German Arciniegas, 98, one of Colombia's most prolific 20th-century historical novelists and essayists, who also had served in congress, as education minister and as ambassador to Italy, Venezuela and the Vatican, died of a lung ailment Nov. 30 at a hospital in Bogota, Colombia.
Mr. Arciniegas, who wrote more than 50 books and a weekly column in Colombia's leading newspaper, El Tiempo, was a longtime critic of Latin American military dictators. His 1952 book, "Between Freedom and Fear," condemned authoritarian rulers around the region and was banned in several countries and burned by Colombian officials.
He wrote extensively about Latin American history and identity and about the region's ties to Europe, where he lived periodically. Among his best known works are the "Biography of the Caribbean" (1942) and "America in Europe" (1975), which examined Europeans' impressions of Latin America. He also wrote "Knight of El Dorado," a history of Spaniard Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada's conquest of Colombia.
Dorothy Allison, 74, a renowned police psychic who helped locate the hideouts of Patty Hearst's kidnappers and later gave an accurate description of "Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz, died Dec. 1 in Newark after a heart attack.
She located two hideouts where the Hearst kidnappers stayed in 1974, and correctly predicted that Ms. Hearst would rob a bank with her kidnappers. She also correctly said Berkowitz would be captured with a traffic ticket.
Ms. Allison never took money for the more than 5,000 cases she worked on, although she was paid to make appearances on some TV shows.
Mike Ockrent, 53, Broadway and London director of the long-running musicals "Me and My Girl" and "Crazy for You," died of leukemia Dec. 2 at a hospital in New York.
Mr. Ockrent was born in London, where he directed such plays as the comedy "Once a Catholic" and the London production of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," which starred Diana Rigg, Daniel Massey and Julia McKenzie.
In New York, he also directed "Rowan Atkinson at the Atkinson," "Big," a concert version of "King David" by Elton John and Tim Rice, and a musical adaptation of "A Christmas Carol," which is an annual production at Madison Square Garden.
Fritz Fischer, 91, a historian who angered his fellow Germans by writing that Germany purposely entered World War I for expansionist reasons, died Dec. 1 in Hamburg. The cause of death was not reported.
To the chagrin of other German intellectuals, who preferred the theory that the other countries involved in World War I were at fault, his 1961 book, "Germany's Aims in World War I," concluded that the Germans under the Kaiser had expansionist goals in the war.
The book was the subject of numerous discussions over the years, with Fischer sticking to his conclusions even as some critics claimed he took historical quotes out of context.
William `Pop' Gates
William "Pop" Gates, 82, a former player-coach with the Harlem Globetrotters who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his play in the pre-National Basketball Association days, died Dec. 2 in New York after a heart attack.
He became one of the first black athletes to sign a professional contract when he did so after leading Benjamin Franklin High School to the New York City championship in 1938.
He was a member of the 1939 New York Rens, who won 68 straight games and the world professional championship in Chicago. Mr. Gates was the only player to appear in all 10 world professional basketball tournaments made up of barnstorming teams. He wound up his career as player-coach of the Globetrotters in 1955 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.
Ernest `Greg' Snazelle
Ernest "Greg" Snazelle, 73, an award-winning film producer behind hundreds of national TV commercials, died in Portland, Ore., Nov. 10. The cause of death was not reported.
Over four decades, working as director and cameraman, he made hundreds of major commercials as well as political ads for candidates such as Ronald Reagan, Michigan Gov. George Romney (R), Nelson Rockefeller (R) and California Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown (D).
The International Film and Television Festival in New York awarded him 25 gold medals and he is included in McMahon's 100 Best Television Commercials. He also won 12 Clios and five Gold Lions at the Cannes Film Festival.
Gene Baker, 74, the former major league infielder who along with Ernie Banks broke the color barrier on the Chicago Cubs in 1953, died Dec. 1 in Davenport, Iowa, after a heart attack.
Banks and Mr. Baker were the Cubs' first black players, forming the team's double-play combination, with Banks at shortstop and Mr. Baker at second base. In 1957, Mr. Baker was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he finished his career in 1961.
He managed in the Pirates' minor league system after his playing career ended. He settled in Davenport in 1965 and spent the next 23 years as the Pirates' chief scout in the Midwest.
Don `Sugarcane' Harris
Don "Sugarcane" Harris, 61, a pioneering rock violinist who played with such artists as Little Richard, Frank Zappa and John Mayall, was discovered dead Nov. 30 in the room he rented in South-Central Los Angeles. He had a pulmonary ailment.
The Pasadena native, who contended with a drug habit for much of his career, started out in the doo-wop group the Squires, which also included his childhood friend Dewey Terry. They began playing rock-and-roll in 1956 as Don & Dewey and wrote and recorded such singles as "Justine," "Farmer John," "Big Boy Pete" and "I'm Leaving It All Up to You."
He later played in Little Richard's backing band on tour in Europe, along with a young guitarist named Jimi Hendrix. He also contributed to four albums by rock renegade Zappa and recorded his own albums of jazz-influenced improvisation.
Matt Cohen, 56, a longtime fixture on the Canadian literary scene who had just won one of the country's most prestigious writing awards, the Governor General's Literary Award last month for his book "Elizabeth and After," died of lung cancer Dec. 2 at his home in Toronto.
He was the author of about 30 books, including novels, translations of French works, children's books, short story collections and books of poetry. He was also a bestseller in the Netherlands and France.
He had been a well-known writer in Canada since he published his first novel, "Korsoniloff," in 1969. He was twice nominated previously for the Governor General's award -- for "The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone" (1979) and "Last Seen" (1996).