Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

June 16, 2008

George E. Moore, 88

Cancer researcher

Dr. George E. Moore, a versatile cancer researcher who found an early association between chewing tobacco and mouth cancer while directing the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a state-financed research center in Buffalo, N.Y., died May 19 in Evergreen, Colo. He was 88 and lived in Conifer, Colo.

The cause was bladder cancer, his family said.

In 1954, with colleagues at Roswell Park and the University of Minnesota, Dr. Moore published a pioneering study of male patients with cancer of the mouth, reporting that a majority - 26 of 40 patients - had been tobacco chewers for significant periods of time, many for 15 years or more.

The researchers reported that other chewers, frequently those not found to have cancer, exhibited irritation of the gums as well as mouth lesions, known as leukoplakia, that can be precancerous. At the time, the study became persuasive supporting evidence in making the American Cancer Society's case about the manifold dangers of using any tobacco products, not just cigarettes.

In 1966, Dr. Moore led a study that looked at the filter tips of nine brands of cigarettes and pronounced advertising about the effectiveness of some filters as "almost fraudulent."

The study found that some of the tips allowed markedly larger amounts of tar and nicotine to enter the smoker's lungs.

"Some smokers are getting some protection," Dr. Moore concluded, "but others are not getting any, and the consumer has no way of knowing which filter is better."

Vo Van Kiet , 85

E x-Vietnamese prime minister

Former Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, an economic reformer who led the Communist nation away from poverty and isolation and backed the normalization of ties with the United States, died last week. He was 85.

Mr. Kiet, who was prime minister from 1991 to 1997, died in a Singapore hospital, where he was taken a week ago Saturday after suffering a stroke, government officials said in Hanoi.

Born into a peasant family in southern Vinh Long province on Nov. 23, 1922, Mr. Kiet fought the French and Americans for almost four decades, joining Communist revolutionary forces at the age of 16.

As prime minister, Mr. Kiet helped craft policies that attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment, vastly expanded trade and enabled the economy to grow at an annual rate of better than 8 percent.

Impatient with Communist Party functionaries trying to protect their own turf, Mr. Kiet argued that the party could only stay in power if it loosened its tight hold over the government and business, allowing them to become more efficient.

Although his first wife and two children were said to have been killed by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, Mr. Kiet was a firm supporter of normalizing relations with the United States, which was finally achieved in 1995.

He supported moves to privatize much state industry, enact clearer laws and end special privileges for army and party leaders.

But Mr. Kiet ran into stiff opposition from within the party and army, especially after circulating a memo in 1995 urging bolder reforms.

He stepped down in 1997 at age 74, saying the country needed younger leaders. But he remained active in the country's affairs.

Chingiz Aitmatov, 79

Writer about life in USSR

Chingiz Aitmatov, a Communist writer whose novels and plays before the collapse of the Soviet Union gave a voice to the people of the remote Soviet republic of Kyrgyz, and who later became a diplomat and a friend and adviser to the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, died Tuesday in Nuremberg, Germany. He was 79 and lived in Bishkek, the capital of what is now Kyrgyzstan.

The cause was pneumonia, Lucien Leitess, the head of Mr. Aitmatov's German publisher, told the Associated Press.

Long a prominent figure in literary and political circles in Russia as well as in Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Aitmatov, who wrote in both the Kyrgyz language and Russian, was a hybrid in the former Soviet Union, a party member who nonetheless revealed the restlessness beneath the serene surface of Soviet life under socialism. Drawing on the realistic details of life in the villages of Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous remote province with China to its immediate east and south, and especially on the regional folklore, he wrote, if not allegorically or symbolically, then allusively about the wages of life in a society dominated by collective thought.

His first notable work, a short story called "Jamila," for instance, depicts an emergent love affair between a troubled loner and the title character, a soldier's wife whose husband is away at war, as they work together on a collective farm to produce grain for the army. Narrated by a young boy, the soldier's younger brother, the story not only glorifies the love and the couple's escape from their stultifying village but gives a portrait of an artist as a young man. Inspired by their love, the young narrator determines to be a painter.

His other major works include a play, The Ascent of Mt. Fuji, about a discordant reunion of schoolmates that echoes with the guilt of Stalinist-era survivors, and The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, a novella that conjures up a joint space mission between two superpowers, ostensibly the United States and the Soviet Union.

As a young man, Mr. Aitmatov worked as a shepherd and as a wheat harvester, but also as a correspondent for Pravda, the party newspaper, and a tax collector. He graduated from the Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow. Later, he became politically influential, at one point serving as Soviet ambassador to Luxembourg. A supporter of perestroika, he was an adviser to Gorbachev. His death elicited condolences to the family and public encomiums for his work from President Dmitri A. Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.

Mr. Aitmatov is survived by his wife, Maria; a brother, Ilgez; a sister, Roza; a daughter and three sons.

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