Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

March 17, 2003

Edward A. "Ted" Rogers, 82, a media and political adviser who helped save Richard Nixon's career with the famous "Checkers" speech in 1952, died Thursday in Sarasota, Fla.

Mr. Rogers was a broadcast executive for an ad agency in California in 1950 when he met Mr. Nixon, then a congressman. Mr. Nixon asked him to help with personal appearances and television interviews.

In 1952, Mr. Nixon, campaigning as Dwight Eisenhower's running mate, was accused of accepting gifts from businessmen. Some Eisenhower advisers wanted to drop Mr. Nixon from the ticket.

"I told him that if he left it to the guys in the smoke-filled rooms, he'd never make it," Mr. Rogers said in 1987. "I said he had to take his case to the people."

Mr. Rogers set up a nationwide broadcast that pre-empted the Milton Berle show. An emotional Mr. Nixon told Americans he had taken no gifts except his dog, Checkers. Impressed by an overwhelmingly favorable response, Mr. Eisenhower stayed with Mr. Nixon.

Mr. Rogers is variously credited with writing, arranging or producing what came to be called the "Checkers" speech.

Edson Raff, 95, an Army colonel who bucked higher-ups to outfit Special Forces units with what would become their trademark green berets, died Tuesday in Garnett, Kan.

Colonel Raff came up with the distinctive beret in 1954 as a way to improve flagging morale of a Special Forces unit of which he had been given command.

Zinn Arthur, 90, a big-band leader who toured with Irving Berlin's "This Is the Army" show during World War II, died Tuesday in Los Angeles.

After the war, Mr. Arthur became a celebrity photographer.

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