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updated: 12/8/2012 5:14 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Dave Brubeck in 2009

      Dave Brubeck in 2009

 
From wire reports

Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck died Wednesday of heart failure at a hospital in Norwalk, Conn. He was a day shy of his 92nd birthday.

You don't have to be a jazz aficionado to recognize "Take Five," the smoky instrumental by the Dave Brubeck Quartet that instantly evokes swinging bachelor pads, hi-fi systems and cool nightclubs of the 1950s and '60s.

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"Take Five" was a musical milestone -- a deceptively complex jazz composition that managed to crack the Billboard singles chart and introduce a new, adventurous sound to millions of listeners.

In a career that spanned almost all of American jazz since World War II, Brubeck's celebrated quartet combined exotic, challenging tempos with classical influences to create lasting standards.

Brubeck combined classical influences and his own innovations on the seminal 1959 album "Time Out" by his classic quartet that included alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, drummer Joe Morello and bassist Eugene Wright.

At Rick Majerus' final stop, the lone concession to the coach's health woes were the footstools stationed at each corner of the practice court.

The jovial, basketball-obsessed coach who led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools, has died at age 64.

Players remembered Majerus, who got his start as an assistant under Al McGuire at Marquette, as a coach who was exacting and perhaps a bit unorthodox at times, but always fair. Majerus was known for assembling rosters with an international flair, and his final team at Saint Louis had players from Australia and New Zealand.

Majerus was 95-69 in five seasons at Saint Louis and had a 25-year record of 517-216, with 15 20-win seasons and two 30-win seasons. He had his most success at Utah, going 323-95 from 1989-2004. He was at Marquette from 1983-86, and Ball State from 1987-89.

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter after a one-car accident in which Jerry Brown, a member of the National Football League team's practice squad, was killed, police said.

Saul P. Steinberg, the former corporate raider and chairman of Reliance Group Holdings, has died. He was 73.

John D. Silva, the Los Angeles television engineer who won Emmy Awards for creating helicopter news coverage in 1958 has died in Southern California at 92.

Silva was the chief engineer for KTLA-TV when he outfitted a rented Bell helicopter with a TV camera to create a flying TV studio.

James R. Whelan, who served as the first editor of The Washington Times and left in a public dispute with its Unification Church owners, has died at 79.

The paper was initially viewed with skepticism because it was started by a media company owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's South Korea-based Unification Church. But Whelan, who was hired as its editor and publisher, said the five-day-a-week publication would be "a serious newspaper, to be run by the highest professional standards."

A little more than two years later he was fired. In a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Whelan charged that the paper was no longer editorially independent of the church and had become a "Moonie newspaper."

Jonathan Harvey, a British modernist composer whose operas and other works reflected a deep engagement with spirituality, has died at age 73.

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, one of Australia's leading philanthropists and the mother of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, has died. She was 103.

Architect Oscar Niemeyer, who recreated Brazil's sensuous curves in reinforced concrete and built the capital of Brasilia on the empty central plains as a symbol of the nation's future, has died at 104.

In works from Brasilia's crown-shaped cathedral to the undulating French Communist Party building in Paris, Niemeyer shunned the steel-box structures of many modernist architects, finding inspiration in nature's crescents and spirals. His hallmarks include much of the United Nations complex in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in Niteroi, which is perched like a flying saucer across Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro.

Vasily Belov, a writer who paid homage to old rural Russia in his books, has died. He was 80.

He published his first book of poetry in 1961, and became widely known after he published the novel "Business as Usual" in 1966. The novel tells a story of a farmer who leaves his village, then rushes back out of nostalgia only to find his wife dead -- a pessimistic ending that contrasted sharply with the prevailing "socialist realism" style.

Among Belov's most famous works were the "Carpenter Tales" book of short stories, the "Lad" ("Harmony") collection of essays and the novels "Everything Is Ahead," "Year of a Major Breakdown" and "Sixth Hour."

The patriarch of a Damascus-based Eastern Orthodox Church, Ignatius Hazim, has died in a Beirut hospital. He was 92.

Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura, who helped boost the popularity of the traditional Japanese art form, has died. He was 57.

The Shimbashi Embujo Theatre, where he performed regularly, said Kanzaburo -- as he was known among the Japanese public -- died early Wednesday of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

One of Japan's most famous contemporary kabuki actors, Kanzaburo also played roles in film, TV and stage dramas.

Jack Brooks, who spent 42 years in Congress representing his Southeast Texas district and was in the Dallas motorcade in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, has died. He was 89.

Brooks was among the last links to an era when Democrats dominated Texas politics and was the last of "Mr. Sam's Boys," protégés of fellow Texan and legendary 21-year Democratic House Speaker Sam Rayburn in the state's congressional delegation.

Ken Trickey, a former basketball coach at Iowa State, Oral Roberts and other schools, died Tuesday. He was 79.

Grady Allen, the father of Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen and a former NFL linebacker, has died. He was 66.

The Raiders said Allen died from cardiac arrest.

Allen played 59 games over five years as a linebacker with the Atlanta Falcons.

David Oliver Relin, co-author of the best-selling book "Three Cups of Tea," said in legal filings about a year before his recent suicide that his career suffered from allegations of lies in the story of a humanitarian who built schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Relin killed himself in the rural community of Corbett near Portland last month, according to the deputy Multnomah County medical examiner, Peter Bellant, who confirmed the death last Sunday. He was 49.

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