Other notable deaths


July 18, 2006

Dorothy Clark Blackmun, 95, whose late husband wrote the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, died Thursday in Winter Park, Fla.

Her husband, Harry Blackmun, served on the high court from 1970 to 1994 and was the author of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The decision prompted death threats, and in 1985 a gunman fired a bullet into the Blackmuns' Arlington, Va., apartment. They were not injured.

The couple married in 1941 after meeting during a doubles tennis match. They had three daughters. A Minnesota native who went by the nickname "Dottie," Mrs. Blackmun was a partner in a dress shop in Rochester, Minn., while her husband served on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Richard M. Nixon elevated Harry Blackmun to the Supreme Court in 1970. He retired at age 85 and died in 1999.

John Spencer, 71, a three-time world-champion snooker player whose suave elegance and assertive style of play helped elevate his sport, a form of billiards, above soccer and cricket on British television in the 1970s, died July 11 in Bolton, England, of stomach cancer, Agence France-Presse reported.

Known as Gentleman John, Mr. Spencer gained a reputation for wielding his cue with immense power. But it was his dapper manner, wry jokes and debonair look in the required tuxedo that drew mention.

"Over the years, I think the success of snooker has been that we have given it an image of elegance," Mr. Spencer told The Toronto Star in 1988.

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