newton - Fashion photographer called "the king of kink", who photographed some of the most beautiful women in the world in poses that emphasized their sexuality and often an accompanying sense of danger and violence, whose images were calculated to shock and were often associated with designers like Yves Saint Laurent, died Jan. 23 in Los Angeles from injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 83.
Yordan Radichkov - Prolific Bulgarian playwright, screenwriter and author famous for his parodies of human nature and the Communist regime, whose plays and short stories were translated into numerous European languages, and whose best known works are the landmark play "An Effort at Flying" and the 1968 film "The Tied Balloon", died Jan. 21 in Sofia of complications of a stroke at the age of 75.
Dr. Frederick "Fritz" Redlich - Dean of the Yale University School of Medicine from 1967 to 1972, who is best known as author of the 1998 book "Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet", in which he examined what affect medical and psychiatric pathology had on the course of Hitler's behavior (he attributed Parkinson's disease, coronary heart disease and giant cell arteritis as factors), died Jan. 1 of congestive heart failure in New Haven, Connecticut at the age of 93.
Dennison Rusinow - Historian and radio commentator, whose 1977 book "The Yugoslav Experiment, 1948-1974" is considered the seminal textbook on Yugoslavia's history, and whose deep voice could be heard as a commentator on National Public Radio, was struck by a truck and killed on Jan. 20 while walking near his home in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 73 years old.
Jim Bob Tinsley - Country music singer, guitarist and historian, best known for such books as "For A Cowboy Has To Sing" and "He Was Singin' This Song" (both written with Gene Autry), who founded the Jim Bob Tinsley Museum and Heritage Center and who was inducted into the National Cowboy Song and Poetry Hall of Fame, died Jan. 18 in Brevard, North Carolina at the age of 82.
George Woodbridge - Longtime humor illustrator for MAD Magazine, who submitted his first piece to the magazine in 1957 and went to illustrate for nearly every issue starting in the early 1960's for the next 30 years, who was known for his strong eye for detail and the historical accuracy of his drawings, died Jan. 19 of emphysema in a New York City hospital at age 73.
Politics and Military
Harry Claiborne - Federal judge in Nevada appointed by President Carter in 1978, who was convicted in 1984 of tax evasion and removed from the bench by the Senate in 1986 and served 17 months in prison, becoming the first federal judge to be sent to prison and seventh to be impeached, who, previous to his appointment as judge, was a high profile attorney, representing such Las Vegas clients as Bugsy Siegel, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, died Jan. 19 at his Las Vegas home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 86 (he was suffering from cancer).
Ron Crickenberger - Political director of the Libertarian Party from 1997 to 2003, who saw the number of Libertarians in office more than triple, from 180 to about 600, during his tenure, who prior to becoming director had managed several successful campaigns for Libertarian candidates, and who ran for the U.S. House in Virginia in 2000 and was named a 'Rising Star of Politics' by the Campaigns and Elections publication that year, died Jan. 20 of melanoma in Washington, DC at age 48.
Olivier Guichard - French politico and key advisor and confidante to French president General Charles de Gaulle, who was later prime minister Georges Pompidou's right-hand man, going on to serve as a minister of industry, education, housing and tourism, and whose book about de Gualle "Mon General" won the prestigious Prix des Ambassadeurs in 1980, died Jan. 20 at his home in Paris at age 83.
Carlton Sickles - U.S. Congressman from Maryland from 1963 to 1966 and longtime DC-area politician known as the 'father of the Metro', whose vision while serving as Maryland legislator in the 1950's came to fruition in 1967 with the opening of the Metrorail transit system in Washington, DC, and who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Maryland in 1966, died on Jan. 17 of congestive heart failure at his home in Bethesda, Maryland at age 82.
Kalevi Sorsa - The longest-serving Prime Minister in Finnish history and one of Finland's most influential politicians, who was prime minister from 1972 until 1987 under four different coalition governments, and who led the Social Democrats, Finland's largest party, for 12 years, died Jan. 16 at his home in Helsinki of cancer at age 73.
Social and Religion
Carl D. Atwood - Indiana man who was selected as a contestant for the "Hoosier Millionaire" show as part of the Indiana lottery, who on Jan. 22 taped a game show segment in which he won a $57,000 jackpot, was struck and killed by a truck that evening near his home in Elwood, Indiana at the age of 73.
Elizabeth DeLorean - First wife of automotive executive John DeLorean, maker of the infamous sports car bearing his name, who was married to him from 1954 to 1969, died Jan. 10 in Boynton Beach, Florida of the flu at age 81.
Bobbi MacKinnon - 16-year-old Marysville, California girl who was a big fan of MTV's "Jackass" program and the subsequent movie, who on Jan. 19 tried to re-enact a stunt from the movie with a group of her friends, who boarded a merry-go-round while her friends attached a rope to it and tied the other end to a pickup truck, was killed when she was thrown 75 feet from the ride, landing in the street.
Agnes Mary Rich - Georgia woman born in 1892 and believed to be the world's seventh oldest person, died Dec. 31 in Evans, Georgia just sort of her 112th birthday.
Paul Rico - FBI agent accused of helping former mob informers arrange the 1981 murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler, who was arrested in Florida in October 2003 and recently was extradited to Oklahoma where he was about to stand trial for murder, died on Jan. 16 at a hospital in Tulsa of undisclosed causes (he had heart problems) just hours after the judge put the trial on hold so that Rico could undergo psychological evaluation. He was 78 years old.
