Ernst Cramer, 96, an influential postwar journalist who was a strong supporter of Germany's close ties to the United States and Israel, died Tuesday in Berlin following a heart attack. He started his career as a journalist after World War II and later held influential positions at the German newspaper publisher Springer. Cramer, who was Jewish, fled to the United States in 1938, after a brief imprisonment at the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald. He joined the U.S. Army in 1942 and returned to Europe as part of the Normandy invasion.
Daniel J. Freed, 82, a retired Yale law professor who was a pioneer in advocating for reforms of federal sentencing laws, died in New York of renal and congestive heart failure on Jan. 17. He was one of the first professors in the country to conduct workshops and seminars on criminal sentencing, which at the time was discretionary. He was an early proponent of sentencing guidelines, but favored guidelines that allowed individualized sentencing.
Kate McGarrigle, 63, a Canadian folk singer and songwriter best known for performing with her sister Anna, died of cancer on Monday at her home in Montreal. Her songs were covered by artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins and Billy Bragg. She received the Order of Canada in 1994, one of the country's highest honors. She is the mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright.
Harold T. Meryman, 88, an American Red Cross physician credited with saving countless lives for his innovative work refining the process of freezing blood, died Jan. 10 of coronary artery disease in Olney, Md. After working on his blood-freezing process for years, in 1971 he successfully devised a method of freezing concentrated red blood cells for up to 10 years and then thawing them for patients' use. The "Meryman method" was considered a particular advantage for patients with rare blood types, which were often in short supply because blood spoiled after three weeks in refrigerators.
Marshall Nirenberg, 82, a scientist whose groundbreaking work untangling fundamental genetic processes earned him a Nobel Prize, died of cancer on Jan. 15 in Manhattan. He was working at the National Institutes of Health when he conducted an experiment with a colleague in 1961. The experiment showed them the way genetic information in DNA is translated into proteins in cells. For his efforts, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968.
Carl Smith, 82, a singer and guitarist who became one of country music's most popular and durable performers and who was the first husband of singer June Carter, died Jan. 16 of complications from a stroke in Franklin, Tenn. Dubbed "the Country Gentleman," he developed a singing style that captured the raw twang of Hank Williams Sr. and Roy Acuff but smoothed their rough edges. The approach gave him many hit records, with a string of 21 consecutive Top 10 Billboard country songs from 1951 to 1955.