Deaths Elsewhere


Lloyd Meeds, 77, a former gas station operator who sponsored landmark legislation and hobnobbed with presidents during seven terms in the House of Representatives, died of cancer Wednesday night at his Church Creek home in Maryland's Dorchester County.

Mr. Meeds represented a district in northwestern Washington State and worked closely with its senators, Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson. After his retirement from Congress in 1979, he had a long career as a partner with the Seattle-based law firm of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds in its branch in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Meeds was known for his work on conservation, education and implementing some of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs.

He sponsored legislation to create Head Start, the Youth Conservation Corps, and school nutrition programs. He helped create the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and the North Cascades National Park. He always enjoyed a connection with Alaska, working on the trans-Alaskan oil pipeline legislation, Alaska wilderness bills and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Born in rural Dillon, Mont., he moved with his family to Monroe, Wash., northeast of Seattle, while in high school. After a tour of duty in the Navy, he graduated from Everett Community College and owned and operated a service station in Monroe for four years. He went back to college and graduated second in his class at Gonzaga Law School in 1958.

Ted Croner, 82, whose rigorously blurry photographs of New York at night in the 1940s epitomized the film noir energy of a city that never sleeps, died Monday in Manhattan.

Mr. Croner belonged to what the curator Jane Livingston called the New York School of photography, which included Lisette Model, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank and William Klein.

For the cover of her 1992 book The New York School Photographs 1936-1963, Ms. Livingston chose a picture by Mr. Croner - "New York at Night, 1948" - showing a Manhattan skyline reduced to abstract slashes of white light among black tall buildings against a gun-metal gray sky. Such images, Ms. Livingston wrote, "most quintessentially define the New York School."

Mr. Croner was born in Baltimore and raised in Charlotte, N.C. His interest in photography began in high school.

In recent decades, Mr. Croner was a commercial photographer for corporations like the Chase Manhattan Bank and Coca-Cola. He is noted for the black-and-white work he did in the 1940s and '50s. A photographer was lucky, he once said, if he produced just 10 great images.

Constance Bannister, 92, whose photographs of babies for calendars, advertisements and books reached a worldwide audience in the 1940s and 1950s, died Wednesday in Woodbury, N.Y.

Mrs. Bannister, who lived in Laurel Hollow on Long Island, was the second of 17 children and was inspired toward baby pictures by her 15 younger siblings, said daughter Lynda Hatcher.

Mrs. Bannister claimed she had more than 100,000 shots of babies, her daughter said. Many were published in humor books, paired with amusing captions written by her to fit the baby's expression. For example, in We Were Spies Behind the Iron Curtain, a book satirizing the Soviet Union, a bare-bottomed baby looks over its shoulder and says, "Latest five-year plan is a little behind."

Born Constance Louise Gibbs in Ashland City, Tenn., she moved to New York City as a teenager and studied photography after receiving a camera from a boyfriend. Her first job was with the Associated Press, where she earned $40 a week as a society photographer in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1937 and 1938.

She returned to New York, opened a studio on Central Park South and became a photographer of Broadway plays, ballet companies and the Ice Capades. She gradually focused on babies, and "Bannister Babies" helped sell war bonds for World War II.

John McLaughlin, 70, a longtime political columnist, died Wednesday at his home in Morris Township, N.J. He had cancer and Parkinson's disease.

The Philadelphia native worked for newspapers in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, and the last 24 years of his career at the Newark Star-Ledger.

In the late 1970s, he was chief political correspondent for the New York Daily News, covering the foibles of mayors, governors and presidents.

He also gained recognition for his "Lanes of Pain" columns in 1998, which showed that the state's high-occupancy-vehicle lanes made traffic and pollution worse, not better.

Esther Wong, 88, who booked a who's who of punk rock and new wave bands at her popular Madame Wong's clubs in the 1970s and '80s, died Sunday at her Los Angeles home.

Ms. Wong, who earned the nickname the "godmother of punk," showcased such popular groups as the Police, X, the Go-Gos, Oingo Boingo, the Motels, the Knack, the Textones and Plane English early in their careers, giving many groups their first major breaks.

As her clubs flourished, she became known as a no-nonsense proprietor. She once halted a performance by the Ramones until band members left the stage and cleaned up the graffiti they had put on a bathroom wall. She rarely booked female singers, calling them "no good, always trouble," and was known to go into the audience to try to sniff out marijuana smokers.

She closed the original Madame Wong's in 1985 and Madame Wong's West in 1991.

Joyce Wein, 76, a former vice president of the company that produced the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals and numerous other events, died of cancer Monday in New York City. She lived on the Upper East Side.

A biochemist, she became professionally involved in music through her marriage in 1959 to George Wein, the founder of the Newport festivals and chief executive of Festival Productions. Joyce Wein was a vice president of the company from shortly after it was established in the early 1960s to the late 1990s, and remained involved in its operations until her death.

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