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Other notable deaths

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hugh B. Patterson Jr., 91, publisher of The Arkansas Gazette in 1957 when it was thrust into national prominence for its stand against segregated schools during a federal-state confrontation, died Monday in Little Rock, Ark.

By supporting desegregation, The Gazette suffered severe losses in advertising and circulation. It also won two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage.

The Little Rock confrontation was instigated by Gov. Orval E. Faubus, who called out the Arkansas National Guard to block nine black students from enrolling at Central High School. The school board was under a federal court order to desegregate the school.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower eventually sent in troops to enforce the court order and escort the students past a crowd of angry whites.

The newspaper's decision to oppose Mr. Faubus and support desegregation was made largely by Mr. Patterson and Harry S. Ashmore, the executive editor. Its senior owner and editor, J.N. Heiskell, the son of a Confederate colonel under Gen. James Longstreet, was reluctant to go against the South's tradition of racial segregation, even though he disdained the white mobs and segregationist leaders.

Mr. Heiskell, the editor from 1902 until his death in 1972, was Mr. Patterson's father-in-law.

Mr. Patterson once told an interviewer that Mr. Heiskell's reluctance was overcome at a family dinner when Mr. Patterson and his wife, Louise, persuaded him that his grandchildren should not have to grow up in a racially unjust society. For its coverage of the confrontation, The Gazette was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for public service and another for editorials written by Mr. Ashmore, who died in 1998.

The paper also received a Freedom House award. But thousands of readers canceled their subscriptions, and a segregationist group, the Citizens Council, pressed for an advertising boycott. The boycott failed because large advertisers, especially department store owners, refused to honor it.

Unlike most other Southern publishers, who either actively opposed the civil rights movement and the Supreme Court's desegregation efforts or simply kept quiet, Mr. Patterson was part of a small but influential group who bucked generations of history to work for an end to legal segregation.

The Gazette under Mr. Patterson's financial leadership not only recovered its losses but went on to set Arkansas records in circulation and advertising. In addition, it became a magnet for bright young journalists.

Mr. Patterson left The Gazette shortly after he and the Heiskell family sold it to Gannett Co. in 1986. He became bitterly critical of Gannett's ownership. Founded in 1819, The Gazette was closed in 1991 and merged with its politically conservative rival, The Arkansas Democrat, after years of fierce competition.

Ted Berkman, 92, a screenwriter and author whose film credits include Bedtime for Bonzo and Fear Strikes Out, died of cancer May 12 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Mr. Berkman worked as a photo assignment editor at the New York Mirror, Middle East chief of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service and as an ABC radio correspondent in the Middle East.

In 1962, he wrote Cast a Giant Shadow: The Story of Mickey Marcus, Who Died to Save Jerusalem, a best-selling biography of the West Point graduate who was a military adviser to Israel during the 1948 War of Independence. Kirk Douglas starred in a 1966 film based on the book.

His 1969 book, Sabra, focused on a dozen Israeli fighters in the 1967 Six Day War.

Mr. Berkman's screen credits included co-writing the story for the 1951 comedy Bedtime for Bonzo, which is remembered for its star, Ronald Reagan. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1957 film Fear Strikes Out, which starred Anthony Perkins and was based on professional baseball player Jimmy Piersall's book about his mental illness.

Shohei Imamura, 79, an award-winning Japanese movie director, died of liver cancer Tuesday at a Tokyo hospital, a Japanese film directors' group said. He was 79.

Born in Tokyo, Mr. Imamura won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival for The Ballad of Narayama (1958) and another for The Eel (1997).

He was the fourth director, after Francis Coppola, Bille August, and Emir Kusturica, to win two Palmes d'or.

Ted Herbert, 90, whose Big Band was a New England favorite during World War II and a swinging reminder of that era until a decade ago, died Saturday night at his home in Manchester, N.H., the Boston Globe reported.

"When I think of Ted, I think of live music. That's what he was really about," said Jean Gearty, a singer with the band for three years, starting at age 15. ''He just knew how to set the tempo for dancing at different times of the night."

The house band at the Hampton Beach Ballroom and Casino for a quarter-century after World War II and a headlining act at the top dance clubs in New England, the Ted Herbert Big Band featured Mr. Herbert on alto sax.

Born Thaddeus Piaseczny, Mr. Herbert started playing the violin as part of therapy to heal a broken arm. In his early teens, he switched to the saxophone and clarinet. He started his band in 1939, taking the stage name Herbert, based on his mother's maiden name, Herbut, because his manager warned him his real name would limit him to polka jobs, said his son, Thaddeus Piaseczny.

