Ernest Burke - Negro Leagues pitcher and outfielder who played four seasons for the Baltimore Elite Giants from 1946 to 1949, and later in South America and Canada, and who was one of the first black Marines to serve in World War II, died Jan. 31 of kidney cancer at a hospital in Baltimore at the age of 79.
Eleanor Holm - Olympic swimming gold medal winner and world record holder who became the first female swimmer to be chosen for three American Olympic teams, who was booted off the 1936 team in a scandal when she was caught drinking and playing dice on the ship bound for Berlin, who went on appear in several films including a starring role in 1938's "Tarzan's Revenge", died Jan. 31 of kidney failure at her home in Miami at the age of 91.
Ally McLeod - Scottish soccer coach who led his country to the 1978 World Cup final in Argentina, where despite his boast to "bring back a medal" returned home after losses to Peru and Iran, who went on to manage numerous clubs over the years and was a coaching icon throughout the country, died Feb. 1 at his home in Ayrshire, Scotland of Alzheimer's disease at age 72.
Joel Rubenstein - Baseball marketer and longtime personal assistant to Olympic organizer and baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who is credited with helping found BAT, an organization which raises money to assist former major leaguers and members of the major league baseball family in need, died of cancer on Feb. 1 at a hospital in Newport Beach, California at the age of 67.
Bob Stokoe - Leading British football (soccer) player for Newcastle United in the 1950's, who went on to become one of the best known managers, who in 1973 guided a second division Sunderland side to an F.A. Cup victory over England's top club side (Leeds Utd), which placed him as a folklore legend in the north east of England, died Feb. 1 of dementia at a hospital in Hartepool, England at age 73.
Eric Sturgess - One of South Africa's greatest tennis players, who won a record 11 South African Open singles titles from 1939 to 1954, who won six Grand Slam doubles titles (two Wimbledon, three French Open, one U.S. Open), who in singles play was twice the runner up in the French Open (in 1947 and 1951) and lost a marathon battle to Pancho Gonzalez in the 1948 U.S. Open championship, died Jan. 14 from the affects of a stroke a few weeks before. He was 83 years old.
Art and Literature
Alan Bullock - British historian and author, whose book "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny" is considered one of the most important postwar biographies of Adolf Hitler, who also wrote such noted books as "A History of the English Speaking Peoples" and "The Humanist Tradition in the West", and who was a founder of St. Catherine's College at Oxford, and was its master from 1960 to 1980, died Feb. 2 in London at the age of 89.
Jose Luis Castillo-Puche - Spanish writer and journalist and close friend of Ernest Hemingway, who is best known outside of Spain for his 1974 book "Hemingway in Spain: A Personal Reminiscence of Hemingway's Years in Spain by his Friend", who collaborated on numerous books about the maverick writer, and wrote screenplays for a film and TV series on Hemingway in later years, and who won two National Literature Prizes among his awards, died Feb. 2 of pneumonia at a Madrid hospital at age 84.
Rita Gallagher - Historical romance novelist and noted writing instructor, who wrote books like "Passion Star", "Shadowed Destiny" and "Shadows On The Wind", who founded the Romance Writers of America with daughter Rita Clay Estrada, also a romance novelist, and who wrote a writing guidebook entitled "You Can Write a Romance", died Feb. 1 in Houston at age 82.
Hilda Hilst - Top Brazilian author who published 41 volumes of poetry, fiction and drama during a career spanning five decades, whose work dealt with mysticism, insanity, death and erotica, whose work was translated into French, English, Italian and German, and who was at one time married to sculptor Dante Casarini, died Feb. 4 at a hospital in Sao Paulo from injuries suffered in a fall. She was 73 years old.
Zang Kejia - Chinese poet and writer best known for co-editing with Zhou Zhenfu "The Selected Poems of Chairman Mao" with notes and annotations, and who was one of China's best-known poets, died Feb. 5 in Beijing at age 99.
