Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hobie Alter, innovator of sailing and surfing, dies at 80

Hobie Alter, 80, who was known as the Henry Ford of the surfboard industry for his manufacturing innovations and who used his idle time to create the Hobie Cat, the lightweight, double-hulled sailboat that achieved worldwide popularity after it was invented in the 1960s, died March 29 in Palm Desert, Calif. More than 200,000 of the sailboats have been sold worldwide.

Jonathan Schell, 70, who as a 24-year-old graduate student visiting Vietnam in 1967 wrote a memorably lacerating account of American involvement in the war and whose later publications included The Fate of the Earth, a best-selling volume that helped propel the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s, died of leukemia and skin cancer March 25 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Marc Platt, 100, a lively and versatile dancer who had standout roles onstage and in films, including in the original 1943 Broadway production of Oklahoma! and as one of the virile young woodsmen seeking spouses in the 1954 film musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, died of pneumonia March 29 in San Rafael, Calif. He crisscrossed the country in the 1930s with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, which played a critical role in introducing ballet to U.S. audiences.

Irene Fernandez, 67, a champion of the oppressed in Malaysia whose indefatigable advocacy for better treatment of foreign migrant workers prompted her government to denounce her as a traitor and human rights groups to shower her with awards, died of heart failure March 25 in Serdang, Malaysia.

Frankie Knuckles, 59, a club disc jockey, remixer and producer who was often called the "godfather of house" for helping that percussive genre of dance music spread from Chicago nightclubs to global popularity and influence, died Monday in Chicago.

Kate O'Mara, 74, the British actor who played the scheming sister of Joan Collins' character on the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty and another scheming sister on the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, died March 30 in Sussex, England.

Lorenzo Semple Jr., 91, a playwright and screenwriter who would probably be best known for his scripts for films like Papillon and Pretty Poison if he hadn't put the Zap! and the Pow! in the original episodes of the arch, goofy 1960s television show he created, Batman, died March 28 in Los Angeles. "The TV show concept virtually exploded in my sangria-enhanced brain, full-blown," he wrote in Variety in 2008.

Hobie Alter, innovator of sailing and surfing, dies at 80 04/05/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 5, 2014 12:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  2. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  3. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin


    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    In their third year with pitching coach Neil Allen, the Twins have been one of the surprises of the American League.
  5. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond


    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.