• U.S.

Milestones Aug. 28, 1995

2 minute read

RECOVERING. MICHAEL STIPE, 35, singer; from a hernia operation. R.E.M.’s frontman learned of his condition just before a recent concert in Prague by the surgery-prone band (the drummer had an aneurysm fixed in March). Well, everybody hurts sometimes: Stipe warbled through the Prague show anyway, then flew to Atlanta for the procedure.

DIED. ALISON HARGREAVES, 33, Scottish mountaineer; on K2, in Pakistan. The first woman to scale Everest without using oxygen, Hargreaves was hit by an avalanche on the world’s second-highest peak .

DIED. JOHN CAMERON SWAYZE, 89, newscaster turned pitchman; in Sarasota, Florida. Swayze found fame in 1949 “hopscotching the world for headlines” on Camel News Caravan, a network-news prototype. The Kansan later attained pop icondom hawking Timex watches, the ones that would “take a licking and keep on ticking.”

DIED. OVETA CULP HOBBY, 90, public servant and newspaper executive; in Houston. No job was too big for the “Little Colonel,” who in 1941 rose from co-managing the Houston Post to commanding the Women’s Army Corps. She was appointed the nation’s first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in 1953; her resignation two years later prompted Treasury Secretary George Humphrey to gasp, “What? The best man in the Cabinet?”

DIED. HOWARD KOCH, 93, screenwriter; in Woodstock, New York. A lawyer, Koch wrote radio plays for Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre, notably 1938’s panic-provoking War of the Worlds broadcast. His fine craft illuminated film scripts for Casablanca (1942), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) and-notoriously-the Soviet-friendly Mission to Moscow in 1943. Though not a communist, Koch was blacklisted in the 1950s. He outlived his vilifiers, enduring with grace and grit worthy of Bogart’s Rick.

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