Junior Braithwaite

Wailers Member

Junior Braithwaite, 47, one of the three surviving members of Bob Marley's legendary Wailers reggae group, was shot and killed the night of June 2 in his Kingston, Jamaica, home.

Braithwaite was one of two men shot to death by unidentified gunmen and the second Wailer to die in this manner.

Fellow member Peter Tosh was shot and killed at his Kingston home in 1987. Marley died of cancer in 1981.

Mr. Braithwaite recently had returned to his Caribbean homeland from Chicago, where he had lived for more than 20 years. He had been attempting to revive the singing career that he gave up when he left the Wailers in 1966.

Along with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Beverly Kelso, Mr. Braithwaite formed the original Wailers in Kingston in the early 1960s.

He sang on the group's 1965 breakthrough hit, "It Hurt To Be Alone."

Nathan S. Ancell

Ethan Allen Founder

Nathan S. Ancell, 90, co-founder of Ethan Allen furniture company and pioneer of the concept of selling furniture in room-style settings, died May 30, it was reported in New York. The cause of death was not given.

Mr. Ancell and his brother-in-law, Theodore Baumritter, started their company in the 1930s in Beecher Falls, Vt., out of a bankrupt furniture factory. Its headquarters was eventually moved to Danbury, Conn.

Breaking the tradition of displaying furniture in rows of chairs, tables and beds, Mr. Ancell applied the "gallery concept" of showing furniture in coordinated settings. He succeeded Baumritter as chairman in 1970, handing over management to Farooq Kathwari in 1985. The company was bought by Interco Inc. for $150 million in 1980, and was sold to a management group led by Kathwari in 1989.

Robert Sobel


Robert Sobel, 68, a prolific historian of American business life who wrote or edited more than 50 books and hundreds of articles, died from brain cancer June 2 at his home in Long Beach, N.Y. He was 68.

Mr. Sobel began teaching history at Hofstra University in 1956 and retired a year ago. He wrote on topics ranging from the economic philosophy of President Calvin Coolidge to the influence of junk-bond financier Michael Milken.

His last book, "When Giants Stumble," was recently released. Sobel completed the book as he underwent cancer treatments.

John McKeithen

Louisiana Governor

John McKeithen, 81, a memorable stump speaker who as Louisiana's first two-term governor gave New Orleans the Superdome, died June 3 at Citizens Medical Center in his hometown of Columbia. He had been in declining health since undergoing heart surgery two years ago.

Big John, as he was called, served as governor from 1964 to 1972. A hard-core Democrat, he appointed blacks to state government during the civil rights era and was remembered for his efforts to soothe racial tensions. He was so popular in his first administration that the Legislature passed a law allowing a governor to succeed himself.

In his second term, however, he was drawn into a controversy over allegations of Mafia influence in his administration. No influence was ever proved to have reached McKeithen directly. His administration drew both praise and criticism over the Superdome, which he helped start but which was completed in 1975 after he had been out of office for three years.

Charles Pierce

Female Impersonator

Charles Pierce, 72, the famed female impersonator whose deliciously wicked take-offs of stars such as Bette Davis and Mae West brought him fame in the United States and Europe, died at his North Hollywood home May 31. He had cancer and had suffered a stroke.

Mr. Pierce was dubbed a "male actress" by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen. He preferred to be called an actor rather than a female impersonator. He played clubs and theaters across the United States and in London, where his fans included Sir John Gielgud and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

His "targets," in addition to Davis and West, included Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, Katharine Hepburn and even "Mrs. Olsen" of the TV coffee commercials.