Milestones, Jul. 19, 1971

  • Share
  • Read Later

Died. Jim Morrison, 27, lead singer of the Doors and the third big rock star to die within ten months; in Paris. Although Morrison at times drank heavily, he did not have a reputation as a drug user, and he died of a heart attack. The son of an admiral, Morrison got a master's degree from UCLA before beginning to intone his long, theatrical poems to dark, eerie, thundering rock. His orgiastic performances and his command, "Come on, baby, light my fire," turned on teeny-boppers by the millions, but his mood was often more apocalyptic: "Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection!" he protested against the ravaging of the earth.

Died. Dorothy Andrews Kabis, 54, 33rd Treasurer of the U.S. and the first in the nation's history to change her name and the signature appearing on U.S. paper money; of a heart attack; in Sheffield, Mass. Dorothy Andrews Elston was appointed Treasurer by President Nixon after helping to raise more than $1,000,000 for the 1968 G.O.P. campaign. The fifth woman in succession to hold the post, Mrs. Elston married Wilmington, Del., School Principal Walter Kabis last year.

Died. Louis Armstrong, 71, trumpeter, singer and world-renowned ambassador of jazz (see Music).

Died. Samuel R. Bronfman, 80, founder and president of Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Limited; in Montreal. Bronfman laid the foundations of his financial empire 54 years ago when he started a mail-order whisky business. Branching out into distilling during Prohibition, Bronfman went on to create the world's largest distillery. At 80, Bronfman still remained the astute chieftain and patriarchal head of a family-dominated firm. "I've set it up better than the Rothschilds," he once said. "They spread the children. I've kept them together."

Died. Admiral Thomas C. Hart, 94, commander in chief of the U.S. Asiatic fleet at the outbreak of World War II; of pneumonia; in Sharon, Conn. Having seen action in both the Spanish-American War and World War I, Tommy Hart became the oldest admiral afloat when F.D.R. extended his tour of duty past the mandatory retirement age of 64. Convinced that war was imminent, Hart kept the principal warships based in Manila Bay out of the harbor, avoiding another Pearl Harbor. Forced to move his headquarters south to Java, Hart commanded the outnumbered Americans in the three-day battle of Makassar Strait, inflicting heavy losses on the Japanese fleet. In 1945, Hart, a Republican, was appointed U.S. Senator from Connecticut. Instead of seeking election when the term expired two years later, he retired to spend his last decades on his farm in Sharon.