Mary Jean Tully - Founding strategist of the 1970's feminist movement, who from 1971 to 1981 was the president of the Fund for Women's Rights, a group founded by Betty Friedan to lobby for the Equal Rights Amendment, died Dec. 27 in White Plains, New York of a heart attack at age 78.
Kevin Zimmerman - Texas man convicted of the 1987 robbery and stabbing death of 33-year-old oil field worker Leslie Gilbert Hooks, whose previous execution date in December, 2003 was halted by the court, despite Zimmerman's repeated wishes to die, was executed by lethal injection on Jan. 21 in Huntsville, Texas at the age of 42.
Business and Science
Marjorie Asmussen - Population researcher known for her work with population genetics, the use of mathematical models to study phenomena such as natural selection and genetics, who was associate editor of Genetics, the publication of the Genetics Society of America, was killed on Jan. 19 in Athens, Georgia when the bicycle she was riding was hit by a pickup truck. She was 54 years old.
Francis R. "Joe" Boyd - Geologist whose studies on the origins of volcanic rocks in Yellowstone National Park and the 3.5-billion-year-old Kaapvaal rock formation in southern Africa contributed to the understanding of the formation of the Earth, died Jan. 12 in Washington, DC of sepsis at age 77.
Dr. Merrill W. Chase - Immunologist who helped redefine the fundamental nature of the immune system in the early 1940's when he made the groundbreaking discovery that white blood cells orchestrated the body's immune response, which led to later research that pinpointed B cells, T cells and other types of white blood cells as the body's central safeguards against infection, died Jan. 5 in New York City at age 98.
Dr. Howard Eder - Doctor and scientist who was among the first researchers to correlate the levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) to heart disease, and whose studies of cholesterol led to breakthroughs in the understanding of heart disease, died Jan. 15 after heart surgery in Raleigh, North Carolina at age 86.
Norman Heatley - British scientist instrumental in developing penicillin production, who, after penicillin was accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, worked with colleagues at Oxford University to produce penicillin in enough quantities for clinical testing, who set up the first penicillin factory at Oxford in the late 1930's before coming to the U.S. in 1941 to work with government scientists on the first large-scale commercial production plant, died Jan. 5 in Oxford, England at age 92.
John Hechinger - President of the Hechinger Company, a chain of east coast home improvement stores which was founded by his father in 1911 and which closed in 1999, who was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as Washington, DC's very first City Council chairman in 1967, and who became a longtime political ally of mayor Marion Barry, died Jan. 18 in Washington, DC of a respiratory illness on his 84th birthday.
John Holter - Machinist who in 1955 after learning that his infant son Casey was suffering from hydrocephalus (a swelling of the brain due to excess fluid) and that there was no available treatment, designed a device that was to become the Holter shunt that released controlled amounts of the cerebrospinal fluid gathering in the brain, died Dec. 22 in Devon, Pennsylvania after a stroke at age 87. Although Casey lived only five more years, the Holter shunt gained widespread acceptance and remains in use.
Dr. Olga Ladyzhenskaya - Mathematician whose work with differential equations contributed to advances in the study of fluid dynamics in areas like weather forecasting, oceanography, aerodynamics and cardiovascular science, whose primary work was on calculations that were developed in the 19th century to explain the behavior of fluids and known as Navier-Stokes equations, and whose career is often compared to American mathematician John Nash (of "A Beautiful Mind" fame), died Jan. 12 in St. Petersburg, Russia at the age of 81.
Charles Pankow - Founder and chairman of Charles Pankow Builders, one of the U.S.'s leading design-build firms which has constructed more than 1,000 structures across the nation, including buildings like MTA Headquarters next to Union Station in Los Angeles, whose company is considered a national leader in the use of concrete, holding two patents in concrete pre-casting and job-site automation, and who in 1999 was recognized by the Engineering News-Record as one of the 'Top Six World Builders' of the last 125 years, died Jan. 12 in Altadena, California of natural causes at age 83.
Doyle Rodgers - Georgia furniture store owner known to Atlanta television audiences as the Wolfman, who for nearly 30 years sold furniture at his Gallery Furniture stores through the bare-bones spots that always ended "And, hey, ask for the Wolfman", died Jan. 21 at a hospital in Austell, Georgia from the effects of a heart attack suffered two weeks previous. He was 67 years old.
Dr. Robert Shope - Expert on viruses who was the principal author of the highly publicized public health report and subsequent 1992 book "Emerging Infections: Microbial Threats to Health in the United States", which warned of the possible emergence of infectious diseases such as the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic that killed 20 million people worldwide, died Jan. 19 in Galveston, Texas due to the complications of a lung transplant at age 74.
Betty Van Andel - Philanthropist and wife of Amway founder Jay Van Andel, died Jan. 18 of Alzheimer's disease at the family home on Peter Island in the Caribbean at the age of 82.
Drs. James & Lidia Wenz - Husband and wife who both taught at Johns Hopkins University medical school, James as a an innovative orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the orthopedic surgery department who was an expert in hip and knee replacement surgery, and Lidia as an instructor in child psychiatry, were killed in a car accident on Jan. 20 near Baltimore. James was 40 and Lidia was 44.
Stanley Zale - Longtime executive of the family owned jewelry retailer Zale Corp., who served as president of the mail-order catalog division, died Jan. 17 of a neuromuscular disease at his Dallas home at the age of 71.