Margaret Walker Alexander, 83, who translated her...


Margaret Walker Alexander, 83, who translated her experiences as ablack woman in the Deep South into poignant stories, poems and the best-selling novel "Jubilee," died yesterday in Chicago. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but friends said she had been diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer.

Ms. Alexander's 1942 poem "For My People" won the Yale Award for young poets. In the poem, she wrote: "Let a new earth rise, Let another world be born, Let a bloody peace be written in the sky, Let a second generation full of courage issue forth, Let a people loving freedom come to growth."

"Jubilee," published in 1966, told the life story of the daughter of a slave and a white plantation owner. The New York Times Book Review said it "chronicled the triumph of a free spirit over many kinds of bondage."

Ms. Alexander was born in Birmingham, Ala. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1935 and attended graduate school at the University of Iowa.

She later became a professor at Jackson State University, where she founded the Institute for the Study of the History, Life and Culture of Black People in 1968. She served as its director 11 years, and the center was later renamed in her honor.

John Stanford, 60, a former Army general who became a school district administrator so respected for his education reform efforts that he was invited to speak at the 1996 Democratic National Convention, died of leukemia yesterday in Seattle.

In 1995, he became Seattle's first black school superintendent, drawing national attention because he was one of the few noneducators chosen to lead a major city school district. Before taking the Seattle job, he was the top administrator in Georgia's Fulton County.

Allan Raymond Johnson, 82, a protege of retailing scion Adam Gimbel who rose to become chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue, died Thursday of a stroke in New York.

He retired in 1981 as chairman of BATUS Inc., Brown & Williamson Industries Retail Group, the holding and management company for the major U.S. business interests of Saks Fifth Avenue's then-parent company, BAT Industries Limited.

William F. Baxter, 69, who as antitrust chief in the Reagan administration settled the case that broke up the nationwide Bell System, died of emphysema Friday in Stanford, Calif.

William Keating, 55, a London-based art dealer who was born in the United States and who helped the Australian financier Alan Bond put together a collection of Australian artworks, died Nov. 4 at his home in London. The cause was heart failure.

Retired Gen. Benjamin B. Talley, 95, an engineer who left an enduring mark on Alaska before and after World War II, died Friday in Homer, Alaska.

He supervised construction of Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage and oversaw the building of a string of then-secret airfields before World War II. He later oversaw reconstruction of Anchorage and central Alaska after the 1964 earthquake.

Stephen K-M Tim, 61, a botanist and illustrator who was a guiding force for many of the exhibits and publications of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, died Nov. 21 at New York University Medical Center in Manhattan. He lived in Brooklyn.

Stuart Sutherland, 71, a British psychologist who analyzed his own brush with mental illness in the most remarkable of his insightful books, died of a heart attack Nov. 8 at home in Brighton, England.

A severe case of manic depression struck him at the height of his career. His candid account of this experience, "Breakdown: A Personal Crisis and a Medical Dilemma," became a best-seller.

Roy Benavidez, 63, a Vietnam veteran awarded the Medal of Honor for saving eight fellow Green Berets, died Sunday in San Antonio. The cause of death was not released. He had been hospitalized for treatment of a long illness complicated by diabetes and anemia.

Ira M. Berke, 64, a landscape architect and city planner who designed plans for the Lincoln Park Zoo, died in Mount Prospect, Ill., on Wednesday of cancer.

William Demas, 69, the Caribbean community's first secretary-general who helped lay the groundwork for stable economies after centuries of British rule, died Saturday of renal failure in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Pub Date: 12/01/98

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