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Cliff Griffith

January 26, 1996

ROCHESTER, Ind. (AP) _ Cliff Griffith, a two-time Midwest Dirt Racing Association champion who drove four times in the Indianapolis 500, died Tuesday. He was 79.

Griffith began racing sprint cars in 1937 at the Salem (Ind.) Fairgrounds. After serving in World War II, he raced the dirt car circuit and was the Midwest champion in 1946 and 1947.

His best finish in four Indy races between 1951 and 1961 was ninth in 1952.

Austin Hansen

NEW YORK (AP) _ Austin Hansen, a photographer who recorded thousands of images of Harlem over six decades, died Tuesday of a stroke. He was 85.

Some of Hansen’s best known photos were of former Mayor David Dinkins’ wedding, the grief on a street corner the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and a man walking a picket line carrying a sign that read: ``Do Not Ride These Buses Until You See Negro Drivers.″

Many of his photos appeared in The Amsterdam News and The Pittsburgh Courier.

Hansen managed a studio on West 135th Street in Harlem, where he worked for 47 years. He also worked as a Navy photographer in World War II and as a dark room technician in the Office of War Information.

Asa S. Herzog

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Asa S. Herzog, former chief U.S. judge in the nation’s busiest bankruptcy court, the Southern District of New York, died Sunday. He was 92.

Herzog was considered dean of the nation’s bankruptcy judges because of his lengthy tenure and authorship of the standard text on bankruptcy during the years when the number and complexity of bankruptcies were increasing. He was a judge from 1969 until his retirement in 1975.

Herzog was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 1960 to 1988.

Noel Johnson

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Noel Johnson, the oldest man to finish the New York marathon and an advocate of born-again fitness, died Sunday at 96.

After smoking for 35 years, being 40 pounds overweight and having his life insurance canceled, Johnson rejuvenated himself. He set world age-group records in the mile and the half-mile less than two years after being too weak to walk around the block.

Between ages 70 and 90, Johnson ran about 21 marathons.

At the time of his death, he was writing his first book, ``A Dud at 70, A Stud at 80,″ and defying conventional medical wisdom about reversing the aging process.

Norman MacCaig

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) _ Norman MacCaig, one of Scotland’s most esteemed poets of the 20th century, died Tuesday. He was 85.

From 1967-69, he held the post of fellow in creative writing at Edinburgh University and from 1972-77 he held a readership in poetry at the University of Stirling.

He also worked for 30 years as a teacher in primary schools in the city.

Many of MacCaig’s images came from the natural world. He was especially fond of the mountainous country around Loch Assynt in northwestern Scotland.

Jonathan Larson

NEW YORK (AP) _ Jonathan Larson, the creator of a musical inspired by Puccini’s opera ``La Boheme,″ was found dead Thursday, the day his show was to have begun preview performances off-Broadway. He was 35.

Larson’s musical, ``Rent,″ for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics, concerns young residents of New York’s East Village and their attempts to make it in the big city.

The show, which stars Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi, is scheduled to open Feb. 13 at New York Theater Workshop.

Larson also wrote songs for the television series ``Sesame Street″ as well as two musicals, ``J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation″ and ``Superbia.″

Henry S. Villard

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Henry S. Villard, whose diplomatic career spanned 28 years and four continents, died of pneumonia Sunday. He was 95.

Villard was the first ambassador to Libya, in 1952, and also served as ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania. He started his diplomatic work as a vice consul in Teheran, in 1928.

An expert in African affairs, he helped the State Department plan for the Allied invasion of North Africa in World War II.

Villard co-wrote ``Hemingway in Love and War: The Lost Diary of Agnes von Kurowsky,″ an account of his experiences with Hemingway during World War I, when he shared a hospital room with the author in Italy.

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