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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 14, 2016

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Julius La Rosa, pop singer fired on-air by Arthur Godfrey in 1953William Schallert, familiar and ubiquitous character actorInspector Michael Ameri, NYC police officialBill Backer, lyricist of classic Coke commercial and othersTony Barrow, early Beatles publicistJohn Bradshaw, PBS-TV self-help guruChester ('Chet') Brooks, Texas state senatorLouisa Chase, New Image painterDarwyn Cooke, DC Comics artistLarry Daughtrey, Nashville political reporter and columnistKatherine Dunn, novelist and journalistDavid M. Durst, NYC real estate developerRev. David Eberhard, Detroit pastor and city councilmanSammy Ellis, major league pitcher and coachMartin Friedman, director of Minneapolis's Walker Art CenterLou Gellermann, University of Washington rower and PA announcerRobert W. Gutman, biographer of composers Wagner and MozartGene Gutowski, Polish-born film producer who worked with Roman PolanskiJoan Helpern, designing cofounder of Joan & David ShoesBill Herz, last surviving crew member of Orson Welles's notorious 1938 radio broadcastDonnovan Hill, teenager paralyzed by football injuryRex Hughes, collegiate and NBA coachBob Johnson, Alabama political reporterSusannah Mushatt Jones, world's oldest personDavid King, British graphic designer and historianMark Lane, lawyer who promoted conspiracy theories in Kennedy and King assassinationsDelbert Latta, US congressman from OhioPeter Liacouras, seventh president of Temple UniversityDick McAuliffe, Detroit Tigers infielderFrançois Morellet, French abstract artist and sculptorYukio Ninagawa, Japanese theater directorChristy O'Connor Sr., champion Irish golferMichael Ratner, civil liberties lawyerJoe Temperley, Scottish baritone saxophonistJames D. Travis, adman behind 1984 Reagan reelection commercialDaniel P. Tully, former head of Merrill LynchSteve Wolfe, artist who created depictions of classic book coversJohn Young, founder of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities

Art and Literature

Louisa Chase (65) painter whose canvases, with their landscape-derived images and ghostly torsos and hands, made her one of the brightest young stars in the much-heralded resurgence of painting in the ‘80s. Chase died of cancer in East Hampton, New York on May 8, 2016.

Darwyn Cooke (53) comic book artist best known for his work on DC Comics superheroes and noir crime stories. Cooke reimagined the Justice League members in 2004 with a signature retro style in DC: The New Frontier. His other work included adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels, a modern interpretation of Catwoman, and the Solo graphic novel series, which earned him an Eisner Award, considered the Academy Award of the comics world. The Canadian-born artist also worked as a storyboard artist on the ‘90s TV shows Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. Cooke’s most recent work included illustrating The Twilight Children for DC’s Vertigo imprint. He died of lung cancer in Florida on May 14, 2016.

Katherine Dunn (70) writer who was famous for her novel Geek Love. Dunn's 1989 book told the story of a house full of circus sideshow performers. It was a finalist for the National Book Award and became a best-seller. Dunn was also a journalist for numerous publications, including The Oregonian, Willamette Week, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Vogue, and Playboy. She died of lung cancer in Portland, Oregon on May 11, 2016.

Martin Friedman (90) longtime director (1961–90) of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Friedman transformed the Walker from a sleepy local museum into a world-renowned setting for contemporary art, music, performance, and dance. Originally trained as a painter, Friedman was a champion of Modernism, a perfectionist, and a skilled hand at courting benefactors. He oversaw a sea change that included the acquisition of works by major 20th-century artists, the commissioning of new work by new artists, the founding of the museum’s moving-image and performing-arts departments, the erection of a widely admired new building, and the creation of a landscaped sculpture garden. After moving to New York City in retirement, he died there on May 9, 2016.

Robert W. Gutman (90) writer whose biographies of Wagner and Mozart helped to change popularly held ideas about both composers’ lives. Trained in music and art history, Gutman was the author of Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind & His Music (1968) and Mozart: A Cultural Biography (1999). The Wagner book, which placed its subject in the larger intellectual context of his times, infuriated idolaters, for whom the master could do no wrong. While commending the beauty and majesty of Wagner’s compositions, Gutman also took pains to analyze his nonmusical activities—notably his anti-Semitic writings, which became a model for Nazi ideology. Gutman died in the Bronx, New York on May 13, 2016.

David King (73) British graphic designer and design historian who amassed one of the world’s largest collections of Soviet political art and photographs, which he drew on for books on Leon Trotsky and the Stalin era. King was art editor of the Sunday Times of London magazine in 1970 when he traveled to the Soviet Union to gather material for an article on the centenary of Lenin’s birth. A leftist with Trotskyist leanings and an admirer of ‘20s Soviet poster art, he collected photographs, posters, and propaganda art from the Soviet period. He died of a heart attack in London, England on May 11, 2016.

