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Obituaries in the News

November 12, 2005

Moustapha Akkad

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Moustapha Akkad, a Syrian-born film producer whose three decades of work in Hollywood ranged from the ``Halloween″ slasher films to more serious movies with Muslim themes, died Friday from wounds sustained in the bombing of a Jordan hotel. He was 75.

The Los Angeles resident died in a Jordanian hospital.

Bombs exploded almost simultaneously Wednesday at three Amman hotels, including the Radisson SAS, where Akkad was greeting his daughter, Rima Akkad Monla, in the lobby. The attacks killed 57 people, including Monla, 34.

Akkad produced all eight ``Halloween″ movies. He also directed and produced two religious-themed films, ``The Message″ and ``Lion of the Desert,″ both starring Anthony Quinn.

``The Message,″ a 1976 film about the Prophet Muhammad, was widely acclaimed in the Middle East. But a group of American Muslims declared ``The Message″ to be sacrilege and took hostages at three locations when the film opened in Washington, demanding that it not be shown in the United States.

Akkad and director John Carpenter began the hugely popular ``Halloween″ franchise in 1978. The first movie featuring the mask-wearing Michael Myers character inspired a cult following and seven sequels, and launched the careers of Carpenter and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

Akkad said he turned to horror films because he found it hard to raise money for religious-themed movies, according to a 1998 New York Times report.


Joseph Bonanno Jr.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Joseph Bonanno Jr., younger son and namesake of the late crime chieftain who headed one of New York City’s five original crime families, has died. He was 60.

The younger Bonanno died Nov. 2 at his ranch in Ione, Calif., of a heart attack, his older brother, Salvatore ``Bill″ Bonanno said Friday.

Joe Bonanno Jr., the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Fay Bonanno, was shielded from much of the family business, his brother said.

``I don’t even think he knew what it was all about,″ Bill Bonanno said. ``We tried to make it our business not to involve him in anything.″

Joe Bonanno Jr. raised horses on his 20-acre ranch. He studied animal husbandry at the University of Arizona, where he was a bull rider and calf roper in club rodeo competition, his brother said.

The family patriarch died of heart failure in 2002 at age 97. Derisively nicknamed ``Joe Bananas,″ he retired to Arizona in 1968 after allegedly running one of the most powerful Mafia groups of the 1950s and 1960s.

He was convicted of felony obstruction of justice in 1980 for trying to block a federal grand jury investigating his sons, and later served 14 months for contempt of court.

Joe Bonanno Jr. was given a 120-day jail sentence in June 1985 after pleading guilty to making a false statement to a federal drug agent during an alleged cocaine conspiracy investigation. Both sons also were charged in an alleged home improvement scam. Joe Bonanno Jr. eventually pleaded no contest in a plea bargain and his brother was convicted.

In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife, Karen, and sister Catherine R. Genovese.


Robert Eugene Bush

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ Robert Eugene Bush, who received a Medal of Honor for bravery in tending to the wounded while under enemy fire at Okinawa, died Tuesday. He was 79.

Bush was one of Washington state’s last living recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, from World War II.

Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, who wrote about Bush in his best-seller ``The Greatest Generation,″ left a voicemail for the family after hearing the news.

``He was one of my very favorite people,″ Brokaw said. ``He was a great man. He was a great model for all of us.″

A Navy corpsman, Bush was honored for treating wounded Marines on May 2, 1945, at Okinawa _ the bloodiest battle in the Pacific Theater.

According to the citation for his medal, the 18-year-old Bush braved enemy fire to tend to the wounded, and was administering plasma to one wounded officer when the Japanese launched a savage attack. He kept the plasma bottle in one hand as he fired at the enemy first with his pistol, then with a discarded carbine when his own ammunition ran out, the citation said.

Bush lost an eye and was shipped to Hawaii for treatment, then sent home. He later spent a career building Bayview Lumber Co. into a multimillion-dollar business.


Peter F. Drucker

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Peter F. Drucker, revered as the father of modern management for his numerous books and articles stressing innovation, entrepreneurship and strategies for dealing with a changing world, died Friday, a spokesman for Claremont Graduate University said. He was 95.

He died of natural causes at his home in Claremont, east of Los Angeles, said spokesman Bryan Schneider.

Drucker was considered a management visionary for his recognition that dedicated employees are key to the success of any corporation, and marketing and innovation should come before worries about finances.

His motivational techniques have been used by executives at some of the biggest companies in corporate America, including Intel Corp. and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

In 2002, President Bush honored Drucker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Business Week magazine hailed him as ``the most enduring management thinker of our time.″

Drucker’s management books included: ``The Effective Executive,″ 1966; ``Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices,″ 1974; and ``Managing in a Time of Great Change,″ 1995. In 2004, he put out ``The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done.″

He also wrote scores of articles for the academic and popular press, and two novels and a 1979 autobiography, ``Adventures of a Bystander.″


Frank Kyriopoulos

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) _ Frank Kyriopoulos, a retired Air Force officer who found a second career as an Elvis impersonator and once performed for President Clinton at the White House, died Nov. 2. He was 61.

The retired Air Force officer died of complications during heart surgery at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda.

He also helped run his wife’s business, Entertainment by Carisma, which hires out dancers and star impersonators.

Kyriopoulos served in the Air Force from 1968 to 1988 and helped found the Air Force Academy’s Arabic language program in 1976.

He received a master’s degree in Middle East studies from the University of Utah in 1971, and studied at American University in Beirut. In 1994, he received a master’s degree in psychological services from Marymount University.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he worked as an Arabic translator and intelligence analyst for defense contractor SAIC.


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