Other Notable Deaths

Other Notable Deaths

August 07, 2007


Alleged crime boss

Mr. Battle, who authorities alleged was the godfather of one of the country's largest Hispanic organized crime groups, died Friday at a medical facility in South Carolina, his attorney, Jack R. Blumenfeld said Sunday. Mr. Battle was at the facility for kidney dialysis, Blumenfeld said.

Mr. Blumenfeld said no autopsy was conducted and that he was not sure of cause of death. Mr. Battle had long struggled with his health, he said.

"He had a myriad of problems," Mr. Blumenfeld said.

Mr. Battle pleaded guilty during his federal racketeering trial last year because of his health problems. He had been released on a $1 million bond and was awaiting a spot in a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility that could handle his medical needs, Blumenfeld said.

Authorities believe Mr. Battle served as the boss of "The Corporation," a crime ring that authorities said operated in New York, Florida and Latin America.

Mr. Battle and five others were accused in five homicides, four arson attacks resulting in eight deaths and more than $1.5 billion collected from drug trafficking, bookmaking and numbers rackets.


Holocaust scholar

The renowned Holocaust scholar died Saturday.

Dr. Hilberg, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Vermont, died at the Vermont Respite House in Williston, Vt., of lung cancer. He never smoked, said his wife, Gwen.

Dr. Hilberg wrote The Destruction of the European Jews, published in 1961, a landmark study of the Nazi killings of millions of Jews.

He was honored by the German government for his contributions and teaching on the Holocaust and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, according to the university.

Dr. Hilberg, who taught at the university from 1956 to 1991, started the school's Holocaust Studies program, and the institution later created the Center for Holocaust Studies in 1992 "to honor Hilberg's teaching and research accomplishments."

Dr. Hilberg and his parents left Austria in 1938 after the Nazi invasion and came to the United States. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II.

As a member of the War Documentation Project, Dr. Hilberg found Adolf Hitler's private library stored in crates in Munich, the university said, prompting him to start investigating the Holocaust.


Humor columnist

The newspaper humor columnist, one of two people taken hostage during the 1967 armed assault on the Rio Arriba County, N.M., courthouse, died Friday at home in Portales, N.M., , according to a report in the Portales News-Tribune, for which he wrote a weekly column.

Working for United Press International during the 1960s, Mr. Huber covered Gemini and Apollo space missions, along with the courthouse raid led by land grant activist Reies Lopez Tijerina in Tierra Amarilla, N.M., on June 5, 1967.

Mr. Tijerina and his followers, attempting a citizen's arrest of the district attorney, shot and wounded a state police officer and jailer, beat a deputy, and took Huber and the sheriff hostage.

The hostages escaped, and Tijerina spent about three years in prison.

Mr. Huber started writing a humor column in 1994 for the News-Tribune and the Clovis News Journal.

He was born June 27, 1931, in Denver. At 17, he served in the Coast Guard between World War II and the Korean War, then attended the University of Colorado. His career in news included work at the Roswell Daily Record, The Denver Post and UPI.


Catholic leader

Cardinal Lustiger, a Jew who converted to Catholicism and rose through church hierarchy to become one of the most influential Roman Catholic figures in France, died Sunday.

Cardinal Lustiger - whose Polish immigrant mother died in the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz - was archbishop of Paris for 24 years before stepping down in 2005 at age 78. He died in a medical center in Paris, the archbishop's office said.

No cause of death was immediately provided, but Cardinal Lustiger had said in April that he was being treated for a "grave illness" at a hospice.

For years, he was the public face of the church in mainly Roman Catholic France, speaking out on critical issues and serving as a voice of calm in tumultuous times. He appeared to have perfectly synthesized his Jewish heritage with his chosen faith.

Born Aaron Lustiger on Sept. 17, 1926, in Paris to Polish immigrant parents who ran a hosiery shop, he was sent to the town of Orleans, 80 miles south of the capital, to take refuge from the occupying Nazis. There, Cardinal Lustiger, who was not a practicing Jew, converted to Catholicism in 1940 at age 14, taking the name Jean-Marie.

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.