François Morellet (90) French painter and sculptor whose use of unorthodox materials like neon lights, sticky tape, and metal rods left a distinctive mark on postwar abstract art. Although his early work was representational, Morellet moved decisively toward abstraction. He died in Cholet, France on May 10, 2016.

Steve Wolfe (60) artist whose best-known works are depictions of books. A painter and sculptor, Wolfe brought a postmodern sensibility to the venerable tradition of trompe l’oeil, in which a work tries to trick the eye by creating the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. His preferred subject matter was books, their worn covers suggesting familiarity: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler, James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, and other 20th century classics. Wolfe was found dead in San Francisco, California on May 13, 2016.

Business and Science

Bill Backer (89) lyricist whose classic 1971 commercial taught a world of potential Coca-Cola consumers to sing in perfect harmony and was featured in the finale of Mad Men. Backer and his team immortalized jingles and slogans that proclaimed “Things go better with Coke” and defined the soft drink as “the real thing.” Their commercials also declared that Miller Lite was “everything you ever wanted in a beer… and less,” elevated the Campbell’s brand by asserting that “soup is good food,” and allowed that “little girls have pretty curls, but I like Oreo.” Backer died in Warrenton, Virginia on May 13, 2016.

David M. Durst (90) New York real estate developer who oversaw the construction of eight Manhattan skyscrapers over 30 years. Durst was the last of three brothers who built office towers along Third Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. He was an uncle of Robert Durst, now awaiting trial on a murder charge from 2000 and long suspected of murdering his wife in 1982. David Durst died in Rye, New York, six days before his 91st birthday, on May 13, 2016.

Joan Helpern (89) creative half of the husband-and-wife team that combined comfort and class as owners of the Joan & David line of shoes. Joan Helpern designed her first pair of classic navy blue and white oxford flats in 1967. Within 20 years the family-owned business, founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was selling shoes and men and women’s apparel, bags, and belts in about 100 outlets in the US and Europe and grossing about $100 million. David Helpern died in 2012; Joan Helpern died of respiratory failure in New York City on May 8, 2016.

James D. Travis (83) advertising executive who assembled the team behind the highly successful “Morning in America” TV commercial that helped to propel President Ronald Reagan to a landslide victory in his 1984 reelection campaign. Travis died of heart disease in Chester, Connecticut on May 8, 2016.

Daniel P. Tully (84) broker who rose through the ranks at Merrill Lynch to steer it through the ‘90s, during some of the firm’s best years. Tully had been with Merrill Lynch for almost 40 years when he began his five-year run as chief executive in 1992, the heyday of the so-called Mother Merrill ideal—the view of the firm as an all-embracing club of like-minded bankers and brokers who lived and died for its greater good. The firm later became larger and more profitable under Tully's successor, David H. Komansky, but a feud among a group of top executives eager to succeed Komansky left it permanently scarred. During the financial crisis in 2008, Merrill Lynch agreed to be acquired by Bank of America. Tully died in Darien, Connecticut on May 11, 2016.


Peter Liacouras (85) former president of Temple University who helped to transform it from primarily a commuter school to a major public research institution. Liacouras was Temple's seventh president from 1982–2000, a tenure exceeded only by the university's founder. He was also law school dean for 10 years and a law professor. As president, he spearheaded a major transformation of the school's main campus through nearly $1 billion in capital projects. The school's sports and entertainment venue—the Liacouras Center—is named after him. Liacouras died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 12, 2016.


Inspector Michael Ameri (44) New York police official, commanding officer of the city's Police Department Highway District. Ameri was a friend of Deputy Inspector James Grant, commander of the 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, who had been reassigned as part of a wave of discipline amid a sprawling federal inquiry into municipal corruption in NYC. Grant was placed on modified duty in April. There has been no indication that Ameri was under investigation. It was unclear whether investigators were seeking Ameri’s cooperation with their inquiry focused on Grant. Ameri was found dead in a car In Babylon, Long Island, New York, where he was believed to have shot himself, on May 13, 2016.

Mark Lane (89) defense lawyer, social activist, and author who concluded in a blockbuster book in the mid-‘60s that Lee Harvey Oswald could not have acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy, a thesis supported in part by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1979. The Kennedy assassination, one of the manifest turning points of the 20th century, was the pivotal moment in Lane’s life and career. He later raised the possibility of conspiracy in the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. five years later, but it was his Kennedy inquiry that made his name. Lane died of a heart attack in Charlottesville, Virginia on May 10, 2016.

