George Morrison

Rock star’s father, rear admiral

George Morrison, 89, a retired Navy rear admiral and the father of the late rock icon Jim Morrison, died in a Coronado, Calif., hospital Nov. 17 after a fall.

Once the youngest admiral in the Navy, Morrison had a long career that included serving as operations officer aboard the aircraft carrier Midway and commanding the fleet during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to an escalation of American involvement in Vietnam.


The father of three children, Morrison had a falling out with Jim after his son launched his music career with the Doors in the mid-’60s. But in 1970, the year before Jim died in Paris at age 27, Morrison acknowledged viewing Jim’s “success with pride.”

Morrison was born in rural Georgia on Jan. 7, 1919, and grew up in Leesburg, Fla.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was aboard the mine-layer Pruitt in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese bombed it Dec. 7, 1941.

He later received flight training and flew combat missions during the final year of World War II and during the Korean War.

Morrison was commanding U.S. forces in the South Pacific from Guam in 1975 when he established a tent city for at least 140,000 South Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon.

When he retired later that year, he and his wife, Clara, moved to Chula Vista, Calif.

Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu

Romanian jailed as a dissident

Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, 80, once jailed as a Romanian communist-era “enemy of the state,” died Friday at his home in Bucharest two weeks after he was released from a hospital where he was being treated for liver disease, national news agency Agerpres reported.


After communist rule ended in 1989 with the overthrow and execution of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Dumitrescu was elected to parliament, where he fought as a senator for the exclusion of former communists from public life.

He helped draft laws that led to the publication of the millions of files of the feared Securitate secret police.

Dumitrescu was sentenced in 1949 to 27 years in prison for being an enemy of the state. From 1949 to 1964, he was incarcerated in communist jails or kept under house arrest.

After he was released, he was not allowed to practice his profession as a lawyer; he was forced to work in construction, a typical career for former dissidents.

He retired from the Senate in 2000 and in May published his memoirs, “Witness and Document,” detailing his time in a communist gulag. He was also chairman of the Assn. of Former Political Prisoners.

He was widely praised for his role in helping Romania move on from its difficult past, particularly as ex-communists continued to rule the country until 2004.


-- Times staff and wire reports