Other Notable Deaths

Other Notable Deaths

December 26, 2006

Frank Stanton, ex-head of CBS, dies at age 98

Frank Stanton, a broadcasting pioneer and CBS president for 26 years who helped turn the TV operation into the "Tiffany network" and built CBS News into a respected information source, died Sunday in Boston. He was 98.

During his long association with CBS founder William S. Paley, the psychologist helped build the company from a modest chain of radio affiliates into a communications empire whose centerpiece became the nation's pre-eminent TV network.

As the head of CBS beginning in 1946, Mr. Stanton oversaw varied enterprises that included Columbia Records, CBS Laboratories, a book publisher, a toy maker and, for a brief time, the New York Yankees.

While he led CBS to leadership status among the skyrocketing numbers of television viewers, Mr. Stanton also made CBS News a priority. His belief in the First Amendment was genuine. In 1971, subpoenaed by Congress to produce unaired footage from a controversial CBS News documentary, Stanton risked jail by refusing. A contempt motion failed, but only narrowly.


Anti-apartheid activist

The Rev. Robert Bilheimer, a Presbyterian minister who arranged for religious leaders to oppose the war in Vietnam and apartheid in South Africa, died Dec. 17 in Canandaigua, N.Y.

His son Robert told The New York Times that the leader in the ecumenical movement died of complications from a hip fracture and the late stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Bilheimer organized the first meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1948. The council, comprising 340 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 100 countries, is a broad movement with the goal of Christian unity.

He became an associate general secretary of the council and organized the 1960 mission for the South African members, which led to a proclamation rejecting all religious arguments supporting apartheid.

Mr. Bilheimer wrote several books, including The Quest for Christian Unity, What Must the Church Do? and Christians and the Prevention of War in the Atomic Age.


Brazilian composer

Braguinha, the Brazilian composer and singer who penned more than 500 tunes including some of the country's most famous traditional Carnival songs, died Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, local media reported.

Braguinha, whose full name was Carlos Alberto Ferreira Braga, participated in the Brazilian Carnival's golden era in the 1930s and '40s.

He composed more than 500 songs, including "Yes, Nos Temos Bananas" ("Yes, We Have Bananas"), "Copacabana" and "Chiquita Bacana."


Israeli journalist

Uri Dan, a veteran Israeli journalist and close confidant of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, died Sunday outside Tel Aviv.

During a career spanning more than three decades, Mr. Dan wrote for a number of Israeli publications, including the Maariv daily and the English-language Jerusalem Post. He also wrote several books, and served as Israel correspondent for the New York Post.

But Mr. Dan was best known for his friendship with Mr. Sharon. The two became acquainted in the 1950s, and Mr. Dan documented Mr. Sharon's crossing of the Suez Canal during the 1973 Mideast War against Egypt.

Mr. Dan also served as Mr. Sharon's spokesman when he was defense minister during the Lebanon War in the early 1980s.

JOHN GONZALES, 91 Mexican-American activist

John Gonzales, founding president of a Los Angeles council of the League of United Latin American Citizens and a longtime activist for Mexican-American rights, died Dec. 6 in Dana Point, Calif.

Mr. Gonzales helped organize the formation of new LULAC councils statewide in the 1940s. He was the organization's vice president general when LULAC in Orange County helped organize a class action lawsuit against four Orange County school districts forcing Mexican children to attend schools separate from whites.

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