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Boston.comYear in review
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Year in review
Re-rank the top events, trends, products and people of 1997:

BY CATEGORY
Most notables | Literature & journalism | Business | Visual arts | Performing arts | Government & public affairs | Misc. fields

Who was who: Some of the greats we lost in 1997

In June, they stood side by side on a Bronx sidewalk: a tiny nun with a withered face, wearing a blue and white sari, and the willowy princess with bright blue eyes, trim in a suit of the latest fashion.

Within three months, Mother Teresa would die peacefully in bed at age 87. Decades of service to the poor, coupled with top organizing skills, made her and her missionary order admired around the world.

And that the sleek young woman? Princess Diana died the same week, killed in a car crash that brought to a close a far different, but in its own way remarkable, life. Her sudden death on Aug. 31 at age 36 generated shock, but she was only one of several prominent people who died violently in 1997, seemingly before they should.

A serial killer shot designer Gianni Versace, age 50, outside a Miami Beach mansion. At age 53, singer John Denver died in the crash of a small, experimental plane.

By contrast, actor Jimmy Stewart lived to age 89, Justice William Brennan to 91, author James Michener to 90. They all marked history, as did others. Here is a roll call of those notables:

Most notables

Harry Helmsley, billionaire who built a real estate empire that included the Empire State Building and was the husband of the celebrated ``queen of mean,'' Leona. Jan. 4. Age 87. Pneumonia.

Burton Lane, who composed the music for ``Finian's Rainbow,'' ``On a Clear Day You Can See Forever'' and other stage and movie musicals. Jan. 5. Age 84. Stroke.

Paul E. Tsongas, former senator from Massachusetts who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic presidential front-runner in 1992 with his platform of building stronger ties to business. Jan. 18. Age 55. Pneumonia as a complication of cancer treatment.

James Dickey, a poet who said he wrote prose just to pay the bills but achieved his greatest fame for the novel and Oscar-nominated movie ``Deliverance.'' Jan. 19. Age 73. Complications of lung disease.

Curt Flood, the former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder who single-handedly took on baseball's long-standing rules that prohibited players from choosing what teams they would play for. Jan. 20. Age 59. Throat cancer.

``Col.'' Tom Parker, the flamboyant former carnival barker who helped guide Elvis Presley to stardom. Jan. 21. Age 87. Stroke.

Jeane L. Dixon, the astrologer famed for her prediction that President Kennedy would die in office. Jan. 25. Age 79. Cardiopulmonary arrest.

Herb Caen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who for six decades chronicled his beloved San Francisco with wit, wisdom and gossip, and who himself became an enduring symbol of its charm. Feb. 1. Age 80. Cancer.

Sanford Meisner, legendary acting teacher whose students included Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Robert Duvall and many other stars. Feb. 2. Age 91. Cancer.

Pamela Harriman, the U.S. ambassador to France who was born to the British aristocracy, married to American wealth and then earned her own place as a political doyenne. Feb. 5. Age 76. Stroke.

Leo Rosten, whose 1968 best-seller ``The Joys of Yiddish'' introduced mainstream America to the subtleties of schmaltz and chutzpah. Feb. 19. Age 88.

Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's Communist revolutionaries, who abandoned Mao's radical policies and pushed the world's most populous nation into the global community with capitalist-style reforms. Feb. 19. Age 92.

Albert Shanker, who championed public school reforms as longtime leader of the nation's second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers. Feb. 22. Age 68. Cancer.

Lavern Baker, rock 'n' roll hall of famer for such hits as ``Tweedle-Dee'' and ``Jim Dandy.'' March 10. Age 67. Diabetes. Fred Zinnemann, the Oscar-winning film director who wrestled with questions of conscience, morality and bravery in precedent-setting movies like ``High Noon,'' ``A Man for All Seasons'' and ``Julia.'' March 14. Age 89. Heart attack.

Willem de Kooning, whose swirls and slashes of color helped define abstract expressionism and made him one of the 20th century's greatest painters. March 19. Age 92. Alzheimer's disease

V.S. Pritchett, a master of the English short story and keen observer of humanity who published more than 40 books -- short stories, novels, essays, literary criticism and autobiographies. March 20. Age 96. Stroke.

Allen Ginsberg, the poet laureate of the Beat Generation whose writing and lifestyle shaped the music, politics and protests of the next 40 years. April 5. Age 70. Heart attack after battling liver cancer.

Jack Kent Cooke, the crusty entrepreneur whose Washington Redskins won three Super Bowls and whose personal life was the stuff of tabloid headlines. April 6. Age 84. Cardiac arrest.

Laura Nyro, singer-songwriter of the '60s and '70s whose unique style influenced many women to follow, writer of such hits as ``Stoned Soul Picnic'' and ``Wedding Bell Blues.'' April 8. Age 49. Ovarian cancer.

Chaim Herzog, who served Israel as diplomat, soldier, spymaster, barrister, author and the nation's longest-serving president. April 17. Age 78. Pneumonia.

Mike Royko, the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist whose biting sarcasm and empathy for the common man captured the gritty essence of Chicago for more than three decades. April 29. Age 64. Aneurysm.

Murray Kempton, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist known for his elegant way with a phrase. May 5. Age 79. Heart attack while battling cancer.

