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Harry Bardt

November 16, 1996

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Harry Bardt, a prominent banker who helped launch the nation’s first widely accepted credit card and served on the board of the Los Angeles Dodgers, died Friday. He was 97.

Bardt was known as ``Banker to the Stars″ during a career at Bank of America, supervising the estates of celebrities such as Irving Thalberg, Norma Shearer, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and David O. Selznick.

In the 1950s, Bardt headed the group that launched BankAmericard, known today as Visa.

He served as the Dodgers’ treasurer from 1975-80, and had been on the board of directors since 1967.

Nell Blaine

NEW YORK (AP) _ Nell Blaine, a landscape and watercolor painter who overcame the crippling effects of polio to pursue her art, died Thursday. She was 74.

Blaine moved to New York in 1942 to study painting. She helped found one of Manhattan’s earliest artist cooperatives, designed the original logo for The Village Voice, and in 1957, was featured in Life magazine as one of five leading young female artists in America.

She contracted polio in 1959 on the island of Mykonos in Greece and was told she would never paint again. But after five months in an iron lung, she taught herself to paint with her left hand.

Her main subjects were views of the Hudson River as seen from the window of her apartment and her garden in Gloucester, Mass., where she bought a home in 1975.

Kenneth William Blaine Fitzgerald

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Kenneth William Blaine Fitzgerald, a longtime activist and retired editor of the Oregon Grange Bulletin, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 87.

Fitzgerald also wrote for The Oregonian and served as Northwest correspondent for publications including Billboard and Western Printer and Lithographer.

He edited The Gasoline Dealer for the Oregon Gasoline Dealers Association, campaigning against self-service gasoline. From 1967 until he retired in 1992, Fitzgerald edited the Oregon Grange Bulletin.

Fitzgerald was president of the Consumer Power League and first president of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. In 1985, the National Grange commended Fitzgerald as a ``Dean of Grange Editors.″

Survivors include his wife, Wanda; two brothers and a sister.

Alger Hiss

NEW YORK (AP) _ Alger Hiss, the patrician public servant who fell from grace in a Communist spy scandal that propelled Richard Nixon to higher office, died Friday. He was 92.

Hiss’ life can be neatly broken into two parts. The first was a stellar rise _ a brilliant academic career, clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, a series of important posts in the New Deal and the foreign policy establishment, foundation work.

But on Aug. 3, 1948, a rumpled, overweight magazine editor named Whittaker Chambers alleged that 10 years earlier, Hiss had given him State Department secrets which Chambers, in turn, passed to the Soviet Union.

After a series of spectacular investigations and trials, Hiss was convicted of perjury and imprisoned for three years and eight months. For the rest of his life, he worked for his vindication. But his career was ruined, and his marriage fell apart. Disbarred, he became a $50 a week salesman.

It was a huge fall for Hiss, who had been Phi Beta Kappa at Johns Hopkins and a member of the law review at Harvard before moving to Washington, where he helped lay the groundwork for the United Nations.

He left government at the end of 1946 to take the presidency of the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That’s when Chambers entered the picture, telling the House Un-American Activities Committee that Hiss had been a Communist spy in the 1930s.

Nixon, then a freshman congressman, became a national figure pursuing Hiss, and told intimates he would never have been in a position to run for president otherwise.

Darlene May

PLACENTIA, Calif. (AP) _ Darlene May, whose record of 519-119 at Cal Poly Pomona made her the most successful coach in Division II women’s basketball history, died Friday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 56.

May retired from Cal Poly Pomona in July 1994 after learning that breast cancer had spread to her liver. Chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant failed to stop the cancer.

May coached Cal Poly’s women’s team to three NCAA Division II national championships during 20 seasons at the school.

She also was the first woman to officiate an Olympic basketball game. She worked the South Korea-Australia women’s game at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

May’s record of 519-119 puts her third among women’s basketball coaches, behind Division I coaches Jody Conradt of Texas (675-187) and Pat Summitt of Tennessee (596-133).

Rae O. Weimer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Rae O. Weimer, founding dean of the University of Florida’s School of Journalism, died Thursday. He was 93.

Weimer was managing editor at PM, an innovative New York City newspaper that contained no advertisements, before founding the journalism school. He also served as dean, and special assistant to the university president before retiring in 1974.

Survivors include his wife, Wilma Weimer; his son, Rae O. ``Bill″ Weimer Jr.; his daughter, Ann Moxley; and two grandsons.

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