Jersey City Mayor
Glenn Cunningham, 60, the first African American mayor of Jersey City, died of a heart attack May 25 at a hospital in Jersey City.
Mr. Cunningham was a political maverick whose career began as a police officer. A Democrat, he defied his party's powerful local leaders to be elected mayor in 2001 in a nonpartisan election. Last fall, despite opposition from New Jersey's Gov. James E. McGreevey (D), Mr. Cunningham was elected to the state Senate as an independent, holding dual elective offices.
The balance of his mayoral term, which expires July 1, 2005, will be decided in a special election in November.
Kamala Markandaya, 80, a novelist who described the tribulations of a peasant woman living in an Indian village, died May 16 in London.
After being a journalist in India for several years, she had lived in England since 1948. Her first novel, "Nectar in a Sieve" (1954), was a Book of the Month Club selection and was a bestseller in the United States.
She wrote nine other novels, including "A Handful of Rice" (1966), "The Nowhere Man" (1972), "Two Virgins" (1973) and "The Golden Honeycomb" (1977), all of which dealt with the tensions experienced by people leaving rural areas for cities.
Henry Ries, 86, whose photographs of a battered postwar Germany documented the struggle of common people trying to regain life's normalcy, died May 24 at his home in Ghent, N.Y. No cause of death was announced.
A Berlin-born Jew who fled Hitler in 1938, Mr. Ries captured images of the Berlin Airlift while working for the New York Times, often using mundane life to contrast the darkness of war's aftermath.
Ries's image of children sitting on a hillside watching a plane glide by was made into a commemorative stamp in 1998, to mark the 50th anniversary of the airlift. Last year, he was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit, Germany's highest award for citizens of other countries.