Other notable deaths


May 08, 2006

Sidney Seidenberg, 81, a longtime manager for B.B. King and other musicians, died Wednesday in Dover Town, N.J. He had kidney disease and heart problems.

He was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States when he was 5. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 and later worked as an accountant before becoming manager for Mr. King, as well as the Temptations and Gladys Knight.

He owned SASCO Productions in New York City for 35 years before poor health caused him to retire from the management business in 2000.

Rosita Fernandez, 88, a singer who was an important contributor to the Texas-border musical genre of Tejano, died Tuesday in San Antonio.

She often performed canciones romanticas, songs that were often accompanied by sophisticated orchestral arrangements. She also specialized in boleros, an Afro-Hispanic genre, said California-based ethnomusicologist Manuel Pena.

She sang for generations of San Antonians at the Arneson River Theater. A bridge was named for her there, which she said was symbolic of her work being a bridge between Mexico and the United States. During more than 60 years of entertaining, she sang for Pope John Paul II, Prince Charles, and U.S. presidents including Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter. Lady Bird Johnson dubbed her "San Antonio's First Lady of Song."

Bruce A. Peterson, 72, a NASA test pilot who flew the wingless "lifting body" vehicles that led to the development of the space shuttles, died May 1 in Laguna Niguel, Calif., after a lengthy illness.

Lifting bodies, conceived in the 1950s, are unusual wingless aircraft that derive aerodynamic lift from their shape, unlike conventional planes that get their lift from wings.

Henriette D. Avram, 86, a systems analyst who transformed millions of dog-eared catalog cards in the Library of Congress into a searchable electronic database four decades ago and in the process helped transform librarianship into the field of information science, died of cancer April 22 in Miami.

Ms. Avram, who was not a librarian by training, is widely credited with developing the automated cataloging system that rendered printed cards obsolete.

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