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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, February 13, 2016

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Antonin Scalia, conservative US Supreme Court justiceDr. Thomas Rea, dermatologist who made leprosy noncontagiousNathan Barksdale, Baltimore drug kingpin who inspired TV charactersRenato Bialetti, Italian manufacturer of Moka Express coffee makerMichael Brick, NY Times reporterJoe Carothers, Alabama state legislatorJakob Denzinger, suspected former Nazi prison guardMargaret Forster, British author of 'Georgy Girl'John Gagnon, sociologist who studied sexual behaviorCharles Garabedian, late-blooming modern artistDerek Geer, Mesa County (Colo.) sheriff's deputyAndrew Glaze, Alabama poet laureateRabbi Yehoshua Binyamin ('Josh') Gordon, San Fernando Valley Jewish leaderDouglas L. Inman, California coastal scientistSushil Koirala, former Nepalese prime ministerJohn Lattner, 1953 Heisman Trophy winnerDrew Lewis, President Reagan's secretary of transportationWarren Manzi, author of NYC's longest-running playAcel Moore, Philadelphia journalist and cofounder of black journalists' groupsJake Page, writer who explained science to general readersRedding Pitt, Alabama attorney and former state Democrat Party chairmanLennie Pond, NASCAR racerNorm Reilly, UAB sports information directorJohn J. Riccardo, former chairman of ChryslerWillie Richardson, Baltimore Colts receiverBorek Sipek, Czech architectBernie Stowe, retired manager of Cincinnati Reds clubhouseZdravko Tolimir, Bosnian Serb general serving life term for genocideArthur Tunstall, Australian national team boxing manager and sports administratorViolette Verdy, French-born ballerina and teacher

Art and Literature

Margaret Forster (77) author of Georgy Girl and more than 20 other novels. Georgy Girl was made into a hit movie in 1966 starring Lynn Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, and James Mason. Forster cowrote the screenplay for the film, which also inspired a bouncy pop tune that captured the exuberance of the times. She underwent a double mastectomy in 1976 and recovered fully, but the cancer returned to her back in 2006. She died in London, England on February 8, 2016.

Charles Garabedian (92) modern artist of mythological themes who was raised in East Los Angeles, fought US Air Force missions in World War II, and studied history before his late-bloomer drift into painting. Garabedian was known for bright, cartoonish oil paintings in which scenes from Greek epics, even savage ones, were awash in color. His work combined wisdom with childlike innocence; the colors were pretty, the themes often dark. He died of prostate cancer in Santa Monica, California on February 11, 2016.

Andrew Glaze (95) Alabama poet laureate. Glaze was a Tennessee native who moved to the Birmingham area as a boy. After graduating from Harvard University and serving in the US Army, he returned to Birmingham and went to work as a newspaper reporter for a time. He relocated to New York and published his first book of poetry, Damned Ugly Children (1966). Glaze later published more than a half-dozen other books. He moved back to Alabama in 2002 and was inducted into the Alabama Writers’ Hall of Fame in ’15. He died in Birmingham, Alabama on February 7, 2016.

Jake Page (80) editor and columnist at Smithsonian magazine who brought the wonders of science to a general audience in dozens of books and channeled his interest in the Indians of the American Southwest into a series of popular mystery novels. Page’s many books dealt with earthquakes, dinosaurs, arctic exploration, zoos, the languages of cats and dogs, and, beginning in the ‘80s, the history and culture of the American Indian. He died of vascular disease in Lyons, Colorado on February 10, 2016.

Borek Sipek (66) Czech architect and designer best known in his country for his work for the late President Vaclav Havel (d. 2011). Sipek emigrated from Communist Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion that crushed the liberal reforms known as the Prague Spring and studied architecture in Germany before establishing a studio in the Netherlands. After the 1989 anti-Communist Velvet Revolution led by Havel, his friend Sipek became chief architect at the Prague Castle, the seat of the presidency. There he created chandeliers, furniture, and some new entrances. He died of pancreatic cancer in Prague, Czech Republic on February 13, 2016.

