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Of Note

Thursday, March 17, 2011; 5:31 PM

James C. Tyree
Chicago businessman

James C. Tyree, 53, a Chicago businessman who helped lead the company that owns the Chicago Sun-Times out of bankruptcy, died March 16 at a Chicago hospital of complications from stomach cancer.

In 2009, Mr. Tyree led an investment group that took the Chicago Sun-Times' parent company out of bankruptcy. Sun-Times Media, which also owns dozens of suburban Chicago newspapers and Web sites, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March of that year, after months of cost-cutting measures.

Investors led by Mr. Tyree bought the company for $26.5 million after Conrad Black, the chief executive of the Sun-Times' former owner, Hollinger International, was convicted of siphoning millions of dollars from the business.

Mr. Tyree, a onetime forklift operator, joined Mesirow Financial in 1980. He was named president in 1990 and chief executive in 1992.

Richard B. Wirthlin
pollster

Richard B. Wirthlin, 80, a pollster, adviser and election strategist to President Ronald Reagan during his 1980 and 1984 campaigns, died March 16 in Salt Lake City. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Wirthlin, who taught economics at Brigham Young University in Utah, founded Wirthlin Worldwide, a marketing research, public affairs and communications strategies firm.

In addition to Reagan, he advised presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and other world leaders.

Murray Warmath
football coach

Murray Warmath, 98, who guided the University of Minnesota to a national championship in football and to two back-to-back Rose Bowls, died March 16 in Bloomington, Minn. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Warmath was named coach in 1954 and led the Golden Gophers for 18 seasons. After the team finished in last place in the Big Ten in 1959, angry fans tossed garbage on his front lawn and hanged the coach in effigy.

One year later, Mr. Warmath led Minnesota to a 9-1 record. The Gophers were named national champions in several polls but lost to the University of Washington in the Rose Bowl.

Mr. Warmath, who grew up in Tennessee, was one of the first major-college coaches to recruit African American athletes in large numbers.

One of his players, Sandy Stephens, was among the first black quarterbacks to play for an integrated college team.

With Stephens at quarterback, Minnesota had a combined record of 16-4 in 1960 and 1961 and played in consecutive Rose Bowls.

Under Mr. Warmath's leadership, Minnesota shared the Big Ten title with Purdue and Indiana in 1967. That was the last time Minnesota has won the Big Ten championship.

- News services and staff reports

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