Earl Robinson, a composer-singer who memorialized the plight of the U.S. laborer in such hit songs as "Joe Hill," died in a car accident in his native Seattle Saturday night. He was 81. Mr. Robinson's tunes have chronicled the U.S. labor movement since the Great Depression. They include "Ballad for Americans," sung by Paul Robeson; "The House I Live In," recorded by Frank Sinatra; "Hurry Sundown," sung by Peter, Paul and Mary; and "Black and White," which became a hit for Three Dog Night in 1972. His most famous song was "Joe Hill," a ballad about a labor organizer whose fighting spirit lived on after his execution bTC by a Utah firing squad in 1914, revived by Joan Baez at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
Mindert DeJong, 85, an award-winning author of children's books, died on July 16 in Allegan, Mich., of emphysema. Mr. DeJong won the Hans Christian Andersen International Children's Book Medal in 1962; the National Book Award in 1969 for "Journey From Peppermint Street," about the wanderings of a 7-year-old Dutch boy; and the Newberry Medal in 1955 for "The Wheel on the School," a story about six youngsters in a small Dutch fishing village. His first children's book, "The Big Goose and the Little White Duck," was published in 1938. Among his other books are "Good Luck Duck" (1950) and "Smoke Above the Lane" (1951).
Armina Marshall, 96, an actress, playwright and co-administrator the Theater Guild whose career on Broadway spanned more than half a century, died at her home in Manhattan Saturday of heart failure. For nearly four decades beginning in the early 1920s, Miss Marshall, together with her husband, Lawrence Langner, and Theresa Helburn, co-founders of the Theater Guild, guided the subscription company through its glory years as one of the most successful producers of Broadway plays. Perhaps the most celebrated was "Oklahoma!" in 1943. Miss Marshall and Mr. Langner, who had been married 37 years when he died in 1962, were the co-authors of seven plays, three of which made it to Broadway, including the 1933 hit "Pursuit of Happiness."
Sion Manoogian, 85, a former primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, died July 16 in Etchmiadzin, Armenia, of cancer. Archbishop Manoogian headed the diocese from 1958 to 1966, after which he became pontifical legate in charge of the Armenian communities in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Since 1955 he had been a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council, the highest Armenian ecclesiastical body, and for several years until his death he had served as its chairman.
Sri Chitra Thirunal Balarama Varma, among the last kings to rule before India won independence from Britain in 1947, died of a stroke Friday. He was 78. Mr. Varma's boldest act as maharajah of Travancore, now part of Kerala state, was introducing a proclamation in 1936 that allowed low-caste Hindus and untouchables to enter temples, which at that time were reserved for the highborn. The maharajah ascended the throne in 1924 at age 12; his reign ended along with that of about 600 other kings and princes when their states were merged with the union of Indian states.