Supporter of UCLA hospital
reconstructive plastic surgery to soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, died Sunday at her Los Angeles home after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer, the center announced.
With her husband, inventor Ronald A. Katz, she set up the Katz Family Foundation in 2002. The foundation has given more than 30 major gifts to charity and often supported UCLA, which the couple attended.
Their $1 million gift helped set up Operation Mend, which tries to provide advanced treatment at UCLA for military personnel who have undergone surgery and rehabilitation in San Antonio at Brooke Army Medical Center, a leader in burn victim treatment.
As president of the UCLA Medical Center Auxiliary from 1996 to 1999, Katz noticed that families might benefit from a private room to wait for news about surgery. A donation from the Katz family led to such a surgical waiting room at the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Her husband of 52 years insisted that it be called "Maddie's Room."
She was born Madelyn Rae Guttelman on Dec. 2, 1935, in Sioux City, Iowa. Katz was close to graduating from UCLA when she had the first of her two sons.
Choreographer was protegee of Graham
Pearl Lang, 87, a dancer, choreographer and a major champion of the work of Martha Graham, died Feb. 24 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of a heart attack while recovering from hip surgery.
Lang, who also founded a significant company of her own, the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, was teaching an advanced class at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in the weeks before her hospitalization. As recently as last summer she was teaching a composition class at the school.
She was born Pearl Lack in Chicago on May 22, 1921. She began dance training as a child and changed her name to Lang for the stage while studying acting at the Goodman Theatre.
She also excelled in dressmaking and for several years was enrolled in a special program for gifted students at the University of Chicago.
In 1941, she moved to New York and was accepted into the Graham dance company, where she remained as a regular member until 1952. Lang would eventually take over Graham's roles in several works including "Appalachian Spring," "Letter to the World" and "El Penitente."
She started her own company in 1952 and also choreographed for several companies including the Dutch National Ballet, Boston Ballet and the Batsheva Dance Company of Israel. She was also the recipient of two Guggenheim fellowships for choreography and taught at Yale and the Juilliard School.
Former World Series Yankees pitcher
Tom Sturdivant, 78, a pitcher for several major league teams who had the most success with the New York Yankees, winning 16 games for the Bronx Bombers in 1956 and again in 1957, died Saturday at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City. The cause of death was not announced.
A native of Gordon, Kan., Sturdivant was born April 28, 1930, and grew up in Oklahoma City. He was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1948 and made his major league debut with the team in 1955, when he was 24. He relied on a variety of pitches -- a knuckleball, curveball and fastball -- to become one of the Yankees' best pitchers in 1956 and 1957.
In 1956, he was 16-8 with a 3.30 earned-run average and was ranked fifth in the league in victories and eighth in ERA. In the World Series that year, he pitched a complete game 6-2 victory over the Dodgers in Game 4 to even the best-of-seven series at 2-2. Don Larsen hurled his perfect game against the Dodgers the next day.
Whitey Ford, Sturdivant, Larsen, Bob Turley and Johnny Kucks threw five consecutive complete games in that series -- a feat that has not been accomplished since.
Sturdivant won 16 games for the Yankees the next season but lost only six and led the league with a .727 winning percentage. He had a 2.54 ERA and struck out 118 in 201 2/3 innings. He pitched in two games against the Milwaukee Braves in the 1957 World Series, which Milwaukee won.
Sturdivant hurt his arm in 1958 and ended up with a 3-6 record. He was traded to the Kansas City A's in 1959 and ended up playing with six different teams before finishing his career with the New York Mets in 1964.
-- times staff and wire reports