Eduard Shevardnadze, Eileen Ford, David Azrieli: Obits This Week

This week’s notable deaths included the foreign minister of the Soviet Union whose policies opened the nation to the West and helped end the Cold War; the founder of a New York modeling agency that molded supermodels and lead actresses; and a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who became a billionaire through property development in Israel. Below are summaries of these and other obituaries from the past week.

Eduard Shevardnadze, 86, was the Soviet Union’s foreign minister under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, helping to forge policies that led to the end of the Cold War in 1991. He led the newly independent state of Georgia from 1992 to 2003. Died July 7 at his home in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

Eileen Ford, 92, started a modeling agency with her husband in 1946 that has represented the field’s most prominent figures. The roster of Ford Models has included Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley and Christy Turlington. Died July 9 after falling at her New York City home.

David Azrieli, 92, who fled Nazi-controlled Poland in 1939, founded Tel Aviv-based Azrieli Group, Israel’s largest commercial real-estate developer. Forbes magazine had estimated his family’s net worth at about $3 billion. Died July 9 at his home near Montreal.

John Seigenthaler, 86, was a former editor of the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville who worked on civil rights issues in the John F. Kennedy administration before becoming the founding editorial page editor at USA Today. Died July 11 at his home in Nashville, Tennessee.

John C. van Eck Jr., 98, started Van Eck Associates Corp. in 1955, offering Americans an early investment opportunity in non-U.S. companies and created a gold equity fund in 1968. Today, Van Eck Global manages $35 billion for institutional clients. Died July 1 at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Alfredo Di Stefano, 88, set a scoring record for Real Madrid, the Spanish soccer team that he helped to win five European championships from 1956 to 1960. He tallied about 800 goals in his career, making him one of the sport’s all-time scorers. Died July 7 at Gregorio Maranon hospital in Madrid following a heart attack.

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