Saul Kagan, 91, a former refugee who for decades led the Jewish service organization that was primarily responsible for securing more than $70 billion in restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs, died Nov. 8 in New York. He was the founding director of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which was created in 1951.
Gerard de Villiers, 83, a French popular novelist whose raffish, long-running spy-thriller series, SAS, sold more than 100 million copies, died of cancer Oct. 31 in Paris. He was often compared with Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.
Allan Block, 90, a leather craftsman and fiddler who made sandals and music in his Greenwich Village shop — which became a bubbling hub of folk music during the 1950s and 1960s; a showcase for talented pickers and singers like Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Doc Watson and Maria Muldaur; and a destination for aspiring musicians like John Sebastian and Bob Dylan — died Oct. 23 in Francestown, N.H.
Bobby Parker, 76, a soul-blues singer and guitarist whose recordings from the 1950s and 1960s — notably the propulsive groove of Watch Your Step — influenced performers as varied as John Lennon, Carlos Santana and the band Led Zeppelin, died of a heart attack Oct. 31 in Bowie, Md. Jefferson Airplane, Santana and the Spencer Davis Group (with singer Steve Winwood) all covered Watch Your Step.
Nalini Ambady, 54, a social psychologist whose research on the surprising accuracy of first impressions was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink, his bestselling nonfiction book of 2005, died of leukemia Oct. 28 in Boston. For good or ill, intuition helps determine a welter of daily social choices, including whom one sits next to on the bus and whom one hires for a job.
Doug Ireland, 67, a fiercely articulate left-wing activist, journalist and blogger who wrote with acerbic force about politics, the media and gay issues, died of a stroke Oct. 26 in New York. He was a contributor to the Village Voice, New York magazine, the Nation, the French daily Liberation and other periodicals.