Nation/World


In Passing

Rome

Oriana Fallacim, journalist

Oriana Fallaci, the Italian writer and journalist best known for her abrasive interviews and provocative stances, died Friday. She was 76.

Fallaci, who had been diagnosed with cancer years ago, died overnight in a private clinic in Florence, said Paolo Klun, an official with the RCS publishing group, which carried her work. Klun said Fallaci, who lived in New York, had come back to her hometown days ago as her condition worsened.

Fallaci, a former Resistance fighter and war correspondent, was rarely seen in public.

During her journalistic career she became known for challenging interviews with such world leaders as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Her work – both interviews and books – was distributed worldwide.

Fallaci’s recent publications – including the best-selling book “The Rage and The Pride,” which came out weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks – drew accusations of racism and inciting hatred against Muslims.

The book sold more than 1 million copies in Italy and found a large audience elsewhere in Europe.

Corsicana, Texas

Bill McNutt, fruitcake pioneer

L. William “Bill” McNutt Jr., who turned his family’s bakery in Corsicana, Texas, into a specialized mail-order business that ships holiday fruitcakes around the world, has died. He was 81.

McNutt, who was president of Collin Street Bakery from 1967 to 1998, died Sept. 1 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at his Corsicana home.

The bakery, which opened in 1896, got a jolt when McNutt arrived in 1958 and shifted its focus to mail-order sales. He introduced computerized mailing lists, direct consumer marketing and efficient shipping methods to eventually extend the firm’s reach to 196 countries.

The company annually sells about 3 million pounds of fruitcake, or about 1.5 million cakes. Fruitcake accounts for 98 percent of the bakery’s total sales. And nearly all of those sales are by mail order, primarily from October to December, when each cake is packaged in a red Christmas tin decorated with a cowboy and his lasso.

With friend and Texas oilman Lamar Hunt, McNutt co-owned the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League and won the league title in 1971. The Tornado folded after the 1981 season and entered into a minority partnership with the Tampa franchise. The entire league folded in 1984.

Hunt also became a minority partner in the Collin Street Bakery.


 

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