Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, 75, who made Lego plastic building-block sets into a favorite of children in many countries, died Thursday in his house in Billund, Denmark.
The Danish executive had been in ill health for a number of years, a company spokesman said.
He was managing director of the family enterprise from 1957 to 1979 and oversaw the introduction of Lego blocks into the United States in 1961. By 1984 Lego blocks were being sold in more than 120 countries and were being described as probably the world's most widely known toy. The Lego company estimated that more than 50 million children were playing with them.
By 1987, industry analysts estimated, Lego's U.S. sales reached as much as $115 million a year.
John F. Weakland, 76, an innovative psychotherapist who helped originate the field of family therapy and created elegantly simple strategies for solving problems of human behavior at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., died July 8 at his home in Palo Alto. His wife, Anna Wu, said the cause was Lou Gehrig's disease. In his work at the institute, Weakland helped conceive and develop many of the avant-garde approaches and therapies that have kept the institute on the cutting edge, even as the earlier concepts have become standards.
Donald Lucky Kanter, 70, a professor emeritus of Boston University whose writings were cited by President Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign, died Wednesday of a heart attack at his home in Wardley, England. He was a teacher, researcher and former chairman of the marketing departments at the BU School of Management and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern California.