And Richard L. Strout, 92, who wrote The New Republic's "TRB from Washington" column from 1943 to 1983, died on Aug. 19 in Washington, D.C. Strout once said, "When I took the job, I was advised that the column was easy to write. Just get mad at someone once a week and spit in his eye."
B.F. Skinner, 86, in many ways the father of behavioral psychology, died Aug. 18 in Cambridge, Mass., of complications from leukemia. Born Burrhus Frederic Skinner in Susquehanna, Pa., Skinner found himself drawn as a young man to the emerging science of behaviorism, which argued that humans could be conditioned externally by rewarding, or punishing, certain behavior. Skinner's most famous experiments involved the Skinner Box, which he used, beginning in the late 1930s, to train pigeons and rats to push buttons and pull levers for food and water. Skinner wrote 11 books, including Walden Two, a 1948 novel about a behaviorally engineered Utopian community. Walden Two became a handbook for a generation of flower children in the 1960s, selling a million copies. Jerome Kagan, Harvard psychology department chairman, says, "Skinner will rank with Freud and Piaget in terms of his influence."
Brendan O'Rourke, the little boy with AIDS who caught Pope John Paul II's attention during a papal visit to San Francisco in 1987, died last week at age 7. O'Rourke got AIDS via a blood transfusion. "With one embrace, the Pope succeeded in dispelling many of the fears and prejudices toward AIDS patients," says Kim Komenich, the newspaper photographer who snapped the Pope and O'Rourke.
Sixties wild man turned '90s sage, actor-director Dennis Hopper, 54, and his fourth wife, dancer Katherine, 23, expect their first baby next month. The couple married in June 1989. Hopper has two daughters, Marin, 27, from his marriage to Brooke Hayward, and Ruthana, 17, from his marriage to actress-turned-therapist Doria Halprin.
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