Glenn Burke, 42, a former outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics who, in 1982, became the first major leaguer to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality two years after leaving the game, died of complications from AIDS on May 30 in San Leandro, Calif. Burke said last year that homophobia—some of his teammates knew he was gay—had driven him out of baseball. He later spent 17 months in prison for grand theft and drug possession….
Author Stanley Elkin, 65, whose 17 darkly comic novels and collections include the highly praised A Bad Man (1967) and Van Gogh’s Room at Arles (1992), died of a heart attack on May 31 in St. Louis….
Bob Caron, 75, the tail gunner on the Enola Gay when it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, died on June 3 of pneumonia in Denver. In an interview published last month, Caron said of the bombing, which left as many as 100,000 dead instantly, “No remorse, no bad dreams, we accomplished our mission.” Caron spent his postwar career as a design engineer….
Radio newscaster Dallas Townsend, 76, who wrote and anchored CBS radio’s World News Roundup for 25 years, died on June 1 in Montclair, N.J., of injuries suffered in a fall. Townsend, who retired in 1985, covered every Democratic and Republican convention from 1948 to 1980….
Retired salesman Salvatore Travolta, 82, father of actor John Travolta, died on May 29 in Santa Barbara, Calif., of a heart ailment.
Actor Steven Bauer, 138, who starred on Wiseguy for its final season in 1990, filed for bankruptcy on May 18 in Miami. Bauer, who was once wed to Melanie Griffith (the two have a son, Alexander, 9) and who has admitted in the past to drug problems, said in court papers that he owes $1.5 million to the I.R.S., his lawyers and others.
Christie Brinkley, 41, and her husband, real estate developer Rick Taubman, 46, welcomed their first child, an as yet unnamed son (8 lbs., 6 ozs.), on June 2 in New York City. Brinkley has a daughter, Alexa, 9, with ex-husband Billy Joel, and Taubman has a son, Wyatt, 8, from an earlier marriage.
Baseball great Mickey Mantle, 63, suffering from liver cancer, received a liver transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas on June 8. Dr. Jeffrey Crippin, one of Mantle’s surgeons, said it was luck that a donor had been found for the Hall of Famer in less than two days. Mantle, spent a month last year at the Betty Ford Center….
The Rev. Billy Graham, 76, was hospitalized overnight on June 6 in Toronto after collapsing while giving a speech. He had been suffering from flulike symptoms….
On June 5, actor Christopher Reeve, 42, underwent surgery at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Va., to protect his spinal cord by fusing the first two vertebrae in his neck, which were fractured when he was thrown from a horse on May 27. Doctors hope the operation will allow Reeve, now paralyzed and breathing with the help of a respirator, to be able to sit in an upright position.
Die Hard with a Vengeance villain Jeremy Irons, 46, was stopped by police on June 1 for driving 97 mph on his BMW motorcycle while en route to see his teenage son Sam play in a sports event in Wiltshire, England. Police issued a $224 ticket for speeding to the actor and suspended his motorcycle license for three months. In pleading his case before the local magistrates, Irons said, “One of the problems of being an actor is that you are away a lot and when you are at home you want to spend time with your children.”