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The Daily Goodbye

Au revoir, today, to the man who gave us the $7,000 Birkin bag, a handbuilt purse the size of a miniature suitcase. Jean-Louis Dumas, 72, who helped transform Hermes from a leather goods company into a high-end maker of jewelry, scarves and handbags that epitomized haute couture, died Saturday.

Mr. Dumas led Hermes from 1978 to 2006. He was the great-grandson of Thierry Hermes, who founded the company in 1837.

Guenter Wendt, a NASA engineer who was often the last person astronauts saw before lifting off, died Monday morning at his Florida home of complications from congestive heart failure. Mr. Wendt was the "pad leader" who oversaw the launch pads' safety and security. Astronauts affectionately called him "pad fuehrer" for his strong German accent.

Finally, 66-year-old Spanish circus promoter and tamer of large cats Angel Cristo has died.

The son of a contortionist and a Greek trapeze artist, he started his own business -- the Circo Ruso -- at the tender age of 17. He became a well-known personality in Spain who battled drugs and allegations of animal abuse in addition to putting up with repeated hospitalizations from injuries inflicted by lions and tigers.

By Emma Brown  |  May 4, 2010; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Goodbye  | Tags: guenter wendt nasa died, jean-louis dumas hermes died, spanish circus promoter angel cristo died  
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