Thomas M. Foglietta

Former Congressman, Ambassador

Thomas M. Foglietta, a South Philadelphia politician who served for 17 years in Congress and later was named U.S. ambassador to Italy, died Nov. 13. He was 75.

Foglietta died at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, said Steve Brown, a hospital spokesman. He had been hospitalized since Oct. 30, when he experienced breathing problems, according to his nephew Michael Foglietta.

Foglietta, the son of a City Council member from a heavily Italian ward, was 26 when he was elected as a Republican to the City Council in 1955. He served on the council for 19 years and ran as a Republican in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic Mayor Frank Rizzo in 1975.

Foglietta won election to Congress as an independent in 1980 and eventually switched to the Democratic Party.

President Clinton named Foglietta ambassador to Italy in 1997, and he later returned to Philadelphia, where he worked as a lawyer and lobbyist for international clients.

Foglietta, survived by two nieces and three nephews, remained devoted to politics, watching the Nov. 2 election returns at the hospital with family members and staying in touch with friends, including Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), his nephew said.

Ed Kemmer

'Space Patrol' TV Star

Actor Ed Kemmer, who played the intrepid Cmdr. Buzz Corry in the popular 1950s children's television show "Space Patrol" before becoming a regular on daytime soap operas, has died. He was 84.

Kemmer died Nov. 9 at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York after suffering a stroke Nov. 5, family friend Jean-Noel Bassior told the Los Angeles Times.

"Space Patrol" chronicled the adventures of Corry, who fought intergalactic villains of the 30th century while flying his Terra V spacecraft with comic sidekick Cadet Happy.

The series, which spawned a radio version, ran from 1950 to 1955 and was broadcast live on ABC as a weekly half-hour program.

Kemmer said the show was his most important work. "One engineer at NASA told me that he first got interested in space because of our show," Kemmer once said.

He switched to playing bad guys with appearances on shows including "Perry Mason," "Gunsmoke" and "Maverick." He moved to New York in 1964 and spent the next 19 years starring regularly on such soap operas as "The Edge of Night," "As the World Turns," "All My Children" and "Guiding Light."

Kemmer spent 11 months in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II after his P-51 fighter plane was shot down over France in 1944. He and others in the POW camp staged plays, and after the war he studied acting.

Kemmer is survived by his wife of 35 years, former actress Fran Sharon; and three children.