• U.S.

Milestones Jul. 5, 2004

3 minute read
Carolina A. Miranda, Jonathan Rick, Elizabeth Sampson and Sora Song

AILING. MARY-KATE OLSEN, 18, former child star who, with her fraternal twin sister Ashley, helms a billion-dollar entertainment and fashion empire; from an eating disorder. The once healthy 5-ft. 2-in. tween queen has recently become startlingly frail, and was admitted to an undisclosed treatment facility.

CHARGED. JASON SMATHERS, 24, former America Online software engineer, and SEAN DUNAWAY, 21, e-mail marketer; with conspiracy, for allegedly stealing and selling the entire list of 92 million AOL user names for purposes of spam; in New York City. Prosecutors say Smathers used another employee’s identification code to access the master list of subscriber e-mails and sold it for at least $100,000 to Dunaway, who is accused of using it to promote his Internet gambling site.

RESIGNED. THEODORE OLSON, 63, attorney who successfully represented presidential candidate George W. Bush before the Supreme Court during the 2000 Florida recount case; as U.S. Solicitor General. Olson, whose wife died aboard a hijacked plane on Sept. 11, also vociferously defended the Bush Administration’s aggressive legal measures against terrorism.

RESIGNED. JOHN ROWLAND, 47, Connecticut’s youngest ever Governor, amid impeachment proceedings and allegations that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts from state contractors and gubernatorial aides. He fought to stay in office, even as evidence from a federal inquiry mounted against him and polls showed that the public wanted him to step down. Shortly after the state supreme court ruled that he could be compelled to testify before the impeachment committee, he resigned.

DIED. MATTIE J.T. STEPANEK, 13, upbeat poet and champion of world peace who sold millions of books and enchanted even more people with spirited appearances on TV shows like Oprah and Good Morning America; of muscular dystrophy; in Washington. Mattie, who counted former President Jimmy Carter as a friend, published five books of poetry and was an ever cheerful advocate of muscular dystrophy awareness. He had a rare form of the disease, which impeded his breathing, heart rate and digestion and confined him to a wheelchair. The same disease killed his three elder siblings.

DIED. AL LAPIN JR., 76, entrepreneurial coffee-cart operator who, with his younger brother Jerry, co-founded the chalet-style International House of Pancakes chain of restaurants; of cancer; in Los Angeles. He built the first blue-roofed IHOP in Los Angeles in 1958 and turned the business into a $40 million conglomerate by 1970. But three years later, a recession and tightened credit forced him to sell his stake for a mere $50,000.

DIED. THOMAS GOLD, 84, subversive astrophysicist whose brilliant and often heretical scientific theories dealt with everything from the mechanics of the human ear to the origin of the universe; in Ithaca, N.Y. In 1948, with fellow physicists Fred Hoyle and Hermann Bondi, he proposed the steady-state theory of cosmology, which suggested that the universe is constantly producing matter and infinitely expanding. This philosophy, which flew in the face of the more widely held Big Bang theory, was elegant but ultimately proved flawed. Gold’s daring explanation of pulsars, however–that they are rapidly spinning neutron stars–was a winner.

DIED. CLAYTON KIRKPATRICK, 89, pioneering editor of the Chicago Tribune; in Glen Ellyn, Ill. When he took over the paper in 1969, Kirkpatrick wrote in an editorial, “No political party should take the Tribune for granted.” Under his 10-year reign, the Tribune dropped its partisan Republican stance and became an objective, nationally respected publication.

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