Ricardo Aldape Guerra, who cheated death
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Ricardo Aldape Guerra, who cheated death row and achieved fame as a Mexican unfairly accused of murder in the United States, died Thursday in a traffic accident, federal police said.
Mexicans were thrilled when a Texas court overturned his death sentence earlier this year based on irregularities in his trial for the 1982 killing of a policeman.
He returned to a hero’s welcome in his native Mexico in April and was given a role in a soap opera, only to die when his car apparently crashed on a northern Mexican highway.
Federal Highway Police in northern San Luis Potosi state said Aldape Guerra died near Matehuala, about 300 miles north of Mexico City.
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LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) _ Norris Bradbury, who led the team that assembled the first atomic bomb and headed Los Alamos National Laboratory longer than any other person, died Wednesday. He was 88.
Bradbury, a physicist, arrived at Los Alamos in 1944 to work on the top-secret Manhattan Project that developed the world’s first atomic bomb the following year. He then went on to head the laboratory from late 1945 until 1970, as it developed nuclear and conventional weapons in the key years of the Cold War.
But his stewardship had its critics. In ``The Myths of August,″ a 1994 book critical of the government’s handling of atomic bomb-making over the years, former congressman and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall described Bradbury as a key figure behind large atomic blasts in Nevada that exposed the so-called downwinders to high levels of radiation.
Bradbury received the Legion of Merit from the Navy and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Department of Defense in 1966.
Braven ``Bud″ Dyer Jr.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Braven ``Bud″ Dyer Jr., who created a nationally recognized awards program for Southern California amateur athletes, died Thursday of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 70.
After World War II, in which Dyer was an aerial gunner in the Navy, he joined forces with Bill Schroeder and the Helms Athletic Foundation to record and honor the achievements of Southern California athletes.
From 1950 to 1970, Dyer and Schroeder worked closely with the sports organizations in Southern California to create an awards program and build a collection of sports books and memorabilia.
The Helms Athletic Foundation later became the International Association of Sports Museums and Halls of Fame, of which Dyer was president. The books and memorabilia collection and awards program are now important parts of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles.
Dyer worked with prep sportswriters to honor the top athletes from the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section and Los Angeles City Sections.
Sir David Hopkin
LONDON (AP) _ Sir David Hopkin, president of the British Boxing Board of Control and a leading world figure in the sport, died Thursday after a long illness. He was 75.
Sir David was senior vice president of the WBC and a member of the Council of the European Boxing Union. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1987.
HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) _ William Humphrey, an author noted for his novels about family life in rural Texas, died of cancer Wednesday. He was 73.
Humphrey wrote 13 books, the first of which was the acclaimed novel ``Home From the Hill.″ In 1960, Vincente Minnelli directed Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker in the screen adoption of the novel.
Humphrey’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and other magazines. In 1953, his first collection, ``The Last Husband and Other Stories,″ was published.
His other novels include ``Proud Flesh″ in 1973, ``Hostages to Fortune″ in 1984 and ``No Resting Place″ in 1989. His nature books included ``The Spawning Run″ and ``My Moby Dick″ both of which were about fishing.
His works included a memoir, ``Farther Off From Heaven.″
FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) _ Jerome Katz, a veteran New York newspaper reporter and editor, died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 78.
Katz began his career as a student at Morris High School in the Bronx, covering sports for the New York Herald Tribune and other papers.
After serving in the Army during World War II, Katz joined Women’s Wear Daily, where he became fur editor. He and several colleagues started the short-lived paper, The Fur Reporter, before Katz returned to the Tribune as a copy editor in the sports department.
Katz was the night city editor and then chief of the financial news copy desk until the Herald Tribune folded in 1966. He then became assistant business editor of the Daily News, from which he retired in 1989.
He also was a past president of the New York Financial Writers’ Association.
He is survived by his wife, Gertrude, two daughters, three grandchildren and a sister.
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MOSCOW (AP) _ Yuri Nikulin, Russia’s most-beloved comic actor and director of the Moscow Circus, died Thursday. He was 75.
Nikulin was a World War II veteran who became a Moscow Circus clown in 1950. He was appointed director of the circus in 1984, a post he still held.
While Nikulin was closely associated with the circus, a cherished Russian institution, he owed much of his nationwide popularity to his movie roles, well known to generations of Russians. His typical role was that of a slightly silly, average guy, witty but never mean-spirited.
He starred in Soviet comedy classics that included the 1967 ``Caucasian Prisoner,″ in which he played the leader of an incompetent trio of crooks, and the 1968 ``Diamond Arm,″ as a mild-mannered man who gets caught up in a diamond-smuggling scheme.
He also starred in the gloomy and acclaimed 1977 film, ``Twenty Days Without War.″
Many of his most famous lines became part of the national culture, as did his song, ``Ah, it’s all the same to us.″
The actor was awarded the People’s Actor of the USSR title in 1973 and in 1990 was given the former Soviet Union’s top peacetime award, the Hero of Socialist Labor.
In December, the circus held a grand celebration in honor of Nikulin’s 75th birthday.
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Former president Misael Pastrana, who held diplomatic posts in Rome and the United States before winning a 1970 election tainted by fraud charges, died Thursday from intestinal cancer. He was 73.
Pastrana studied law before taking up diplomatic posts in Italy and at the United Nations in New York and the Organization of American States in Washington.
A Conservative Party member, he won the April 19, 1970, elections by only 63,000 votes. His opponent, former dictator Gen. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, accused the government of fraud.
After several tense months, the electoral council declared Pastrana the winner.
During his four-year term, Pastrana launched a credit program that still exists, expanded government ownership of the oil industry and carried out counterinsurgency operations against rebels.
Pastrana’s son, Andres, narrowly lost the 1994 race against President Ernesto Samper, who survived an ensuing scandal involving allegations he won the election using drug money.
Jean M. Westwood
AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) _ Jean M. Westwood, the first woman to chair the Democratic National Committee, died Monday after a long illness. She was 73.
She was named to the DNC post following the presidential nomination of Sen. George McGovern in 1972. Mrs. Westwood served in the post for about six months.
A native of Price, she was elected Utah Democratic national committeewoman in 1968 and 1972, and was vice chairwoman of the Western States Democratic Conference from 1968 to 1970.
Mrs. Westwood lived in West Jordan for 30 years, where she and her husband, Richard, were involved in the mink business. From 1976 to 1995 she lived in Arizona, where she served on the State Economic and Development Board and was an adviser to Bruce Babbit when he was governor.