• U.S.

Milestones Nov. 28, 2005

4 minute read
Melissa August, Elizabeth L. Bland, Clayton Neuman, Harriet Barovick and Logan Orlando

MARRIED. PRINCESS SAYAKO, 36, only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, and her childhood friend, urban planner YOSHIKI KURODA, 40; in a small ceremony attended by their families; in Tokyo. In preparation for her new life–it’s the first time an Emperor’s daughter has wed a commoner–she took driving lessons and practiced supermarket shopping.

FOUND LIABLE. ROBERT BLAKE, 72, irascible TV actor of Baretta fame; in the wrongful-death civil suit filed by relatives of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, who in 2001 was shot to death outside a restaurant in Studio City, Calif.; eight months after being acquitted of murder charges in a criminal trial; by a jury in Burbank, Calif. Blake was ordered to pay Bakley’s four children $30 million.

DIED. VINE DELORIA, 72, sardonic scholar widely regarded as the century’s most influential Native American thinker, writer and activist; of complications from an aortic aneurysm; in Denver. In more than 20 books, most famously the 1969 manifesto Custer Died for Your Sins, the Standing Rock Sioux debunked stereotypes and articulated the legitimacy of Native American intellectual and spiritual beliefs, once noting, “We have brought the white man a long way.”

DIED. ADRIAN ROGERS, 74, three-term president of the 16 million–member Southern Baptist Convention, who engineered conservatives’ takeover of the group, which became a model for the Christian right; of double pneumonia and colon cancer; in Memphis. After Rogers promoted the doctrine of inerrancy–or literal truth of the Bible–the convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., boycotted the Walt Disney Co. because of its nondiscrimination policies toward gays and lesbians and declared that wives should “graciously submit” to their husbands.

DIED. PRESTON ROBERT TISCH, 79, philanthropic financier and co-owner of the New York Giants who with his brother and longtime business partner Laurence built a group of hotels into the Loews Corp., one of the nation’s largest conglomerates; in New York City. As the outgoing half of the fraternal duo, Bob Tisch, who once served as U.S. Postmaster General, is credited with inventing the “power breakfast,” originally a meeting of corporate and civic leaders who gathered at his Regency hotel in the 1970s to help solve New York City’s economic woes. Later he boosted tourism as chairman for 19 years of the city’s visitors’ bureau.

DIED. HENRY TAUBE, 89, Stanford University chemist whose studies of how electrons move between molecules during chemical reactions illuminated the workings of such important processes as photosynthesis and engine combustion and won him the 1983 Nobel Prize; in Palo Alto, Calif.

DIED. RALPH EDWARDS, 92, radio and TV pioneer dubbed the “godfather” of reality programming; in Los Angeles. As a staff announcer for CBS radio, he pitched a show around a childhood game that in 1940 gave rise to the decades-long hit Truth or Consequences. But he was most famous for another radio show he brought to TV, in 1952. On This Is Your Life, each program surprised a guest with live reminiscences from loved ones and shrewdly capitalized on the new medium’s capacity for intimacy, chronicling riveting, often weepy stories of the famous (Buster Keaton, Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe) and sometimes the less famous (Holocaust survivor Hanna Bloch Kohner). More recently, he developed such shows as Name That Tune and The People’s Court, the pop-culture phenomenon that in 1981 made California judge Joseph Wapner a household name.

DIED. WILLIAM BRYANT, 94, trailblazing D.C. lawyer who became the first black chief judge of a U.S. federal district court; in Washington. One of the first black Assistant U.S. Attorneys, he was appointed to the federal bench by Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Strikingly gracious despite having endured virulent racism early in his career, he was modest, averse to media attention and passionate about the ability of lawyers to achieve justice. If not for lawyers, he once said, “I’d still be three-fifths of a man.”

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