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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, January 1, 2005

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Jerry Orbach, versatile actor and singerArtie Shaw, jazz clarinetist and bandleaderSusan Sontag, author and social criticReggie White, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the YearJoseph Arcos, expert on how chemicals cause cancerJulius Axelrod, neuroscientistFerenc Bessenyei, Hungarian stage and film actorCharles Biederman, American Modernist painter, sculptor, and theoristWilliam Boyett, veteran stage, screen, and TV character actorCharles Bradstreet, ‘40s supporting actorKen Burkhart, major league baseball umpireChuck Cook, award-winning investigative journalistPeter Davison, poetry editor for ‘Atlantic Monthly’Gerard Debreu, UC Berkeley economistRuby Lee Markham Drakeford, North Carolina’s oldest womanDr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb, pediatric heart surgeonRev. Jacques Dupuis, Belgian theologianJoseph Durso, sports reporter for the NY Times for 51 yearsBernie Ebbins, road manager for jazz and pop music figuresBob Ferguson, former All-American fullback at Ohio StateKen Ferguson, ceramics artist and teacherMark Fiennes, photographer father of actors Ralph and Joseph FiennesLucy Freeman, NYT reporter who covered psychiatry and mental healthHank Garland, jazz and rock guitaristJoseph Griffin, former FBI agentSylvia Herscher, Broadway literary agent, general manager, and producerDonald L. Hollowell, civil rights attorneyCmdr. Latham Brereton (“Yogi”) Jenson, marine artistBob Karstens, Harlem GlobetrotterHeorhiy Kirpa, Ukrainian transport ministerRoger Lane, assistant to three Michigan Supreme Court justicesReuben Law, Nevada’s last WWI veteranEddie Layton, NY Yankees organistRobert T. Matsui, US congressmanSir Angus Ogilvy, British businessman married to Queen’s cousinDr. Frank Pantridge, Irish cardiologistSteven Parrino, artist and musicianWilliam Reppy, former judge of US 2nd District Court of AppealA. J. Richard, owner of America’s largest family hardware storeGerald Roberts, rodeo star and Hollywood stunt doubleMeta Rosenberg - agent, editor, and producer of television movies and seriesCaroline Russo, Australian student killed in TsunamiStanley Milton Sapiro, lawyer who sued California Supreme CourtRobert Shoffner, conducted poultry researchDwight Spaulding Strong, former director of New England Watch & Ward SocietyEsther Stillman Thelen, psychologist who studied how babies learnTzvi Tzur, Israeli Army´s sixth chief of staffGeorge Wackenhut, founder of detective agency that grew into worldwide corporationHo Wai-kam, art historian and curatorRaymond Wood, graphic designer

Art and Literature

Charles Biederman (98) American Modernist painter, sculptor, and theorist who made his mark in New York in the ‘30s and was known for his geometric paintings and aluminum reliefs depicting his fiercely held beliefs that art springs from nature. Biederman’s works are in collections of art museums around the world, and he wrote extensively about art and art history. He died in his sleep in Red Wing, Minnesota on December 26, 2004.

Peter Davison (76) poetry editor for Atlantic Monthly and for two publishing houses. A central figure in Boston’s literary and publishing circles for almost 50 years, Davison wrote 11 volumes of poetry and three prose works, including The Fading Smile: Poets in Boston from Robert Frost to Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath; the work includes his personal remembrances of his mentor Frost, his friend Lowell, and Plath, with whom he had a brief romantic relationship. Davison died of pancreatic cancer in Boston, Massachusetts on December 29, 2004.

Ken Ferguson (76) ceramics artist and teacher who, for 32 years, was chairman of the ceramics department at the Kansas City Art Institute. Ferguson was a director of the Archie Bray ceramic arts foundation in Helena, Montana (1958-64). He died in Shawnee, Kansas on December 30, 2004.

