Cal Worthington, 92, a car dealer whose off-the-wall commercials, first broadcast in the 1950s, bombarded California television viewers for more than half a century and made him a cultural legend, died Sept. 8 in Orland, Calif. When a rival dealer began using a pet dog in TV ads in the early 1970s, he rustled up a gorilla and told the audience: "Howdy, I'm Cal Worthington and this is my dog Spot. I found this little fella down at the pound and he's so full of love."
Martin L. Gross, 88, a writer whose books criticizing government spending and taxation became bestsellers in the 1990s and were embraced more recently by supporters of the tea party, died Aug. 21 in Ocala. In 1992, The Government Racket: Washington Waste from A to Z appealed to fiscal conservatives and libertarians in the same year that Ross Perot drew surprising support in his third-party bid for president by arguing against government bloat.
A.C. Crispin, 63, a best-selling science fiction and fantasy author who wrote tie-in novels for the Star Wars franchise and a prequel providing the back story for the popular movie series Pirates of the Caribbean, died of bladder cancer Sept. 6 in Waldorf, Md.
Paul Scoon, 78, who vaulted from the mainly ceremonial post of governor general of Grenada to the role of power broker when a radical leftist faction took over the government of his Caribbean nation in 1983, died Sept. 2 in St. Paul's, Grenada. After the takeover, he used his authority as governor general to invite the United States and Caribbean nations to intervene militarily to oust the leftists. He then helped usher in a temporary prime minister and set up new elections.
Donal C. O'Brien, 79, who was the Rockefeller family's lawyer for five decades but perhaps had his greatest impact as the longtime chairman of the National Audubon Society, died of complications of pneumonia Sept. 8 in New Canaan, Conn. He drove the organization's efforts to identify thousands of "important bird areas" around the globe and to give people a global sense of the environment by highlighting the four flyways that take many species between the Southern Hemisphere and the North.