Business and Science

Dr. Thomas Rea (86) dermatologist whose discoveries led to treatments that allowed patients with Hansen’s disease—leprosy—to live without stigma. Rea and his colleague, Dr. Robert Modlin, nailed down the precise role played by the immune system in Hansen’s disease symptoms such as skin lesions and growths. Their work opened the door to new treatments that rendered the disease noncontagious and allowed patients to live normal lives. Rea died of cancer in the San Gabriel Mountains in California on February 7, 2016.

Renato Bialetti (93) businessman who put the Moka Express, an aluminum stovetop coffee maker, into nearly every kitchen in Italy and sold it to tens of millions of customers around the world. Bialetti did not invent the Moka; that honor goes to his father, Alfonso, who in 1933 came up with a coffee maker that would let Italians brew espresso at home. With an octagonal, Art Deco-influenced design, the Moka Express was made in aluminum because dictator Benito Mussolini had embargoed imports of stainless steel in favor of “the national metal.” In Italy, a Moka can be found in 90 per cent of all kitchens. Renato Bialetti died in Ascona, Switzerland on February 11, 2016.

John Gagnon (84) sociologist who shifted the ground in sex research by proposing that sexual behavior could better be understood by looking at social forces rather than biology or psychology. Gagnon began his career as a researcher at the Institute for Sex Research (now the Kinsey Institute) at Indiana University in the ‘60s and in the ‘90s carried out a comprehensive survey of sexual behavior in the US. He died of pancreatic cancer in Palm Springs, California on February 11, 2016.

Douglas L. Inman (95) coastal scientist who, starting in the '50s, led research on the direct relationships among waves, currents, and the movement of coastal sediments like sand. At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. and its parent institution, UC San Diego, Inman integrated studies of coastal change with the theory of plate tectonics—the idea, new at the time, that the Earth’s crust comprises several moving plates. He was a leading theorist of the idea that coasts comprise “littoral cells”—that every stretch of coast had a source of sand, something to move it and a sink where that sediment ends up. He died in La Jolla, California on February 11, 2016.

Drew Lewis (84) US transportation secretary under President Ronald Reagan during the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike. Lewis was the Republican administration’s chief representative in a bitter labor dispute with the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization. Reagan fired 11,400 members of the union for mounting an illegal strike. Lewis later became chief executive of Omaha, Nebraska-based transportation company Union Pacific Corp., guiding its merger with the Southern Pacific and the Chicago and North Western railroads. He died of pneumonia in Prescott, Arizona on February 10, 2016.

John J. Riccardo (91) former Chrysler chairman. Riccardo joined the automaker in 1959 and rose to president by ’70. He was its chairman in 1975 and recruited Lee Iacocca to join Chrysler in '78 as chief executive. Riccardo sought a federal government loan bailout for the struggling automaker that was approved by Congress after he stepped down in 1979 as chair. He died in Detroit, Michigan on February 13, 2016.


Nathan Barksdale (54) Baltimore drug kingpin who inspired characters on HBO’s The Wire. Barksdale ran a heroin-dealing operation in Baltimore in the ‘80s and served 15 years in state prison on a battery charge. The Wire creator David Simon has said Barksdale was the inspiration for aspects of some of the show’s characters. In recent years, Barksdale worked with Safe Streets, an antiviolence program run by the city’s Health Department, but in 2014 he pleaded guilty to participating in a drug conspiracy and was sentenced to four years. He died in a federal medical prison in Butner, North Carolina on February 13, 2016.

Derek Geer (40) Mesa County (Colo.) sheriff’s deputy since 2001. Geer was shot while trying to detain a suspect described by prosecutors as a teen drifter who used drugs and stole guns. He was caught about an hour after the shooting and was being held without bond. Geer was kept on life support for two days so that his organs could be donated. He died in Grand Junction, Colorado on February 10, 2016.

