Deaths Elsewhere

August 22, 2004

Pendleton Herring,

100, a political scientist, writer and foundation executive who did pioneering work in the study of American politics, died Tuesday of pneumonia at his home in Princeton, N.J.

He was born in Baltimore and received a bachelor's degree in English and a doctorate in political science from the Johns Hopkins University.

As a scholar, he worked to understand the basic mechanics of government and to apply rigor to the emerging study of political science. Group Representation before Congress (Johns Hopkins, 1929) was the first scholarly study of American interest groups. In Public Administration and the Public Interest (McGraw-Hill, 1936), he examined the effects of lobbying.

In his most influential work, The Politics of Democracy: American Parties in Action (Norton, 1940), he analyzed the history of American politics and argued that its improvised, decentralized political parties work better in the American system than the more programmatic, disciplined parties that many reformers have called for.

As president of the Social Science Research Council from 1948 until 1968, he sought to systematize the social sciences through quantification and the application of theories. He was a director and president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and president of the American Political Science Association.

Charlie Waller,

69, a self-taught guitarist and vocalist who founded the Country Gentlemen bluegrass band, died Wednesday at his home in Gordonsville, Va. Family members say Waller had been in poor health for the last five years or so.

The Country Gentlemen formed in 1957 in Washington, and he was still playing with the band, along with his son, Randy, up until his death. The Country Gentlemen had more than 100 members in its 47-year history and is scheduled to release a new album, Songs of the American Spirit, next month.

The band is known for its singing and virtuoso instrumentals and expanded the definition of "bluegrass," making a name for itself by drawing a wide audience, including traditional country and bluegrass fans and folk and soft-rock listeners.

Herbert Hill,

80, who served as the NAACP's labor secretary from 1953 to 1977 and later helped establish the University of Wisconsin-Madison's black studies department, died Aug. 15 at a hospice in Madison, Wis.

Among other things, Mr. Hill, who was white, worked to desegregate the nation's building trades unions and the Ladies Garment Workers Union while he held his post with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He then joined the university, where he served as a professor until he retired in 1997. He wrote numerous articles on race, workplace discrimination by organized labor, black literature and jazz, and edited three anthologies of black writing.

Susan Mary Alsop,

86, whose parties featuring ambassadors, politicians and assorted luminaries were the talk of influential Washington in the 1960s, died Wednesday at her Georgetown home of complications from pneumonia.

A descendant of first Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, she grew up in privilege, enjoying suppers with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and tea with author Edith Wharton.

She worked at Vogue magazine as a receptionist, model and writer before moving to Paris with husband Bill Patten, who worked at the embassy. Paris is where she began throwing the grand parties for which she was known, mixing diplomats with famous guests as varied as Greta Garbo and Ho Chi Minh.

A year after Mr. Patten died, she married his college roommate, columnist Joseph Alsop, and moved her parties to Washington. President Kennedy visited her home on his inauguration night. After her divorce from Mr. Alsop in 1973, she took up writing and editing books and became a contributing editor to Architectural Digest.

Clyde S. Cahill,

81, a senior U.S. district judge whose fervent commitment to civil rights was spurred by a 1941 lynching, died Wednesday at his home in St. Louis.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Cahill to the U.S. District Court in St. Louis in 1980, making him the first black federal trial judge there.

Judge Cahill was born in St. Louis and received his law degree from Saint Louis University in 1951. He served as an assistant circuit attorney, a lawyer for the NAACP and a city circuit judge. He had said that the lynching of a black man in the southeast Missouri town Sikeston spurred his interest in civil rights. Cleo Wright was lynched for allegedly raping a white woman.

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