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Obituaries

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2007

Robert Hecox, 93, combat cameraman

GULFPORT, Fla. (AP) — Robert Hecox, a combat cameraman who captured the creation of Israel and wars in Vietnam and Korea as well as major stories around the world reporting for Paramount News, NBC and the Associated Press, died Aug. 1. He was 93.

Mr. Hecox had been in failing health for the past few months, said his wife, Helen Hecox.

Working first in black and white and then in color, Mr. Hecox worked in war zones around the globe. A military cameraman during World War II, he moved on to Paramount News, where his filming of the creation of Israel was shown across the U.S. as part of newsreels before feature films.

Working for NBC, he traveled to Monaco with movie star Grace Kelly to capture her wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. He later covered the birth of their first child.

Mr. Hecox was born in Greenville, Mich., and started his career as a cameraman for the Army in World War II, covering the Allied advance north from Rome. He later traveled around the world, filming from locations as diverse as Greece and Taiwan. He also filmed from Vietnam's Dien Bien Phu before the battle that led to the French withdrawal from the country.

From 1963 to 1965, he worked for the AP's radio department in New York. After moving to Florida in the late 1970s, he became a proofreader for the St. Petersburg Times.

Lee Hazlewood, 78, singer and songwriter

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lee Hazlewood, a singer and songwriter best known for writing and producing "These Boots Are Made for Walkin" for Nancy Sinatra, died Aug. 4 of kidney cancer. He was 78.

Barton Lee Hazlewood died at his home in Henderson, the Clark County Coroner's Office said.

Mr. Hazlewood was most famous for his work with the daughter of Frank Sinatra, including writing and producing such hits as "Sugartown" and "Some Velvet Morning." He also produced "Something Stupid," a duet Miss Sinatra recorded with her father in 1967.

He also produced records of Duane Eddy and Gram Parsons, and performed on a number of solo albums and with Miss Sinatra in three "Nancy & Lee" albums.

Mr. Hazlewood was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005 and released his final album, "Cake or Death" in 2006.

Jose M. Battle Sr., 77, reputed crime boss

MIAMI (AP) — Jose Miguel Battle Sr., whom authorities accused of being the godfather of one of the country's largest Hispanic organized crime groups, died Aug. 3. He was 77.

Battle died at a medical center for kidney dialysis in South Carolina, his attorney, Jack R. Blumenfeld said Sunday.

Mr. Blumenfeld said an autopsy was not conducted and he was not sure of the exact cause of death, but noted that Battle had long struggled with his health.

"He had a myriad of problems," he said.

Battle pleaded guilty during his federal racketeering trial in 2006 because of his health problems. He had been released on a $1 million bond and was awaiting a spot in a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility that could handle his medical needs, Mr. Blumenfeld said.

Authorities think Battle served as the boss of "The Corporation," a crime ring said to be operated in New York, Florida and Latin America.

Battle and five others were accused of being behind five slayings, four arsons resulting in eight deaths, and more than $1.5 billion collected from drug trafficking, bookmaking and numbers rackets.