Rob Roy Kelly - Graphic design historian and collector whose exhaustive investigation into printers' records inspired other scholars to study the ignored past of graphic design, who amassed a huge collection of rare types and specimen books he bought from old printers and whose 1977 book "American Wood Type, 1828-1900: Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types and Comments on Related Trades of the Period" was one of the first serious attempts to uncover the origins of early American type styles, died Jan. 22 in Tempe, Arizona of emphysema at the age of 78.
Frances Partridge - British author and the last survivor of the Bloomsbury set of writers, which included her husband Ralph, that were known for their sexual intrigue, who kept extremely detailed journals of her life which became the basis of her books, including titles like "Love in Bloomsbury: Memories", "Phoenix: Frances Partridge Diaries 1939-1972" and the two central volumes of her journals "Everything to Lose" and "Friends In Focus", died Feb. 5 in London at age 103.
Nuto Revelli - Italian author and one of the most influential figures in Italian literature in the 20th century, whose works were at the center of the fascist resistance in Italy at the end of World War II, whose works like "La guerra dei poveri" and "Il mondo dei vinti" showed the struggles of the common man due to the fighting between facists and partisanos in Italian territory, died Feb. 5 at his home in Cúneo, Italy of undisclosed causes at age 84.
Edith Moore Sprouse - Well-known Northern Virginia historian and author best known for the 20-year project of cataloguing Fairfax County, Virginia government tax records, genealogical documents, marriage certificates, property and slave-ownership records going back to the mid-1700's, and who published numerous books on Virginia history including "Fairfax County in 1860: A Collective Biography", "Potomac Sampler" and "Mount Air", died Jan. 30 of a heart attack at her home in Alexandria at the age of 80.
Jose Luis Vila-San-Juan - Noted Spanish author known for his historical investigative works like the 1975 award-winning "Garcia Lorca, asesinado: toda la verdad" ("The Killings of Garcia Lorca: The Whole Truth") and "Memorias de Atila" ("Memories of Atila"), died Feb. 1 in Barcelona of a heart attack at age 77.
Fiep Westendorp - Beloved Dutch illustrator of children's books, who collaborated with Dutch children's book author Annie M.G. Schmidt to illustrate many of her books, and who was best known for her silhouetted characters Jip and Janneke who appeared on countless school bags, plastic pails and lunchboxes, died Feb. 3 after a short illness at the age of 87.
Politics and Military
Stanley Franklin - British political and editorial cartoonist, who was one of the best respected cartoonists working for the British popular press in the second half of the 20th century, who worked for the London Daily Mirror from 1959 to 1970, and The Sun from 1974 to 1998, who was one of the founding members of the British Cartoonists' Association, and who also produced cartoon graphics for TV as well as illustrations for books, died Feb. 2 in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England at age 73.
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer - Chief of Naval Operations under President Lyndon Johnson, who became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Richard Nixon in 1970, who supervised the U.S. troop withdrawal from South Vietnam, and who, after retirement, appeared frequently in the news media to comment on various military issues, died Feb. 5 in Bethesda, Maryland at age 91.
Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi - Army commander and one of Pakistan's most decorated soldiers, who held various command positions in Pakistan's army after the country won independence from Britain in 1947, but whose surrender in a 1971 war allowing Bangladesh to win independence was considered by some a national humiliation, died Feb. 1 at a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at the age of 89.
Dennis Pelletier - New York public servant who was executive director of the Monroe County Water Authority and former president of the Monroe County Legislature, collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack on Feb. 2 while presenting an award at a legislative conference in Albany, New York, stunning conference attendees (and I'm sure the award recipient). He was 54 years old. (Note: I've been informed by a couple of people that the award recipient, Kevin Currand, had passed away earlier this year. One e-mail observed "He actually delivered the award in person!").
Harry West - Leader of the Northern Ireland's UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) during the 1970's and a polarizing force in the battle between Catholics and Protestants in that country, who became the leader of the Protestant pro-British party after opposing the 1973 Sunningdale peace agreement, which proposed a sharing of power between the factions, but who in later years changed his hard-line view and espoused a power-sharing coalition with moderate Catholics, died Feb. 5 in Belfast after a long illness at the age of 86.
