Bill Brundige - Longtime play-by-play announcer for numerous sports teams in several sports, who was sports director for the Armed Forces Radio Network during World War II and then announced for such pro teams as the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Senators, and football's Detroit Lions, who came to Southern California in the 1950's and did play-by-play for the Angels, Rams and Lakers, and who twice was awarded the Golden Mike as the top sports broadcaster in Southern California, died April 23 of heart failure at a hospital in Fullerton, California at the age of 89.
Art Devlin - Olympic ski jumper who competed in Olympics in 1948, 1952 and 1956, who became better known years later as a sports commentator for CBS and ABC and as a ski jumping analyst on network Olympic coverage and special telecasts for many years, died of cancer April 22 at his home in Lake Placid, New York at the age of 81.
Ivy Granstrom - Noted senior athlete and a leading runner in Canadian seniors track events, despite being blind, who was called the 'Queen of the Polar Bears' because of her longtime participation in the New Year's dip in Vancouver's English Bay, who after being featured in a National Film Board of Canada documentary in 1979, went from Blind Sports events to wider competition, beating sighted athletes in her age class in masters meets in the United States, South Africa, Australia and Japan, died April 14 in Vancouver at the age of 92.
Richard Harkins - President from 1984 to 1987 of the American Athletic Union (AAU), an organization founded in the 1800's to prepare athletes for the Olympic Games, who became president shortly after Congress cut off all funding for the organization, but helped it change its focus to providing programs for participants of all ages at the grass-roots level, died April 18 in Raymore, Missouri at the age of 71.
Brice Hunter - One of the top wide receivers in University of Georgia history, who holds the school record for receptions in a season (76 in 1993) and is second with 182 career receptions, who played three years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins and who was married to Georgia women's basketball great Brandi Decker, was shot to death on April 18 after an argument with a neighbor about loud music coming from his apartment. He was 29 years old.
Larry Lederman - Noted amateur athlete who is credited with developing racquetball as a sport in the U.S. (he's called the "founding father of racquetball"), who patented the sport in 1968 and initiated the first national tournament, who was a star wrestler in college, winning the Big 10 championship in 1938, who served as president of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) from 1962 to 1966, and who has been inducted into numerous Halls of Fame, including Racquetball, International Wrestling and the AAU, died April 21 at his winter home in Mesa, Arizona at the age of 89.
Pat Tillman - Star defensive linebacker at Arizona State University, who was the Pac-10 defensive player of the year in 1997, leading the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl, who graduated summa cum laude in December 1997 with a marketing degree and a 3.84 grade-point average, who played four seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, where he broke the franchise record for tackles with 223 in 2000, who was so affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. that he walked away from a $3.6 million contract with the Cardinals in 2002 to join the Army (he planned to return to the NFL in three years), and who was serving as an Army Rangers soldier on a mission in southeastern Afghanistan, was shot and killed by suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters on April 22 during an ambush on a coalition combat patrol near the village of Sperah, Afghanistan. He was 27 years old.
Art and Literature
Mary Rodd Furbee - Author of books for children as well as an editor, television producer and college instructor, who wrote such books as "Outrageous Women of the American Frontier", "Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles" and "Women of the American Revolution", died April 21 in Morgantown, West Virginia after a long illness at the age of 49.
Rex Hardy - Photographer and one of the elite group hired by Life magazine in its first year of publication, who photographed such celebrities of Hollywood's Golden Era as Tyrone Power, Joan Crawford, Jimmy Stewart, and Clark Gable and was known for shooting stars in spontaneous or playful moments including Bing Crosby at the racetrack, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at rehearsal, and Harpo Marx without his wig (the latter two were famous cover shots for the magazine), who was also a World War II pilot and a NASA consultant, died of natural causes in Monterey, CA at the age of 88.
