H.B. Bailey - Driver on the NASCAR circuit from 1964 until 1990, and one of the top independent drivers, who in 1972 won the Daytona and finished second in the national championship standings, died April 17 in Houston of heart failure at age 66.
Steve Brucker - Racing promoter whose family owned the El Cajon Speedway near San Diego for more than 40 years, who was president of Cajon Plaza, the company that operated the speedway, was shot to death by an unknown assailant on April 14 at the doorstep of his El Cajon home at age 51.
Don Bunce - Quarterback at Stanford in the early 70’s who led his team to an upset 13-12 victory over unbeaten Michigan in the Rose Bowl in 1972 when he completed 5 consecutive passes in the last 2 minutes of the game and set up a winning field goal, died April 14 of a heart attack while vacationing in Santa Cruz, CA at age 54.
Tom Dennin - Longtime play-by-play broadcaster for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football and basketball programs, who was a sports director at WNDU-TV and hosted Ara Parseghian’s, Dan Devine’s and Digger Phelps’ coaches’ shows, and appeared as himself in the 1993 movie “Rudy”, died April 14 in South Bend, IN at age 77.
Jack Donohue - Basketball coach who coached Lew Alcinder (who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) when he was in high school, who was head basketball coach at Holy Cross from 1965 to 1972, and who became a basketball promoter in Canada where as national team coach, he put together a basketball program that became one of the best in the world with four appearances in the Olympic gold medal game, died April 16 of cancer in Ottawa, Canada at age 70.
Robert Helmick - President of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1985 to 1991, who changed the way the U.S.O.C. directed financial support to athletes, which many believe had a direct impact on the Americans' ability to win the medal count in games after 1992, but who was forced to resign because of perceived conflicts of interest, died April 15 after a stroke in Des Moines, IA at age 66.
David Kimani - Six time NCAA champion distance runner at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, who was born in Kenya, and who lead Alabama to a second place national finish at 2002’s Indoor Championships, collapsed and died of unknown causes on April 16 while eating lunch in the university dining hall. He was 25 years old.
Rey Mendoza - Professional wrestler who was one of Mexico’s biggest stars, who headlined in California as a tag team partner with Mil Mascaras in the 1960’s, died April 17 at age 73.
Ronnie Shanklin - Pro Bowl receiver who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears from 1971 until 1976, who led the Steelers in receptions in his first three seasons and was a member of the 1974 championship team, died April 17 of colon cancer in DeSoto, TX at age 55.
Leonard Tose - One of the NFL’s most memorable characters as owner of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1969 until 1985, who made a fortune with his trucking business and spent a fortune to build the Eagles into the 1980 Super Bowl contenders, but lost everything when he gambled away his fortune and lived the last years of his life alone in a downtown hotel room, died April 15 in Philadelphia at the age of 88.
Jewell Young - Basketball star at Purdue University in the 1930’s, who led the Big 10 Conference in scoring for three years, and who played several years in the NBL for Indianapolis, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1939, died April 16 in Bradenton, FL at age 90.
Art and Literature
Dr. Robert Atkins - Cardiologist who devised the controversial Atkins Diet, which recommends foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates, and whose books starting with 1972’s “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” have sold more than 40 million copies, died April 17 from head injuries suffered in a fall on April 8 at the age of 72.
Lloyd L. Brown - Novelist, journalist, and longtime friend of actor Paul Robeson, who helped Robeson write his autobiography, "Here I Stand" in 1958, and who wrote the still-in-print 1951 novel “Iron City”, died April 1 in New York at age 89.
John Daverio - Music professor at Boston University who was an expert and biographer of composer Robert Schumann, who recently published the book “Crossing Paths: Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms”, and who disappeared on March 16, was found dead in the Charles River on April 14. He was 48 years old and is suspected to have committed suicide in similar way to his idol Robert Schumann.
Heiner Hesse - Last surviving son of Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse (author of "Steppenwolf" and "Siddhartha") who spent years collecting and editing tens of thousands of his father’s letters and published four volumes of "collected letters", and who was a major supporter of the Hesse museum in Switzerland, died April 7 in Ascona, Italy at age 94.
Tom King - Hollywood reporter for The Wall Street Journal who contributed the weekly column “Hollywood Journal”, and who wrote the “The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys and Sells the New Hollywood”, an unflattering biography of the entertainment magnate, died suddenly of unknown causes on April 13 in Long Island, NY while visiting friends. He was 39 years old.