Mark Fiennes (71) patriarch of the Fiennes film clan whose international success as a photographer was overshadowed by the film careers of several of his children, including actors Ralph and Joseph, director Martha, and producer Sophie. Mark Fiennes gave up farming at age 40 to specialize in photographing architecture, art, landscapes, and gardens. He died in Clare, Suffolk, England on December 30, 2004.

Steven Parrino (46) abstract artist and musician with a punk-minimalist sensibility widely recognized in Europe. Parrino was returning from a New Year’s Eve party when he apparently lost control of his motorcycle and was thrown to the pavement near his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York on January 1, 2005.

Susan Sontag (71) author and social critic known for interests ranging from French existentialism to ballet, photography, and politics. Sontag was the author of 17 books, including In America, which won a US National Book award in 2000. Hers was a leading voice of opposition to US policy after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She argued that talk of an "attack on civilization” was "drivel.” An op-ed piece in the Boston Globe responded by calling her a person with a "high IQ, but a few quarts low on compassion and common sense.” Sontag played herself in Woody Allen’s 1983 comedy Zelig and directed four films of her own. She died of cancer in New York City on December 28, 2004.

Ho Wai-kam (80) art historian and curator considered one of the world’s leading authorities on Chinese art. Ho died of complications from diabetes in Shanghai, China, where he was a guest curator at the Shanghai Museum, on December 28, 2004.

Raymond Wood (64) graphic designer best known for creating the pictographs used at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Wood died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, California on January 1, 2005.

Business and Science

Joseph C. Arcos (83) retired senior science adviser at the US Environmental Protection Agency and an expert on how chemicals cause cancer. Arcos wrote more than 160 papers for scientific magazines and wrote or edited 14 books, including a 7-volume treatise, Chemical Induction of Cancer, which won the American Chemical Society award for creative advances in environmental science and technology. He died of cardiac arrest in Asheville, North Carolina on December 31, 2004.

Julius Axelrod (92) National Institutes of Health neuroscientist who—along with two other scientists—won the 1970 Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on how nerve cells communicate and affect behavior. Their work on chemicals released by nerve endings formed the foundation for a host of new antidepressants in the class of Prozac and Zoloft. Earlier in his career, Axelrod helped to identify acetaminophen, the active ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol. He died in Rockville, Maryland on December 29, 2004.

Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb (45) pediatric heart surgeon at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where he had been chief of pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery for the last three years. Drummond-Webb was featured on national TV for his transplants and other cardiac surgery on children, and his accomplishments over 18 months in 2001 and early ‘02 (830 surgeries with a 2% mortality rate) became the subject of a four-part ABC News documentary. He recently suffered a sudden bout of depression and committed suicide in Little Rock, Arkansas on December 26, 2004.

Sir Angus Ogilvy (76) British businessman and financier closely tied to the royal family by friendship and by marriage to Princess Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin. Ogilvy died of cancer in London, England on December 26, 2004.

Dr. Frank Pantridge (88) Irish cardiologist who, in 1965, developed the portable defibrillator, which has saved the lives of countless cardiac patients over the past 40 years. Partridge was often called the father of emergency medicine. He died in Belfast, Ireland on December 26, 2004.

A. J. Richard (95) tinkerer whose enthusiasm for new gadgets transformed P. C. Richard & Son, started by his father in Ozone Park, Queens, NY, from a hardware store into a major retailer of consumer appliances and electronics. For 60 years, Richard sold the latest electric devices, from toasters in the ‘20s to the Walkman in the ‘80s. P. C. Richard & Son now has 49 stores with annual sales of roughly $1 billion. A. J. Richard died of pneumonia in West Islip, New York on December 28, 2004.

Robert Shoffner (88) scientist who conducted pioneering genetic research on poultry at the University of Minnesota that helped other scientists to improve chicken production and better understand how avian and human embryos develop. Shoffner died of complications from a recent fall, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 1, 2005.

Esther Stillman Thelen (63) developmental psychologist who applied dynamic systems theory, popularly called "chaos theory,” to the study of how babies learn to walk and interact. Thelen conducted research at Indiana University for 19 years. She died of cancer in Bloomington, Indiana on December 29, 2004.