Antonin Scalia (79) conservative and influential member of the US Supreme Court. Scalia used his intellect and passion in an attempt to move the court farther to the right after his 1986 appointment by President Ronald Reagan. He also advocated tirelessly in favor of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers. His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights drew heavily on the history of the Second Amendment and was his crowning moment on the bench. He was a strong supporter of privacy in cases involving police searches and defendants’ rights. Scalia died in his sleep at a private residence in the Big Bend area of west Texas after a hunting trip. He had retired the night before and was found dead in the morning after he did not appear for breakfast, on February 13, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Michael Brick (41) former reporter for the New York Times who covered crime in the city, education in Texas, and extreme sports nationwide. Brick started on the business desk at the Times in 2001 and helped to cover the utility giant Enron’s collapse in a financial scandal. In 2005 he was sent to Louisiana to report on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He returned to New York to cover crime and the courts. He also wrote feature articles, notably a series in 2005 called “Summer at Ruby’s,” about a dive bar in Coney Island. He died of colon cancer in Austin, Texas on February 8, 2016.

Warren Manzi (60) playwright whose off-Broadway thriller, Perfect Crime, remains the longest-running play in New York theater history—nearly 29 years and counting—despite the fact that critics often did not like it and theatergoers often did not understand it. Perfect Crime, which opened on April 18, 1987, played its 11,824th performance on February 12, 2016, making it the longest-running straight play in the city’s history. Manzi died of pneumonia in Lawrence, Massachusetts the night before, on February 11, 2016.

Acel Moore (75) former reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer who mentored scores of aspiring journalists and helped to found local and national organizations that advocate for black journalists. Moore won a Pulitzer Prize—the highest recognition given for American newspaper journalism—and was a founder of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and later, the National Association of Black Journalists. He was one of the first black reporters at the Inquirer. He died in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 12, 2016.

Violette Verdy (82) French-born principal dancer for the New York City Ballet for 20 years and former artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet and Boston Ballet. A leading ballerina of the 20th century, Verdy joined the NYC Ballet in 1958 and danced more than 25 principal roles in a performance career that extended through ’77. She performed in over 100 different ballets with works by more than 50 choreographers, including the classics Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, and Cinderella. She died in Bloomington, Indiana, where she had taught ballet at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music since 1996, on February 8, 2016.

Politics and Military

Joe Carothers (77) former legislator, a state representative in Alabama for more than 30 years. Carothers was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1974. He was regarded as a conservative Democrat but lost in the 2006 general election to Republican Benjamin Lewis. Carothers was tireless in his advocacy for constituents on issues such as health care and agriculture and an outspoken voice for Dothan’s agriculture community. He died in Dothan, Alabama on February 12, 2016.

Jakob Denzinger (92) suspected former Nazi prison guard at Auschwitz and other camps. Denzinger was born in present-day Croatia, part of Yugoslavia at the time, and started serving with the Nazi SS at age 18 in 1942 while Croatia was under a pro-Nazi puppet regime. He was posted at several camps, including the Auschwitz death camp complex in occupied Poland. He moved to the US after the war, settling in Ohio where he became a successful plastics industry executive. Years later the US Justice Department uncovered his past. In 1989, as US prosecutors prepared their case to strip Denzinger of his citizenship, he first fled to Germany and later returned to Croatia. He was among dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards who collected millions of dollars in US Social Security benefits after being forced out of the US. He died in his native Croatia on February 11, 2016.

Sushil Koirala (78) former Nepalese prime minister and leader of his nation’s largest political party. Koirala was a key figure in the adoption of Nepal’s new constitution in September 2015. He spent his life in politics fighting for democracy in Nepal and led protests in 2006 that ended a centuries-old monarchy and turned Nepal into a republic. He spent 15 years in exile in India because of his opposition to the no-party system imposed by the kings. Koirala died of complications from pneumonia and respiratory failure in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 9, 2016.

