Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

December 23, 2004

Jack Newfield,66, a muckraking reporter and newspaper columnist who wrote books on Robert F. Kennedy and boxing impresario Don King, died of cancer Monday night at a New York City hospital.

Mr. Newfield's career included stints at the Village Voice, the Daily News and New York Post. He won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award and an Emmy. Most recently, he was a columnist at the New York Sun.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Newfield was drawn to the civil rights movement after college, and his first book, A Prophetic Minority, dealt with his experiences in the South. He was arrested at a sit-in in 1963 and spent two days in jail with Michael Schwerner, one of three civil rights workers killed in Mississippi the next year.

After joining the Voice, Mr. Newfield traveled with Robert Kennedy during his presidential campaign in 1968 and was present when he was assassinated in Los Angeles. His book Robert Kennedy: A Memoir came out the next year.

Later books included Only in America: The Life and Crimes of Don King and The Full Rudy: The Man, the Myth and the Mania, about former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

He worked on several television documentaries as a writer and producer, and won an Emmy in 1991 for Don King: Unauthorized, which aired on PBS.

Frank "Son" Seals, 62, a blues singer and guitarist who electrified the Chicago blues scene with his gritty performances, died Monday at a nursing home in Richton Park, Ill., of complications from diabetes.

His death was announced by Bruce Iglauer, president and founder of Alligator Records, and the producer of Mr. Seals' nine albums for the label. He also recorded two albums for other labels.

Mr. Seals began his musical career as a drummer, but switched to guitar and was leading his own band at age 18. He moved to Chicago in 1971 and found regular work in South Side clubs.

In 1973, Alligator released Mr. Seals' debut album, The Son Seals Blues Band. He was part of a group of emerging Chicago blues musicians that included Hound Dog Taylor and Lonnie Brooks.

Rolling Stone magazine called Mr. Seals' 1976 Midnight Son album "one of the most significant blues albums of the decade."

He toured at home and in Europe, sharing stages with B.B. King, Johnny Winter and the jam band Phish. A lifelong diabetic, he kept performing even after part of his lower leg was amputated five years ago. He played his last live show in October.

John W. Culligan, 88, who rose from the mailroom to the chairmanship of American Home Products Corp., maker of familiar medications such as Advil, Anacin and Preparation H, died Dec. 11 of pulmonary fibrosis at his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

Mr. Culligan helped American Home begin its transformation from a holding company of unrelated consumer products, such as Chef Boyardee and Black Flag ant killer, to the prescription drug maker now known as Wyeth.

During his tenure as chairman and chief executive, from 1981 to 1986, American Home acquired Ives Laboratories and Sherwood Medical and began divesting itself of product lines that were unrelated to medicine.

Previously the company's president for eight years, Mr. Culligan oversaw Advil's conversion in 1984 from a prescription drug to the first over-the-counter ibuprofen in the United States.

Princess Kikuko, 92, the Japanese emperor's aunt and an outspoken supporter of allowing women to assume the throne, died Saturday, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Also known as Princess Takamatsu, she had been a champion of cancer research in Japan since the 1930s. Using money donated by the public, she established a cancer research fund in 1968, organizing symposiums and awarding scientists for groundbreaking work.

She was seen as one of the most progressive members of Japan's tradition-bound royal family, the world's oldest hereditary monarchy.

She had no children. Her husband - a philanthropist and adviser to Hirohito in the 1940s - died in 1987 of lung cancer.

Many Japanese were shocked by her 1995 decision to publish his diaries - written before and during World War II and containing criticism of Japan's wartime military - despite opposition from the Imperial Household Agency.

In 2002, after Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako had a daughter, Princess Kikuko was the first royal to publicly call for changes to a postwar law that allows only male heirs to assume the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Renata Tebaldi, 82, an Italian soprano renowned for her angelic voice, her stardom at New York's Metropolitan and Italy's La Scala and her media-fueled rivalry with Maria Callas, died Sunday at her home in San Marino.

Miss Tebaldi was considered to have one of the most beautiful Italian voices of the 20th century, relying on rich, perfectly produced tones. Conductor Arturo Toscanini once said she had "the voice of an angel."

The soprano, who was at her peak in the 1950s, was recalled for her renditions of Puccini and Verdi with a voice praised for its purity of timbre and exceptional range of color and shadings.

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