PASSINGS: Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, Ultimate Warrior, Edmond Harjo

Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson

Former Trinidad and Tobago leader held by Islamic rebels

Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, 87, a former Trinidad and Tobago prime minister who was held hostage for days and shot during a bloody 1990 coup attempt, died Wednesday at a private medical center in Trinidad's capital of Port-of-Spain after a prolonged illness.

National Security Minister Gary Griffith said Robinson had been hospitalized for several medical conditions related to diabetes.

Robinson led the twin-island Caribbean country as prime minister from 1986 to 1991 and served in the largely ceremonial role of president from 1997 to 2003. He was held hostage for six days in July 1990 with several Cabinet members and opposition legislators in a failed coup attempt by 114 rebels of Jamaat al Muslimeen, a local Islamic group that drew followers mainly among poor urban blacks in Trinidad's slums. Jamaat leader Yasin Abu Bakr blamed Robinson for widespread poverty that followed the collapse of world oil prices in 1983.

When the armed insurgents invaded Parliament on July 27, 1990, they ordered Robinson to call off security forces outside Parliament. But instead, he instructed the military, "Attack with full force!" He was then beaten and shot in his right leg.

Violence claimed 24 people during the coup attempt, the only Islamic revolt in the Western Hemisphere. The bizarre rebellion ended with a ruse: Robinson's administration promised the insurgents amnesty, then arrested them. But Trinidad's High Court eventually freed them and Bakr has never been convicted of anything.

Robinson was born Dec. 16, 1926, on the sister island of Tobago and studied law in Britain. He returned to his Caribbean homeland in the mid-1950s and was first elected to Trinidad and Tobago's Parliament in 1961. He served as finance minister from 1961 to 1967.

He is credited with introducing the idea of a single Caribbean market and economy and helping establish the International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands.

Ultimate Warrior

Colorful star helped put pro wrestling in the mainstream

The Ultimate Warrior, 54, one of the most colorful stars in pro wrestling history, died Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., the WWE said. Warrior, who legally changed his name from James Hellwig to his wrestling moniker, collapsed while walking with his wife to their car at a hotel and was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to Scottsdale police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark.

There were no signs of foul play, Clark said. The Maricopa County medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy.

Hellwig was one of pro wrestling's biggest stars in the late 1980s. He beat Hulk Hogan in a memorable match at WrestleMania in 1990.

He was in the spotlight again earlier this week, making appearances at the latest WrestleMania in New Orleans and on "Monday Night Raw," and being inducted into the WWE Hall of fame.

The Ultimate Warrior personified the larger-than-life cartoon characters who helped skyrocket the WWE into the mainstream in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Warrior dressed in face paint, had tassels dangling from his super-sized biceps and sprinted to the ring when his theme song was played. He would shake the ropes and grunt and howl while the crowd went wild for the popular good guy.

He made his debut with the promotion when it was known as the World Wrestling Federation in 1987 and wrestled on and off for the sports entertainment empire until 1996.

The Ultimate Warrior would defeat Randy "Macho Man" Savage the next year at WrestleMania. Savage, who died in 2011, Hogan and Warrior were enormous personalities with gaudy costumes and memorable catchphrases. They led the WWE's transformation from a promotion running weekend arena shows and Saturday morning TV into one booking events at the largest stadiums around the world with millions watching every Monday night. More than 5.1 million viewers watched Warrior's final appearance Monday night on "Raw."

Edmond Harjo

Native American code talker in World War II

Edmond Harjo, 96, an Army veteran who was among a group of Native Americans who used their tribal languages to outmaneuver the enemy during World War II, died March 31 at Mercy Hospital in Ada, Okla. His nephew, Richard Harjo, said his uncle had a heart attack.

Harjo, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, traveled to Washington, D.C., in November to take part in a ceremony in which the Congressional Gold Medal was bestowed on Native American code talkers from 33 tribes.

At the ceremony, House Speaker John Boehner recalled how Harjo, a member of the 195th Field Artillery Battalion, was walking through an orchard in southern France in 1944 and heard one of his fellow soldiers singing under a tree in the Creek dialect. A captain later heard the two soldiers talking, Boehner said, and immediately put them to work on opposite ends of a radio link.

Edmond Harjo was born Nov. 24, 1917, in Maud, Okla. He was a teacher for most of his life and a classical pianist. He never married and had no children, Richard Harjo said.

Times wire reports

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