March 27, 2011 in Nation/World

In Passing

 

Lanford Wilson, American playwright

New York – Lanford Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who championed outsiders, the forgotten and the overlooked in such plays as “The Hot L Baltimore,” “Burn This,” “Fifth of July” and “Talley’s Folly,” has died. He was 73.

Wilson died Wednesday at a long term acute care facility in Wayne, N.J.

Wilson was one of four founders of The Circle Repertory Company in New York, an incubator of important off-Broadway works. He was nominated for Tony Awards for “Angels Fall,” “Talley’s Folly” and “Fifth of July.”

He won the Pulitzer for drama in 1980 for “Talley’s Folly,” the second in a trilogy of plays that follows the Talley family of Lebanon, Mo., over several generations.

Leonard Weinglass, Chicago Seven attorney

New York – Leonard Weinglass, a crusading lawyer who championed radical and liberal causes and clients in some of the most controversial trials of the 1960s and ’70s, including the Chicago Seven and Pentagon Papers cases, died Wednesday in New York City. He was 77.

The cause was pancreatic cancer.

Weinglass developed a reputation as a firebrand during the Chicago Seven conspiracy case against anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The defendants included Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Although Weinglass was considered less boisterous than co-counsel William Kunstler, he was nonetheless cited for contempt 14 times during the five-month trial, which resulted in acquittals.

Weinglass’ most important case was the Pentagon Papers trial, which was brought against defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg and researcher Anthony Russo for Ellsberg’s unauthorized release of a top-secret government history of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The case against them was dismissed May 11, 1973, after the court learned that a covert team had broken into the offices of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist looking for information to discredit the star defendant.

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