DIED. STEPHEN AMBROSE, 66, best-selling American historian whose books fed a popular appetite for stories of Allied valor in World War II; in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The former University of Wisconsin football star made his name in the academic world with multi-volume biographies of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon before crashing the bestseller charts in 1992 with Band of Brothers, the first in a string of hugely successful patriotic histories. Ambrose, whose reputation was tarnished earlier this year by the discovery of plagiarized passages in several of his books, also served as an adviser on numerous Hollywood films, including Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan.
KNIGHTED. PLACIDO DOMINGO, 61, Spanish tenor with 119 opera roles, 100 recordings and nine Grammy awards to his name; at the British embassy in Washington, D.C. He received the honorary knighthood a special version of the title given to non-Britons for his "massive contributions" to the arts and for his charity work.
CONVICTED. IRA EINHORN, 62, 1970s counterculture guru who enjoyed nearly two decades of idyllic fugitive life in Europe before being extradited from France last year to stand trial for the 1977 bludgeoning death of his girlfriend Holly Maddux; of first-degree murder; in Philadelphia. Einhorn accused authorities of planting Maddux's partially mummified corpse in his closet half a year after her disappearance to prevent him from revealing information about CIA mind-control tests.
DIED. ALPHONSE CHAPANIS, 85, co-founder of the science of ergonomics, whose belief that products should be engineered from the user's point of view resulted in such canonical creations as the Touch-Tone phone keypad; in Baltimore. Chapanis also applied his user-friendly credo to the design of bomber cockpits, voice mail systems and oil exploration techniques.
DIED. AUDREY MESTRE, 28, French diver who sought to break the world free-diving record by descending to a depth of 171 meters on a single breath, attached to a pulley and a 90-kg weight; off the coast of La Romana, Dominican Republic. Mestre reached the target depth but suffered a fatal accident while surfacing, disqualifying the bid. She was posthumously awarded the world record breaking the previous mark of 162 meters set by her husband, Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras for a 170-meter test dive made three days earlier.
DIED. ROMAN TAM, 52, Hong Kong pop icon whose crooning formed the soundtrack to the city's entertainment golden age of the 1970s; of liver cancer; in Hong Kong. The flamboyant star took advantage of his mainstream popularity to shake up the city's conservative show business world, performing in drag and posing nude for a local magazine.
DIED. RAY CONNIFF, 85, composer and bandleader whose breezy arrangements of popular hits such as Besame Mucho and Just Walkin' in the Rain epitomized the lounge sound of the 1950s and 60s; in Los Angeles. Despite their poor critical re-ception, Conniff's recordings have sold 70 million copies and become the sonic staple in elevators and supermarkets worldwide.