Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

July 12, 2004

Laurance Rockefeller, 94, a conservationist, philanthropist and leading figure in the field of venture capital, died in his sleep yesterday in New York City. The cause was pulmonary fibrosis, a spokesman said.

Mr. Rockefeller -- the fourth of six children of John D. Rockefeller Jr. -- was No. 377 on this year's Forbes magazine list of 587 billionaires, with $1.5 billion. But he was perhaps best known for his environmental work: He served under five presidents in several capacities related to conservation and the outdoors.

He founded the American Conservation Association in 1958 and was head of Jackson Hole Preserve Inc., a conservation organization that played a major role in protecting parts of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming and redwood trees in California.

Mr. Rockefeller helped develop national parks in Wyoming, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Vermont, and was chairman of the White House Conference on Natural Beauty.

He also was a pivotal developer of the economics field that became known as venture capital. In 1938, he helped finance World War I pilot Eddie Rickenbacker's Eastern Airlines, and he later invested in McDonnell Aircraft Corp., Intel Corp. and Apple Computer Inc.

Dr. Thomas F. Mancuso,

92, a pioneering epidemiologist who developed methods now widely used to examine the long-term effects of workplace health hazards, and who faced of political pressure over his study of the health effects of low-level radiation exposure, died July 4 of esophageal cancer in Oakland, Calif.

During his more than 50-year career in occupational safety and health, he pioneered the investigation of the health hazards of chemical compounds and metals in industrial use such as dyes, asbestos, chromium and beryllium. He generally is credited as being the first person to recognize that chromium and beryllium cause cancer.

As a research professor of occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh, he had been contracted by the Atomic Energy Commission in the mid-1960s to conduct a study of the effects of low-level radiation on approximately 500,000 workers in the nation's nuclear weapons production plants. After the government terminated his research contract in 1977, he contended that he was removed as director of the $6 million study because he refused to cover up findings of radiation hazards to workers. His allegations of a cover-up, which federal officials denied, led to a congressional hearing in 1978.

Ron Milner, 66, a playwright and major figure in the art that emerged from the civil rights movement, died of cancer Friday in a Detroit-area hospital.

His plays included 1974's What the Wine-Sellers Buy, a coming-of-age tale set on Detroit streets in the 1950s, and 1988's Checkmates, a comedy about contrasting couples that ran on Broadway featuring Paul Winfield, Ruby Dee, Denzel Washington and Marsha Jackson.

He wrote the book for Don't Get God Started, a gospel show that ran on Broadway for several months in the late 1980s. The morality tale featured dramatized lessons about life and love interspersed with gospel songs. His other plays include Who's Got His Own, Season's Reasons, and Jazz-Set.

Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, 74, the only woman to serve as Portugal's prime minister, died of heart failure Saturday, news reports from Lisbon said.

She served as prime minister in 1979. She also held a series of senior posts, including minister of social affairs, in provisional governments after the 1974 revolution that ended 30 years of dictatorship. She had also served as ambassador to UNESCO.

Trained as a chemical and industrial engineer, she ran unsuccessfully for president in 1986 for the Socialist party and was elected to the European Parliament in 1987.

Andrian Nikolayev, 74, whose 1962 flight into space set an endurance record, died July 3 of a heart attack in Cheboksary, Russia.

He became Russia's third cosmonaut to travel into space when he and Pavel Popovich were launched in separate crafts in August 1962. The pair made the first simultaneous flights, and Mr. Nikolayev set a separate endurance record, circling the Earth 64 times in 96 hours.

He returned to space in 1970 for his second and final mission onboard the Soyuz 9 craft. Altogether, he spent more than 200 hours in space, according to Russian media reports. He was married to Valentina Tereshkova, who in 1963 became the first woman to travel to space. They later divorced.

William K. McClure, 81, an Emmy Award-winning producer for 60 Minutes and other CBS News programs, died Friday of a heart ailment in Sardinia, Italy.

He began his career at CBS in 1952 after working as a cameraman for the Army Signal Corps. He was among six producers who started work for Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner when 60 Minutes debuted in 1968.

In his 40-year career, he won four Emmys for documentaries on topics ranging from the Sicilian mob to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Samir Naqqash, 66, an Israeli author and playwright who wrote almost exclusively in the Arabic of his native Iraq, died Tuesday of a heart attack at his home in Jerusalem.

While achieving wide-ranging acclaim in the Arab world, particularly among the Iraqi exile community, he was little known in Israel; only one of his 13 works was translated into Hebrew.

Almost all of Iraq's 130,000 Jews left the country after the establishment of the state of Israel set off a campaign of state-sponsored persecution of Jews in 1949. Most of his work focused on the lives and relations between Iraqis and Iraqi Jews.

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