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Gregory R. Dillon

Hilton hotel executive

Gregory R. Dillon, 86, a Hilton Hotels Corp. executive who was a confidant of company founder Conrad Hilton and chief executive Barron Hilton, died Wednesday at his Los Angeles home, according to a statement from a company publicist. A cause of death was not given.

Dillon, a retired Hilton vice chairman and director emeritus, was born in Chicago on Aug. 26, 1922. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II then earned a law degree from DePaul University. In 1950, he was hired by the legal firm that was general counsel to the Hilton corporation.

He worked closely with the corporation for the next 13 years and was instrumental in a 1954 merger with the Statler hotel chain for $111 million, a then-unprecedented price for a real estate transaction. He joined the Hilton corporation in 1963 as an assistant to Conrad Hilton.

He traveled around the world to negotiate Hilton management contracts and established a corporate properties division that oversaw planning, financing and construction of Hilton projects.

He later held other executive posts and in 1977 was elected to the corporation's board of directors. He was named vice chairman and director emeritus in 1996.

In 1994, he became director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Robert Robideau

American Indian activist, painter

Robert Robideau, 61, an American Indian activist who was acquitted of killing two FBI agents in a 1975 shootout in South Dakota, died Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain, where he had been living. Authorities there said his death may have been related to seizures caused by shrapnel left in his head from an accidental explosion.

Robideau, a native of Portland, Ore., was a member of the American Indian Movement who occupied the reservation town of Wounded Knee, S.D., for 71 days in 1973.

In June 1975, two FBI agents followed a man wanted in the theft of a pair of cowboy boots onto the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The agents soon came under heavy rifle fire and were killed.

The FBI identified Robideau's cousin Leonard Peltier as a suspect in the shooting and placed him on its most wanted list.

Months later, Robideau was driving Peltier's station wagon through Kansas with other AIM members when ammunition in the car accidentally exploded.

Robideau, who was seriously injured, was arrested and tried for the FBI agent killings, but he was acquitted. Peltier was convicted.

Robideau later became a painter, concentrating on tribal themes. He served as director of the American Indian Movement Museum in Barcelona, which displayed some of his paintings.

Kelly Groucutt

Bass player for hit-maker ELO

Kelly Groucutt, 63, former bass player with 1970s rock hit-makers ELO, died Thursday in Worcester, England, after having a heart attack, his management announced.

Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1971 by local musicians Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, ELO -- short for Electric Light Orchestra -- combined rock 'n' roll with orchestral arrangements replete with string sections, choirs and symphonic sweep.

Groucutt, who was born Sept. 8, 1945, in Coseley, England, joined ELO in 1974 after leaving his previous band, Sight and Sound. He played bass and sang during ELO's heyday as one of the world's biggest rock acts. ELO had a string of British and U.S. chart hits during the 1970s and early 1980s, including "Livin' Thing," "Mr. Blue Sky" and "Don't Bring Me Down."

Groucutt left the band in 1983 but later toured with several successor acts, including ELO Part II and The Orchestra.

-- times wire reports news.obits@latimes.com

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