Dick Durrance, 89, a 17-time U.S. ski champion and former Olympian who helped make Aspen a top ski destination, died June 13 at a nursing home in Carbondale, Colo. No cause of death was reported.
Mr. Durrance was the first general manager of the Aspen Skiing Co. and a key developer of the resort at Alta, Utah. Besides his 17 national championships, he won three Harriman Cups, North America's largest ski race in the late 1930s, and placed eighth in the slalom and 11th in the downhill at the 1936 Winter Olympics.
Mr. Durrance grew up in Florida, but his family moved to Germany when he was 13. Five years later, in 1932, he won the German Junior Alpine Championship. Mr. Durrance later worked with Averill Harriman to expand Sun Valley, Idaho, and moved on to do the same thing at Alta, where he helped train the ski-borne troops of the U.S. military's 10th Mountain Division.
Philosophy Department Chairman
Stuart Hampshire, 89, a former chairman of the department of philosophy at Princeton University who argued that philosophy must be studied within the context of other disciplines, died June 13 at his home in Oxford, England. No cause of death was reported.
After graduating from Oxford University, Mr. Hampshire taught at his alma mater and at the University of London before moving in 1963 to Princeton. He left Princeton in 1970 and spent four years at Oxford before a stint at Stanford University in California.
Mr. Hampshire said he believed that "aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy are parts of a single inquiry, now often called the philosophy of mind." "The Freedom of the Individual" (1965) looks at the nature of human will, and in "Morality and Conflict" (1983), Mr. Hampshire asked whether it is possible to build a moral framework to encompass all parts of human behavior. "Justice Is Conflict" (2000) proposed the theory that political conflict is inevitable, both within the individual and in the world.
New York Nightclub Owner
Howard Solomon, 75, a former New York City nightclub owner who fought obscenity charges after foul-mouthed comedian Lenny Bruce performed at his club, died June 3 at his home in Crestline, Calif., after a heart attack.
Bruce was arrested shortly before he was to perform at Mr. Solomon's Cafe au Go Go club in Greenwich Village on April 3, 1964. Vice officers had recorded Bruce performing at the club earlier in the week.
Mr. Solomon also was arrested and charged with allowing an obscene act to perform in his club. Mr. Solomon pleaded not guilty, but a three-judge Criminal Court panel passed down a guilty verdict against both him and Bruce in November 1964. After being sentenced to a $1,000 fine or 60 days in jail, Mr. Solomon took his case to the state appellate court, where his conviction was overturned in 1968. Bruce also contested his conviction but died in August 1966 of a morphine overdose; New York Gov. George Pataki pardoned Bruce in 2003.
Mr. Solomon sold his club in 1969 and worked as a real estate developer in Florida before retiring to California in the early 1990s.
Jack McClelland, 81, who headed one of Canada's most influential publishing houses, died June 14 at his home in Toronto. No cause of death was reported.
Under his leadership, McClelland and Stewart became the biggest name in Canadian publishing. The company and its head became a strong voice for Canadian culture and a national identity. Authors who rose to fame under Mr. McClelland's influence include Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Leonard Cohen and Peter C. Newman.
Known for his flamboyant publicity stunts, Mr. McClelland and Sylvia Fraser once dressed in togas and rode up Toronto's Yonge Street in a chariot to promote her novel "The Emperor's Virgin." In 1977, he established a competition for the best first novel. Its $36,500 purse was an enormous sum for a Canadian literary award.
Ernest Avants, 72, a reputed Ku Klux Klansman convicted last year in a 1966 murder that prosecutors say was part of a failed plot to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr., died of heart ailments June 14 in prison. He had been serving a life sentence in Fort Worth.
Mr. Avants was convicted for his role in the 1966 slaying of Ben Chester White, a black sharecropper. Prosecutors said the killing was intended to lure King to Natchez, Miss., where he was to be assassinated. The civil rights leader did not visit Natchez after White's slaying. He was assassinated two years later in Memphis.
Mr. Avants was acquitted of murder in a 1967 state trial. Years later, authorities filed a federal charge of aiding and abetting murder after realizing that White was killed on federal property. Authorities said Mr. Avants and two white companions offered the 67-year-old White $2 and a soda to help them find a dog lost in the woods. White then was driven to the Homochitto National Forest and shot.