Deaths of note from around the world:
Otis “Damon" Harris, 62: Former member of the Motown group The Temptations from 1971 to 1975. Harris sang on such hits as Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone" and “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)." Harris formed a new group after leaving The Temptations and later released solo recordings. Ironically, he established a cancer foundation prior to his being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Died last week in Baltimore.
Cleotha Staples, 78: The eldest sister and member of The Staple Singers, the family gospel group her father Roebuck “Pops" Staples started in the 1940s. The group included sisters Cleotha, Yvonne, Mavis and Cynthia, and brother Pervis. The group had a No. 1 hit with “I’ll Take You There" in 1972 and followed with top 40 hits “Respect Yourself," “Heavy Makes You Happy," and “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)." It was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. Cleotha Staples died Thursday in Chicago.
Otfried Preussler, 89: A beloved German children’s author whose books about wizards, witches and water spirits sold 50 million copies. Preussler had 32 books published, which have been translated into 55 languages. His most famous character was Hotzenplotz, a clever robber who deftly outwits Dimpfelmoser, an inept policeman. Died Feb. 18 in Prien am Chiemsee, Germany.
Wolfgang Sawallisch, 89: Considered one of the last “old-school" German conductors, he led the Philadelphia Orchestra for 10 years, beginning in 1993, and was music director of the Bavarian State Opera in Germany for 21 years before that. Died Friday in Grassau, Germany.
Michael Schwartz, 62: A conservative activist who served as chief of staff to Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Schwartz also worked with conservative lobbying groups, such as the Free Congress Foundation and Concerned Women of America. Died Feb. 3 in Germantown, Md.