Deaths elsewhere

  • Updated: October 15, 2012 - 7:43 PM

John Hoffman, 62, a former federal environmental official whose innovative program to identify and reward energy-efficient practices became the Energy Star program, a voluntary international rating system for "green" products, died Sept. 24 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

He had complications after surgery.

Hoffman was a global warming crusader in the 1980s, before the terms "climate change" and "clean energy" were part of everyday life. Hoffman, who began working at the Environmental Protection Agency in 1978, devised the Energy Star program in 1992 after discovering that colleagues were wasting significant amounts of energy when away from their computers. He thought computers and printers should have a "sleep" mode to save energy when not in use.

In 1996, the EPA partnered with the Department of Energy to include major home appliances and home electronics in the Energy Star program. The label is now featured on houses, commercial and industrial buildings and more than 40,000 consumer products. He was also a driving force behind what became the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to reduce harmful chemical emissions.

George Friedman, 77, a former advertising executive who helped develop and market perfumes named for fashion designers like Ralph Lauren, Paloma Picasso and Gloria Vanderbilt in the 1970s and '80s, died Oct. 7 of a heart attack at his home in Sagaponack, N.Y.

Friedman first came up with the idea to release perfumes under the Ralph Lauren name while working for Estee Lauder's global cosmetics company. When Lauder refused, he left and founded Warner/Lauren Cosmetics (the Lauren was later dropped from the name) with Warner Communications, the designer Ralph Lauren and Robert Ruttenberg in 1976. Ruttenberg had also worked for Estee Lauder and in advertising.

"George was the visionary," Ruttenberg said. "He connected us to Picasso, he connected us with Ralph, he connected us to Vanderbilt. Yes, he was the facilitator and the creator."

Friedman tried to match his fragrances with particular demographic groups by monitoring every aspect of development, from bottles to advertising. Marketing perfume under an established designer's name was a novel approach, and it proved immensely successful.

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