Former WBC light welterweight boxing champ
Billy Costello, 55, a former WBC light welterweight boxing champion who won his first 30 professional fights, died of lung cancer Wednesday at a hospital in his hometown of Kingston, N.Y., said his longtime friend Joe LaLima.
Costello was 40-2 over a 20-year career that began in 1979. He won the World Boxing Council light welterweight championship in 1984 with a 10th-round technical knockout of Bruce Curry, then defended the title three times over the next year.
Costello lost the title to Lonnie Smith in an eighth-round technical knockout in 1985. His only other loss as a pro came to Alexis Arguello in 1986.
Born April 10, 1956, in Kingston, Costello was one of eight children. A standout baseball player in high school, he switched to boxing when he was kicked off the baseball team after his arrest in a convenience store robbery.
After retiring from fighting, he worked in building and road construction, as a boxing judge and with young people in Kingston's Police Athletic League boxing club.
Christiane Desroches Noblecourt
Egyptologist saved antiquities from flooding
Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, 97, a pioneering French Egyptologist who helped salvage Nubia's vaunted antiquities from flooding caused by the construction of the Aswan Dam, died June 23 at a hospital in Epernay, east of Paris, after a stroke.
Born Nov. 17, 1913, in Paris, Desroches Noblecourt developed an early passion for Egypt after reading about the discovery of King Tut's tomb in the early 1920s. She later studied at the Louvre and the Sorbonne.
After an initial trip to Egypt in the late 1930s, she became the first woman to be put on a stipend with the Cairo-based French Institute of Oriental Archaeology, cracking the male-dominated world of Egyptology.
After Egyptian officials began planning the Aswan High Dam project on the Nile in 1954, Desroches Noblecourt expressed concerns that 32 ancient temples and chapels in southern Nubia were facing submersion.
She was allowed to petition UNESCO for help mobilizing nearly 50 countries for a vast project in the 1960s to dismantle, move and reconstruct the antiquities, including massive statues of Pharaoh Ramses II at Abu Simbel, which were broken down into 1,000 pieces and rebuilt over four years.
Desroches Noblecourt helped organize a Louvre exhibit in 1967 about King Tut's treasure that drew more than 1 million visitors.
Desroches Noblecourt wrote dozens of books, including "The Fabulous Heritage of Egypt," a bestseller in France in 2004 and 2005.
—Los Angeles Times staff and wire reportsCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times