Orvar Bergmark - One of Sweden's most famous football (soccer) players, who played 94 caps for the Swedish national team and took silver in the 1958 World Cup on home ground and was voted to the All World Cup team, and who later coached the Swedish national from 1966 to 1970, died of Parkinson's disease on May 10th at his home in Stockholm at the age of 73.
Mick Doyle - Legendary rugby coach who guided Ireland to only their sixth Triple Crown and the Five Nations Championship triumph in 1985, who also won 20 consecutive caps as a flanker for Ireland between 1965-68, who, after suffering a heart attack at the Rugby World Cup in 1987 that ended his coaching career, wrote two autobiographies and became a popular columnist and TV pundit, was killed in a car accident in Northern Ireland on May 11. He was 63 years old.
Jesus Gil y Gil - The "George Steinbrenner of Spain", the flamboyant owner of the Atletico de Madrid football (soccer) team known for firing his coaches at a rapid rate (he went through 23 coaches in 16 years), whose team won the Spanish League just once during his tenure, died May 14 at a hospital in Madrid, one day after suffering a stroke. He was 71 years old.
Shelley Glover - Member of the U.S. Ski Team's development team, who was in training to become an Olympic ski racer, who was the 2002 Eastern Junior Olympics giant slalom champion and was in her second year with the development squad, died on May 8 in Bend, Oregon, three days after suffering a major head injury in a training crash at Mt. Bachelor. She was 17 years old.
Mitsunari Kanai - Eighth-degree black belt and one of the top figures in U.S. martial arts, who taught widely in Japan, Europe, and throughout the United States and Canada, who helped found the United States Aikido Federation, and who was one of the last living students of Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba, died March 27 of a heart attack while at a seminar in Toronto at the age of 64.
Wayne McLeland - Pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in 1951 and 1952, mostly in a relief role, died May 8 at a nursing home in Friendswood, Texas at the age of 79.
Dale Meinert - Pro Bowl linebacker with the Chicago, and later St. Louis, Cardinals, who played in the NFL from 1958 to 1967 and was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, and who was the team's Most Valuable Player in 1961, died May 10 in Clinton, Oklahoma of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 70.
Len Vale-Onslow - Pioneer of the British motorcycle industry, who built and rode the Super-Onslow-Special motorcycle, who started riding motorcycles in 1905 and was regarded the world's oldest motorcyclist, who won more than 400 trophies at rallies, speed trials and race meetings, died April 23 of pneumonia at the age of 103.
Alfred "Alf" Valentine - Legendary West Indies cricket player, who along with Sonny Samadhin, helped popularize the sport in that country, who helped the West Indies capture its first ever victory in England in the 1950's, and who later served as the national coach of Jamaica, died May 11 in Daytona Beach, Florida after a long illness at the age of 74.
Art and Literature
Thea Beckman - Dutch author and one of the most popular authors of juvenile books in the Netherlands, who wrote almost 30 books and compilations of short stories, whose 1973 book "Crusade In Jeans" is considered a classic in Europe, having gone through 70 reprints and has selling more than 500,000 copies, died May 4 at her home in Bunnik, the Netherlands at the age of 80.
Kjell Hallbing - Norwegian author who wrote the hugely-popular Morgan Kane series of western novels under the pen name Louis Masterson, whose 150 books sold nearly 20 million copies in his home country, died May 13 in Norway at the age of 69.
Syd Hoff - Cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine, who contributed 571 cartoons to the magazine from 1931 to 1975, but who may be better known as the author of several beloved children's books including "Danny and the Dinosaur" trilogy, first published in 1958, and "Sammy the Seal", died May 12 at a hospital in Miami at the age of 91.
Phillip Mahfood - Noted telemarketing author and industry acknowledged expert in the field of telecommunications, who was the author of several books including "TeleSelling: High Performance Business-To-Business Phone Selling Techniques", and who for most of the 1990's, was a controversial regional talk show host throughout the Southwestern United States, died May 10 of a heart attack at the age of 56.
Brian Manning - Socialist historian of the English Civil War, who represented a link between the work of the Communist Party Historians Group in the 1950s and the activities of a new generation of new left and socialist historians in later years, who was a champion of a Marxist understanding of the English Revolution, and who wrote a number of books, including "The Far Left and the English Revolution" and "The English People and the English Revolution", was killed in an accident on April 25 while on holiday in Bellagio, Italy. He was 76 years old.