J. Anthony Lukas, a newspaper reporter and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes for writing about social upheavals of the 1960s and '70s, the second for the best-selling book ``Common Ground.'' June 5. Age 64. Suicide.

Lawrence Payton, a member of the Four Tops who gave the Motown group its distinctive harmonies on hits such as ``Baby I Need Your Loving'' and ``Reach Out (I'll Be There.)'' June 20. Age 59. Liver cancer.

Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's widow who witnessed his assassination in 1965 and went on to become a noted activist in her own right. June 23. Age 61. Burns suffered in a fire set by her troubled 12-year-old grandson.

Brian Keith, the burly actor best known as Uncle Bill on the TV sitcom ``Family Affair.'' June 24. Age 75. Suicide; had suffered from cancer and emphysema.

Jacques Cousteau, explorer and inventor who shared his undersea adventures with millions of TV viewers worldwide, revealing the enchanting, hidden life that lay beneath the waves. June 25. Age 87. Respiratory and heart problems.

Robert Mitchum, the brawny, blunt-spoken actor who starred in more than a hundred movies including ``The Story of G.I. Joe'' and ``Night of the Hunter.'' July 1. Age 79. Emphysema, cancer.

James Stewart, the lanky, aw-shucks star who embodied the small-town values of decency and moral courage in films such as ``It's a Wonderful Life'' and ``Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'' July 2. Age 89. Blood clot on his lung.

Charles Kuralt, the avuncular CBS newsman whose ``On The Road'' reports celebrated offbeat America -- from unicyclists to horse traders to gasoline-pumping poets. July 4. Age 62. Complications of lupus.

Gianni Versace, Italian designer who dressed celebrities the world over in his glamorous, sexy fashions. July 15. Age 50. Murder.

Sir James Goldsmith, the maverick financier who formed his own political party in England to crusade against European unification even though he lived a cosmopolitan life including homes in four countries. July 19. Age 64. Cancer.

William J. Brennan, retired Supreme Court justice whose intellect and charisma made him one of the most influential jurists in America's history. July 24. Age 91.

Ben Hogan, the golfer who overcame devastating injuries from a traffic accident to win four U.S. Opens and come closest to capturing professional golf's ``grand slam.'' July 25. Age 84. Cancer, Alzheimer's disease.

William S. Burroughs, the stone-faced godfather of the Beat generation whose experimental novel ``Naked Lunch'' unleashed an underground world that defied narration. Aug. 2. Age 83. Heart attack.

Jeanne Calment of Arles, France, the world's oldest person, who stayed mentally sharp until the end and claimed to have met -- and disliked -- the struggling artist who posthumously became her hometown's most famous resident, Vincent van Gogh. Aug. 4. Age 122.

Clarence M. Kelley, who succeeded J. Edgar Hoover as director of the FBI and steered the agency through the turmoil of the post-Watergate period. Aug. 5. Age 85. Emphysema, strokes.

Brandon Tartikoff, the former NBC programming wizard who transformed primetime television in the 1980s with such landmark shows as ``Hill Street Blues,'' ``L.A. Law'' and ``The Cosby Show.'' Aug. 27. Age 48. Hodgkin's disease.

Diana, Princess of Wales, whose incomparable beauty, common touch and energetic efforts on behalf of AIDS patients and land mine victims made her the ``people's princess'' even after her divorce from Prince Charles. Aug. 31. Age 36. Car crash.

Sir Rudolf Bing, the autocratic impresario who propelled New York's Metropolitan Opera to new heights in popularity and artistic achievement during 22 years as general manager. Sept. 2. Age 95. Alzheimer's disease.

Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun revered for her tireless dedication to Calcutta's most wretched and for organizational skills that made her order a force worldwide. Sept. 5. Age 87.

Sir Georg Solti, the Hungarian-born conductor who led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to international fame as its music director for more than 20 years. Sept. 5. Age 84.

Mobutu Sese Seko, the Zairian strongman who was overthrown after nearly 32 years of despotic rule that left his mineral-rich country in shambles. Sept. 7. Age 66. Prostate cancer.

Burgess Meredith, supreme character actor who played a crusty old pug in ``Rocky'' and waddled with aristocratic elan as the Penguin on TV's ``Batman.'' Sept. 9. Age 89. Melanoma, Alzheimer's disease.

Richie Ashburn, a classic leadoff hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies and a member of baseball's Hall of Fame. Sept. 9. Age 70. Heart attack.

Roy Lichtenstein, a pioneer of the Pop Art movement best known for his oversized comic book-style images, complete with Ben Day dots and inane captions like ``I don't care! I'd rather sink -- than call Brad for help!'' Sept. 29. Age 73. Pneumonia.

Red Skelton, the gentle clown-comedian who stumbled and bumbled his way through decades of prime time television skits and more than 30 movies, creating such beloved characters as Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader and the Mean Widdle Kid. Sept. 17. Age 84.

Shoichi Yokoi, a former Japanese soldier who hid in the jungles of Guam for 27 years without knowing that World War II had ended. Sept. 22. Age 82. Heart failure.

John Denver, multimillion-selling singer of the 1970s whose love of the outdoors was reflected in hits like ``Rocky Mountain High'' and in his environmental activism. Oct. 12. Age 53. Plane crash.

Wes Gallagher, a tough ex-war correspondent who led The Associated Press through America's turbulent 1960s and into the electronic era of high-speed news. Oct. 11. Age 86. Congestive heart failure.

