PASSINGS: Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Walt Dropo, Eugene V. Wolfenstein

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa

Italian economist, architect of euro

Italian economist Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, 70, one of the intellectual architects of the euro and a member of the European Central Bank’s first executive board, died Saturday night after suffering a heart attack during a dinner with friends in Rome, said his one-time deputy Vincenzo Visco.

“He was among those who knew how to translate the European ideal into concrete and learned analyses and projects, giving in particular a lasting contribution to the birth of the euro and the Eurozone,” Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said.


During his seven-year term at the European Central Bank, Padoa-Schioppa was one of the six members charged with guiding the euro through its first years after being introduced in 11 member nations Jan. 1, 1999.

Padoa-Schioppa first gained international recognition as the director-general for economic and financial affairs at the European Commission from 1979 to 1983.

Padoa-Schioppa was born July 23, 1940, in Belluno, Italy. He studied at Bocconi University in Milan, where he earned a degree in economics in 1966, and at MIT. He was fluent in German and English.

Premier Romano Prodi named Padoa-Schioppa finance minister after the 2006 elections. He held the job until Prodi lost to Premier Silvio Berlusconi in 2008.

Walt Dropo

1950 Red Sox Rookie of the Year

Walt Dropo, 87, who won the 1950 American League Rookie of the Year award with the Boston Red Sox, died Friday of natural causes, the University of Connecticut announced.

Dropo, who lived in Peabody, Mass., was a three-sport star at the University of Connecticut in the 1940s.


In 1950, Dropo was named Rookie of the Year after hitting .322 with 34 home runs and a league-best 144 runs batted in. He also made his only All-Star team that season.

“Walt Dropo was one of the greatest players the Red Sox had in the post- World War II era,” said Dick Bresciani, the team’s vice president of publications and archives.

A broken wrist slowed Dropo in 1951, and he was never able to match his rookie season. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1952 and also played for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles.

Born Jan. 30, 1923, in Moosup, Conn., Dropo played football, basketball and baseball at the University of Connecticut in a career that was interrupted by three years of military service during World War II.


He graduated in 1947 as the University of Connecticut’s career scoring leader in basketball, but turned down offers to play professional football and basketball to sign with the Red Sox.

Eugene V. Wolfenstein

UCLA political science professor

Eugene V. Wolfenstein, 70, a longtime UCLA political science professor, died Wednesday of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, the school announced.


Wolfenstein had been at UCLA since 1965, becoming a full professor in 1979. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974 and UCLA’s Harriet and Charles Luckman distinguished teaching award in 1994.

Eugene Victor Wolfenstein was born in Cleveland in 1940. He received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in 1962 and his master’s and doctorate in political science from Princeton University in 1964 and 1965.

His books included “The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution” in 1981.

In 1984, he earned a doctorate in psychoanalysis from Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute in Beverly Hills, where he taught from 1988 to 2002.


-- Times staff and wire reports