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Milestones Dec. 9, 2002

3 minute read
Harriet Barovick, Elizabeth L. Bland and Sean Gregory

DIED. HARRIET DOERR, 92, Lyrical, Award-Winning Author Who downplayed her social status as heiress to a railroad fortune and won a devoted critical and commercial following with three books, all published after she turned 73; in Pasadena, Calif. Known for her sharply beautiful, economical prose–she could labor over a sentence for an hour–Doerr based much of her writing on time spent with her family in Mexico, where her husband ran a mining business. She returned to college at 65 on a dare from her son, studied creative writing and went on to publish the 1984 novel Stones for Ibarra, which won the American Book Award; another novel, Consider This, Senora; and an essay collection, The Tiger in the Grass.

HOSPITALIZED. ZSA ZSA GABOR, 85, Hungarian grande dame famous for her eight marriages, fewer good movie roles and a 1989 conviction for slapping a Beverly Hills, Calif., cop; in serious condition after suffering a head injury in a car crash; in Los Angeles.

DIED. GEORGE CHRISTIAN, 75, last press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson; of lung cancer; in Austin, Texas. Johnson called Christian–a loyal, easygoing fellow Texan–“unflappable George,” while others labeled him a yes-man. Still, he won admiration for his evenhanded treatment of reporters, whether friend or foe.

DIED. KAREL REISZ, 76, Czech-born pioneer of the 1960s British New Wave, whose influential films of the period included Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Morgan!; of a blood disorder; in London. He also directed the Oscar-nominated film adaptation of John Fowles’ novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

DIED. JOHN RAWLS, 81, gentle giant of liberalism, who changed the study of political philosophy from one of logic and science to one concerned primarily with social and moral justice; in Lexington, Mass. The longtime Harvard professor’s 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, revived the idea–promoted by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau but abandoned for much of the 20th century–of the social contract: the idea that society should be built on a mutually beneficial agreement among its members. His views on ethics and the rights of individuals have influenced the debate on affirmative action, welfare and assisted suicide.

DIED. EUGENE ROSTOW, 89, former dean of Yale Law School, who served under four Presidents, including Ronald Reagan; in Alexandria, Va. As Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Johnson Administration, he was part of a group of influential Democrats deeply affected by World War II who strongly defended U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

DIED. GEORGE BARRIE, 90, artistic former owner and CEO of Faberge who pioneered the use of celebrities in marketing, famously employing Joe Namath, Farrah Fawcett and Margaux Hemingway to promote perfume and hair-care products; in Aventura, Fla. He created the best-selling scent Brut and also co-wrote songs with Sammy Cahn, two of which were nominated for Academy Awards.

DIED. ROBERTO MATTA ECHAURREN, 91, Chilean surrealist known as Matta, whose hallucinatory paintings heavily influenced such artists as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko; in Tarquinia, Italy. His eerie mutants and globs of clashing color were, he said, “the subconscious in its burning, liquid state.

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