Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

July 26, 2005

Sir Richard Doll, 92, the British scientist who first established a link between smoking and lung cancer, died Sunday at a hospital in Oxford.

His seminal 1950 study, which he wrote with Austin Bradford Hill, showed that smoking was "a cause, and a major cause" of lung cancer.

During groundbreaking research, he and colleagues interviewed about 700 lung cancer patients to identify a common thread. The findings were published in 1950 and confirmed in a paper in 1954.

Remaining active up to his death, he released a follow-up study in 2004 that showed at least half, and perhaps as many as two-thirds, of people who begin smoking in their youth are eventually killed by the habit.

In 1954, about 80 percent of British adults smoked. Half a century later that figure was down to 26 percent, largely due to the fear of cancer and other smoking-related diseases.

Dr. Doll was regarded as one of the most eminent scientists of his generation. He published hundreds of papers on topics as varied as oral contraception, peptic ulcers and electrical power lines and demonstrated that aspirin could protect against heart disease. He also uncovered evidence to suggest that drinking alcohol increased the risk of breast cancer.

Edward Bunker, 71, who learned to write in prison before achieving literary fame as a crime novelist and then as an actor, died Tuesday in Burbank, Calif., after surgery to improve circulation to his legs. He had diabetes.

At 17, he became the youngest inmate at San Quentin after he stabbed a prison guard at a youth detention center and later escaped from a Los Angeles County jail while serving a sentence for another crime.

During 18 years of incarceration for robbery, check forgery and other crimes, Mr. Bunker learned to write. In 1973, in prison, he made his literary debut with No Beast So Fierce, a novel about a paroled thief who has trouble re-entering society.

Author James Ellroy called the novel "quite simply one of the great crime novels of the past 30 years; perhaps the best novel of the Los Angeles underworld ever written." It was made into the 1978 movie Straight Time starring Dustin Hoffman.

Mr. Bunker co-wrote the script and played a minor role as a criminal who helps Mr. Hoffman plan a heist. As an actor, Mr. Bunker had nearly two dozen roles, most notably as Mr. Blue in Quentin Tarantino's violent 1992 film Reservoir Dogs. More recently, he played a convict in the remake of The Longest Yard.

Themes of crime and prison life appeared in his other novels, The Animal Factory, Little Boy Blue and Dog Eat Dog. His last book was a 2000 memoir, Education of a Felon.

Francis Ona, charismatic leader of a bloody secessionist movement in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, died Sunday. He was believed to be in his 50s and might have died of malaria, the country's National Broadcasting Corp. reported. His death was confirmed by Bougainville's president, Joseph Kabui.

After 16 years of seclusion in his mountain retreat, Mr. Ona emerged from his mountain retreat a few weeks before elections on May 20 to proclaim Bougainville independent from Papua New Guinea. He had begun referring to himself as king of the province during the past few years.

His movement's opposition to rule from the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, left 15,000 dead during the 1988-1998 conflict, most through disease and starvation.

A 1998 cease-fire ended the war, and in 2001 the island of 180,000 people about 560 miles northeast of Port Moresby was promised a referendum on independence in 10 to 15 years.

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