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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, April 5, 2008

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Charlton Heston, actor famous for heroic historical rolesHerbert E. Alexander, political scientist who explored campaign financesTriston Jay Amero, Bolivian hotel bomberDr. Giuseppe M. Attardi, studied mitochondrial DNAMarie-Françoise Audollent, French actressPeter Baczako, Hungarian Olympic weightlifterNikolai K. Baibakov, Stalin's oil commissarSabin Balasa, Romanian painterSherry Britton, former burlesque queenIris Burton, Hollywood talent agent who handled child actorsViolet Coffin, Vermont Democrat leaderNorberto Collado Abreu, Castro cohortAndrew Crozier, British poetHrvoje Custic, Croatian footballerJules Dassin, American film directorBuck Dawson, swimming boosterBill Dickinson, former Alabama congressmanBob Dunnavant Sr., Alabama broadcasterWilliam D. Eberle, Nixon's trade negotiatorEugene Ehrlich, self-educated lexicographerKen Evert, actorRabbi Herbert A. Friedman, former head of United Jewish AppealWayne Frost, early break-dancerRobert F. Goheen, former Princeton U presidentAnders Gothberg, Broder Daniel guitaristAlex Grasshoff, documentary producer who had to return his OscarDr. Jerome H. Grossman, Harvard health-care analystDouglas Kent Hall, art photographerStewart Hanson, Utah judge who first sentenced Ted BundyBill Keightley, former Kentucky Wildcats managerJeremy R. Knowles, chemist who became Harvard deanIvan Korade, murderous Croatian generalJerry Kravat, concert booker and manager of singer Barbara CookRoger P. Lang, architect who fought for NYC landmarksRobert Warnes Leach, TV writer and victims' rights advocateSean Levert, R&B singerS. C. Madison, bishop of United House of Prayer for All PeopleWalt Masterson, former Washington Senators pitcherGuy McElwaine, former Hollywood agent and studio chiefHser Nay Moo, missing Utah girlDavid D. Newsom, State Department figure in 1979 Iranian hostage crisisStephen Oliver, actor known for Peyton Place roleDarian O'Toole, former San Francisco disc jockeyCapt. George Stevens Parker, record-setting fishermanR. Eugene Pincham, Chicago civil rights attorneyRay Smith Poole, Ole Miss triple-threat athleteDith Pran, Cambodian photojournalist who survived killing fieldsVladimir Preclik, Czech sculptor and writerYakup Satar, believed to be last Turkish WWI veteranGrace Thorpe, daughter of Olympic great Jim ThorpeDavid F. M. Todd, architect who designed NYC's Manhattan PlazaJessica Weishair, Minnesota bus crash victimMichael White, family therapistKaku Yamanaka, oldest person in JapanClaudette Yamin, mother of singer Elliott Yamin

Art and Literature

Sabin Balasa (76) Romanian painter appreciated for huge surrealistic murals but criticized for painting former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in a flattering light. Some said Balasa's style, often depicting naked women and fictitious animals, was kitsch, although his work was instantly recognizable. He had been hospitalized for a month with lung cancer but died of a heart attack in Bucharest, Romania on April 1, 2008.

Andrew Crozier (64) British poet and critic mainly associated with the British Poetry Revival who published his collection of poems All Where Each Is (1985). He coedited the Revival magazine The English Intelligencer and the poems of Carl Rakosi and John Rodker. Crozier died of a brain tumor in Uckfield, East Sussex, England on April 3, 2008.

Douglas Kent Hall (69) photographer whose diverse subjects ranged from rock stars and bodybuilders to prisoners and cowboys, including Albert King, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Keith Moon, Nina Simone, Jim Morrison, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Hall's wife found him unconscious on the floor of their Albuquerque, New Mexico home, and paramedics were unable to revive him, on March 30, 2008.