Harold Robbins, who wrote a string of steamy best-selling novels including ``The Carpetbaggers,'' ``The Betsy,'' and ``Never Love a Stranger.'' Oct. 14. Age 81. Heart failure.

James A. Michener, who guided millions of readers from the South Pacific to the fringes of space in giant, best-selling novels. Oct. 16. Age 90. Kidney failure.

Roberto C. Goizueta, who fled Communist Cuba and became a kingpin of capitalism as the highly successful chief of the Coca-Cola Co. Oct. 18. Age 65. Lung cancer.

Nancy Dickerson, whose 1960 breakthrough as CBS News' first female correspondent helped pave the way for a generation of women. Oct. 18. Age 70. Stroke.

Samuel Fuller, a cigar-smoking reporter-turned-war hero-turned-director whose bleak and violent movies, such as ``The Big Red One,'' inspired many of today's top filmmakers. Oct. 30. Age 86.

Sir Isaiah Berlin, Oxford University philosopher who was a giant in 20th-century thought, specializing in the history of political ideas and the concepts of liberty. Nov. 5. Age 88.

Eddie Arcaro, jockey known as ``The Master'' who in a career that stretched from the '30s to the '60s twice rode to Triple Crowns and won the Kentucky Derby five times. Nov. 14. Age 81. Cancer.

Harold Geneen, the visionary workaholic who built ITT Corp. into the quintessential conglomerate during his 18-year reign at its helm. Nov. 21. Age 87. Heart attack.

Buck Leonard, a Hall of Fame first baseman who was compared to Lou Gehrig but never played in the majors because of the color of his skin. Nov. 27. Age 90. Stroke.

Coleman A. Young, a tailor's son who overcame racism to become Detroit's first black mayor and presided over the city for an unprecedented five terms. Nov. 29. Age 79. Heart and respiratory problems.

Stephane Grappelli, the French jazz violinist who, teaming with guitarist Django Reinhardt, helped shatter the image of jazz as an exclusively American art form. Dec. 1. Age 89. Complications of hernia surgery.

William W. Winpisinger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers from 1977-89, who pursued a leftist agenda at a time when many labor leaders were turning conservative. Dec. 11. Age 73. cancer.

Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, the dashing heir-apparent to the Fiat empire, often called the ``JFK Jr. of Italy.'' Dec. 13. Cancer. Age 33.


Deaths in literature and journalism

Theo Wilson, a journalist whose coverage of history-making trials from Sam Sheppard to John De Lorean made her the dean of America's trial reporters. Jan. 17. Age about 78. Stroke.

James Dickey, a poet who said he wrote prose to pay the bills but achieved his greatest fame for the novel and Oscar-nominated movie ``Deliverance.'' Jan. 19. Age 73. Complications of lung disease.

Herb Caen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who for six decades chronicled his beloved San Francisco with wit, wisdom and gossip, and who himself became an enduring symbol of its charm. Feb. 1. Age 80. Cancer.

Leo Rosten, whose 1968 best-seller ``The Joys of Yiddish'' introduced the subtleties of schmaltz and chutzpah to mainstream America. Feb. 19. Age 88.

Jean-Dominique Bauby, a French journalist who, after suffering a stroke, wrote an acclaimed book entirely by blinking to tell the world what it is like to be trapped inside a paralyzed body. March 9. Age 44.

V.S. Pritchett, a master of the English short story and keen observer of humanity who published more than 40 books -- short stories, novels, essays, literary criticism and autobiographies. March 20. Age 96. Stroke.

Nancy Jane Woodhull, a trailblazer for women in journalism who became president of the Gannett News Service and a founding editor of USA Today. April 1. Age 52. Lung cancer.

Allen Ginsberg, poet laureate of the Beat Generation whose writing and lifestyle shaped the music, politics and protests of the next 40 years. April 5. Age 70. Heart attack after battling liver cancer.

Helene Hanff, New York author whose 20-year correspondence with an English book seller inspired the book, play and movie ``84, Charing Cross Road.'' April 9. Age 80. Pneumonia.

Michael Dorris, noted author who told the story of his adopted son's battle with fetal alcohol syndrome in his award-winning book ``The Broken Cord.'' April 11. Age 52. Suicide.

Mike Royko, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist whose biting sarcasm and empathy for the common man captured the gritty essence of Chicago for more than three decades. April 29. Age 64. Aneurysm.

Murray Kempton, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist known for his elegant way with a phrase. May 5. Age 79. Heart attack while battling cancer.

Alton L. Blakeslee, much honored science writer for The Associated Press who covered everything from moon landings to acupuncture. Age 83. Cancer. May 11.

J. Anthony Lukas, a newspaper reporter and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes for writing about social upheavals of the 1960s and '70s, the second for the best-selling book ``Common Ground.'' June 5. Age 64. Suicide.

Charles Kuralt, the avuncular CBS newsman whose ``On The Road'' reports celebrated offbeat America -- from unicyclists to horse traders to gasoline-pumping poets. July 4. Age 62. Complications of lupus.

Dorothy Buffum Chandler, who helped her husband and son build the Los Angeles Times into a world-class newspaper and fostered her adopted city's cultural life with the auditorium that bears her name. July 6. Age 96.

