Deaths Elsewhere

October 24, 2004

Anthony Hecht,

81, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, died Wednesday after suffering from lymphoma.

He won the Pulitzer in 1968 for his work The Hard Hours. He received numerous other prizes, including the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize and the Los Angeles Book Prize.

Deborah Garrison, his editor for the last few years at Alfred A. Knopf, said he was a formal poet who wrote about war and corruption, and took "on society in the largest sense" by dealing with other serious issues. But he also wrote humorous, witty and playful pieces demonstrating his "wonderful dark humor," she said.

She said Mr. Hecht continued to write poetry until the end, noting that he had a piece in The New Yorker magazine a few weeks ago.

Julius Harris,

81, a stage and screen performer who broke stereotypes of movie roles for black actors died Oct. 17 of heart failure at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Los Angeles.

A former member of the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City, he played the villainous Tee Hee in the James Bond film Live and Let Die and a gangster in the 1972 film Superfly.

He appeared in more than 70 film and television productions in an acting career that spanned four decades. His roles included a preacher who headed a slave group in the 1982 Civil War miniseries The Blue and the Gray and Ugandan President Idi Amin in the TV movie Victory at Entebbe.

Dr. Sol Londe,

100, a pediatrician who helped establish a standard for normal blood pressure levels in children and pioneered research in childhood hypertension, died Thursday of pneumonia at his Los Angeles home. He helped found the Los Angeles chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the early 1980s and continued to attend peace rallies when he was in his 90s.

As a young man, he opened a private practice and worked as a volunteer professor of pediatrics in his hometown of St. Louis. After he retired and moved to Los Angeles in his 70s, he joined the volunteer faculty at the UCLA medical school.

At about age 80, he started working as a doctor at a juvenile detention center, where he saw young patients two mornings a week. In his early 90s, his wife encouraged him to retire. He refused to stop working until his medical license expired, at 95.

Lewis Urry,

77, who invented the long-lasting alkaline batteries that power Gameboys and other portable devices, died Tuesday in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, after a short illness.

He retired in May from Energizer, the successor to Union Carbide's National Carbon Co., where he developed the first practical long-life battery in the 1950s.

National Carbon, which made Eveready batteries, transferred him in 1955 to its Cleveland laboratory to work on ways to improve carbon zinc batteries that didn't last very long. He came up with a practical, long-lasting alkaline battery using powdered zinc as the electrolyte. An estimated 80 percent of the dry cell batteries in the world today are based on the work of Mr. Urry, who held 51 patents.

Nanuli Shevardnadze,

75, wife of former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, died Wednesday at a clinic in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Doctors declined to reveal the cause of death.

A former journalist and daughter of Georgian parents persecuted during the reign of Soviet leader Josef Stalin, she married in 1951.

During her husband's tenure as Soviet foreign minister in the 1980s, she befriended the wives of many top American officials. In recent years, she headed a Georgian women's peace organization. Mr. Shevardnadze, who led Georgia for most of the 1990s, was driven from office in November by demonstrators who accused him of allowing the country to fester amid corruption and economic malaise.

Thomas Donahue,

83, a planetary scientist who worked on space missions including Apollo 17, Apollo-Soyuz, Voyager and Galileo, died Oct. 16 from complications after heart surgery, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said.

A planetary science professor at the University of Michigan, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and to the International Academy of Astronautics in 1986. From 1982 to 1988, he chaired the Space Science Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, where he was a strong advocate for unmanned space science missions.

He earned a doctorate in atomic physics in 1947 from the Johns Hopkins University. He was hired as a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh in 1959 and joined the University of Michigan in 1974.

John A. "Johnny" Faulk,

79, a bass player with the Cajun band the Hackberry Ramblers, died Oct. 17 at a Lake Charles, La., hospital after falling ill the week before.

He was a relative newcomer to the Ramblers, a band that started in the 1930s with its mix of Cajun songs in French and Western Swing. He joined around 1979, with a bass he'd bought from Sears in the late 1940s.

The band celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. It won national acclaim recently, with a Grammy nomination and a film on PBS earlier this year, Make 'em Dance: the Hackberry Ramblers Story. Mr. Faulk was one of the youngest members of the band. The founders, still playing, are in their 90s. He was the band's showman, the live wire whose whoops and hollers from the back line sparked the performances.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.