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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Twelve Recent Celebrity Deaths 


Over the wires - 12 recent celebrity deaths:

Patsy Ramsey, who was thrust into the national spotlight by the unsolved 1996 slaying of her daughter, 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant JonBenet, died Saturday following a long battle with ovarian cancer, her lawyer said. She was 49.

I'd like to hope that the whole episode dissuaded parents from manufacturing their kids into beauty queens, but I doubt it.

Aaron Spelling captivated generations of television viewers with shows like "Charlie's Angels" and "Beverly Hills 90210" and left an indelible stamp on American pop culture, but he never won the critical acclaim he sought....Spelling died Friday at his Los Angeles mansion after suffering a stroke on June 18, according to publicist Kevin Sasaki. He was 83.

Yet Aaron Spelling will probably be remembered long after Dick Cavett has been forgotten.

A 176-year-old tortoise believed to be one of the world's oldest living creatures...known as Harriet, died at the Queensland-based Australia Zoo owned by "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin and his wife Terri. Irwin said he considered Harriet a member of the family.

Presumably Irwin did not wrestle Harriet to the ground.

American billionaire E. Pierce Marshall, who had waged a fierce legal battle with ex-playmate Anna Nicole Smith over his late father's wealth, died earlier this week....The 67-year-old son of the late Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall reportedly died on Tuesday from an aggressive infection.

His father lived a longer life than he did.

The Rev. Melvin H. Watson, who helped train Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, has died. He was 98....Watson exerted a quiet influence for more than half a century as senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Atlanta and as a religion professor at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Religion and the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Some time I need to study King's early life. He didn't just pop out on a Birmingham bus stop - he had prepared in academia to become the man he later became, warts and all.

Bank of England policy maker David Walton, a former chief European economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., died [June 21]. He was 43....Walton, an adviser to Parliament's Treasury Committee until his appointment to the central bank, replaced policy maker Marian Bell a year ago. The bank last changed the rate in August by lowering it a quarter-point to 4.5 percent, a month after he joined the panel and argued for a reduction.

It's hard to judge the effect of foreign economic advisors, but it's easy to understand the devastation that the death of a 43 year old would cause.

Claydes Charles Smith, a co-founder and lead guitarist of the group Kool & the Gang, has died. He was 57....Smith, who was known as Charles Smith, wrote the hits "Joanna" and "Take My Heart," and was a co-writer of others, including "Celebration," "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Boogie."

When I think of Kool & the Gang, I don't think of guitars right off the top of my head, but I'm certain that Smith will be missed.

A sperm whale stranded near the shoreline of Prince Edward Island has died....The 15-metre mammal had been caught for days in shallow water, about 200 metres off Dalvay.

Remember - circle of life and all that.

Alhaj Abul Mansur Khan, former Chairman of Iswardi Pourasabha, died of old age ailments at his Iswardi residence at the early hours of today, said a Press release on Thursday, reports BSS.

I understand Bangladesh issues - not at all.

A final autopsy report says former University of Alabama booster Logan Young died accidentally, supporting the police conclusion that he hit his head during a fall at his residence....Young, a multimillionaire and longtime Crimson Tide booster, was convicted last year of bribing a high school football coach to steer a top recruit to Alabama....A recruiting scandal focused on Young played a part in an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions against Alabama in 2002.

It's times like this that I'm thankful I went to Reed College. Perhaps we need to manufacture an alumni booster scandal. Can we give secret payoffs to Ultimate Frisbee players?

Cynthia Baird, a well-traveled librarian who created a number of reading programs for Bay Area children, died June 11 of breast cancer. She was 61....Ms. Baird worked as a children's librarian for many years in South San Francisco, and also in libraries in Santa Rosa, San Mateo, Santa Barbara and at Acalanes High School in Lafayette.

Think of all the people that Baird affected.

Tom Triplett, a North Carolina native and leading figure in Chatham County politics for more than three decades, has died....Triplett, who died Friday of cancer, served 18 years in the state House. Before that, he served as a member of the Savannah-Chatham County School Board and as a Port Wentworth mayor and councilman.

If you're driving down a Georgia road, think of Triplett.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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