Earl Brown - Football coach at Auburn from 1948 to 1950, who compiled a record of 3-22-4 (ouch!) during his tenure, but who helped renew the annual football series with archrival Alabama in 1949 after a 41 year hiatus, died Sept. 23 in Leesburg, AL at age 87.
Bill Cayton - Legendary boxing manager who handled world champions like Wilfred Benitez and Edwin Rosario, but who is best known for managing Mike Tyson when the heavyweight turned pro in 1984, and who was sued by Tyson in 1988 to sever their ties, died Oct. 4 of lung cancer in Larchmont, NY at age 85.
Bobby Cox - Quarterback at the University of Minnesota in the 1950's, who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1956 as America's most valuable College quarterback, who played in the NFL for a short time for Los Angeles Rams and the Boston Patriots as a halfback, but who may be best remembered as the subject of the unfortunate and oft-repeated classic Minneapolis Tribune headline after his injury which read "Gophers to Play Saturday with Cox Out", died Oct. 3 of pancreatic cancer in Plymouth, MN at age 69.
Anthony Durante - Professional wrestler known as "Pitbull 2", who had been a top wrestler in Philadelphia's Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion in the mid-1990's and had won several championships, was found dead on Sept. 24 in Westerly, RI along with his girlfriend Dianna Hulsey, 29 of apparent drug overdoses. He was 36 years old. The couple's 21-month-old boy and 8-month-old girl were apparently alone in the house with the bodies for several days.
Althea Gibson - Legendary women's tennis player who dominated the sport in the mid to late 1950's, winning 11 Grand Slam titles including Wimbledon, the French Open and the U.S. Open during that period, who was the first African-American woman to be ranked No. 1 and the first to win Wimbledon, and who helped pave the way for many other African-American sports stars, died Sept. 28 of respiratory failure in East Orange, NJ at age 76.
Paul Mumford - Former motorcycle racer turned sports car racer, who was considered one of the up-and-coming stars of the sport, and who had just won his first Sports Car Club of America Pro Racing event at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 7, was killed in a plane crash on Oct. 1 near Mira Loma, CA at age 31.
Mort Olshan - Sports betting guru who promoted intelligent betting through the Gold Sheet, a tip sheet which he first published in 1957, which had considerable influence on Nevada's multimillion-dollar sports book and sports betting industry, and who wrote three books including "The Winning Theories of Sports Handicapping", died Oct. 2 in Beverly Hills after a long illness at age 78.
Wendy Wyland - Olympic diver who won a bronze medal for the U.S. at the 1984 Olympics, who was a seven-time U.S. national champion platform diver, and who was a spokesman, along with Greg Louganis, for Speedo sports gear in commercials and print ads in the 1980's, died suddenly Sept. 27 in Rochester, NY of undetermined causes (a brain aneurysm is suspected) at age 38.
Art and Literature
Nicholas England - Ethnomusicologist, composer and performer, who was an internationally recognized authority on the music of Africa, who authored books on the music of Namibia, Botswana and Angola, and who was founding director of the World Music Program at California Institute of the Arts, died Sept. 23 after a brief illness in Northridge, CA at age 79.
John Orrell - Shakespearean scholar and historian known for his re-creation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, who painstakingly researched the most minute details of the theatre destroyed in 1613, and rebuilt the 20-sided polygonal structure several hundred yards from the original site, which has become a major tourist attraction in the region, died Sept. 16 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada of melanoma at age 68.
Ronald Spagnardi - Professional drummer who founded Modern Drummer magazine in 1976, which today is the most widely read drum publication in the country, with 100,000 monthly readers, died Sept. 22 in Cedar Grove, IA of cancer at age 60.
William Steig - Illustrator for The New Yorker who was known as the 'king of cartoons' for his award-winning, best-selling children's books, who produced more than 1,600 drawings and 117 covers for the magazine and wrote more than 30 children's books, and whose 1990 book "Shrek" was made into the Oscar-winning Pixar film in 2001, died Oct. 3 of natural causes in Boston at age 95.
Politics and Military
John Dunlop - Harvard economist who served as secretary of labor during the Gerald Ford administration, who resigned his cabinet post in 1976 after Gerald Ford vetoed legislation that he supported, and who had served on numerous national boards and commissions studying labor disputes and had advised the Labor Department dating back to the Franklin Roosevelt administration, died Oct. 2 in Boston of heart and kidney disease at age 89.
Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan - Head of Pakistan's main opposition alliance, the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy, and one of its greatest democracy advocates, who for years opposed the role of the army in politics in Pakistan, and who spent several years in jail during the 1960's and 1970's because of his beliefs, died Sept. 26 of a heart attack in Islamabad, Pakistan at age 85.
Sid McMath - Governor of Arkansas from 1948 to 1952, who was known for his efforts to build better roads and schools in the state, who was considered as a running mate for Harry Truman in 1948, and whose memoirs "Promises Kept" was released earlier in 2003, died Oct. 4 in Little Rock at age 91.
