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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 7, 2011

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Jackie Cooper, youngest star ever nominated for best-actor OscarSeve Ballesteros, Spanish golferOsama bin Laden, Islamic terroristWillard S. Boyle, helped to develop CCDClaude Stanley Choules, last WWI combat veteranSir Henry Cooper, British boxerGene Gossage, Philadelphia Eagles linemanRobert Helliwell, Stanford electrical engineerDarnay Hoffman, lawyer in controversial casesLawrence N. Johnson, designed boat trailerHorace Freeland Judson, science writerMoshe Landau, chief judge at Eichmann trialArthur Laurents, author of Broadway musicals and screenplaysMildred Robbins Leet, cofounder of Trickle UpMary Murphy, starred opposite BrandoSteven A. Orszag, mathematicianRené Emilio Ponce, El Salvadorean generalGunter Sachs, former husband of Brigitte BardotDr. David J. Sencer, public health officialRichard Steinheimer, railroad photographerRobert C. Stempel, former GM chairman and CEOLouis Stumberg, cofounder of Patio FoodsKate Swift, exposed sexist English usageWilliam O. (‘Bill’) Taylor 2nd, publisher of Boston GlobeSada Thompson, stage and TV actressThanassis Vengos, Greek comic actorJohn Walker, frontman for Walker Brothers bandDick Walsh, sports executiveDoric Wilson, off-off-Broadway playwrightDana Wynter, actress best known for sci fi role

Art and Literature

Richard Steinheimer (81) master of railroad photography whose images documented 50 years of trains and the landscape of the American West. Steinheimer died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, in Sacramento, California on May 4, 2011.

Kate Swift (87) writer and editor who in two groundbreaking books—Words & Women and The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing—brought attention to the sexual discrimination embedded in ordinary English usage. Swift died of stomach cancer in Middletown, Connecticut on May 7, 2011.

Business and Science

Willard S. Boyle (86) winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics for helping, in the ‘70s, to develop the charge-coupled device (CCD) that is now at the heart of virtually every camcorder, digital camera, and telescope in use. Boyle died of a kidney-related illness in Truro, Nova Scotia on May 7, 2011.

Robert Helliwell (90) Stanford University electrical engineer whose study of radio waves emitted by lightning led to a new understanding of the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Helliwell died of complications from dementia in Palo Alto, California on May 3, 2011.

Lawrence N. Johnson (97) founder in the ‘60s of EZ Loader Boat Trailers who designed the roller trailer, which made launching a boat easier than with the standard bunk design. Johnson’s company is now one of the largest manufacturers of both bunk and roller trailers in the world, selling up to 50,000 trailers a year at prices ranging from $700 to more than $15,000. He died in Spokane, Washington on May 6, 2011.

Horace Freeland Judson (80) science writer whose 1979 book The Eighth Day of Creation is regarded as the definitive account of the breakthroughs that transformed molecular biology in the mid-20th century. Judson died of complications from a stroke in Baltimore, Maryland on May 6, 2011.

Steven A. Orszag (68) mathematician who performed pioneering work in the field of fluid dynamics and whose research had wide-ranging applications in airplane and auto design, meteorology, and astrophysics. Orszag died of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in New Haven, Connecticut on May 1, 2011.

Robert C. Stempel (77) former General Motors chairman and chief executive (1990-92) until he was forced out in a boardroom coup. Stempel died in West Palm Beach, Florida on May 7, 2011.

Louis Stumberg (87) cofounder in 1946 with his father and brother of Patio Foods, bringing frozen, then heated Tex-Mex to dinner tables and TV viewers’ laps across the nation. Stumberg died in San Antonio, Texas on May 4, 2011.

News and Entertainment

Jackie Cooper (88) former child movie star who earned a best-actor Oscar nomination (lost to Lionel Barrymore) at age 9 for Skippy (1931) and grew up to play Daily Planet editor Perry White in Christopher Reeve’s four Superman movies (1978-87). Cooper survived Hollywood’s notorious graveyard of child stardom to star in more than 100 movies and TV shows, including the sitcoms The People’s Choice (1955-58) and Hennessey (1959-62), and later became an Emmy-winning director of M*A*S*H and other hits before retiring from Hollywood more than 20 years ago. He died of old age in Santa Monica, California on May 3, 2011.

Arthur Laurents (93) three-time Tony-winning director and playwright who wrote such enduring stage musicals as West Side Story (1957; with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim) and Gypsy (1959; music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Sondheim), considered among the finest ever written. Laurents also wrote the movie classics Rope (1948) and The Way We Were (1973), among other films. He died of pneumonia in New York City on May 5, 2011.

Mary Murphy (80) film and TV actress best remembered for playing the wholesome small-town girl opposite Marlon Brando’s rebellious motorcycle gang leader in The Wild One (1953). Murphy died of heart disease in Beverly Hills, California on May 4, 2011.

Gunter Sachs (78) German-born photographer known for his playboy lifestyle and three-year marriage to French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot in the late ‘60s. Sachs chose to end his life while suffering from an incurable degenerative disease affecting his memory and ability to communicate. He shot himself to death at his home in the exclusive Swiss Alpine resort of Gstaad, on May 7, 2011.

