• U.S.

Milestones, Dec. 24, 1979

3 minute read

SEEKING DIVORCE. Christina Onassis, 29, poor-little-rich Greek shipping heiress; and her third husband, Sergei Kauzov, 38, former functionary for a Soviet ship-chartering bureau; on the grounds of irreconcilable differences; after 16 months of marriage; in Athens. Said an Onassis family friend: “Christina was beginning to get rather bored.”

DIED. Alfred Cardinal Bengsch, 58, Bishop of Berlin—both East and West—and leader of East Germany’s 1.2 million Roman Catholics; of a hemorrhage during treatment for cancer; in East Berlin. The son of a Berlin postal official, Bengsch was named bishop of the divided city and its environs in August 1961, three days after the erection of the Berlin Wall. A conservative theologian who steered clear of politics, he was given special permission by East German authorities to cross the Wall three days a month to minister to his West Berlin flock; later he was allowed 30 days in every three-month period. In 1967 Bengsch became the first East German to wear a Cardinal’s red hat—a promotion that reflected Pope Paul VI’s quiet Ostpolitik

DIED. Jon Hall, 66, he-man actor who “was swept to stardom in The Hurricane, a 1937 spectacular that also helped launch Dorothy Lamour; of gunshot wounds that apparently were self-inflicted; in Sher man Oaks, Calif. A champion swimmer who grew up in Tahiti, Hall was best known for portraying loincloth-clad is landers and bare-chested sheiks (Arabian Nights).

DIED. Carlo Schmid, 83, grand old man of West Germany’s Social Democratic Party; of cancer, in Bonn. After serving as a legal adviser in the German military government in France during World War II, the portly law and political science scholar was active in state government and emerged as one of the founders of the German Federal Republic. In 1948 he headed his party’s delegation to the parliamentary council that drafted the nation’s Basic Law. A year later he was elected a charter member of the Bundestag and served as its Vice President for 20 years before retiring in 1972. Co ordinator of programs under the 1963 Franco-German Reconciliation Agreement from 1969 until his death, Schmid bitterly regretted his late entry into statecraft: “I believed earlier that one should stay away from politics because one could so easily be dirtied. Then the Third Reich arrived, and I asked myself: Who is actually responsible?”

DIED. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 84, Roman Catholic prelate whose compelling sermons were heard by millions of Americans on evening radio in the 1930s and ’40s and on national prime-time television in the ’50s; of heart disease; in New York City.

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