Russell G. Cleary, 63, who built G. Heileman Brewing Co. into one of the largest breweries in the country, died Thursday in La Crosse, Wis., of complications from heart surgery. Cleary, the chairman of the Wisconsin company from 1971 to 1989, had a reputation as a tough maverick who aggressively expanded it with the purchase of smaller breweries -- including Carling National and its Halethorpe plant along the Baltimore Beltway -- and diversification.
Heileman became the target of a takeover as its market share shrank and profits faltered. After being sold twice and twice filing for bankruptcy, it was purchased in July by Stroh Brewery Co. of Detroit which closed the Halethorpe operation -- Maryland's last major brewery.
Leslie George Katz, 78, Baltimore-born founder of Eakins Press and a writer on art and literature, died of cancer April 18 at his home in Manhattan. Eakins was known for books on photographers, sculptors, poets and the New York City Ballet.
Pub Date: 5/04/97