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Walter Ashcraft, College Football Star and a Coach, Dies at 91

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Walter Ashcraft Jr., 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds by his early 20s, drew on his physique to excel in the Southern California sports world of the mid-20th century.

He placed third in the 1947 California high school shot-put championships, competing for Long Beach Polytechnic, finishing two places above Bob Mathias of Tulare High School, who captured a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1948 London Olympics.

Mr. Ashcraft also played at tackle for the University of Southern California football team. In his senior season, the Trojans, coached by Jess Hill, went 10-1, losing only to Notre Dame, and defeated Wisconsin, 7-0, in the 1953 New Year’s Day Rose Bowl game.

The N.F.L.’s Washington Redskins drafted him in 1953, one of 15 U.S.C. players who were selected.

He received a $5,000 signing bonus from the Redskins, but incurred a knee injury in training camp and never played in an N.F.L. game. Since pro football salaries were modest, he decided to pursue a career elsewhere.

He obtained a master’s degree in education and devoted himself to coaching and hospitality work.

Mr. Ashcraft died on Aug. 18 in Anderson, S.C., of pneumonia stemming from Covid-19, his family said. He was 91.

He had been living at a military veterans’ retirement home with his wife, Betty Jo (Carrera) Ashcraft. During the Korean War, he interrupted his time at U.S.C. to enlist in the Marine Corps, played for a Marine football team in California and was discharged as a sergeant.

Walter White Ashcraft, Jr. was born on Aug. 11, 1929, in Amory, Miss., where his father owned a gas station. His mother, Corinne (Austin) Ashcraft, was a homemaker. One day, when he was 11 or so, his father came upon the aftermath of a lynching — three Black men hanging from a tree.

“He couldn’t

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Phyllis Landrieu, tireless advocate for education and children’s rights, dies at 86 | News

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Phyllis Landrieu, a businesswoman and activist whose causes included health care, education and the rights of children — along with a healthy dose of politics — died Saturday at Touro Infirmary. She was 86.

The cause of death has not been determined, her daughter Judy Landrieu Klein said.

Landrieu was “a woman of steel,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement, describing Landrieu as “a passionate champion for our children and for early childhood education.”

The mother of 10 children, Landrieu was an unstinting advocate of early childhood education and children’s health. She also founded her own public-relations agency and was active in politics, serving as the first woman leader of the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee and a member of the Democratic National Committee. She was a friend of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

“She was just an amazing bundle of joy and had a special force about her, but it was a joyful force,” former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a niece, said. “She approached everything with passion and vigor and energy.”

Landrieu became a passionate advocate for children’s well-being after the deaths of her sons Stephen and Scott, Klein said, explaining that her mother took on that cause as a way to work through her grief. Her work resulted in the creation of the Health and Education Alliance of Louisiana; she was its founding president.

Calling her work with that organization “an opportunity out of the darkness,” Landrieu wrote: “If I could relieve some child’s suffering, I could relieve some … of mine. Little by little, it worked. Every day, I keep moving in the direction of the children. There are so many children suffering, as I am, with pain and disappointment. In helping them, I am helping myself.”

“She was not exempt

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Joseph M. Cronin, first Massachusetts secretary of education, dies at 85

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“In order to really give poor people in the inner city a chance to compete,” he told the Globe, “we will have to spend more on their education than on the average child in other communities.”

Dr. Cronin, who in his long, multifaceted career as an educator had also served as president of what is now Bentley University, died Saturday in the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham of progressive supranuclear palsy. He was 85 and had lived in Milton for many years.

As he prepared to retire in 1997 from leading what was then Bentley College, he received a letter from nearly 20 colleagues who signed themselves as “the faculty and staff of color.”

“Under your leadership diversity has become a business imperative for the college,” they wrote. “Your leadership in diversity has resulted in many of us joining the Bentley community.”

When Dr. Cronin first arrived in 1991 to serve as president, he stressed that he wanted the college to prepare graduates to be global thinkers ready for careers anywhere in the world.

“Businesses want people who are versatile, who can go, say, to Zimbabwe for a week on a special assignment, and they had better have had courses in government and history to absorb this,” Dr. Cronin told the Globe. “We want them to be ready.”

As Massachusetts secretary of education in the early 1970s, he played a key role in implementing Chapter 766, the state’s special education law that became a model for legislation in other states.

Dr. Cronin also was credited with increasing state support of the arts and humanities in public education, from $250,000 to $2.5 million

He served as state secretary of education for three years before leaving to become superintendent of schools in Illinois. As with the education secretary post, he was

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Mario Molina, Nobel-winning Mexican chemist who made key climate change finding, dies at 77

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1995 and the only Mexican scientist to be honored with a Nobel, died Wednesday in his native Mexico City. He was 77 years old.

Molina’s family announced his death in a brief statement through the institute that carried his name. It did not give a cause of death.

He won the prize along with scientists Frank Sherwood Rowland of the United States and Paul Crutzen of the Netherlands for their research into climate change.

Molina and Rowland published a paper in 1974 that saw the thinning of the ozone layer as a consequence of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals used in a range of products.

Molina’s work contributed to the drafting of the first international treaty on the subject, the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of the chemicals. Later, he focused on confronting air pollution in major cities like his own Mexico City and pushing for global actions to promote sustainable development.

One of his last public appearances was alongside Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, also a scientist, in a video conference during which Molina reflected on the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of wearing masks to avoid transmission.

Molina was a member, among other institutions, of the National Academy of Sciences and for eight years was one of the 21 scientists who composed President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Only two other Mexicans have been awarded Nobel Prizes: Alfonso García Robles received the Peace Prize in 1982 for his work on nuclear weapons negotiations and writer Octavio Paz was awarded the prize for literature in 1990.

Molina died on the same day this year’s prize for chemistry was awarded.

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Mario Molina, Mexico chemistry Nobel winner, dies at 77

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1995 and the only Mexican scientist to be honored with a Nobel, died Wednesday in his native Mexico City. He was 77 years old.

Molina’s faamily announced his death in a brief statement through the institute that carried his name. It did not give a cause of death.

He won the prize along with scientists Frank Sherwood Rowland of the United States and Paul Crutzen of the Netherlands for their research into climate change.

Molina and Rowland published a paper in 1974 that saw the thinning of the ozone layer as a consequence of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals used in a range of products.


Molina’s work contributed to the drafting of the first international treaty on the subject, the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of the chemicals. Later, he focused on confronting air pollution in major cities like his own Mexico City and pushing for global actions to promote sustainable development.

One of his last public appearances was alongside Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, also a scientist, in a video conference during which Molina reflected on the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of wearing masks to avoid transmission.

Molina was a member, among other institutions, of the National Academy of Sciences and for eight years was one of the 21 scientists who composed President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Only two other Mexicans have been awarded Nobel Prizes: Alfonso García Robles received the Peace Prize in 1982 for his work on nuclear weapons negotiations and writer Octavio Paz was awarded the prize for literature in 1990.

Molina died on the same day this year’s prize for chemistry was awarded.

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