Re­cent deaths in the news

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - WASHINGTON | -

KER­MIT TYLER, an Amer­i­can pi­lot who dis­missed ini­tial re­ports of what turned out to be the Ja­panese at­tack on Pearl Har­bor, died Jan. 23 in San Diego af­ter suf­fer­ing two strokes in the last two years. He was 96.

Tyler was on duty Dec. 7, 1941, when two pri­vates re­ported a large blip on their radar screen. Tyler fa­mously re­sponded, “Don’t worry about it,” think­ing it was a flight of U.S. B-17 bombers due in from the main­land.

The air­craft were the first wave of the Ja­panese sur­prise at­tack that plunged the U.S. into World War II.

Many ques­tioned his de­ci­sion, and the 1970 movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!” por­trayed him in an un­flat­ter­ing light.

How­ever, Daniel Martinez, Pearl Har­bor his­to­rian for the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, said con­gres­sional com­mit­tees and mil­i­tary in­quiries that looked into the in­ci­dent did not find Tyler at fault.

Af­ter Pearl Har­bor, Tyler flew com­bat mis­sions in the Pa­cific.

ROBERT MY­ERS, an ac­tu­ary who helped cre­ate the So­cial Se­cu­rity pro­gram and helped set Amer­ica’s of­fi­cial re­tire­ment age at 65, died Feb. 13 of res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure at his home in Sil­ver Spring, Md. He was 97.

AL­BERT KLIG­MAN, a der­ma­tol­o­gist who in­vented the widely used acne med­i­ca­tion Retin-A but whose ex­per­i­ments in­volv­ing pris­on­ers raised eth­i­cal ques­tions that dogged his ca­reer, died Feb. 9 in Philadel­phia. He was 93.

AL­LAN KORN­BLUM, who helped steer the FBI into the post-J. Edgar Hoover era by draft­ing sur­veil­lance guide­lines in the 1970s, died of can-

SAM HAMIL­TON, di­rec­tor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice, died Feb. 20 dur­ing a ski trip in Colorado. He was 54. A coroner’s of­fice re­port said Hamil­ton’s death was “con­sis­tent with an un­der­ly­ing heartre­lated med­i­cal is­sue.” He be­came the wildlife ser­vice’s di­rec­tor last year.

ILONA COPEN, a founder of the New York In­ter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion and a cham­pion of the ex­change of ideas among dance com­pa­nies around the world, died of can­cer Feb. 20 at her home in New York. She was 70.

RAY­MOND MA­SON, a Bri­tish sculp­tor whose work fo­cused on or­di­nary peo­ple caught up in the drama of daily life, died of heart fail­ure Feb. 14 at his home in Paris. He was 87.

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