Thomas `Sonny' Shephard


Thomas Wardlaw "Sonny" Shephard, 67, an illustrator and designer whose comic strip "Historia" appeared in 110 newspapers in the 1960s, died Nov. 24 in Rocky River, Ohio, after a heart attack.

He and an associate, Bob Cohn, created "Historia," which satirically combined history and humor.

In 1977, Mr. Shephard formed Lonely Shephard Inc., where he was illustrator, graphic designer and humorist. He also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Pamela Kahn Baca

TV News Producer

Pamela Kahn Baca, 46, an Emmy Award-winning producer of ABC News's "Nightline," died Nov. 18 at her home in Phoenix. She had Pick's disease, a neurological disorder.

Ms. Baca, a Phoenix native and 1975 Boston University graduate, joined "Nightline" in 1981 as an associate producer and went on to cover stories around the world, including the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Falklands War and the Salvadoran civil wars in the mid-1980s.

She received an Emmy Award for programs on the Iranian hostage crisis, then worked as a senior producer for "World News This Morning" before returning to "Nightline" and winning a second Emmy, this one for coverage of the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986.

Robert Little

Brother of Malcolm X

Robert Little, 61, a former deputy director of the Office of Youth Services in the Michigan Department of Social Services who was the youngest brother of Malcolm X, died Nov. 23 at a hospital in Lansing, Mich. He had lymphoma.

He was 13 years younger than his brother Malcolm, the civil rights leader and Muslim activist, who was assassinated in 1965.

At the time of his death, Mr. Little had been working for Michigan State University on a study about kinship care, the care of children by grandparents or other relatives.

William Benedict

Film Actor

William Benedict, 82, a character actor best known as Whitey in the old Bowery Boys comedies, died Nov. 25 at a hospital in Los Angeles after surgery for a heart ailment.

Mr. Benedict, who was born in Haskell, Okla., was a newsboy and a plumber's assistant before appearing in films as a youngster in the mid-1930s.

He played Skinny in some of the low-budget East Side Kids films about the exploits of a tough gang of New York youngsters. In the 1940s and 1950s, he made regular appearances as Whitey in the Bowery Boys films, popular successors to the East Side Kids.

Fred Ford


Fred Ford, 69, a jazz and rhythm and blues baritone saxophonist who had recorded with Rufus Thomas, Lightnin' Hopkins, Charlie Rich, Junior Parker, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis, died of cancer June 26 in Memphis.

Mr. Ford's best-known recording -- the 1952 classic "Hound Dog" by Big Mama Thornton -- had him barking instead of playing sax.

Calvin Dodd MacCracken


Calvin Dodd MacCracken, 79, an inventor who developed products that ranged from electric hot dog cookers to space suits for astronauts, died of pneumonia Nov. 10 in a retirement community in Hanover, N.H.

He received his first patent during World War II, when he worked for General Electric to reduce the size of a British design for a jet engine. After the war, he founded Englewood, N.J.-based Jet Heat Inc., now called Calmac Inc., and served as its president for 50 years.

Alvin Cash

Composer and Dancer

Alvin Cash, 60, who had a hit in 1963 with the dance tune "It's Twine Time," died Nov. 21 in Chicago. The cause of death was not reported.

The St. Louis native started his career as a tap dancer and performed with his brother in a group called the Step Brothers. He started singing later, hitting the Chicago scene with his group Alvin Cash and the Registers.

"It's Twine Time" earned them appearances on shows hosted by Dick Clark and Ed Sullivan. Follow-up dance tunes included "The Funky Washing Machine," "The Ali Shuffle" and "The Philly Freeze."

Stephen Greene

Abstract Painter

Stephen Greene, 82, an abstract painter who combined elements of several postwar movements into a distinctive style, died Nov. 18 in Valley Cottage, N.Y. The cause of death was not reported.

He had 26 solo gallery shows in New York, beginning with one at the Durlacher Galleries in 1947 and ending with one at the David Beitzel Gallery in 1998. But he once said that his art supported him for only two years in his career.

In works such as "The Flagellation" and "The Burial," the latter painted in 1947, he used medieval and Renaissance Passions as his model, depicting coffins and maimed figures in fresco colors.

Robert Theobald


Robert Theobald, 70, an independent futurist who wrote books, prepared and appeared on broadcasts, and lectured around the world to governments, businesses and organizations, died of cancer Nov. 27 in Spokane, Wash.

He argued that blind confidence in economic growth, technology and the culture of materialism destroyed the environment and failed to provide opportunity and income for many people.

In his latest book, "Reworking Success," he wrote: "If we do not change direction rapidly, the impact of technology will deprive many people of the possibility of earning a living and will lead to despair and disruption. In addition, rampant technology will leach the meaning out of life."