Norris McWhirter - Co-founder of the Guinness Book of World Records, the best-selling catalog of human and natural achievement and extremes, which has sold more than 75 million copies in 37 languages becoming the best-selling non-fiction work after the Bible, who first published the book in 1955 with his twin brother Ross McWhirter (murdered in 1975), and who was a well-known sports journalist and broadcaster in England, died April 19 of a heart attack while playing tennis at his home in Wiltshire, England at the age of 79.
Peter Prescott - Author and book critic for Newsweek, who wrote reviews at the magazine for 20 years, winning the Polk Award for criticism in 1978, whose work extended beyond literary comment to journalistic investigation, and among whose books are "Never in Doubt: Critical Essays on American Books, 1972-1985" and "The Child Savers: Juvenile Justice Observed", died April 23 of liver disease at a New York City hospital at the age of 68.
Peter Rocha - Artist whose mosaic paintings created out of jelly beans have delighted visitors to the Jelly Belly Candy Company in California for decades, who created his first jellybean portrait, of President Ronald Reagan, after hearing that the President was a devotee of the candy (the Reagan mosaic hangs in the Reagan presidential library), and who went on to create jelly bean portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Laurel and Hardy, Benjamin Franklin, Elvis Presley, Amelia Earhart, Larry King and Minnie Mouse, died April 20 of Lou Gehrig's disease in San Francisco. He was 65 years old.
Jean Stone - Widow of best-selling biographical novelist Irving Stone, who served as her husband's research collaborator and "editor in residence" on many of his books, who was a long time cultural and educational leader, receiving the Maxwell Perkins Award in 1982, died April 16 in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 93.
Politics and Military
Huib Drion - Dutch supreme court justice who was a major force behind the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands, who first sparked debate on mercy killings with his essay "Voluntary Death for Old People," and whose complex proposal for a two-step suicide system was dubbed the "Drion Pill" by the media in the Netherlands (which went on to be the first country to legalize euthanasia for certain terminally ill patients), died in his sleep on April 20 in Leiden, the Netherlands at the age of 87.
Dagoberto González - Venezuelan political party leader who served as a senator of the Venezuelan Congress, who was a leader in both the CTV (Venezuela's Trade Union Federation) and CLAT (Latin American Confederation of Workers), died April 19 after a long illness in Caracas at the age of 74.
Karl Hass - Former Nazi officer convicted with SS Captain Erich Priebke for the wartime massacre of 335 Italian civilians in Rome, who was sentenced in 1998 for the World War II killings but was spared prison in part because of frail health and age, and who was put under house arrest after he jumped from his hotel balcony to avoid taking the stand to testify against Priebke, died April 21 after suffering a heart attack in a rest home near Rome where he had been serving his life sentence under house arrest. He was 92 years old.
Ratu Sir Kamisese - Powerful statesman of the tiny Pacific Island country of Fiji, who led the country to independence from Britain in 1970, who became the country's first prime minister then president when it became a republic in 1987, who was a staunch ally of the U.S. but grounded in island customs, such as requiring visitors to approach him on their knees in accordance with local custom, died April 18 at a hospital in Suva, Fiji from complications from a 2001 stroke. He was 83.
Frank Morrison - Three-term governor of Nebraska who served as a Democrat from 1961 to 1967, who for decades was the backbone of the Nebraska Democratic Party in the overwhelmingly Republican state, who held office in the state in some capacity for nearly 50 years, and whose wife Maxine Morrison died in March, died April 19 of esophageal cancer in McCook, Nebraska at the age of 98. Note: the oldest living former governor now is Elmer Lee Anderson of Minnesota.
Koken Nosaka - Former top Japanese government spokesman and chief cabinet secretary under Japan's first Socialist prime minister since 1948, who, as a senior lawmaker in the left-leaning Socialist Democratic Party, helped end political turmoil by brokering a once-unthinkable alliance among his party, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party and the now-defunct Sakigake Party, died on April 18 in Tokyo of pneumonia and kidney failure. He was 79 years old.
