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Obituaries

Saturday, February 21, 2009

J. Max Bond Jr. Architect

J. Max Bond Jr., 73, the architect who designed the Sept. 11 memorial museum in Manhattan and the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s tomb, died of cancer Feb. 18 in New York.

Mr. Bond, one of the nation's leading black architects, was an associate architect for the memorial to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and principal designer of the below-grade museum under construction at Ground Zero.

He led the Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem before founding his firm, Davis Brody Bond Aedas. The committee built the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, where the civil rights leader is buried. His other works includes the Studio Museum of Harlem.

Sigurdur Helgason Icelandair Chief Executive

Sigurdur Helgason, 87, the Icelandic airline executive who pioneered cheap flights that carried legions of backpackers between Europe and the United States in the 1960s and '70s, died Feb. 8 on Mustique, a tiny private island in the Caribbean. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Helgason, a Reykjavik native, was chief executive of Icelandair from 1974 to 1984 and then chairman of the board until 1991. He previously ran Icelandic Airlines' U.S. operation in New York when it gained a following among 20-somethings for its cheap flights to Luxembourg via Iceland. Icelandic merged with another airline in 1973 to become Icelandair, the country's flagship carrier.

Boris Yavitz Business School Dean

Boris Yavitz, 85, who helped restore Columbia University's business school to the upper ranks of graduate programs as dean from 1975 to 1982, died Feb. 14 at his home in Hampton Bays, N.Y., of prostate cancer.

Dr. Yavitz was named to lead Columbia Business School after a chaotic period that included student uprisings in 1968 and that produced divisions within the business school faculty over promotion and tenure.

After a series of unsuccessful deans who had been appointed from outside academia, Columbia's president, William J. McGill, was urged by faculty members to appoint someone from within the business school. He chose Dr. Yavitz, who had been a popular professor since 1964, specializing in business strategy.

After stepping down as dean, Dr. Yavitz was the Paul Garrett professor emeritus of public policy and business responsibility.

He was born in Tbilisi, in what is now Georgia, and was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States. He received his doctorate from Columbia Business School in 1964, then joined the school's faculty. He was a director and deputy chairman of the New York Federal Reserve from 1977 to 1982.

Robert Robideau American Indian Activist

Robert Robideau, 61, an American Indian activist who was acquitted of killing two FBI agents in a 1975 shootout in South Dakota, died Feb. 17 in Spain. He had been living in Barcelona. Authorities there said his death might have been related to seizures caused by shrapnel left in his head from an accidental explosion.

Mr. Robideau, a native of Portland, Ore., was a member of the American Indian Movement who occupied the reservation town of Wounded Knee, S.D., for 71 days in 1973.

In June 1975, two FBI agents followed a man wanted in the theft of a pair of cowboy boots onto the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The agents soon came under heavy rifle fire and were killed.

The FBI identified Mr. Robideau's cousin Leonard Peltier as a suspect in the shooting and placed him on its most wanted list. Months later, Mr. Robideau was driving Peltier's station wagon through Kansas with other AIM members when ammunition in the car accidentally exploded.

Mr. Robideau, who was seriously injured, was arrested and tried for the FBI agent killings, but he was acquitted. Peltier was convicted. Mr. Robideau later became a painter, concentrating on tribal themes. He served as director of the American Indian Movement Museum in Barcelona, which displayed some of his paintings.

-- From News Services

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