Deaths Elsewhere

July 11, 2004

Paula Danziger,

59, an award-winning children's author best known for her classic The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and the Amber Brown book series, died Thursday in New York City after suffering complications from a heart attack.

She published more than 30 books, becoming one of America's most popular authors for young adults. Her works were translated into dozens of languages, bringing her signature style of humor and honesty to readers around the world.

Her debut book, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, was released 30 years ago this fall. It involved a teen-age girl overcoming a weight problem and emerging with a heightened self-confidence. Over the years, Ms. Danziger received a variety of honors for her work, including awards from the International Reading Association-Children's Book Council.

Jeff Smith,

65, a white-bearded minister who became public television's popular "Frugal Gourmet" before a sex scandal ruined his career, died Wednesday in Seattle. He had long suffered from heart disease and had a valve replaced in 1981.

He had his own program on the Seattle PBS affiliate - Cooking Fish Creatively - and his career took off with an appearance on Phil Donahue's talk show. The Frugal Gourmet became the nation's most-watched cooking show, and a series of accompanying cookbooks broke sales records for the category. The show ran from 1983 to 1997.

In 1997, seven men filed a lawsuit alleging they had been sexually abused by Mr. Smith as youths. Six said the abuse occurred while they worked for him at the Chaplain's Pantry, a restaurant he operated in Tacoma, Wash., in the 1970s. He denied the allegations and was never charged with a crime. He and his insurance companies paid an undisclosed sum to settle the lawsuit.

Hugh Shearer,

81, a prime minister in the early stages of Jamaica's independence, died Monday at his home in Kingston.

He was prime minister from 1967 to 1972, succeeding Donald Sangster, who died in office, to become prime minister five years after Jamaica gained independence from Britain.

Many credited him with overseeing one of Jamaica's most stable economic periods and for building dozens of primary schools.

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