Seymour Lubetzky - Pioneering librarian (librarians can be pioneers too you know!) who while at the Library of Congress developed a cataloging system beyond the Dewey Decimal System that described the nature of a book for the catalog, and who published his masterwork “Principles of Cataloging” in 1953, died April 6 in Los Angeles at age 104.
Abdullah Malik - Renowned Pakistani intellectual, writer and columnist, who was an author of over two dozen books, most of which were written on the history of Punjab and political movements in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, died April 9 in Islamabad of lung disease at age 82.
Anthony Masters - Prolific & award-winning British author who wrote novels and non-fiction, but was best known for his books for adolescents including “The Seahorse”, “Streetwise”, “Nobody's Child”, “Wicked” and “Finding Joe”, died April 4 in Hastings, East Sussex, England at age 62.
Partisan Review - Quarterly journal of culture and politics that emerged from the ideological ferment of the 1930's to become the sounding board for a generation of American intellectuals and writers, and whose founder and editor-in-chief William Phillips died last September, is ceasing publication this week after 66 years.
Franz Rosenthal - Prolific writer and scholar who taught Near Eastern languages at Yale University and wrote many books including “"Humor in Early Islam” and “Grammar of Biblical Aramaic”, died April 8 of cancer in Branford, CT at age 88.
Glenn Savan - Author of the 1987 best-selling novel “White Palace”, which was turned into a 1990 movie starring Susan Sarandon and James Spader, who also wrote the 1993 novel “Goldman’s Anatomy”, died April 14 in Shrewsbury, MO at age 49.
Richard B. Sewall - Yale professor who wrote what is considered the consummate biography of Emily Dickinson in his 1974 book “The Life of Emily Dickenson”, died April 16 in Newton, MA at age 95.
Whitney Stoddard - Art historian, teacher and author who wrote many important studies tracing the origins and styles of medieval art and architecture including “Art and Architecture in Medieval France”, a widely used textbook, whose list of students is a virtual who’s who among art gallery directors, died April 2 in Williamstown, MA at age 90.
John Strejan - Paper engineer and pop-up book expert who created dozens of books including the National Geographic series of pop-up animal books published from 1987 to 1989 and others like “The Pop-Up Book of Gnomes” and “I Love to Eat Bugs”, died March 26 of cancer in Los Angeles at age 70.
Theodore Weiss - American poet who published more than 12 books of poetry and literary criticism including “The Breath of Clowns and Kings” and “Gunsight”, and who edited the Quarterly Review of Literature for nearly 60 years, died April 15 in Princeton, NJ at age 86.
Politics and Military
Mario Sandoval Alarcon - Vice-president of Guatemala from 1974 to 1978 who was a leading figure in conservative politics in that Central American country for decades, and who unsuccessfully ran for president in both 1982 and 1986, died April 17 in Guatemala City at age 79.
Clarence Blount - One of Maryland's most influential legislators, who served in the state senate for 31 years, and was called “the conscience of the Senate”, died April 12 after a stroke in Baltimore at age 81.
Russell G. Clark - U.S. District judge who in 1984 rendered the controversial and landmark desegregation ruling which declared that Kansas City schools were discriminatory against blacks and ordered the state of Missouri to wipe out segregation, a ruling that has cost the state over $2 billion and is still ongoing, died April 17 in Springfield, MO at age 77.
Social and Religion
Virna Canson - Civil rights activist who was head of the west coast NAACP from 1974 to 1988, and who helped rebuild Watts after the 1965 riots and helped get the Bakke case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976, died April 14 of kidney cancer in Sacramento, CA at age 81.
Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook - Chief of the Pamunkey Indian tribe in Virginia from 1942 until 1984, who continued to act as the tribe’s unofficial ambassador until recently, died April 11 in King William, VA at age 103.
Margaret Formby - Founder, director and president of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame which opened in 1975 in Hereford, Texas, and who was the wife of broadcaster Clint Formby, died April 10 at her home in Hereford, TX after falling and hitting her head. She was 73.
Kenneth Jackson - Oklahoma man who was serving a prison term for murdering his common-law wife, who in 1994 escaped from a work crew with the help of girlfriend Wendy Cade, 29, and who repayed her kindness by slitting her throat with a box-cutter in an Oklahoma City motel room, was executed by lethal injection on April 17 in McAlester, OK at age 40.
