Sir Laurens van der Post,90, a South...


Sir Laurens van der Post,90, a South African-born author, mystic and conservationist known as Prince Charles' spiritual guru, died Sunday in London.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Charles was saddened. "He had been a dear friend for a very long time," a palace statement said.

Godfather to Prince William, 14, the elder son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Sir Laurens was also a confidant of Margaret Thatcher. They were neighbors before she became prime minister in 1979.

His first book, "In a Province," was published in 1934. He also wrote "The Seed and The Sower," which was filmed in 1983 as "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence," starring David Bowie. Sir Laurens was knighted in 1974.

Arthur Shores,92, a civil rights lawyer, died Monday in Birmingham, Ala., after a long illness. Known for his low-key, unflappable manner, he was among the first blacks to practice law in Alabama and for years was the state's only practicing black attorney. At great personal risk, he was often in the forefront of civil rights cases that transformed Alabama. His house was bombed at least twice in the 1960s.

Walter Birkmayer,86, a neurologist whose research helped in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, died Dec. 10 in Vienna, Austria, of a longtime neurological disorder. He was one of several doctors and scientists working in Europe and the United States to study the effectiveness of the drug L-dopa, which spurs the production of dopamine.

Harry Kemelman,88, author of the Rabbi Small mystery books, died Sunday of renal failure in Marblehead, Mass. He wrote 12 Rabbi Small mysteries, which were published in 17 languages and became the basis for the 1977 television series "Lanigan's Rabbi."

Pub Date: 12/18/96

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