Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A00456 - Jerry Warren, Editor and Press Aide to Nixon and Ford

WASHINGTON — Jerry Warren, a newspaper editor who became the deputy White House press secretary under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, but who returned to newspaper work after being disillusioned by the Watergate scandal, died on Friday in Arlington, Va. He was 84.
Mr. Warren, who lived in Alexandria, Va., had been suffering from cancer and pneumonia, his family said in confirming the death.
Mr. Warren left the White House in 1975 and returned to The San Diego Union to become its editor. After The Union merged with The Evening Tribune in 1992, he edited The Union-Tribune until early 1995. He had been assistant managing editor of The Union in the 1960s.
Former colleagues said over the weekend that he had pushed for more coverage of civil rights issues after the Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1965. Senior editors were not always receptive to his ideas, and by 1968, when Nixon won the White House, Mr. Warren felt that his career had stalled.
So he pounced when he was offered a job as deputy press secretary to the new president, a conservative Republican like Mr. Warren. He served under Ronald L. Ziegler, Nixon’s press secretary, and loved the perks of power: the limousines, the red telephone in the family home connecting him to the White House (“It rang all hours of the day and night,” his first wife, Euphemia Davis, told The Union-Tribune), the trips with Nixon to China and the Soviet Union (and flying home with Russian vodka).
Jerry Warren CreditUT San Diego
But the Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972, followed by investigations, congressional hearings and White House denials until Nixon’s resignation on Aug. 9, 1974, demoralized him.
“He was very wounded,” his daughter, Euphemia Johnson, said on Sunday in a telephone interview. “Such a betrayal.”
Gerald Lee Warren was born in Hastings, Neb., on Aug. 17, 1930. His father, Hie Warren, was a school superintendent; his mother, Linnie, was a teacher. Jerry Warren graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in journalism, served four years as a naval aviator, and then became a reporter and later an editor for The San Diego Union.
Both of Mr. Warren’s marriages ended in divorce. Besides his daughter, Mr. Warren is survived by a son, Gerald, and two grandchildren.
In 1985, while helping to plan the 25th-anniversary celebration of the University of California, San Diego, Mr. Warren organized a symposium on the presidency. Participants included H. R. Haldeman, a former top Nixon aide, and Theodore C. Sorensen, a confidant of President John F. Kennedy, as well as John Chancellor of NBC News.
After he left the newspaper business in 1995, Mr. Warren moved to Virginia with his second wife, Viviane. He was active in the Episcopal Church and studied at the Virginia Theological Seminary, graduating in 2004 with a master’s degree in theology. He became a lay reader at his church and sometimes counseled people in matters of faith.
A spiritual journey “dominated the rest of his life,” Mr. Warren wrote.

