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Jack Bickham

July 26, 1997

Jack Bickham

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Jack M. Bickham, a former newsman and journalism professor who wrote 75 novels and wrote six instructional books on the craft of fiction, died Friday of lymphoma. He was 67.

Bickham worked at several Oklahoma newspapers, including The Norman Transcript and the Oklahoma City Times during a 15-year newspaper career after serving in the Air Force.

He went to work at the University of Oklahoma’s H.H. Herbert School of Journalism as an assistant professor from 1969 to 1972 and an associate professor from 1972 until 1979, when he became a full professor.

He also directed the annual short course on professional writing from 1973 to 1990.

Two of his books, ``The Apple Dumpling Gang″ and ``Baker’s Hawk″ were made into movies. Bickham’s ``Twister″ (1976) was named a ``book of the decade″ by the West Coast Review of Books and ``I Still Dream About Columbus″ (1983) won the Florence Roberts Head Memorial Award given by the Ohio Library Association.

Bickham was a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. In March 1998, he was to have received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

Survivors include his wife, Louanna Law Bickham; sons Robert Bickham of Norman, Dan Bickham of Midwest City and Stephen Bickham of Norman and daughter Lise Bickham Miller. Ms. Miller is a former news editor for The Associated Press in Nashville, Tenn.

Barney Bright

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Barney Bright, an artist known for his outdoor sculptures, died Wednesday of lung cancer. He was 70.

Bright, whose public sculptures include ``The Louisville Clock″ and a memorial to fallen firefighters, was considered Louisville’s premiere sculptor for many years.

Bright’s works are in an estimated 1,200 private collections and 40 public collections, the majority in the Louisville area.

Bright was perhaps best known for ``The Louisville Clock,″ a large-scale timepiece that charts the hours through a race that features caricatured historical figures such as Daniel Boone, Gen. George Rogers Clark and the Belle of Louisville. Plagued through the years by mechanical breakdowns, the work is in storage in a warehouse.

Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan, the stone-faced man in the white hat who survived a crippling car crash to become one of the greatest golfers ever, died Friday. He was 84.

Hogan had colon cancer surgery two years ago and Alzheimer’s disease.

The only players to surpass Hogan’s 63 career victories were Sam Snead with 81 and Nicklaus with 70. And Nicklaus with 18 and Walter Hagen with 11 were the only ones to win more than his nine major professional championships.

Only Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen and Gary Player also won the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and British Open in their careers, and only Nicklaus, Bobby Jones and Willie Anderson matched Hogan’s four U.S. Open victories.

No one surpassed Hogan in his dedication to the game. He was the most feared player of his time, and somehow played his best golf after the 1949 car crash that shattered his legs so he never walked without pain again.

Playing a limited schedule because of his legs, Hogan had perhaps the greatest year ever in 1953 when he played in six tournaments and won five of them, including the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open.

But his legs couldn’t hold up for the more than 200 holes of match play Hogan would have needed to win the PGA Championship and he did not even try for the never-achieved grand slam.

Even after he stopped competing, Hogan practiced every day. And when his mind faded in his later years from Alzheimer’s, Hogan still thought of practice.

Hogan’s strong-willed concentration, endless devotion to practice and careful way with words created the image of a cold, hard man.

Hogan turned pro when he was 17, joined the tour full time at 19 in 1931 and neared bankruptcy several times until he won his first tournament at the Hershey Four-Ball in 1938.

From the time of his discharge from the Army in August 1945 until the head-on car crash on Feb. 2, 1949, Hogan won an astounding 37 tournaments, including two PGA Championships and a U.S. Open.

Beginning with his breakthrough major at the 1946 PGA Championship and ending with his British Open triumph at Carnoustie in 1953, he played in 16 major championships and won nine.

But more than anything, it was his recovery from the crash that helped build the Hogan mystique.

He almost died a few weeks after the accident when blood clots formed in his left leg, but he returned to competitive golf less than a year later, losing the 1950 Los Angeles Open in a playoff to Snead.

