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posted: 7/21/2012 7:07 PM

Country music trailblazer; self-help pioneer

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From Daily Herald wire rpeorts

Considered a pioneer in the self-help genre aimed at helping readers become more productive in their lives, author Stephen R. Covey had an enormous impact on both the corporate world and the personal lives of millions.

The well-known motivational speaker and author of the best-selling "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," which sold more than 20 million copies in 38 languages, has died at age 79.

Without Kitty Wells, there might be no Taylor Swift. Or Miranda Lambert. Or Loretta Lynn.

She was THE pioneer, the first female singer with enough spunk and fire to get noticed in the male-dominated world of country music.

Think about it: No Tammy Wynette. No Tanya Tucker. No Carrie Underwood.

"Without her there wouldn't be a lot of us," said Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard.

The family of country music's first female superstar said she died peacefully at home this week after complications from a stroke. She was 92.

Dubbed "The Queen of Country Music" decades ago, Wells had been a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame since 1976 and could look back on a career that spanned more than six decades after her retirement.

She recorded approximately 50 albums, had 25 Top 10 country hits and went around the world several times. From 1953 to 1968, various polls listed Wells as the No. 1 female country singer until Wynette finally dethroned her.

William Raspberry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post and one of the most widely read black journalists of his generation, has died at 76.

Raspberry, who grew up in segregated Mississippi, wrote an opinion column for the Post for nearly 40 years. More than 200 newspapers carried his column in syndication before he retired in 2005.

He won the Pulitzer for commentary in 1994, becoming the second black columnist to achieve the honor.

British rocker Jon Lord, the keyboardist whose powerful, driving tones helped turn Deep Purple and Whitesnake into two of the most popular hard rock acts in a generation, has died . He was 71.

A statement on Lord's officiLord co-wrote some of Deep Purple's most famous tunes, including "Smoke on the Water."

Radical writer Alexander Cockburn, a longtime columnist for The Nation and editor of the political newsletter CounterPunch, has died in Germany at age 71.

Tom Davis, a writer who with Al Franken helped develop some of the most popular skits in the early years of "Saturday Night Live," was remembered by his former partner as "great friend, a good man, and so funny." He was 59.

Davis' wife, Mimi Raleigh, said he died of throat and neck cancer at his home in the Hudson Valley.

A former president of Maine shipyard Bath Iron Works and under secretary of the U.S. Navy under President Ronald Reagan has died. James Franklin Goodrich was 99.

Democracy activists denounced plans for a military funeral honoring Egypt's former spy chief Omar Suleiman, 76, who was the ousted President Hosni Mubarak's closest lieutenant, a key pillar of his authoritarian regime and holder of so many secrets he was known as "the black box."

Hall of Fame trainer Frank "Pancho" Martin, who oversaw 1973 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Sham, has died. He was 86.

Former 49ers defensive end Cleveland Elam, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who had a team-high 17.5 sacks in 1976, has died. He was 60.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, revered by Jews worldwide as the top rabbinic authority of this generation for his scholarship and rulings on complex elements of Jewish law, has died at 102.

Elyashiv devoted his life to Torah study and credited his longevity to never getting angry. He rejected worldly possessions and chose instead to live modestly in a tiny Jerusalem apartment, where people lined up, seeking advice, blessings and rulings on religious issues.

Rajesh Khanna, whose success as a romantic lead in scores of Indian movies made him Bollywood's first superstar, has died after a brief illness. He was 69.

Former Seattle offensive lineman Grant Feasel has died at 52.

Antonin Holy, a renowned Czech scientist whose research significantly contributed to the development of antiviral drugs, has died at age 75.

The director and producer behind the television classics "I Love Lucy" and "Bewitched" has died. Bill Asher was 90.

Donald J. Sobol, a prolific author of children's books, including the vastly popular mystery series starring Encylopedia Brown -- the crime-solving savant in high-tops -- has died at 87.

Panasonic Corp. says its second president, who helped lead the Japanese electronics company for half a century as it grew into a global brand, has died. Masaharu Matsushita was 99.

Prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member Bob Babbitt, whose bass playing pounded through the Temptations hit "Ball of Confusion" and Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," has died. He was 74.

Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blonde who soared to Broadway fame in "Oklahoma!" and won an Oscar in "Gentleman's Agreement" but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, has died. She was 95.

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