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Obituaries in the News

April 6, 2005

Saul Bellow

NEW YORK (AP) _ Nobel laureate Saul Bellow, a master of comic melancholy who in ``Herzog,″ ``Humboldt’s Gift″ and other novels both championed and mourned the soul’s fate in the modern world, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Bellow’s close friend and attorney, Walter Pozen, said the writer had been in declining health, but was ``wonderfully sharp to the end.″ Pozen said that Bellow’s wife and daughter were at his side when he died at his home in Brookline, Mass.

Bellow was the most acclaimed of a generation of Jewish writers who emerged after World War II, among them Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick. To American letters, he brought the immigrant’s hustle, the bookworm’s brains and the high-minded notions of the born romantic.

He was the first writer to win the National Book Award three times: in 1954 for ``The Adventures of Augie March,″ in 1965 for ``Herzog″ and in 1971 for ``Mr. Sammler’s Planet.″ In 1976, he won the Pulitzer Prize for ``Humboldt’s Gift.″ That same year Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, cited for his ``human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture.″

In 2003, the Library of America paid the rare tribute of releasing work by a living writer, issuing a volume of Bellow’s early novels.

``If the soul is the mind at its purest, best, clearest, busiest, profoundest,″ Ozick wrote in 1984, ``then Bellow’s charge has been to restore the soul to American literature.″

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Edward Bronfman

TORONTO (AP) _ Edward Bronfman, who along with his brother Peter built one of Canada’s largest business empires that included the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and Labatt beer, died Monday. He was 77.

A spokeswoman for Brascan Corp., the successor conglomerate to the enterprise created by the Bronfman brothers, confirmed his death.

The business empire built by Peter and Edward Bronfman was an intricate web of companies _ anchored by holding companies Edper Group and Hees International Bancorp. _ with assets worth tens of billions of dollars at its peak.

Its holdings ranged from London Life, Royal Trust and real estate broker Royal LePage to developer Bramalea and forest company MacMillan Bloedel.

Edward and Peter were sons of Allan Bronfman and nephews of Seagram Co. founder Samuel Bronfman. Edward and Peter Bronfman were excluded from the Seagram liquor fortune by Samuel, who ensured his own sons, Charles and Edgar, would control the Montreal-based distillery giant.

Edward Bronfman was less involved in running the businesses than his younger brother. He was deputy chairman of the board but sold about a quarter of his shares in Edper.

He was a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and the Canadian Council for Native Business, and led fund-raising efforts ranging from a sports center in northern Israel to the Edward Bronfman Family Foundation Research Clinic in Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in Toronto.

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Ura Koyama

TOKYO (AP) _ Ura Koyama, Japan’s oldest woman, died Tuesday of pneumonia at a hospital in southern Japan, an official said. She was 114.

Koyama died in Iizuka City, where she had been hospitalized, according to Akemi Hiromoto, a city official.

Japan’s oldest person is now Yone Minagawa, a 112-year-old in Fukuoka, who was born on Jan. 4, 1893, according to the Health Ministry.

Japan ranks among nations with the world’s longest life spans. In 2003, Japanese women set a new record for life expectancy, at 85.3 years, while men could expect to live 78.3 years.

Experts say a traditional fish-based, low-fat diet may be Japan’s secret to long life.

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Edwin Moss

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ Edwin ``Eddie″ Moss, who played point guard for Syracuse University’s basketball team from 1977 to 1981, died Saturday after a long battle with cancer. He was 45.

Moss died in Durham, N.C., school officials said Tuesday.

Known for his defensive prowess and ball-handling skills, Moss averaged 6.4 points, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals as a senior. His 539 career assists rank fifth in Syracuse history, and he ranks third in steals with 230.

Moss was a second-round pick in the 1981 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks and played for two teams in the Continental Basketball Association. He received a law degree from Syracuse in 1986 and founded and operated The Pride, an African American-oriented newspaper, in both Syracuse and Durham.

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Henry Paynter Sr.

WESTBANK, British Columbia (AP) _ Henry Paynter Sr., listed in the Guinness Book of World Record as the oldest competitive badminton player in the world, died March 30. He was 98.

Paynter, who was also an orchardist, farmer and beekeeper, died after suffering a mild stroke three weeks ago, relatives said.

Two years ago, when Paynter was 96, he was listed in Guinness as the oldest competitive badminton player in the world, competing in tournaments across Canada.

After his recent stroke, he insisted on attending one last badminton tournament, socializing with friends over the Easter weekend in Nelson.

Paynter became a beekeeper at age 12, bought his first orchard in 1927 and farmed his entire life. He also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

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