Barbara Jean Carnegie Berwald
Ex-wife of former Lakers owner
Barbara Jean Carnegie Berwald, 94, the first wife of media and sports mogul Jack Kent Cooke whose record divorce settlement precipitated his sale of the Lakers, the Kings and the Forum to Jerry Buss, died of heart failure Friday at her home in Purchase, N.Y., her grandson John Kent Cooke Jr. said.
She was born in 1917 in Port Perry, Canada, and soon after moved with her family to St. Catharines, also in the province of Ontario. She married Cooke in 1934, when she was 17 and he was a 21-year-old encyclopedia salesman bent on success.
They moved to California in 1960 and became U.S. citizens. Her husband acquired broadcasting, publishing, sporting and real estate holdings that were worth between $80 million and $100 million when the assets were divided in 1979, two years after they were divorced. They had been married 42 years and had two children, Ralph Kent Cooke and John Kent Cooke.
To finance the settlement of approximately $41 million ordered by Judge Joseph Wapner, Cooke sold his Los Angeles sports teams and the Inglewood arena, as well as a sprawling Northern California ranch, to Buss, who still owns the Lakers. The settlement was then a U.S. record.
She retained the couple's Bel-Air home, remained active in Los Angeles charities and later married Thomas Berwald.
Cooke, who married three more times, died in 1997.
Former Vikings general manager
Mike Lynn, 76, the longtime Minnesota Vikings executive who made the ill-fated trade with the Dallas Cowboys for Herschel Walker, died Saturday, the Vikings announced. He had been in failing health for years and died at his home in Holly Springs, Miss., his son Mike Lynn Jr. told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Lynn, the Vikings' general manager from 1975 to 1990, is best remembered for one of the most lopsided trades in NFL history. The team sent five players and seven draft picks to the Cowboys in 1989 for Walker, the running back Lynn considered the missing link to a Super Bowl run.
Walker never panned out in Minnesota, and Dallas used the riches of players and picks to lay the groundwork for three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s.
Known as a hard-nosed negotiator and one of the more colorful executives in Twin Cities sports history, Lynn rose through the Vikings' ranks under former owner Max Winter.
Lynn helped organize a front office that turned the Vikings into a consistent playoff contender that drafted and developed three Hall of Famers — Randall McDaniel, Chris Doleman and John Randle. Lynn also played a big role in drafting several future Pro Bowlers, including Joey Browner and Keith Millard, and claiming off waivers Cris Carter, a troublemaker in Philadelphia who blossomed into one of the best receivers of his era in Minnesota.
The Vikings won seven NFC Central Division titles and played in two Super Bowls while Lynn was general manager.
He also negotiated a deal with Winter that brought him 10% of the suite revenue from all Metrodome events over the life of the building, reaping a financial windfall for decades even after he left the team.
Lynn left the Vikings in 1990 to become president of World League of American Football, which folded after two seasons.
Born May 18, 1936, in Scranton, Pa., Lynn was raised in New Jersey and attended Pace University in New York. Before finishing college he moved to Memphis, Tenn., where he managed movie theaters and retail stores.
After an unsuccessful attempt to secure an expansion NFL team for Memphis, he was hired as a personal assistant to Winter in 1974.
William D. Pawley Jr.
First love of Elizabeth Taylor
William D. Pawley Jr., 92, a decorated World War II pilot often called actress Elizabeth Taylor's first true love, died July 10 in Florida, his family announced. The cause was not given.
Pawley, a resident of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was the son of the former U.S. ambassador to Brazil and Peru, William Pawley Sr.
He was born June 21, 1920, in Marietta, Ga., but was raised in a Miami Beach mansion by his wealthy parents. That's where the then-28-year-old Army Air Forces veteran began a relationship with the then-17-year-old actress. They met during a visit to Miami Beach by Taylor and her mother in early 1949.
Although Taylor had been linked to former football star Glenn Davis in a romance engineered by her mother and her film studio, her relationship with Pawley was genuine. But it didn't last.
The couple announced their engagement in June 1949, but by the fall she had returned the diamond ring he'd given her. Friends said Pawley expected Taylor to curtail her acting career once they wed. The next year she married Nicky Hilton in the first of her eight trips to the altar.
The romance was detailed in more than 60 love letters Taylor wrote to Pawley, which he kept for decades. They were auctioned shortly after her death last year.
"It took me a long time to get over it," Pawley said of their breakup in a 1997 interview with the Miami Herald.
He did not marry until 1974. His wife, Catherine, died in 2002.
Founder of Harlem restaurant
Sylvia Woods, 86, founder of the famed Harlem soul food restaurant that carries her name and is a must-stop for locals, tourists, celebrities and politicians, died Thursday at her home in Mount Vernon, N.Y., her family said. She hadAlzheimer's disease.
Woods and her husband, Herbert, natives of South Carolina who met as children, started Sylvia's Restaurant in 1962. A Harlem fixture, the restaurant drew politicians on the campaign trail and tourists and locals eager for corn bread, ribs, collard greens, fried chicken and other staples of Southern cooking.
The Rev. Al Sharptonsaid Sylvia's was "more than a restaurant, it has been a meeting place for black America." He said he had dined there with many famous people, including President Obama and Caroline Kennedy.
From its start as a restaurant 50 years ago at Lenox Avenue near 127th Street, Sylvia's grew into an enterprise that included cookbooks and a nationwide line of food products.
Woods stepped down from running the restaurant when she was 80, leaving it in the hands of her children and grandchildren.
Herbert Woods died in 2001.
Frank 'Pancho' Martin
Hall of Fame thoroughbred trainer
Frank "Pancho" Martin, 86, a Hall of Fame thoroughbred trainer who oversaw 1973 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Sham, died at his home in Garden City, N.Y., on Wednesday18 after a brief illness, according to the New York Racing Assn.
Martin won 3,240 career races and had purse earnings of $47,586,039, according to Equibase. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.
Sham was the most famous horse Martin trained. The colt won the 1973 Santa Anita Derby, and then lost to Secretariat in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. They were matched again in the Belmont Stakes, and Sham dueled with Secretariat around the first turn and into the backstretch before fading. Secretariat won by a record 31 lengths to become horse racing's ninth Triple Crown winner. Sham finished last, beaten by 451/4 lengths, and never raced again.
Martin was born in Cuba on Dec. 3, 1925, and grew up in Havana two blocks from Oriental Park Racetrack, where he began his career cooling out horses after their morning workouts.
He left Cuba in 1947 and moved to the United States in 1949, eventually settling in New York in 1951.
Martin also trained Autobiography, champion older horse in 1972 when he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup; and Outstandingly, champion 2-year-old filly in 1984, when she was awarded the win in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies via disqualification.
Times staff and wire reportsCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun