A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending Jan. 13.
D.V. Hurst, 93, who led Northwest University for 25 years as its president, nearly doubling its campus and enrollment since 1966, and served 12 years on the Kirkland City Council, including four as mayor, died Dec 28. He was lauded by the current Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen for “his many years of service and his foresight in creating an outstanding community.”
John “Peter” Sherwin, best known as an irrepressible leader of Seattle’s grass-roots monorail movement, died early Thursday from cancer. He conceived and led a campaign in 2000 to fund the Elevated Transportation Co., following a 1997 initiative steered by local tour driver Dick Falkenbury, that faced City Council resistance. Voters in 2002 approved taxes to build a line to connect Ballard, downtown and West Seattle. But the program was ended in a 2005 citywide vote.
Martha Swope, 88, whose crisp, compelling photographs of dancers and actors at work recorded nearly half a century of stage history, died of Parkinson’s disease Thursday in New York. From 1957, when she was invited by Jerome Robbins to shoot rehearsals of “West Side Story,” to 1994, when she shut down her Times Square studio and sold her archive, Ms. Swope produced hundreds of thousands of images of performers in action.
Tommy Allsup, 85, a guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that later crashed and killed rock ’n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, died Wednesday in Springfield, Mo., of complications from a hernia operation.
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Clare Hollingworth, 105, the journalist known for breaking the news of the imminent Nazi invasion of Poland and the beginning of World War II, died Tuesday in Hong Kong. The undisputed doyenne of war correspondents, she was born into privilege, but chose a life of danger. After “the greatest scoop of modern times,” according to The Guardian, many others followed, such as the identity of a Soviet spy in the United Kingdom, Kim Philby, and the start of peace negotiations in Vietnam. If her eyesight hadn’t started failing 20 years ago, she would probably be still at it. To the end of her life she slept with her passport and a pair of shoes within easy reach, just in case.
Roman Herzog, 82, who as president pressed Germany to embrace economic reform in the 1990s and also stressed the importance of remembering the Nazi-led Holocaust, died Tuesday in Germany. No further details were released.
Buddy Greco, 90, jazz singer, piano player and long-running Las Vegas showman, whose hits included “The Lady Is a Tramp,” died Tuesday in Las Vegas. The musician, who was often associated with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin’s Rat Pack and whose career spanned eight decades, headlined top nightclubs, cabarets and music rooms worldwide. He had such solid-selling singles as “I Ran All the Way Home” and “Mr. Lonely” and recorded more than 60 albums. He also performed with Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne, and once played for Queen Elizabeth II along with The Beatles.
Oliver Smithies, 91, British-born biochemist and inveterate tinkerer who shared a Nobel Prize in 2007 for discovering a powerful tool for identifying the roles of individual genes in health and disease, died Tuesday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Smithies’ discovery, known as gene targeting, allows scientists to disable individual genes in mice to understand what the genes do.
Steven McDonald, 59, a New York police detective who was paralyzed by a teenage gunman’s bullet in 1986 but publicly forgave the shooter and became an international voice for peace, died Tuesday. He had been hospitalized the Friday before on Long Island after suffering a heart attack.
Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, 87, who retired in 2004 as head of the San Antonio Roman Catholic archdiocese and who was the first Mexican American to rise to bishop in the U.S. Catholic church, died Monday of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted-living center for retired priests.
Zygmunt Bauman, 91, one of the most prominent and prolific European sociologists of recent decades, died Monday at his home in Leeds, England, surrounded by his family. The Polish-born left-wing thinker’s works explored the fluidity of identity in the modern world, the Holocaust, consumerism and globalization. Renowned for an approach that incorporated philosophy and other disciplines, Bauman was a strong moral voice for the poor and dispossessed in a world upended by globalization.
Parker Beam, 75, who carried on his family’s historic bourbon-making tradition as longtime master distiller for Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, died Monday after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Roy Innis, 82, the autocratic national leader of the Congress of Racial Equality since 1968, whose right-wing views on affirmative action, law enforcement, desegregation and other issues put him at odds with many black Americans and other civil-rights leaders, died last Sunday in Manhattan of complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 82, Iran’s former president, who built a decades-long career in the ruling elite, where his moderate views were not always welcome, died last Sunday after suffering a heart attack, state media reported. Rafsanjani served as president from 1989 to 1997, as the country was struggling to rebuild its economy after a devastating 1980s war with Iraq, while also cautiously allowing some wider freedoms.
Mário Soares, 92, a former prime minister and president of Portugal who helped steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military and popular revolt known as the Carnation Revolution, ended the dictatorship of fascist António Salazar and grew into a global statesman through his work with the Socialist International movement, died Jan. 7 at Lisbon’s Red Cross Hospital.
Nat Hentoff, 91, the author, journalist, jazz critic and civil libertarian who called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, elegant riffs and the sweet harmonies of the Constitution, died Jan. 7, in New York, surrounded by his family.
Christopher Byron, 72, veteran financial writer who skewered Wall Street shenanigans and chronicled the ups and downs of business figures like Martha Stewart in best-selling books, died Jan. 7 in Bridgeport, Conn. No cause of death was announced.
Willie Evans, 79, who as a standout halfback in 1958 helped the University of Buffalo secure its first invitation to a bowl game, only to be barred with a teammate from playing in it because they were black — a decision that so outraged the team that it refused to participate — died Jan. 4 in Buffalo, N.Y. The cause was injuries suffered in a fall.