Other Notable Deaths


August 21, 2006

Joseph Hill, 57, lead vocalist and songwriter for the traditional roots reggae group Culture, died Saturday after falling ill in Berlin while the group was in the middle of a European tour.

One of reggae's most enduring bands, Culture was led by Mr. Hill for three decades. He penned the group's best known songs, including "Two Sevens Clash," "Natty Never Get Weary" and "I'm Not Ashamed."

Born in the rural Jamaican parish of St. Catherine, he began his musical career in the late 1960s as a percussionist. As the Rastafarian influence on reggae grew in the 1970s, he formed Culture and remained its driving force through more than 30 albums. In 2005, the singer, a devout Rastafarian, was honored by the Jamaican government for his contribution to the island nation's culture.

Stanford J. Newman, 90, who helped build his father's J.C. Newman Cigar Co. into an internationally recognized cigar maker, died Thursday after suffering a heart attack at his office in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.

He was 18 when he began work at his father's Cleveland-based cigar business. He later took over the company, moving it to the Ybor City neighborhood in Tampa, where the family has become one of the largest makers and distributors of cigars.

Yen Ngoc Do, 65, a journalist who covered the Vietnam War and later founded the first Vietnamese-language newspaper in the United States, died of complications from diabetes and kidney disease Thursday in Los Angeles.

He started Nguoi Viet ("Vietnamese People") in 1978 from his garage in Garden Grove, Calif. In the paper, he chronicled the lives of Vietnamese war refugees. Initially a four-page weekly, it grew to a nearly 18,000- circulation daily.

He worked as a reporter and editor for several publications in Vietnam. When the war intensified, he assisted American and French journalists in covering some of the last major battles. When Saigon fell in 1975, he and his family arrived at Camp Pendleton with the first wave of refugees. He settled in California's Orange County as it was becoming home to the nation's largest Vietnamese population.

Rudi Stern, 69, a multimedia artist who spent decades bending light to his will in the service of both art and commerce - from the psychedelic shows he created for Timothy Leary to the vibrant neon in Studio 54 - died of complications from lung cancer Tuesday in Cadiz, Spain.

In the 1960s, he was known for his avant-garde light shows and was also an early advocate of video art. In the 1970s, he was widely credited with reviving the dying craft of neon. Over the years, he designed lighting for theater and opera, for television and films, and for rock groups like the Byrds and the Doors.

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