A00455 - Chuck Bednarik, Eagles' Man of Concrete

Chuck Bednarik with Green Bay’s Paul Hornung (5) and Jim Taylor (31) after the Eagles won the N.F.L. championship game. CreditJohn Iacono
Chuck Bednarik, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Hall of Fame center and linebacker, one of the last N.F.L. players to commonly play on both offense and defense and a legendary football tough guy, died Saturday in Richland, Pa. He was 89.
The Eagles said he died at an assisted living center after a brief, unspecified illness.
They called him Concrete Charlie, and while Bednarik worked during his off-seasons as a salesman for a concrete company, the nickname perfectly captured his fearsome presence as a jarring blocker at center and a thunderous tackler at middle linebacker.
Playing for the Eagles from 1949 to 1962, Bednarik missed only three games, and two of those came at the outset of his rookie season.
Bednarik was famous for flattening the Giants’ star Frank Gifford in a 1960 game, then celebrating his ferocious hit — a gesture captured in an enduring photograph.
A two-time All-American at Penn, he played in eight Pro Bowls and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967. The N.F.L. selected him as the center for its 50th anniversary team in 1969, and he was elected that year to the College Football Hall of Fame. The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to college football’s best defensive player.
Chuck Bednarik was one of the last N.F.L. players to commonly play on both offense and defense.CreditAssociated Press
At age 35, Bednarik was in on every play, except for Eagles kickoffs, when Philadelphia defeated Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, 17-13, in the 1960 N.F.L. championship game. Bednarik tackled the Packers’ fullback Jim Taylor just inside the Eagles’ 10-yard line as he headed for a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds, then sat on top of him to keep the Packers from running another play.
“You can get up now, Jim, this game is over,” Bednarik told Taylor as the Eagles captured their first league championship since his rookie season of 1949.
Gifford did not get up when Bednarik leveled him with a blindside tackle to his chest after he caught a pass from quarterback George Shaw in the closing minutes of a November 1960 game at Yankee Stadium with the Eagles and Giants battling for the Eastern Conference championship.
Gifford suffered a deep concussion when his head snapped back as he hit the turf and fumbled. Bednarik waved his arms and shook his fists as the Eagles recovered the ball, and they went on to a 17-10 victory.
The photo of Bednarik exulting alongside a prone Gifford became one of pro football’s most famous images. But Bednarik later maintained he was unaware that Gifford was seriously hurt, saying he was celebrating because “we knew he had the game won.” He sent a basket of fruit to Gifford at his hospital bed.
“I didn’t bear him any resentment and never have,” Gifford said in his 1994 memoir, “The Whole Ten Yards,” written with Harry Waters. “His tackle had been perfectly legal.”
Bednarik was 6 feet 3 and 235 pounds or so, impressive size for a linebacker of his era, his brawn matched by football savvy.
“Dick Butkus was the one who manhandled people,” the Eagles’ former defensive back Tom Brookshier told Sports Illustrated in 1993, recalling the Chicago Bears’ rugged middle linebacker. “Chuck just snapped them down like rag dolls.”
“He had such a sense for the game,” Brookshier said. “You could do all that shifting and put all those men in motion, and Chuck still went right where the ball was.”
Charles Philip Bednarik was born on May 1, 1925, in Bethlehem, Pa. His father, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, was a laborer for Bethlehem Steel.
After playing high school football, Bednarik joined the Army Air Forces and flew 30 bombing missions over Europe in World War II as a gunner on a B-24 Liberator.
He began his career at Penn as a freshman late in the 1945 season and played all 60 minutes, intercepting two passes, in a 34-7 loss to unbeaten Army in November 1946. He was an All-American in 1947 and again in 1948, when he finished third in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy awarded to college football’s leading player.
The Eagles selected Bednarik as the first pick in the 1949 N.F.L. draft and he played on a championship team led by Steve Van Buren at halfback and Pete Pihos at end. Bednarik won a second championship in 1960 on a team that also featured Norm Van Brocklin at quarterback. Bednarik had been playing mostly at center by then, but when an outside linebacker was hurt, he went in on defense as well in the late-season games and then the title game with the Packers.
Bednarik was a longtime chairman of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, which oversees boxing and wrestling in the state.
He is survived by his wife, Emma; their daughters Charlene Thomas, Donna Davis, Carol Safarowic, Pam McWilliams and Jackie Chelius; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Bednarik remained a favorite with Eagles fans long after his playing days, and the team retired his No. 60 in 1987. When the Eagles chose their 75th-anniversary team in September 2007, he was honored as the best center and middle linebacker in the team’s history in a ceremony at Lincoln Financial Field.
As he once recalled it, the moment transcended football even for one of its roughest-hewn figures.
“On that day,” he said, “I felt like Benjamin Franklin.”

