Otto Wichterle, 84, a Czech professor widely regarded as...

Deaths Elsewhere

August 19, 1998

Otto Wichterle, 84, a Czech professor widely regarded as the father of modern contact lenses, died yesterday Tuesday in Prague, the Czech Academy of Sciences said. One of the world's foremost authorities on macromolecular chemistry in medicine, he discovered in the 1950s hydrogel poly-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, or HEMA, a polymer that would retain water to stay moist on eyeballs.

Frederick H. Knubel, 62, Columbia University's spokesman for 35 years and the man who oversaw the announcement of the Pulitzer Prizes each April, died Saturday after a cycling accident. He had been bicycling in the Hamptons of Long Island when a vehicle struck a deer, which then hit him.

Joel Barr, 82, a U.S. defector who was a friend of convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and a computer whiz credited with propelling Russia into the computer age, died Aug. 1 in Moscow of complications from diabetes.

Julien Green, 97, an American novelist who enriched the French language with tales of the American South in a career that spanned more than six decades, died Thursday in Paris.

Harold J. Ruttenberg, 84, an economist who helped organize the United Steelworkers of America, died Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Davina Thompson, 47, the world's first known triple-transplant patient, died Thursday in London of lung disease -- 12 years after the operation that gave her a new heart, lungs and liver.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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