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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, August 30, 2008

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Robert Bass, director of NYC's Collegiate ChoraleK. K. Birla, Indian business tycoon'Terrible' Tommy Bolt, tantrum- and club-throwing pro golferJohn F. Bonfatti, former AP sportswriterPierre Colas, Vanderbilt U professor, and his sister, Marie ColasRoberta Collins, B-movie actressL. E. Cox, first employee of UC IrvineRaymond L. Danner Sr., helped to build Shoney's restaurant chainMarpessa Dawn, actress in classic Brazilian filmS. Gale Denley, Mississippi journalism professor and publisherKevin Duckworth, two-time NBA All-StarAhmed Faraz, Pakistani poetJerry Ford, cofounder of Ford modeling agencyFanny Gotti, matriarch of mob familyBarbara S. Harris, property managerPhil Hill, race driverWilson Hurley, landscape painterRiitta Immonen, Finnish fashion designerEd Justice Sr., cofounder of Justice Brothers oil-additive businessRalph Kovel, coauthor of antiques guidesKiller Kowalski, pro wrestlerDr. Harry L. Kozol, neurologist who examined Patty HearstJacquie Landrum, dancer and choreographerDel Martin, lesbian rights activistCarolyn Merritt, former CSB chairwomanArthur Miller, disgraced Iowa professorTad Mosel, one of 'Golden Age' TV playwrightsJabir Herbert Muhammad, former manager of boxer Muhammad AliLenore Hoag Mulryan, art historianAbie Nathan, Israeli peace activistBarry Price, magicianMark Priestley, Australian actorGilberto Rincon Gallardo, former Mexican presidential candidateAllard Frank Roen, cofounder of Carlsbad (Calif.) resortOlavo Setubal, Brazilian bankerWonderful Smith, '40s comedianMorris F. Sullivan, business partner of indie animator Don BluthJohn Sanford Todd, father of Lakewood PlanEdgardo Vega Yunqué, Puerto Rican authorHazel Warp, Scarlett's stunt doubleBarbara Warren, endurance athlete

Art and Literature

Ahmed Faraz (77) Pakistani poet whose name is synonymous in South Asia with modern Urdu poetry. Faraz was earlier reported to have died while being treated in a Chicago hospital after a fall in Baltimore, but he returned to his homeland, where he died of kidney failure in Islamabad, Pakistan on August 25, 2008.

Wilson Hurley (84) noted American landscape painter who won numerous awards for his landscapes. More than 800 of Hurley's paintings have gone into private and corporate collections. He was diagnosed in 2007 with Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which damages the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually leading to death. Hurley painted until January 2008 when the disease began to take its toll. He died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 29, 2008.

Lenore Hoag Mulryan (81) art historian and author who curated exhibitions on Mexican ceramics at the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at UCLA. Mulryan died of a stroke one day after her 81st birthday, in Los Angeles, California on August 26, 2008.

Edgardo Vega Yunqué (72) author whose novels and stories about life on the Lower East Side of Manhattan were sometimes comic expressions of the Puerto Rican experience in New York's multicultural maelstrom. Vega Yunqué died suddenly of a blood clot during a visit to a hospital emergency room in Brooklyn, New York on August 26, 2008.

Business and Science

K. K. Birla (89) patriarch of a renowned Indian industrial empire. Birla built on the company started by his father to establish one of India's biggest business conglomerates, with interests in industries like sugar, fertilizers, chemicals, heavy engineering, textiles, shipping, and media, among many others. He died of age-related ailments and pneumonia in Calcutta, India on August 30, 2008.

Raymond L. Danner Sr. (83) businessman who helped to build the restaurant chain Shoney's, started by Alex Schoenbaum in 1947 with one drive-in restaurant in Charleston, W. Va. In 1959, Danner acquired the franchise rights for Shoney's Big Boy and opened his first restaurant in Madison, Tenn. It merged with Danner Foods of Nashville in 1971 to become Shoney's Big Boy Enterprises and Shoney's Inc. in '76. At its peak, Shoney's was one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, operating 1,600 stores and producing annual sales that surpassed $800 million. Danner died of cancer in Nashville, Tennessee on August 30, 2008.

