Constance Bannister

Baby Photographer

Constance Bannister, 92, whose photographs of babies for calendars, advertisements and books reached a worldwide audience in the 1940s and 1950s, died Aug. 17 at a nursing home in Woodbury, N.Y. No cause of death was reported.

Mrs. Bannister was the second of 17 children and was inspired toward baby pictures by her 15 younger siblings. She claimed that she had taken more than 100,000 shots of babies.

Many of the photos were published in humor books, paired with amusing captions written by Mrs. Bannister to fit the baby's expression. For example, in "We Were Spies Behind the Iron Curtain," a book satirizing the Soviet Union, a bare-bottomed baby looks over its shoulder and says, "Latest five-year plan is a little behind."

"Bannister Babies" helped sell war bonds for World War II. The books of babies and funny captions sold well and were featured on several television shows.

The books often focused on a topical subject, as in "Senator, I'm Glad You Asked Me That" (1952), a political satire.

Dennis Lynds

'Dan Fortune' Mystery Writer

Dennis Lynds, 81, whose tautly written mysteries featuring the one-armed Dan Fortune were praised for reflecting contemporary political and social issues, died Aug. 19 at a hospital in San Francisco from septic shock caused by bowel necrosis and multiorgan failure.

Mr. Lynds, whose pen names included Michael Collins, wrote more than 80 novels and short stories, according to his Web site.

The first Dan Fortune novel, "Act of Fear," was published in 1967 and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel. The last novel in the series, "Fortune's World," was published in 2000.

For the Fortune novels, Mr. Lynds was praised for his writing style and for his willingness to reflect on contemporary political and social controversies.

A. Leon Lowry

Civil Rights Figure

The Rev. A. Leon Lowry, 92, a civil rights leader who once taught Martin Luther King Jr. and led the desegregation of public facilities in Tampa, died there Aug. 20. He had congestive heart failure.

Rev. Lowry's history with the civil rights movement dated to his days of teaching theology at Atlanta's Morehouse College in the 1940s, where King was his student.

Known for his deep voice and powerful presence, Rev. Lowry was one of Tampa's most celebrated activists. In the 1960s, he led peaceful protests at Tampa lunch counters and helped create Tampa's first biracial bank. He became president of the Florida NAACP and the first black elected to the school board of Hillsborough County, Fla. Elected in 1976, he served four terms over 16 years.

Herta Ware


Herta Ware, 88, who appeared in plays, films and TV shows and helped found the popular outdoor Southern California theater Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, died Aug. 15 at her home in Topanga Canyon, Calif. No cause of death was reported.

The actress played Capt. Jean-Luc Picard's mother in an episode of the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and appeared in small roles on film and television.

Until recent years, she was often in plays at the Will Geer theater, which is named for her late ex-husband.

Ms. Ware had moved with her family to then-rural Topanga Canyon in the early 1950s after Geer was blacklisted from films and television for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Unable to support his family, he lost his home in Santa Monica, Calif.

The couple founded the outdoor theater to pursue Geer's interests of live theater and botany. They subsisted financially by putting on plays and concerts featuring blacklisted actors and such friends as folk singers Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and by selling their produce.

Ms. Ware divorced Geer in the 1950s but remained close to him until his death in 1978. She titled her 2000 memoir "Fantastic Journey: My Life With Will Geer."