Cecil Parrott - Decorated World War II soldier and survivor of the infamous Bataan Death March, in which 70,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers surrendered to the Japanese and were forced to embark on a 70-mile march that resulted in the death of more than 10,000 from exhaustion, thirst, disease and maltreatment, who himself endured savage beatings, bouts of dysentery and starvation during 1,228 days in captivity and weighed just 96 pounds when finally liberated from a Japanese work camp, and who fought to win reparations for himself and thousands of other POWs forced to work without compensation for Japanese companies, died April 15 in Seattle, WA at the age of 83.
Social and Religion
Paul Benson - U.S. District Judge who presided over the high-profile murder trial involving American Indian activist Leonard Peltier in 1977, died April 22 in Verona, Wisconsin at the age of 85.
Jason Scott Byram - South Carolina man convicted of killing the 36-year-old teacher Julie Johnson with her own kitchen knife in May 1993 as she slept on a sofa while her husband and children were asleep nearby, but who never admitted guilt, claiming his innocence to the end, was executed by lethal injection on April 23 at the state prison in Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 38.
Roddie Philip Dumas Jr. - North Carolina boy who on April 16 was playing in the fenced-in yard at his father's home in Charlotte, was attacked and killed by his father's four pit bull dogs while his father and girlfriend were inside the house. Roddie was 8 years old. His father is being held on drug and weapon charges and other charges ranging from child neglect to murder are being considered.
Tamara Dunstan - Georgia woman who worked as a nurse with children who have cancer, who stopped by her mother's home in Augusta, Georgia on the afternoon of April 14 and discovered a burglary in progress, who was abducted by the robber prompting a three county manhunt, was found dead on April 18 in Edgefield County, South Carolina. She was 29 years old and 3 months pregnant. Ronald Burke has been arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping.
Alex Madonna - Owner and brainchild of the famous Madonna Inn on California's central coast, a hotel known and revered for its gaudiness, the Pepto-Bismol-pink color scheme with the jaw-dropping 8-foot-tall waterfall urinal in the men's room, themed suites such as the Caveman Room where one could sleep under a rock ceiling and shower in a waterfall, and motifs that lured celebrities and common folk alike, died April 22 of a massive heart attack in San Luis Obispo, California at the age of 85.
James Martinez - Denver man who had a long arrest record and had served time in prison on felony drug charges, who had last been heard from on April 1, was found dead on April 18 by Colorado Rockies outfielder Larry Walker while he was riding an ATV on his property in Evergreen, Colorado. Martinez was 36 years old and police indicated that he had been murdered.
Benjamin Franklin Rayborn - Bank robber once listed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list and called "the worst gangster to come out of World War II" by J. Edgar Hoover, who reportedly acted as a regional Robin Hood with the money he stole, buying truckloads of bicycles and distributing them to local youths, who went on to educate himself in law at Alcatraz and teach Constitutional law while at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, and who then worked as a legal researcher for 30 years, died in San Diego on April 21 at the age of 79.
Business and Science
Thomas Barrett - One of the worlds greatest authorities of classic cars with one of the U.S.'s top automobile collections, who owned Clark Gable's Duesenberg along with cars that once belonged to Hitler and Mussolini, and who co-founded the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. in 1971, which showcased thousands of million-dollar vintage cars over the years, died April 20 of a massive heart attack in Paradise Valley, Arizona at the age of 75.
Harry Beevers - One of the leading plant physiologists of the 20th century, who focused his research on plant metabolism and cell biology, whose discovery of the glyoxysome, a small organelle within some plant cells, led others to discover similar organelles called leaf peroxisomes, and stimulated further understanding of the role of peroxisomes in animals (but you already knew all of that), died April 14 after a brief illness at his home in Carmel, California at the age of 80.
Jim Cantalupo - Chairman and CEO of the world's largest food chain McDonald's, who took the reigns in January, 2003 and is credited with spearheading McDonald's turnaround in service, quality and sales, leading to a stock price that has nearly doubled during his tenure, and who prior to becoming CEO had worked for the company for over 30 years, died April 19 of a heart attack while attending a convention in Orlando, Florida at the age of 60.