Michael Ratner (72) civil liberties lawyer who successfully challenged the US government’s detention of terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay without judicial review. As head of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner oversaw litigation that, in effect, voided New York's wholesale stop-and-frisk policing tactic. The center also accused the federal government of complicity in the kidnapping and torture of terrorism suspects and argued against the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency, the waging of war in Iraq without the consent of Congress, the encouragement of right-wing rebels in Nicaragua, and the torture at the Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq war. Ratner died of cancer in New York City on May 11, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Tony Barrow (80) British publicist who coined the phrase “Fab Four” to describe the early Beatles. Barrow started working with the Beatles in 1962 before the Liverpool band shot to worldwide fame. He died in Lancaster, England on May 14, 2016.

Larry Daughtrey (76) longtime political reporter and columnist for The Tennessean newspaper. Daughtrey began his career at the paper while still studying at Vanderbilt University and spent his entire career covering politics in Nashville, declining to follow Tennessean colleagues such as David Halberstam, Bill Kovach, and Jim Squires to bigger cities and newspapers. Daughtrey kept up his column after retiring in 1997, turning in his last piece—about the Nashville mayor’s race—in September 2015. He died of lung cancer in Nashville, Tennessee on May 12, 2016.

Gene Gutowski (90) Polish-American Holocaust survivor, producer of three films by director Roman Polanski in the ‘60s and reunited with him decades later for the Oscar-winning Holocaust drama, The Pianist (2002). The Gutowski-Polanski collaboration in the ‘60s resulted in the 1965 psychological horror film Repulsion, starring French actress Catherine Deneuve, followed by Cul-de-Sac (1966) and The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), films that brought Polanski to Hollywood. Years later Polanski credited Gutowski with launching his international career. Gutowski died of pneumonia in Warsaw, Poland on May 10, 2016.

Bill Herz (99) last surviving crew member of Orson Welles’s mock War of the Worlds newscast, which terrified American radio listeners in 1938 with vivid bulletins warning Newark residents to evacuate as invading Martians incinerated central New Jersey. Herz died of pneumonia in New York City on May 10, 2016.

Bob Johnson (66) longtime Alabama political reporter who retired from the Associated Press in 2014. Johnson spent 14 years at the AP but had been a fixture in Alabama journalism since the ‘70s. He worked as a statehouse reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser and as a reporter and editor at the former Birmingham Post-Herald. He died of a massive stroke in Gardendale, Alabama on May 13, 2016.

Julius La Rosa (86) pop singer known for hits, including “Eh, Cumpari,” whose firing live on the air by radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey in 1953 overshadowed the rest of his career. La Rosa was in the Navy when Godfrey (d. 1983) heard him sing and invited him to appear on his CBS-TV show. After his discharge from the Navy, La Rosa became a star on Godfrey’s daytime radio and TV show from 1951–53, recording several hits. But his growing popularity annoyed Godfrey—a folksy, sentimental ukulele strummer to his audiences but an imperious, tyrannical boss behind the sets. On October 19, 1953, La Rosa was due to begin the TV portion of Godfrey’s show but was kept waiting backstage until the final minutes of the radio-only part of the program. As he finished singing “Manhattan,” Godfrey said, “That was Julie's swan song with us.” The incident boosted La Rosa's career for a while but started Godfrey's decline. La Rosa died in his sleep in Crivitz, Wisconsin on May 12, 2016.

Yukio Ninagawa (80) Japanese theater director who combined Kabuki with Western realism to mount original, critically acclaimed productions of classic Greek and Shakespearean plays in Europe, the US, and his own country. A failed painter and frustrated actor at first plagued by self-doubt, Ninagawa turned to directing when he was 30. He survived a stabbing in 1972 and committed himself to presenting avant-garde versions of timeless tragedies that resonated with current events. Ninagawa died of pneumonia in Tokyo, Japan on May 12, 2016.

William Schallert (93) ubiquitous character actor, a familiar presence on prime-time TV for decades, notably as the long-suffering father and uncle to “identical cousins” played by Patty Duke on the hit ‘60s sitcom The Patty Duke Show. Schallert’s career spanned generations and genres. Over more than 60 years he racked up scores of credits in episodic TV and noteworthy performances in motion pictures, on the off-Broadway stage, and as a voice-over artist. With his mature, intelligent but (by Hollywood standards) unremarkable looks, he was cast almost from the beginning as an authority figure—a father or a teacher, a doctor or a scientist, a mayor or a judge. Most active from the ‘50s through the ‘80s, Schallert remained seemingly unchanged in appearance over time, and he was still working in his 90s. A versatile character actor with a comforting presence, he was equally at home in comedies and dramas, with a résumé ranging from Leave It to Beaver, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, and The Wild Wild West to Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives. He earned a permanent place in the hearts of Star Trek fans in 1967 when he played Nilz Baris, undersecretary in charge of agricultural affairs for the United Federation of Planets in “The Trouble with Tribbles,” often cited by fans and critics as one of the best episodes of the original Star Trek series. Schallert died in Pacific Palisades, California on May 9, 2016.

