Other notable deaths


July 28, 2006

Charles W. Bray III, 72, who was press secretary for Secretary of State William P. Rogers during tumultuous times in the Nixon administration, died of pneumonia Sunday at his home in Milwaukee.

Mr. Bray, who later became an ambassador, was the State Department's chief spokesman for much of the Vietnam War and during border disputes between India and Pakistan and continuing American tensions with the Soviet Union.

But President Richard M. Nixon had come to rely more heavily on the counsel of his national security adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, than on the State Department. On Aug. 25, 1973, Mr. Rogers sharply criticized the White House after discovering that it had ordered the wiretapping of three high-ranking State Department officials, among more than a dozen officials and reporters wiretapped without court orders because of the president's perception that they were national security threats.

By then, it had been announced that Mr. Kissinger, who had helped coordinate the wiretaps, would be replacing Mr. Rogers as secretary of state. Mr. Bray, saying he would find it "distasteful" to work for someone who had condoned wiretapping his friends, announced he would resign as press secretary.

He was later deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency under President Carter and, from 1981 to 1985, ambassador to Senegal under President Reagan.

From 1988 to 1999, he was president of the Johnson Foundation in Racine, Wis., a nonprofit group that holds conferences on sustainable development, environmental issues and education.

Carl M. Brashear, 75, the first black Navy diver, who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2000 film Men of Honor, died of respiratory and heart failure Tuesday at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.

Mr. Brashear retired in 1979 after more than 30 years in the Navy. He was the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, the result of a leg injury suffered during a salvage operation.

He faced an uphill battle when he joined the Navy in 1948 at the age of 17, not long after the U.S. military desegregated.

In 1954, he was accepted into and graduated from the diving program, despite daily battles with discrimination.

In 1966, Mr. Brashear was assigned to recover a hydrogen bomb that dropped into waters off Spain when two U.S. Air Force planes collided. His left leg was injured and was later amputated, replaced with a prosthetic leg.

The Navy was ready to retire Mr. Brashear from active duty, but he began a grueling training program that included diving, running and calisthenics.

Mako, the Japanese actor who used his Oscar nomination for the 1966 film The Sand Pebbles to push for better roles for Asian-American actors, died of esophageal cancer Friday at his home in Somis, Calif.

Born Makoto Iwamatsu in Japan, he was a familiar face in film and television in an acting career that spanned more than four decades - sometimes playing roles that stereotyped Asians. His TV roles included appearances on I Spy, M*A*S*H and Walker, Texas Ranger.

In films, he was a Japanese admiral in 2001's Pearl Harbor, a Singaporean in 1997's Seven Years in Tibet, and played Akiro the wizard in Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

On Broadway, his multiple roles as reciter, shogun, emperor and an American businessman in Stephen Sondheim's 1976 musical Pacific Overtures earned him a Tony Award nomination for best actor in a musical.

His portrayal of a Chinese coolie in The Sand Pebbles, starring Steve McQueen, earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination in 1967 - and he used the prominence of the Oscar nomination to address the dearth of parts for Asian-Americans in general.

He was co-founder in 1965 of the Asian-American theater company East West Players, and staged classics such as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Chekhov's Three Sisters.

In 1981, he devoted the entire season to plays pertaining to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to coincide with the start of a national discussion on internment reparations.

J. Madison Wright Morris, 21, a former child actress and model, died of a heart attack Friday at University of Kentucky Hospital, a day after returning from her honeymoon with husband Brent Joseph Morris. They were married July 8.

Mrs. Morris had appeared in television shows including Grace Under Fire, The Nanny, Earth 2, and ER. She and her sister, Tori, acted in the feature film Shiloh.

Mrs. Morris had a heart transplant in 2000, after an X-ray revealed she had an enlarged heart, and she was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy. After her operation, she gave talks to various groups about organ donation.

She had planned to teach 10th-grade English at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., this fall.

Frederick Mosteller, 89, who founded Harvard University's statistics department and was an early promoter of methodologies that can affect public policy, died of an infection Sunday at a nursing home in Falls Church, Va.

He was a leading investigator of the polling fiasco in 1948 that led many to incorrectly report that Republican Thomas Dewey had defeated President Truman.

The statistician wrote hundreds of papers and shared book credits with authors including Princeton University statistician John Tukey and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He worked with Mr. Moynihan on a book that argued that raising the income level of families would do more to promote academic achievement than pouring money into schools.

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.