Harry Glickman, 96, the founder of the Portland Trail Blazers and general manager of the franchise’s only NBA title-winning team, in 1977, died Wednesday. The team announced Glickman’s death; no cause was given.
Portland was granted an expansion franchise in 1970. Glickman was part of the original ownership team, along with Herman Sarkowsky, Larry Weinberg and Robert Schmertz, that paid the league’s $3.7 million expansion fee, according to the team’s website. Glickman was one of the shareholders who sold the club to Paul Allen in 1988.
Claudell Washington, 65, a two-time All-Star outfielder who played 17 seasons in the majors after being called up as a teenager by the Oakland Athletics, died early Wednesday morning in the Bay Area. Washington had been battling prostate cancer.
Washington played with seven teams in his career, finishing with 1,884 hits, 164 home runs and 312 stolen bases. He made the All-Star Game in 1975 with the A’s and in 1984 with the Atlanta Braves during his long career.
Murray Olderman, 98, who in a career of more than 60 years chronicled the sports world as what he called a “rare double threat,” turning out nationally syndicated cartoons while also writing features and columns, died on Wednesday in Rancho Mirage, California.
His work was syndicated by the Newspaper Enterprise Association, a Scripps Howard service, and appeared in as many as 750 newspapers from the early 1950s to the 1980s. His books, most of them about football, usually included his drawings, and he wrote for national magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post and Sport.
Bonnie Pointer, 69, who in 1969 convinced three of her church-singing siblings to form the Pointer Sisters, which would become one of the biggest acts of the next two decades, died Monday of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. Bonnie Pointer often sang lead and was an essential member of the group through its early hits, including “Yes We Can Can” and “Fairytale.” She would leave for a short and modest solo career in 1977 as her sisters went on to have several megahits without her.
Pierre Nkurunziza, 55, the president of Burundi, died of heart failure Monday just weeks after a crucial election to choose a successor to replace him after 15 years of autocratic rule over the Central African nation. Nkurunziza’s death was announced by the government Tuesday on Twitter. He died at a hospital in eastern Burundi after he fell ill and was hospitalized over the weekend after attending a volleyball game. Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, ruled the country with impunity for years, arresting journalists, stifling media outlets and cracking down on opposition parties.
Roberto Faraone Mennella, 48, creator of the iconic parabolic hoop Stella earring made famous by “Sex and the City,” died June 4 of cancer in Torre del Greco, near Naples, Italy. News of his death was first communicated through the social media accounts of Amedeo Scognamiglio, his partner in business and in life. “Robu is finally free,” Scognamiglio wrote on Instagram, “sketching jewels and interiors in his new home in Heaven.”
Lennie Niehaus, 90, a prominent figure in the 1950s Los Angeles jazz scene and a longtime collaborator with his old Army buddy Clint Eastwood in films such as “Bird” and “The Unforgiven,” died in hospice care May 28 at the family home in Redlands, California. In the 1950s when jazz clubs dotted South Los Angeles and fans could have their pick of trumpet players or saxophonists on any given night, Niehaus was a constant along with other fabled musicians — Chet Baker, Hampton Hawes, Shorty Rogers and Bill Holman, among others.
But it was on the road with Stan Kenton that Niehaus earned national exposure as the band leader’s vibrant alto saxophonist.