George Wackenhut (85) private detective whose small agency blossomed into a global corporation. Wackenhut founded a small detective agency in the Miami suburb of Coral Gables in 1954. In 1956, he expanded into security guard services, a move that turned Wackenhut Corp. into a global corporation providing businesses and government agencies with contract services such as uniformed officers, investigations, and background checks. He died of heart failure in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 31, 2004.


Gerard Debreu (83) French-born former UC Berkeley economist who won a Nobel Prize for breakthroughs in the study of supply and demand. Debreu suffered a series of strokes since 2003 and died in Paris, France on December 31, 2004.

News and Entertainment

Ferenc Bessenyei (85) Hungarian stage and film actor, best known for his stage work but also appeared in over 60 films and TV shows. Most of Bessenyei’s work was not released internationally. He died in Lajosmizse, Hungary on December 27, 2004.

William Boyett (77) veteran stage, screen, and TV character actor best known for playing Sgt. "Mac” MacDonald on the TV series Adam-12 (1968-75). Boyett’s early TV credits in the ‘50s included Playhouse 90, Four Star Playhouse, Perry Mason, and Sea Hunt. He also had two recurring roles—as Officer Johnson and Sgt. Ken Williams—on the 1955-59 police drama Highway Patrol, starring Broderick Crawford. Boyett showed up frequently on series such as Family Affair, My Three Sons, Emergency!, and Knots Landing. His distinctive voice was often heard in voiceover work, including on commercials for Hamm’s beer and Soft Scrub. He died of pneumonia and kidney failure in Mission Hills, California on December 29, 2004.

Charles Bradstreet (86) former supporting actor. Bradstreet appeared in several films during the ‘40s. He was best known for his supporting role in the horror/comedy classic Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). When "the glamour went out of” acting for him, he got into real estate. He died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California on December 29, 2004.

Chuck Cook (60) award-winning investigative journalist, three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In a journalism career that spanned 30 years, Cook worked at numerous newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and Arizona Republic. He died of a stroke in Loma Linda, California on December 26, 2004.

Bernie Ebbins (88) former road manager for several leading jazz and pop music figures, including singers Billy Eckstine and Vic Damone and bandleader Count Basie. Ebbins died in Los Angeles, California on December 27, 2004.

Lucy Freeman (88) reporter who covered the early years of psychiatry and mental health developments for the New York Times. Freeman was one of the first women to work for the Times when she was hired in 1940 and was first assigned to light society stories but moved into harder news after her award-winning reporting of an explosion in Texas. Her vast research and knowledge of mental health and the stigma attached to mental illness opened up doors for other organizations to report innovations. She died of Alzheimer’s disease in The Bronx, New York on December 29, 2004.

Hank Garland (74) jazz and rock guitarist who performed with Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Marty Robbins, and Patsy Cline. Garland played on the Presley hits “Little Sister” and “Big Hunk of Love” and pioneered the use of the electric guitar at the Grand Ol’ Opry. In 1961 he was injured in an auto accident that left him with brain damage and insufficient coordination to ever reemerge as a musician. He died of a staph infection in Orange Park, Florida on December 27, 2004.

Sylvia Herscher (91) Broadway literary agent, general manager, and producer who won a special Tony in 2000. For many years, Herscher was composer Jule Styne’s secretary, assisting him with the production of such shows as Make a Wish (1951) and the 1952 revival of Rodgers & Hart’s Pal Joey. Herscher was best known for putting writers and composers together with one another and with producers and publishing companies. She died in New York City on December 29, 2004.

Jerry Orbach (69) veteran actor who started his career as a "song and dance man" in musicals on and off-Broadway such as Promises, Promises (for which he won a Tony in 1969), Carnival, and Chicago. Orbach later starred in movies such as Prince of the City and Dirty Dancing and finally took on perhaps his most famous role as wise-cracking detective Lennie Briscoe on the long-running series Law & Order, a role he played for 12 years that garnered praise from both fans and the law enforcement officers he modeled himself after. He died of prostate cancer in New York City on December 28, 2004.

