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Charles Black, 86; Businessman and Spouse of Former Child Star

August 06, 2005|From Associated Press

Charles Black, a businessman, maritime expert and the husband of former child star Shirley Temple Black, died Thursday of complications of a bone marrow disease, his widow said. He was 86.

Black died at his home in the San Francisco suburb of Woodside, with his wife of 55 years and other family members by his side. He had suffered from myelodysplastic syndrome for nearly three years.

The couple met in 1950 in Honolulu, where Black had been working for a shipping company. They married that same year.

"He was an intensely interesting and fascinating man to me," Shirley Temple Black, 77, a former U.S. ambassador to Ghana during the Nixon administration, said by phone from her home Thursday night. "I fell in love with him at first sight. It sounds corny, but that's what happened."

She was 22 when they met.

After moving back to California from Hawaii, Black started a fishing and hatchery company and worked as a consultant on maritime issues. He served on a Commerce Department advisory committee as well as various National Research Council panels. He also co-founded a Massachusetts-based company that developed unmanned deep-ocean search and survey imaging systems.

Black, who was born in Oakland on March 6, 1919, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business from Stanford University.

During World War II, he served as a naval intelligence officer in the Pacific theater, earning a Silver Star and other honors. He also served as a regent for Santa Clara University and helped established a youth charity.

Black is survived by his widow; a son, Charles Jr.; a daughter, Lori; and another daughter, Susan, from his widow's first marriage to actor John Agar.

No memorial service was planned.

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