Jerry Ford (83) businessman who with his wife, Eileen, established Ford Models, one of the best-known modeling agencies in the world, turning a profession regarded as little more than a hobby in the '40s into one dominated by well-paid supermodels in the '80s. Ford represented the biggest names for decades—China Machado in the '60s, Lauren Hutton (for whom he negotiated the first exclusive model/brand name contract, in 1974 with Revlon) in the '70s, Christie Brinkley in the '80s, and Veronica Webb and Kristen McMenamy in the '90s. Ford also managed the early modeling careers of actresses Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Brooke Shields, and Ali MacGraw. He died of endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, in Morristown, New Jersey on August 24, 2008.

Riitta Immonen (90) cofounder of the Finnish textile and clothing company Marimekko and a designer of uniforms and ready-to-wear with a couture touch. Immonen died in Helsinki, Finland on August 24, 2008.

Ed Justice Sr. (87) race-car enthusiast who founded the Duarte (Calif.)-based Justice Brothers oil-additive business with his siblings Zeke and Gus. Justice's company became a major sponsor on various auto racing circuits. Ed Justice died of kidney failure in Arcadia, California on August 30, 2008.

Dr. Harry L. Kozol (102) nationally known neurologist who examined high-profile criminal defendants like Patricia Hearst and whose work helped to establish the emerging fields of forensic psychiatry and neuropsychiatry. Kozol died of heart failure in Boston, Massachusetts on August 27, 2008.

Carolyn Merritt (61) former chairwoman (2002-07) of the US Chemical Safety Board who led efforts to push for increased safety at the workplace while improving the young agency's reputation. Merritt died of breast cancer in St. Louis, Missouri on August 29, 2008.

Allard Frank Roen (87) cofounder of La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. Roen established the Tournament of Champions at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas in the '50s and moved the event to La Costa after he became manager there in 1967. For more than 20 years the tournament attracted top professional golfers, including Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino. Roen died of heart disease in Carlsbad, California on August 28, 2008.

Olavo Setubal (85) former foreign minister who also helped to build one of Brazil's largest banks, Banco Itaú. Setubal was president of the Banco Federal de Crédito when it merged with Banco Itaú, a little-known bank in Minas Gerais state that had just 31 branches. He helped to transform Banco Itaú into one of the largest private-sector banks in Brazil, with 2,800 branches around the country. He died of heart failure in São Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2008.


Pierre Colas (32) assistant professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University known for his worldly experience and enthusiastic teaching style. A German citizen, Colas became one of the few accomplished scholars who performed ethnographic work with the ancient Yucatec Maya culture while studying in Belize. He cowrote three books on the subject and had his work published in numerous articles. He was found shot to death during an apparent robbery at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on August 26, 2008. His sister, Marie Colas (27), a postgraduate student from Switzerland, was also shot while visiting her brother and died from her wounds on August 31. Authorities later arrested four suspects allegedly responsible for the fatal shootings.

L. E. Cox (94) first employee of the University of California at Irvine. Cox was appointed the university's first vice chancellor of business and finance in 1963; but the former Army engineer's work started when he was given the task of overseeing the construction of a UC campus on 1,000 acres of ranch land donated by the Irvine Company. He died of complications from a fall, in Orange, California on August 26, 2008.

Barbara S. Harris (80) property manager who cofounded the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at the University of Southern California, which trains students in the redevelopment of minority communities. Harris died of mesothelioma, a form of cancer associated with the inhalation of asbestos particles, in Thousand Oaks, California on August 26, 2008.

Arthur H. Miller (66) professor of political science at the University of Iowa who had recently faced criminal charges on four counts of accepting bribes after being accused by four female students of soliciting sexual favors in an apparent exchange for higher grades during class earlier in the year. Miller had been reported missing on August 19 but was later confirmed dead of an apparent suicide after his body was found at Hickory Hill Park in Iowa City, Iowa on August 24, 2008.

News and Entertainment

Robert Bass (55) longtime musical director of New York's renowned Collegiate Chorale since 1980, instrumental in raising the Chorale's profile with a wide repertoire of choral and operatic works and styles including multimedia productions. Bass, who underwent a heart transplant in 2007, died of complications from amyloidosis, a rare blood disease, in New York City on August 25, 2008.

John F. Bonfatti (52) reporter for the Buffalo (NY) News and former sportswriter for the Associated Press in Buffalo and later Philadelphia. Bonfatti died of an apparent heart attack overnight after a day of boating and swimming while vacationing with family on Cape Cod, Massachusetts on August 27, 2008.

Roberta Collins (62) former film and TV actress known for her attractive physique, curly blonde hair, and Marilyn Monroe resemblance. Collins starred in a slew of exploitation drive-in films of the '70s, including Eaten Alive, Caged Heat, Women in Cages, The Big Doll House, and most memorably as race car champion Matilda the Hun in the original sci-fi black comedy Death Race 2000. She reportedly died on August 28, 2008.

