Other Notable Deaths


October 02, 2005

Leo Sternbach, 97, inventor of the revolutionary class of tranquilizers that included Valium, considered the first blockbuster drug, died Wednesday at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C.

He led the development of more than a dozen important drugs during a six-decade career with Roche. His other breakthroughs include the sleeping pills Dalmane and Mogadon, Klonopin for epileptic seizures and Arfonad for limiting bleeding during brain surgery.

Steve Marcus, 66, a jazz saxophonist who was an early exponent of the style that came to be known as fusion, died Sept. 25 at his home in New Hope, Pa.

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he played tenor and soprano saxophones. He had worked with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Herbie Mann before he recorded in 1968 his first album, Tomorrow Never Knows, one of the first attempts by a jazz musician to find common ground with the growing phenomenon of psychedelic rock.

Benjamin DeMott, 81, a prominent writer, scholar and cultural critic whose work explored the mythology that underpins contemporary American life, especially collective ideas about race, class and sex, died of cardiac arrest Thursday at his home in Worthington, Mass.

He was emeritus professor of English at Amherst College, where he had taught for nearly 40 years.

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