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updated: 11/30/2013 7:03 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Paul Crouch Sr., at a family event in California.

      Paul Crouch Sr., at a family event in California.

  • Actress Jean Kean in June of this year.

      Actress Jean Kean in June of this year.

  • Willis Ware in 1984.

      Willis Ware in 1984.

 
From Daily Herald wire reports

Paul Crouch, who built what has been called the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, has died. He was 79.

Crouch and his wife Jan founded the network in 1973 and grew it into an international Christian empire that beams prosperity gospel programming to every continent but Antarctica around the clock. The programming promises that if the faithful sacrifice for their belief, God will reward them with material wealth.

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Based in Costa Mesa, the network says it has 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates as well as a Christian amusement park in Orlando.

Peter Kaplan, the former editor of The New York Observer who hired a then-unknown Candace Bushnell to write a column called "Sex and the City," has died. He was 59.

He edited the Observer from 1994 to 2009. The salmon-colored weekly has a reach beyond its circulation of about 50,000 because it is read by the Manhattan-based movers and shakers it covers.

Jane Kean, a diverse performer who got her start in musical theater but was best known as Trixie alongside Jackie Gleason on a TV revival of "The Honeymooners," has died. She was 90.

Kean first started working with Jackie Gleason in the 1940s, when they were both on the vaudeville circuit.

The last surviving member of the crew that rescued John F. Kennedy from an island in the Pacific Ocean during World War II has died.

Jack Gardo died in his sleep at his Greenville home Wednesday. Gardo's PT-157 was sent to rescue the survivors of PT-109 after the patrol torpedo boat was rammed in the middle of the night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands on Aug. 2, 1943.

Ye Htut, the last member of the "Thirty Comrades," the group that spearheaded Myanmar's struggle against British colonial rule, has died. He was 91.

The Thirty Comrades were led by Gen. Aung San, father of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. During World War II, the men went to Japan for training to fight British colonizers in what was then known as Burma. Aung San later negotiated independence from Britain, but was assassinated before that occurred in 1948.

Ye Htut, who served in the Myanmar army until independence, went underground soon afterward, joining the armed struggle of the banned Burma Communist Party.

Nilton Santos, twice a World Cup winner for Brazil and one of soccer's great left backs, has died. He was 88.

Willis Ware, a former Rand Corp. engineer who helped build early computers in the 1940s and '50s and predicted the importance of PCs long before they became ubiquitous, has died. He was 93.

Ware was on the team at Princeton University that built the IAS machine, one of the world's first electronic computers, in the late 1940s. He joined Rand in 1952 to help build the Johnniac, another early computer that was based on the IAS.

Arik Einstein, a pioneering Israeli singer and songwriter who performed some of the country's best-known anthems, has died.

Einstein began performing in the early 1960s after serving in a military entertainment troupe. His soft voice was instantly recognizable, melding classic folk music with a harder edge.

He is widely seen as the father of Israeli rock.

Florence Sando Manson, a pioneering newscaster in radio and the early years of television journalism, has died at age 95.

Manson was a popular on-air personality in Pittsburgh from 1941 to 1959, when the industry was dominated by men. She broke out of the usual confines of gossip, homemaking and fashion coverage to deliver world news to a market that blanketed much of the East Coast.

Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton, an influential jazz drummer and bandleader who was an architect of the West Coast cool jazz style and was known for discovering young talent, has died. He was 92.

Former NFL supervisor of officials Jerry Seeman, who worked as the chief referee in two Super Bowls, has died after a long bout with cancer at age 77.

Bill Foulkes, a former Manchester United defender who survived the Munich air disaster, has died, the club said. He was 81.

Foulkes was one of the survivors of the Feb. 6, 1958, Munich air crash that took away the heart of the "Busby Babes."

Eight players were among 23 people killed when a plane carrying Matt Busby's team back from a European Cup game against Red Star Belgrade stopped off to refuel in Munich but crashed on takeoff.

Merrell Williams Jr., a one-time Kentucky paralegal who took on Big Tobacco as a whistleblower who leaked internal documents exposing health risks and the addictiveness of cigarettes, has died in Mississippi, decades after he joined the fight that forever changed perceptions of smoking.

Williams died last week of a heart attack in Ocean Springs, Miss., his daughter, Jennifer Smith, said. He was 72.

He worked for a Kentucky law firm representing the then-Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and leaked thousands of pages of internal memos and studies concerning smoking and health that provided newfound ammunition to tobacco opponents.

The information made national headlines. News organizations reported the information showed Brown & Williamson executives knew decades earlier that nicotine was addictive and that they funneled potentially damaging documents to lawyers to keep them secret.

Peter Lewis, who shepherded Progressive Corp. from a small-time operation to one of the largest auto insurers in the country and later became the billionaire backer of marijuana legalization, has diedy. He was 80.

Progressive President and CEO Glenn Renwick said the company owes its growth and its culture of openness to Lewis. He said Lewis' caring and honesty are "bedrock" values of the company.

"The history of Progressive is very much the history that Peter Lewis laid down," Renwick said. A willingness to take risks and constantly learn and grow are principles that can be traced to Lewis, he added.

Lewis became chief executive officer of Progressive in 1965, built from the company his father co-founded in 1937. Lewis held the leadership post for 35 years, during which Progressive -- and Lewis' fortune -- steadily grew. In 2006, Forbes calculated his net worth at $1.4 billion.

Lewis turned his wealth into support for a number of progressive causes, including strong support for marijuana law reform that began after he used it following a leg amputation. Lewis helped bankroll marijuana-related causes in Ohio, Washington and Massachusetts.

Louis Rubin Jr., an influential teacher, novelist, publisher and writer who helped define the scholarly study of the literature of the South and launched the careers of many Southern writers, died Nov. 16 at a a retirement home in Pittsboro, N.C. He was 89.

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