Redding Pitt (71) one-time chairman of Alabama's Democrat Party who also was chief federal prosecutor in Montgomery. Pitt was chairman of the state Democrat Party from 2001–05 after working as US attorney in Montgomery for seven years beginning in 1994. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the federal position. Pitt was currently serving as a vice chairman of the state organization. He had been with the Birmingham-based law firm of Farris, Riley & Pitt since 2001. He died in Birmingham, Alabama on February 7, 2016.

Zdravko Tolimir (67) Bosnian Serb general, convicted ”right hand” of Bosnian Serb military chief Ratio Mladic. The Bosnian Serb Army’s top intelligence officer, Tolimir was convicted in December 2012 of genocide and other crimes in the massacre by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia—Europe's worst mass killing since World War II—and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in his cell at the court's detention unit in The Hague, Netherlands on February 8, 2016.

Society and Religion

Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin ('Josh') Gordon (66) rabbi who led the 40-year growth of the Chabad movement in the San Fernando Valley and in recent years gained a worldwide audience with live-streamed Torah lessons. As a young rabbinical scholar and son of a Newark, New Jersey rabbi, Gordon ventured west in 1973 to establish the Chabad in the San Fernando Valley. From a base in Encino, he oversaw the development of 26 Chabad centers, Hebrew schools, adult education institutes, and summer camps. He died after a year-long illness in Encino, California on February 8, 2016.


John Lattner (83) 1953 Heisman Trophy winner who helped to lead Notre Dame to a 9-0-1 record and a No. 2 ranking in Frank Leahy’s final year as coach. A two-time All-American, Lattner was a halfback, defensive back, punter, and kick returner who edged Minnesota’s Paul Giel for the Heisman. He captured college football’s top individual honor even though he didn’t lead the Fighting Irish in rushing, passing, receiving, or scoring that season. Latter had 13 career interceptions, still the third best in school history. His 3,095 all-purpose yards was a school record that stood until 1979. He died of lung cancer on February 12, 2016.

Lennie Pond (75) racer for 17 years in NASCAR’s premier series. Pond was a regular competitor at Virginia short tracks and won five Late Model championships. He ran one race in NASCAR's top series in 1969–70, then joined the sport full-time in ’73. He was rookie of the year that season, beating out Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip. Pond ran 234 career races at the Cup level and won his only victory in the 1978 Talladega 500. He finished in the top five 39 times and drove his final Cup-level race in 1989. He died in Chester, Virginia on February 10, 2016.

Norm Reilly (56) University of Alabama at Birmingham sports information director, an associate athletic director who had led the sports information department since 2002. Reilly was the primary media contact for UAB football and other sports. He died of cancer in Birmingham, Alabama on February 12, 2016.

Willie Richardson (76) All-Pro receiver for the Baltimore Colts and their leading pass-catcher in Super Bowl III, when the Jets otherwise stymied their offense in a huge upset victory. Richardson came from a powerful football family in Mississippi; he was one of six brothers to play for the historically black Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) and one of four to go on to the professional ranks. The Jets chose him in the third round of the AFL draft in 1963, and the Colts selected him in the seventh round of the NFL draft. Richardson signed with the Colts and played for them in eight of his nine pro seasons. His best season was 1967, when he set career highs with 63 catches for 860 yards and eight touchdown receptions. Richardson died suddenly at home in Jackson, Mississippi on February 8, 2016.

Bernie Stowe (80) clubhouse manager for the Cincinnati Reds until his retirement after the 2013 season. Stowe started working as one of the team's clubhouse attendants in 1947. Two of his sons also work for the Reds: Mark has been with the team since 1975 and manages the visiting clubhouse at Great American Ball Park; another son, Rick, became an assistant in 1981 and is in his 20th season as the Reds’s clubhouse manager. Bernie Stowe died in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 9, 2016.

Arthur Tunstall (93) former Australian national team boxing manager and sports administrator. Although Tunstall attended nine Olympics as either a team official or boxing delegate and received honors for his contribution to sport, he gained notoriety for his public criticism of Cathy Freeman at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada when Freeman did a victory lap after winning the 400 meters with an Aboriginal flag draped around her. Tunstall died in Sydney, Australia on February 11, 2016.

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