A veteran of World War II, Mr. Herbert participated in 68 combat landings in the Pacific, including the battle for Leyte Island in the Philippines. He later became a musical conductor for dances and USO shows and played for two of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's birthday celebrations in Australia.

He later operated a well-known music store and taught music in Manchester. Two years ago, his family sold the store to the Music and Arts Centers of Frederick in Maryland.

The Ted Herbert Big Band played its last official gig in 1991, but he came out of retirement six years later to hold a benefit at the Palace Theater. "Ted Herbert, One More Time" raised $20,000 for a scholarship in memory of a high school music teacher.

Cheikha Rimitti, 83, who popularized a taboo-defying form of Algerian pop music -- called rai -- and sang boldly of sexuality, alcoholism and oppression, died of heart failure May 15 in Paris, her recording house announced.

Two days before she died, she performed at the Zenith concert hall in the French capital.

Orphaned at an early age, Ms. Rimitti -- whose real name was Saadia -- became a troubadour with a traveling musical group at age 20. Illiterate, she memorized her songs.

She helped pioneer rai music in the 1940s, singing about sexuality, alcoholism, colonial oppression and other taboos. Rai, pronounced "rye," means opinion in Arabic. The Algerian government banned her songs in the 1960s, but bootleg recordings circulated. She immigrated to France in 1978.

She recorded her first album in 1952, and her most recent one, N'Ta Goudami, was released in November. World music aficionados rediscovered her in the 1990s, and in 1994 she released an album with Robert Fripp, from King Crimson, and Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

John Nevin, 79, a former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. chief executive who trimmed 60,000 jobs from the struggling company and arranged its sale to Japan's Bridgestone Corp., died of an apparent heart attack May 23 at his home in suburban Chicago.

He worked for Standard Oil and Ford Motor Co. and later joined Zenith Radio Corp. in Chicago, where he became CEO. He was hired to revive a nearly bankrupt Firestone in 1979.

He moved the corporate headquarters from Akron, Ohio, to Chicago in 1987 and helped engineer the company's sale to Bridgestone in 1988. He spent more than 10 years at Firestone and retired as chairman in January 1990.

Desmond Dekker, 64, who brought the sound of Jamaican ska music to the world with hits such as "Israelites," died Thursday after he collapsed from an apparent heart attack at his home in England.

His 1969 song "Israelites," a Top 10 single in Britain and the United States, was the first international hit produced by Jamaica's vibrant music scene. With its haunting vocals and irresistible rhythm, it introduced the world to ska, a precursor to reggae.

Mr. Dekker worked as a welder in Kingston before signing with Leslie Kong's Beverley's record label and releasing his first single, "Honor Your Father and Your Mother," in 1963. It was followed by Jamaican hits including "King of Ska." Some of his most popular songs celebrated the culture of violent street toughs, or "rude boys." The songs made Mr. Dekker a hero of British youth, and he moved to the country in the 1970s.

James Carey, 71, a journalism scholar and teacher who studied the interactions among journalism, mass media, culture and democracy, died of complications from emphysema May 23 in South Kingstown, R.I.

He was the dean of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois for 13 years. He joined Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1990, where he was the CBS professor of international journalism.

During his career, he wrote three books and more than 100 essays and articles on mass communications and journalism. He also served on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute, a think tank for journalism in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Marshall Fishwick, 82, a professor and pioneer in the study of popular culture, died of complications from a blood disease May 22 at his home in Blacksburg, Va.

He co-founded the Popular Culture Association in the late 1960s and published hundreds of works. He began his teaching career at Washington and Lee University in 1949. He taught at Lincoln University and Temple University before going to Virginia Tech in 1976. He retired from there in 2003.

Best-selling author Tom Wolfe, a student of Mr. Fishwick's at Washington and Lee, called him the best professor and "most magnetic teacher" he ever had.

Joe Halberstein, 83, who earned a reputation as a calm, unflappable man willing to get personally involved in the story throughout his long career in the newspaper business, died Monday at his home in Falls Township, Pa.

Mr. Halberstein's death was reported by the Bucks County Courier Times, where he worked as the local columnist from 1975 to 2003.

"Joe was just a throwback to the golden days where it was OK for a reporter to get involved. He spoke the voice of the average reader. He touched a lot of people," former Courier Times publisher Arthur Mayhew said. "He was a hard worker and did so many things so well over such a long period of time. To many readers of our newspaper, he was the newspaper."

Born in Piqua, Ohio, Mr. Halberstein earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University in 1944. He worked in Florida at the Gainesville Sun from 1955 to 1971, first as wire editor and then as sports editor, and also had jobs with the Wilmington (Del.) Sunday Star; the Town and Village weekly paper in New York City; and two Ohio newspapers, Lima News and Columbus Citizen.

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