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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, citizens of the world.

Anyone who followed the corruption saga of Hollinger newspaper magnate Conrad Black has Christopher Browne to thank. Browne led a shareholder rebellion challenging Black's lavish salaries and perks. When he sent letters to Black requesting meetings to inquire about executive compensation, the newspaper baron privately dismissed the pressure as an "epidemic of shareholder idiocy" and refused to reduce personal payments. Oops. Here's a bit more about Browne's life -- he wrote "The Little Book of Value Investing" in 2006, and his firm helped billionaire Warren Buffett get his first shares in Berkshire Hathaway. And FWIW, Black's now in prison.

You have to hand it to Mary Morrison; she handed out enough Christmas gifts to fill a sleigh. Starting the day after Christmas, she would take advantage of post-Christmas sales and buy gifts for the needy for the following year, wrap each one individually and label it according to age and gender. She also bought jewelry that she would "sell" for a dime to children before Christmas Eve so they would have something to give their mothers.

A Hungarian abstract painter who endured arrest, bombardment, vandalism and vilification, Tamas Lossonczy, has died. He lost most of his early work with the bombing of Budapest in 1944, but that opened a wildly creative period for him.

Otto Graf Lambsdorff
, a West German economics minister who brought down chancellor Helmut Schmidt, died in Bonn Dec. 5. He resurrected his career after being accused of corruption and convicted of evading taxes, and in 1999 negotiated a compensation scheme for victims of Nazi forced labour with the U.S.

Indulge us a bit -- we usually don't point to our own work (blush), leaving it to savvy readers of this blog to look to the left, where Washington Post obituaries are listed, but today, we have two significant ones: Sol Price, king of the discounts, and Leonel Gomez, who fought for justice in El Salvador.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  December 15, 2009; 8:39 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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