Other Notable Deaths


August 17, 2008


Electronic composer

Donald Erb, a composer with a strong interest in electronic music who was prominent on the avant-garde scene of the 1960s and 1970s, died last week at his home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

His death Tuesday came after a long illness, said his wife, Lucille Erb.

Mr. Erb, who was professor emeritus of composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, composed Reconnaissance, one of the first chamber works for live synthesizer and acoustic instruments. It had its premiere in New York in 1967 with Robert Moog, a pioneer of the synthesizer, playing that instrument.

Mr. Erb's catalog also includes The Seventh Trumpet, which was given its premiere in 1987 by Leonard Slatkin and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which commissioned it.

He was appointed to the Cleveland Institute of Music faculty in 1952 and was appointed distinguished professor of composition in 1987.


Brazilian singer, songwriter

Brazilian composer and singer Dorival Caymmi, who catapulted to fame when Carmen Miranda performed one of his songs in 1938, died yesterday of kidney cancer and multiple organ failure in his Rio de Janeiro home, his granddaughter Stela Caymmi told the Globo TV network.

During his 60-year career, Mr. Caymmi made close to 20 records and composed more than 100 songs, including "O que e que a Baiana tem," which was immortalized by Ms. Miranda.


Noted physicist

C. Lester Hogan, a pioneer in the electronics industry whose departure in 1968 from his job as a top executive at Motorola to one at Fairchild, taking along seven senior members of Motorola's semiconductor team, led to a celebrated lawsuit, died last week of complications from Alzherimer's disease in Atherton, Calif.

Dr. Hogan exemplified the generation of brilliant scientists who emerged after World War II and applied their imaginations to the discoveries that became the computer revolution.

But his celebrity came from his success in leading Motorola's drive to become the most profitable semiconductor producer. That, in turn, led the Fairchild Camera and Instrument Co., also a semiconductor powerhouse, to recruit him to be its president. After turning the job down several times, he accepted.

Motorola lost its lawsuit, but Fairchild lost the battle. In 1973, Judge William P. Copple, a federal judge in Arizona, ruled that Fairchild's results were so unimpressive that it was impossible to assess damages. Dr. Hogan was dismissed as president the next year.

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