Harriet "Patsy" Pratt Morris,66, a crusader against the...

Deaths Elsewhere

March 26, 1997

Harriet "Patsy" Pratt Morris,66, a crusader against the death penalty, died Sunday of lung cancer in Atlanta. Dubbed the "Queen of Death Row" in a 1979 Time magazine profile, Mrs. Morris spent many hours trying to persuade lawyers to represent defendants of often heinous crimes for free in Georgia death penalty cases.

She helped establish the Atlanta chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and was its administrative director in the 1970s.

She was one of the first to document what studies would later confirm: The likelihood of receiving the death penalty depended largely on race, the victim's social status and the county where the crime occurred.

Martin Caidin,69, whose novels were the basis for the television series "The Six Million Dollar Man" and the movie "Marooned," died of thyroid cancer Monday in Tallahassee, Fla. "The Six Million Dollar Man," a 1970s series starring Lee Majors, was inspired by his novel "Cyborg." His novel "Marooned" became a 1969 movie starring Gregory Peck. The film won an Oscar for special effects.

U. Alexis Johnson,88, an ambassador, undersecretary of state and chief negotiator during the SALT deliberations, died Monday of pneumonia in Raleigh, N.C.

Harold Melvin,57, singer and band leader of soul pop group the Blue Notes and the man who coached singer Teddy Pendergrass, died Monday in Philadelphia. He was first hospitalized in July after a stroke. Doctors said he probably died as a result of a second stroke.

Thomas W. Smith,60, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a Harvard Medical School professor, died of cancer Sunday in Weston, Mass. He wrote more than 300 research papers, and was a director of the American Heart Association and chairman of its research program.

E. Edward Wedman,74, who helped found the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University, died Sunday in Corvallis, Ore. He was an expert in infectious animal diseases and epidemiology.

James A. Ryder,83, who pioneered the full-service truck leasing business by founding what became Ryder Systems Inc. in the midst of the Great Depression, died yesterday in Miami. The former trucking tycoon suffered a stroke Friday. He had battled heart disease for years.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1913, he moved with his family to Miami six years later. He started out in business in 1933 as a Miami truck driver, hauling materials used to build Miami Beach during the Depression. He moved into the truck-leasing business in 1937, winning a contract with a now-defunct beer company to distribute their product.

Ryder System Inc., the Miami-based corporation that grew from his small company, pulled in $5.5 billion in revenue last year from operations in nine countries in North and South America and Europe. He had little contact with the company in recent years.

Robert Richards,98, a longtime executive at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. who helped introduce cellophane to North America, died March 8 at his home in Wilmington, Del. He was affiliated with DuPont for more than 50 years.

Shortly after joining the company in 1923, he went to Europe as a member of the DuPont team that acquired cellophane-manufacturing technology from a French company, La Cellophane SA. He helped establish DuPont's first cellophane factory, in Buffalo, N.Y., and served as superintendent of DuPont cellophane operations in Old Hickory, Tenn., and in Richmond, Va.

DuPont abandoned the cellophane business in 1986, when it sold its last cellophane plant, in Tecumseh, Kan., to Flexel Inc.

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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