A00454 - Lee Kuan Yew, Founding Father and First Premier of Singapore

Continue reading the main storySlide Show

Lee Kuan Yew, Founding Father of Singapore, Dies at 91

CreditMichael Stroud/Daily Express/Hulton Archive, via Getty Image
SINGAPORE — Lee Kuan Yew, who transformed the tiny outpost of Singapore into one of Asia’s wealthiest and least corrupt countries as its founding father and first prime minister, died here on Monday. He was 91.
His death, at the Singapore General Hospital, was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr. Lee’s eldest son.
Mr. Lee was prime minister from 1959, when Singapore gained full self-government from the British, until 1990, when he stepped down. Late into his life he remained the dominant personality and driving force in what he called a First World oasis in a Third World region.
The nation reflected the man: efficient, unsentimental, incorrupt, inventive, forward-looking and pragmatic.
“We are ideology-free,” Mr. Lee said in an interview with The New York Times in 2007, stating what had become, in effect, Singapore’s ideology. “Does it work? If it works, let’s try it. If it’s fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one.”
His leadership was criticized for suppressing freedom, but the formula succeeded. Singapore became an admired international business and financial center.
An election in 2011 marked the end of the Lee Kuan Yew era, with a voter revolt against the ruling People’s Action Party. Mr. Lee resigned from the specially created post of minister mentor and stepped into the background as the nation began exploring the possibilities of a more engaged and less autocratic government.
Since Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 — an event Mr. Lee called his “moment of anguish” — he had seen himself in a never-ending struggle to overcome the nation’s lack of natural resources, a potentially hostile international environment and a volatile ethnic mix of Chinese, Malays and Indians.
“To understand Singapore and why it is what it is, you’ve got to start off with the fact that it’s not supposed to exist and cannot exist,” he said in the 2007 interview. “To begin with, we don’t have the ingredients of a nation, the elementary factors: a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny. So, history is a long time. I’ve done my bit.”
His “Singapore model” included centralized power, clean government and economic liberalism. But it was also criticized as a soft form of authoritarianism, suppressing political opposition, imposing strict limits on free speech and public assembly, and creating a climate of caution and self-censorship. The model has been studied by leaders elsewhere in Asia, including China, and the subject of many academic case studies.
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew addresses a crowd in Singapore in 1964. He was the nation’s dominant personality for many years. CreditAssociated Press
The commentator Cherian George described Mr. Lee’s leadership as “a unique combination of charisma and fear.”
As Mr. Lee’s influence waned, the questions were how much and how fast his model might change in the hands of a new, possibly more liberal generation. Some even asked, as he often had, whether Singapore, a nation of 5.6 million, could survive in a turbulent future.
Mr. Lee was a master of so-called “Asian values,” in which the good of society takes precedence over the rights of the individual and citizens cede some autonomy in return for paternalistic rule.
Generally passive in political affairs, Singaporeans sometimes chide themselves as being overly preoccupied with a comfortable lifestyle, which they sum up as the “Five C’s” — cash, condo, car, credit card, country club.
In recent years, though, a confrontational world of political websites and blogs has given new voice to critics of Mr. Lee and his system.
Even among people who knew little of Singapore, Mr. Lee was famous for his national self-improvement campaigns, which urged people to do such things as smile, speak good English and flush the toilet, but never to spit, chew gum or throw garbage off balconies.
“They laughed, at us,” he said in the second volume of his memoirs, “From Third World to First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000.” “But I was confident that we would have the last laugh. We would have been a grosser, ruder, cruder society had we not made these efforts.”
Mr. Lee developed a distinctive Singaporean mechanism of political control, filing libel suits that sometimes drove his opponents into bankruptcy and doing battle with critics in the foreign press. Several foreign publications, including The International Herald Tribune, which is now called The International New York Times, have apologized and paid fines to settle libel suits.
The lawsuits challenged accusations of nepotism — members of Mr. Lee’s family hold influential positions in Singapore — and questions about the independence of the judiciary, which its critics say follows the lead of the executive branch.
Mr. Lee denied that the suits had a political purpose, saying they were essential to clearing his name of false accusations.
He seemed to believe that criticism would gain currency if it were not challenged vigorously. But the lawsuits themselves did as much as anything to diminish his reputation.
Mr. Lee was proud to describe himself as a political street fighter more feared than loved.
“Nobody doubts that if you take me on, I will put on knuckle-dusters and catch you in a cul-de-sac,” he said in 1994. “If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no other way you can govern a Chinese society.”
A jittery public avoided openly criticizing Mr. Lee and his government and generally obeyed its dictates.