Edwin Diamond, author, founder of the Washington Journalism Review and a magazine editor and columnist in New York for nearly four decades for publications such as Newsweek, Adweek and New York. July 10. Age 72.

William S. Burroughs, the stone-faced godfather of the Beat generation whose experimental novel ``Naked Lunch'' unleashed an underground world that defied narration. Aug. 2. Age 83. Heart attack.

William N. Oatis, an Associated Press reporter for 47 years who was imprisoned in Czechoslovakia in the early days of the Cold War after being forced to confess to espionage. Sept. 17. Age 83.

Wes Gallagher, a tough ex-AP war correspondent who became general manager and led the organization through America's turbulent 1960s and into the electronic era of high-speed news. Oct. 11. Age 86. Congestive heart failure.

Harold Robbins, who wrote a string of steamy best-selling novels including ``The Carpetbaggers,'' ``The Betsy,'' and ``Never Love a Stranger.'' Oct. 14. Age 81. Heart failure.

James A. Michener, who guided millions of readers from the South Pacific to the fringes of space in giant, best-selling novels. Oct. 16. Age 90. Kidney failure.

Sir Isaiah Berlin, Oxford University philosopher who was a giant in 20th-century thought, specializing in the history of political ideas and the concepts of liberty. Nov. 5. Age 88.

Marguerite Henry, the award-winning author who swept young readers into a land of wild horses and rugged landscapes in books such as ``Misty of Chincoteague.'' Nov. 26. Age 95. Strokes.

Mort Pye, who built The Star-Ledger of Newark into New Jersey's largest newspaper while it championed the environment and education. Dec. 1. Age 79.


Deaths in business

Harry Helmsley, billionaire who built a real estate empire that included the Empire State Building and was the husband of the celebrated ``queen of mean,'' Leona. Jan. 4. Age 87. Pneumonia.

Robert Irsay, who in 1984 fled with his storied Baltimore Colts football team to Indianapolis in the middle of a night before the state of Maryland could seize it. Jan. 14. Age 73. Stroke.

Saul B. Marantz, whose pioneering audio equipment made his name synonymous with advances in high fidelity music systems. Jan. 16. Age 85.

Robert Sarnoff, who, following in the pioneering footsteps of his father, David, helped usher in the era of color television and aired the first televised presidential debate while heading NBC. Feb. 22. Age 78. Cancer.

John E. Curtis Jr., the top executive of the big Luby's Cafeterias chain. March 13. Age 49. Suicide.

James A. Ryder, onetime truck driver who pioneered full-service truck leasing and built Ryder System Inc. into a multimillion-dollar company. March. 25. Age 83. Stroke.

Jack Kent Cooke, the crusty entrepreneur whose Washington Redskins won three Super Bowls and whose personal life was the stuff of tabloid headlines, died Sunday April 6 of cardiac arrest. He was 84.

Harry A. McQuillen III, the chief operating officer who managed more than 60 magazines for publishing giant K-III Communications. June 29 or 30. Age 51. Suicide.

Sir James Goldsmith, the maverick financier who formed his own political party in England to crusade against European unification even though he lived a cosmopolitan life including homes in four countries. July 19. Age 64. Cancer.

Roberto C. Goizueta, who fled Communist Cuba and became a kingpin of capitalism as the highly successful chief of the Coca-Cola Co. Oct. 18. Age 65. Lung cancer.

Harold Geneen, the visionary workaholic who built ITT Corp. into the quintessential conglomerate during his 18-year reign at its helm. Nov. 21. Age 87. Heart attack.

William W. Winpisinger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers from 1977-89, who pursued a leftist agenda at a time when many labor leaders were turning conservative. Dec. 11. Age 73. Cancer.

R. Stanton Avery, the father of the self-stick label and founder of what is now Avery Dennison Corp. Dec. 12. Age 90. Stroke.

Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, the dashing heir-apparent to the Fiat empire, often called the ``JFK Jr. of Italy.'' Dec. 13. Cancer. Age 33.


Deaths in miscellaneous fields

Edith Haisman, the oldest survivor of the Titanic, whose last memory of her father was his standing on the ship's deck with a glass of brandy and a cigar, saying ``I will see you in New York.'' Jan. 20. Age 100.

Noel Keane, the Michigan lawyer known as the father of surrogate parenting, who arranged the deal that lead to the court battle over the child known as Baby M. Jan. 25. Age 58. Cancer.

Jeane L. Dixon, the astrologer famed for her prediction that President Kennedy would die in office. Jan. 25. Age 79. Cardiopulmonary arrest.

Charles Dederich, founder of the Synanon drug rehabilitation group that evolved into a cultlike religion implicated in a murder plot. Feb. 28. Age 83. Heart, lung failure.

Alfred Sheinwold, ``King of Bridge,'' columnist and author who gave pointers to millions and helped invent the Kaplan-Sheinwold system of bidding. March 8. Age 85. Stroke. Collaborator Edgar Kaplan died Sept. 7 at age 72 of cancer.

Gary Dockery, Tennessee police officer left in a comalike state in a 1988 shooting who made worldwide headlines in 1996 when he briefly became alert, spoke to his relatives and cracked jokes as if no time had passed. April 15. Age 43. Blood clot.

