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Cardiss Collins, former congresswoman, dies at 81

Cardiss Collins, 81, an Illinois Democrat who reluctantly filled her late husband's seat in Congress in 1973 and over the next quarter-century became one of the most prominent black women on Capitol Hill, died of pneumonia on Feb. 3 in Alexandria, Va. By the time she stepped down in 1997, she was the longest-serving black woman in Congress. For a number of years, she was the only black woman serving in the House.

Stuart Freeborn, 98, a movie makeup artist whose alchemy helped shape the outlandish space creatures that stalk the Star Wars films — including the big-eared, big-brained little Yoda, whom he modeled after himself and Albert Einstein — died on Tuesday in London. He worked on more than 75 movies, creating the makeup for stars like Marlene Dietrich, Burt Lancaster, Vivien Leigh and Gregory Peck.

Arlene C. Ackerman, 66, who won national accolades for improving student performance as a schools superintendent in all three cities that hired her — Washington, San Francisco and Philadelphia — even as her bulldozer management style rankled union leaders and politicians, died of pancreatic cancer Feb. 2 in Albuquerque, N.M.

John D'Arcy, 80, a bishlop who was ignored by his superiors in the 1980s when he warned about priests who later figured in the sex-abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, died of cancer on Feb. 3 in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he had led the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for 24 years.

Stefan Kudelski, 83, the inventor of the first professional-quality portable tape recorder, which revolutionized Hollywood moviemaking and expanded the reach of documentarians as well as eavesdroppers in the Cold War, died Jan. 26 in Switzerland.

Cardiss Collins, former congresswoman, dies at 81 02/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 9, 2013 5:32pm]
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