Politics and Military
Nicholas Berg - Owner of a Pennsylvania-based communications company, who in December, 2003 went to Iraq on his own to look for work helping rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, who in March 2004 was detained by Iraqi policemen, who thought he was involved in suspicious activities, who was released on April 6 from police custody after his family filed a lawsuit against Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Department for holding their son without merit, but who vanished on April 9 after telling his family he was headed home, was found dead on May 9 by an Army patrol on a roadside near Baghdad. He had been beheaded, a video of which was posted on an al Qaeda-linked Web site. He was 26 years old.
Elizabeth Swift Cronin - One of the two women held hostage for 444 days after the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, in 1979, who was the ranking official at the U.S. State Department in Iran at the time, who after her release in 1981, served at posts in Greece, Jamaica and London, died May 7 in a horseback riding accident at the age of 63.
Wanda Holden - Mother of Missouri Governor Bob Holden, who was longtime chairwoman of the Democratic committee in Shannon County, MO, died May 6 at her home in Birch Tree, Missouri after a long illness at the age of 77.
Clifford Holliday - Southern California man who was the last known surviving Canadian World War I combat veteran, whose unit was part of the 16th Infantry Battalion of the C.E.F. (Canadian Expeditionary Force) in France in the summer of 1915, and who was wounded twice in battle, died May 4 of natural causes in Gardena, California at the age of 105.
Akhmad Kadyrov - President of the former Soviet republic of Chechnya, who was elected on October 5, 2003 on a platform that promised to unite the troubled republic, which has been battling for independence from Russia since the mid-1990's, who became a target of anti-Russian guerrillas after abandoning armed rebellion to seek peace with Russia, and who had recently become a close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was killed on May 9 in an explosion at a stadium in Grozny, Chechnya during a Victory Day celebration, commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. He was 52 years old and more than 30 others were killed in the explosion. Authorities believe the bomb may have been buried in concrete as many as three months ago while the stadium was undergoing a renovation.
Eric Kierans - Former Canadian Liberal cabinet minister, who ran against Pierre Trudeau in 1968 and lost, who held such posts in Canada as postmaster general, minister of communications, revenue minister, and health minister, who, as president of the provincial Liberal party, fought Parti Québécois Leader René Lévesque against Quebec's separation from Canada, who served as president of the Montreal Stock Exchange, and who also appeared on CBC Radio's "Morningside" as a political commentator, died May 11 after a long illness at a Montreal hospital at the age of 90.
William J. "Pete" Knight - Republican California state Senator who was best known as the author of the state's Defense of Marriage Act which banned gay marriage, and who used the courts to keep state agencies from granting spousal rights to same-sex couples, whose own son David married his male partner of 10 years at San Francisco's City Hall before the California Supreme Court halted gay weddings, and who was also a retired Air Force colonel and military test pilot who once set a record for traveling nearly seven times the speed of sound, died of acute myelogenous leukemia on May 7 in Duarte, California at the age of 74.
Col. Robert Morgan - Commander of the famed Memphis Belle B-17 Flying Fortress, which flew 25 combat missions in daylight over Nazi-occupied France and Germany during World War II, who later made history when he flew a B-29 named "Dauntless Dotty" in the first B-29 raid on Tokyo, died May 15 at a hospital in Ashville, North Carolina from complications of a recent fall. He was 85 years old.
John Ben Stewart Jr. - Mayor of Union Point, Georgia, whose family had long been pillars of the small east Georgia town but who was facing a 197-count criminal indictment on charges that he bilked more than 800 investors out of $38 million, who operated Stewart Finance Company and lived a lavish lifestyle supported in part by scams including allegedly siphoning monthly Social Security checks of the elderly and disabled, shot and killed himself in Union Point on May 13, hours before a grand jury was to hear the fraud charges against him. He was 55 years old.
Social and Religion
Bandit - World's heaviest raccoon, whose late night raids of his owner's pantry for chips, cheese curls, French fries and other junk food caused his weight to balloon to 75 pounds, three times the average for his breed, and earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, who appeared on cable's Food Network and could sometimes be seen holding a cup of blue raspberry Slush with his paws and drinking through a straw, was euthanized in Palmerton, Pennsylvania on May 8 because of health problems. He was 10 years old.
Charlotte Benkner - Ohio woman who had been recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person in the world since November 2003, but whose claim to the title was recently taken away when it was shown that Puerto Rican woman Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan was three months older, died May 14 at a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio at the age of 114.
Brent Davidson - Freshman soccer player at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, who while at a teammate's apartment with 10 or 15 other people on May 4, inhaled from a can of compressed air that is commonly used to clean keyboards and electronic equipment (and also are "huffed" to produce a high), immediately stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating. He was later pronounced dead at a Williamsburg hospital. He was 19 years old.
