Jean Delage, 99, a French writer who made a white cane the...

Deaths elsewhere

January 12, 1992

Jean Delage, 99, a French writer who made a white cane the recognized symbol of blindness, has died in Rabat, Morocco, on Monday. Mr. Delage founded of the Cannes Blanches (White Canes) association for the blind in France after World War I. He began his career as a cabaret singer in Paris and wrote several plays staged in Paris and Brussels, Belgium. He began a new career as a journalist in his 60th year for the state-owned Radio Maroc in Morocco.

Frank Yerby, a prolific novelist whose themes ran the gamut from life in the antebellum South to Basque terrorism, died of heart failure Nov. 29 in Madrid. His wife, Blanca Calle Perez, said Mr. Yerby had insisted she keep his death secret for at least five weeks. Mr. Yerby's first and most popular novel was "Foxes of Harrow," published in 1946 and later made into a movie, which the author called "one of the worst of all times." It is a novel of lust in the Old South, much loved by generations of Southern white women who Mr. Yerby said were always disconcerted when they discovered he was not white. Mrs. Yerby was the only mourner present at her husband's burial Nov. 30.

Bill Naughton, the Irish writer who created a memorable cockney woman-chaser named Alfie, died at age 82 Thursday at his home the Isle of Man, his family said. The Alfie role in the 1966 film made Michael Caine an international star. Mr. Naughton's comedy "Spring and Port Wine" about a Lancashire family broke box-office records at London's Mermaid Theatre and was also filmed. Mr. Naughton was a coal bagger before his writing talent was discovered. His autobiography, "Saintly Billy -- A Catholic Boyhood," was published in 1988.

Muhammad I. Kenyatta, 47, a longtime civil rights activist and visiting professor at the University of Buffalo Law School, died Jan. 3 from complications brought on by diabetes. From 1966 to 1968, Mr. Kenyatta worked for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which encouraged blacks to participate in the political process. From 1972 to 1981, Mr. Kenyatta was vice chairman of the Pan African Skills Project, an educational program.

Andrew Marton, 83, a film director who specialized in action scenes like the chariot race in the 1959 "Ben Hur," died of pneumonia Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. Mr. Marton's reputation for filming the unusual became secure in Hollywood after the 1951 release of "Storm Over Tibet," an adventure film. In 1936, Mr. Marton had shot about 50 minutes of the finished film during the first International Himalayan Expedition into Tibet. On the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakorum range at an altitude of 26,000 feet, Mr. Marton later said, there was so little oxygen in the air that he had to blow on a match to light it. Released in prewar Germany under the title "Demon of the Himalayas," the film displeased Nazi censors, and few people saw it. After the war, Mr. Marton found a print of the film in Switzerland, and reused the Himalayan sequences in "Storm Over Tibet." In 1958, Mr. Marton took charge of filming the chariot race for William Wyler's "Ben Hur." He spent four months working on the 10-minute sequence.

Muhammad I. Kenyatta, 47, a longtime civil rights activist and visiting professor at the University of Buffalo Law School, died Jan. 3 from complications brought on by diabetes. From 1966 to 1968, Mr. Kenyatta worked for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which encouraged blacks to participate in the political process. From 1972 to 1981, Mr. Kenyatta was vice chairman of the Pan African Skills Project, an educational program. He also was a representative to the United Nations non-governmental organizations section from 1972 to 1978.

Gretchen Poston, 59, White House social secretary in the Carter administration, died Monday in Washington after a nearly five-year battle with breast cancer. After leaving the Carter White House, Mrs. Poston was a partner in Washington Inc., a consulting firm for social events and conventions. She was a co-author of the "Wonderful Wedding Workbook," published in 1966. She also organized social events for Democratic national

conventions.

Edward F. Carpenter, 71, who as founding headmaster of Harlem Preparatory School helped transform dropouts into Ivy Leaguers, died on Monday of heart failure in Engelwood, N.J. Harlem Prep )) was begun in 1967 as a private school, sponsored by corporate and foundation grants, dedicated to drawing alienated youngsters back to school. The school eventually had a peak enrollment of 1,100, and hundreds of its graduates went on to college. The New York City school system took over Harlem Prep in 1974 after years of dwindling private grants.

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