Marpessa Dawn (74) Pittsburgh-born actress who played the doomed Eurydice in the classic 1959 Brazilian movie Black Orpheus. Dawn's death followed by 41 days that of her Black Orpheus costar, Breno Mello (d. July 14), who played the title role. Dawn died of a heart attack in Paris, France on August 25, 2008.

S. Gale Denley (72) longtime publisher of the weekly Calhoun County (Miss.) Journal and mentor to a generation of journalism students. Denley was a professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Mississippi, where he taught (1963-96). He died of kidney disease in Oxford, Mississippi on August 29, 2008.

Walter ("Killer") Kowalski (81) pro wrestling pioneer. Kowalski began his professional career in 1947 as "Tarzan" Kowalski. His hulking 6-foot-7, 275-pound frame and a brutal wrestling style soon won him the nickname "Killer." He became known as a villain after hurting Yukon Eric during a match in Montreal in 1954. Kowalski had been in critical condition since a massive heart attack on Aug. 8. He died after his family took him off life support, in Everett, Massachusetts on August 30, 2008.

Jacquie Landrum (64) dancer who with her husband, Bill, choreographed several films, including Great Balls of Fire (1989) and The Doors (1991). As a team, the Landrums mixed classical, ballet, modern jazz, ethnic, and club dancing to choreograph for movies, TV, and stage. Jacquie Landrum died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on August 29, 2008.

Tad Mosel (86) playwright whose dramatic scripts for live TV were regularly featured in prime-time programming in the '50s and whose play All the Way Home, based on James Agee's autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1961. Mosel was among a handful of writers, including Paddy Chayefsky, Gore Vidal, Horton Foote, and Rod Serling, who got much of the credit for the "Golden Age" of live TV (1947-57). Mosel wrote more than two dozen original scripts for shows like Playhouse 90, Studio One, and Philco Television Playhouse. He died in Concord, New Hampshire on August 24, 2008.

Barry Price (64) international award-winning master sleight-of-hand artist, a prominent performer for many years at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Known for his close-up work with cards and coins, Price lectured and performed worldwide. He died of a stroke in Anaheim, California on August 24, 2008.

Mark Priestley (32) Australian stage and TV actor best known for his role as Dr. Dan Goldman in Australia's hit medical drama series All Saints (2004-08). After suffering from depression in recent years, Priestley reportedly committed suicide by leaping from a window at a hotel in Sydney, Australia on August 27, 2008.

Wonderful Smith (97) black comedian whose envelope-pushing comedy routine in Duke Ellington's satirical revue Jump for Joy—staged in Los Angeles in 1941—broke new ground. Smith's "Hello, Mr. President?" monologue lampooned the New Deal and World War II preparations—from which blacks were generally excluded—and it invariably stopped the show. Smith died in Northridge, California on August 28, 2008.

Morris F. Sullivan (91) former financial consultant who helped to establish an animation studio in Dublin, Ireland populated by ex-Disney artists, including Don Bluth. At its peak, Sullivan Bluth Studios employed about 400, and its feature films included The Land Before Time (1988) and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989). Sullivan died in Toluca Lake, California on August 24, 2008.

Hazel Warp (93) actress Vivien Leigh's stunt double in Gone with the Wind. Warp, who rode and trained horses, was a stand-in for Leigh in all the horseback-riding scenes in the 1939 movie. She also took a fall for Leigh, tumbling down the stairs at Tara in the famous scene near the end of the film when Scarlett O'Hara reaches out to slap Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), loses her balance, and falls. Warp also appeared in Wuthering Heights, Ben-Hur, and National Velvet, among other films. She died in Livingston, Montana on August 26, 2008.

Politics and Military

Abie Nathan (81) Israeli pilot, entrepreneur, peace activist, and founder of the ground-breaking "Voice of Peace" radio station. Nathan burst upon the world of Middle East diplomacy in 1966 with a dramatic solo flight to Egypt in a rattletrap single-engine plane, more than 10 years before Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty. Although his bid to talk peace with the Egyptians failed, his daredevil escapade won the affection of many Israelis and launched a long and eccentric one-man crusade to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. He died in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 27, 2008.