Gerald Roberts (85) longtime rodeo star who worked in Western films. Roberts won his first all-around world title in 1942 at age 22, then won a second world championship in ‘48. He worked in Hollywood for some time, serving as a stunt double for actors such as Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon. He died in Abilene, Kansas on December 31, 2004.

Meta Rosenberg (89) talent agent, editor, and producer of TV movies and series, including The Rockford Files", who won four Emmys during her 65-year career and collaborated with many of the most renowned literary and entertainment-industry figures of the 20th century. Rosenberg was also a renowned photographer and photography collector. She died in her sleep in Beverly Hills, California on December 30, 2004.

Caroline Russo (25) public servant and Deans list student at the University of Queensland, who had just arrived in Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand on holiday, was killed when a tsunami hit the western coast of the country.

Artie Shaw (94) jazz clarinetist and bandleader perhaps best known for his 1938 recording of “Begin the Beguine,” a Cole Porter classic that fueled a press-heated rivalry between Shaw and Benny Goodman for the title “The King of Swing.” Shaw was one of the first bandleaders to hire black musicians. He recorded many hit songs—some with his orchestra and some with his quartet, The Gramercy Five—including “Frenesi,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Nightmare,” “Back Bay Shuffle,” “Accent-chu-ate the Positive,” and “Traffic Jam,” but then quit at the height of his career in the ‘50s to write and fly-fish. He died in Thousand Oaks, California on December 30, 2004.

Politics and Military

Donald L. Hollowell (87) civil rights attorney who once helped to free Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. from jail and worked to desegregate Atlanta’s public schools in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Hollowell died of heart failure in Atlanta, Georgia on December 27, 2004.

Cmdr. Latham B. Jenson (83) Canadian who survived a sinking ship and a run of bad luck during World War II to have a second career as a marine artist. Jenson was a 21-year- old gunnery officer on the Canadian destroyer Ottawa, escorting the east-bound convoy ON127 on Sept. 14, 1942 when the ship was hit by a German torpedo 500 miles off Newfoundland. He died of heart failure and pneumonia in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 29, 2004.

Heorhiy Kirpa (58) Ukrainian transport minister, a supporter of the losing candidate in the country’s presidential election on Dec. 26. Kirpa’s death came a day after an election rerun in which opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko held an insurmountable lead over Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The opposition claimed that Kirpa allocated trains to ferry Yanukovych supporters to vote at multiple polling sites in the Nov. 21 presidential balloting that eventually was annulled by the Ukraine Supreme Court; that led to the rerun. Kirpa was found dead from a gunshot wound, an apparent suicide at his home outside Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, on December 27, 2004.

Roger Lane (87) journalist turned assistant to three Michigan supreme court justices. Lane created oral histories on 12 living former judges by doing the interviewing and transcribing himself. He was one of the original members of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society and later its director. He died of a stroke in Lansing, Michigan on December 30, 2004.

Reuben Law (106) Nevada’s last surviving veteran of World War I. Law died after suffering a stroke, in Carson City, Nevada on January 1, 2005.

Robert T. Matsui (63) US congressman (D-Calif., 1979-2005) who spent time in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans as an infant during World War II and later served 26 years in Congress. Matsu died of pneumonia linked to a rare bone-marrow disease, myelodysplastic disorder, in Bethesda, Maryland on January 1, 2005.

Tzvi Tzur (81) Israeli Army´s sixth chief of staff, who served briefly as a member of parliament after undertaking the role of assistant defense minister on the eve of the 1967 Mideast war. Tzur died of a heart attack in Jerusalem, Israel on December 28, 2004.

