Infectious Disease Expert
Paul F. Wehrle, 82, an infectious and communicable diseases expert who helped wipe out smallpox and who was chairman of the University of Southern California's pediatrics department from 1961 to 1988, died May 11 in San Clemente, Calif. No cause of death was reported.
Dr. Wehrle helped develop the vaccine that led the World Health Organization to declare smallpox eradicated in 1980. In the 1960s, as a medical officer for the WHO, he traveled to Africa and South America, as well as to Nepal, India and Afghanistan, to administer the vaccine.
Dr. Wehrle also worked on the clinical trials for the Salk vaccine, which wiped out polio. First administered in 1954, the vaccine was named for its chief developer, Dr. Jonas Salk.
Jean-Jacques Laffont, 57, a prominent French economist and one of the leading figures in the study of information theory, died May 1 at his home in Colomiers, in southern France. He had cancer.
Dr. Laffont became an economics professor of international renown and spent much of his career at the University of Toulouse in France. He worked for the French prime minister on his economic analysis council and was an associate editor of numerous scientific journals.
Dr. Laffont was a prolific writer, publishing 17 books and more than 200 articles. His book "Incentives in Public Decision Making" (1979) and numerous articles co-written with Jerry Green in the 1970s still are considered references in the field. His work ranged from studying the effects of public incentives on regulation to promoting research in such developing areas as China, Africa and Latin America.
Rita Fraad, 88, an art collector who lent works to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and other museums and galleries, died of cardiac arrest May 9, it was reported in Scarsdale, N.Y.
Mrs. Fraad collected 19th- and 20th-century works by such American greats as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins and Edward Hopper and frequently gave pieces to Smith College, from which she graduated in 1937. Until last year, she was a member of an advisory board to the school's renowned art museum.
Mrs. Fraad sat on the visiting committee on American art and sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was also a trustee of the Archives of American Art, a division of the Smithsonian Institution that catalogues the records and papers of U.S. artists, critics, art historians and museums.
Disabled Rights Advocate
Edward Schroeder, 84, an advocate for disabled people's rights who served on more than 20 advisory panels, died May 15 at a nursing home in East Greenwich, R.I. No cause of death was reported.
Mr. Schroeder lost the use of his legs at age 3 after contracting polio. He campaigned extensively for handicapped access to schools and polling places, serving on the executive committee of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.
He also hosted "Able Too," one of the nation's first weekly television programs produced by and about people with disabilities.