Nathan Safferstein
Manhattan Project agent

Nathan Safferstein, 92, a counter­intelligence agent on the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb during World War II, died Tuesday at his home in the Bronx, his family said. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Mr. Safferstein went from a job as a supermarket manager into the stealthy world of wartime security on the top-secret bomb project.

He eavesdropped on the phone calls of scientists and engineers in Los Alamos, N.M., to make sure no secrets were leaked and delivered bomb-making uranium and top-secret messages. He also scrawled his signature on the first atomic bomb, called “Little Boy,” which was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

A second atomic bomb leveled Nagasaki on Aug. 9, and Japan surrendered six days later. After the bombs were dropped, Mr. Safferstein accompanied a team that included U.S. doctors who surveyed the damage in Japan.

Mr. Safferstein had been working as a supermarket manager in Fairfield, Conn., when a customer passed his name along to an Army intelligence officer. Most of his activities remained a mystery to his family for years.

After the war, he returned to supermarkets and became president of a merchandising and marketing company.

Claude King
country singer

Claude King, 90, an original member of the Louisiana Hayride who was best known for the 1962 hit “Wolverton Mountain,” died Thursday at his his home in Shreveport, La. His son, Duane King, confirmed the death but did not disclose a cause.

Mr. King was one of the original members of the Louisiana Hayride, the Saturday-night radio show where Elvis Presley got his start. There was later a television version, too. The Hayride transformed country and western music from 1948 to 1960 with music genres that included hillbilly, Western swing, jazz, blues and gospel.

Mr. King was known for his guitar-playing and songwriting. His hit “Wolverton Mountain” told a story of mountain man Clifton Clowers, who guarded his daughter from suitors.

— News services and staff reports