Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

September 14, 2005

Joe Smitherman, 75, whose decades as a councilman and mayor in Selma, Ala., included the turbulent civil rights era, died Sunday in a Montgomery hospital.

A former appliance salesman, Mr. Smitherman was a 34-year- old city councilman when first elected mayor in 1964 as a segregationist. At the time, about 150 blacks were registered to vote in Selma.

Six months later, marchers seeking equal voting rights were beaten by police on a Selma bridge in what came to be known as "Bloody Sunday." The violence galvanized the nation and led to passage of the Voting Rights Act. Selma would become known as the birthplace of black voting rights in the South.

Like his friend and mentor, former Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace, Mr. Smitherman eventually apologized for his segregationist past and in later years openly campaigned for black votes. He boasted that he appointed nine black department heads, including a police chief.

He was defeated in 2000 by James Perkins, an information technology consultant who became the city's first black mayor. By that time, black voters made up about 65 percent of Selma's electorate.

Al Casey, 89, a guitarist whose playful acoustic rhythms and solos were a defining feature of Fats Waller's band in the 1930s and 1940s, died of colon cancer Sunday in Manhattan.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Mr. Casey joined Mr. Waller's group in the early 1930s and was its main guitarist until Mr. Waller died in 1943. Mr. Casey also worked with Teddy Wilson's big band in 1939 and 1940 and recorded with Billie Holiday, Frankie Newton, Chu Berry and Louis Armstrong - and along the way switched from acoustic to electric guitar.

From 1957 to 1961 he played rhythm and blues with the saxophonist King Curtis. In 1981, he was coaxed out of retirement to join the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band.

Patricia McQueeney, 77, the manager and behind-the-scenes force whom Harrison Ford credited with helping transform him from struggling actor to Hollywood superstar, died Sept. 4 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Her stable of young actors in talent management also had included Teri Garr and Mr. Ford's American Graffiti co-stars Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Charles Martin Smith.

She managed Mr. Ford's career for 35 years - an anomaly in modern Hollywood - and had worked exclusively for him in a partnership since 1986.

Jack Real, 90, an aviation pioneer who helped develop the Apache helicopter and who wrote a book about his friendship with reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, died Sept. 6 in Mission Hills, Calif.

Mr. Real was a vice president for Lockheed Martin Corp. and headed Hughes' helicopter division before becoming president and chief executive officer of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.

In 2003, he published the book The Asylum of Howard Hughes, which detailed his 20-year friendship with Mr. Hughes, including his efforts to arrange a flight to carry the ailing billionaire from Mexico to a Houston hospital in 1976. Mr. Hughes died en route.

With Lockheed, Mr. Real helped design, develop and test the B-14 Hudson Bomber and the Cheyenne helicopter, among other aircraft.

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