Vladimir Preclik (78) Czech sculptor and writer, a prominent member of the Czech cultural scene for several decades. Preclik had showcased his work at Expo 67 in Montreal as part of sculptors World Top 100 exhibition, and his sculptures and paintings are part of private collections and galleries around the world, including the US, Switzerland, and Japan. He also wrote books and was a member of the Czech Pen Club. His death in Prague, Czech Republic was announced on April 3, 2008.

David F. M. Todd (93) architect of the towering Manhattan Plaza complex who later was chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Todd died in New York City on March 31, 2008.

Business and Science

Dr. Giuseppe M. Attardi (84) California Institute of Technology geneticist who played a key role in illuminating the function of mitochondria and linked mutations in mitochondrial DNA to the aging process. Attardi died in Altadena, California on April 5, 2008.

Dr. Jerome H. Grossman (68) health-care analyst at Harvard and leading hospital administrator influential in applying engineering solutions to make medical care more efficient. Grossman died of renal cell carcinoma in Boston, Massachusetts on April 1, 2008.

Michael White (59) social worker and family therapist who developed an innovative and practical technique, called narrative therapy, using storytelling to help patients of all ages deal with childhood traumas. White often traveled abroad to present case histories and refinements of narrative theory and was on a similar journey when he died of a heart attack in San Diego, California on April 4, 2008.


Eugene Ehrlich (85) self-educated lexicographer who wrote 40 dictionaries, thesauruses, and phrase books for the "extraordinarily literate," including The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate (1994) and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate (1997). Ehrlich died in Mamaroneck, New York on April 5, 2008.

Robert F. Goheen (88) former president of Princeton who revolutionized the university by admitting its first women, pursuing minority faculty members, buttressing finances, and doubling the space in campus buildings. Goheen died of heart failure in Princeton, New Jersey on March 31, 2008.

Jeremy R. Knowles (72) British-born Harvard chemist who played a key role in explaining how chemical reactions work within the cell. Knowles later became dean of the university's faculty of arts and sciences (1991-97) at a time when it was bloated with faculty (600) and drowning in debt (annual deficit of $12 million). He eliminated the deficit by refusing new appointments, vetoing expensive projects, and allowing the staff to shrink by attrition. He died of prostate cancer in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 3, 2008.

News and Entertainment

Marie-Françoise Audollent (70) French actress best known for her role in director Ron Howard's feature film The Da Vinci Code (2006). Audollent's other film credits include In Praise of Love (2001) and The Count of Monte Cristo (1998). She was found dead at her home of an apparent accidental fall, in Paris, France on March 30, 2008.

Sherry Britton (89) exotic dancer whose hourglass figure and jet-black hair made her one of the queens of the burlesque stage in the '30s and '40s. Britton was one of the last stars of a few once-thriving theaters in Times Square where ostrich-feather fans fell away to reveal sequined pasties, G-strings, and sometimes more. In the '40s, after burlesque was effectively banned from New York City by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Britton moved on to acting and in the '80s earned an undergraduate degree from Fordham University at age 63. She died in New York City on April 1, 2008.

Iris Burton (77) dancer turned Hollywood agent who worked primarily with child actors and helped to launch the careers of many young talents, including River Phoenix (d. 1993) and Henry Thomas, star of E. T., the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Burton suffered from Alzheimer's disease but died of pneumonia in Woodland Hills, California on April 5, 2008.

Jules Dassin (96) American director whose Greek wife Melina Mercouri (d. 1994) starred in his hit movie Never on Sunday (1960) and six more of his films. A leftist activist whose more than 20 films also included Topkapi (1964) and The Naked City (1948), Dassin abandoned Hollywood in 1950 during the Communist blacklisting era. In 1955 he won wide acclaim for Rififi, famous for its long heist sequence free of dialogue. The movie won him the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, where he met Mercouri. He married the actress-politician in 1966 and settled permanently in Athens, Greece, where he died on March 31, 2008.