Donald Mitchell - U.S. Congressman from New York who served as a Republican from 1972 to 1982, who was a career politician holding many different offices at the state, local and federal levels, and who was best known in congress for his efforts to increase spending for civil defense, died Sept. 27 in Little Falls, NY of Parkinson's disease at age 80.
Arie Parks Taylor - The first African-American woman elected to the Colorado State legislature, who served from 1972 until 1984, and who fought for issues such as fair housing, equal lending laws for women and domestic violence programs, died Sept. 27 from surgery complications in Denver at age 76.
Fred Tuttle - The retired Vermont dairy farmer who made headlines in 1998 when he ran for U.S. Senate after starring in the political spoof "A Man With A Plan" (with political slogans like "I've spent my whole life in the barn, now I just want to spend a little time in the House"), and who shocked many by winning the Republican primary with 54 percent of the vote against millionaire Jack McMullen, but who dropped out of the election endorsing his Democratic opponent Patrick Leahy, died Oct. 4 of heart ailments in Montpelier, VT at age 84.
Social and Religion
Yukichi Chuganji - The world's oldest man who was a retired silkworm breeder, died Sept. 28 of natural causes in Ogori, Japan at age 114 (Japan has the world's longest life expectancy with 15,000 people currently over 100 years old. Researchers say the country's traditional fish-based diet may be the reason).
Jessica Clinton - Popular cheerleader, senior class president and student council member at St. Lucie West Centennial High School in Florida who had just completed cheerleading practice on Oct. 2 and was walking out of the school courtyard with the other cheerleaders, tripped and hit her head on an aluminum post and fell on the pavement by the soda machines in a student gathering area, stopped breathing and was pronounced dead a short time later, stunning scores of students. She was 17 years old.
Robert Eisenberg - Los Angeles man who received the Prime Time Award as America's oldest paid employee at 103, who originally retired from the garment industry at age 72, but went back to work at age 82 and worked for another 21 years, and who was nicknamed "the dean of zippers", died Sept. 30 in Los Angeles after a fall in his home at age 105.
Rev. A. Dale Fiers - Founding minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who served as the first general minister and president of the denomination when it was established in 1968, and who was a staunch supporter of civil rights, marching with Martin Luther King in Selma, died Sept. 28 in Jacksonville, FL at age 96.
Brian Florence - New York man who was arrested in August, 2002 along with his girlfriend and a radio station DJ for attempting to have sex inside St. Patrick's Cathedral while the DJ described the action to listeners as part of a radio show stunt on the "Opie and Anthony Show" on WNEW, whose escapade brought indecency charges against the couple and the firings of both DJ's, died of a heart attack on Sept. 25 in Alexandria, VA, just days before the scheduled court appearance, at age 38.
James Leddy - Legendary Texas boot maker whose customers included Mel Tillis, George Jones, Larry Gatlin, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jane Seymour, who was known for brightly colored boots made from exotic leathers of snake, ostrich and other skins, and whose customers were on a six-month waiting list, died Sept. 30 after a sudden illness in Abilene, TX at age 66.
Aurelia Marotta - Third oldest person in the United States and sixth oldest in the world, who claimed to never have undergone medical treatment in her entire life, died Oct. 4 in Massachusetts at age 113.
Rabbi Eugene Markovitz - New Jersey rabbi who gained national notice with his response after four boys spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on his house and the temple in 1989, when he urged a judge to let him teach the boys about Judaism instead of sending them to jail, an incident which inspired the 1994 TV movie "The Writing on the Wall", with Hal Linden playing Markovitz, died Sept. 26 of pneumonia in Clifton, NJ at age 82.
Bill Mason - Cincinnati civil rights activist, broadcaster and educator who in the 1970's became a pioneer in the field of bringing minorities into broadcasting as associate director for station relations for PBS, and who worked at several TV and radio stations in Cincinnati as urban affairs director and executive producer, died Sept. 11 of a heart attack in Cleveland at age 64.
Bert Nakano - Founder and top spokesman for the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations, who led the campaign to win reparations for Japanese-Americans forced into interment camps during WW2, and who in 1988 received an apology and $1.5 billion in payments from the federal government for those affected, died Sept. 27 in Torrance, CA at age 75.
Barbara Norris - 63-year-old Norwood, Ohio woman who weighed more than 500 lbs at the time of her death the week of Sept. 22, whose family was horrified when they showed up at the funeral home to see their mother packed into a coffin that was not big enough, was buried with the casket being slightly open after several attempts by the funeral home and her family to close it.
