Jose Mario Armero, an attorney who served as a key behind-the-scenes figure
MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Jose Mario Armero, an attorney who served as a key behind-the-scenes figure in Spain’s transition to democracy, died Friday. He was 68.
After the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco, Armero brought together Santiago Carrillo, the exiled head of Spain’s outlawed Communist Party, and Adolfo Suarez, a center-right politician who was to become the country’s first democratically elected prime minister in four decades.
The Spanish military and conservatives who had backed Franco were staunch anti-Communists, but after the meeting Suarez was able to convince the hesitant right that Carrillo was supportive of democracy. The Communist Party was legalized shortly afterward, and the first post-Franco elections were held in 1977.
Armero also headed the private news agency Europa Press for 30 years and was instrumental in the creation of an independent press in Spain.
He also engineered the return to Spain in 1981 of the famous Picasso painting ``Guernica.″ The work hung in New York’s Museum of Modern Art during the Franco dictatorship, and the artist ordered that it not be returned to his native Spain until the country enjoyed full democracy.
John S. Badeau
NEW YORK (AP) _ John S. Badeau, who was United States Ambassador to Cairo from 1961 to 1964, died Friday. He was 92.
An engineer, educator and ordained minister, Badeau was widely known throughout the Arab world when President Kennedy chose him as envoy to the United Arab Republic, a three-year political union between Egypt and Syria that dissolved in 1961. After its dissolution he became ambassador to Cairo.
He began his career in the Middle East in 1928 as a missionary in Iraq, and was president of the American University in Cairo from 1945 to 1953.
Before becoming United Arab Republic envoy he was president of the Near East Foundation, which organized relief services and conducted technical assistance programs throughout Africa, Asia and southeastern Europe.
HOUSTON (AP) _ Terry Elston, a former University of Houston quarterback who was the most valuable player in the 1980 Cotton Bowl, died Wednesday, several days after being hit by a car. He was 37.
The technician for the Alabama Power Co. was hit when he stepped out of his company truck. He suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries. The driver of the car that hit him was charged with drunk driving.
Elston completed a 6-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left to give the Cougars a 17-14 victory over Nebraska in the 1980 Cotton Bowl. The next year, he directed Houston to a 35-0 victory over Navy in the Garden State Bowl.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Rambling Willie, one of harness racing’s most durable champions, died Thursday at the Kentucky Horse Park. He was 25.
The pacing gelding made 305 starts before retiring at Sportsman’s Park in Chicago in 1983, posting 128 victories, 69 seconds and 43 third-place finishes and earning $2,038,219.
At the time of his retirement, he was the richest standardbred of all time. He paced a two-minute mile or better 79 times, a record that stood until 1993.
Douglas Alan Stegmeyer
SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (AP) _ Douglas Alan Stegmeyer, a bass guitar player and former leader of Billy Joel’s band, was found dead in a music studio Thursday night, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 43.
Stegmeyer worked with Joel during much of the 1970s and ’80s, and Joel praised him as not only a talented musician but for his leadership role.
``We called him the `sergeant-at-arms,″ he said.
Stegmeyer left Joel’s band in 1988 and had been working on various independent projects since then.