Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

June 08, 2005

Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, 55, Mexico's former ambassador to the United Nations who was forced out of his job after saying the United States treats Mexico like a "back yard," died Sunday in a car crash while returning to Mexico City from his country home.

Known for his independent streak, Mr. Aguilar Zinser was a vocal critic of the United States' unilateral actions in Iraq during his tenure as U.N. ambassador. He left the position in late 2003 after a diplomatic flap touched off by his comments in a discussion with university students in Mexico City.

Mr. Aguilar Zinser said that "the understanding that the political and intellectual class of the United States has of Mexico is a country whose position is that of a back yard."

By replacing Mr. Aguilar Zinser, Mexican President Vicente Fox denied he was under pressure from the United States -- which disapproved of the ambassador's opposition to U.S. actions in Iraq -- but acted because the diplomat's comments were an "offense to Mexico" and to him personally.

Hy Peskin, 89, a master action photographer who took some of the most arresting sports images of the 1940s, '50s and '60s before starting a second career as a philanthropist and entrepreneur under the name Brian Blaine Reynolds, died in Israel on Thursday.

His death was announced by Sports Illustrated, which said he was the first staff photographer the magazine hired.

"The number of famous pictures that he made here is astonishing," said Steve Fine, the magazine's director of photography.

He was known for tearing himself away from the news media pool to find an unusual vantage point. Some of his best photographs were taken during Brooklyn Dodgers games at Ebbets Field, where he would sometimes climb the roof or crouch in the aisles.

"There was an era when photographers worked from the press box, and Hy was the first to really move down to the field, to go down to ground level," said Neil Leifer, a leading sports photographer. "He was always looking for angles that others didn't use."

In 1950, he found an angle that led to one of golf's most famous photographs. On the 18th hole of the U.S. Open in Merion, Pa., Mr. Peskin staked out a spot behind Ben Hogan as he was pulling out a 1-iron. Moments later, he snatched an image of Hogan in full swing, looking out along a gorgeous course lined with fans.

His photos, usually taken with a Rolleiflex or a Speed Graphic, were on the covers of more than 40 issues of Sports Illustrated; he also had noted free-lance assignments from magazines like Time, Life and Look.

In 1964, he legally changed his name to one combining some of his children's names and founded an inspirational organization called Academy of Achievement, which maintains a roster of 20th-century achievers and holds an annual event in which such prominent people gather for discussions with accomplished graduate students.

Among his other ventures as Brian Blaine Reynolds was the World Series of Sports Fishing, which he helped start with Ted Williams in the early 1960s.

Jean O'Leary, 57, a nun-turned-lesbian activist who organized the first White House meeting of homosexual leaders and helped create National Coming Out Day, died of lung cancer complications Saturday in San Clemente, Calif., at the home of her partner.

For three decades, Ms. O'Leary was active in feminist, lesbian and Democratic circles, working for laws prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals and those with AIDS.

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