PASSINGS: Carl Smith, Hasib Sabbagh

Carl Smith

Country singer had hits in 1950s

Carl Smith, 82, a country musician of the 1950s and ‘60s known for his dynamic voice, died Saturday at his Tennessee home, according to the Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin, Tenn.

Smith had 41 chart singles during the 1950s, including the hits “Are You Teasing Me,” “Back Up Buddy” and “Hey Joe!” He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003.

Born March 15, 1927, in Maynardsville, Tenn., he began singing on Knoxville radio while still in high school.

From 1952 to 1957, he was married to June Carter; their daughter is country artist Carlene Carter. Smith married country singer Goldie Hill in 1957, and June Carter later married singer Johnny Cash.

Smith was a member of the Grand Ole Opry but left in 1956. From 1964 to 1969, he hosted his own show on Canadian television. He largely retired from music in 1977 to raise horses on his farm outside Nashville.

Hasib Sabbagh

Palestinian billionaire

Hasib Sabbagh, 89, a billionaire Christian Palestinian businessman who co-founded Consolidated Contractors Co. International, one of the largest building companies in the Middle East, died Tuesday at a Cleveland hospital, his firm announced. The cause of death was not given.

CCC, set up in 1952 by Sabbagh and his brother-in-law, Said Khoury, thrived in some of the world’s most volatile regions, helped by Sabbagh’s contacts with a wide range of business executives and politicians. The company built Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, which was completed in 1969, a decade before Saddam Hussein became president, and a terminal extension at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Sabbagh was born in 1920 in Tiberias, Palestine. He graduated from the Arab College of Jerusalem in 1938, and in 1941 earned a civil engineering degree from the American University of Beirut.

CCC moved its headquarters to Athens from Beirut after civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975. The company benefited from the economic construction boom of Dubai and provided offshore services to the oil and gas industries in the countries of the Persian Gulf.

Other projects of CCC include the Azerbaijan section of a 1,100-mile pipeline to the coast of Turkey for a group led by BP, Europe’s largest oil company, and a Dubai shopping mall.

Sabbagh was also a member of the Palestine National Council and helped then-Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat begin talks with the United States.

Sabbagh was a donor to the Carter Center, which was founded in 1982 by former President Carter; the center promotes respect for human rights and fights global poverty.

Sabbagh was also a philanthropist and a proponent of education and providing financial aid to Palestinians.

-- times staff and wire reports