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Nija Battle, 37, who brought a swaggering...


Nija Battle, 37, who brought a swaggering sense of sophistication to the furs she designed for the music world's most flamboyant figures, died July 20 of a brain aneurysm while on a business trip in Montreal.

For a designer who did not have a store, who often met her future clients at clubs or outside restaurants, and who, until the editor Andre Leon Talley wrote about her in Vogue last year, was almost unknown in the fashion world, Miss Battle had a large following. Her custom-made furs were worn by such entertainers as Whitney Houston, Kid Rock and Puff Daddy, who had her make trousers for him in black sheared mink.

Olcott Damon Smith, 93, a former chairman of Aetna Life & Casualty Co. credited with helping the insurer gain an international foothold, died Monday in Farmington, Conn.

Mr. Smith was Aetna's chairman from 1963 to 1972. At that time, the company began to broaden its insurance operations outside the United States and moved into financial services.

Under his guidance, Aetna entered the field of mutual funds, real estate development and commercial finance, and became one of the first insurers to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

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