Bob Dunnavant Sr. (85) pioneer in Alabama broadcasting who made his name among the Grand Ole Opry crowd. Dunnavant had a large following as a country music personality. At the Opry, he worked closely with various Nashville artists, forming a partnership with Ernest Tubb for the weekly Ernest Tubb Jamboree in 1957. In 1956, Dunnavant formed the Multi-Voice Network and began hosting the daily radio program Contact Alabama, a cooperative venture among more than a dozen stations. The network was sold to Cumulus Media for $22 million in 2003. Dunnavant died in Athens, Alabama on April 5, 2008.

Ken Evert (56) actor who played the grandfather of Dennis Hopper's character (also known as "Grandpa") who apparently got killed offscreen by a grenade in the big-budget horror sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). Evert died in Austin, Texas on April 1, 2008.

Wayne Frost (44) hip-hop pioneer, also known as "Freeze Frost," whose acrobatic performance with the legendary Rock Steady Crew in the 1983 movie Flashdance helped to set off a worldwide break-dancing craze. Frost died in New York City on April 3, 2008.

Anders Gothberg (32) guitarist for the Swedish indie alternative rock band Broder Daniel (also known as DB) who had released seven critically acclaimed albums (1995-2005). Gothberg committed suicide by jumping from the Vasterbron bridge in Stockholm, Sweden on March 30, 2008.

Alex Grasshoff (79) TV and film director who won an Oscar in 1969 for best feature-length documentary, then made Oscar history when he and his fellow producer, Robert Cohn (d. 1996), had to return their golden statuettes on a technicality. A few weeks after the Oscar ceremonies, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences discovered that Grasshoff and Cohn's documentary, Young Americans, had first been shown in a theater in October 1967, which made it ineligible for a '68 award in the documentary category. Grasshoff died of complications from bypass surgery on a leg, in Los Angeles, California on April 5, 2008.

Charlton Heston (84) actor who won the 1959 best-actor Oscar as chariot-racing Ben-Hur and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid, and other heroic figures in movie epics of the '50s and '60s. Heston is pictured above as a drama student at Northwestern University in the '40s, as Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956), as the title character in Ben-Hur (1959), and as president (1998-2003) of the National Rifle Association. He revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease. He died in Beverly Hills, California on April 5, 2008.

Jerry Kravat (72) leading New York nightclub and concert booker, bandleader, producer, and longtime personal manager of singer Barbara Cook, whose career resurgence he engineered. Suave and street-smart, known for his refined taste and sharp eye for talent, Kravat was a consummate deal-maker. In 1977, his orchestra succeeded Guy Lombardo's as the band playing "Auld Lang Syne" on the CBS broadcast of the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year's Eve, a practice that continued for 11 years. Kravat died of complications after cancer surgery, in New York City on March 31, 2008.

Robert Warnes Leach (93) screenwriter who became a leading advocate for victims' rights after his stepdaughter, Marsalee Nicholas (21), was murdered in 1983 in Malibu. Leach was the longtime president of Justice for Homicide Victims, an early victims' rights group he cofounded in 1984 with Ellen Griffin Dunne, mother of murdered actress Dominique Dunne. Among Leach's TV credits are the '50s series The Adventures of Jim Bowie and the CBS show Men into Space. He also wrote episodes of Perry Mason and the early '60s show The Littlest Hobo. He died of respiratory and kidney ailments in Laguna Beach, California on March 30, 2008.

Sean Levert (39) one-third of the '80s rhythm-and-blues trio LeVert, and son of lead O'Jays singer Eddie Levert. The younger Levert was sentenced a week earlier to one year and 10 months in jail for failing to pay $89,025 in child support. He suffered from high blood pressure and had been hallucinating in jail. He died at a hospital less than an hour after he was taken there from the jail, in Cleveland, Ohio on March 30, 2008.

Guy McElwaine (71) Hollywood agent who first signed Steven Spielberg. McElwaine later became chairman and chief executive of Columbia Pictures, where he was involved in the production of blockbusters ranging from Ghostbusters and Gandhi to The Karate Kid. He died of pancreatic cancer in Bel Air, California on April 2, 2008.

