Elaine Lorillard, a socialite who encouraged a club owner to start the Newport Jazz Festival, has died of an infection, a nursing home official said in Newport, R.I. She was 93. Lorillard died Monday at the Heatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Newport, where she had been treated for dementia. Lorillard is best remembered for inspiring jazz club owner George Wein to create the Newport Jazz Festival, the first such gathering in the United States and the model for hundreds of similar celebrations worldwide. While visiting Wein's club in 1953, she told him jazz might liven up the "terribly boring" social scene in the summer resort for the rich. Her husband, Louis, a tobacco heir, gave Wein a $20,000 line of credit to start the festival. The first event in July 1954 attracted 11,000 fans to hear jazz giants that included Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday. But Lorillard, who later divorced her husband, clashed with Wein over who deserved the credit and profits from the festival, even suing it in 1959. She and Wein publicly reconciled in 1992.
Larry Bland, a historian, author and teacher on the life of George C. Marshall, has died of heart failure in Lexington, Va. He was 67. Bland, who died Tuesday, wrote and edited articles and publications on the life of Marshall, the former Army chief of staff and secretary of state whose "Marshall Plan" helped rebuild Europe from the ravages of World War II. He lectured on Marshall in the United States and abroad. Bland also served as managing editor of the Journal of Military History for 19 years.