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Edwin Gaustad, scholar on separation of church and state, dies at 87

Edwin S. Gaustad, 87, a pre-eminent scholar on the separation of church and state who wrote seminal works on the religious ideas of the Founding Fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson, died on March 25 in Santa Fe, N.M. He wrote several histories of religion in America that became classic texts for students and historians, notably A Religious History of America.

Bernard Clayton Jr., 94, a newspaper reporter whose love for fresh bread inspired him to master the art of baking and write several classic cookbooks on bread and pastry, died on March 28 in Bloomington, Ind. His The Complete Book of Breads became a twin to James Beard's Beard on Bread on the shelves of American home cooks.

Jose Arguelles, 72, the father of the Harmonic Convergence, the mammoth New Age event that in 1987 drew thousands of humming adherents to sites around the globe, died of peritonitis on March 23 in the Australian bush. He lived in Ashland, Ore.

Ned McWherter, 80, a sharecropper's son who as governor of Tennessee cajoled the Legislature into passing a sweeping health care overhaul, making it the first state to offer health insurance to every uninsured person who wanted it, died of cancer on Monday in Nashville. When he was speaker of the House, he was credited with being the first legislative leader in the South to appoint a black chairman of a committee.

Henry Taub, 83, a founder of the payroll company that grew into the global giant Automatic Data Processing, died of complications of leukemia on March 31 in New York. ADP is the world's largest payroll processer and has annual sales of more than $9 billion.

Thomas Eisner, 81, a groundbreaking authority on insects whose research revealed the complex chemistry that they use to repel predators, attract mates and protect their young, died of Parkinson's disease on March 25 in Ithaca, N.Y.

Dr. David M. French, 86, who helped found an organization of doctors that provided medical care to marchers during the civil rights era and who later organized health care programs in 20 African nations, died of a pulmonary embolism on March 31 in Charlottesville, Va.

Baruch Blumberg, 85, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered the hepatitis B virus and subsequently developed a preventive vaccine that saved millions of lives, died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack while attending a conference at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field near San Francisco. He lived in Philadelphia. He had spent the latter part of his career helping NASA inaugurate its formal search for extraterrestrial life and clues about the origin of life on Earth.

Edwin Gaustad, scholar on separation of church and state, dies at 87 04/09/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 9, 2011 7:58pm]

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