- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2007

DANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Michael Corvino, a former star football player at the University of Maryland and the president of backpack maker JanSport, died July 14 in a car accident near his home. He was 46.

Mr. Corvino lost control of his vintage 1970 Dodge Charger and crashed into a tree on the eve of JanSport’s 40th birthday. He was pronounced dead at the scene in Danville, about 30 miles east of San Francisco.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the accident, which also injured Mr. Corvino’s 16-year-old daughter and her friend.

The crash represented a tragic end for an executive who made JanSport “a fun place to be,” said Frank Fenton, the company’s vice president of sales.

“He was the finest boss I ever worked for,” Mr. Fenton told the Contra Costa Times.

JanSport, a subsidiary of Greensboro, N.C.-based VF Corp., is best known for the “daypacks” that have become staples at schools across the country.

After beginning his career with VF Corp. 15 years ago, Mr. Corvino worked in a variety of sales and merchandising jobs in Tennessee and Florida before coming to California in late 2004 to become JanSport’s president.

“Mike was a talented and passionate leader and inspired everyone around him,” VF Chairman Mackey McDonald said. “Mike had an infectious smile and laugh and was a dear friend to many at VF.”

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Corvino was a star linebacker at the University of Maryland from 1979 to 1982. His 24 quarterback sacks are a Maryland record that still stands.

After college, Mr. Corvino played professionally for the Washington Federals of the now-defunct United States Football League.

Mr. Corvino is survived by his wife, Joyce; and two daughters, Elizabeth and Alexandra.

George Comstock, 92, TB researcher

SMITHSBURG, Md. (AP) — Dr. George Wills Comstock, an epidemiologist whose research helped shape the U.S. response to tuberculosis in the 1940s and 1950s, died July 15 of prostate cancer. He was 92.

In 1957, Dr. Comstock conducted research in Bethel, Alaska, where TB was rampant, and demonstrated the effectiveness of the drug isoniazid in preventing TB.

Dr. Comstock, who lived in Smithsburg, was a physician who worked in the U.S. Public Health Service for 20 years and taught at Johns Hopkins University for more than 40 years.

From 1947 to 1951, he ran the first trials of a vaccine called the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis in Georgia and Alabama. The studies found that the vaccine was largely ineffective against TB, which led federal public health officials to decide against vaccinating U.S. children with it.

In 1962, Dr. Comstock founded the Johns Hopkins Training Center for Public Health Research and Prevention in Hagerstown. For the next 30 years, he oversaw community-based research studies on diseases including cancer, heart disease and eye disease.



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