Celes King III - Black activist and founding state chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which he chaired from 1975 until 2002, died March 12 of gangrene and kidney failure in Los Angeles at age 79.
Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova - Russian-born conjoined twins who were taken away from their mother at birth, subjected to medical experiments and incarcerated in institutions, but had been free to tell their story since the fall of Communism, died April 13 in Moscow, Masha of a heart attack and Dasha 17 hours later. They were 53 years old.
Laci Peterson - Pregnant Modesto, California woman who disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002 unleashing a massive search, extensive media coverage and speculation centering around her husband Scott, was found dead April 13 in the San Francisco Bay along with her unborn son. She was 27 years old and her husband has been charged in the murders.
Business and Science
Charles H. Bell - President and chairman of General Mills from 1952 until 1969, who played a key role in shaping the early flour milling days of Minneapolis and General Mills, died April 12 in Santa Barbara, CA at age 95.
Cypress Gardens - One of the U.S.’s oldest theme parks, located in Winter Haven, Florida, known for it’s botanical gardens and water ski shows, and which served as the backdrop for several Esther Williams movies during its prime in the 30’s and 40’s, closed it’s doors for the last time on April 13 after 67 years in business.
Dr. Donald Fiske - Psychologist and noted personality researcher, who helped establish the multiple-method approach to research in psychology and social science, and who was a prolific writer including his book “Strategies for Personality Research: The Observation Versus Interpretation of Behavior”, died April 5 in Chicago of a heart attack at age 86.
Lawrence Gellerstedt - Owner and president of Beers Construction Co., which built many Atlanta landmarks such as the prize-winning High Museum of Art, the Coca-Cola headquarters building and the Georgia Dome, died April 12 of a brain hemorrhage in Atlanta at age 77.
John Paul Getty, Jr. - American-born heir to the Getty Oil fortune, who was known for a playboy lifestyle in the 60’s, whose son was kidnapped in 1973 and held for ransom for five months (the ransom was only paid after part of the child’s ear was cut off and sent to the family), died April 17 in London of a chest infection at age 70.
Cecil Howard Green - The last living member of the four founders of electronics manufacturer Texas Instruments, which was founded in 1941 as Geophysical Service, Inc. and took off when computers became popular, died March 12 in La Jolla, CA of pneumonia at age 102.
Sir William Gunn - One of the most powerful men in Australian agriculture, who is credited with making Australia’s wool industry one of the world’s most advanced, died April 17 in Sydney at the age of 89.
Ruth Guyton - Wife of renowned cardiovascular physiologist Dr. Arthur Guyton who died last week of injuries suffered in a car accident, died on April 10 in Jackson, MS from injuries sustained in the accident that killed her husband. She was 80 years old.
Dr. Charles Janeway - Immunologist at Yale University whose research has had a profound effect on the understanding of the immune system, who studied innate immunity (the body’s first natural defenses against infection) and how T-cells react with pathogens, and who wrote the textbook “Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease”, died April 12 of cancer in New Haven, CT at age 60.
D. Gale Johnson - Leading researcher in agricultural and developmental economics, who traveled the world researching farm and trade policies and the economies of developing nations, and whose books included “Agricultural Policy and U.S.-Taiwan Trade” and “Long-Term Agricultural Policies for Central Europe”, died April 14 in Amherst, MA at age 86.
Dr. B.J. Kennedy - Internationally known oncologist often called “the father of medical oncology”, who was the first person to realize that the study of tumors should be broken out into a separate sub-specialty, died April 6 of multiple myeloma in Minneapolis at age 81.
John Latsis - Greek billionaire who made his fortune in the shipping business after WW2, whose holdings included banks, refineries and construction companies, and who was ranked by Forbes as the 63rd richest individual in the world, died April 17 at age 93.
Conrad Lavigne - Legend of the broadcasting industry in Canada, who in 1956 started CFCL TV in Timmins Ontario, which has grown into the largest privately held system in the world, and who started the first French language radio station outside of Quebec, died April 15 at age 86.
Samuel LeFrak - New York billionaire who made his fortune in construction, who built 63 million square feet of residential, office and retail property in the New York area including LeFrak City in Queens and the Newport complex in Jersey City, died April 16 after a stroke at age 85.
New York Subway Token - Symbol of New York's gritty transit system, which had seen a steady usage decline since the introduction of the MetroCard, was discontinued on April 13 after 50 years in service.