Stephen Oliver (66) actor best known for his role as Lee Webber on the '60s soap opera Peyton Place. Oliver later made guest appearances on popular TV shows through the '80s. He died of gastric cancer in Big Bear, California on April 5, 2008.

Darian O'Toole (40) former San Francisco radio disc jockey best remembered for her "Ovaries with Attitude" advertising campaign in the late '90s and getting fired after falling asleep on the air. O'Toole died of respiratory failure, a complication from a broken leg, in Oakland, California on March 31, 2008.

Dith Pran (65) Cambodian-born photojournalist for the New York Times whose fight (1975-79) to survive the murderous Khmer Rouge Communist regime of his native country was recreated in the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields (1984). In the movie, Dith was portrayed by fellow Cambodian physician-turned-actor Dr. Haing S. Ngor, who won a best-supporting actor Oscar. Ngor was shot to death in 1996 by a teenage gang member in Los Angeles. Dith died of pancreatic cancer in New Brunswick, New Jersey on March 30, 2008.

Jessica Weishair (16) Pelican Rapids High School student who was the only fatality when a charter bus carrying about 43 students, four chaperones, a tour director, and the driver home to west-central Minnesota from a spring-break band trip to Chicago rolled over and slid into a ditch beside a highway, injuring dozens of other passengers. The students' four-day trip to Chicago included a band performance at VanderCook College of Music. Weishair died at the scene near Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 5, 2008.

Claudette Yamin (65) mother of contemporary pop and rhythm-and-blues singer Elliott Yamin, best known for his hit single "Wait for You" (2007) and for being third-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. During the competition, Claudette became known to Idol-watchers and fellow native Richmonders for her fiery spirit. She suffered complications over the past year from hip replacement surgery and died unexpectedly in Richmond, Virginia on March 31, 2008.

Politics and Military

Herbert E. Alexander (80) political scientist whose early pursuit of hidden information on campaign finances exposed the interplay of money and power in elections. Alexander, who wrote 20 books and more than 375 monographs and articles, began his study of campaign finances before effective federal disclosure laws were enacted. He died of lung cancer in Rockville, Maryland on April 3, 2008.

Nikolai K. Baibakov (97) Josef Stalin's oil commissar who later guided the Soviet Union's planned economy for 20 years. Baibakov was thought to have been one of the last surviving witnesses of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's historic "secret speech" denouncing Stalin at the 1956 Soviet Communist Party congress. He died of pneumonia in Moscow, Russia on March 31, 2008.

Violet Coffin (87) leader of Democrat delegations to two national nominating conventions who once wrote for Time magazine. Coffin became Vermont Democrat chairwoman in 1985 after being an activist in campaigns in Ohio and New York. She led delegations to the party's 1988 convention in Atlanta for Michael Dukakis and its '92 convention in New York for Bill Clinton. She served with the OSS, forerunner of the CIA, in Washington and London and became a foreign correspondent for Time in Cairo and a journalist with Fortune and the Toledo (Ohio) Blade. She died of congestive heart failure in Strafford, Vermont on March 31, 2008.

Norberto Collado Abreu (??) helmsman of the Granma yacht that carried Fidel Castro from Mexico to Cuba to launch his revolution in 1956. Collado Abreu served in the navy during World War II, but his political leanings later landed him in prison, where he met Castro and joined his revolutionary movement. Both were freed under amnesty and went into exile in Mexico, only to return and launch the uprising that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista. Collado Abreu held various posts in the Cuban navy under Castro until 1981. He died in Havana, Cuba on April 2, 2008.

Bill Dickinson (82) former US congressman (1965-93), a Democrat turned Republican who championed a strong national defense and helped to make Alabama a two-party state. A former judge in city, juvenile, and circuit courts in his native Opelika, Ala., Dickinson was one of several Democrats recruited to change parties in 1964 and run as Republicans for Congress in a state that had been solidly Democrat for a century. He died of colon cancer in Montgomery, Alabama on March 31, 2008.

