Notable deaths last week
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Ken Venturi, who overcame dehydration to win the 1964 U.S. Open and spent 35 years in the booth for CBS Sports, died Friday afternoon. He was 82.
Venturi died 11 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
A prominent amateur who grew up in San Francisco, Venturi captured his only major in the 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional, the last year the final round was 36 holes. In oppressive heat, Venturi showed signs of dehydration and a doctor recommended he stop playing because it could be fatal. Venturi pressed on to the finish, closed with a 70 and was heard to say, "My God, I've won the U.S. Open."
He had a severe stuttering problem as a child, yet went on to become one of the familiar voices in golf broadcasting. He began working for CBS in 1968 and lasted 35 years.
The wife of the Mormon church's president shied away from the spotlight, but her lifelong work behind the scenes left a lasting impression on those who knew her.
Frances B. Monson, 85, died early Friday at a hospital in Salt Lake City surrounded by her family, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said. Her daughter, Ann Dibb, said her mom was a supportive wife, a proud mother and one heck of a fixer-upper around the house.
"My mother was just a woman who went about doing good without needing attention or fanfare," Dibb said. "She just recognized what needed to be done and did it."
"My father would never have been able to accomplish the mighty work that he has done without the knowledge that my mother was absolutely supportive," Dibb said.
Former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, who took power over Argentina in a 1976 coup and led a military junta that killed thousands of his fellow citizens in a dirty war to eliminate so-called "subversives," died quietly in his sleep Friday while serving life in prison for crimes against humanity. He was 87.
Videla ran one of the bloodiest military governments during South America's era of dictatorships, and later sought to take full responsibility for kidnappings, tortures, deaths and disappearances when he was tried again and again for these crimes in recent years. He said he knew about everything that happened under his rule because "I was above everyone."
Activist Cynthia Brown, one of the guiding forces at the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch, has died at age 60 after fighting cancer.
Brown started with Human Rights Watch as a researcher in 1982, focusing on the Americas. In 1990, she went to Chile for two years for the organization. In 1993, she became its first program director, overseeing every report it published.
E. Robert Kinney, a former chief executive of General Mills who earlier in his career was instrumental in popularizing fish sticks, has died. He was 96.
Kinney was a food company executive for most of his career, including a successful stint in leading Gorton's of Gloucester — a brand that became a mainstay in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store for generations. The company's success in the fish stick business prompted General Mills Inc. to acquire Gorton's in 1968.
Kinney served as president and chairman of General Mills from 1977 to 1981, leading the company during a time of rapid growth that included acquisition of licensing rights to Yoplait yogurt.
Valtr Komarek's son says the left-wing Czech politician and economist who helped overthrow the country's communist regime has died at age 82.
In the 1980s, Komarek chaired a government economic institute but joined the anti-communist opposition in November 1989. He became one of the most visible faces of the so-called "Velvet Revolution" that ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia.
Longtime Kansas City Royals broadcaster Fred White has died of complications from cancer. He was 76.
Chuck Muncie, a Pro Bowl running back with both the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, has died at age 60.
Muncie family spokesman Vintage Foster said Muncie died at his Los Angeles-area home from heart failure.
Muncie was the Saints' first-round pick, third overall, out of California in 1976. He played 4˝ seasons in New Orleans before being traded in 1980 to San Diego, where he finished his nine-year NFL career.
In 1979, Muncie became the first Saint to rush for 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,198 and 11 touchdowns, and his 1,506 total yards from scrimmage earned him the first of his three Pro Bowl selections.
The 6-foot-3 Muncie, who played at 227 pounds, and fellow Saints running back Tony Galbreath formed what then-coach Hank Stram dubbed the "Thunder and Lightning" combination in the New Orleans backfield. Muncie's photo is among those featured on the Saints' Hall of Honor inside the club's training facility.
Kenneth Battelle, the hairdresser who gave both Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe their calling-card hairdos in the 1950s and '60s, has died at age 86.
Billie Sol Estes, a flamboyant Texas huckster who became one of the most notorious men in America in 1962 when he was accused of looting a federal crop subsidy program, has died. He was 88.
Estes reigned in the state as the king of con men for nearly 50 years. At the height of his infamy, he was immortalized in songs by Allan Sherman (in "Schticks of One and Half a Dozen of the Other") and the Chad Mitchell Trio (in "The Ides of Texas"). Time magazine even put him on its cover, calling him "a welfare-state Ponzi ... a bundle of contradictions and paradoxes who makes Dr. Jekyll seem almost wholesome."
"He considered dancing immoral, often delivered sermons as a Church of Christ lay preacher," the magazine wrote. "But he ruthlessly ruined business competitors, practiced fraud and deceit on a massive scale, and even victimized Church of Christ schools that he was supposed to be helping as a fund raiser or financial adviser."
In 2003, he co-wrote a book published in France that linked President Lyndon Johnson to John F. Kennedy's assassination, an allegation rejected by prominent historians, Johnson aides and family members.
Before Dr. Phil and Dr. Drew and Dr. Oz, there was Joyce Brothers.
The popular psychologist pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s, opening the airwaves to discussions of love, marriage and parenting, as well as such taboo subjects as menopause, frigidity, impotence and sexual enjoyment.
She went on to become an author, syndicated advice columnist and TV and film personality, setting the stage for today's one-named TV doctors.
Brothers died at age 85 of respiratory failure at her home in Fort Lee, N.J., said her daughter, Lisa Brothers Arbisser, an ophthalmologist in the Quad Cities of Iowa.
Jack Butler, who helped revolutionize the way cornerbacks played in the NFL during his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Saturday after a lengthy battle with a staph infection. He was 85.
Butler remained close to the game after his retirement, becoming a prominent scout who worked closely with the Steelers for over 40 years.
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