Warren Zimmermann - U.S. diplomat who in more than three decades in the Foreign Service, served in France, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela and the Soviet Union, but who is best known as the U.S.'s last ambassador to Yugoslavia, who was recalled by the elder Bush administration in 1992 to protest the increasing violence of civil war there, and who urged the Clinton administration to take military action in the country, died Feb. 3 at his home in Great Falls, Virginia of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.
Social and Religion
Carlie Brucia - Sarasota, Florida girl who disappeared on Feb. 1 while walking home from a slumber party, whose abduction was caught on a security camera at a car wash, leading police to Joseph Smith, a felon with a long criminal history who was out on probation for drug charges, was found dead on Feb. 6 near a church parking lot in Sarasota. She was 11 years old. Smith has since confessed to her murder.
David Daliberti - Aircraft mechanic in the middle of an international incident in 1995, who while working in Kuwait accidentally crossed the border into Iraq with another American and was arrested, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison for illegally entering the country but was released after four months after U.N. intervention, who went without his prescribed medication while imprisoned and suffered poor health after his release, but who was awarded an $18.8 million judgment against Iraq and began collecting on in during 2003, died Jan. 27 at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 50.
O. T. Engonona - Sri Lankan woman who was believed to be 116 years old, which if substantiated would have made her the oldest person in the world, died Feb. 3 after a brief illness in her hut in Mihiripenne, Sri Lanka.
Ernest Gibson - Last known surviving member of Canada's famed Royal Northwest Mounted Police, who joined the force in 1919, a year before it merged with the Dominion Police to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, died Jan. 20 of pneumonia and complications of a broken hip in Comox, British Columbia at the age of 102.
Adrian Humes - Riverdale, Illinois man who was arrested and charged with home invasion, aggravated kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder, who on Feb. 5 was being led to lockup by detective William Rolniak, who overpowered Rolniak, taking his gun, who escaped by taking Rolniak hostage before shooting him in the head, and who then shot another man in an attempt to carjack a vehicle, was shot to death by three Riverdale police officers after he pointed a gun at them. He was 27 years old.
Rebeca Martinez - 8-week-old Dominican infant who was born with two heads, the second of which grew from the top of her skull and had its own partly developed brain, ears, eyes and lips, but which doctors said would threaten the girl's development, died Feb. 7 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic after surgery to remove the second head.
Jean Ross Howard Phelan - Pioneering female helicopter pilot who in 1954 became only the eighth American woman to receive her helicopter accreditation, and who in 1955 founded the Whirly-Girls, an international organization of women helicopter pilots, died Jan. 29 of sepsis in Washington, DC at the age of 87.
Johnny Robinson - Florida man who was convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of 31-year-old Beverly St. George, whom he abducted after her car broke down, and whose body was found shot to death in a cemetery, was executed by lethal injection on Feb. 4 in Starke, Florida at the age of 51.
John Roe - Ohio man who was condemned to death for the 1984 kidnapping, robbery and murder of young mother Donette Crawford, was executed by lethal injection on Feb. 3 at the state prison in Lucasville, Ohio at the age of 41.
William Rolniak - Riverdale, Illinois police detective who on Feb. 5 was escorting prisoner Adrian Humes from an interview room back to the lockup, who was overpowered by him, taken hostage and forced outside of the building, was shot in the head and killed by Humes who escaped (but was later shot by police). Rolniak was 39 years old.
John Trenorden - Australian radio newsman and onetime national media relations manager for Mitsubishi Motors, who was recently charged with the "extreme sadomasochism" murder of his girlfriend, Penelope Christopher, in an incident that grabbed headlines throughout Australia, was found dead in his prison cell in a maximum security prison in Adelaide, in a suicide by hanging. He was 53 years old.