Samuel Iwry - Leading Hebrew scholar and the first to identify and authenticate the Dead Sea Scrolls, their antiquity and significance, who negotiated with British authorities for the escape of thousands of Jewish families in the Far East and helped refugees escape and emigrate to Palestine for which he was imprisoned for a time, and who was a direct descendant of Rebbe Israel Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Judaism's Hasidic Movement, died in Baltimore on May 8 of a stroke at the age of 93.
David Reimer - Canadian man who was the subject of a study that became known as the John/Joan case in the 1970's and 80's, who was born a boy but after a botched circumcision, was raised by his parents as a girl at the urging of a doctor, whose sexual reassignment was then widely reported as a success and proof that children are not by nature feminine or masculine (his twin brother Brian who died in 2002 served as the experiment control), but who reasserted his male identity as a teenager, and whose story was told in John Colapinto's 2000 book "As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl", committed suicide on May 4 in Winnipeg at the age of 38.
Jim Spagg (real name James Spagnola) - Self proclaimed artist known for his long-running and controversial late night Portland, Oregon cable-access show, who gained notoriety and faced hundreds of complaints for prancing around nude and including sexual content and profanity on his call-in show, in an attempt to bring attention to the issue of public access television and free speech, and who was also running for mayor in Portland's current election, died of leukemia on May 8 in Portland at the age of 64.
Cyril Vosper - British man and former senior official in the Church of Scientology, who left the church in the late 60's and wrote the 1971 book "The Mind Benders", an expose what he referred to as the cult of Scientology, who spent many years in litigation with the church and saw his book banned by the courts, and who later became a noted expert on cult religions, died May 4 of a heart attack in Melbourne, Australia at the age of 68.
Business and Science
Duncan Carse - Polar explorer who was the first person to map the island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic (the Duncan Carse Survey was the first comprehensive survey of the island's interior), whose results form the basis of the maps being used today, and for whom Carse Point, on the east coast of George VI Sound, Antarctic Peninsula, and Mount Carse in the southern part of South Georgia, are named, died May 2 at the age of 90.
Antonio de Sommer Champalimaud - Billionaire Portuguese industrialist, who at the age of 19 took over his father's construction company and eventually became the world's 153rd richest man (according to Forbes Magazine), and Portugal's richest, died at his home in Lisbon, Portugal May 8 after a prolonged illness at the age of 86.
William J. Dreyer - Molecular immunologist whose research and inventions helped fuel the biotechnology industry and who held 21 patents, the most notable being an automated protein sequencer that was the key for the startup of Applied Biosystems, died April 23 in Pasadena, California after a long illness at the age of 75.
Robert E. Fulton Jr. - Inventor whose more than 70 patents included a car that could fly (named the "Airphibian,") and a rescue system for spies behind enemy lines which was used by the C.I.A. and featured in the James Bond movie, "Thunderball," (1965), who, in 1923, went to Egypt when King Tut's tomb was opened, whose father was president of Mack Trucks, and whose ancestors founded the Greyhound Bus Line, died of congestive heart failure on May 7 at his home in Newtown, Connecticut. He was 95.
John Hammersley - Mathematician known as the founder of the theory of percolation and one of the master problem-solvers of the 20th century, who formulated many problems of significance for theoretical and applied science and created mathematics for modeling and solving practical problems, who was widely published and was and Oxford University fellow, died on May 2 in Oxford at the age of 84.
Jean-Jacques Laffont - One of the world's most respected economists, known for developing mathematical models to estimate what something is worth in situations of deep uncertainty (known as information theory), who wrote or co-wrote over 200 journal articles and 17 books including the seminal texts "Incentives in Public Decision-Making" and "The Theory of Incentives: The Principal-Agent Model", and who in 2000 was presented France's Legion of Honor award, died May 1 of cancer in Toulouse, France at the age of 57.
Dr. Alexandre Minkowski - World-renowned French doctor and expert on newborn babies who pioneered infant health studies, who was a founding scientist of neonatology and did humanitarian work for children in the third world, and who wrote several books and was awarded many medals, including the Legion of Honor, died in Paris on May 7 at the age of 88.
Walter Stockmayer - Chemist who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1987 from Ronald Reagan for his "fundamental contributions to the physical chemistry of high polymers", who contributed to classified war research projects during WW2, and who was a longtime professor at Dartmouth, died May 9 in Norwich, Vermont at the age of 90.