Other Notable Deaths


November 06, 2008


Motown Records head

Jheryl Busby, the former president and chief executive of Motown Records who helped foster the careers of Boyz II Men and Johnny Gill, has died. He was 59.

Mr. Busby was found early Tuesday in a hot tub at his home in Malibu, Calif., said Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter.

"It was a possible accident or else he died of natural causes," Mr. Winter said.

Mr. Busby was named Motown's president and chief executive officer in 1988 and stayed there for seven years.

Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Busby started his music career at Memphis, Tenn.-based Stax Records. He bounced around several record companies during the 1980s doing promotional work. He was named as vice president of the black music division of MCA Records in 1984. He was later promoted to president of the division.

After his Motown tenure, Mr. Busby was the head of the urban division at DreamWorks Records between 1998 and 2001. He later worked at Def Soul Classics, a division of Def Jam Records.


Newspaper editor

Former Dallas Times Herald Executive Editor Ken Johnson, who transformed the newspaper into a Pulitzer Prize-winner, has died at the age of 74.

Mr. Johnson, who also held several positions at The Washington Post, died Sunday at UT Southwestern University Hospital in Dallas of a heart infection, family members said.

The Times Mirror Corp. of Los Angeles appointed the 40-year-old Johnson to the Times Herald helm in 1975. During the next nine years, he helped transform the afternoon daily into a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper. Among the journalists hired by the Times Herald under Johnson was Bill Keller, now executive editor of The New York Times.

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