Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

December 30, 2003

Dr. Herschell Hamilton, 78, who provided free medical care to civil rights activists in the 1960s, died Sunday in Birmingham, Ala., of complications from prostate cancer.

Dr. Hamilton, a general surgeon from Pensacola, Fla., opened his Birmingham practice in 1959. Known as the "Battle Surgeon" and the "Dog-Bite Doctor," he also was a pioneer in the civil rights movement.

He treated local residents and those who traveled to Birmingham to participate in the struggle for civil rights, often refusing to accept pay.

His patients included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a foot soldier in the movement and now interim president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Dr. Hamilton's generosity was not limited to civil rights activists. Those who knew him said no patient, regardless of the means to pay, was refused treatment at his office.

Dick St. John, 63, half of the Dick & Dee Dee duo, whose 1961 hit, "The Mountain's High," reached No. 2 on the Billboard pop singles chart, died Saturday in Los Angeles.

Judith Capps, a family friend, said Mr. St. John died after falling from a ladder Friday.

Dick & Dee Dee's biggest hit was "The Mountain's High," but they also cracked the Top 25 pop singles chart in 1963 with "Young and In Love" and 1965's "Thou Shalt Not Steal."

Mr. St. John and Mary Sperling, who was renamed "Dee Dee," reflected the mixture of influences that characterized the early 1960s American pop music scene, combining elements of doo-wop, blue-eyed soul and rhythm and blues in their sound.

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