Dora Maar

PARIS (AP) _ Dora Maar, a painter and photographer who was once Pablo Picasso’s mistress, died July 16. She was 89.

During her eight years with Picasso in the 1930s and ’40s, she was the subject of several portraits, including ``Bust of a Seated Woman,″ which sold at auction in 1995 for $3 million.

Francoise Gilot once described how Maar first appeared to Picasso when they met in 1936 at Les Deux Magots cafe, a famed Left Bank watering hole for artists, writers and intellectuals.

``Dora Maar wore black gloves with little roses. She took off her gloves and took a long, pointed knife that she stabbed into the table between her spread fingers. From time to time, she missed the mark by a fraction of a millimeter, and her hand was covered in blood. Picasso was fascinated. He asked Dora to give him her gloves, and he saved them under glass.″

The painter was already involved with another woman, but Maar quickly found a studio where they could meet.

It was in this atelier in central Paris that Picasso painted ``Guernica,″ his horrifying depiction of the destruction of a small Spanish village by German bombers in 1938. Maar’s photographs of the execution of the painting are widely reproduced.

After World War II, she exhibited some of her photographs but never received the recognition she wanted and gradually withdrew from public life.

Maar was born Theodora Markovitch, on Nov. 22, 1907, in Tours, France. Maar never married, and there apparently were no survivors.

Heishiro Ogawa

TOKYO (AP) _ Heishiro Ogawa, Japan’s first ambassador to China following normalization of ties in 1972, died of heart failure Friday. He was 81.

Ogawa was named Japanese ambassador to China in February 1973. He remained in the post until July 1977.

Ogawa, an uncle of former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, also served in such posts as consul general in Hong Kong, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian Affairs Bureau and ambassador to Denmark after joining the ministry in 1942.

Kirby Perkins

BOSTON (AP) _ Kirby Perkins, an award-winning TV reporter who covered politics in Massachusetts over three decades, died Thursday, four days after suffering a heart attack while playing tennis.

He was 49 and had a history of heart problems.

Perkins covered politics and government for WCVB-TV since 1979. He joined the station as a desk assistant and writer in the news department in 1972.

In 1974, Perkins returned to his native California to work for five years as a producer, writer and political reporter for several San Francisco stations, including KPIX-TV and KQED-TV, a PBS affiliate.

Perkins is survived by his wife, Emily Rooney, the host of the WGBH-TV public affairs show, ``Greater Boston,″ and their daughter, Alexis.

Matiu Rata

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ Maori political leader Matiu Rata, who sponsored a law that allowed resolution of decades-old Maori land grievances, died Friday from injuries he suffered in a car crash eight days earlier. He was 63.

A a car driven by a young Singapore couple on their honeymoon veered into his vehicle’s path Sunday. The newlyweds were killed instantly.

Rata entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 1964 and spent 33 years there working for causes of the nation’s indigenous Maori people. He is credited with the law setting up the Waitangi Tribunal in the 1970s to resolve Maori claims to land lost to white settlement.

Last March, the tribunal decided to return some northern land and resources to five tribes.

Rata resigned from the Labor Party in 1980 to form the Mana Motuhake Party, which represented the Maori tribes.

Rata also was chief negotiator for the Maori Fisheries Commission claim, which returned a share of New Zealand’s commercial fishing rights to Maori ownership. He was also a pastor in the Maori-based Ratana Church.

Sayyed Mohammad Rouhani

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Rouhani, a leading Shiite Muslim cleric, died Friday in Iran. He was 78.

Rouhani died in the Shiite holy city of Qom, his birthplace and a center of religious learning. He suffered from internal bleeding that followed an undisclosed illness, said a statement by the Al-Khoei Foundation, a London-based philanthropic group.

Rouhani was a student of the Grand Ayatollah Abul Qassim al-Khoei, who set up the foundation. Al-Khoei, the spiritual leader of the world’s 200 million Shiite Muslims, died in 1992.

Rouhani followed Al-Khoei’s principle of separating religion from politics and remained apolitical. That position distanced him from Iran’s ruling clergy.

Rouhani is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters. Funeral arrangements were not released.

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