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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning. A little bit of history and a little bit of bizarro news this morning.

Elizabeth Mary Leen may not have been able to stop a man from attacking her daughter but she showed a mother's fierce will for the next 28 years, working tirelessly to prevent the man convicted of the crime from being released early from prison. He was finally paroled in 2006, and Mrs. Leen, who died last week, was not happy about it.

Michael Russell
fought for years to prove that tobacco use is an addiction, not merely a habit, and key to helping understand that was his development with the Swedish scientist Dr Ove Ferno of a nicotine-containing chewing gum in the late 1970s. He also thought pure nicotine wasn't that bad, but he didn't convince the medical establishment of that belief before his own death.

A woman who survived the almost-forgotten sinking of the SS Athenia during World War II has died. Joan Hecht Lorber was only nine years old at the time, returning from a visit to Scotland with her governess and "I was in my stateroom when I heard the explosion; I knew the damn Huns - but Daddy mustn't know I said that - had gotten us," the little girl told an Associated Press reporter on Sept. 27, 1939 when she finally reached the U.S.

This is not an obit, although it well could have been. Tom Siebel, a tech mogul who started the software firm Siebel Systems, was charged and gored by an elephant in the Serengeti last month.

Look at the time! Time to post -- see you tomorrow, if not sooner.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  September 3, 2009; 7:57 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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