William "Sou" Bridgeforth - The last surviving owner of a Negro Leagues baseball team, who during the mid-1940's purchased the Baltimore Elite Giants for $11,000 (which included the team bus) and who later owned the Birmingham Black Barons, died July 22 at his home in Nashville of leukemia at the age of 97.
Ruben Gomez - Major league pitcher best-known for his years with the New York and San Francisco Giants, who pitched and won Game 3 of the 1954 World Series in the Giants sweep of the Cleveland Indians, who in 1958 became the winning pitcher in the first major league game played on the West Coast, after the Giants relocated to San Francisco, and who was one of the first prominent baseball players from Puerto Rico, reaching icon status in his native country (schools closed the day he pitched in the World Series so the kids could watch the game), died July 26 of a kidney ailment at his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the age of 77.
Mark Hatley - Vice president of football operations for the Green Bay Packers, who led the Packers' college scouting and pro personnel departments for the past three years and formerly worked for the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears, died suddenly on July 27 in Green Bay, Wisconsin at the age of 54. The cause of death is not yet known.
Ben Martin - Football coach at the United States Air Force Academy from 1958 to 1977, who, despite the team's often scant talent and persistent injuries, led them to a 1959 appearance in the Cotton Bowl, the Gator Bowl in 1963 and the Sugar Bowl in 1970 and had a career record at the Academy of 96-103-9, died July 24 at age 83 after suffering a heart attack.
Frank O'Donnell - Irish wrestling legend who was the undefeated middleweight champion for an astounding 18 years, from 1952 until 1970, died July 25 in Middlestown, Ireland at the age of 80.
Steve Patterson - College and professional basketball player who was center on three of UCLA's national championship basketball teams from 1969 to 1971, who played in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls, and who served as head basketball coach at Arizona State from 1985 to 1989, died July 28 of lung cancer at his home in Phoenix at age 56.
David Reid - Villanova University football player and a varsity letterman in high school who was attending the university on a full scholarship and was to be a starter on the team this season, died on July 25 in Lumberton, New Jersey, of an accidental drowning at a friend's graduation party, just days shy of his 21st birthday.
Geary Steffen - Figure skating partner of Sonja Henie (world champion figure skater in the 1940's) and husband to actress Jane Powell from 1949 to 1953, who appeared in ice carnivals and films with Henie, died in Santa Monica, California on July 14 of pneumonia and Alzheimer's Disease. He was 80.
Bob Tisdall - The oldest living recipient of an individual track and field Olympic medal, who, at 25, won the gold medal for Ireland in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Los Angeles games, only the second Irishman in history to win a gold for his country, and who had only run the race he won three times before his gold-medal performance in 51.7 seconds, a time that would have won him the World Record had he not knocked over a hurdle (a rule that was later changed), died at age 97 at his home in Nambour, Ireland on July 28.
Justin Williams - Football player for Oregon State University, who had just completed his freshman season as a redshirt freshman, who was expected to compete for a cornerback position in the upcoming season, was killed in a car accident on July 23 near Wilsonville, Oregon. He was 19 years old.
Art and Literature
Walter Frentz - Cameraman for the Luftwaffe who followed Adolph Hitler's inner circle from the beginnings of Hitler's dictatorship to the last days of the state (and who took the last photographs of the dictator before his suicide on April 30, 1945), who collaborated with famed filmmaker of Nazi propoganda Leni Riefenstahl on several projects including "Sieg des Glaubens" ("Victory of the Faith", 1933) and "Triumph des Willens" ("Triumph of the Will", 1934), but who never actually joined the Nazi party himself, died on July 6 in Ueberlingen, Hanns, Germany at age 96.
Viola Frey - Renowned San Francisco artist known for her large, colorfully glazed clay sculptures of men and women that expanded the traditional limitations of ceramic sculpture, and celebrated as one of the most daring ceramic artists of her generation, whose sculpture s (some of which reached 12 feet tall) have been displayed in museums across the country and abroad, including the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American center in Paris, died of colon cancer on July 26 in Oakland, California. She was 70 years old.
Catherine Rodgers - Novelist who penned the 1958 best-seller "The Tower Inheritance", a highly-acclaimed book which was overshadowed by the release of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird", who later wrote more short stories and edited other writers' novels, but never published another novel of her own, died July 25 at a care facility in Auburn, Alabama at the age of 88.
Lon Savage - Author who wrote "Thunder in the Mountains: A History of the West Virginia Mine Wars 1920-21," (which served in 1987 as a resource for the movie "Matewan") a book about the mining wars between miners and coal companies, which he learned about from his father and weren't mentioned in many West Virginian history books, died at age 75 on July 27 at his home in Salem, Virginia of unknown causes.
