Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

August 30, 2004

Laura Branigan, 47, a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit "Gloria," died Thursday of a brain aneurysm in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, N.Y. Her brother Mark Branigan said she had complained to a friend of a headache for about two weeks before she died, but had not sought medical attention.

"Gloria," a signature song from her debut album Branigan, stayed atop the pop charts for 36 weeks and earned her a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocalist, the first of four nominations in her career.

She also made television appearances, including guest spots on CHiPs, and in the films Mugsy's Girls and Backstage.

After the death of her husband, Lawrence Kruteck, in 1996, she stopped performing but returned to the stage in 2001. In 2002 she starred as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical Love, Janis, which earned her rave reviews.

Kenneth MacDonald, 98, a former editor and publisher who led the Des Moines Register at a time when it won many Pulitzer Prizes, died Thursday at a hospice in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he had been recovering from a stroke.

He worked for the Register and its afternoon sister paper the Des Moines Tribune for 50 years, retiring in 1977. The Tribune ceased publication in 1982.

Under Mr. MacDonald, 12 staff members won Pulitzer prizes. At one point in the 1970s, only The New York Times had more Pulitzers for national reporting than the Register. In 1953 he became the third editor of the Register and Tribune after serving as news editor, managing editor and executive editor. He became publisher in 1960.

Richard W. Ervin, 99, a former Florida attorney general who helped the state make the slow transition from segregation and later served as chief justice of the state Supreme Court, died Tuesday in Tallahassee after a long illness.

He served on the state's high court from 1964 to 1975 and was its chief justice from 1969 through 1971.

But it was during his time as attorney general from 1949 to 1964 that he was closely involved in one of the most historic but wrenching parts of the state's history when he outlined how Florida should move forward slowly but surely in desegregating its schools. He wrote that Florida would desegregate its schools - unlike other Southern states that resisted - but argued for time to do it slowly to avoid violence.

During his term as attorney general, spanning those of five governors, he was also noted for a zeal for trying to rid Florida of organized bookmaking and illegal gambling.

Timothy B. Harbert, 53, chairman and chief executive of State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based fund management giant, died of a heart attack Tuesday after being stricken in his home in Boxford, Mass.

He had been head of the asset-management arm of State Street Corp. since 2001. State Street Global Advisors is known as a major index manager that also pursues hundreds of different investment strategies.

He joined the financial services company in 1987 and became president of State Street Global Advisors in 1991. The next year, he was appointed chief operating officer of the unit, and was named chairman and chief executive of the division in 2001.

George Kirgo, 78, a scriptwriter and novelist who was president of the Writers Guild of America West during its tumultuous five-month strike against the movie studios in 1988, died of kidney failure Aug. 22 in Santa Monica, Calif.

The strike by 9,000 writers was one of the longest in Hollywood history and among the first nationally to pit creative artists against the new conglomerate owners of studios. Although critics tried to unseat him after the strike, he was re-elected with 65 percent of the vote. He earned the guild's Morgan Cox Award for outstanding service to the group in 2001.

His big screen credits include Red Line 7000 in 1965, co-written with director Howard Hawks; Spinout in 1966 co-written with Theodore Flicker; and Don't Make Waves in 1967.

He wrote scripts for such popular television series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Room 222, Love, American Style, Adam's Rib, My Mother the Car and Get Christie Love! He also wrote some 15 movies for television, including Angel on My Shoulder in 1980.

Albert Delacorte, 90, an editor and teacher who helped guide his family's philanthropy, died on Aug. 23 at his home in San Francisco of prostate cancer complicated by emphysema.

Mr. Delacorte was a son of George T. Delacorte, who founded Dell Publishing and gave millions to embellish New York City with fountains, statues, theaters and schools bearing his name. He died in 1991.

The younger Delacorte administered the trust that gave $4.3 million to Columbia University in 1985 to establish the George Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism and endow a professorship. He worked until 1961 at Dell, editing the magazines Modern Screen and Modern Romances and a line of pocket-size books. He later taught English as a second language for many years on New York's Lower East Side.

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