Obituaries: Lem Johns, Mel Patton and Gary Becker

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Lem Johns, LBJ guard at Kennedy assassination

Lem Johns, 88, a Secret Service agent who guarded Vice President Lyndon Johnson when President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas and who became a high-ranking Secret Service official during Johnson's administration, died May 10 at his home in Hoover, Ala.

Mr. Johns was the first of three generations in his family to serve as presidential Secret Service agents. He was among three Secret Service agents riding directly behind the convertible carrying Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, as the Kennedy motorcade wound through downtown Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Mel Patton, track sprinter won 2 golds in '48 Olympics

Mel Patton, 89, who overcame a badly broken leg as a child to become known as "the world's fastest human" in the 1940s and win two gold medals in the 1948 London Olympics, died May 9 in Fallbrook, Calif,., near San Diego.

Mr. Patton won five national collegiate titles for the University of Southern California at 100 and 220 yards, and broke two world records held by the Olympic champion Jesse Owens, all within three years, 1947 to 1949, earning the nickname Pell Mell.

Gary Becker, economist won Nobel Prize in 1992

Gary S. Becker, 83, a Nobel prize-winning economics professor and longtime columnist for Business Week whose research illuminated motivations about such aspects of everyday life as marriage, crime, addiction, racial discrimination and birthrates, died May 3 in Chicago.

A University of Chicago professor of economics and of sociology, Mr. Becker remained active into his late 70s, holding to a free-market orientation.

He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

-- Compiled from news services


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