Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

September 13, 2007

ANITA RODDICK, 64 Founded cosmetics chain

Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, who used her international cosmetics chain to promote eco-friendly practices long before they were widely fashionable, died Monday in Chichester, England, after suffering a major brain hemorrhage, her family said.

Ms. Roddick, known as the "Queen of Green," was lauded around the world for trailblazing business practices that promoted environmentalism and other causes dear to her heart, including human rights and Third World debt relief.

Her company grew into a global phenomenon with nearly 2,000 stores in 50 countries, but Ms. Roddick, the daughter of Italian immigrants, said she opened her first outlet in 1976 in Brighton in southern England with only modest hopes.

"I started the Body Shop simply to create a livelihood for myself and my two daughters while my husband, Gordon, was trekking across the Americas," she wrote on the Web site of the company, which L'Oreal Group bought last year for $1.14 billion.

She and her husband stepped down as co-chairmen in 2002, but she continued to work as a consultant. In recognition of her contribution to business and charity, Queen Elizabeth II made her a dame in 2003.

More recently, Ms. Roddick had been campaigning to raise awareness of hepatitis C, which she contracted from a blood transfusion while giving birth to her younger daughter in 1971.

JOE ZAWINUL, 75 Jazz keyboardist

Jazz legend Joe Zawinul, who soared to fame as one of the creators of jazz fusion and performed and recorded with Miles Davis, died Tuesday in Vienna, Austria.

Mr. Zawinul had been hospitalized since last month. A spokeswoman for Vienna's Wilhelmina Clinic confirmed his death without giving details.

Mr. Zawinul won widespread acclaim for his keyboard work on chart-topping Davis albums such as In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and he was a leading force behind the so-called "Electric Jazz" movement.

In 1970, Mr. Zawinul founded the band Weather Report and produced a series of albums including Heavy Weather, Black Market and I Sing the Body Electric. After that band's breakup, he founded the Zawinul Syndicate in 1987.

Mr. Zawinul is credited with bringing the electric piano and synthesizer into the jazz mainstream.

This past spring, he toured Europe to mark the 20th anniversary of the Zawinul Syndicate. He sought medical attention when the tour ended, the Viennese Hospital Association said in a statement last month.

RALPH KENT, 68

Disney artist

Artist Ralph Kent, an artist known by some in the world of Disney as "The Keeper of the Mouse," died Monday of complications from esophageal cancer at his home in Kissimmee, Fla.

Mr. Kent was one of Mickey Mouse's handlers, concerned with maintaining the wholesome image of Walt Disney's most famous creation. He trained other artists to draw the mouse uniformly and helped determine which merchandise would carry his image.

During a nearly four-decade career, Mr. Kent became an expert on the finer points of Disney's world, the look of the characters, their personalities and their interactions. And he was protective of their images.

"He wouldn't let out certain merchandise, things Mickey shouldn't be on," said his wife, Linda Kent. "Mickey was the standard-bearer of Disney. Mickey was the one that made Disney. He had to be kind of kept that way."

In addition to his work with Disney, he designed Billy Buffalo, the mascot for the Buffalo Bills pro football team, and Billy the Marlin, the mascot for the Florida Marlins major league baseball team, his wife said.

In 2004, the year he retired from Disney, Mr. Kent was named a "Disney Legend" and was honored with a window on Main Street at Walt Disney World.

JIM BRAZELTON, 66 Former prosecutor

Jim Brazelton, who led the prosecution team against convicted murderer Scott Peterson, died Monday at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, Calif., where he had been hospitalized for several days, said Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley, who did not know the cause of his death.

Mr. Brazelton retired from his post as district attorney of Stanislaus County in July 2005, after trying 35 murder cases and sending five men to death row, including Peterson, who was found guilty in 2004 of murdering his wife, Laci, and her fetus.

Among Mr. Brazelton's friends was Ron Grantski, Laci Peterson's stepfather, who met the prosecutor at the beginning of the trial and described him as a straight-shooter who made sure his staff got the job done.

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.