PASSINGS: Pavel Popovich, Kevork S. Hovnanian, Osman E. Osmanoglu

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Pavel Popovich

Former Soviet cosmonaut

Pavel Popovich, 79, a former Soviet cosmonaut who was best known for a space first in 1962 -- piloting one of two manned satellites that orbited the Earth at the same time -- died Wednesday of a stroke at a Ukraine sanatorium, said Boris Yesin of the Russian astronaut training center.


Popovich obituary: The obituary of former cosmonaut Pavel Popovich in Thursday’s Section A said that he joined the Russian Air Force in 1954. He joined the Soviet Air Force. —

The front-page headline in The Times lauded Popovich and his colleague, Andrian Nikolayev, as “Space Twins” after they landed in August 1962. Popovich had made 48 orbits in his three days in space aboard the Vostok 4 capsule.

Popovich next went into space in July 1974 as commander of the two-man Soyuz 14, a mission to the Salyut space station that lasted more than two weeks.

Pavel Romanovich Popovich was born Oct. 6, 1929, in the Kiev region of what is now Ukraine, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

After studying construction engineering and attending aviation school, he joined the Russian Air Force in 1954.

Six years later, Popovich was part of a pioneering team of cosmonauts. He would become the sixth man to go into orbit.


Kevork S. Hovnanian

Home builder, philanthropist

Kevork S. Hovnanian, 86, who fled Armenia for Iraq before coming to the United States and building a small family-run company into a major home builder, died Sept. 24 in Manhattan, the company said. The cause of death was not disclosed.

In 1959, Kevork and his three brothers -- Hirair, Jirair and Vahak -- each contributed $1,000 and borrowed $20,000 to start a company to build homes in Toms River, N.J., Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. said in a news release marking its 50th anniversary.

Kevork was the company’s largest shareholder, with about 7.6 million shares, or a 12% stake, according to regulatory filings. His son, Ara, 52, has been president and chief executive since 1997, when Kevork stepped aside to serve as company chairman.

Born in 1923, Hovnanian was the eldest of four sons of a road builder in Iraq. In 1959, after a military revolution and nationalization of the family business, the Armenian Christian Hovnanians fled to the United States.


Hovnanian Enterprises builds homes in states including California, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland and New Jersey.

Known in the Armenian community for his philanthropy, Hovnanian helped establish K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center. His foundation also donated to the New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and to other Armenian causes.

Osman E. Osmanoglu

Eldest member of Ottoman dynasty

Osman Ertugrul Osmanoglu, 97, the eldest member of the former Ottoman dynasty, died of kidney failure Sept. 23 at an Istanbul hospital, Turkey’s Culture Ministry said.

Osmanoglu was the last surviving grandson of an Ottoman sultan and regarded as the head of the living members of the dynasty. Osmanoglu would eventually have become its sultan but for the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman dynasty and the exile of its members to Europe.


Osmanoglu moved to New York City in 1933 and was married to Zeynep Tarzi, an exiled member of the Afghan royal family. He returned to Turkey in 1992 and was granted Turkish citizenship in 2004.

He was a descendant of Osman I, the Anatolian ruler who established the Ottoman Empire that eventually controlled parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and lasted about 600 years.

Osmanoglu was born in 1912. His grandfather, Abdul Hamid II, ruled from 1876 to 1909. In 1924, the royal family was expelled by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who led the revolution that deposed the family and founded the Turkish Republic.

-- times staff and wire reports