Gilberto Rincon Gallardo (69) former Socialist presidential candidate who gained respect in Mexico for defending the rights of the disabled, gays, and other marginalized groups. Born with shortened arms as the result of a congenital birth defect, Rincon Gallardo was the candidate of the tiny Social Democracy party in Mexico's historic 2000 election, when the Institutional Revolutionary Party lost the presidency after 70 years of single-party rule. He died in Mexico City, Mexico on August 30, 2008.

Society and Religion

Philomena ("Fanny") Gotti (96) matriarch whose brood of 13 children included Gambino crime family kingpin John Gotti and four other sons with mob ties. Fanny Gotti's death came a day before her grandson John Gotti Jr. was to answer federal racketeering charges in Tampa, Florida. She died in Valley Stream, Long Island, New York on August 26, 2008.

Ralph M. Kovel (88) nationally known writer, with his wife, Terry, on antiques who for more than 50 years put prices on everything from baseball cards to bottle caps to Barbie's girdles, introduced in 1959 but now an anachronism. The Kovels' 96 published guides to antiques and collectibles are considered the bibles of the field, selling millions of copies to those who frequent antiques shops, yard sales, and flea markets. Ralph Kovel died from complications of a broken hip, in Cleveland, Ohio on August 28, 2008.

Del Martin (87) pioneer lesbian rights activist who married her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, on June 16 in the first legal gay union in California and helped to found the pioneering lesbian-rights group the Daughters of Bilitis in the '50s. Martin died of complications from a broken arm that exacerbated her existing health problems, in San Francisco, California on August 27, 2008.

John Sanford Todd (89) former city attorney and so-called father of the Lakewood Plan, which turned Lakewood, California into the nation's first city that contracted out for police protection, trash collection, firefighting—just about every service a city provides. The practice is commonplace today, but it was a revelation in 1954. Todd died of complications from surgery after a fall, in Fountain Valley, California on August 30, 2008.


Tommy Bolt (92) golfer whose swing helped him to win the 1958 US Open. Bolt won 15 tournaments on the PGA Tour (1950-65), playing against the likes of Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. After he turned 50, he won 12 more times in seniors competition, including the 1969 PGA Seniors Championship. But his success was overshadowed by his reputation for throwing temper tantrums and golf clubs. He later said that much of his ranting and club-throwing had been meant to entertain crowds, who had come to expect it. He died of liver failure in Batesville, Arkansas on August 30, 2008.

Kevin Duckworth (44) former Portland Trail Blazers center, a two-time All-Star. The 7-foot Duckworth averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds over 11 seasons in the NBA, helping Portland to reach the NBA finals (1990, '92). He also played for San Antonio, Washington, Milwaukee, and the Los Angeles Clippers. As part of a Trail Blazers good-will tour, Duckworth was scheduled to hold a basketball clinic on the Oregon coast when he died in Lincoln City, Oregon on August 25, 2008.

Phil Hill (81) one of the greatest American auto racers. Although he never competed in the most famous American race of all, the Indianapolis 500, in 1958 Hill was the first American to win the 24-hour race at Le Mans, a victory he twice repeated (1961-62). Among many victories, mostly abroad, he won the Argentine 1,000-km race three times, the Grand Prix of Italy twice, and the Belgian Grand Prix. In an era when cars were far faster than they were safe, he made it through 20 years of racing without a significant injury. In his later years Hill suffered from Parkinson's disease and multiple systems atrophy. He died in Monterey, California on August 28, 2008.

Jabir Herbert Muhammad (79) longtime manager of boxer Muhammad Ali and son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. The younger Muhammad managed Ali's boxing career (1966-81) and his postfighting career for another 10 years. He later began a career in business and was an adviser to his father until the elder man's death in 1975. He also was the Nation of Islam's chief business manager and established the Nation's weekly newspaper. He died after heart surgery in Chicago, Illinois on August 25, 2008.

Barbara Warren (65) one of the world's elite endurance athletes in her age group and half of a well-known pair of triathlete twins. Warren won her age group in the 2003 Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. She competed in the race, the world's top triathlon, 13 times and finished in the top five in her age group eight times. Warren and her twin sister, Angelika Drake, alternated riding bikes in the Race Across America, covering 2,983 miles in fewer than 10 days. Warren also competed in a seven-day race across the Sahara Desert and finished a triple Ironman in France that included a 7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike ride, and 78.6-mile run. She broke her neck at the Santa Barbara Triathlon when her bike crashed on a downhill road about halfway through the 34-mile cycling section of the race on Aug. 23. Warren was paralyzed from the neck down and was breathing with the aid of a ventilator until her family, at her own request, told doctors to turn it off, in San Diego, California on August 26, 2008.

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