Ivan Allen Jr., 92, a former Atlanta mayor credited with helping the city desegregate peacefully during the 1960s when other Southern cities erupted in violence, died yesterday.
Mr. Allen, who served from 1962 to 1970, desegregated city government the day he took office. The "colored" and "white" signs were taken down and he hired blacks for many city jobs, including police officer and firefighter.
A leading voice for civil rights in the South, he was the only Southern elected official to testify before Congress in favor of what would become the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and his testimony was praised by Northern politicians and newspapers.
"No one person in the South's recent history did more to bring the races together than Ivan Allen Jr.," said Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat, while former Gov. Roy Barnes said Mr. Allen met the challenges of a turbulent South with "a cool head, a strong hand and an open mind."
Mr. Allen was a strong supporter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped organize a 1964 dinner honoring him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Because many of Atlanta's white business elite attended, the dinner was seen as a pivotal moment for race relations in the city.
He headed a family furniture company and was president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce when he decided to run for mayor in 1961 - defeating in the Democratic runoff future Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox, who died last week. Maynard Jackson, the city's first black mayor, also died last week.
Mr. Allen also brought big-time professional sports to the South, luring baseball's Braves from Milwaukee and getting the National Football League to start the Atlanta Falcons. His tenure as mayor also coincided with tremendous growth for Atlanta and the surrounding area, with new roads and highways completed around the city - and the beginning of white flight to the city's suburbs.
Joan Lowery Nixon, 76, prize-winning author of more than 140 murder mysteries and historical novels for children and young adults, died Saturday in Houston of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Mrs. Nixon, whose works have been translated into 20 languages, was a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America, the only writer in her category - juvenile and young adult mysteries - ever to do so. The Edgars were for The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore (1980), The Seance (1981), The Other Side of Dark (1986) and The Name of the Game Was Murder (1994).
Nixon wrote a book just for her grandson, Michael Quinlan, who was born with Down syndrome. Written when Michael was 8 years old as his first Holy Communion approached, the book explained the meaning of the rite in terms he could understand - and "was the one she was proudest of," said Michael's mother, Maureen Quinlan of Duluth, Minn.
A native of Los Angeles, she was endowed with a vivid imagination - spinning tales for her younger sisters. Her mother, Margaret Mary Lowery, who wrote dramas for radio programs, gave pointers about using "action words" and how to make a story come to life.
While studying journalism at the University of Southern California, she met her future husband, geologist Hershell H. Nixon, with whom she later wrote several science books that have been honored by the National Science Teachers Association.
She published her first novel in 1964 and her 100th in 1994. She left an uncompleted manuscript of another novel when she entered the hospital May 13.
Mrs. Nixon liked to write for young people. "They're particular about what they read," she said. "They'll pick up a book and then put it down if they don't like it. Adults read books for the dumbest reasons." Teenagers, she said, often wrote to her, saying that she had helped them.
Her historical fiction included a series of books about the Orphan Trains, telling of some 100,000 homeless children from New York who were transported to adoptive families in Western states during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Rod Amateau, 79, a film and television writer-producer-director best known for his work in situation comedies, including The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and the memorably forgettable My Mother the Car, died Sunday of a cerebral hemorrhage at a Los Angeles hospital.
Among his many television credits are Private Secretary, The Bob Cummings Show, The New Phil Silvers Show, Mr. Ed, The Patty Duke Show and The Dukes of Hazzard. He also directed the pilot for Gilligan's Island.
Born in New York City, Mr. Amateau dropped out of high school during World War II and joined the Army. After serving stateside, he began his career as a staff writer for CBS radio in New York City.
Bernard A. Goldhirsh, 63, who developed his interests in sailing and small business management into two of the most dramatic success stories in modern media history, died of complications of a brain tumor Sunday in Boston.
The founder and publisher of Sail and Inc. magazines, Mr. Goldhirsh was an unpretentious man who drove a beat-up Volvo station wagon, often dispensed with socks, and wore chinos, Topsider shoes and a flannel shirt to the office.
After growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Goldhirsh became interested in sailing after entering the Community Boating program on the Charles River while attending MIT.
After college, he directed the science department at New Prep, a private school in Cambridge.
In 1964, he chartered a 98-foot ketch and sailed to South America with 12 paying student-sailors. He returned to Boston and settled in the South End, where he began teaching navigation classes and publishing booklets on spinnakers, storm navigation and other nautical topics.
He began publishing Sail in 1970.
"People told me, 'You can't compete with Yachting' [magazine], but we did," Mr. Goldhirsh told the Boston Globe in 1995. "A new breed of sailor was growing up in the 1970s. People who were moving to the coasts from the Midwest, people who didn't grow up learning to sail in the junior races of their fathers' yacht clubs."
Circulation swelled to more than 100,000, and he sold the magazine for an estimated $10 million in 1980 - using the proceeds to found Inc.
Circulation was about 650,000 in 2000, when Mr. Goldhirsh sold Inc. for an estimated $200 million - and gave 10 percent of the proceeds to his employees.