Categotry Archives: Government


Winona Sullivan


Categories: Government, Writers/Editors

Before she became a mystery writer, Winona Yahn Sullivan was a fashion model and a spy.
The New York native earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Manhattanville College and a master’s degree in education from New York University. She did some modeling in Manhattan and studied Russian at the University of Leningrad, then decided to launch a career in espionage.
In 1965, Sullivan wrote a letter to the Central Intelligence Agency, asking to become a government spy. Impressed with her language skills, the Agency hired her as a Russian intelligence analyst. She spent the next two years tracking suspected Russian agents and interpreting intelligence.
Sullivan later mastered the balancing act of raising seven children and writing cozy mystery novels. She penned half a dozen books, including the popular Sister Cecile series about a nun who moonlights as a private investigator. The first book in the series, “A Sudden Death at the Norfolk Cafe,” won the 1991 Best First Private Eye Novel Contest, sponsored by the Private Eye Writers of America and St. Martin’s Press. In recent years, she also taught at the University of Miami and Florida International University.
Sullivan died on June 24 of lung cancer. She was 61.


Joseph L. Gormley

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Categories: Business, Government, Law

Joseph L. Gormley, the retired chief of chemistry and toxicology for the FBI, died on June 6 from complications of cancer. He was 90.
Born in Clinton, Mass., Gormley received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from Boston College. In 1940, he moved to Washington D.C. and joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Gormley continued his academic pursuits, earning a law degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in forensic science from George Washington University.
He spent more than three decades with the FBI, investigating some of the agency’s most famous cases, including the Great Brinks Robbery in 1950 and the 1964 murders of three young civil rights workers, which became known as the “Mississippi Burning” case. He served as an expert witness in numerous trials, testifying on his knowledge of chemistry, toxicology and arson. For more than 20 years, Gormley supervised a program that developed the use of lie detector tests for investigative purposes.
He retired from the FBI in 1973, then directed the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory and worked in the research and training divisions of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The former president of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, Gormley also taught at GW and the University of Maryland.
In his spare time, Gormley fathered nine children and built a small side business recreating well-known perfumes and fragrances. He used the perfumery profits to pay for his children’s educations.


Ronald Reagan


Categories: Actors, Government, Hollywood, Media, Politicians

rreagan.jpgRonald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died on June 5 of pneumonia. He was 93.

Born in Tampico, Ill., Reagan earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and sociology from Eureka College. He moved to Iowa after graduation to become a weekend sportscaster for WOC and WHO Radio. While covering spring training in California for the Chicago Cubs in 1937, Reagan took a screen test at Warner Bros. and landed a seven-year contract.

In his first film, “Love Is on the Air,” he played a radio announcer. This small part sparked a 20-year career in Hollywood. Reagan acted in more than 50 films, including “Kings Row,” “Bedtime for Bonzo” and “Hellcats of the Navy.” In 1940, he married actress Jane Wyman and appeared in the picture “Knute Rockne, All-American.” Playing the part of George Gipp, a legendary Notre Dame running back and Rockne’s protege, Reagan earned the nickname “The Gipper.”

During World War II, the 30-year-old Reagan volunteered for military service. A second lieutenant in the Army, he was eventually barred from combat for poor eyesight. Instead, he oversaw the loading of convoys and narrated flight training films for bomber pilots.
Reagan returned to Hollywood after the war and was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. He testified as a friendly witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947, and became an FBI informant, providing the names of entertainers he said were involved in Communist activities.

Reagan and Wyman divorced in 1949; he remarried three years later to actress Nancy Davis. Nancy and Ron would remain a devoted and glamorous couple for more than half a century.

Reagan changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 1962, and entered the political arena as the co-chairman of the California Republicans for Barry Goldwater. His 1964 television address for the GOP presidential candidate raised $8 million. With the help of his large network of political and Hollywood connections, Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966 with 51 percent of the vote. He served two terms in office then built a national audience for his political career by broadcasting a popular, syndicated radio show.

At 69, Reagan became the oldest man ever elected president of the United States. Known as “The Great Communicator,” he served two terms in office, from 1981 to 1989, reshaped the Republican Party in his own conservative image, oversaw a period of economic growth and tripled the national debt to $3 trillion.

Reagan’s presidential tenure began with a hostage crisis in Iran and concluded with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. He sought to achieve “peace through strength” by increasing defense spending by 35 percent and calling the U.S.S.R. the “evil empire.” He again infuriated the Russians by announcing plans for “Star Wars,” an outer space missile defense system. This animosity cooled, however, when Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev formed a relationship that lead to the signing of the first Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

On March 30, 1981, Reagan was nearly assassinated outside a Washington hotel. A drifter named John Hinckley Jr., seeking to prove his love/obsession for actress Jodie Foster, fired six shots at the president. One bullet lodged an inch from Reagan’s heart, but he recovered. The shooting also wounded a police officer, a Secret Service agent and Press Secretary James Brady.

In 1983, Reagan shocked the nation when he ordered U.S. troops to invade Grenada in response to a bloody military coup. In his second term in office, Reagan faced scandal after former aides revealed that he had authorized secret arms sales to Iran while seeking Iranian aid to gain release of American hostages held in Lebanon. He also ordered the funding of rebels fighting in Nicaragua — in violation of a congressional ban. Despite months of Iran-contra hearings, Reagan faced no legal action and left office in 1989 with the highest approval rating of any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Reagan was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the Century. He received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor from Congress, and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. His last years were spent living in seclusion, tended by his wife, as he struggled with Alzheimer’s disease, a condition he revealed to the public in 1994.

Pictures From the Reagan Presidency

Books About Reagan


Glenn Cunningham


Categories: Government, Law, Military, Politicians

gcunningham.jpgGlenn D. Cunningham, the first black mayor of Jersey City, N.J., died on May 25 of a heart attack. He was 60.
Cunningham enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school. He left the military four years later as a corporal, and joined the Jersey City Police Department. For the next quarter century, Cunningham worked his way up the law enforcement ranks from beat cop to captain, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jersey City State College.
After retiring from the police department in 1991, Cunningham accepted the post of Hudson County Director of Public Safety. In 1996, President Bill Clinton nominated him for the position of U.S. Marshal for the State of New Jersey. Once confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, he became the first African-American to hold the post.
A registered Democrat, Cunningham won the Jersey City mayoral race in 2001. Once he became the first black mayor of the city, he set his sights on a higher political office. In 2003, the determined politician won a state Senate seat.
When he wasn’t participating in the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee or teaching criminal justice classes at Jersey City State College, Cunningham was a passionate history buff. At the time of his death, he was writing a book on local African-American history.


Robert Camp

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Categories: Government

During his 25 years as a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service, Robert Ephriam Camp Jr. protected six American presidents. From Richard M. Nixon to Bill Clinton, he was always willing to risk his own life to secure the safety of the commander-in-chief.
At 20, Camp joined the Army as part of Company F, 75th Infantry Rangers in Vietnam. He served two tours of duty, and earned a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. When he returned to the states, Camp joined the U.S. Secret Service. He handled counterfeit cases and was the intelligence coordinator for the Secret Service during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
After Camp retired in 1999 to care for his terminally ill father, the Kennesaw, Ga., resident became an outspoken supporter of gun ownership.
He died on May 16 of cancer at the age of 55.

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