Jonathan Allen, 65, an MIT professor who developed a talking computer at a time when such a machine sounded like science fiction, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Allen received worldwide notice in the 1970s for creating a computer named Morris that could talk and read. A computer system developed by Allen has been used to aid physicist Stephen Hawking, who is paralyzed as a result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Jack Best, 87, who helped build a glider for a plan to escape from Germany's Colditz prison during World War II, died Saturday in London.
The prisoners at Colditz were freed by Allied forces before the glider could be tried, but a reconstruction made for a television program last year proved that the craft could have flown.
Andre Jarrot, 90, a French Resistance hero who went on to a successful political career, died Thursday in Paris.
Jarrot was parachuted many times into Nazi-occupied territory in France and led sabotage operations against key French industrial sites fueling the German war effort.
After the war, he was mayor of Montceau-les-Mines in Burgundy from 1965 to 1986 and a member of the European Parliament from 1962-1984. Mr. Jarrot also was quality of life minister from 1974-1976 and a member of the French Senate from 1986 to 1995.
Frank Rothman, 73, former chairman of MGM and one of the nation's top sports and entertainment attorneys, died Tuesday in Los Angeles of complications after surgery. Mr. Rothman handled lawsuits involving the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the Professional Golfers Association. His entertainment industry clients included Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co., Paramount Pictures, Home Box Office and 20th Century Fox.
Rothman litigated a number of landmark cases, including one involving basketball player Spencer Haywood that led to the "hardship rule," which allows undergraduates to leave college before four years and play in the NBA.
Robert L. Zion, 79, a landscape architect who redesigned the grounds of the Statue of Liberty during its 1986 centennial, died Tuesday in Imlaystown, N.J., after an accident. Mr. Zion was internationally known for his work, which also included Liberty State Park in Jersey City, Cincinnati's Riverfront Park and the Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.