Charles Alfred Anderson,89, who taught himself to fly...


April 18, 1996

Charles Alfred Anderson,89, who taught himself to fly, then trained the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots, died Saturday in Tuskegee, Ala.

He was considered the father of black aviation. He ran Tuskegee University's pilot training program, an experiment begun before World War II, to disprove the belief that blacks could not learn to fly airplanes.

Mr. Anderson said he learned to fly by reading books and getting tips from young white pilots. He scraped together enough money to buy an airplane and got his pilot's license in 1929.

James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke,64, a mobster depicted in the movie "GoodFellas" and suspected of being the mastermind of the 1978 Lufthansa robbery that netted a record $5.8 million in cash, died of cancer in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday, according to his attorney, Judd Burstein. Before becoming ill this year, he was serving 20 years to life for murdering a drug dealer.

Tomas Gutierrez Alea,67, whose films depicting life in revolutionary Cuba helped break the stereotype of Cuban art as dull propaganda, died Tuesday of cancer in Mexico City.

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