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posted: 6/29/2013 5:09 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Astrophysicist Margherita Hack

      Astrophysicist Margherita Hack

  • Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Miller

      Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Miller

  • The band Devo in 1978, from left, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, kneeling, Jerry Casale, Bob Casale and Alan Myers.

      The band Devo in 1978, from left, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, kneeling, Jerry Casale, Bob Casale and Alan Myers.

  • Golfer Ray Billows, right, winner of the first Great Lakes amateur golf championship, receives the tournament trophy from Scotty Fessenden, left, president of the Chicago District Golf Association, as Frank Stranahan, center, looks on.

      Golfer Ray Billows, right, winner of the first Great Lakes amateur golf championship, receives the tournament trophy from Scotty Fessenden, left, president of the Chicago District Golf Association, as Frank Stranahan, center, looks on.
    Associated Press/Aug. 21, 1941

 
From Daily Herald news wire reports

Gary David Goldberg, who created the 1980s sitcom hit "Family Ties" and expanded into feature films, has died.

Goldberg died of brain cancer in Montecito, Calif., on Saturday, days before his 69th birthday.

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Goldberg's TV successes also included the ABC comedy "Spin City," which in 1996 reunited him with "Family Ties" breakout star Michael J. Fox as the deputy mayor of New York City.

Alan Myers, the former longtime drummer for the band Devo, best known for "Whip It," has died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 58.

Myers was the band's drummer from 1976 to 1985 during Devo's heyday. The group was formed in Akron, Ohio, in the early 1970s by Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale, and introduced themselves to the world in 1977 by making a frenetic version of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction."

Margherita Hack, an astrophysicist who explained her research on the stars in plain language for the public and who championed civil rights in her native Italy, has died in the Adriatic Sea town of Trieste, where she had headed an astronomical observatory. She was 91.

An atheist who decried Vatican influence on Italian politicians, Hack helped fight a successful battle to legalize abortion in Italy. She unsuccessfully lobbied for the right to euthanasia and also championed gay rights. Among her victories was a campaign against construction of nuclear reactors in Italy.

Justin Miller, a pitcher for four teams during a major league career that spanned seven seasons, has been found dead. He was 35.

Miller's death was confirmed Friday by his agent, Matt Sosnick. The cause of death hasn't been released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Florida.

Alain Mimoun, a Frenchman who won the 1956 Olympic marathon after losing three races to Czech great Emil Zatopek, has died. He was 92.

Mimoun, whose death was confirmed by France's athletics federation, won three silver medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics -- narrowly missing the gold each time to Zatopek.

Jim Hudson, the former New York Jets safety who helped the team to its only Super Bowl title in 1969, has died. He was 70.

Frank Stranahan, the premier amateur of his era who contended for majors and was the first notable player to make fitness a regimen in golf, has died. He was 90.

Stranahan, who died Sunday in Hospice of Palm Beach County, was regarded as the best amateur since Bobby Jones.

The son of a wealthy industrialist family in Ohio -- his father was the founder of Champion Spark Plug -- Stranahan combined a life of privilege with his devotion to golf to win more than 50 amateur titles, including multiples wins in the British Amateur, Western Amateur and North and South Amateur.

Bert Stern, a commercial photographer best known for his images of Marilyn Monroe in what became known as "The Last Sitting," has died in New York City. He was 83.

James Martin, a British philanthropist and technology guru who was once the highest-selling author on books about computing, has died near his private island in Bermuda. He was 79.

Martin was the largest single private donor in the nearly 900-year history of the University of Oxford, donating more than $150 million to help establish the Oxford Martin School, where researchers study global issues, challenges and opportunities facing humanity in the 21st century.

Curtis Tarr, the former head of the Selective Service System who oversaw the lottery for the draft during the Vietnam War, has died at age 88.

He was a wheeler-dealer pardoned by another consummate dealmaker, a working-class Jewish boy who left Belgium to escape the Nazis and rose to become the billionaire "King of Commodities."

Marc Rich's connections to the rich and powerful not only made him fabulously wealthy but when he was indicted for fraud, racketeering and tax evasion on a grand scale, they helped secure him a pardon from Bill Clinton, hours before the U.S. president left office.

That triggered a political firestorm from critics who alleged Rich bought his pardon through donations that his ex-wife had made to the Democratic Party.

Rich died Wednesday of a stroke at a hospital in Lucerne, near his home for decades. He was 78, and his Israel-based spokesman Avner Azulay said he would be buried in a kibbutz in Israel.

Retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice John Nickels, who worked to make legal services more accessible to low-income people, has died after a long illness, court officials said. He was 82.

He authored 95 majority opinions, including a decision that struck down a gang loitering ordinance in Chicago. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld Nickels' decision.

He grew up on a dairy farm in Kane County and credited his background with shaping his values. When announcing his retirement, according to Tybor, Nickels said: "This farmer's son is going home."

Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Hathaway, a World War II prisoner of war who upset Maine legend Margaret Chase Smith but then lost his seat after one term to William Cohen, has died. He was 89.

Politics and family were deeply intertwined for Beverly Fawell, a linchpin in one of DuPage County's most prominent Republican clans.

As a state senator, she advocated for the disabled and helped establish assisted living centers for seniors. But when push came to shove, it was her own family that came first for Fawell, who died at age 82.

It happened when she resigned from the Illinois Senate in 1999, after the death of her son Steve.

"She made the decision to give up a nice, long career to take care of her two grandchildren," son Scott Fawell said. "To make sure they had a good foundation and a good home. She walked away without any regrets."

Writer Michael Baigent, who gained attention for launching a lawsuit contending that "The Da Vinci Code" stole ideas from his own book, has died of a brain hemorrhage at age 65, his literary agent said Monday.

Baigent is best-known for writing the 1982 nonfiction book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," which explores theories that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, the couple had a child and the bloodline survives. In 2006 Baigent and co-author Richard Leigh made international headlines when they sued Dan Brown's publisher for copyright infringement, claiming that Brown "appropriated the architecture" of their book in a high-profile London court case they eventually lost.

Bobby "Blue" Bland, a distinguished singer who blended Southern blues and soul in songs such as "Turn on Your Love Light" and "Further On Up the Road," has died. He was 83.

John L. Dotson Jr., a longtime journalist, editor and newspaper publisher who championed diversity in the newsroom, has died at age 76.

During his long career, Dotson served as an editor at Newsweek and the publisher of two newspapers, including The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal when it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

The woman who intervened when an officer pulled over one of her sons, leading to a racially charged scuffle that set off the 1965 Watts riot, has died. Rena Price died of natural causes on June 10. She was 97.

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