Robert Seager - Historian who edited "The Papers of Henry Clay" and published several critically acclaimed biographies, including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated "And Tyler Too: A Biography of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler," who also taught history at five universities including the U.S. Naval Academy, and helped to found the University of Baltimore graduate school, died of heart disease on July 21 in Reston, Virginia at the age of 79.
Myra Waldo - Author of restaurant and travel guides who wrote more than two dozen guides in her lifetime, including "The Soufflé Cookbook" and "The Molly Goldberg Cookbook," who wrote cuisine books on European countries that were updated many times, and who later wrote books on the cuisine of South America, the South Pacific and Japan, died July 25 in Beverly Hills, California of congestive heart failure. She was 88.
Politics and Military
Carmine De Sapio - New York political boss of the 1950's and 1960's who was the last boss of Tammany Hall (the name given to Manhattan's Democratic party), who revived the organization after World War II, successfully brokering the elections of Robert Wagner as mayor and W. Averell Harriman as governor and endorsing a bill to lower the voting age to 18, but who later came under attack from reformers in the Democratic party with charges of cohorting with organized crime and corruption, which eventually led to the dissolution of Tammany Hall, died July 27 at a hospital in New York City at age 95.
Joe Jabaily - Neurosurgeon and candidate for the Colorado State House of Representatives, running as an unaffiliated candidate in the upcoming 2004 election, whose grassroots (he reportedly refused to take special interest or corporate money for his campaigns) campaign for the same seat in 2002 was lost by only 900 votes, died of traumatic brain and heart injuries on July 26 in Denver, Colorado after the bike he was riding in a triathlon was struck by a car that a patrolman had waved through-thinking it would pass before Jabaily reached the intersection. He was 49.
Dalayad Haji Hashi Jama - First lady of Somalia from 1969 to 1991, who was married to Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre for 45 years, who moved to the United States after her husband died in exile, his reign having ended when civil war erupted throughout Somalia, died of complications from diabetes on July 26 in Columbus, Ohio. She was 72 years old.
Fred LaRue - High ranking White House aide to Richard Nixon who was called the Watergate "bagman", who served a prison term for delivering more than $300,000 in hush money payoffs to conspirators in the scandal and was among those rumored to be Deep Throat, died of coronary artery disease on July 24 in the Biloxi, Mississippi motel room where he lived. He was 75 years old.
Harry Wiggins - Popular and well-respected Missouri state senator, who never missed a vote during his 28-year legislative career, a total that topped 18,000 by the time he retired in 2002 and may never be passed, died July 24 of stomach cancer at a Kansas City hospital at the age of 71.
Social and Religion
Michael Corbitt - Highly decorated Illinois police officer who was placed in the position of police chief of a Chicago suburb by mafia boss Sam Giancana and carried cash for organized crime, who later spent 12 years in prison for participating in the murder of a Chicago mob attorney and became a government informant, and whose life is chronicled in the recent book "Double Deal: A True Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster," died of lung cancer on July 27 in Florida. He was 61 years old.
Brittney Gregory - New Jersey teenager and high school honor student who had been missing from her home for nearly two weeks, was found buried in a shallow grave in Lakewood, New Jersey on July 27, having suffered blunt trauma to her head. An ex-convict and friend of her father's has been charged with her murder, but the exact cause of death has yet to be determined. She was 16 years old.
Dr. Carmen Gutierrez - Prominent Mexico City doctor and specialist in rehabilitative medicine, who was awarded the 1997 prize from Mexico's National Foundation of Woman of the Year, who was kidnapped on July 22 while leaving for work, was found strangled to death on July 25 in a sewage canal on the outskirts of Mexico City, causing outrage among the medical community in Mexico. A former policeman and a security guard at her condominium complex have been arrested in the kidnapping conspiracy. Kidnappings are at an epidemic level in Mexico and citizens are demanding better law enforcement.
David Haight - Oldest member of the "Quorum Of The Twelve Apostles" (the governing body of the Mormon Church - members are named and are then on the board until their death), having been named to the group in January of 1976, who for many years was in charge of the church's global missionary efforts and was actively involved in promoting relations with other religions, and who at one time served as President of the Mormon Mission in Scotland, died July 31 of natural causes at his home in Oakley, Idaho at age 97, just ten days after the death of fellow apostle Neal A. Maxwell.