James Wood - Notorious Idaho child killer, who was sentenced to death in 1993 for the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of 11-year-old newspaper carrier Jeralee Underwood, who has been credited with at least 85 rapes, 185 robberies and dozens of murders, and whose life was detailed in the 1999 book "Eye of the Beast: The True Story of Serial Killer James Wood" by Terry Adams, died of a heart attack on Feb. 1 at the state maximum security prison in Boise, Idaho at the age of 56.
Adella Wotherspoon - The last survivor of the General Slocum excursion boat fire, who was six months old on June 15, 1904 when her parents took her on the excursion ferry up New York's East River, and who became one of only 279 survivors of the 1,300 on board (mostly women and children from a church group) when the ship caught fire and sank, who had no recollection of the incident but attended the observances on the anniversaries over the years, died Jan. 26 in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey at the age of 100.
Business and Science
Dr. Celso-Ramón García - Member of the research team of four Massachusetts physicians that during the 1950's developed the oral contraceptive pill (first approved by the FDA in 1960 and hailed as "among the greatest inventions of the 20th century"), who directed the first widespread field experiments in use of the pill in Puerto Rico, but who was bypassed for Nobel Prize consideration out of fear of offending Catholics, died Feb. 1 of cardiovascular disease while visiting his niece in Boston at the age of 82.
Eva Horton - American sculptor and entrepreneur, who in the early 1970s founded Kristia Associates to import, market and distribute in North America the Jotul woodstove, an efficient, cast-iron stove from her native Norway, who was dubbed 'America's stove queen' by Forbes magazine in 1978, and who later became a noted sculptor, died Jan. 27 in Portland, Maine of unspecified causes at the age of 70.
James Jordan - Advertising executive at BBDO in New York, who gained industry stardom during the 1960's and 70's by coining such advertising catchphrases as "Ring around the collar" for Wisk Detergent, "Delta is ready when you are" and "I'd rather fight than switch" for Tareyton cigarettes (that featured the models with black makeup under one eye), who went on to become president of BBDO before leaving and starting his own agency, James Jordan, Inc., died Feb. 4 of a heart attack while snorkeling in St. John's, Virgin Islands at the age of 73.
Jerome Lederer - Aviation safety pioneer who is credited with such innovations as equipping planes with "black box" flight data recorders to help investigators find the cause of plane crashes, whose career in airplane safety spanned from maintenance on the earliest airmail flights of the 1920's, to the inspection of the Spirit of St. Louis before Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight, to the launching of NASA's flight safety program, died Feb. 6 of congestive heart failure in Laguna Hills, California at the age of 101.
Annie Miller - Louisiana naturalist known as 'Alligator Annie', who is credited with founding Louisiana's first swamp boat tour business and who was known for her ability to call alligators to the boat by their names, died Feb. 2 in Big Bayou Black, Louisiana at the age of 89.
Barbara Stahl - Renowned paleoichthyologist (one who studies vertebrate evolution) and anatomy professor, whose book, "The Handbook of Paleoichthyology" is a standard in the field, who also wrote "Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution" as well as publishing articles in numerous scientific journals, died Jan. 16 of breast cancer in Manchester, New Hampshire at the age of 73.
Dr. Bunni Tobias - Educational psychologist and noted expert on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, who was frequently consulted by the news media and generally opposed medications such as Ritalin for children believing that hyperactivity was more likely caused by other issues such as learning disabilities or anxiety disorders, and who was the author of the resource guide and audiotape program "ADHD Look-Alikes: Other Reasons Children Flit, Squirm, Distract and Just Space Out!", died Jan. 9 in Lake Forest, California of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease at the age of 62.
George Tulloch - Original investor in Titanic Ventures Limited Partnership, the group that mounted the first Titanic salvage expedition in 1987, who led five expeditions to recover artifacts from the wreck of the famous ship, whose former company, RMS Titanic, holds salvage rights to the ship, and who in recent years became involved in a project to try to locate the legendary lost city of Atlantis, died Jan. 31 in Bridgeport, Connecticut after a long battle with lung and liver cancer at age 59.