Donald Spoto

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Former Death Penalty Focus board member Donald Spoto died earlier this month. He was 81. His death from a brain hemorrhage was announced by his husband, Danish artist, and school administrator Ole Flemming Larsen. The couple lived near Copenhagen in Denmark. 

A prolific writer, whose dozens of books included biographies of prominent men and women from the fields of politics, show business, and religion, he was as complex and brilliant as his many subjects. 

He earned a master’s and Ph.D. in New Testament studies at Fordham University and taught religion for a time before becoming a full-time writer, publishing books on a wide range of luminaries, including Jesus, Joan of Arc, Marilyn Monroe, and Alfred Hitchcock.

“His wit was a gift during board meetings and events,” said DPF board member Fr. Chris Ponnet. “I celebrate him and his eternal peace.” 

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