Benigno Aquino Jr., 50, the former Philippine Liberal Party leader; felled by an assassin’s bullet as he stepped off an airplane in Manila after a three-year exile in the United States. Considered to be the most formidable opponent to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Aquino was returning home in hopes of uniting the country’s fractured opposition in time for the promised National Assembly elections in May.
George Balanchine, 79, one of the foremost choreographers in the history of ballet. Trained in the classic 19th-century dance tradition, Balanchine left his native Russia at age 20 and joined Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in Paris. In 1933 he moved to New York, where he became cofounder and artistic director of the New York City Ballet.
Maurice Bishop, 39, prime minister of Grenada; shot during a coup led by Grenadian army Cmdr. Gen. Hudson Austin. The death of Bishop, a Socialist who had ruled Grenada since he ousted former prime minister Eric Gairy in 1979, sparked an invasion of that country by the United States and several Caribbean nations.
Anthony Blunt, 75, one of the century’s foremost art historians, accused publicly in 1979 of spying on Britain for the Soviets during the 1930s and 1940s. The Soviets recruited the former Cambridge University fellow along with such famous spies as Harold (Kim) Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. Blunt confessed his collaboration to British intelligence in return for immunity in 1964 but was publicly exposed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the British Parliament.
Andrew Brewin, 76, a founder of the New Democratic Party and a noted civil libertarian. President of the Ontario Co-operative Commonwealth Federation from 1946 to 1948, Brewin was first elected to the federal Parliament in 1962 as the member for Toronto’s Greenwood riding and won re-election five times.
Barney Clark, 62, the retired Seattle, Wash., dentist who was the first recipient of a permanent artificial heart. Clark survived 112 days and three major operations before he succumbed to circulatory collapse.
Kenneth Clark, 79, the distinguished British art historian, author and narrator of the popular 1969 BBC television series Civilisation. Knighted in 1939 and made a peer in 1969, Clark was art adviser to King George VI and became director of the National Gallery at the age of 31, the youngest person ever named to the post.
Jack Dempsey, 87, voted by an Associated Press poll in 1950 as the greatest boxer of the half-century. From his first championship bout with Jess Willard in Toledo, Ohio, in 1919 until he lost the world heavyweight title fight in the famed “long count” fight with Gene Tunney in Chicago in 1927, Dempsey ruled the ring with style.
Richard Buckminster Fuller, 87, an
American who once described himself as “an engineer, inventor, mathematician, architect, cartographer, philosopher, poet, cosmogonist, comprehensive designer and choreographer.” Convinced that technology could save the world, “Bucky” is remembered for his dream of building controlled-environment cities covered by geodesic domes.
Ira Gershwin, 86, the American lyricist who, with his brother, George, gave the world such memorable Broadway musicals as Porgy and Bess and such famous songs as Strike Up the Band, I Got Rhythm and S Wonderful. The more reclusive half of the Gershwin brothers, he shunned the limelight, especially after the death of George at age 38.
Arthur Godfrey, 79, a high school dropout whose folksy manner earned him the title of the most popular American radio and television entertainer during the 1940s and 1950s. At its peak, his daily radio talk and entertainment show attracted 40 million listeners. In 1948 CBS introduced Godfrey to television, and he continued to be a hit until he retired because of ill health in 1959.
Earl (Fatha) Hines, 77, the American piano virtuoso, who, with Louis Armstrong, refashioned jazz in the 1920s, introducing complex harmonies and octave-jumping melodies that became popular 10 years later. In the 1940s he was in at the birth of bebop—music featuring unusual chord structures—with musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
Henry (Scoop) Jackson, 71, the United States Democratic senator who unsuccessfully vied for his party’s nomination for president in 1972 and 1976. First elected in 1952, Jackson became known for his hawkish stand against the Soviets and for the strong support he gave his Washington state constituents in their conflicts with British Columbia residents over fishing rights.
Herman Kahn, 61, an American whose 300-lb. frame was as well-known as his 1960 book, On Thermonuclear War, a polemic on the reality of the nuclear threat. A physicist and mathematician, he founded the Hudson Institute, the prestigious research organization, in 1961.
Arthur Koestier, 77, the Hungarianborn author and intellectual; when he committed suicide along with his third wife, Cynthia, in their London, England, home. A seminal force in 20thcentury political literature, Koestier is best known for his 1940 book, Darkness at Noon. A pungent chronicle of the worst excesses of totalitarianism, the book shattered the illusions of many Soviet sympathizers in the West.
Meyer Lansky, 81, the reputed financial genius of organized crime in the United States. During prohibition in the 1920s the Russian immigrant sold illegal liquor and eventually amassed a fortune with his ventures in gambling, loan sharking and stock manipulation.
Raymond Massey, 86, the Canadianborn actor best known for his portrayal of the president in Robert Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and Dr. Gillespie in the television series Dr. Kildare. Massey was the grandson of Hart Massey, who founded the giant farm machinery company, and the brother of Canada’s first Canadian-born governor general, Vincent Massey.
David Niven, 73, the debonair British actor who charmed audiences with his elegance and wit in nearly 100 Hollywood movies; of a neuromuscular disorder, at his home in Switzerland. In his later years Niven turned his talents to writing, with such popular autobiographical books as The Moon's a Balloon and Bring on the Empty Horses.
Albert Rauca, 75, the German-Canadian immigrant extradited to West Germany last May on charges of murdering 11,000 Jews during the Second World War; of intestinal cancer, in a prison hospital in Kassel. A former staff sergeant in Hitler’s elite SS guard, Rauca was the first Canadian citizen to be extradited on a war crimes charge.
Ralph Richardson, 80, the distinguished English actor who became a dominant figure during one of the greatest periods of the British stage. Until shortly before his death, Richardson, who specialized in portraying the eccentric Englishman offstage, roared to appointments on a motorbike, pipe clenched in his teeth and a parrot on his shoulder.
Gabrielle Roy, 74, one of Canada’s most distinguished and widely read authors. Born in St. Boniface, Man., Roy was the author of nine works of fiction. Her best-known novel, The Tin Flute, was recently made into a film starring Marilyn Lightstone. A former teacher and journalist, Roy was the recipient of three Governor General’s Awards and a winner of the Canada Council Medal for outstanding cultural achievement.
Gloria Swanson, 84, the American silent movie queen, who played vamps until the mid-1930s. In a 1950 comeback she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Norma Desmond, the fading movie star, in the brilliant Sunset Boulevard. Her 1980 autobiography, Swanson on Swanson, detailed her liaison with Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of the Kennedy clan.
Clark Todd, 38, award-winning CTV television journalist, killed by artillery shrapnel while covering the war in Lebanon. The intrepid correspondent always insisted on being on the spot himself, no matter how dangerous.
John Vorster, 67, the former South African prime minister. Elected in 1966, Vorster ruled with a firm grip for 12 years during a time of intense international condemnation of his country’s apartheid policies.
Rebecca West, 90, English-born journalist, historian, travel writer, critic and feminist. Born Cicely Isabel Fairfield, West adopted her name from an idealistic and rebellious character in Ibsen’s Rosmersholm. A women’s rights activist and longtime companion of English author H.G. Wells, West is best remembered for Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, a definitive two-volume travel and history book on the Balkans, and for her reportage of the Nuremberg war trials.
Tennessee Williams, 71, the American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose southern heritage and morbid world view pervade such famous works as The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire) when he choked on a medicine bottle cap in a New York hotel room.
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