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Obituaries

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2011 | By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun
William Donald Schaefer, the dominant political figure of the last half-century of Maryland history, died Monday after a "do-it-now" career that changed the face of Baltimore while bringing a burst of energy to the city he loved. He was 89. Schaefer, who had recently been treated for pneumonia, died at a retirement home in Catonsville, Md. In four terms as mayor and two as governor, Schaefer was a champion of big projects that transformed Baltimore: the Harborplace retail and restaurant complex, Oriole Park baseball stadium at Camden Yards, the National Aquarium, a convention center and a light rail.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2011 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Geraldine A. Ferraro, the savvy New York Democrat who was embraced as a symbol of women's equality in 1984 when she became the first woman nominated for vice president by a major party, died Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She was 75. The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, her family said. Ferraro was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer, in 1998. She did not disclose her illness publicly until 2001, when she went on NBC's "Today" show and said she had beaten the cancer into remission with thalidomide, the once-banned drug that had proven effective with some end-stage cancers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Dutch physicist Simon van der Meer, who shared the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physics with Italian physicist Carlo Rubbia for the discovery of the elementary particles known as W and Z that link two of the four fundamental forces of nature, died of undisclosed causes March 4 in Geneva. He was 85. The "standard model" of physics says that there are four fundamental forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force (which holds atoms and elementary particles like protons and neutrons together)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2011
Peter Wood, 81, a Stanford University professor of medicine whose research helped decode the effects of diet and exercise on human health, died March 3 in Palo Alto of bile duct cancer, the university announced. In a pioneering study published in 1977, Wood and a colleague linked running to increased levels of "good" cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, which helps rid the arteries of cholesterol. The study came about after Wood, a runner, noticed that his HDL levels were unusually high.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2011
Johnny Preston Singer had No. 1 hit with 'Running Bear' Johnny Preston, 71, who had a No. 1 pop single in 1960 with "Running Bear," died Friday at a hospital in Beaumont, Texas, his son Scott told the Associated Press. The elder Preston had bypass surgery last year. "Running Bear," a love song about an "Indian brave" named Running Bear and his "Indian maid," Little White Dove, reached No. 1 on Billboard magazine's charts in 1960. The song was written by disc jockey and singer J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, who died in the 1959 plane crash in which Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly also were killed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2011 | By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times
James Nelson, a longtime Los Angeles Municipal Court judge whose career included high-profile preliminary hearings involving Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the Night Stalker, and Cathy Evelyn Smith, who was charged in the death of comic John Belushi, has died. He was 83. Nelson died Feb. 26 in his sleep after a family gathering at his home in Pasadena, said his wife, Dorothy, a senior judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He had a stroke and underwent bypass surgery a couple years ago. In 1985, Nelson ruled that Smith must stand trial on a second-degree murder charge in the 1982 drug overdose death of Belushi, the former "Saturday Night Live" star.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2011
Charles Jarrott Directed TV and film, including 'Mary, Queen of Scots' Charles Jarrott, 83, a British film and TV director best known for the Hal Wallis productions "Anne of the Thousand Days" and "Mary, Queen of Scots," died Friday at the Motion Picture Home retirement community in Woodland Hills, according to Jaime Larkin, a spokeswoman for the Motion Picture and Television Fund. He had prostate cancer. Although "Anne of the Thousand Days" (1969) was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture, and "Mary, Queen of Scots" (1971)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2011
A memorial service for Hall of Fame football player Ollie Matson will be held at 11 a.m. March 12 at the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles, 760 S. Westmoreland Ave. Matson, who played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1959 to 1962 and also won a silver and bronze medal competing in track events at the 1952 Summer Olympics, died Feb. 19. He was 80. news.obits@latimes.com
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2011
Peter J. Marcher Jr. , a master brewer who developed the formula for Colt 45 malt liquor for the National Brewing Co. of Baltimore, died of pneumonia Feb. 2 at a retirement home in Lancaster, Pa. He was 92. Bella Itkin-Konrath , a nationally known acting teacher at De Paul University whose students included Kevin Anderson, Linda Hunt, Harvey Korman, Joe Mantegna and Elizabeth Perkins, died of natural causes Wednesday at St. Joseph Hospital in...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2011 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
Charlie Louvin, the country singer whose scintillating harmonizing with his brother Ira created a distinctive template for duet singing that strongly influenced the Everly Brothers, the Beatles, the Byrds and successive generations of singers including Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Beck and Jack White, died Wednesday in Nashville of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 83. The Louvin Brothers' sound, with Ira's pure high tenor typically floating atop Charlie's strong tenor-baritone melodies but often switching mid-song, derived from church-based "shape-note" singing, an a cappella style they picked up while growing up in their musically inclined family in rural Alabama.
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