Deaths Elsewhere


Slim Dusty,

76, an Australian country music singer whose cowboy songs captured the laid-back culture of the Outback, died of kidney cancer Friday at his home in Sydney.

He was born David Gordon Kirkpatrick and at age 10 he wrote his first song, "The Way The Cowboy Dies." A year later he renamed himself Slim Dusty.

He became one of the most prolific and biggest-selling recording artists in Australia. He recorded 105 albums and was recording another at the time of his death.

The singer-songwriter, who performed with just a guitar and his trademark cowboy hat, signed his first recording contract in 1946. But it wasn't until 1958 that his career took off with the hit "A Pub With No Beer," about an Australian cowboy who travels hundreds of miles to an Outback bar only to find it has run out of beer.

In 2000, he performed at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

The Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin,

86, who started preaching at age 17 and made his congregation into an international ministry, died Friday in Tulsa, Okla.

Mr. Hagin's ministry included Rhema Bible Training Centers in 14 nations and Rhema churches in more than 110 countries. The Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow, Okla., where his ministry was based, has 8,000 members.

His ministry began when he said God miraculously healed him of a deformed heart and incurable blood disease. The ministry was part of a nationwide healing revival in the 1950s and 1960s.

He founded Rhema Bible Training Center USA in 1974. It has 23,000 alumni. His Faith Library Publications has more than 65 million books in print. The ministry has a weekly television program called Rhema Praise and a radio program, Faith Seminar of the Air, which is also available on the Internet.

Jay Morton,

92, a one-time writer and artist for the Fleischer animation studios who coined the famous "faster than a speeding bullet" introduction for the animated Superman cartoons, died of a brain aneurysm Sept. 6 in Boca Raton, Fla.

Mr. Morton, a New York City native, studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn before going to work for the Fleischer studio in Miami in 1937. As an artist, he worked on Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Popeye and other cartoon characters, said his son, Alex.

Mr. Morton also wrote about 25 of the early animated Superman cartoons, in which he initially described the comic book superhero as "faster than a streak of lightning, more powerful than the pounding surf, mightier than a roaring hurricane, this amazing stranger from the Planet Krypton, Superman."

But he soon reworked the introduction to the now-familiar: "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."

He left Fleischer in the early 1940s and started Home News, a newspaper in Hialeah and Miami Springs, and later published several other newspapers and two Florida trade papers.

Frederick A. Hetzel,

73, who was the director of the University of Pittsburgh Press for 30 years and made it a leading publisher of short fiction and poetry as well as academic books, died Sept. 13 at his home in Pittsburgh of complications from rheumatoid arthritis.

Mr. Hetzel also started the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for short fiction, whose winners receive $15,000 and have their work published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The Heinz award received a $1 million endowment in 1996 from Drue Heinz, a food-industry heiress.

Mr. Hetzel led the University of Pittsburgh Press from 1964 until he retired in 1994. He enriched its offerings of books meant for the general reader. Its products include academic books about science and the humanities, and the Pitt Poetry Series.

John Griffith Hume Sr.,

81, who had appearances in the early 1950s on television's Playhouse 90 and Hallmark Hall of Fame, and in numerous commercials, died of cancer Sept. 12 in Downey, Calif.

Mr. Hume was a stage manager, director and coordinator, as well as an actor, and was considered the father of public theater in his hometown of Downey.

During his nearly 40-year career in stage and television, he was a mentor to generations of young actors, dancers, directors, choreographers, set designers and others involved in theater.

Mr. Hume was born in Oakland, Calif., and was groomed in childhood to work as a butcher in the family's meat-packing business but found himself more comfortable attending classes at San Jose State University, earning a bachelor of arts in theater in 1943.

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