• U.S.

Milestones, Jul. 5, 1976

2 minute read

Died. Kermit Gordon, 59, president of the Brookings Institution and onetime director of the Bureau of the Budget (1962-65); of a heart attack; in Washington, D.C. A Rhodes scholar who got his A.B. from Swarthmore, Gordon was teaching economics at Williams College when President Kennedy invited him to serve on his Council of Economic Advisers in 1961. Immediately after Kennedy’s assassination, Gordon set to work “for 30 days and 30 nights” to help President Johnson review the cost of every Government program, and became one of his key advisers. Pragmatic, idealistic and whimsical, Gordon in 1967 was named president of the Brookings Institution but continued to serve on several Government panels, including Nixon’s Federal Pay Board in 1972.

Died. Johnny Mercer, 66, onetime mellow-voiced blues crooner, four-time Oscar-winning lyricist; after a long illness and brain surgery; in Bel Air, Calif. As a lyricist, Mercer had a knack for turning the vernacular into such enduring pop songs as Jeepers Creepers, Lazybones, That Old Black Magic and Moon River.

Died. Minor White, 67, photographer whose dramatic landscapes, writings and teaching (at numerous workshops and at M.I.T.) made him one of the most influential artists of his generation; of a heart attack; in Boston. Intending first to become a poet, White continued to write blank verse to accompany his photographs. His goal, he explained, was to get “from the tangible to the intangible,” and he considered his closeups of rocks, driftwood and swirling water “inner landscapes,” metaphors for his states of mind. His groups of related photographs, or “sequences,” were meant to be apprehended as one work, like a succession of movie stills.

Died. DeHart Hubbard, 72, running broad jumper who in 1924 became the first black American to win an Olympic gold medal; following a virus infection; in Cleveland. ∙

Died. Imogen Cunningham, 93, photographer whose work spans eight decades; of a heart attack; in San Francisco. Cunningham got started with a correspondence course in photography as a high school student, opened her own portrait studio in 1910 and kept on track as a young mother in the 1920s, photographing the flowers in her garden. Her portraits, nudes, surrealistic juxtapositions and sensual studies of plants have been seen in scores of shows. She won a Guggenheim fellowship when she was 86 and was still working this year.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com