Other Notable Deaths


April 21, 2006

Robert Wegman, 87, a pioneer of one-stop shopping who transformed his family's business into one of the nation's largest private companies, died Thursday. He was 87.

Mr. Wegman, chairman of Wegmans Food Markets, died at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., where he was admitted after his health deteriorated in recent days, a company statement said. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Mr. Wegman took over as president of the 90-year-old business begun by his father and uncle in 1950 and over the decades introduced private-label products and laser scanning at the checkout.

He is credited with pioneering one-stop shopping, placing bakeries, imported foods and cafes in huge stores, along with photo labs, video departments and child play centers.

The 70 Wegmans stores in five states employ more than 35,000 people and posted sales of $3.8 billion in 2005. Wegmans has landed on Fortune magazine's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" for nine straight years.

Scott Brazil, 50, an Emmy-winning producer-director whose television shows included The Shield and Hill Street Blues, died Monday in Los Angeles of respiratory failure resulting from Lou Gehrig's disease and Lyme disease complications.

He was executive producer of The Shield, the first original drama series on FX Networks, and he directed 11 episodes. He and Shield creator and executive producer Shawn Ryan won the 2002 Golden Globe for drama series.

As a producer on NBC's Hill Street Blues" he won two Emmys for drama series in 1983 and 1984 and a Golden Globe in 1983 for TV drama series.

Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, 84, a leading Jewish scholar and civil rights advocate known for his provocative, often contrarian views, died of complications related to heart failure Monday en route to a hospital in Westwood, N.J.

He was president of the American Jewish Congress from 1972 to 1978 and vice president of the World Jewish Congress from 1975 to 1991. He wrote a dozen books on Jewish thought and history, including The Zionist Idea and The Jews in America.

Dedicated to the creation of Israel, he angered many Jews by also calling for a Palestinian state.

An early advocate of civil rights for blacks, Rabbi Hertzberg was among the prominent participants in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington. Nine years later, he headed the first Jewish delegation to meet formally with the Vatican about the Roman Catholic Church's silence during the Holocaust.

Morton Freedgood, 93, a best-selling author who wrote The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and many other detective and mystery novels under the pen name John Godey, died Sunday at his home in West New York, N.J.

His novel The Wall-to-Wall Trap was published under his own name in 1957, but he decided to use the pen name John Godey - borrowed from the name of a ladies publication of the 1880s - to differentiate that work from his serious literature.

As John Godey, he later achieved commercial success with books such as A Thrill a Minute with Jack Albany and Never Put Off till Tomorrow What You Can Kill Today. Then, in 1973, he reached best seller lists for many weeks with The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, a story about the hijacking of a New York City subway train that was made into a movie.

Ellen Kuzwayo, 91, a South African author and women's rights and anti-apartheid champion, died Wednesday of complications associated with chronic diabetes in Soweto, South Africa.

She was the first black writer to win South Africa's premier CNA Literary Prize for her 1985 autobiography, Call Me Woman. In 1996, she published a collection of short stories, Sit Down and Listen: Stories From South Africa.

Arrested for her political activities, she spent five months in detention in 1977. She was elected to Parliament in South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994, serving five years.

Eberhardt Rechtin, 80, an engineer who played a key role in the development of space technology during the Cold War, died April 14 in Torrance, Calif., after lengthy battles with several illnesses.

His technical accomplishments included the creation of the Deep Space Network, a system developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., that captures communications from distant planetary spacecraft and the development of electronics systems for the nation's first space probe, Explorer.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.