William O. (Bill) Taylor 2nd (78) former publisher (1978-97) of the Boston Globe and the fourth member of his family to run that newspaper. Taylor oversaw the sale of the Globe to the New York Times Co. in 1993. During his tenure, the Globe won nine Pulitzer Prizes. He died of a brain tumor diagnosed in 2009, in Boston, Massachusetts on May 1, 2011.

Sada Thompson (83) Tony- and Emmy-winning actress known for her portrayals of archetypal mothers. Thompson won a Tony in 1972 for playing four separate parts—three daughters and their aged mother—in the four vignettes of George Furth’s Twigs. She was perhaps most widely known for her Emmy-winning portrayal of Kate Lawrence, matriarch of the TV series Family (1976-80), on which she played opposite James Broderick (d. 1982; father of actor Matthew Broderick). Thompson died of lung disease in Danbury, Connecticut on May 4, 2011.

Thanassis Vengos (84) popular Greek comic actor. Vengos made his name in slapstick comedies in the ‘60s but also earned respect from his peers while working under the country’s leading directors. In 1995 he starred in Theo Angelopoulos’s Ulysses Gaze along with US actor Harvey Keitel. Vengos died in Athens, Greece after a series of strokes, on May 3, 2011.

John Walker (67) American-born musician, frontman for the Walker Brothers, one of the most successful bands of Britain’s Golden Age of rock ‘n’ roll. Walker died of liver cancer in Los Angeles, California on May 7, 2011.

Doric Wilson (72) playwright whose satirical works are considered classics of the off-off-Broadway and gay theater movements. Wilson died in New York City on May 7, 2011.

Dana Wynter (79) actress best known for her role in the 1956 science fiction classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Wynter died of congestive heart failure in Ojai, California on May 5, 2011.

Politics and Military

Osama bin Laden (54) Islamic terrorist and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the US that killed 3,000 Americans and destroyed New York’s World Trade Center. Bin Laden was found in a custom-built hideout and killed in a firefight with US Navy Seals, then quickly buried at sea after nearly 10 years on the run, in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

Claude Stanley Choules (110) last known combat veteran of World War I, defiant of the tolls of time, an Australian centenarian who swam in the sea, twirled across dance floors, and published his first book at 108. Choules died in western Australia on May 5, 2011.

René Emilio Ponce (64) once-powerful army general blamed for one of the most egregious atrocities in El Salvador’s civil war: the killing of six Roman Catholic priests in 1989. Ponce died of heart problems in the capital city of San Salvador, El Salvador on May 2, 2011.

Society and Religion

Darnay Hoffman (63) lawyer for Bernard Goetz, known as the Subway Vigilante, and for Joel Steinberg, convicted of beating his 6-year-old adopted daughter to death in 1987. Divorced from Sydney Biddle Barrows (aka the Mayflower Madam), Hoffman had struggled with diabetes. He stabbed himself in the chest, in New York City on May 2, 2011.

Moshe Landau (99) German-born chief judge in the 1961 trial of Nazi arch-criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Eichmann, who was in charge of the Final Solution, the Nazi plan to kill all the Jews of Europe, was kidnapped from Argentina in 1960 by Israel’s Mossad spy agency. He was convicted and hanged. Landau died on the eve of the annual memorial day for the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, in Jerusalem, Israel on May 1, 2011.

Mildred Robbins Leet (88) philanthropist, a cofounder of Trickle Up, one of the first nonprofits to provide microgrants, typically of $100, to help poor people start their own businesses. Leet died of complications from a fall, in New York City on May 3, 2011.

Dr. David J. Sencer (86) former federal health official whose career was tainted by controversy over a swine flu vaccination campaign in the ‘70s. Sencer was director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (1966-77) and was New York’s health commissioner during the AIDS crisis of the ‘80s. He died of pneumonia in Atlanta, Georgia on May 2, 2011.


Seve Ballesteros (54) Spanish golfer who won the Masters twice and the British Open three times and helped to propel Europe’s rise in the Ryder Cup competition with the US. Ballesteros had surgery for a cancerous brain tumor in October 2008 and died in Pedreña, Spain on May 7, 2011.

Sir Henry Cooper (76) British heavyweight boxer who had a 40-14-1 record in a career spanning more than 16 years but was best known for flooring Muhammad Ali, then named Cassius Clay, in a fight in 1963. Ali ultimately won the bout and another fight against Cooper for the heavyweight belt in 1966, both by technical knockouts. Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday, in Surrey, England on May 1, 2011.

Gene Gossage (76) former NFL lineman, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL championship team. Gossage played 40 games with the Eagles (1960-62). He died in Old Saybrook, Connecticut on May 1, 2011.

Dick Walsh (85) sports executive, vice president of stadium operations for the Dodgers in the ‘60s and general manager of the Angels (1968-71). Walsh also had a stint as commissioner of the North American Soccer League (1966-68) and was general manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center (1973-97). He died in Fullerton, California on May 6, 2011.

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