Philip A. Fisher - Legendary investment manager and author, whose books, including the still-in-print 1955 book "Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits", inspired a whole generation of investors, who advised readers with his "15 Points to Look for in a Common Stock" to look for innovative companies that are world leaders in their field, who made a personal fortune taking his own advice and investing in companies like Texas Instruments and Motorola, and who was the father of Forbes columnist Kenneth Fisher, died March 11 at this home in San Mateo, California at the age of 96.
First KFC restaurant - The very first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant which was opened in Salt Lake City in the early 1950's as Harman's Utah Fried Chicken by Leon Harman, who in 1952 let his friend Colonel Harlan Sanders begin serving his special recipe crispy chicken from the now-famous paper buckets, was demolished on April 20 in order to make room for a restaurant with a museum where they can show pictures of what the original building looked like.
Estée Lauder - Cosmetics industry queen who began mixing face creams in her kitchen and went on to build a company worth an estimated $10 billion, convincing generations of women that her beauty creams were "jars of hope" in their quest for the eternal look of youth, and who was ranked on Time magazine's list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the century, died of cardiopulmonary arrest on April 24 in Manhattan. She was 97 years old.
John Messerschmitt - Electronics industry executive who was instrumental in introducing and promoting optical disc technology, including the videodisc and CD-ROM, in North America, who in 1981 oversaw Royal Phillips marketing of the videodisc system (developed in Europe) for viewing movies and other entertainment on television, and who directed Philips' introduction of the CD-ROM, or compact disc read-only memory, as a data-storage medium in 1984, died April 8 of cancer at a New York City hospital at the age of 81.
Leo C. O'Neill - Executive who guided Standard & Poor's as it expanded from an American bond rating firm into an international force whose opinion could be critical to the terms on which companies and governments could borrow money, who led Standard & Poor's efforts to recover from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and who only recently stepped down as chief executive of S & P due to illness, died April 20 in Manhattan of complications from cancer. He was 64 years old.
Rosemary Park - Educator, scholar and college administrator, who was president of Barnard College and Connecticut College before becoming vice chancellor at UCLA in the late 1960's, died April 17 at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 97.
Sir Austin William Pearce - Key figure in British industry who made a substantial contribution to better labor relations, especially in the oil industry, who worked for Esso (now Exxon) and became its chairman in 1972, who became the first president of the UK Petroleum Industry Association in 1979, and who served as chairman of British Aerospace in the 1980's, died March 21 in Sussex, England at the age of 82.
Natalie Phillips - Arizona woman who was the world's longest survivor of a pediatric heart and double-lung transplant after receiving them in December 1989, and who devoted herself to raising awareness about the need of organ donation, died in Avondale, Arizona on April 13 at the age of 25 from complications of sinus surgery.
John Maynard Smith - One of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the latter part of the 20th century, whose biggest contributions were to the area of population genetic theory, whose mathematical approach to evolution study and animal behavior, known as game theory, influenced thought on broad areas in the life sciences, and who was the author of hundreds of academic papers and 14 books, including "The Theory of Evolution" (1958), "The Evolution of Sex" (1978) and "Evolution and the Theory of Games" (1982), died April 19 of lung cancer at his home in southeast England, sitting in his high-backed chair and surrounded by his books. He was 84.
Abraham Spiegel - Holocaust survivor and philanthropist who was imprisoned with his wife in Auschwitz where his two year old son was killed in a gas chamber, who moved to the US after the war and went on to found Columbia Savings and Loan, an institution that was for years considered one of the country's most profitable savings and loans but collapsed in the industry's crisis of the 1980's and 90's, died in Beverly Hills of pneumonia on April 10. He was 97 years old.
Dr. Myron Wegman - Leading public health educator and president of the American Public Health Association, who is best known for annual summaries of the U.S.'s vital statistics (a synthesis of government records on births, fertility rates, infant mortality and other data) which he published every year since 1949 in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, died April 14 in Ann Arbor, Michigan of congestive heart failure at the age of 95.