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Hugh Martin, songwriter of famous Judy Garland songs, dies at 96

Hugh Martin, 96, a Broadway and film songwriter who composed three enduring classics introduced by Judy Garland — The Trolley Song, The Boy Next Door and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — died on March 11 in Encinitas, Calif. All three of his best-known songs were featured in the 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis. In addition to being a showcase for Garland, the film was recognized for its sparkling score, which brought a fresh complexity to the Hollywood musical.

Mikhail Simonov, 81, an aircraft designer whose supremely maneuverable, heavily armed and far-flying Sukhoi fighter jet became an icon of the Soviet defense industry and a cash cow for post-Communist Russia, died on March 4 in Moscow. The aircraft is matched only by the MiG jet and Kalashnikov assault rifle as a symbol of Russia's prowess in weapons-making.

Doyald Young, 84, a logotype designer and teacher who reintroduced classical design principles to designers when inelegant lettering was in vogue in the 1990s, died of complications of heart surgery on Feb. 28 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. His work included logos for the Grammy, Golden Globe and Tony awards.

Kim Hill, 44, whose childhood battle with leukemia was the catalyst for the creation of the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia in 1974, died of brain tumors on March 5 in Los Angeles. Today, there are 302 Ronald McDonald Houses serving families in 30 countries and regions.

Leonard Weinglass, 77, a defense lawyer who represented political renegades, government opponents and notorious criminal defendants in a half-century of controversial cases, including the Chicago 7, the Pentagon Papers and the Hearst kidnapping, died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday in the Bronx.

Cleo Johnson, 88, founder of the first black-owned and operated modeling school in the United States, Cleo Johnson's School of Charm and Modeling Agency in Chicago, died of natural causes on March 8.

Owsley Stanley, 76, the chemist to the stars who made LSD in quantity for the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and other avatars of the psychedelic '60s, died on March 13 in a car accident in the state of Queensland in Australia. He was a reclusive in recent decades.

Leo Steinberg, 90, one of the most influential and controversial art historians of the last half of the 20th century, died on March 13 in New York. The titles of his best-known books, Other Criteria: Confrontations With Twentieth-Century Art and The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, suggest the range of his interests.

Donald L. Cox, 74, who was at the center of black radical politics as a member of the Black Panther Party high command and who earned a moment of celebrity in 1970 when he spoke at the Leonard Bernstein fundraising party in New York made notorious by the writer Tom Wolfe, died on Feb. 19 at his home in Camps-sur-l'Agly, France.

James Elliot, 67, an astronomer who used light from distant stars to study planetary objects throughout the solar system, leading to his discovery of the rings of Uranus, died of cancer on March 3 in Wellesley, Mass.

Hugh Martin, songwriter of famous Judy Garland songs, dies at 96 03/26/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 26, 2011 4:31am]
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