Ephraim Oshry - Noted Lithuanian rabbinical scholar, who during WW2 was appointed by the Nazis as keeper of a warehouse of Jewish books being stored for an exhibit of "artifacts of the extinct Jewish race", but who used the books to hold secret worship services, and whose notes were eventually published in Hebrew in five volumes, two of which won the National Jewish Book Award for best book on the Holocaust, died Sept. 28 in New York City at age 89.
Paul Young - The buyer for J.C. Penny who is credited with introducing the Quant, the forerunner of the miniskirt, to the American market after a trip to Europe in the early 1960's, was found dead on Sept. 29 in his apartment in Whitesburg, KY of undetermined causes at age 77.
Business and Science
Alice Baum - Social activist who co-wrote "Nation in Denial: The Truth About Homelessness" with her husband Donald Burnes, who debunked the myth that the majority of the homeless are unemployed working class unable to find jobs, but instead are persons suffering from mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction and are incapable of holding steady work, died Sept. 23 of lung cancer in Newport Beach, CA at age 66.
Luis Botifoll - Cuban refugee who became CEO of Republic National Bank in Miami from 1978 to 1999, who turned the bank into the U.S.'s largest Hispanic-owned bank, and who founded the Cuban American National Foundation, died Sept. 24 of heart failure in Miami at the age of 95.
Rev. Joseph Cahill - Longtime president of St. John's University in New York City, who saw it grow to the U.S.'s largest Catholic university during his tenure from 1965 to 1989, and who was known as a unifying presence among faculty and students, died Sept. 27 in New York City at age 84.
Russell De Valois - Vision scientist and psychologist at UC-Berkeley who researched how the brain responds to color, movement, form and space, who was among the first to record activity from individual neurons deep in the brains of primates, and whose research has been used in the ongoing development of visual prostheses for the blind, died Sept. 20 in Salt Lake City from injuries received in a car accident 10 days earlier in Rock Springs, WY. He was 76 years old.
Marshall D. Gates - Chemist who in 1952 became the first person to synthesize morphine in the laboratory, which propelled the development of non-addictive drugs that could mimic morphine's ability to mask severe pain, and who as a teacher and researcher created hundreds of compounds and earned 13 patents, died Oct. 1 after collapsing at his home in Pittsford, NY at age 88.
Aubrey Gorbman - Pioneering zoologist and endocrinologist who specialized in studies of the endocrine system and sex differentiation in hagfish (a burning topic for all of us I'm sure), who authored "A Textbook of Comparative Endocrinology", and who received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring for being a mentor to many women scientists, died Sept. 28 of Parkinson's disease at age 88.
Jackie Flosso - The last owner of the fabled New York magic shop, Flosso-Hornmann Magic, a store of magical wonders that dated back in some incarnation to the 1860's and was once partly owned by Houdini, the business continues to operate and grow as Martinka & Co., Inc, which is the original name the business started with in the 1870's. and maintain Jack's collection as the largest archive in the world pertaining to Flosso and his business. Jackie died Sept. 28 of kidney and heart ailments in New York City at age 77.
Mark G. Inghram - Physicist who with colleagues in 1953 first determined the age of the earth at 4.5 billion years by using meteorites, who collaborated with Nobel laureate Willard Libby to develop radiocarbon dating for organic materials, and who discovered more than a dozen naturally occurring and radioactive isotopes, died Sept. 29 in Holland, MI at age 83.
Robert Kardashian - Los Angeles attorney and key figure in the O.J. Simpson trial as part of the legal "dream team", who was a close friend of Simpson prior to the murders and was seen carrying away a garment bag from Simpson's estate the day after the double slaying (he never told anyone what was in the bag citing attorney-client privilege), but who later had a falling out with Simpson about the book and miniseries that were produced about the trial, died Sept. 30 of esophageal cancer in Los Angeles at age 59.
Robert Pfeiffer - Longtime president and CEO of the Hawaiian sugar company Alexander & Baldwin and it's subsidiary Matson Navigation Company, who saw both companies through their longest periods of growth and prosperity, died Sept. 26 in Orinda, CA after a long illness at age 83.
Dr. Marshall Rosenbluth - One of the pioneers of taming nuclear fusion and co-inventor of the atom bomb, who later in life devoted himself to trying to harness thermonuclear fire for peaceful ends, who was known as the dean of plasma physics, a science whereby the hot plasmas of nuclear fusion are turned into electrical power, and who in 1997 was awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor, died Sept. 28 of pancreatic cancer in San Diego at age 76.
Benjamin Shimberg - Research scientist at Educational Testing Service, who was a leading expert on issues regarding professional licensing, whose research is credited with reforming licensing procedures in many fields, and wrote the definitive textbook "Occupational Licensing: Practices and Policies" among other writings, died Sept. 24 of a stroke in Lawrenceville, NJ at age 85.
Martin Spector - Founder of Spec's Music Shop in Miami in 1948, which grew into the 42 store Spec's Music chain, which he sold in 1998 for $28 million, died Sept 24 of a heart attack in Miami at age 98.