Frances Gershwin Godowsky, 92, better known as Frankie...

Deaths Elsewhere

January 21, 1999

Frances Gershwin Godowsky, 92, better known as Frankie Gershwin, the little sister of George and Ira Gershwin, died Monday in New York. Mrs. Godowsky, the youngest of four Gershwin children -- which included another brother, Arthur -- was the family's first big breadwinner, touring in a children's musical, "Daintyland," when she was 11.

She sang in a couple of Broadway shows in the 1920s but was better known as the favored chanteuse of her brother George, who often had her try out his new songs and performed with her at parties.

Theodore Tannenwald Jr., 82, a retired U.S. Tax Court judge and a foreign aid specialist in the Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy administrations, died in Washington on Sunday of a heart attack.

Thomas Zosel,55, an engineer credited with preventing at least 1.5 billion pounds of pollutants from being produced at 3M, died Saturday in Hudson, Wis. As manager of environmental initiatives in 3M's Corporate Environmental Technology and Safety Services organization, he was responsible in part for improving the company's environmental performance.

David W. Belin, 70, a prominent Des Moines, Iowa, attorney who served as a top investigator to the Warren Commission, died Sunday from head injuries suffered in a fall in a Minnesota hotel room. He wrote two books on the assassination, including "Final Disclosure."

Harvey Miller, 63, a television comedy writer who won an Oscar nomination for the screenplay "Private Benjamin," died Jan. 8 of heart failure in Los Angeles.

Bennett Harrison, 56, an outspoken critic of U.S. economic policy and the author of 1983's "The De-Industrialization of America," died Sunday in New York of complications of esophageal cancer.

W. Page Keeton, 89, a former University of Texas law school dean who lived to see his daughter elected the first female comptroller of Texas, died Sunday in Austin. Mr. Keeton built a national reputation as an expert on torts, the body of civil law for recovering damages for wrongful acts. He and his brother, a U.S. district judge, wrote a text used by about 60 law schools. His daughter, Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, was sworn into office this month.

Sammy Solovitz, 71, a wise-cracking, hard-living mentor to generations of copy boys at the New York Times, died on Jan. 12 in Houston. Mr. Solovitz, who had lived in Texas since his retirement in 1984, died in his apartment of natural but as yet undetermined causes, said his niece, Brenda Polunsky.

From the day he was hired at the Times -- Nov. 18, 1943 -- Samuel Leo Solovitz captivated the low and the mighty with his feisty manner and pugnacious wit. To the scores of well-known reporters and editors who came to the business through his newsroom boot camp, he became a figure in lore -- a symbol of an era when newsrooms pulsated to the clack of typewriters and copy boys rushed stories, a few paragraphs at a time, from reporters to editors, and then to the printers in the composing room.

On the day he was hired, he was 16 and delivering telegrams. At 4 feet 9 inches, he was too short for the Army but tall enough to work as a uniformed messenger for Western Union. He rose quickly to become head of the nightside copy boys, supervising a crew of journalistic aspirants.

Pub Date: 1/21/99

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