Ken Caminiti, 41, the National League's 1996 most valuable player who later admitted using steroids during his major league baseball career, died of a heart attack Oct. 10, his agent-lawyer said. The New York City medical examiner's office performed an autopsy but could not rule on a cause of death until toxicology tests were complete.
The three-time All-Star third baseman often was in trouble the last few years. His 15-year big league career ended in 2001, five seasons after he led the Padres to a division title and was a unanimous pick for MVP.
Last week, he admitted in a Houston court that he violated his probation by testing positive for cocaine last month, and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. In May 2002, Mr. Caminiti told Sports Illustrated that he used steroids during his MVP season, when he hit a career-high .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. He estimated that half the players in the big leagues were also using them. Mr. Caminiti batted .272 with 239 homers and 983 RBIs with Houston, San Diego, Texas and Atlanta.
Shanghai Museum President
Ma Chengyuan, 77, former president of the renowned Shanghai Museum who saved priceless artifacts from marauding Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, died Sept. 25. No cause of death was reported.
Mr. Ma joined the museum soon after its founding in 1952 and helped select items for its original collection of about 13,000 ancient Chinese bronze works, porcelain, paintings, jade, calligraphy, furniture and other artifacts. He published more than 80 books and academic papers on the bronzes.
The collection enjoyed official protection until the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when teenage Red Guards inspired by Mao Zedong's call for the destruction of all remnants of pre-revolutionary China rampaged through the homes of Shanghai collectors. Mr. Ma slept in his office to take phone calls from desperate collectors and dispatched museum staff to protect and catalogue artifacts.
Haitian Intellectual, Politician
Prominent Haitian intellectual and politician Gerard Pierre-Charles died Oct. 10 in Cuba, where he was receiving emergency treatment for a lung infection, friends and colleagues said. He was 68.
Involved in politics for half a century, Mr. Pierre-Charles was an economist who wrote at least 16 books and a longtime communist whose ideology shifted toward the center after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Though he never held elected office, Mr. Pierre-Charles became a leader of the Democratic Convergence, which staged protests until former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide left amid a rebellion in February.
In 1959, Mr. Pierre-Charles helped found the Party of Popular Understanding, which later was absorbed into the Haitian Communist Party. Communists faced persecution under dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, and in 1960 Mr. Pierre-Charles began 26 years in exile, studying economics at Mexico's National Autonomous University.
Richard Ellison, 80, a television producer whose documentaries about the Vietnam War and suicide stirred public debate and won him several Emmy Awards, died Oct. 8 at his Kingston, Mass., home of diffuse Lewy body syndrome, a neurological disease.
Mr. Ellison was best known for his 13-part series "Vietnam: A Television History," of which he was executive producer. It was broadcast on public television in 1983. Though it was critically acclaimed and won six National Emmy Awards -- along with two individual Emmys for Mr. Ellison -- conservatives accused it of falling too favorably on the side of the North Vietnamese. PBS agreed to air a two-hour rebuttal to the series in 1985.
Mr. Ellison also produced "Choosing Suicide," a 1980 documentary about a cancer patient who decided to kill herself. More than a dozen PBS stations opted not to show the film because of its sensitive subject matter. His other television credits include "CBS Reports," "Bandwagon" and "Look Up and Live."