Other Notable Deaths


August 29, 2009


Founder of Rite Aid

Rite Aid Corp. founder Alex Grass died Thursday night in Harrisburg, Pa., after a 10-year battle with lung cancer, saaid his daughter, Elizabeth Weese. She, along with her husband Brian D. Weese, were the owners of four Bibelot bookstores in Baltimore (in Timonium, Woodholme, Cross Keys and Canton) from April 1995 until they declared bankruptcy in March 2001.

Mr. Grass helped build Rite Aid into one of the nation's largest drugstore chains and was a philanthropist who gave to civic, health and educational organizations.

Mr. Grass was educated as a lawyer, but his business career took off when he opened a health and beauty aids store in Scranton in 1962. He stepped down as chairman and chief executive in 1995.


Wrote lyrics to Soviet, Russian anthems

Sergei Mikhalkov, an author favored by Josef Stalin who wrote the lyrics for the Soviet and Russian national anthems, persecuted dissident writers as part of the Soviet propaganda machine and fathered two noted film directors, died Thursday in a Moscow hospital.

In 1943, Mr. Mikhalkov, whose poems were favored by Soviet dictator Stalin, was commissioned to write lyrics for a new Soviet anthem designed to inspire Red Army soldiers in the midst of World War II.

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