Milestones

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DEPARTMENT

DIED For decades, Estelle Getty’s career floundered as she struggled to land the role that could catapult her to stardom. By snagging the part of Sophia Petrillo, the octogenarian mother of Bea Arthur’s character on The Golden Girls, Getty caught her break. Though she was almost rejected for being too young, Getty infused the motormouthed Sophia with energy and biting wit, earning an Emmy during the show’s seven-year run. Getty later capitalized on her popularity by playing the big-screen mother of stars like Cher and Sylvester Stallone. She was 84.

The former chief of Croatia’s brutal Jasenovac concentration camp, Dinko Sakic fled to Argentina at the end of World War II. There he resided until his capture in 1998; the following year, a court in Zagreb, Croatia, convicted him for his role in the torture and killing of inmates under his authority. When his guilty verdict was announced, the unremorseful Sakic responded with mock applause. The last known living World War II camp commander until his death on July 20, Sakic was 86.

From meager beginnings as a copyboy, Jerome Holtzman worked his way up, becoming “the Dean” of American baseball writers. A Chicago-based reporter and a columnist for the Sporting News, Holtzman made contributions to the game far beyond the press box. He penned an Encyclopaedia Britannica item on America’s pastime and invented the statistic now known as the “save,” which is the yardstick by which a relief pitcher’s ability to preserve leads is measured. It was baseball’s first new official stat since “runs batted in” was introduced in 1920. Holtzman, who won entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 and was later named the game’s official historian, was 82.

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