Hans-Otto Steiff, 75, retired president of Margarete Steiff G.m.b.H., makers of teddy bears and other animal toys, died Dec. 31 in his hometown of Giengen, Germany, after several strokes. The family-owned business started out making toy elephants and pin cushions from cloth for friends in the late 1870s. Teddy bears gained huge popularity -- and their names -- in the time of Teddy Roosevelt, and by 1907 Steiff shipped a million of them to America alone. Once childhood staples, and now collectors' items, one Steiff bear fetched a record $171,000 at a Christie's auction in London in December.
Sol Tax, 87, a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago who is credited with helping to organize anthropology as a global discipline, died of a heart attack Wednesday at his home in Chicago.