Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

November 03, 2003

Richard E. Neustadt,

84, the presidential adviser, scholar and historian who founded Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, died Friday in England, where he lived with his wife, Shirley Williams, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in England's House of Lords.

"He was a very vigorous man, intellectually sharp as a tack and obviously one of America's pre-eminent presidential historians and adviser to presidents," said Robert Reich, a close friend and former U.S. labor secretary. "He leaves behind not only a significant body of work, but a generation of students who learned about politics and presidency and the excitement of political involvement, at his knee."

A former adviser to presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. Neustadt also wrote many books on the U.S. presidency, including Presidential Power: The Politics of Leadership, which offered his insight into governmental decision-making.

"He was one of the first to understand and examine the nature of presidential power," Mr. Reich said. "Neustadt saw presidential power as not merely authority that comes with the office, but authority that has to be utilized. He was the first to do that, and that book marked a turning point."

That book, first published in 1960, became a staple of courses in presidential leadership and still is widely used in college classrooms across the country. In addition, he wrote Preparing to be President, a compilation of memos he penned for Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton at their request to help their transitions into the presidency.

John Hart Ely,

64, a constitutional law scholar and author who taught at Yale and Harvard universities and at Stanford University, where he served as dean of the law school from 1982 to 1987, died of cancer Oct. 25 in Miami. He had taught at Stanford until 1996, when he moved to Florida as Richard A. Hausler Professor of Law at the University of Miami.

One of the most often cited legal experts, Mr. Ely probably was known best for the first of his three books, Democracy and Distrust: A Theory of Judicial Review. Published in 1980, the book focused on the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution and was dedicated to his mentor, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

A liberal Democrat, Mr. Ely wrote that the judiciary's role was to assure democracy with an open and fair political process -- without focusing solely on original intent of the drafters of the Constitution or inferring moral rights and values from the document's wording. Critics on the right said he merely provided a way for judges to impose their own wishes, while critics on the left said he failed to protect such rights as the right to privacy.

William F. Draper,

90, known for his painted depictions of presidents, royalty and celebrities, died Oct. 26 at his New York City home.

In 1999, the Portrait Society of America called Mr. Draper the "dean of American portraiture" when he received the group's lifetime achievement award. His portraits of presidents Kennedy and Nixon hang in the National Portrait Gallery and his portrait of former New York Mayor John Lindsay is in City Hall.

After studying at Harvard and the National Academy of Design in New York, he joined the Navy in 1942. He often worked in foxholes or on aircraft carrier decks, sketching battles as they happened.

Yehiel Shemi,

81, an Israeli sculptor renowned for his abstract works in metal, died Friday.

He was born in the Israeli port city of Haifa in 1922. He made his first sculptures in wood and stone while working as a construction worker at Kibbutz Beit Haarava, a collective farm he joined in 1939. In 1949, he helped found Cabri, located in the western Galilee region, where he continued to work and live, apart from periods spent in France, Italy and New York.

According to the Grove Dictionary of Art Online, Mr. Shemi began using mass-produced materials such as iron and scrap metal in the 1950s. He soon began receiving commissions for monumental sculptures in metal, including works at the Jerusalem Theater and the city's International Conference Center.

Lynn S. Beedle,

85, a leader and creative force in the study, design and building of skyscrapers, died on Thursday at his home in Hellertown, Pa.

A structural engineer and a longtime professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., Mr. Beedle was renowned in the construction industry as the founder and guiding influence behind the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The organization, which was formed in 1969, brought together architects, engineers, product suppliers, urban planners, sociologists and others concerned with skyscrapers and their effect on the city environment. The group's studies and monographs soon became essential reading for experts on tall buildings.

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