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Gen. Frederick Weyand, former Army chief of staff, dies

Frederick C. Weyand, 93, former Army chief of staff and the last commander of U.S. military operations in the Vietnam War, died of natural causes Wednesday in Honolulu. The general oversaw the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from South Vietnam before becoming the Army's chief of staff in 1974. He retired from active service in 1976. He also served in World War II and the Korean War. His military honors and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.

Irina Arkhipova, 85, a Soviet-era diva who sang at the Bolshoi theater for decades, died of cardiac arrest Thursday in Moscow. The mezzo-soprano, and later contralto, joined the Bolshoi in 1956. She reached the peak of her career in the 1960s and 1970s, making guest appearances throughout Europe and the United States.

Jack Gillespie, 79, a Colorado cowboy for 18 years before becoming a geological engineer and helping Somalians drill for water, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Jan. 29 in Pueblo, Colo. He didn't like winter, so a celebration of his life will be held in June. The family has labeled it a "kick the bucket" party, at his request.

Jose Joaquin Trejos, 93, who as Costa Rica's president pushed through reforms that prohibited presidential re-election, died of natural causes Wednesday. He governed from 1966 to 1970 and had no political experience before coming to power. But voters responded to his "clean hands" campaign promising to end corruption. One of his biggest legacies was the ban on re-electing a president, a step many Latin American countries have taken to prevent strongman rule.

Sir John Dankworth, 82, a British jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader who was best known for being the musical director for his wife, singer Cleo Laine, died Feb. 6 in London. He had been in failing health since last year, but the cause of death was not reported. He had been performing since the 1940s and was perhaps the most renowned British jazz musician of his era. He led bebop groups and big bands and often performed with traveling American jazz musicians, including his idol, saxophonist Charlie Parker.

Frank Interlandi, 85, a former Los Angeles Times editorial cartoonist, died Feb. 4 in Poway, Calif. His cartoons, for many years appearing under the title Below Olympus, also were syndicated in newspapers throughout the United States. He was the identical twin brother of Playboy magazine cartoonist Phil Interlandi.

Frank N. Magid, 78, an audience researcher who helped develop the "Action News" format for local news that featured chatting co-anchors, more lifestyle and crime stories and splashy graphics, died Feb. 5 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He had lymphoma. The "Action News" format started at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia in 1970. "I didn't like the name, but I was wrong," he recalled in a 2007 interview.

A. Blakeman "Blake" Early, 64, an environmental lawyer and activist who played a key role in passing several of the nation's major environmental laws spanning four decades, died of cancer on Feb. 7 at his home in Alexandria, Va. He helped revise the Clean Air Act in 1977 and 1990, expand the Clean Water Act in 1977 and pass measures including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Nina Blanchard, 81, the founder of an internationally known Hollywood modeling agency whose roster included Cheryl Tiegs and other top models, died of cardiac arrest on Feb. 7 in Burbank, Calif. Booking talent for television commercials, print advertising and runway modeling, her agency was described in the mid 1980s as "the best-known and richest of its kind outside Manhattan."

Brooks Thomas, 78, who led Harper & Row Publishers during a period of turmoil and consolidation in the publishing industry and who was its chief executive when it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in 1987, died of complications of a brain injury on Feb. 5 in San Diego. A lawyer, he joined Harper & Row in 1968 and at one point, in 1986 and 1987, held the titles of president, chief executive and chairman.

Francine Neff, 84, who served as U.S. treasurer in the 1970s and was deeply involved in Republican politics for decades, died of heart failure Tuesday at her home in Pena Blanca, N.M. She was appointed U.S. treasurer by President Richard Nixon in 1974, then reappointed by President Gerald Ford and served until 1977.

Lydia Csato Gasman, 84, an art historian known for her groundbreaking scholarship on the work of Pablo Picasso, died on Jan. 15 in Charlottesville, Va. Her sprawling four-volume dissertation, photocopies of which were available for purchase, was required reading in some art history departments and was regularly mined by other scholars and writers on Picasso.

Krzysztof Skubiszewski, 83, a legal expert who became Poland's first foreign minister after the collapse of communism and helped the country chart a pro-Western course, died Monday in Warsaw. During his time in office, Warsaw opened talks with NATO that eventually led to Poland joining the alliance.

Gen. Frederick Weyand, former Army chief of staff, dies 02/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:09pm]
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