James Marshall Sprouse


James Marshall Sprouse, 80, a Democratic Party activist who formerly served on the West Virginia Supreme Court and the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, died July 3 at his home in Charleston, W.Va. No cause of death was reported.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Sprouse to the federal bench in 1979, three years after he had staged his second unsuccessful attempt to become West Virginia's governor. He served on the bench in Richmond until he took senior status in 1992.

Judge Sprouse resigned from the state Supreme Court in 1976 to challenge Jay Rockefeller in the Democratic primary. He and then-Rep. Ken Hechler lost their primary bids to Rockefeller.

Judge Sprouse also challenged Republican Arch Moore in 1968, losing by 12,785 votes in one of the closest elections in state history.

Kenneth P. Ramming

Cancer Researcher

Kenneth P. Ramming, 65, who pioneered cryosurgical treatment for prostate, liver and pancreatic cancer and helped begin the liver transplant program at the UCLA Medical Center, died June 29 in Los Angeles. No cause of death was reported.

Dr. Ramming joined the UCLA Medical Center as a surgeon and teacher in 1974. During his long tenure there, the doctor helped establish the prestigious teaching hospital's liver transplant program. He also made strides in cancer treatment while working at St. John's Hospital and the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

He attracted an international following in the early 1990s with his research in the new discipline of cryosurgery. The technique involves using liquid nitrogen to reduce tumors to minus 190 degrees Celsius, freezing them. The tumors can be killed with two 15-minute freezing and thawing cycles. When the dead tumor thaws, it transforms to a gray mush that can be reabsorbed by the body.

Dr. Ramming began using the technique on tumors in the liver and prostate that could not be removed with conventional surgery. After performing 120 cryosurgeries on livers and 55 on prostate tumors with promising results, he began adapting the technique for treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Peter Barnes


Peter Barnes, 73, a prolific playwright and screenwriter who wrote the 1960s satire "The Ruling Class," died July 1 at a hospital in London after a stroke.

"The Ruling Class," which was first staged in Britain in 1968, was a darkly comic satire of the British class system later adapted for film. Peter O'Toole gained an Academy Award nomination for his performance as an aristocratic fantasist who inherits an earldom.

Mr. Barnes also was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of the film "Enchanted April" (1992), a gentle romance set in Italy. "Red Noses," a play about a group of itinerant clowns during the Black Death, won an Olivier Award for best play in 1985.

John Cullen Murphy


John Cullen Murphy, 85, the illustrator best known for the "Prince Valiant" cartoon strip for more than three decades, died July 2 at a hospital in Greenwich, Conn. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Murphy, whose mentor was illustrator Norman Rockwell, drew "Prince Valiant" until a few months before his death. He retired in March, turning over his strip over to his chosen successor, illustrator Gary Gianni of Chicago. "Prince Valiant" continues to appear weekly in more than 300 newspapers nationwide and is distributed by King Features Syndicate.

For more than two decades, "Prince Valiant" involved family members. Mr. Murphy's son, Cullen, editor of the Atlantic Monthly, has written scripts since 1979, and his daughter, Mairead "Meg" Nash, has done the strip's lettering and coloring.


Indonesian Politician

Soebandrio, 90, a former Indonesian foreign minister who spent 29 years in prison during the U.S.-backed dictatorship of strongman Suharto, died July 3 at his home in Jakarta. No cause of death was reported.

Like many Indonesians, Soebandrio used only one name. A doctor by training, he was a close associate of Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno, the father of current head of state Megawati Sukarnoputri. Soebandrio served as foreign minister from 1960 until Sukarno's downfall in 1966.

Maintaining close ties to Indonesia's then-powerful communist party, he was accused by the army's right-wing leadership of supporting a mutiny on Sept. 30, 1965. Suharto, then a two-star general, used the mutiny as a pretext for launching a massive attack on the communist party. He eventually replaced Sukarno as president, and the communist party was banned.

Soebandrio was arrested and sentenced to death in a brief trial in 1966. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment upon the intervention of the British government. Soebandrio was released from jail in 1995 because of failing health.