Other notable deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

January 12, 2007

JUDITH P. VLADECK, 83, Labor lawyer, rights advocate

The prominent labor lawyer and ardent advocate of women's rights in the workplace, particularly on college campuses, died Monday in New York City.

Mrs. Vladeck brought a combination of showmanship and detailed analysis of salary histories and job performance to her cases. She took on potent opponents like major Wall Street investment firms, Union Carbide Corp. and the City University of New York - and usually won, or settled for millions.

A chain-smoker known for working 11-hour days well into her 70s, she was a partner in Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, the Manhattan law firm that her late husband, Stephen, helped start in 1948 and she joined in 1957.

As the women's movement gained footing, Mrs. Vladeck turned her attention to workplace discrimination. In 1975, she represented Val Winsey, a professor denied tenure by Pace University. When university lawyers argued that Winsey was a troublemaker who devoted too much of her time to challenging the system, Mrs. Vladeck responded, "The only way women are tolerated is if they are supine, silent and submissive."

A New York State Court of Appeals decision overturned a lower court ruling against Winsey, who was reinstated with back pay and received her tenure.

In the City University case, filed in 1973, Mrs. Vladeck traced salary histories for more than 5,000 female faculty members. A judge ruled that the university had discriminated for 15 years.

ROBERTA WOHLSTETTER, 94, Military, foreign policy analyst

The military and foreign policy analyst whose work on intelligence failures before the attack on Pearl Harbor was cited by the 9/11 commission, died of pneumonia Saturday in New York.

"What does Pearl Harbor tell us about the possibility of a surprise attack today, with possible consequences of an even greater and perhaps more fatal magnitude?" Mrs. Wohlstetter asked 45 years ago in her book Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision.

The question became relevant again as the commission began investigating the missed opportunities that left the United States vulnerable to the attacks by al-Qaida. The panel's report found major intelligence failures and analyzed the difficulties in gathering data.

Referring to hindsight, the report quoted her book: "After the event, of course, a signal is always crystal clear; we can now see what disaster it was signaling since the disaster has occurred. Before the event, it is obscure and pregnant with conflicting meanings."

An analyst with RAND Corp., the policy research group, from 1948 to 1965, she examined 15 signals that in retrospect clearly seemed to foretell the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

Yet, she wrote: "It is hard to keep in mind that there were many plausible alternative hypotheses that might have explained this set of signals. Most of the partisan reviews of the Pearl Harbor material forget these alternative explanations."

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