Glynn ``Scotty'' Wolfe, a flamboyant, Bible-thumping minister who wed 29 times, giving him the Guinness Book of Records title for more than 35 years as the most-married man. June 10. Age 88. Heart disease.

``Wino Willie'' Forkner, the central figure in a rowdy motorcycle gang, the Boozefighters, which inspired the 1954 Marlon Brando movie ``The Wild One.'' June 12. Age 76. Ruptured aneurysm.

Thalassa Cruso, who taught readers and viewers how to have a green thumb in her book and public TV show ``Making Things Grow.'' June 18. Age 88.

Jacques Cousteau, explorer and inventor who shared his undersea adventures with millions of TV viewers worldwide, revealing the enchanting, hidden life that lay beneath the waves. June 25. Age 87. Respiratory and heart problems.

Miguel Najdorf, an Argentine chess grandmaster considered one of the great players of this century, creator of the move known as the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense. July 4. Age 87.

Gianni Versace, Italian designer who dressed celebrities the world over in his glamorous, sexy fashions. July 15. Age 50. Murder.

Jeanne Calment of Arles, France, the world's oldest person, who stayed mentally sharp until the end and claimed to have met -- and disliked -- the struggling artist who posthumously became her hometown's most famous resident, Vincent van Gogh. Aug. 4. Age 122.

Janet Good, one of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's staunchest supporters who helped him with several assisted suicides and founded the Michigan chapter of the Hemlock Society. Aug. 26. Age 73. Pancreatic cancer.

Princess Diana, whose incomparable beauty, common touch and energetic efforts on behalf of AIDS patients and land mine victims made her the ``people's princess'' even after her divorce from Prince Charles. Aug. 31. Age 36. Car crash.

Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun revered for her tireless dedication to Calcutta's most wretched and for organizational skills that made her order a force worldwide. Sept. 5. Age 87.

Shoichi Yokoi, a former Japanese soldier who hid in the jungles of Guam for 27 years without knowing that World War II had ended. Sept. 22. Age 82. Heart failure.


Deaths in visual arts

Victor Vasarely, Hungarian-born painter whose strong geometric designs and use of optical illusions made him a master of Op Art. March 15. Age 90. Prostate cancer.

Willem de Kooning, whose swirls and slashes of color helped define abstract expressionism and made him one of the 20th century's greatest painters. March 19. Age 92. Alzheimer's disease.

Henriette Wyeth, noted portrait painter and sister of artist Andrew Wyeth. April 3. Age 89. Pneumonia.

James Lee Byars, a New Mexico sculptor who combined influences of the East and West and had a strong following in Europe. May 22. Age 65. Cancer.

Dora Maar, the dark-haired mistress and muse of Pablo Picasso in the '30s and '40s, subject of some of his most famous portraits, and a painter and photographer in her own right. July 16. Age 89.

Mattie Lou O'Kelley, a Georgia folk artist whose work celebrating the simple rural life of her girlhood echoed that of Grandma Moses. July 26. Age 89.

Aldo Rossi, first Italian to win the prestigious Pritzker International Prize for Architecture, who designed works such as World Theater in Venice and the Museum of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Sept. 4. Age 66. Car crash.

Roy Lichtenstein, a pioneer of the Pop Art movement best known for his oversized comic book-style images, complete with Ben Day dots and inane captions like ``I don't care! I'd rather sink -- than call Brad for help!'' Sept. 29. Age 73. Pneumonia.

Bertrand Goldberg, architect who created Chicago's landmark corncob-shaped twin towers at Marina City, and advocated humane public housing. Oct. 8. Age 84.


Deaths in the performing arts

Townes Van Zandt, singer-songwriter who wrote the country hits ``If I Needed You'' and ``Pancho and Lefty'' and gained a cult following for his blues-inspired recordings about life's losers. Jan. 1. Age 52. Heart attack.

Burton Lane, who composed the music for ``Finian's Rainbow,'' ``On a Clear Day You Can See Forever'' and other stage and movie musicals. Jan. 5. Age 84. Stroke.

Jesse White, the character actor best known as television's lonely Maytag repairman whose phone never rang. Jan. 8. Age 79. Heart attack.

Sheldon Leonard, who went from playing Hollywood tough guys to producing such TV hits as ``The Andy Griffith Show,'' ``The Dick Van Dyck Show'' and ``I Spy.'' Jan. 10. Age 89.

Ennis Cosby, only son of entertainer Bill Cosby. Jan. 16. Age 27. Shot to death in apparent robbery on Los Angeles roadside.

Laurence Austin, film preservationist and owner of nation's only theater devoted exclusively to silent films. Jan. 17. About 70. Shot to death in alleged murder for hire.

James Dickey, a poet who said he wrote prose just to pay the bills but achieved his greatest fame for the novel and Oscar-nominated movie ``Deliverance.'' Jan. 19. Age 73. Complications of lung disease.

Adriana Caselotti, who warbled ``Some Day My Prince Will Come'' as the sweet, innocent voice of Disney's ``Snow White.'' Jan. 19. Age 80. Cancer.

``Col.'' Tom Parker, the flamboyant former carnival barker who helped guide Elvis Presley to stardom. Jan. 21. Age 87. Stroke. Irwin Jesse Levine, whose song ``Tie a Yellow Ribbon `Round the Old Oak Tree'' became an unofficial anthem of the nation during the Iran hostage crisis. Jan. 21. Age 58. Kidney failure.

