Rudy Van Gelder, 91, engineer who perfected sound of jazz on record

Mr. Van Gelder had the final say in what the records sounded like, and he was, in the view of many, better at that than anyone.

James Estrin/New York Times/file 1998

Mr. Van Gelder engineered classic albums by Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

// Louis Herman, 86, researcher who talked with dolphins

Dr. Herman’s seminal research demonstrated that dolphins could understand and respond to language transmitted by sound and visual signals.

// John F. Timoney, 68, police official who helped cut crime in 3 cities

The Irish-born cop could outrun crooks and quote Yeats yet his greatest accomplishment was developing strategies that evolved how officers interact with their community.

// Steven Hill, at 94; played imposing figures in TV dramas

Mr. Hill originated imposing lead roles on the two notable television series.

// Harry Briggs Jr., 75, catalyst for Brown v. Board of Education

Harry Briggs Jr., whose parents originated the pivotal lawsuit that struck down public school segregation in 1954, died Aug. 9 in New York City.

Samuel M. Robbins, 93; collected neglected paintings

Mr. Robbins, of Newton, amassed New England art and donated it to the Peabody Essex Museum.

// Lou Pearlman, 62, Svengali behind Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync

Mr. Pearlman built some of the most successful music groups of the 1990s, one of which launched the career of Justin Timberlake.