Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

April 17, 2007

LADISLAV ADAMEC, 80 Former Czech leader

Ladislav Adamec, Czechoslovakia's last communist prime minister, died Saturday at his home in Prague after a long illness, said Monika Horeni, a spokeswoman for the Czech Communist Party.

Mr. Adamec became prime minister of Czechoslovakia in 1988 and was replaced by Marian Calfa in December 1989 after the fall of the communist regime.

He served as a communist deputy in the Czechoslovakian federal parliament until his term ended in 1992.

Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on Jan. 1, 1993.

JOHN LaPLANTE, 54 Newspaperman

John LaPlante, Capitol bureau chief for The Advocate of Baton Rouge, La., has died after a swimming accident. Mr. LaPlante died Saturday in Galveston, Texas, after being injured Thursday while on vacation with his wife, Merrill, and their two children, according to the newspaper.

Mr. LaPlante and the children were swept toward a rock jetty by a rip current. The children were able to climb onto the rocks but Mr. LaPlante was unable to pull himself out. He was not breathing when rescuers reached him, the chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol said.

Mr. LaPlante covered Louisiana government and politics for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and editorial writer. He also taught a news writing course at Louisiana State University, where he earned his journalism degree.

Mr. LaPlante was a reporter for the Alexandria, La., Daily Town Talk in the late 1970s, but spent the bulk of his journalism career at The Advocate, where he worked as a reporter, editorial writer and assistant city editor. Since 1998, Mr. LaPlante had headed the newspaper's six-member Capitol bureau and written a weekly column.

PAT BUCKLEY, 80 Charity fundraiser

Pat Buckley, a prominent charity fundraiser in New York and the wife of writer William F. Buckley Jr., died Sunday of an infection after surgery, National Review publisher Jack Fowler told the Associated Press. Her husband founded the magazine.

Beneficiaries of Mrs. Buckley's fundraising included the Metropolitan Museum, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center, and the Hospital for Special Surgery. She also raised money for AIDS causes and Vietnam veterans.

Patricia Alden Austin Taylor was born July 1, 1926, in Vancouver, British Columbia. She met her husband while a student at Vassar College. He was her roommate's brother. The young couple soon settled in Hamden, Conn., while he wrote his first book, God and Man at Yale.

MARIA EMMA HULDA LENK, 92 Champion swimmer

Maria Emma Hulda Lenk, the first South American woman to swim in the Olympics and a pioneer in the development of the butterfly stroke, died yesterday, Copa D'Or Hospital in Copacabana, Brazil, said.

Ms. Lenk fell ill while swimming at the Flamengo club pool and then had a heart attack as doctors were preparing to operate to treat an aneurysm, the hospital said.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee declared three days of mourning for the woman who set world records in the 200-meter and 400-meter breaststroke and another in a relay.

The daughter of German immigrants, Ms. Lenk was born in Sao Paulo and competed at her first Olympics in 1932 at Los Angeles. Her best showing was the semifinals of the 200 breaststroke. She also raced in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Ms. Lenk returned for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, swimming the new fly arm stroke with breaststroke kick, which later developed into the butterfly. Her best effort was again the semifinals in the 200 breaststroke.

Ms. Lenk had hopes of winning an Olympic medal at the 1940 Games, but they were canceled because of World War II.

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