Daniel O'Hara - Florida police officer who had recently been charged with rape and sexual battery of two young female members of his city's police explorer program, a division of the Boy Scouts for young men and women, was found dead in his garage in Cape Coral, Florida on July 26, after apparently committing suicide. He was 35 years old.
Carol Ann Toupes - The youngest of the famed Toupes Triplets, whose birth in 1936 and early childhood captivated the San Francisco media of the day (in the days before fertility drugs, the birth of live triplets was extremely rare), whose birthday parties and favorite toys were duly reported on every year, died July 24 of liver cancer at her home in San Francisco at the age of 68 (her sisters survive).
Business and Science
Susan Buffett - Wife of billionaire investor Warren Buffett (the 2nd richest man in the world), and a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway, of which her husband was the CEO, who herself was listed as the 60th richest American by Forbes magazine and was an active philanthropist and activist, died of a stroke on July 29 in Cody, Wyoming. She was 72 years old.
John E. Corbally - Former president of the University of Illinois and Syracuse University who went on to become the first president of the John D. and Catherine MacArthur foundation, a grant making institution that is one of the nation's largest private foundations, known for supporting projects that combat poverty, disease and injustice and its $500,000 grants to creative geniuses, died from brain cancer on July 23 in Mill Creek, Illinois. He was 79 years old.
Francis Crick - Biologist credited with deciphering the structure of the DNA molecule, one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the last 100 years, who in 1953 with partner James Watson and the use of X-ray crystallography, figured out the structure of the molecule that functions as the blueprint for life on Earth, the discovery of which has led to the manipulation of the genetic code and the rise of biotechnology and genetic engineering, died July 28 of colon cancer at a hospital in San Diego at the age of 88.
Dr. Ingrith Deyrup-Olsen - Zoologist and acclaimed teacher at the University of Washington who worked to open the doors of academia wider for women as a women's studies advocate and supported equity for ethnic minorities, who also became popularly known as the "slug lady" on campus for her groundbreaking work as a slug physiologist, died from cancer on July 25 in Seattle. She was 85 years old.
Walter B. LaBerge - Aerospace research scientist and a former undersecretary of the Army, assistant secretary of the Air Force and an assistant secretary general of NATO, who led the team that designed the instrumentation for what is now the Johnson Space Center, died of complications from pneumonia July 16 near Santa Cruz, California. He was 80 years old.
William A. Mitchell - Food scientist and the inventor of the popular exploding candy Pop Rocks, who also discovered a substitute for tapioca during his 35 year career as a chemist for General Food Corporation, and held over 70 patents, including inventions related to Cool Whip, Jello-O, and Tang, died of congestive heart failure on July 26 in Stockton, California. He was 92 years old.
Henry Nathan - Australian man who was the second human recipient of a new-generation artificial heart, the VentrAssist, which was surgically placed in August of 2003 (after he entered near death) and was so successful he was back doing his favorite activity (bowling - the Australian kind) within weeks of the surgery, enjoying nearly 12 months of life with the heart, and who founded support groups for those with heart conditions, died on July 25 in Melbourne at age 76 after a stroke caused a relapse in his previous condition.
Paul Silverman - Scientist and teacher whose fifty year career work ranged from working on a malaria vaccine to The Human Genome Project, who established the first humane genome center at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1987 and the first immunoparasitology center at Glaxo Ltd. in London, and who was an active advocate of research into embryonic stem cells-and critical of the governmental limitations on the research, died at age 79 on July 15 in Irvine, California. He died after a bone marrow transplant, where, at his request, some of his sister's stem cells were used to replace his bone marrow, which appeared successful but complications led to a fatal heart attack.
Karen Southwick - Journalist and author who wrote five books about business and technology and chronicled the boom and bust of Silicon Valley, who enjoyed a 25 year journalism career, most recently working as an software industry editor for CNET News.com, died of cancer on July 25 in San Francisco. She was 53 years old.
Horst Ungerer - Expert and leading authority on international banking and financing policies, who was a former assistant director of the International Monetary Fund (a United Nations organization of 184 countries created to promote trade through the stabilization of various currencies), whose book " A Concise History of European Monetary Integration: From EPU to EMU" is considered a definitive text, and who was with the IMF from 1965 to 1991, died July 24 in Bethesda, Maryland of heart disease at the age of 73.
Kay Whitmore - CEO of Eastman Kodak from 1990 to 1993, who rose through the ranks of the company from engineer to president and finally to the head position, but who was eventually fired after three years in the position for failing to move quickly enough to lower costs and protect the company from increasing financial losses, died after a month-long battle with leukemia on July 26 in Rochester, New York at age 72.