John Dortch Lewis

Wartime Pilot

John Dortch Lewis, 84, the U.S. airman whose repeated attempts to escape a Nazi prisoner of war camp inspired actor Steve McQueen's character in the classic World War II movie "The Great Escape," died Aug. 8 at his home in Goldsboro, N.C. He had pancreatic cancer and emphysema.

Caught three times attempting to escape the German-controlled Stalag Luft III prison camp before finally breaking free on a fourth try, Mr. Lewis told a close friend he came to prefer being locked up in the prison "cooler" because it gave him time to think up his next escape attempt.

Mr. Lewis had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, for which he flew the Hawker Hurricane fighter, before this country entered the war. After Pearl Harbor, he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces. He was shot down over North Africa and eluded the Nazis for two weeks before capture.

Mildred F. Lane


Mildred F. Lane, 96, who looked inside a "big fluffy bun" while another woman asked "Where's the beef?" died Aug. 7 in New Hope, Minn. She died of injuries she received in a fall.

When Ms. Lane was 80, an advertising agent discovered her while buying yarn in a Chicago knitting shop. She appeared in commercials for Rhodes Bread before doing spots for the Wendy's restaurant chain.

In her most famous commercial, filmed in the mid-1980s, Ms. Lane wore bifocals and stood between two other women. The trio criticized other hamburger restaurants, with one asking: "Where's the beef?"

Earle M. Jorgensen

`Kitchen Cabinet' Member

Earle M. Jorgensen, 101, a California steel entrepreneur who was the last surviving member of Gov. Ronald Reagan's (R-Calif.) "kitchen cabinet," died Aug. 11 at his home in Los Angeles. The cause of death was not reported.

He and his wife, Marion, were close friends of the Reagans for more than 40 years. Mr. Jorgensen was among a small group of Reagan advisers who urged the former movie star to run for governor, and then for the presidency.

Mr. Jorgensen sold steel to California's burgeoning oil, aircraft and construction industries from the 1920s to the 1990s. The company he founded in 1921, now called EMJ Co., grew to sales of more than $1 billion a year.

Whitney Darrow Jr.

New Yorker Cartoonist

Whitney Darrow Jr., 89, who published more than 1,500 cartoons in the New Yorker magazine during a 50-year career that started in the 1930s, died Aug. 10 in Shelburne, Vt. The cause of death was not reported.

He published four collections of his cartoons and also illustrated books by Jean Kerr, Nathanial Benchley and many others.

One of his favorite cartoons was inspired by the advent of Laundromats. He drew a woman in a busy Laundromat washing clothes, including those she'd been wearing. Naked, she stares in amazement as the newfangled machine does her wash.

Jean Drapeau

Montreal Mayor

Jean Drapeau, 83, the autocratic mayor of Montreal for 29 years who brought Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics to his city, died Aug. 12 at a hospital in Montreal. The cause of death was not disclosed.

He served as mayor for all but three years from 1954 until he stepped down in 1986.

Mr. Drapeau maintained an iron control over city hall and a hands-on approach to local problems. He left a civic legacy that includes a new subway system in 1966, major league baseball, Grand Prix racing and the 1967 World's Fair known as Expo 67.

Sir John Hale

British Historian

Sir John Hale, 75, a noted British Renaissance historian who served as chairman of the trustees of the National Gallery from 1974 to 1980 and as a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1984 to 1988, died Aug. 12 in London. He had been in ill health since a 1992 stroke left him unable to speak or write.

Over the years, he had taught at Oxford University and elsewhere, and published such works as "England and the Italian Renaissance," "Renaissance War Studies" and "Artists and Warfare in the Renaissance."

In 1994, the London Evening Standard newspaper wrote: "He was famous for brilliance and the most beguiling charm. He had unsuspected talents: He could make a toothsome steak and oyster suet pudding; he could row a gondola. Since his illness, the brilliance has been in abeyance but the charm is triumphant."

William Arthur Irwin

Canadian Journalist

William Arthur Irwin, 101, the journalist who shaped Maclean's magazine during a quarter-century as editor, died Aug. 9 at his home in Victoria, B.C. The cause of death was not reported.

He began his career as a reporter for the Toronto Mail and Empire and became editor of Maclean's in 1925. He later served as ambassador to Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala. Upon retiring from the diplomatic corps, he returned to journalism as publisher of the Victoria Times in 1964.

Austin Emerson Penn

BGE President

Austin Emerson Penn, 94, a retired president, board chairman and chief executive officer of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., died Aug. 11 at a retirement community in Baltimore. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Penn was a graduate of the Baltimore College of Commerce. He dropped out of high school to join BGE about 1920 and retired in 1969.

Celestine Sibley


Celestine Sibley, 85, the author of more than 25 books, including the Kate Mulcay mystery series, who had been a reporter and columnist with the Atlanta Constitution since 1941, died of cancer Aug. 15 near Apalachicola, Fla.

She covered politics, the courts and the Georgia legislature before shifting to what she called "personal stuff" in her newspaper column, which featured essays on Southern culture.