This page lists the obituaries of people who made news during their lifetimes. Obituaries of historians can be found here.
SOURCE: LA Times(7-24-11)
Retired Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, who became the first foreign-born chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and guided military and humanitarian efforts in the post-Cold War era of the 1990s, has died. He was 75.
Shalikashvili died Saturday morning at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state of complications from a stroke, the Army said in a statement.
A native of Poland, Shalikashvili rose to the top military post at the Pentagon during the Clinton administration, from 1993 to 1997. He succeeded Gen. Colin L. Powell as chairman.
"General Shali," as President Clinton often referred to him, counseled Clinton on the use of troops during conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti, Rwanda and other places. When he appointed Shalikashvili chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1993, Clinton lauded the general as "a soldier's soldier, a proven warrior, a creative and flexible visionary."...
Warren Leslie, who in 1964 raised hackles in Dallas, his adopted hometown, when he contended in a book that a climate of right-wing extremism had primed the city to become the scene of a national tragedy — the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — died on July 6 at his home in Chicago. He was 84.
Mr. Leslie died of natural causes, his niece Leslie McCullough Jeffries said.
A former reporter for The Dallas Morning News, Mr. Leslie was a vice president and chief spokesman for Neiman Marcus, the Dallas-based luxury department store chain, when he wrote “Dallas Public and Private: Aspects of an American City,” published barely four months after Kennedy was assassinated.
Though never a best seller, the book was widely reviewed as a window on the psyche of Dallas at a time when the country was still struggling to understand and recover from the assassination, which occurred on Nov. 22, 1963. Reprinted in 1998 by Southern Methodist University Press, it remains a document of the era.
“It is an extraordinary thing when an American city does not trust itself to receive the president of the United States in dignity,” Mr. Leslie wrote. “Dallas did not so trust itself — and with reason.”...
Magnus Malan, a South African general and defense minister who in the 1980s helped devise and carry out his nation’s last-ditch strategy to preserve its system of rigid racial segregation, including ordering raids into surrounding countries, died on Monday in Cape Town. He was 81.
A family spokesman said the cause was heart failure, The South African Press Association reported.
General Malan used the phrase “total onslaught” to describe the threats to apartheid, as the country’s racial laws were known. He saw those threats coming from Communists, neighboring African countries and liberals in the United States. His answer was “a total strategy,” combining elements of the political, economic and psychological spheres as well as the military.
He approved counterinsurgencies in Mozambique and Angola; set up a covert agency responsible for disinformation and assassination; sent troops to control unrest in so-called townships, areas designated for blacks; and declared that political rights were not a relevant concern for blacks. He and his aides regularly used terms like “annihilate” and “exterminate.” He approved a biological warfare program....
SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Former President Juan María Bordaberry of Uruguay, who as president participated in a coup in 1973 that ushered in a 12-year military dictatorship, died Sunday in Montevideo. He was 83.
His death was announced by his son Pedro.
Mr. Bordaberry had been serving a 30-year sentence under house arrest for orchestrating the coup and for crimes against humanity. He was found guilty of 14 deaths and disappearances related to the dictatorship.
His years as president, between 1971 and 1976, are remembered as perhaps the bleakest in Uruguay’s history, marked by a wave of disappearances, torture and killings intended to wipe out the remnants of the leftist Tupamaro guerrilla movement....
Growing up on New Zealand’s North Island in the 1920s, Geoff Fisken seemed destined for a quiet life working on the vast sheep farms his father owned. But he became fascinated by airplanes when his father, Robert, began flying on his trips around the country. At 14, Geoff flew solo in a biplane.
When war loomed in 1938, he sought to enlist in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, only to be turned down because the government classified agricultural work as an essential occupation. He tried again in 1940, and this time he was accepted.
He was stationed in Singapore, the site of a major British naval base, when the Japanese invaded Malaya on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after their attack on Pearl Harbor, and he went aloft to confront Japanese planes as a member of a vastly outnumbered British air squadron.
By mid-January 1942, Sergeant-Pilot Fisken, flying American-made Brewster Buffaloes, had shot down six Japanese fighters or bombers, according to the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum. That was one more than the number required to be an “ace.”
He went on to become the British Commonwealth’s No. 1 fighter pilot in the Pacific, credited with downing at least 11 Japanese planes.
Geoffrey Bryson Fisken died on June 11 at age 96 in Rotorua in central North Island, his family announced. He had spent much of his postwar years as a sheep farmer....
George M. Ross, a Goldman Sachs executive and a philanthropist who successfully resisted the gravitational pull of the nation’s usual cultural capitals to help establish a major museum of Jewish history in Philadelphia, raising $154 million for the project, died on Friday at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He was 77....
The National Museum of American Jewish History, which was begun modestly in 1976 by members of the city’s oldest Jewish congregation as a showcase for religious and cultural artifacts, became Mr. Ross’s focus in the late 1990s, when plans were hatched to turn it into something more. The longtime chairman of the museum board, Lyn Ross, Mr. Ross’s wife, asked him to help.
Mr. Ross became the leader of a campaign to raise $154 million, and to move the museum from its tiny quarters to a new and much larger space at the east end of Independence Mall, a location selected to symbolize and celebrate the tradition of freedom that enabled Jewish life in America to flourish....
Theodore Roszak, who three weeks after the Woodstock Festival in 1969 not only published a pivotal book about a young generation’s drug-fueled revolt against authority but also gave it a name — “counterculture” — died on July 5 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 77.
His wife, Betty, in confirming the death, said he had been treated for liver cancer and other illnesses.
Dr. Roszak’s book “The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society” had gone to press months before the music festival was held in August that year, displaying the exuberance and excesses of a generation rebelling against war and seeking new ways to be and think. But in serendipitously timely fashion, the book provided what many regarded as a profound analysis of the youth movement, finding its roots in a sterile Western culture that had prompted young people to seek spiritual meaning in LSD, exotic religions and even comic books....
BERLIN — Otto von Hapsburg, the onetime heir to the imperial throne of Austria-Hungary, who during a long career in European politics was a strong proponent of unifying the divided continent, died Monday at his home in Pöcking, Germany. He was 98.
He died “peacefully and without pain in his sleep,” said his spokeswoman, Eva Demmerle.
Otto was the eldest son of Charles I, the last emperor of Austria-Hungary, who ruled for just under two years, until the end of World War I also brought an end to his multiethnic empire in the heart of Europe and sent the family into exile.
Otto did not, however, fit the part of the exiled would-be monarch waiting for his throne to be restored. He remained deeply involved in the turbulent events of the last century, opposing the Nazi annexation of Austria and later serving two decades as a member of the European Parliament....