Todd Duncan,95, the baritone who created the role of Porgy...


March 03, 1998

Todd Duncan,95, the baritone who created the role of Porgy in Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" and was the first black singer to join the New York City Opera, died Saturday at his home in Washington.

He was known for his elegant phrasing and burnished tone and his dramatic persuasiveness. Those qualities won him his debut role at the New York City Opera in 1945, when he sang Tonio in a production of Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci." His City Opera debut made him the first black singer to perform opera with a white cast.

Henry Steele Commager,95, a prolific historian of America who believed the U.S. Constitution was the "greatest monument to political science in literature," died yesterday at his home in Amherst, Mass. He was John Woodruff Simpson lecturer at Amherst College -- a post previously held by poets Robert Frost and Archibald McLeish.

The best known of his many books was "The Growth of the American Republic," which he wrote with the late Samuel Eliot Morison in 1931. He collaborated with Allan Nevins on the 10th edition, published in 1987. Through its many revisions, the book served as one of the standard college texts for generations of students.

Ramchandran Jaikumar,53, a Harvard Business School professor who touted minimalist factory designs to prevent disruptions at work, died Feb. 10 of a heart attack while mountain climbing in Ecuador.

Jack Micheline,68, a Beat Generation poet who wrote about the downtrodden and called himself one of America's last troubadours, died of a heart attack Friday in San Francisco. He had suffered from diabetes.

Cardinal Antonio Quarracino,74, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Buenos Aires, died Saturday in Argentina of complications after intestinal surgery.

Harvey Russell,79, who worked for Pepsi-Cola Co. for 33 years and was one of the first blacks to rise to vice president of a major American corporation, died Feb. 20 in New York.

Garner Shriver,85, a Republican who served eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, died Sunday in Wichita, Kan.

John Anthony "Jo" Floyd,74, who was chairman of Christie's International Ltd. auctioneers from 1976 to 1988 and led its expansion into New York, died Feb. 20 of cancer at a clinic in London, Christie's said.

Jean Balland,63, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon, France, died Sunday, less than two months after he was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II. He had been suffering from lung cancer and was hospitalized in November, the archdiocese of Lyon said in a statement.

Pub Date: 3/03/98

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