Dr. W. Montague Cobb, a former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and faculty member at Howard University Medical School for 45 years, died Tuesday at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, where he had been treated for heart problems and pneumonia. He was 86. An amateur violinist and historian who once estimated that he had helped train more than 6,000 physicians as a teacher of anatomy, Dr. Cobb wrote more than 600 scientific papers in a career that saw service on many scientific and government committees. He was a member of the board of directors of the NAACP for more than 30 years and served as president from 1976 to 1982. He also served as president of the National Medical Association, the leading organization of black physicians, and was editor of its journal from 1949 to 1977.
William O. Johnston, a graphic designer who helped found organizations promoting awareness of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, died of AIDS Nov. 13 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was 38 and lived in Manhattan. Mr. Johnston, a native of Charlotte, N.C., was a graduate of the Parsons School of Design and taught graphic design there. A founding member of Act-Up, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, he was co-designer of the "Silence=Death" symbol of AIDS activism.
Robert L. Rabe, 62, a retired assistant chief of the Washington police and an authority on dealing with hostage-takers and other terrorists, died of cancer Nov. 15 at his home in Derwood, Md.