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In Passing

SUNDAY, DEC. 17, 2006


Raymond Shafer, Penn. governor

Former Gov. Raymond Shafer, a Republican who oversaw tax increases to finance social programs and later pushed for federal decriminalization of personal marijuana use, died Tuesday. He was 89.

As Pennsylvania’s governor from 1967 to 1971, Shafer led an overhaul of the state constitution, which had grown outdated, winning several changes from the Republican-controlled Legislature and voters.

But by the time his term ended, the state’s finances were in shambles, partly because of large spending increases Shafer pushed through. Shafer’s popularity sank in 1969 when he proposed a state income tax, an idea so disliked that Shafer was hanged in effigy by 250 protesters in Boston, Pa., who said they were holding a “second Boston Tea Party.”

President Nixon appointed Shafer chairman of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse in 1971, around the time Shafer was named chairman and chief executive officer of Teleprompter Corp.

The Shafer Commission, as it was known, in 1972 recommended that state and federal governments decriminalize the personal use of marijuana but continue to declare it an illegal substance.

But Nixon rejected the report, saying he would not follow any recommendation to legalize marijuana.

Muskego, Wis.

Martin Nodell, comic book creator

Martin Nodell, the creator of Green Lantern, the comic book superhero who uses his magical ring to help him fight crime, has died. He was 91.

The first Green Lantern appearance came in July 1940. After its cancellation in 1949, the series was reborn in 1959 with a revised story line, and it has been revived several times.

Meanwhile, Nodell left the comics field for an advertising career. In the 1960s, he was on a design team that helped develop the Pillsbury Doughboy.

In later years, Nodell traveled the comic book convention circuit with his wife, Caroline, who died in 2004.

Memphis, Tenn.

‘Lizzie’ Bolden, 116, world’s oldest

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bolden, recognized as the world’s oldest person, died Monday in a nursing home, the home’s administrator said. She was 116.

Bolden was born Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angeles organization that tracks the ages of the world’s oldest people.

Guinness World Records recognized Bolden as the oldest person in the world in August after the death of Maria Esther de Capovilla of Ecuador, who also was 116.

Bolden died at the Mid-South Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home where she had been living for several years, said the center’s administrator, Charlotte Pierce. Bolden suffered a stroke in 2004, and her family said she spoke little after that and slept much of the time.

Family members said this year that Bolden had 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great-grandchildren, 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren.


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