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Obituaries in the News

May 25, 2001

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Elena Barbulescu, a sister of the late Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, died Wednesday of bone marrow cancer, the state news agency Rompres said Thursday. She was 72.

Barbulescu was a teacher and a county education official until her brother’s 25-year rule ended in a bloody uprising in December 1989.

After her brother was ousted and executed in 1989, Barbulescu retired to her native town of Scornicesti and avoided taking part in public events.

Barbulescu is the third sibling of the dictator to die since his execution in 1989.

Charles Cook

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Former state Sen. Charles Cook, who defended abortion rights despite representing a conservative upstate district for two decades, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 66.

His congestive heart failure prompted his retirement from the Senate in 1998. The Republican represented a district encompassing Delaware, Greene and Sullivan counties and parts of Orange and Ulster counties.

Prior to his election to the Senate, Cook served from 1972-78 in the state Assembly.

Cook routinely voted against bills to block Medicaid funding for abortions and against a ban on the late-term procedure called ``partial-birth″ abortions by opponents.

James D. Ebert

BALTIMORE (AP) _ James D. Ebert, a distinguished embryologist at Johns Hopkins University, died with his wife, Alma Goodwin Ebert, in a car crash Tuesday. He was 79. She was 78.

The Eberts were killed when their car collided with another vehicle on Interstate 95 north of Baltimore.

A professor of biology at Johns Hopkins University, Ebert had previously served as president of Carnegie Institution of Washington. He also was a vice president of the National Academy of Sciences and president of the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

His research included protein synthesis and interactions in development, heart development and graft versus host reactions.

Jenoe Fock

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _Former Communist Prime Minister Jenoe Fock, whose economic reform in the late 1960s was blocked by the strict, centrally planned Soviet system, has died, the state news agency MTI reported Wednesday. He was 85.

The immediate cause of death was not made public.

Born in Budapest, Fock worked as a technician and became a member of the Communist Party at an early age.

For his political activities, he was arrested and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in 1940.

After the war, he worked his way up to become deputy prime minister from 1961 to 1967, and prime minister from 1967 to 1975.

In January 1968, his Cabinet introduced the so-called ``New Economic Mechanism,″ adding some market economy elements to the Soviet planned economy.

However, the initiative was largely blocked by COMECON, the Soviet-bloc trading alliance, and as a result Fock resigned in 1975.

Leamon King

DELANO, Calif. (AP) _ Leamon King, who ran the second leg on the United States 400-meter relay squad that won a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 65.

King went to the 1956 Games as the world-record holder in the 100-yard dash, a mark of 9.3 seconds set on a grass track. He also matched the world record of 10.1 seconds at 100 meters.

King eventually returned home to this San Joaquin Valley farm town, where he taught for 28 years.

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