- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Steven T. Florio, 58, magazine executive

NEW YORK (AP) — Steven T. Florio, a hard-driving executive who worked his way up the publishing ladder to lead the Conde Nast magazine empire, died Thursday at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia of complications from an earlier heart attack. He was 58.

Mr. Florio was president and chief executive of Conde Nast through 2004, expanding it to the second-biggest magazine publisher in the country while many others were cutting staff and costs.

He managed 16 magazines aimed at well-to-do readers, selling advertising that appealed to their luxury tastes and reaching more than 70 million readers a month.

Under Mr. Florio, Conde Nast included Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Glamour, Architectural Digest, Self, GQ, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Allure, Wired, Lucky and Teen Vogue.

Born in the New York borough of Queens, Mr. Florio graduated from New York University with a business degree in 1971.

He started his career at Esquire, then became publisher of GQ. He was named president of the New Yorker in 1985, when the magazine was purchased by Advance Publications, the Conde Nast parent company owned by the Newhouse family.

Tab Thacker, 45, wrestler, actor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tab Thacker, an NCAA champion wrestler who appeared in two “Police Academy” films and other Hollywood movies, died Friday after several years of declining health. He was 45.

The 6-foot-4 Mr. Thacker, who once tipped the scale at almost 450 pounds, got his first movie role when Clint Eastwood saw his photograph in Time magazine and took note of Mr. Thacker’s enormous frame, which helped the three-time All-American finish his senior season 31-0 at North Carolina State University in 1984.

Mr. Thacker was cast as a bouncer in the 1930s-era “City Heat” with Burt Reynolds and Mr. Eastwood, then played an underdog football player who made the climactic ending play in 1986’s “Wildcats,” starring Goldie Hawn. He was a cast member in two “Police Academy” films and later appeared in “Identity Crisis.”

Before acting, Mr. Thacker won the NCAA heavyweight championship in 1984 and earned four Atlantic Coast Conference titles. He finished his college career 92-11-1, ranking second in N.C. State history with an .889 winning percentage and 54 pins, the university said.

Mr. Thacker also defeated the Russian heavyweight champion during his international debut.

“People said he won because he was bigger than everyone else,” said Bob Guzzo, who coached Mr. Thacker at N.C. State. “People didn’t realize how light on his feet he was. He was also incredibly strong.”

When Mr. Thacker left the film industry, he returned to Raleigh and opened several night clubs and later became a bail bondsman. He developed diabetes several years ago and had a foot amputated, and he lost his legs in recent months, the university said.

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