Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

January 02, 2003

Hale E. Dougherty, 71, the Orange County, Calif., physician whose sly sense of humor and entrepreneurial spirit inspired him and his wife to market a Spiro Agnew wristwatch that unexpectedly took the nation by storm in the early 1970s, died of cancer Dec. 27 at his Laguna Niguel, Calif., home.

Mr. Dougherty's watch - which lampooned Richard Nixon's vice president and retailed for $14.95 - became a fashion statement for political insiders and celebrities during turbulent times. John Lennon ordered one and sent Mr. Dougherty a signed copy of the album Let It Be in return. Elizabeth Taylor personally ordered a dozen and then sent her chauffeur to pick them up. A lawyer for Mr. Nixon ordered two in a letter written on White House stationery.

Edward J. Kulik,76, an insurance executive who led the revival of the Chrysler Building in the midst of New York's fiscal meltdown of the 1970s, died Dec. 26 of a brain tumor at a hospital in Springfield, Mass.

Like the city itself, Manhattan's steel-spired monument to Art Deco had fallen on hard times, grown seedy and was shunned by tenants as it repeatedly flipped ownership. In 1975, the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Springfield had its turn, as New York City's financial and real estate interests kept an anxious watch.

Mass Mutual took over the Chrysler Building in foreclosure when the previous owner defaulted on the mortgage. Mr. Kulik was senior vice president of the insurance company at the time; he was also its chief lending officer. He was credited with persuading the company's board to restore the faded building to its glory.

Mary Wesley,90, the popular British author whose sensual and often bitingly witty novels were not published until she reached her 70s, died Monday in Totnes, Devon, her hometown in rural southwest England.

She was a lifelong writer who made her debut in 1968 with two books of fiction for children, Speaking Terms and The Sixth Seal. But her first novel for adults, Jumping the Queue, did not appear until 1983.

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