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Obituaries in the News

January 16, 2006

Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah

KUWAIT CITY (AP) _ Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the Kuwait emir who survived a 1980s assassination attempt and a decade later escaped Iraqi troops invading his oil-rich Persian Gulf state, died Sunday. He was 79.

Sheik Jaber had been ailing since suffering a brain hemorrhage five years ago and his death was not expected to lead to any major policy changes in this key U.S. ally. He was buried in a public cemetery in a ceremony attended by thousands of mourners.

Because of his illness, the emir had surrendered much of his authority to his half brother, Prime Minister Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, who is responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of the country.

The Cabinet named the crown prince, Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, who is in his mid-70s, as the new emir, but he also is in poor health and was not expected to be deeply involved in affairs of state.

The Al Sabah family has ruled this small state that has the world’s 10th largest oil reserves _ some 95 billion barrels _ for more than 250 years. Kuwait is a major member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.


Richard J.V. Johnson

HOUSTON (AP) _ Richard J.V. Johnson, longtime publisher of the Houston Chronicle whose career at the newspaper spanned more than four decades, has died, the paper said. He was 75.

Johnson died Saturday at home, the paper said. His cause of death was not reported.

He started working as a copywriter in the promotion department in 1956 and held seven jobs before he was named president in 1973 and publisher in 1987. He retired in 2002.

Johnson orchestrated the Chronicle’s transformation from an afternoon to a morning paper and geared it compete with the now-defunct Houston Post. Years later, he engineered the sale of the Chronicle to the Hearst Corp.

He also served as chairman of the American Newspaper Publishers Association (now the Newspaper Association of America), and he helped introduce newspapers as a classroom tool.

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