Obituaries in the news

AP News
Posted: Nov 12, 2009 3:38 AM

Carl Ballantine

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Carl Ballantine, a comedian, magician and actor who was in the 1960s TV sitcom "McHale's Navy," has died. He was 92.

His daughter says he died Nov. 3 in his sleep at his home in the Hollywood Hills.

Ballantine, who was born Meyer Kessler in Chicago, switched from straight magic to comedy in the 1940s. He would fumble tricks while joking with the audience. He appeared in Las Vegas, in nightclubs and on TV variety shows, including "The Tonight Show."

Steve Martin says Ballantine influenced him and a generation of magicians and comedians.

Ballantine was crewman Lester Gruber in "McHale's Navy" and had roles in several other TV shows and movies.

He also did voiceovers in many cartoons and commercials.


William Ganz

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Dr. William Ganz, a pioneering cardiologist and one of the inventors of a specialized catheter, has died. He was 90.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center released a statement Wednesday saying Ganz died of natural causes Tuesday in Los Angeles.

In 1970, Ganz and Dr. H.J.C. Swan invented a balloon-tipped catheter which measures heart function and blood flow in critically ill patients. The Swan-Ganz Catheter is still used by physicians across the world.

The hospital says Ganz also experimented with treating heart attacks by dissolving coronary artery blood clots in the early 1980s

He was born in Slovakia, educated in Prague and escaped Communist Hungary to move to Los Angeles with his family in 1966. He is survived by his two sons who are both doctors.


Henry Kimelman

MIAMI (AP) _ Henry Kimelman, whose fundraising and support for Sen. George McGovern in the 1972 presidential campaign earned him a spot on President Richard Nixon's "enemies list," has died. He was 88.

Kimelman died Monday of heart failure at his home in West Palm Beach, his son Donald said Wednesday.

Henry Kimelman turned to politics after building a business career in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was chief of staff for Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall during the final year of the Johnson administration. During his time in Washington, he befriended Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota.

Kimelman encouraged McGovern to pursue the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination and became the senator's chief fundraiser. Kimelman's his house in Washington was the scene where the campaign told Sen. Thomas Eagleton that he could not continue to be McGovern's running mate after it was revealed he had received electroshock treatment for depression, Donald Kimelman said.

His support for McGovern landed him on Nixon's notorious "enemies list" of 200 political opponents.

President Jimmy Carter named Kimelman ambassador to Haiti in 1980, during the regime of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.


John J. O'Connor III

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ John J. O'Connor III, the husband of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, has died.

The court said that O'Connor, 79, died Wednesday in Phoenix of complications arising from Alzheimer's disease.

John O'Connor, himself a lawyer, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly two decades ago. His condition deteriorated markedly in mid-decade and when she announced her retirement in 2005, the justice cited the need to care her husband.

The O'Connors were married in 1952 and became a leading couple on Washington's social scene when they moved from Arizona in 1981 following her confirmation as the first woman on the Supreme Court.

Following her retirement, Sandra O'Connor made public her family's battle with Alzheimer's and became a vocal supporter of additional money for Alzheimer's research.

John O'Connor had practiced law in Phoenix for nearly a quarter century before his wife's ascension to the Supreme Court. He continued his work in Washington, also providing support and reassurance to a new justice in a historic role. O'Connor also had legendary skill as a teller of humorous stories, often delivered in expert dialect.

The O'Connors met as students at Stanford University's law school, where another student at the time was the future chief justice, William Rehnquist. They were married at the Lazy B Ranch in southeastern Arizona, her childhood home.