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Obituaries in the News

April 17, 2000

BOSTON (AP) _ Abram Chayes, a Harvard Law School professor who represented Nicaragua’s Sandinista government in a successful World Court lawsuit against the United States, died Sunday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

Chayes served in World War II with the Field Artillery in France, Holland, Germany and Japan. He returned to earn his law degree at Harvard and served as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter before joining the Harvard faculty in 1955.

In 1961, Chayes served as a legal adviser for the U.S. Department of State under President John F. Kennedy. He worked in private practice for the Washington, D.C., firm of Ginsburg & Feldman before returning to teach at Harvard in 1965.

In the mid-1980s, Chayes successfully argued before the World Court that the United States’ backing of the Nicaraguan resistance forces was inconsistent with international law. The Reagan administration did not consider itself bound by the World Court decision in the case.

Active in Democratic politics, Chayes served as staff director for the platform committee at the Democratic national convention in Los Angeles in 1960. He was director of foreign policy task forces for the McGovern campaign in 1972 and was a member of such a task force during the Carter campaign four years later.

He taught several courses at Harvard, including international law, international peacekeeping and civil procedure.

Richard J. Holland

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Richard J. Holland, who became wealthy heading up a hometown bank and powerful as a leader in the state Senate, then overcame a prosecution that would have ruined it all, died Monday. He was 74.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 1999 and had been absent from the Senate since the second week of the 2000 session while he was hospitalized in Norfolk. Before the session began, he pronounced himself free of the disease.

Holland served for 20 years in the General Assembly and for 22 years before that on the Town Council of Windsor. In the Senate, the Isle of Wight Democrat chaired the powerful Rules Committee and was a senior member of the Finance Committee.

During his career in the Democratic Party, he evolved from close associations with some of the state’s most avid segregationists to a key ally of the nation’s first elected black governor, L. Douglas Wilder.

By profession, Holland was a banker. He was chairman of Farmers Bank of Windsor, and his son, Richard J. Holland Jr., was the bank’s president and chief executive. It was in that capacity that Holland went through a difficult fight _ an unsuccessful federal prosecution that accused him of defrauding the bank and obstructing justice.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and federal prosecutors charged Holland and his son with 31 felony counts. The government alleged that the Hollands made illegal loans to a developer to prop up a faltering project in which the bank had a financial stake and then conspiring to cover up the loans by falsifying bank records.

But after an eight-day trial in which the prosecution’s case crumbled, a federal judge in April 1998 dismissed all charges. Ten months later, the same judge ruled that the Hollands were victims of a ``vexatious″ prosecution and awarded them more than $570,000 as reimbursement for costs of their legal defense.

Davidson Themba Masuku

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Lt. Gen. Davidson Themba Masuku, the first black surgeon general of the South African military, has died at age 60 after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Masuku joined the anti-apartheid struggle in 1965 and receiving military training at African National Congress camps in Tanzania and medical training at Kiev Medical School and Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. He then worked as a doctor at ANC camps in Angola, where conditions in the war-torn country were brutal.

A civil war was being fought there at the time between the Marxist Angolan government and right-wing rebels backed by apartheid South Africa and the United States. The ANC camps were under constant threat of attack, the Sunday Times, a Johannesburg newspaper, recalled.

Masuku rose through the ranks to become a member of the ANC’s health committee and was made head of health services for Spear of the Nation, the ANC’s armed wing.

He was appointed surgeon general of the integrated South African armed forces after apartheid ended in 1994, and made the military’s health services more accessible to civilians. Under Masuku’s leadership, cooperation between military and civilian health departments increased, resulting in effective inoculation programs against measles and polio.

Harrison J. Ullman

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Harrison J. Ullmann, a former editor of the weekly NUVO newspaper in Indianapolis, died Saturday from complications of lung cancer. He was 64.

Ullmann served as editor emeritus of NUVO since retiring from the editor’s post in November.

He worked at The Indianapolis Star for nearly a decade as a general-assignment reporter and temporary business editor, and later helped establish the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis news bureau.

Ullmann also published the Indiana Letter monthly newsletter.

Todd Webb

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) _ Todd Webb, an internationally renowned photographer, died Saturday at the age of 94.

Webb’s photos are on display at some of the most prestigious museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

He learned the skills of fine art photography in the late 1930s under Ansel Adams.

Webb was known for his work featuring immigrant trails, ghost towns, frontier buildings and New York City.

He received two Guggenheim grants and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

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