Other Notable Deaths


March 13, 2006

Anna Moffo, 73, an American soprano who was beloved for her rich voice, dramatic vulnerability and exceptional beauty, died of a stroke Friday at a hospital in New York City.

Though Miss Moffo's career began splendidly, her voice had declined by her late 30s. With her radiant appearance, she was drawn early on into television and film, playing host of her own variety show on Italian television for many years.

For several years she enjoyed enormous success and won a devoted following at a time when her competition for roles like Verdi's Violetta, Puccini's Mimi and Donizetti's Lucia included Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi and Joan Sutherland.

John T. Kramer, 68, a legal scholar and champion of civil rights who helped shape the nation's poverty laws, died Wednesday of complications from diabetes at his home in New Orleans.

He began his career in public policy in 1965, when he became counsel to Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, a New York Democrat, on the House Committee on Education and Labor. But it was as executive director of the National Council on Hunger and Malnutrition in the 1960s and 1970s that he made some of his most lasting contributions, drafting legislation that expanded the food stamp program and provided children from low-income families with free and reduced-price meals.

As dean of the Tulane University Law School from 1986 to 1996, he placed the school in the forefront of training students to further the public interest by making community service mandatory for graduation - the first program of its kind in the nation - and expanding the number of free legal clinics at which students provide counsel to the poor.

Mortimo Planno, 85, a philosopher regarded as a key figure in the development of the Rastafarian religion, died March 6 at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, of complications from a thyroid condition.

He was influential in the development of Rastafarianism, a sect whose members mostly regard Africa as the promised land and former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as a divine figure.

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