King Malietoa Tanumafili II, 94
Monarch of Samoa
King Malietoa Tanumafili II of Samoa, one of the world's longest-reigning monarchs, died Friday, the prime minister's office said Saturday.
King Malietoa had sat on the Samoan throne since the country, which lies west of the U.S. territory of American Samoa, gained independence from New Zealand in 1962.
That made him the world's third-longest-reigning living monarch after Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned since 1946, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the throne in 1952.
Many American Samoans considered him to be the father of the two Samoas, and he was a frequent visitor to the territory's annual Flag Day festivities.
The king succeeded to the Malietoa title in 1940, when his father passed away. He was appointed an adviser to the New Zealand governor in Samoa that year.
King Malietoa was made the joint head of state with Tupua Tamasese Meaole when Samoa gained independence in 1962, and he became sole head of state a year later when Mr. Tupua Tamasese died.
He held the post for life. His successor, however, will be elected by the legislature to a five-year term as stipulated in the Samoan constitution.
JAMES E. SLOSSON, 84 Earthquake expert
James E. Slosson, who helped create the California commission that advises lawmakers on reducing earthquake dangers, died of congestive heart failure April 28, said his daughter-in-law, Lynn Slosson.
Mr. Slosson was state geologist and chief of the Division of Mines and Geology from 1973 to 1975. He was part of a team that developed basic procedures for promoting seismic safety.
He also helped develop and pass a 1975 act that created the California Seismic Safety Commission.