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A chronology of those who died in 2014

December 25, 2014


Sept. 1

— Sergio Rodriquez, 86, the celebrated designer whose “Mole” chair is among the best known pieces of midcentury Brazilian design, in Rio de Janeiro of liver failure.

Sept. 4

— Gustavo Cerati, 55, an Argentine rock star four years after a stroke put him in a coma and ended the career of one of Latin America’s most influential musicians, in Buenos Aires of respiratory arrest.

— Joan Rivers, 81, the acid-tongued comedian who crashed the realm of male-dominated late-night American television and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly-dressed celebrities, in New York. She had been hospitalized after going into cardiac arrest during a doctor’s appointment.

— Ray Leonard, 83, longtime Chicago radio and television personality who introduced listeners and viewers to some of America’s biggest celebrities just as they were getting started, in Evanston, Illinois. He had been hospitalized with respiratory and other problems.

Sept. 5

— Bruce Morton, 83, veteran TV political correspondent who covered the Kennedy assassination and the United States’ space program, in Washington. He had cancer.

— Noel Hinner, 78, a former chief scientist for NASA who helped plan the scientific exploration of the moon for the Apollo program and later oversaw such projects as the Mars Surveyor Program, in Littleton, Colorado. He had a brain tumor.


— Yoshiko Yamaguchi, 94, a Japanese film idol who was known as Rikoran and symbolized Japan’s wartime dreams of conquest, in Japan of heart failure.

Sept. 8

— Magda Olivero , 104, an Italian soprano and one of the most prominent interpreters of the versimo operatic tradition whose career spanned 50 years, in Milan. She suffered a stroke last month.

— Gerald Wilson, 96, the dynamic jazz big band leader, composer and arranger whose career lasted more than 75 years, in Los Angeles of pneumonia.

Sept. 9

— Emilio Botin, 79, a Spanish banking magnate who built the country’s Banco Santander into a global financial giant, in Madrid of a heart attack.

Sept. 10

— Richard Kiel, 74, the towering actor best known for portraying the steel-toothed villain Jaws in a pair of James Bond movies, in Fresno, California. No cause of death was given.

Sept. 11

— Cosimo Matassa, 88, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who recorded New Orleans rock and rhythm and blues from the 1950s to the 1970s, in New Orleans. He had been ailing since suffering a stroke in 2009.

Sept. 12

— Ian Paisley, 88, the divisive Protestant firebrand preacher who devoted his life to thwarting compromise with Catholics in Northern Ireland only to became a pivotal peacemaker in his twilight years, in Belfast. No cause of death was given.

— Donald Sinden, 90, a British actor known for his rich voice and varied roles ranging from Shakespeare to television sitcoms, in Romney Marsh, England, of prostate cancer.

— Joe Sample, 75, a pianist, composer and a founding member of the genre-crossing Jazz Crusaders who helped pioneer the electronic jazz-funk fusion style, in Houston of lung cancer.

Sept. 14

— Isidoro Alvarez, 75, head of Spain’s El Cortes Ingles department store chain who turned his company into an international business with an annual turnover of around $18 billion, in Madrid. No cause of death was given, but he had been hospitalized with respiratory problems.

Sept. 15

— Yitzhak Hofi, 87, a former Israeli general and Mossad chief who played a key role in his country’s daring 1970 commando raid in Uganda to free Israeli hostages, in Ramat Gan, Israel. No cause of death was given.

Sept. 16

— Richard F. Thompson, 84, a University of Southern California neuroscientist whose experiments with rabbits led to breakthrough discoveries of how memories are physically stored in the brain, in Nipomo, California. He had been suffering from congestive heart failure and had a recent fall.

Sept. 17

— George Hamilton IV, 77, a Grand Ole Opry member who was one of country music’s first international ambassadors, in Nashville of a heart attack.

— Guinter Kahn, 80, a Florida dermatologist credited with helping develop the first baldness remedy recognized by the U.S. patent and Trademark Office, in Miami. He had been in declining health after a stroke eight years ago.

Sept. 18

— Will Radcliff, 74, who built a multi-billion-dollar global business from flavored, icy Slush Puppie drinks, in Cincinnati. He had been in declining health after a recent fall.

Sept. 20

— Polly Bergen, 84, an award-winning actress and singer who in a long career played the terrorized wife in “Cape Fear ” and the first woman U.S. president in “Kisses for My President,” in Southbury, Connecticut, of natural causes.

— J. California Cooper, 82, a prolific writer who was writing plays until Alice Walker suggested she switch to short stories and novels because they were an easier path to a paycheck. She had suffered several heart attacks in recent years.

— George Sluizer, 82, the Dutch filmmaker who directed River Phoenix’s last movie “Dark Blood,” in Amsterdam after a long, unspecified illness. He had been treated for arterial disease.

Sept. 21

— Mike Harari, 87, an Israeli secret agent who played a major role in planning Mossad’s revenge attacks against Palestinian militants implicated in the 1972 Munich massacre of the country’s Olympic team, in Tel Aviv. No cause of death was given.

Sept. 22

— Skip E. Low, 85, a long-time host of a celebrity name-dropping American television talk show who developed a cult following in certain cities, in Los Angeles of complications from emphysema.

Sept. 24

— Deborah, the dowager dutchess of Devonshire, 94, the last of Britain’s witty, unconventional Mitford sisters. No further detail was offered.

— Christopher Hogwood, 73, a conductor who pioneered the performance of 18th century composers such as Bach and Handel on historically authentic instruments, in Cambridge, England, after an unspecified illness that lasted several months.

Sept. 26

— Raul Alvarez Garin 73, a leader of the 1968 student uprising that culminated in the massacre of protesters in Mexico City in the capital after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Sept. 27

— Floyd” Creeky” Creekmore, 98, a rancher who held the record as the world’s oldest performing clown, in Billings, Montana, of complications from heart disease.

Sept. 28

— Nicolae Corneanu, 90, a Romanian Orthodox bishop who was the first senior cleric to acknowledge collaborating with the feared Securitatae communist secret police, in Bucharest. No cause of death was given.

Sept. 30

— Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock, 88, an Ohio housewife who made aviation history by becoming the first female to fly solo around the world in 1964, in Quincy, Florida. She had been in declining health for months.

— Martin Pearl, 87, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Stanford University who discovered a sub-atomic particle known as the tau lepton, in Palo Alto, California. No cause of death was given.

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