Categotry Archives: Business


James Parrish


Categories: Business, Sports

James Herbert Parrish Jr., a former NFL lineman, died on March 10 from cancer. He was 35.

Born in Baltimore, the 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive tackle attended Temple University on a full scholarship; he studied finance and political science.

In 1992, Parrish launched his professional football career with the Miami Dolphins. Over the next decade, he became a football nomad, playing for Indianapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the New York Jets, Chicago and Kansas City. He was a member of two Super Bowl teams — the 1994 Cowboys who beat Buffalo, and the 1996 Steelers who lost to Dallas.

When cancer forced him to retire from the game, Parrish became a successful Merrill Lynch broker in Dallas.


Lawrence Ritter

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Categories: Business, Education, Sports, Writers/Editors

lritter.jpgLawrence Stanley Ritter, the author of the classic baseball book “The Glory of Their Times,” died on Feb. 15. Cause of death was not released. He was 81.
Ritter graduated from Indiana University and received a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at Yale University and Michigan State University, worked as an economist and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and edited the Journal of Finance. From 1960 to 1991, he taught at New York University, serving as the chairman of the business school’s finance department. A research room and an endowed chair have been named in his honor.
Other than finance, Ritter had a passion for baseball and writing. In 1966, he received a $3,000 advance to write the book, “The Glory of Their Times.” For the next four years, he and his son traveled around the country, taping interviews with baseball players from the early part of the 20th century. The book sold more than 400,000 copies and was adapted into a documentary piece broadcast on PBS.
Ritter also wrote or co-wrote seven other baseball books, including “The Babe: A Life in Pictures,” “The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time” and “Leagues Apart: The Men and Times of the Negro Baseball Leagues.”


Jim Eubank

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Categories: Business, Military, Sports

Jim Eubank, a world-class swimmer and real estate developer, died on March 1 from complications of a stroke. He was 88.
Born in Seattle and raised in Inglewood, Calif., Eubank taught himself how to swim in the ocean. He was working as a lifeguard in Los Angeles County when the Coast Guard recruited him to serve in the Office of Strategic Services Maritime Unit, an elite underwater swimming squad, during World War II. A forerunner of the Underwater Demolition Team, the squad sent Eubank to Burma, Indonesia and the South China Sea to conduct maritime sabotage and reconnaissance missions. For his valor as a squad leader, he received an honorary green beret and membership in the Special Forces Regiment in 1998.
After the war, Eubank moved to Los Angeles and launched a career in real estate. He purchased residential properties and shops in the Hollywood Hills, then moved to San Marcos, Calif., a suburb north of San Diego, and developed a strip of restaurants known as Old California Restaurant Row. In 1995, the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce named him Business Person of the Year.
When he wasn’t wheeling and dealing, Eubank swam in ocean races. For 50 years, he won his division in the annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim competition. A stroke in 1983 led to the installation of a pacemaker, but that only set him back for a brief time. During his recovery, Eubank persuaded the doctors to grant him access to a stationary bicycle. Within two weeks, he was cycling up to 40 minutes.
Eubank swam no less than a mile a day in the three-lane heated lap pool he built himself. In the past 10 years, he set two world records and five national records in the 100-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter swims for his age class. He was named Masters Swimmer of the Year among males 85-89 in 2001 by SWIM Magazine, and won four out of the five events he entered at the World Masters Championships in New Zealand.
Last year, Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly challenged Eubank to a 50-yard swim race. Although he was half Eubank’s age, Reilly lost by a length.


Estelle Axton

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Categories: Business, Musicians

eaxton.jpgAs the co-founder of the Stax Records Co., Estelle Axton was a maternal presence in the Memphis music scene. Known as Lady A, she and her brother Jimmy Stewart built an R&B record label that rivaled Detroit’s Motown during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Axton grew up in Tennessee, playing the organ and singing in the family’s gospel quartet. She studied education at Memphis State University, where she met her husband Everett Axton.
Axton was a middle-aged bank clerk when she mortgaged her home to launch the record company in 1957. It was originally called Satellite Records, but that name had to be changed because another company already owned the rights to it. So the siblings combined their last names to come up with Stax.
During its heyday, Stax Records offered an impressive lineup of artists, including Sam and Dave, Otis Redding Jr., Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Booker T. and the MGs, Rufus Thomas, and the Mar-Keys. Several Stax tunes, such as “Soul Man” and “In the Midnight Hour,” turned into chart-topping hits.
Until the company went bankrupt in 1975, it placed 166 hits in the pop charts. Two years later, Axton and other family members established Fretone Records, which produced the popular Rick Dees single, “Disco Duck.” A museum dedicated to the history of Stax opened in 2003.
Axton died on Feb. 24 of natural causes. She was 85.


Howard Klehm

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Categories: Business, Scientists

Howard G. Klehm Sr.’s inventions kept feet dry, preserved flowers and allowed brides to match bouquets to wedding color schemes.
Klehm earned a degree in music at Northwestern University in 1947. He originally planned to become a professional musician, but decided that life on the road wasn’t conducive to raising a family. So he turned to inventing.
Working in his mother’s basement in 1949, Klehm invented Gard, a weatherproofing spray for shoes, raincoats and tents. When the product was sold to 3M, its name was changed to Scotchgard. Specializing in products that could be delivered by an aerosol spray, Klehm invented spray-on rustproofer, deodorant and shaving cream.
In the 1970s, Klehm developed the first spray paint for flowers and accessories. When aerosols became unpopular, he created two different types of pump dispensers that used only air as the propellant. He also produced the flower preservatives known as Rogard and Silgard.
Klehm died on Feb. 21 from congestive heart failure. He was 79.

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