Related topics

Brian May, who contracted polio from an improperly manufactured vaccine and

July 8, 1995

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) _ Brian May, who contracted polio from an improperly manufactured vaccine and went on to create a nationally syndicated radio folk music program, died Wednesday at 45.

May was ``one of acoustic music’s true angels,″ Acoustic Guitar magazine said in an article last year. From his wheelchair in a home studio, May produced a weekly two-hour tape of performances and interviews with struggling players, singers and songwriters.

``Malibu Folk″ was syndicated to more than 40 public radio stations.

Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, befriended May and was a guest on his show.

May won a national Victory Award for the disabled in 1990.

In 1955, he was one of 79 children in the United States who received polio shots from a bad batch of vaccine that actually spread the poliomyelitis virus.

Lea Johnson

LECOMPTE, La. (AP) _ Lea Johnson, a restaurateur who appeared on the ``Tonight Show″ and attracted customers like Huey Long and Bonnie and Clyde to Lea’s Lunchroom, died Thursday at 98.

Johnson founded the restaurant in 1928 and served every Louisiana governor since Long, except Gov. Edwin Edwards. Other famous customers included trumpeter Al Hirt, chef Paul Prudhomme and outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

He was on Johnny Carson’s show in 1989.

Richard Neustadt

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Richard M. Neustadt, a telecommunications industry figure who co-founded the Private Satellite Network, died Sunday in a rafting accident. He was 47.

Neustadt became a key figure in the mushrooming telecommunications industry during the 1980s and 1990s. He wrote a book on the subject, ``The Birth of Electronic Publishing.″

Neustadt, an attorney, specialized in telecommunications deregulation as associate director of the White House domestic policy staff under President Carter.

Neustadt started up several other communications firms in the early 1990s, including El Dorado Communications, which operates three Spanish-language radio stations, US Telecom and DCT Communications.

Bob Ross

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) _ Bob Ross, the bushy-haired art instructor who taught PBS viewers in his soothing, hypnotic voice how to paint ``happy little trees,″ died of cancer Tuesday at his home in Orlando, Fla. He was 52.

As host of the Public Broadcasting System series ``The Joy of Painting,″ Ross introduced landscape oil painting to millions.

His show, taped at WIPB in Muncie since 1983, aired on virtually every PBS station in the United States, plus stations in Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea and Turkey.

While daubing a barn or a cloudbank, he would cajole viewers to be creative with their ``own little world″ and add ``happy little trees″ to their landscapes.

Ross was teaching art in the early 1980s when he persuaded a public TV station in Falls Church, Va., to look at a tape of his class. He was offered a pilot and chose to produce the show at WIPB.

More than 2.5 million copies of his instruction books are in print. His company, Bob Ross Inc., has more than 1,000 certified instructors to perpetuate his ``wet-on-wet″ technique.

Ross taped a promo for MTV two years ago that had him painting the MTV logo.

White Eagle

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) _ White Eagle, an operatic tenor who sang at President Bush’s inaugural gala and at the 50th anniversary of Mount Rushmore, died Friday of AIDS. He was 43.

White Eagle, whose Lakota Indian name was Wanbli ska, started touring for eight years in 1973 with a 14-member vocal group called Re-Generation and as a duo with his wife. In more than 4,000 concerts during that time, he was heard by more than 5 million people in the United States and Canada.

He later studied opera and performed with the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, Florentine Opera, Western Opera Theater, Cleveland Opera and the Skylight Comic Opera.

In 1989, White Eagle sang the finale at Bush’s inaugural gala. He sang at the golden anniversary of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 1991 and made his debut as a dramatic actor that same year in a Public Broadcasting Service special. He appeared at Carnegie Hall in 1993.

Update hourly