“Singaporeans are like a flea,” said Mr. Lee’s political tormentor, J.B. Jeyaretnam, who was financially broken by libel suits but persisted in opposition until his death in 2008. “They are trained to jump so high and no farther. Once they go higher they’re slapped down.”
In an interview in 2005, Mr. Jeyaretnam added: “There’s a climate of fear in Singapore. People are just simply afraid. They feel it everywhere. And because they’re afraid they feel they can’t do anything.”
Mr. Lee’s vehicle of power was the People’s Action Party, or P.A.P., which exercised the advantages of office to overwhelm and intimidate opponents. It embraced into its ranks the nation’s brightest young stars, creating what was, in effect, a one-party state.
To remove the temptation for corruption, Singapore linked the salaries of ministers, judges and top civil servants to those of leading professionals in the private sector, making them some of the highest-paid government officials in the world.
It was only in 1981, 16 years after independence, that Mr. Jeyaretnam won the first opposition seat in Parliament, infuriating Mr. Lee. Two decades later, after the 2006 election, just two of the Parliament’s 84 elected seats were held by members of opposition parties.
But in 2011, the opposition won an unprecedented six seats, along with an unusually high popular vote of close to 40 percent, in what was seen as a demand by voters for more accountability and responsiveness in its leaders. Pragmatic as always, the P.A.P. reacted by modifying its peremptory style and acknowledging that times were changing.
Mr. Lee met with President Obama at the White House in October 2009, when he held the special post of minister mentor. CreditGerald Herbert/Associated Press
But the new approach still fell short of true multiparty democracy, and Singaporeans continued to question whether the party intended to change itself or would even be able to do so.
“Many people say, ‘Why don’t we open up, then you have two big parties and one party always ready to take over?’ “ Mr. Lee said in a speech in 2008. “I do not believe that for a single moment.”
He added: “We do not have the numbers to ensure that we’ll always have an A Team and an alternative A Team. I’ve tried it; it’s just not possible.”
What Singapore got was centralized, efficient policy making and social campaigns unencumbered by what Mr. Lee called the “heat and dust” of political clashes.
One government campaign tried to combat a falling birthrate by organizing, in effect, an official matchmaking agency aimed particularly at affluent ethnic Chinese.
Mr. Lee also promoted the use of English as the language of business and the common tongue among the ethnic groups, while recognizing Malay, Chinese and Tamil as other official languages.
With tourists and investors in mind, Singapore sought to become a cultural and recreational hub, with a sprawling performing arts center, museums, galleries, Western and Chinese orchestras and not one but two casinos.
Despite his success, Mr. Lee said that he sometimes had trouble sleeping and that he calmed himself each night with 20 minutes of meditation, reciting a mantra: “Ma-Ra-Na-Tha.”
“The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts,” he said in an interview with The Times in 2010. “A certain tranquillity settles over you. The day’s pressures and worries are pushed out. Then there’s less problem sleeping.”
Lee Kuan Yew, who was sometimes known by his English name, Harry Lee, was born in Singapore on Sept. 16, 1923, to a fourth-generation, middle-class Chinese family.
He worked as a translator and engaged in black market trading during the Japanese occupation in World War II, then went to Britain, where he earned a law degree in 1949 from Cambridge University. In 1950 he married Kwa Geok Choo, a fellow law student from Singapore. She died in 2010.
After serving as prime minister from 1959 to 1990, Mr. Lee was followed by two handpicked successors, Goh Chok Tong and Mr. Lee’s eldest son, Lee Hsien Loong. Groomed for the job, the younger Mr. Lee has been prime minister since 2004.
Besides the prime minister, Mr. Lee is survived by his younger son, Lee Hsien Yang, who is the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore; a daughter, Dr. Lee Wei Ling, who runs the National Neuroscience Institute; a younger brother, Suan Yew; and a younger sister, Monica.
Ho Ching, the wife of the prime minister, is executive director and chief executive of Temasek Holdings, a government holding company.
“His stature is immense,” Catherine Lim, a novelist and frequent critic of Mr. Lee, said in an interview. “This man is a statesman. He is probably too big for Singapore, on a level with Tito and de Gaulle. If they had three Lee Kuan Yews in Africa, that continent wouldn’t be in such a bad state.”
The cost of his success, she said, was a lack of emotional connection.
“Everything goes tick-tock, tick-tock,” she said. “He is an admirable man, but, oh, people like a little bit of heart as well as head. He is all hard-wired.”
In the 2010 interview with The Times, though, he took a reflective, valedictory tone.
“I’m not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honorable purpose,” he said. “I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”
He said that he was not a religious man and that he dealt with setbacks by simply telling himself, “Well, life is just like that.”
Mr. Lee maintained a careful diet and exercised for most of his life, but he admitted to feeling the signs of age and to a touch of weariness at the self-imposed rigor of his life.
“I’m reaching 87, trying to keep fit, presenting a vigorous figure, and it’s an effort, and is it worth the effort?” he said. “I laugh at myself trying to keep a bold front. It’s become my habit. So I just carry on.”