William D. Eberle (84) President Richard M. Nixon's chief trade negotiator in the '70s, who pushed Europe and Japan to lower trade barriers. Eberle died of kidney failure in Concord, Massachusetts on April 3, 2008.

Ivan Korade (44) former general and murder suspect well known for his role in the Croatian War of Independence, in which he lost an arm. Korade retired from his post in 1997. He was charged with the fatal shooting and stabbing of four people in his Croatian village, killing a 16-year-old boy, his 62-year-old grandmother, and two other men, including a former aide, then later fled the scene on March 27. He was believed to have been shot and killed in a shootout with police in an abandoned house in Velika Veternicka, Croatia on April 3, 2008.

David D. Newsom (90) career diplomat, a go-between in unsuccessful efforts to keep the deposed shah of Iran from entering the US for medical treatment in 1979. Newsom then tried to win the release of more than 50 Americans held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran in retaliation. As a member of the State Department's special task force on the crisis, he was deeply involved in diplomatic efforts to gain the freedom of the hostages, whose plight contributed to Jimmy Carter's electoral defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980. Newsom died of respiratory failure in Charlottesville, Virginia on March 30, 2008.

Yakup Satar (110) last surviving Turkish veteran of World War I who joined the army of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 but was later taken prisoner by the British in the Baghdad campaign's Second Battle of Kut in '17. Satar also served in the forces of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the Turkish War of Independence (1919-22; it was unclear when he was freed). He died of an infection in Eskisehir, Turkey on April 2, 2008.

Society and Religion

Triston Jay Amero (26) convicted hotel bomber who adopted the name Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo, a variation on a character in Anne Rice's vampire novels. Amero was serving a 30-year sentence for bombing two low-rent hotels in the Bolivian capital of La Paz in 2006. Two innocent people died in one of the attacks. Amero's case briefly caused a bizarre kink in Bolivian-US relations when President Evo Morales referred to him as a terrorist. Amero was caught hiding gasoline in his cell and admitted plotting to immolate officials, fellow inmates, and even US diplomats sent to visit him in 2007. He died of pulmonary edema in prison in La Paz, Bolivia on April 1, 2008.

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman (89) former chief executive (1954-71) of the United Jewish Appeal who raised more than $3 billion to support the fledgling state of Israel and led efforts to close the educational gap there between European Jews and those from other lands. Friedman died in New York City on March 31, 2008.

Stewart Hanson (69) Utah state judge who sentenced serial killer Ted Bundy to prison for an abduction in which the woman got away. Hanson was a 3rd District Court judge for nearly 20 years before moving to the attorney general's office, where he became chief of the litigation division. In 1976, he presided over Bundy's aggravated kidnapping trial and sentenced the serial killer to 15 years in prison. Bundy, who committed more than 30 murders (1974-78), was extradited to Colorado but escaped from jail in 1977. He was arrested in Florida in 1978 and executed in '89. Hanson died of lung cancer in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 30, 2008.

Roger P. Lang (64) New York architect who often testified at public hearings on behalf of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, a 35-year-old nonprofit organization that advocates the preservation of historically and culturally significant buildings and for which Lang was director of community programs and services. He died of lung cancer in New York City on March 31, 2008.

S. C. Madison (86) bishop who led the United House of Prayer for All People, an affluent black denomination with several churches in North Carolina. Madison was the third leader of the denomination, based in the District of Columbia with 1.5 million members and 150 branches in 25 states. During his tenure, he erected more than 100 sanctuaries throughout the country, multifamily housing, retail establishments, and assisted living facilities. He died in Washington, DC on April 5, 2008.

Hser Nay Moo (7) Burmese girl last seen on March 31 leaving her family's apartment complex after an argument with her 10-year-old brother. Authorities took four suspects into custody on suspicion of homicide and later apprehended a fifth, Esar Met (21), charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, and evidence tampering during the ongoing investigation. Hser's body was found in the bathroom of an apartment in her family's complex in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 1, 2008.

