* Monsignor John Tracy Ellis, widely known as the dean of historians of American Catholicism, died Friday of complications from a fractured hip. He was 87. Monsignor Ellis' two-volume work on the life of Baltimore Archbishop James Cardinal Gibbons is recognized by experts as an important work for students of late 19th- and early 20th-century American Catholicism. He was a longtime professor of history and church history at Catholic University.
* Oliver Shewell Franks, a British diplomat and academic who played a crucial role in putting the Marshall Plan for European recovery into effect after World War II, died Thursday at his home in Oxford, England. He was 87. Lord Franks served as a top procurement official in Britain's World War II effort and as ambassador to the United States in the formative years of the Cold War.