Obituaries, 26th-2nd of August 2012

Gore Vidal, James Stevens, Tony Martin, Virgil D. Olson and William F. Milliken have passed away. May their souls rest in peace.


Controversial writer Gore Videl has died at the age of 86. Over an incredible seven decades, he produced 25 novels, scores of essays, television plays and films scripts along with five Broadway plays. He penned a further three books under the alias of Edgar Box. His works included "Myron", "Live from Golgotha" and the religious satire "Messiah." Videl harboured politic desires, running as a Democrat for Congress in 1960 and the Democratic primary for the US Senate in California in 1982, but was unsuccessful both times. He was born in New York and briefly served in the military before becoming a full time scribe. He is survived by a half-sister and half-brother.
Gore Videl: born October 3rd 1925, died July 31st 2012


British composer James Stevenshas died aged 89. A talented and eclectic musician, Stevens covered genres from pop to jazz as well as stage musicals and scores for television shows. He was awarded the International Society for Contemporary Music gong in 1968 and in 1990 was nominated for a prestigious Bafta for his work on BBC drama Chelworth. The Tokyo Symphony Orchestra once performed one of his symphonies and in 1995 the Musicians' Union of Japan picked him to represent English artists at the Hiroshima and Nagasaki 50th anniversary memorial services. Stevens was born in London and is survived by his sister, Jean.



Actor and singer Tony Martin (born Al Morris) has died at the age of 98. Born in San Francisco, he would eventually be taken on by a Hollywood agent who recognized his singing talents upon hearing him performing with his band on the radio. A name-change to Tony Martin and Tinseltown beckoned. 1937's Sing and Be Happy was his first of many starring movie roles, though he is perhaps best remembered for the film Ziegfeld four years later. Martin was to be decorated with the Bronze Star while serving in the military during the war. He married his second wife Cyd Charisse in 1948 and they remained together until her death 60 years later. He is survived by his adopted son from Cyd Charisse's first marriage.
Tony Martin: born December 25th 1913; died July 27th 2012



Retired Marine Corps Colonel Virgil D. Olson has died from prostate cancer. He was aged 93. The legendary helicopter pilot flew combat missions in the Second World War and the conflicts in both Korea and Vietnam, but perhaps his most famous mission was that of being the first Marine pilot to fly an American President (Eisenhower) in 1957. Olson, originally from Iowa, retired from the military in 1973 and in 2010 was bequeathed the honor of having a HMX-1 headquarters facility dedicated to him by the Marine Corps. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, seven Air Medals and two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Olson is survived by three children, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Col. Virgil Olson: born February 26th 1919, died July 31st 2012



William F. Milliken, the highly respected aeronautical engineer who famously helped in the design of a James Bond flying car stunt, has died at his home in New York aged 101. Among his many achievements was penning a book on vehicle dynamics which is considered the bible of Formula 1 racing and helping to develop the B-29 bomber, as well conducting highly dangerous test flights while working for Boeing. Millikan, who was born in Maine, also gained legendary status as the survivor of countless plane and car crashes in the pursuit of science. He is survived by his wife and two children.
William Franklin Milliken Jr: born April 18th 1911, died July 28th 2012


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