Richard Berry, the rhythm and blues pioneer whose song ``Louie Louie'' launched a generation of garage bands and provoked a federal obscenity probe. Jan. 23. Age 61. Possible aneurysm.

Gerald Marks, a Tin Pan Alley composer best known for the song ``All of Me.'' Jan. 27. Age 96.

Marjorie Reynolds, who was wooed by Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in ``Holiday Inn'' and later played the long-suffering wife on television's ``The Life of Riley.'' Feb. 1. Age 79.

Sanford Meisner, legendary acting teacher whose students included Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Robert Duvall and many other stars. Feb. 2. Age 91. Cancer.

Don Porter, TV actor who was Ann Sothern's boss in ``Private Secretary'' and Sally Field's dad in ``Gidget.'' Feb. 11. Age 84.

Robert Sarnoff, who, following in the pioneering footsteps of his father, David, helped usher in the era of color television and aired the first televised presidential debate while heading NBC. Feb. 22. Age 78. Cancer.

Christopher Wallace, the rapper known as The Notorious B.I.G. March 9. Age 24. Killed in drive-by shooting.

Lavern Baker, rock 'n' roll hall of famer for such hits as ``Tweedle-Dee'' and ``Jim Dandy.'' March 10. Age 67. Diabetes.

Fred Zinnemann, the Oscar-winning film director who wrestled with questions of conscience, morality and bravery in precedent-setting movies like ``High Noon,'' ``A Man for All Seasons'' and ``Julia.'' March 14. Age 89. Heart attack.

Harold Melvin, leader of the Blue Notes who molded Teddy Pendergrass into a lead singer on the hits ``The Love I Lost'' and ``If You Don't Know Me By Now.'' March 24. Age 57. Stroke.

Jolie Gabor, mother of Eva and Zsa Zsa. April 1. Age 97.

Tomoyuki Tanaka, creator of the fearsome giant lizard Godzilla and a pioneer in Japan's influential monster movie industry. April 2. Age 86. Stroke.

Laura Nyro, singer-songwriter of the '60s and '70s whose unique style influenced many women to follow, writer of such hits as ``Stoned Soul Picnic'' and ``Wedding Bell Blues.'' April 8. Age 49. Ovarian cancer.

Jean Louis, whose elegant fashions for his wife, Loretta Young, and other stars got him an Oscar for ``The Solid Gold Cadillac'' and nominations for 14 other films. April 20. Age 89.

Pat Paulsen, the droopy-faced comic who capped a career launched on the Smothers Brothers' TV show with satirical campaigns for the White House. April 24. Age 69. Cancer.

John Beal, prolific actor whose career spanned more than 60 years, from juvenile leads opposite Katharine Hepburn and Helen Hayes to the bearded villain in ``The Firm.'' April 26. Age 87.

Joey Faye, burlesque and Broadway star who performed with stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and played the dancing green grapes in Fruit of the Loom commercials. April 16. Age 87. Heart failure.

Sydney Guilaroff, Hollywood hairdresser to some of the world's most celebrated beauties, creating Judy Garland's braids in ``The Wizard of Oz'' and turning Lucille Ball into a redhead. May 28. Age 89. Pneumonia.

George Fenneman, the gracious sidekick to comedian Groucho Marx on television's ``You Bet Your Life.'' May 29. Age 77. Emphysema.

Adolphus ``Doc'' Cheatham, a jazz trumpeter who played with artists such as Bessie Smith and Cab Calloway and blossomed into a widely praised solo artists in later years. June 2. Age 91. Stroke.

Dennis James, personable TV host who began with an experimental station in 1938 and went on to be master of ceremonies of shows such as ``The Price is Right'' and ``Name That Tune.'' June 3. Age 79. Cancer.

Lawrence Payton, a member of the Four Tops who gave the Motown group its distinctive harmonies on hits such as ``Baby I Need Your Loving'' and ``Reach Out (I'll Be There.)'' June 20. Age 59. Liver cancer.

Arthur Prysock, a two-time Grammy-nominated rhythm and blues singer known for his deep, sultry voice on songs like ``Teach Me Tonight.'' June 21. Age 74.

Rosina Lawrence, the unsuspecting heiress in the Laurel and Hardy classic ``Way Out West'' and the new teacher in the Oscar-winning Our Gang short, ``Bored of Education.'' June 23. Age 84.

Brian Keith, the burly actor best known as Uncle Bill on the TV sitcom ``Family Affair.'' June 24. Age 75. Suicide; had suffered from cancer and emphysema.

Rita Morley, TV and Broadway actress dubbed ``America's Most Televised Girl'' in the 1950s for her many appearances in soap operas and cosmetics commercials. June 28. Age 69. Cancer.

William Hickey, an actor and teacher whose portrayal of a dying Mafia don in ``Prizzi's Honor'' brought him an Oscar nomination. June 29. Age 69. Emphysema, bronchitis.

Robert Mitchum, the brawny, blunt-spoken actor who starred in more than a hundred movies including ``The Story of G.I. Joe'' and ``Night of the Hunter.'' July 1. Age 79. Emphysema, cancer.

Annie Fratellini, France's most beloved female clown who founded the nation's first circus school in 1974. July 1. Age 64. Cancer.

