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Obituaries in the News

January 10, 2001

James H. Gray Jr.

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) _ James H. Gray Jr., who followed in his father’s footsteps as editor and co-publisher of The Albany Herald, died Monday after a lengthy illness. He was 56.

Gray was executive editor of the Herald when his father, editor and publisher James H. Gray Sr., who was a longtime Albany mayor, died in 1986. Gray Jr. and his siblings _ Constance Gray Greene and Geoffrey Gray _ then took over as co-publishers and Gray Jr. served as editor.

Gray was named president and chief operating officer of the company in 1988, but later lost a bid to purchase a controlling interest in the parent company from his father’s estate. He left the business in 1991 and the estate’s interests were sold to Bull Run Corp.

Survivors include his wife, a daughter, a son, a brother and a grandson.

Marina Koshetz

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ Marina Koshetz, who followed her famous Russian diva mother Nina to the opera and concert stage and into the movies, died Dec. 9. She was 88.

Born Aug. 6, 1912, in Moscow, Koshetz was trained in France and came to the United States as a teen-ager. She made her debut substituting for her mother Nina Koshetz on radio’s ``Kraft Music Hall.″

Using her father’s surname, she began appearing in films in the early 1930s as Marina Schubert. Among her early films were ``Little Women,″ ``All the King’s Horses″ and ``British Agent.″

Marina concentrated more on her voice in the 1940s. Adopting the professional name Marina Koshetz, she went on to sing with the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Koshetz made her Los Angeles recital debut at the old Philharmonic Auditorium in 1947.

Lowell Perry

DETROIT (AP) _ Lowell Perry, a star football player at Michigan in the 1950s who became the first NFL black broadcaster, died Sunday of complications from cancer. He was 66.

After leaving Michigan, Perry played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1956. A hip injury ended his career and the next year he was hired as a receivers coach for the Steelers.

In 1966, CBS hired Perry as the first NFL black broadcaster, according to the league.

In 1973, he was named manager of Chrysler Corp.’s Detroit Universal Division plant in Dearborn, becoming one of the first blacks to head a major auto plant.

President Ford in 1975 named Perry to run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1991, Michigan Gov. John Engler appointed him head of the state labor department.

Sheik Abdul-Hamid Sayeh

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Sheik Abdul-Hamid Sayeh, an exiled confidant of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, died Monday of natural causes. He was 93.

Sayeh lived in traditionally Arab east Jerusalem until the 1967 Middle East War. As a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, he was expelled after Israel seized the city.

In Jordan, Sayeh was named minister of religious affairs in 1967. He held the post for about three years before the late King Hussein appointed him chief justice, the most senior post in the Muslim judicial hierarchy.

In 1984, Sayeh became the speaker of the 562-member Palestine National Council, or Palestinian parliament-in-exile. He closely coordinated Palestinian policy with Arafat, who often called on Sayeh during his visits to Jordan.

Sayeh resigned from the PNC in 1993, citing old age.

Under a framework deal between Israel and the PLO that year, Sayeh was given permission to return to the West Bank. He never did because of his poor health.

Vanden Boeynants

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Paul Vanden Boeynants, a butcher who rose to become Belgium’s prime minister before being disgraced in a tax fraud scandal, died Tuesday. He was 81.

Vanden Boeynants, who underwent a heart operation last month, had contracted pneumonia.

A self-made businessman who built a meat-processing empire, Vanden Boeynants used his dealmaking skills to dominate Belgian politics for much of the 1960s and 1970s. He was prime minister from 1966-1968 and 1978-79, both periods when tension peaked between Belgium’s Dutch-speakers and Francophones.

His stature, however, took a crippling blow in 1986 when he was convicted of tax fraud in connection with his business activities and given a three-year suspended sentence.

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