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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, January 31, 2004

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José Miguel Agrelot, Puerto Rican comedianDidi Ah Yo, Hawaiian travel agentGeorge R. Andersen, director of Minnesota lotteryRoger Arnebergh, former LA city attorneyFrederick Moore Binder, Whittier College presidentFanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch track-and-field starMary-Ellis Bunim, reality TV producerErnest Burke, pitcher and outfielder with Baltimore Elite Giants

Business and Science

Didi Ah Yo (54) owner of Creative Holidays travel agency in Hawaii and a familiar face on Hawaii TV, whose signature slogan "Didi Ah Yo and away we go” made her a household name in Hawaii. Ah Yo died of leukemia in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 28, 2004.


Education

Frederick Moore Binder (83) former president of Whittier College in the early ‘70s when the institution added its law school. Binder was credited with leading the acquisition of the former Beverly Law School in Los Angeles and turning it into the Whittier College School of Law in Hancock Park. He died of pneumonia in Hershey, Pennsylvania on January 28, 2004.


News and Entertainment

José Miguel Agrelot (76) popular Puerto Rican radio and TV comedian, best known for his characters like Torito and Don Cholito, whose morning radio show Su alegre despertar ran for 54 years in the same format, earning an entry in The Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running radio show conducted by the same person. Agrelot died of a massive heart attack in Condado, Puerto Rico on January 28, 2004.

Mary-Ellis Bunim (57) producer who brought TV into the age of reality with MTV’s The Real World and whose latest hit series was The Simple Life. Bunim and her business partner Jonathan Murray, who kicked off the reality trend with The Real World (1992), were among the genre’s most prolific producers. Their series included Road Rules, The Love Cruise, Making the Band, Starting Over, and, most recently, Fox’s The Simple Life with party girl and headline-maker Paris Hilton. Bunim died of breast cancer in Los Angeles, California on January 29, 2004.


Politics and Military

George R. Andersen (53) director of the Minnesota Lottery, the only director the lottery had had in its 14-year history. Andersen’s management recently came under fire owing to overhead costs, prompting the introduction of legislation for stricter oversight. He committed suicide outside his home by slitting his wrists in the single-digit temperatures and freezing to death, in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 27, 2004.

Roger Arnebergh (94) former Los Angeles city attorney for 20 years, so widely respected that he rarely faced opposition on election day. Arnebergh was finally beaten in 1973 by a younger candidate, Burt Pines. He died in Canoga Park, California on January 25, 2004.


Sports

Fanny Blankers-Koen (85) Dutch track-and-field star honored in 1999 as the best female athlete of the 20th century by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Blankers-Koen won a record four gold medals for the Netherlands at the 1948 Olympics (tying Jesse Owens' record from 1936, later tied by Carl Lewis in ‘84). She set 20 track-and-field world records. She died of Alzheimer’s disease in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on January 25, 2004.

Ernest Burke (79) former pitcher and outfielder for the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro Leagues. After being one of the first black Marines to serve in World War II, Burke played professionally for four seasons for the Elite Giants, then played in the Canadian Provincial League, where he had a .308 batting average during one of his two seasons there. After leaving baseball, Burke was a heavy-equipment operator at the Henry J. Knott Construction Co. for 30 years until he retired in the early ‘80s. He then became a tennis instructor and supplemented his pension by attending trading card shows, where he signed autographs and sold Negro Leagues paraphernalia. He died of kidney cancer in Baltimore, Maryland on January 31, 2004.


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