Other Notable Deaths


November 07, 2005

Waldemar Nielsen, 88, an influential and widely recognized expert on the workings of charitable foundations who wrote exhaustive, critical analyses of America's foremost philanthropies, their goals and their methods, died Wednesday in New York City.

His seminal work, The Big Foundations (Columbia University Press, 1972), parted the curtain on the secretive world of private fortunes and public largess. An encyclopedic work, it profiled, one by one, philanthropies with assets of $100 million or more - the "Big 33" of that era - topped by the Ford Foundation, which had $3.6 billion at the time the book was compiled.

He examined, and often found wanting, the foundations' performance and the ways in which they responded to challenges to their tax-exempt status and demands for openness and diversification. He deemed them generally timid, inert and unimaginative, but saw them, potentially, as a force for public good.

Michael Gill, 81, a British television producer and director best known in this country for innovative "authored documentary" series such as Civilisation (1969), featuring Kenneth Clark, and America (1972), with Alistair Cooke, died of complications of Alzheimer's disease Oct. 20 at a London hospital.

His work was especially well-known in Britain, and his name appeared in the credits of more than 150 films for the cinema and television. Among his professional honors were four Emmy and three Peabody Awards.

He and filmmakers Adrian Malone and Peter Montagnon came to devise the genre of authored documentaries, in which they presented distinguished hosts to a new generation of viewers ready to follow their explorations of history and the arts.

Phil Hays, 74, an illustrator and teacher whose lush watercolor portraits of legendary blues artists including Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday for LP covers defined a distinctive graphic style of album art in the 1970s, died Oct. 24 at his home in Los Angeles.

In the mid-1950s Mr. Hays was one of a young band of expressive and interpretative illustrators, including Robert Weaver, Jack Potter, Tom Allen and Robert Andrew Parker, who, rather than paint or draw literal scenes based entirely on an author's prose, interpreted texts with an eye toward expressive license.

He taught in New York, and, in later years, California, and produced magazine work that appeared regularly in Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, McCall's and Esquire.

V.K. Madhavan Kutty, 71, one of India's most respected journalists and authors, died Oct. 31 at a New Delhi hospital after a brief illness.

He was born in the southern coastal state of Kerala and in 1950 moved to New Delhi, where he became editor of the newspaper Mathrubhumi. At the time of his death, he was a commentator for several newspapers and a television station.

He also wrote 16 books in Malayalam, including two novels, several short stories and memoirs.

Robert Paschal Burns, 71, whose contributions to architecture included work on the Juilliard School of Music and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, died Oct. 28 in a car accident near Bennett, N.C.

He studied under the acclaimed modernist instructors at North Carolina State University and earned an undergraduate degree in architecture in 1957, the same year he won the prestigious Paris Prize in Architecture.

He returned to North Carolina State University as head of the architecture department from 1967 to 1974 and from 1983 to 1991.

Marshall Clagett, 89, one of the world's pre-eminent historians of ancient and medieval science and the work of the Greek mathematician Archimedes, died Oct. 21 at a hospital in Princeton, N.J.

Dr. Clagett, who worked for the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for the last four decades, wrote extensively about Archimedes, publishing a five-volume work, Archimedes in the Middle Ages, over 20 years.

In his most recent work about science in ancient Egypt, he used computers to interpret hieroglyphics. He taught at Columbia University, as well as the University of Wisconsin, before joining the Institute for Advanced Study.

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