Other notable deaths

January 25, 2008

BERNIE BOSTON, 74 Newspaper photographer

Bernie Boston, a newspaper photographer best known for his iconic 1960s picture of a Vietnam War protester placing flowers in soldiers' gun barrels at a rally, died Tuesday of a rare blood disease.

Mr. Boston died at his home in Basye, Va., where he retired in 1994 after working for The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Star and the Dayton Daily News. His death was announced by the White House News Photographers Association, for which he served four terms as president.

Mr. Boston's photograph, "Flower Power," was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. He took the picture at a war protest in Washington on Oct. 22, 1967.

He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for a 1987 photograph of Coretta Scott King unveiling a bust of her late husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., in the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Boston was born in Washington and graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and served in the Army before starting his news photography career in Dayton. He moved back to Washington to work at the Star and was director of photography when the newspaper folded in 1981. He then was hired by The Los Angeles Times to establish a photo operation in the nation's capital.

He covered every president from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton.

After retiring, Mr. Boston and his wife, Peggy, co-owned the Bryce Mountain Courier, a monthly newspaper.

EVAN GALBRAITH, 79 Ambassador to France

Evan Galbraith, a U.S. ambassador to France during the Reagan administration who also ran twice for New York governor, died Monday of cancer, family members said Wednesday.

Mr. Galbraith died peacefully at home in New York, surrounded by family, J. Michael Galbraith said. Cancer had spread throughout Mr. Galbraith's body, the diplomat's older brother said.

Known as "Van," Evan Galbraith spent more than 20 years as an investment banker in Europe and served as ambassador from 1981 to 1985 under President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Galbraith also served two years ago as a representative to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Europe and as defense adviser to the U.S. mission to NATO.

The Toledo, Ohio, native went to Yale University, where he roomed for four years with National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. Together they crossed the Atlantic at least twice in Mr. Buckley's sailboat, Mr. Galbraith's nephew said. He spent four years in the Navy in the 1950s.

Mr. Galbraith, who also served as a board chairman of the National Review, sought the Republican nomination for New York governor in 1990 and 1994.

ROBERT E. McNAIR JR., 60 Son of S.C. governor

Robert Evander McNair Jr., the son of former South Carolina Gov. Robert McNair, died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Mr. McNair died at a hospital, Greg Dunbar of Dunbar Funeral Homes in Columbia said Wednesday.

The former governor died in November at age 83, two months after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Former first lady Josephine McNair died at age 84 about a week later at the family's Berkeley County farm where her husband was buried.

Mr. McNair's daughter, Claudia McNair Crawford, died last month at the age of 50, also of cancer.

The former governor's son was regional manager of government affairs for paper-maker Georgia-Pacific Corp. for more than two decades. He also worked with the printing firm R.L. Bryan after serving in the Air Force.

RUDOLPH R. SPRUENGLI, 88 Heir to chocolate empire

Rudolph R. Spruengli, heir to a Swiss chocolate empire and head of the world-renowned Lindt & Spruengli business for more than two decades, died Monday.

Mr. Spruengli was owner and chairman of the Swiss chocolate company Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG during a decisive period of growth and expansion. A company spokeswoman confirmed his death.

Mr. Spruengli was born into the Lindt & Spruengli chocolate dynasty in 1920 and spent his entire working life with the family firm, known worldwide for its luxury chocolates.

From 1971 to 1994, Mr. Spruengli was the executive board chairman -- the fifth generation of the family to hold the post.

Under his leadership, company turnover increased tenfold and it became one of the world's best-known premium chocolate producers, with a work force of 4,000. His overriding passion and priority was to ensure that the family firm, established in 1845, stayed out of the acquisitive clutches of the mass-production multinationals.

He listed Lindt & Spruengli on the Swiss stock exchange in 1986.

Widely dubbed "the chocolate king" and the "patriarch" because of his autocratic style, Mr. Spruengli also had a reputation for fending off potential challenges to his supremacy by other family members -- including his sons, Luzius and Rudolf.

"The firm is more important than the family," he once declared.

MARIE SMITH JONES, 89 Last full-blooded Eyak

Marie Smith Jones, the last full-blooded Eyak and fluent speaker of her native language, has died.

Ms. Jones died in her sleep Monday at her home in Anchorage, Alaska. She was found by a friend, said daughter Bernice Galloway, who lives in Albuquerque, N.M.

Ms. Jones also was the last person alive who was fluent in Eyak, a branch of the Athabaskan Indian family of languages, said Michael Krauss, a linguist and professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who collaborated with Ms. Jones for years in an effort to preserve the language.

"With her death, the Eyak language becomes extinct," Mr. Krauss said.

Ms. Jones was honorary chief of the Eyak Nation. The Eyak ancestral homeland runs along 300 miles of the Gulf of Alaska from Prince William Sound, near the fishing village of Cordova, eastward across the Copper River Delta to the town of Yakutat.

By the 21st century, only about 50 Eyaks remained, according to the university's Alaska Native Language Center, which Mr. Krauss directs.

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