Obituaries in the news

Eds: AMs. ADDS Burk and Harel. Separate for Grandelius moved on sports services. Separate for Harel moved on general news services. Separate for Kallenbach moved on entertainment services.

By The Associated Press

Bill E. Burk

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Bill E. Burk, author and former Memphis newsman who covered the last 20 years of Elvis Presley's life, has died. He was 75.

He died Thursday in Memphis after a heart attack, said his wife, Connie.

Burk was a columnist for the former Memphis Press-Scimitar until it closed in 1983 and wrote roughly 400 stories and columns about Presley.

He also published 13 books about the singer and the quarterly "Elvis World" magazine. His wife said the latest issue came out in February and will likely be the last.

Burk lived so close to Graceland, Elvis' Memphis mansion, that he would sometimes be invited over, and Presley would visit Burk's home.

His writing even earned him a tourism award from the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1980, and he was twice named United Press International Columnist of the Year in Tennessee.


Everett "Sonny" Grandelius

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Everett "Sonny" Grandelius, who earned All-America recognition after becoming Michigan State's first 1,000-yard rusher in 1950, has died. He was 79.

A university release announcing Grandelius' death said he died Friday in Beverly Hills, Mich., but did not give the cause of death.

The Muskegon Heights native earned three letters for the Spartans from 1948-50 while playing for coach Clarence "Biggie" Munn. Michigan State went 20-6-2 over that span, including an 8-1 record and No. 8 ranking by The Associated Press in 1950.

Grandelius became just the 17th 1,000-yard rusher in college football history when he gained 1,023 yards on 163 carries in 1950, his senior season. He also led the team in scoring with 72 points.

Grandelius was named most valuable player in the 1951 Hula Bowl and also participated in the 1951 East-West Shrine Game. The New York Giants selected him in the third round of the 1951 NFL draft.

Following the 1953 season, his only season in the NFL, Grandelius spent five years as an assistant coach at Michigan State under Duffy Daugherty. He was head coach at Colorado from 1959-61 and compiled a 20-11 record, including the 1961 Big Eight title with a 7-0 record.


Yossi Harel

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Yossi Harel, the ship commander whose attempt to take Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the Exodus 1947 built support for Israel's founding, has died. He was 90.

He died Saturday of cardiac arrest at his Tel Aviv home, his daughter said.

Harel commanded four expeditions that took thousands of refugees to the shores of Palestine, his daughter said. But the best known was that of the Exodus 1947, a ship that left France in July 1947 carrying more than 4,500 people -- mostly Holocaust survivors and other displaced Jews -- in a secret effort to reach Palestine.

At the time, Britain controlled Palestine and was attempting to limit the immigration of Jews.

The British Royal Navy seized the vessel off Palestine's shores, and after a battle on board that left three people dead turned the ship and its passengers back to Europe, where the refugees were forced to disembark in Germany.

The ship's ordeal was widely reported worldwide, garnering sympathy for the refugees, especially because they were taken to Germany.

It inspired a fictionalized account by American writer Leon Uris and a classic 1960 film directed by Otto Preminger and starring Paul Newman.


Kenneth Keith Kallenbach

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- Comedian Kenneth Keith Kallenbach, a long-running member of Howard Stern's "Wack Pack," has died after falling ill in jail. He was 39.

Kallenbach got pneumonia while in custody on a charge of attempted child abduction. He died Thursday at Riddle Memorial Hospital near Media, his mother, Fay Kallenbach, said Friday.

She said he suffered from cystic fibrosis and officials at the Delaware County jail near Philadelphia had failed to properly care for him. A county official said he had been cared for promptly.

Stern first reported the news on his Sirius Satellite Radio show Thursday.

Kallenbach, whose goofball antics included attempting to blow smoke from his eyes, made dozens of appearances on Stern's show beginning in 1990. While Kallenbach appeared on the show less frequently in recent years, his name was well-known to Stern fans.

Stern once likened him to MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head and wrote in his 1993 book "Private Parts" that Kallenbach was the "ultimate airhead."

Kallenbach was arrested in mid-March after he was accused of trying to pull a girl into his car. He had denied any wrongdoing.

He posted bail but was returned to custody for violating terms of his probation. Kallenbach, who was convicted of drunken driving in 1999, pleaded guilty in May to driving without an ignition interlock device.


Humphrey Lyttelton

LONDON (AP) -- Jazz trumpeter and broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton, host of the surreal British Broadcasting Corp. radio game show "I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue," has died at the age of 86.

The performer's Web site said Lyttelton died at a London hospital late Friday following surgery.

Born into a prominent British family and educated at the elite Eton College, Lyttelton was a jazz fanatic who taught himself to play the trumpet as a teenager. He became an accomplished musician -- Louis Armstrong once called him Britain's best trumpeter -- and made a series of records for the EMI label with his Lyttelton Band.

He toured with the band well into his 80s and made a guest appearance on Radiohead's track "Life In A Glass House" in 2000.

Lyttelton's varied career took in World War II service in the Grenadier Guards and a stint as a cartoonist for the Daily Mail newspaper. He also wrote several books about music.

But for many he was best known as the host of "I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue," launched in 1972.

A self-styled "antidote" to ordinary game shows, the program built up a passionate following with its mix of silliness, wordplay and innuendo. Lyttelton was a master at delivering ribald double-entendres -- usually involving the show's fictitious scorekeeper, "the lovely Samantha" -- in his deadpan, upper-class voice. He was also famous for his imaginative signoff lines, which would begin: "As the delicate mayfly of time collides with the speeding windscreen of fate," or with some equally fanciful metaphor.


John H. McConnell

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- John H. McConnell, a steel magnate who was the majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets, has died. He was 84.

McConnell, found last year to have cancer, died Friday at a Columbus hospital, said Cathy Lyttle, a spokeswoman with Worthington Industries, a $3 billion-a-year steel processing company that McConnell started in 1955 with $600 he borrowed against his car.

McConnell brought major pro sports to Columbus when he led a group of investors that acquired an NHL expansion team that began play as the Blue Jackets in 2000. He called the team his gift to the city.

He was also an early investor in Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew franchise and a former minority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and arena football's Columbus Destroyers.

The Blue Jackets, now seven years in, are the only NHL franchise that has yet to make the playoffs. It was something McConnell had often said he couldn't wait to see.

Unlike many owners, "Mr. Mac," as he was called by his coaches and players, was idolized by fans who filled Nationwide Arena to capacity to watch the Blue Jackets.

On opening night, Oct. 9, 2000, McConnell received a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute when he slowly moved to center ice on a blue carpet -- ever-present cane in hand -- to drop the first puck along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.