R. Eugene Pincham (82) longtime Chicago civil rights attorney and former judge who helped to win a multimillion-dollar settlement after two young boys, ages 7 and 8, were falsely accused of killing an 11-year-old girl. Pincham died in Chicago, Illinois on April 3, 2008.

Grace Thorpe (86) daughter of Olympic great Jim Thorpe (d. 1953), a tribal judge and an antinuclear activist. Grace Thorpe was a direct descendent of Sac and Fox chief Black Hawk and was of Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Menominee heritage. She was a congressional liaison to the US House of Representatives American Indian Policy Review Commission and was a personnel interviewer for Gen. Douglas MacArthur at his headquarters in Tokyo during the occupation of Japan. She died of heart failure in Claremore, Oklahoma on April 1, 2008.

Kaku Yamanaka (113) Japanese supercentenarian, the sixth-oldest person in the world and the oldest verified person in Japan after the recent death of 113-year-old Tsuneyo Toyonaga in February. Yamanaka died in Yatomi City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan on April 5, 2008.


Peter Baczako (56) Hungarian weightlifter who mainly competed in the light and middle heavyweight competitions. Baczako won a bronze at the 1976 Summer Olympics and a gold medal for 90-kg weightlifting at the '80 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia. He had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and spent the last few months in a wheelchair. He died of cancer in Budapest, Hungary on April 1, 2008.

Hrvoje Custic (24) Croatian football player who started his professional career with the youth club NK Zadar in 2000 but also spent two seasons playing for the team before returning in the summer of 2007 on a four-year contract. Custic had also played for the Croatian national under-21 team (2002-05), winning a total of 10 international caps. He died five days after suffering a head injury in an on-field collision with a concrete wall during the March 29 home match, in Zadar, Croatia on April 3, 2008.

William F. ("Buck") Dawson (87) first executive director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale and a leading promoter of the sport. Although a poor and infrequent swimmer himself, Dawson helped to build (1964-87) the Hall of Fame into an attraction that now enshrines such celebrated inductees as Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe, Mark Spitz, Gertrude Ederle, Eleanor Holm, and Esther Williams. During the Korean War, Dawson damaged one eye in a car crash and wore an eyepatch after that. He died of heart failure and complications of Parkinson's disease in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 4, 2008.

Wang Donglei (23) Chinese football player who played midfield for the Chinese professional football league club Nanjing Yoyo in the Chinese Jai League. Donglei was killed in a car accident in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China on April 5, 2008.

Bill Keightley (81) basketball manager with the Kentucky Wildcats for 48 seasons. Keightley died of internal bleeding caused by a previously undiagnosed tumor on his spine. He was on a trip to see the Reds' season-opener and suffered a fall that doctors believed was probably due to bleeding. He was taken to University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he died on March 31, 2008.

Walt Masterson (87) hard-throwing right-handed pitcher and fierce competitor in 14 major league seasons, including 10 with the Washington Senators. Masterson pitched the best game of his career on a June afternoon in 1947 in Chicago, when he held the White Sox scoreless for 16 innings. He died of a stroke in Durham, North Carolina on April 5, 2008.

Capt. George Stevens Parker (96) sport fisherman, born in San Diego. Parker moved to Hawaii in 1935 and was a pioneer in the Kona charter boat fishing industry. In 1954 he was the first person to land a Pacific blue marlin weighing more than 1,000 pounds. He died in Holualoa, Hawaii on April 4, 2008.

Ray Smith Poole (86) former New York Giants All-Pro end (1947-52) and three-sport star at the University of Mississippi, where he earned 11 letters before and after World War II. Poole's brothers, Buster and Barney, were also star athletes at Ole Miss; the three brothers and their descendants have accounted for 50 athletic letters, and a campus roadway is named for them. Ray Smith Poole died of cancer in Jackson, Mississippi on April 2, 2008.

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