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Obituaries in the News

October 13, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Robert ``Tex″ Allen, one of the original white-hatted cowboy stars on Hollywood’s silver screen, died Friday of cancer and a collapsed lung. He was 92.

Born I.E. Theodore Baehr, Allen was one of the most popular western stars of the 1930s. His screen credits included ``Crime and Punishment″ (1935) with Peter Lorre, ``Winter Carnival″ (1939) with Ann Sheridan, and ``The Awful Truth″ (1937) with Cary Grant and Irene Dunn.

In 1934, he talked his way into a part in a Tim McCoy western _ the first of three _ and was so well received that Columbia created the ``Bob Allen Ranger″ series of cowboy movies that included ``Ranger Courage.″

After World War II, he was featured in stage productions such as ``Auntie Mame″ and ``Showboat,″ numerous television programs and commercials.

Joseph Cates

NEW YORK (AP) _ Joseph Cates, television and Broadway producer, father of actress Phoebe Cates and a creator of ``The $64,000 Question″ game show, died Saturday of leukemia complications. He was 74.

Cates helped make TV specials into regular network features, writing, producing and directing more than a thousand of them. He also cast Art Carney as Jackie Gleason’s sidekick in ``The Honeymooners″ and designed the show’s original set.

Cates won two Emmy Awards as an independent producer, for an Anne Bancroft special in 1970 and a George Gershwin tribute in 1972.

His Broadway productions included ``Joe Egg″ and ``Elmer Gantry.″

Alan S. Donnahoe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Alan S. Donnahoe, a retired communications executive who helped develop Media General Inc. into a Fortune 500 company, died Saturday at age 82.

Donnahoe, who served at various times as vice chairman, president and chief executive officer of Media General, served as its first chief executive officer from 1969 to 1985.

Donnahoe joined Richmond Newspapers Inc., the corporate parent of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, before Media General was founded, in 1951. After military duty during the Korean War, he returned to RNI in 1955 as a vice president. He became president and CEO when Media General was created in 1969. He retired as CEO in 1985 but continued as vice chairman and consultant until 1990.

Media General has interests in newspapers, broadcast and cable television, recycled newsprint and diversified information services primarily in the Southeast.

Donnahoe was also a director of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States from 1976 to 1982.

Survivors include his wife, Elsie, and a daughter.

George W. Leisz

LA JOLLA, Calif. (AP) _ George W. Leisz, president of rocket engine-making giant Aerojet-General Corp. who helped usher the company into prosperity, died Thursday of a brain hemorrhage. He was 75.

Leisz worked 18 years for Aerojet-General, retiring in 1989 as president and chief executive officer of a company that exceeded $1 billion in sales. Leisz also had worked for 17 years at Rockwell International, where he helped develop the navigation system used on Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine.

Bernhard Minetti

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Bernhard Minetti, an actor whose career began in the Prussian State Theater in 1930 and who appeared in most of Germany’s best-known theaters, died Monday. He was 93.

Minetti’s most important roles included ``Krapp″ in Samuel Beckett’s ``Krapp’s Last Tape,″ ``Faust″ in Goethe’s version of the classic, and ``Lear″ in Shakespeare’s ``King Lear.″ Most recently, he appeared with the Berlin Ensemble in Bertolt Brecht’s ``The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.″

Raymond A. Myles

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Raymond A. Myles, a gospel singer praised by Billboard magazine as being on the brink of mainstream success, was found dead Sunday of multiple gunshot wounds. He was 41.

Myles, known for his high-energy shows, started his gospel career as a child, recording ``Prayer From a 12-year-old Boy,″ which an end to the Vietnam War. He and his choir toured extensively in the southern United States and in Europe, performing with Al Green, Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin.

Ruben Naranjo

ALICE, Texas (AP) _ Ruben Naranjo, a conjunto singer and accordionist known to his fans as ``El Hijo del Pueblo″ (the son of the town), died Monday. He was 53. The cause of death was unknown.

Naranjo’s hits include ``Sin Delito,″ ``Prenda de Alma,″ ``Dulce Aldorada″ and ``Angel de mis Angeles.″ Conjunto originated in South Texas in the late 1800s when German, Czech and Polish immigrants introduced the accordion into the region.

Spottswood W. Robinson III

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Spottswood W. Robinson III, an attorney in one of the 1954 Supreme Court cases that led to the historic ruling striking down school desegregation, died Sunday at age 82.

Robinson also served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia from 1964 until he retired in 1992, and was dean of the Howard University Law School.

In 1951, Robinson took on the case of a black student in Virginia’s Prince Edward County who complained that all-black Robert R. Moton High School was inadequate. That case and others led to the Supreme Court striking down ``separate but equal″ school policies in 1954 decision in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan.

Dr. Carlo Sirtori

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Dr. Carlo Sirtori, a cancer specialist and a leader in bringing medical information to the public, died Monday of cerebral vascular disease. He was 86.

Sirtori, an expert at classifying and naming tumors, also served as cancer adviser to the U.N. World Health Organization and director of the National Tumor Institute in Italy.

Known in Italy for bringing complicated medical information to people in simple language, he appeared on television and wrote weekly columns for Italian magazines, including the mass-circulation ``Gente″ and ``Gioia.″

Elvin W. Tappe

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) _ Elvin W. Tappe, a former Chicago Cubs head coach whose links to the team spanned more than 20 years, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

Drafted by the Cubs in 1952, Tappe became the team’s player-coach in 1958 and played and help coach through the 1963 season. He remained a scout until 1975.

Tappe and his twin brother, Melvin, did play-by-play broadcasts of local sports on WTAD radio and KHQA television in Quincy for 25 years.

W. Allen Wallis

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ W. Allen Wallis, former University of Rochester president and economic advisor to four U.S. presidents, died Monday of a stroke. He was 85.

Wallis, an internationally known free-market economist and statistician, became president of the University of Rochester in 1962 and was named chancellor in 1970.

From 1942 to 1946, Wallis served as director of research for the U.S. Office of Scientific Research’s Statistical Research Group, an agency that helped the war effort with such findings as the optimal patterns of submarine search.

From 1959 to 1961, he was special assistant to President Eisenhower and worked as executive vice chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Price Stability for Economic Growth. He also was on advisory panels under former Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan.

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