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Obituaries of note

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 9, 2003


RICHARD NELSON, 77, the radio operator aboard the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Feb. 1 in Los Angeles. He was the youngest of a dozen men aboard the plane for the Aug. 6, 1945, mission that helped end the Pacific conflict with Japan in World War II. Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, another U.S. plane dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, and Japan surrendered.

HARRY C. McCOOL, 84, a navigator of one of the 16 bombers in the Doolittle raid on the Japanese homeland in World War II, died Feb. 1 in San Antonio, Texas. On April 18, 1942, he was among the B-25 crewmen, led by then-Lt. Col. "Jimmy" Doolittle, who took off from the USS Hornet for the maiden American strike on Tokyo after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor five months earlier. His plane was attacked by Japanese fighters before it could drop its bomb load, and the crew ditched over China after running out of fuel.

LARRY LeSUEUR, 93, a noted CBS correspondent, died Wednesday in Washington, D.C. He reported from the rooftops of London during the blitz of World War II, went ashore in the first waves of the D-Day invasion and made the first radio broadcast to America telling of the Allied liberation of Paris. He was one of the last surviving members of the Murrow Boys, the legendary corps of CBS correspondents recruited by Edward R. Murrow to cover Europe during World War II.

SHIGEO SASAKI, 87, a former Hiroshima barber whose daughter was an atomic bomb victim and became famous for the paper cranes she folded, died Tuesday of a brain tumor, his family said. He devoted his life to campaigning for peace after his 12-year-old daughter Sadako died in 1955 of radiation-related leukemia that she developed after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima 10 years earlier. She made cranes on her hospital bed, inspired by a Japanese legend that says anyone who makes 1,000 paper cranes would be granted a wish. She died before finishing the cranes, but her story led children all over Japan to raise money for a statue of her in Hiroshima. People still send paper cranes to the statue as a peace offering.

JEROME HINES, 81, a bass vocalist who spent 41 years performing at the Metropolitan Opera, more than any other principal singer in its history, died Tuesday in New York City. He was known for his rich timbre, as well as the research he conducted into the historical and psychological background of his roles. At the Met, he portrayed 45 characters in 39 works, including title roles in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov and Mozart's Don Giovanni, and Colline in Puccini's La Boheme.

ALLAN FROMME, 87, a noted clinical psychologist and the author of eight books on relationships and child care, died Jan. 30 in Sarasota. He was the author of The ABC of Child Care in 1960, The Ability to Love in 1963, and Understanding the Sexual Response in Humans in 1966.

DIANA MENUHIN, 90, who gave up a promising ballet career to devote her life to her husband, the violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin, died Jan. 25, according to a death notice published by the family in the Times newspaper in London. Devoted, supportive -- and sometimes acerbic -- Lady Menuhin was the ideal foil for the dreamy genius of her husband and became the guardian of his formidable talent. Some observers believe that without her, Yehudi Menuhin, who died in 1999, would never have become a global musical force or been such an effective champion of artistic and humanitarian causes.

MONGO SANTAMARIA, 85, an influential Latin jazz percussionist, died Feb. 1 in Miami. Born in Havana, he performed in Mexico and arrived in New York in 1950, just as musicians began to experiment with the fusion of jazz and Latin. In 1963, he had a top-10 hit with his version of Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk classic, Watermelon Man. He also wrote the song Afro Blue, which John Coltrane later performed and made famous.

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