Harland Stonecipher, insurance pioneer, dies at 76

Published November 22 2014
Updated November 22 2014

Harland C. Stonecipher, 76, an insurance salesman whose legal problems after a head-on car crash in 1969 prompted him to pioneer a new way for people to insure against future legal costs, died Nov. 10 in Ada, Okla. His innovation was to allow people to pay monthly premiums for help with legal matters — from divorce to warranty disputes, from arrests to identity theft — in the manner of health insurance.

Alexander Grothendieck, 86, whose brilliant mind electrified the world of mathematics in the 1950s and 1960s, earning him the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in his field, and who later disappeared into a mysterious life of self-imposed isolation, died Nov. 13 in Saint-Girons, France. His contributions to mathematics were often likened to those of Albert Einstein in physics.

David Greer, 89, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, died of heart disease Tuesday in Fall River, Mass. He was a founding director of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

John T. Downey, 84, a former CIA agent who became the longest-serving U.S. prisoner of war by surviving more than 20 years in Chinese prisons after he was shot down over Manchuria in 1952, died Monday in Branford, Conn. He was released in 1973.

The Duchess of Alba, 88, a flamboyant Spanish aristocrat known for her lifestyle, her vast wealth, her art collection and her unmatched list of titles, died Thursday in her palace in Seville. She had more than 40 titles and was recognized by Guinness World Records as the noble with the most official titles in the world.

Wilhelm "Willy" Burgdorfer, 89, a medical entomologist who gained international recognition for discovering in 1982 the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, died of Parkinson's disease Monday in Hamilton, Mont.

Carl E. Sanders, 89, a moderate Democratic governor of Georgia in the 1960s who banished "whites only" signs from the state Capitol and who promoted education and other advances that helped make Atlanta the center of the New South, died Nov. 16 in Atlanta.