June 28, 2009 in Nation/World

In passing

From Wire Reports
 
File Associated Press photo

Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald treated her own cancer at the South Pole in 1999.
(Full-size photo)

Jerri FitzGerald, doctor, adventurer

Boston – Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, who diagnosed and treated her own breast cancer before a dramatic rescue from the South Pole a decade ago, has died after the disease recurred. She was 57.

Her husband, Thomas FitzGerald, said she died Tuesday at their home in Southwick, Mass. Her cancer had been in remission until it returned in August 2005.

She was the only doctor among 41 staff at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in winter 1999 when she discovered a lump in her breast.

Rescue was out of the question because of extreme weather. She had no choice but to treat the disease herself, with help from colleagues she trained to care for her and U.S.-based doctors she stayed in touch with via satellite e-mail.

In a headline-grabbing rescue, she was lifted by the Air National Guard that October during the Antarctic spring.

Frank J. Low, astronomer

Tucson, Ariz. – Astronomer Frank J. Low, the experimental genius who developed and distributed sensors for infrared astronomy and performed the first successful observations above the Earth’s atmosphere, died June 11 in Tucson, Ariz., after a long illness. He was 75.

One of the fathers of infrared astronomy, Low “basically unlocked problems such as how stars form, led to the first observations of light from extrasolar planets, and totally revolutionized our view of the energetics and evolution of galaxies,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory astronomer Michael Werner.

Alec Gallup, pollster

Princeton, N.J. – Alec Gallup, 81, who served as chairman of his family’s business, the Gallup Poll, died of a heart ailment Monday at his home in Princeton, N.J.

George Gallup Sr. founded the Gallup Poll in 1935, devising random sampling techniques to allow for much greater statistical accuracy.

Alec Gallup served as co-chairman of the Gallup Organization from 1986 to 1996, writing and editing the questions for the polls conducted.

Sky Saxon, rock singer

Austin, Texas – Sky Saxon, lead singer and founder of the 1960s band The Seeds, who had a Top 40 hit in 1967 with “Pushin’ Too Hard,” has died after a brief illness.

He was in his 60s.

The Seeds sprang up in California, and their garage-band sound with Saxon’s distinctive vocals became a favorite of the flower power generation. Another hit single of 1967 was “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” and their song “Mr. Farmer” was included in the soundtrack for the movie “Almost Famous.”

The Mick Jagger-influenced vocals by Saxon (born Richard Marsh) dominated the sound and in turn influenced later punk rockers.

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