Stanford R. Ovshinsky, 89, an iconoclastic, largely self-taught and commercially successful scientist who invented the nickel-metal hybrid battery used in hybrid cars and contributed to the development of a host of devices, including solar energy panels, flat-panel displays and rewritable compact discs, died of prostate cancer on Wednesday in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
John Hoffman, 62, a former environmental official whose program to identify and reward energy-efficient practices became the Energy Star program, a rating system for "green" products, died on Sept. 24 in Washington after surgery for a perforated peptic ulcer. He also helped shape a global treaty in the 1980s to protect the ozone layer.
Gart Westerhout, 85, a Dutch-born astronomer who gained international renown in the early 1950s when he helped chart the Milky Way galaxy with unprecedented precision, died on Oct. 14 in Catonsville, Md.
John Durkin, 76, a one-term Democratic senator from New Hampshire who prevailed in the closest election in U.S. Senate history after a stalemate in 1974 and 1975, died Oct. 16 in Franklin, N.H. On election night, he won by 355 votes out of more than 222,000 ballots cast. After a recount he was declared the victor by 10 votes. In a second recount he won by two votes. Later, a special election was called for Sept. 16, 1975. He won that contest by 27,000 votes.
George Whitmore Jr., 68, an eighth-grade dropout who confessed in 1964 to three New York murders that he did not commit, and whose case became instrumental in establishing historic legal reforms — including the Supreme Court's 1966 "Miranda" ruling, which protects criminal suspects — died of a heart attack on Oct. 8 in Wildwood, N.J.
Gary Collins, 74, an actor, television show host and former master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant, died of natural causes on Oct. 13 in Biloxi, Miss.