• U.S.

Milestones, Nov. 18, 1974

2 minute read

Divorced. Jackie Gleason, 58, TV comic whose role as Bus Driver Ralph Kramden became a classic; and Beverly McKittrick, 42, his former secretary; after four years of marriage—his second —no children; in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Died. Julian Ormsby Gore, 33, son of Britain’s Lord Harlech and archetypal playboy of London’s swinging, kinky ’60s; apparently by his own hand (gunshot); in London. Ormsby Gore, who worked as a waiter and male model, was found by his sister Alice, 22, in his silver-painted West London apartment, a .22-cal. pistol lying by his hand.

Died. Alexander Mordecai Bickel, 49, distinguished constitutional lawyer and Yale Law professor; of cancer; in New Haven. A native of Bucharest, Rumania, Bickel emigrated to New York in 1939, manned a machine gun with the U.S. infantry in Italy and France and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School after the war. Later he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, who molded his approach to the law. Politically liberal, Bickel backed Robert Kennedy for President in 1968 and defended the New York Times in the Pentagon papers case in 1971, but often stunned liberal friends with his judicially conservative critiques of the Warren Court. Bickel held that the court’s decisions on school integration and one man-one vote reapportionment usurped legislative power.

Died. Fernanda Wanamaker Leas, 52, millionheiress and socialite; of pneumonia; in Manhattan. Great-granddaughter of John Wanamaker, pioneer department store merchandiser, she was a successful retailer in her own right. Twice divorced, she was reportedly undergoing treatment for alcoholism when she fell from the fifth floor of her Manhattan apartment two months ago, suffering numerous fractures. She was recovering in Lenox Hill Hospital when pneumonia set in.

Died. John C. Farrar, 78, editor and publisher; after a long illness; in Manhattan. In 1929, Farrar teamed with Stanley Rinehart (son of Mystery Writer Mary Roberts Rinehart) to found one of the most successful publishing houses of the era. Among their bestsellers: Hervey Allen’s huge 1933 novel Anthony Adverse, which sold over 2 million hard-cover copies. After World War II, Farrar joined Roger Straus Jr. to form a new firm that became Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Throughout his career, Farrar remained committed to popular literature. “I like a good story,” he once said, “and I’m bored by a dull, pretentious book, no matter what scholarly cloak it wears.”

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