Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

May 24, 2004

Samuel Johnson, 76, who became a billionaire by expanding the wax company started by his great-grandfather into the consumer products giant SC Johnson, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Wind Point, Wis.

Mr. Johnson, who retired as chairman of the Racine-based company in 2000, was ranked as the richest man in Wisconsin, with a personal wealth estimated by Forbes magazine this year at $7.4 billion. In 1967, he became the fourth generation to lead the 118-year-old family business that once was called Johnson Wax. He turned the business into four global companies that employ more than 28,000 people, making furniture polishes, waxes and other household cleaning products.

SC Johnson's annual sales rose from about $171 million to about $6 billion under his leadership. The company now generates more than $8 billion in annual sales and operates in more than 70 countries, according to the company's Web site.

Philip Zaro, 82, a co-founder of the bakery chain that provides commuters with bagels and muffins at New York's Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station, died of a stroke on May 14 in Harrison, N.Y.

Zaro's Bread Basket became a familiar part of New York life when Mr. Zaro installed a branch of the family bakery in a former baggage-claim area of Grand Central Terminal in the summer of 1977. Today, Zaro's has four stores in Grand Central and three in Penn Station. An estimated 1.5 million people walk by the stores each day, and the stores sell 10,000 muffins a week.

He was born in Lublin, Poland. His father immigrated to the United States in 1927, and when his small bakery in Newark, N.J., was up and running two years later, he sent for his family. Before Mr. Zaro was old enough to work in the office with his father, he delivered rolls on his bicycle, selling them three for a nickel.

Bernard Lefkowitz, 66, an investigative journalist and author whose books explored contemporary culture, died of cancer Friday in New York City.

In 1997 he wrote Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb, about the 1989 gang rape of a mentally disabled girl by a group of popular high school students in an affluent New Jersey suburb. The book explored the town's willingness to rally around the perpetrators and disparage the victim.

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year and an Edgar Award finalist, Our Guys was made into a television movie. His books The Victims (1969), Breaktime: Living Without Work in a Nine-to-Five World (1980) and Tough Change: Growing Up on Your Own in America (1987), also explored social issues.

Gloria E. Anzaldua, 61, who transcended the hardships of her early years as a migrant laborer to become a leading radical feminist and cultural theorist, died at her Santa Cruz, Calif., home May 16 of complications of diabetes.

One of the first openly lesbian Chicana authors, Ms. Anzaldua attracted critical notice over the past 20 years for writings that merged scholarly research, folk tales, autobiography, poetry and political comment. She was a lecturer for many years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and was about to submit her doctoral dissertation there when she died.

Melvin J. Lasky, 84, the editor of two major intellectual journals and a man at the vortex of the debates and controversies thrown up by the Cold War, died of heart failure Wednesday at his home in Berlin.

In a career that spanned several decades, during which he lived in London, Paris and Berlin, Mr. Lasky edited the monthly magazine Encounter, which was not only one of Europe's leading literary and political journals but also a major force in articulating the point of view best summed up by the phrase "liberal anti-communism."

In 1966, The New York Times disclosed that the magazine had been secretly financed by the CIA, which channeled funds through an organization called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Mr. Lasky and the other editors, Stephen Spender and Irving Kristol, wrote a letter denying knowledge of the CIA's role, and there was never evidence that the magazine had tailored its views to suit any government agency.

James A. Krumhansl, 84, a physicist and administrator at Cornell University who raised an early voice against a federal research project that would have created the nation's largest particle accelerator, the Superconducting Supercollider, died May 6 in Lebanon, N.H., of complications after a stroke

His research was centered on the properties of solid materials, movements of atoms within solids and other topics of condensed-matter physics. But he became most widely recognized for his testimony before Congress in 1987, when he questioned the financing of the Superconducting Supercollider.

Proponents of the project, projected at the time to cost $5.9 billion, said it would allow scientists to study the subatomic particles believed to form building blocks of the universe. As president-elect of the American Physical Society, Mr. Krumhansl testified that the supercollider would probably hurt other research by diverting money from other promising ideas. The supercollider project was canceled by Congress in 1993.

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