Deaths Elsewhere

Richard E. Bennis,

52, the retired Coast Guard rear admiral who directed the New York Harbor evacuation of 500,000 people after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, died Aug. 3 of melanoma in Fredericksburg, Va.


On Sept. 11, 2001, Admiral Bennis, then captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey, organized a volunteer flotilla of more than 100 boats to move an estimated half-million people out of lower Manhattan. In the next few weeks, he led the Coast Guard in establishing a higher-profile presence in the harbor.

He retired from the Coast Guard last year and was named associate undersecretary for maritime and land security in the Transportation Security Administration.


Admiral Bennis also helped with security during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and was part of the Coast Guard's response to the Exxon Valdez tanker accident in Alaska in 1989. He had served as captain of the three largest East Coast ports: Charleston, S.C., Hampton Roads, Va., and New York.

Dr. Demetre Nicoloff,

69, a surgeon who co-developed the St. Jude heart valve and performed almost 10,000 open-heart operations, died Tuesday at his home in Minneapolis of bone-marrow disease.

In addition to implanting heart valves and doing open-heart surgery, Dr. Nicoloff performed heart transplants, including the first in Minnesota.

Surgeons have installed 1.5 million St. Jude mechanical heart valves. Dr. Nicoloff implanted the first one in a patient in 1977.

Dr. Nicoloff co-founded or invested in several medical-device companies, including St. Jude Medical Inc., ATS Medical Inc., Possis Medical Inc. and Optical Sensors Inc.

William Woolfolk,

86, a writer who created stories for comic book characters such as Batman and Captain Marvel as well as the 1960s television show The Defenders, died July 20 in Syracuse, N.Y.


Mr. Woolfolk began his career as a comic book writer in the 1940s. He quickly rose to the top of the profession, earning $300 a week in an era where the average weekly salary was about $30.

Artist Lou Fine called him "the Shakespeare of comics" for his work on stories during what many regard as the golden age of comics. Mr. Woolfolk wrote stories for Batman, Superman, Plastic Man and Captain Marvel.

He coined one of Captain Marvel's signature lines, "Holy Moley," an exclamation the superhero uttered when he encountered something astonishing.

In the 1960s, he earned a pair of Emmy nominations for his work on The Defenders, which starred E.G. Marshall. The show ran from 1961 to 1965, and Woolfolk was its chief scriptwriter. Mr. Woolfolk's 1968 book The Beautiful Couple was a best seller.

Antonis Samarakis,

84, one of Greece's best-known contemporary writers and a leading advocate for children's rights, died Friday at his vacation home in the southwestern town of Pilos, He had suffered from heart and lung problems.


Mr. Samarakis was best known for his collection of short stories called I Deny and the novel Mistake. The first was published in 1961 and the other in 1965.

Grover Mitchell,

73, a jazz trombonist known primarily for his work with the Count Basie Orchestra, died Wednesday in a New York City hospital of cancer. Since 1995 he also had been the leader of the Basie band.

A member of the orchestra from 1962 to 1970 and again from 1980 to 1984, Mr. Mitchell became the third person to lead the group after Mr. Basie's death in 1984. In taking over the orchestra, Mr. Mitchell returned it to making music more closely reflecting the great sounds of the Basie era.