Society and Religion

Ruby Lee Markham Drakeford (112) believed to be North Carolina’s oldest woman and the 10th-oldest person in the world. Drakeford graduated from college in 1912 and taught grade school until she retired in 1957. Although unable to speak for the last two years, she recognized her visitors and watched Jeopardy! every night. She died of pneumonia in Durham, North Carolina on December 29, 2004.

Jacques Dupuis (81) Belgian theologian whose 1997 book on religious plurality, exploring salvation through non-Christian faiths, was attacked by the Vatican. Dupuis died of a brain hemorrhage in Rome, Italy on December 28, 2005.

Joseph Griffin (65) former FBI agent whose career included leading the northern Ohio office in making cases against Cleveland’s key organized crime figures. A winner of the FBI Medal of Valor, Griffin gave a first-hand account of his crime-fighting career in his book, Mob Nemesis: How the FBI Crippled Organized Crime (2001). He died of a bacterial infection in Chicago, Illinois on January 1, 2005.

William Reppy (92) former judge of the Los Angeles-based 2nd District Court of Appeal. Reppy died of congestive heart failure in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara, on January 1, 2005.

Stanley Milton Sapiro (86) attorney who forced the California Supreme Court to issue decisions more promptly. In 1987, Sapiro sued the state high court on behalf of a client, Brian W. Stevens, after waiting more than two and a half years for a ruling in a case. Sapiro died after a 35-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, in Laguna Niguel, California on December 30, 2004.

Dwight Spaulding Strong (98) director of the former New England Watch & Ward Society (1948-67), a group that fought what they felt were evils of society—pornography and gambling. Strong led the group when their name was changed to New England Citizens’ Crime Commission and focused more on the dangers of gambling. In 1962 he helped CBS to research a documentary called Biography of a Bookie Joint (which led to a grand jury investigation and shakeups in the Boston Police Department). Strong died in Boston, Massachusetts on December 28, 2004.


Ken Burkhart (89) former major league pitcher and umpire who made one of the most disputed calls in World Series history. During Game One of the 1970 World Series, Baltimore catcher Elrod Hendricks grabbed Ty Cline’s chopper in front of the plate as Burkhart moved out to rule it a fair ball; but the umpire was then caught in the middle as Bernie Carbo slid home and Hendricks tried to tag him. Burkhart got spun to the ground and, with his back to the play, signaled that Carbo was out. Replays showed that Hendricks made the tag with an empty glove—the ball was in his bare hand—while Carbo missed the plate. The play left the score tied at 3 in the sixth inning, and the Orioles later won 4-3. Baltimore won the Series in five games. Burkhart died of emphysema in Knoxville, Tennessee on December 29, 2004.

Joseph Durso (80) sports reporter for the New York Times for 51 years who covered both the Yankees and the Mets and the Kentucky Derby. Durso wrote biographies of Casey Stengel and Joe DiMaggio and histories of Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden. He died of cancer in Stony Brook, New York on December 31, 2004.

Bob Ferguson (64) former All-American fullback at Ohio State (1959-61) who played for coach Woody Hayes and was Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1961. Ferguson also was a Pittsburgh Steelers reserve for two years and played another season with the Minnesota Vikings. He died of diabetic complications in Columbus, Ohio on December 30, 2004.

Bob Karstens (89) former player for the Harlem Globetrotters who created many of their signature routines. The third white player to play for the Globetrotters, Karstens joined the team in 1942 when Reece ("Goose”) Tatum was drafted into the Army Air Corps during World War II. He died in Redlands, California on December 31, 2004.

Eddie Layton (79) New York Yankees organist for over 35 years who rewarded outstanding plays with "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and sounded a trill when a pitch was high and inside. Layton also scored New York-based soap operas, played organ for the New York Knicks and Rangers, and released 26 albums and CDs that sold more than three million copies. He was inducted into the New York Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. He died in Forest Hills, New York on December 26, 2004.

Reggie White (43) one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Carolina. White retired after the 2000 season as the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks with 198 and was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times. He was also an ordained minister. He died of a respiratory ailment in Huntersville, North Carolina on December 26, 2004.

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