James Stewart, the lanky superstar who embodied the small-town values of decency and moral courage in films such as ``It's a Wonderful Life'' and ``Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'' July 2. Age 89. Blood clot on his lung.

Alexandra Danilova, a former prima ballerina and well-known teacher who spent many years on the faculty of the School of American Ballet. July 13. Age 93.

William Reynolds, film editor for six decades who won Oscars for ``The Sound of Music'' and ``The Sting.'' July 16. Age 87. Cancer.

Linda Stirling, a star of 1940s and 1950s adventure film serials such as ``The Tiger Woman'' and ``Zorro's Black Whip.'' July 20. Age 75. Cancer.

Albert Schoepper, a retired Marine Corps colonel who estimated he appeared before more than 12 million people in his 17 years as director of the Marine Band, ``The President's Own.'' July 28. Age 83. Stroke.

Svyatoslav Richter, who rose to fame in the Soviet Union in the 1940s to become one of the 20th century's leading pianists. Aug. 1. Age 82. Heart attack.

Carlton Moss, a cultural scholar and filmmaker whose work about the black experience, such as his 1943 documentary, ``The Negro Soldier,'' inspired future African-American actors and directors. Aug. 10. Age 88.

Luther Allison, bluesman whose stage energy and blistering guitar playing attracted three decades of rock 'n' roll fans. Aug. 12. Age 57. Cancer.

Leo Jaffe, the executive who oversaw Columbia Pictures' rise in the 1970s from near-bankruptcy to Hollywood dominance despite the embezzlement scandal caused by studio President David Begelman. Aug. 20. Age 88.

Brandon Tartikoff, the former NBC programming wizard who transformed primetime television in the 1980s with such landmark shows as ``Hill Street Blues,'' ``L.A. Law'' and ``The Cosby Show.'' Aug. 27. Age 48. Hodgkin's disease.

Sally Blane, who appeared in more than 80 films but had her career overshadowed by that of her sister, Loretta Young. Aug. 27. Age 87.

Sir Rudolf Bing, the autocratic impresario who propelled New York's Metropolitan Opera to new heights in popularity and artistic achievement during 22 years as general manager. Sept. 2. Age 95. Alzheimer's disease.

Sir Georg Solti, the Hungarian-born conductor who led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to international fame as its music director for more than 20 years. Sept. 5. Age 84.

Derek Taylor, the drama critic who called the Beatles ``magnificent'' in 1963 and became their publicist during the height of Beatlemania. Sept. 7. Age 65. Cancer.

Burgess Meredith, supreme character actor who played a crusty old pug in ``Rocky'' and waddled with aristocratic elan as the Penguin on TV's ``Batman.'' Sept. 9. Age 89. Melanoma and Alzheimer's disease.

Stig ``Stikkan'' Andersson, Swedish music producer behind the hit band ABBA. Sept. 12. Age 66. Heart attack.

Red Skelton, the gentle clown-comedian who stumbled and bumbled his way through decades of prime time television skits and more than 30 movies, creating such beloved characters as Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader and the Mean Widdle Kid. Sept. 17. Age 84.

Jimmy Witherspoon, a Grammy-nominated blues singer whose trademark deep, smoky voice graced hits such as ``Blues Around the Clock'' and ``Some of My Best Friends Are the Blues.'' Sept. 18. Age 74.

Shirley Clarke, a dancer turned filmmaker who won an Academy Award for ``Lover's Quarrel With the World,'' a documentary on the poet Robert Frost. Sept. 23. Age 77.

Arthur Tracy, radio's ``Street Singer'' who delighted millions of listeners in the 1930s with his sweet, flexible tenor. Oct. 5. Age 98.

John Denver, multimillion-selling singer of the 1970s whose love of the outdoors was reflected in hits like ``Rocky Mountain High'' and in his environmental acvitism. Oct. 12. Age 53. Plane crash.

Joyce Compton, actress in late silents and early talkies, specializing in comic bubbleheaded blondes in more than 100 features and many shorts. Oct. 13. Age 90.

Paul Jarrico, screenwriter who was nominated for an Oscar for 1941's ``Tom, Dick and Harry'' but then saw his career blighted by the Hollywood blacklist. Oct. 28. Age 82. Car crash.

Samuel Fuller, a cigar-smoking war hero turned director whose bleak and violent movies, such as ``The Big Red One,'' inspired many of today's top filmmakers. Oct. 30. Age 86.

Saul Chaplin, composer and arranger who shared in three Oscars for scoring the musicals ``An American in Paris,'' ``Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'' and ``West Side Story.'' Nov. 15. Age 85. Injuries from a fall.

Michael Hutchence, lead singer for the Australian rock band INXS, which shot to international success in the late '80s with hits such as ``Never Tear Us Apart'' and ``Devil Inside.'' Nov. 22. Age 37. Hanging.

Stephane Grappelli, the French jazz violinist who, teaming with guitarist Django Reinhardt, helped shatter the image of jazz as an exclusively American art form. Dec. 1. Age 89. Complications of hernia surgery.

Stubby Kaye, rotund comic actor who portrayed Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the Broadway and film versions of ``Guys and Dolls.'' Dec. 14. Age 79. Lung cancer.


Deaths in government and public affairs

Paul E. Tsongas, former senator from Massachusetts who rebounded from cancer to briefly become a Democratic presidential front-runner in 1992 with his platform of building stronger ties to business. Jan. 18. Age 55. Pneumonia as a complication of cancer treatment.

