Souphanouvong, 86, the "Red Prince" of Laos who fought...


January 11, 1995

Souphanouvong, 86, the "Red Prince" of Laos who fought with Vietnamese and Lao guerrillas against the United States in Indochina and later became his country's president, died Monday, Laotian Radio reported.

The radio, monitored in Bangkok, Thailand, said that Souphanouvong's death was a severe blow to the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the people as a whole, and that the government had decreed five days of mourning.

Souphanouvong became president after the Communist victory in Indochina in 1975 and held the post until 1986, when he stepped down from the largely ceremonial position on health grounds. Laotian Radio said he had been suffering from heart disease.

Souphanouvong was known as the "Red Prince" after leading the Communist Pathet Lao for more than two decades of guerrilla warfare against the rightist government of his half-brother, Prince Souvanna Phouma. The struggle between the two princes for control of the landlocked kingdom dominated the history of Laos from its independence from France in 1953 to the Communist victory in December 1975.

Hope Montgomery Scott, 90, whose socialite lifestyle was the model for the 1940 movie "The Philadelphia Story," died Monday from head injuries after falling at her estate in Radnor Township, Pa.

Mrs. Scott was equally accomplished as a horsewoman and as a socialite. She took delight in recounting four marriage proposals on the night of her social debut in 1922. Her father was financier Col. Robert Montgomery, and she married Edgar Scott, heir to the Pennsylvania Railroad fortune.

Tracy Lord, the high-spirited debutante portrayed by Katharine Hepburn in the movie, was the creation of Philip Barry, who had been a Harvard classmate of Edgar Scott.

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