Rep. Frank Tejeda, a decorated Vietnam veteran who dedicated much of his congressional tenure to assisting the military and its veterans. Jan. 30. Age 51. Brain tumor.

Pamela Harriman, U.S. ambassador to France who was born to British aristocracy, married to American wealth and earned her own place as a political doyenne. Feb. 5. Age 76. Stroke.

William S. Scott, onetime congressman who in 1972 became the first Republican elected to the Senate from Virginia since Reconstruction. Feb. 14. Age 81. Alzheimer's disease, chest infection.

Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's Communist revolutionaries, who abandoned Mao's radical policies and pushed the world's most populous nation into the global community with capitalist-style reforms. Feb. 19. Age 92. Lung infection, complications of Parkinson's disease.

Albert Shanker, who championed public school reforms as longtime leader of the nation's second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers. Feb. 22. Age 68. Cancer.

Michael Manley, who led Jamaica as a socialist firebrand defiant of U.S. policy in the 1970s and then regained power as a chastened proponent of capitalism in the 1990s. March 6. Age 72. Prostate cancer.

Cyril F. Brickfield, who led the American Association of Retired Persons for 20 years, 1967 to 1987, as it grew into a major advocacy group. March 15. Age 78. Cancer.

Roberto Sanchez Vilella, who as governor in the late '60s helped transform Puerto Rico from a poor agricultural society to one of industry and commerce. March 25. Age 84. Liver cancer.

Chaim Herzog, who served Israel as diplomat, soldier, spymaster, barrister, author and the nation's longest-serving president. April 17. Age 78. Pneumonia.

Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's wife who witnessed his assassination in 1965 and went on to become a noted activist. June 23. Age 61. Burns suffered in a fire set by her troubled 12-year-old grandson.

Arthur Liman, attorney whose role as the Senate's chief counsel in the televised Iran-Contra hearings made his face familiar to millions. July 17. Age 64.

Robert C. Weaver, an educator and economist who became the nation's first black Cabinet member when President Johnson appointed him secretary of housing and urban development in 1965. July 17. Age 89.

Justice William J. Brennan, the liberal lion whose intellect and charisma made him one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in America's history. July 24. Age 91.

Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam who, after two decades of largely powerless rule, was forced by the communists to abdicate in 1945. July 31. Age 83.

Dr. Janet Travell, who helped then-Sen. John Kennedy with his back problems and went on to serve as White House physician for Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Aug. 1. Age 95.

Clarence M. Kelley, who succeeded J. Edgar Hoover as FBI director and steered the agency through the turmoil of the post-Watergate period. Aug. 5. Age 85. Emphysema, strokes. Norman B. Ture, economist who advocated the theory of supply-side economics -- that lower taxes spur growth -- and helped write the 1981 tax cut as a member of the Reagan administration. Aug. 10. Age 74. Pancreatic cancer.

Robert L. Leggett, eight-term Democratic congressman from California who was chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Committee before running afoul of the 1970s ``Koreagate'' scandal. Aug. 13. Age 71.

Jean M. Westwood, the first woman to chair the Democratic National Committee, from the time of Sen. George McGovern's nomination in 1972 until shortly after his landslide loss that fall. Aug. 18. Age 73.

Mary Louise Smith, moderate Iowa Republican who was the only women ever to chair the Republican National Committee, from 1974 to 1977. Aug. 22. Age 82. Lung cancer.

Mobutu Sese Seko, the Zairian strongman who was overthrown after nearly 32 years of despotic rule that left his mineral-rich country in shambles. Sept. 7. Age 66. Prostate cancer.

William B. Spong Jr., who upset Sen. A. Willis Robertson, Pat Robertson's father, to win a Senate seat from Virginia in 1966 and was himself upset when he sought a second term six years later. Oct. 8. Age 77.

Joel Pritchard, Republican congressman and lieutenant governor in Washington state who also invented the lawn game Pickleball. Oct. 9. Age 72. Lymphoma.

Walter Capps, freshman congressman from California who was a religious studies professor before taking up politics and winning a seat for the Democrats after decades of GOP domination. Oct. 28. Age 63. Apparent heart attack.

Grayson L. Kirk, who helped create the United Nations and as president of Columbia University called in the police to quell a weeklong anti-Vietnam protest in 1968 that shut down the campus. Nov. 21. Age 94.

Jorge Mas Canosa, the top Cuban exile leader who built a powerful political network and monopolized U.S. policy toward Cuba. Nov. 23. Age 58. Lung cancer.

Coleman A. Young, a tailor's son who overcame racism to become Detroit's first black mayor and presided over the city for an unprecedented five terms. Nov. 29. Age 79. Heart and respiratory problems.

Kamuzu Banda, former president of the African nation of Malawi, a hero of independence who went on to become a symbol of brutal dictatorship and eccentric autocracy before his 30-year reign ended in 1994. Nov. 25. Age 99.

Endicott ``Chub'' Peabody, governor of Massachusetts in the 1960s and longtime Democratic leader. Dec. 2. Age 77. Leukemia.

John E. Moss, 13-term California congressman who wrote the 1966 federal Freedom of Information Act. Dec. 5. Age 82. Pneumonia.

By the Associated Press


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