Joe Temperley (86) Scottish-born baritone saxophonist, a former member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and a founding member of Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In 1965 Temperley moved to New York, where he became the first Scottish musician to make a big impact on the American jazz scene, performing and/or recording with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Joe Henderson, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He was invited to join the Ellington band, run by Duke's son Mercer Ellington, in 1974 and stayed for 10 years. In 1988 Marsalis invited several Ellington alumni, including Temperley, to perform in an all-star big band for an Ellington tribute; that band evolved into the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Temperley died of cancer in New York City on May 11, 2016.

Politics and Military

Chester ('Chet') Brooks (80) former Houston-area Texas state senator. Brooks earned journalism and political science degrees from the University of Texas, then served in the US Navy before writing for the Houston Post. He was elected to the Texas House in 1962 and served two terms, then served 26 years in the Senate. The Democrat from Pasadena failed in his 1992 reelection bid. Brooks was a retired brigadier general in the Texas State Guard. He died in Round Rock, Texas on May 11, 2016.

Delbert Latta (96) former US congressman, a Republican and major legislative advocate of President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. Latta represented Ohio’s 5th Congressional District in the state’s northwest for 30 years, now represented by his son Bob Latta. A top GOP member of the House Budget Committee before his retirement from Congress, the elder Latta was author or cosponsor of various pieces of federal legislation, including the 1981 Gramm-Latta budget bill and the Gramm-Latta Omnibus Reconciliation bill. During the Watergate hearings, he was appointed to the Judiciary Committee. He died in Bowling Green, Ohio on May 12, 2016.

Society and Religion

John Bradshaw (82) self-help guru whose ideas about family dysfunction and the damaged “inner child” concealed within most adults made him one of the most popular and influential pop psychology evangelists of the ‘90s. Bradshaw drew on his unhappy childhood as the son of an alcoholic father, his own drinking problems, and his work as a counselor to develop a set of explanations for many psychological ills. On his TV shows on PBS and in books like Bradshaw on: The Family (1986) and Homecoming: Reclaiming & Championing Your Inner Child (1990), he argued that millions of adults fail to achieve healthy relationships because they have never come to terms with the shame, self-blame, and “toxic guilt” caused by parental abuse, physical or emotional. He died of heart failure in Houston, Texas on May 8, 2016.

Rev. David Eberhard (82) pastor of Detroit's Historic Trinity Lutheran Church and a member of the City Council for 24 years. Eberhard was elected six times to the council, serving from 1969–93. He was head pastor of Historic Trinity from 1983 until his retirement in August 2015. He died of lymphoma in Detroit, Michigan on May 10, 2016.

Susannah Mushatt ('Miss Susie') Jones (116) world's oldest person. Jones was born in a small farm town near Montgomery, Alabama in 1899. She was one of 11 siblings and attended a special school for young black girls. When she graduated from high school in 1922, she worked full-time helping family members to pick crops. After a year she left to begin working as a nanny, heading north to New Jersey and eventually making her way to New York City, where she started a scholarship fund for young black women to go to college. She died at a public housing facility for seniors in Brooklyn, New York, where she had lived for more than 30 years, on May 12, 2016.


Sammy Ellis (75) former major league pitcher who became an All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds in 1965. Ellis was a pitching coach for several teams, including the New York Yankees. He went 22-10 with two saves for the Reds in 1965, throwing 15 complete games and 263 2/3 innings. He was 63-58 with a 4.15 earned run average in seven seasons, also pitching for the Angels before finishing up with the White Sox in 1969. The right-hander later coached and worked with many clubs, spending time with the White Sox, Cubs, Seattle, Boston, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. He died in Temple Terrace, Florida on May 13, 2016.

Lou Gellermann (79) former University of Washington rower and public address announcer. Gellermann was part of the Washington varsity eight rowing team that beat the Leningrad Trud Club in Moscow in 1958. It was the first sporting event broadcast back to the US from the Soviet Union. Gellermann also was an alternate for the 1960 Olympics in Rome. After his rowing career ended, he worked for Washington and became PA announcer at Husky Stadium in 1986, his baritone voice greeting the crowd with “Hello, Dawg fans,” at the start of every game. Gellermann retired from that position in 2007. He died in Seattle, Washington on May 13, 2016.

Donnovan Hill (18) California teenager whose paralyzing football injury led to increased safety protections for young players after he sued a youth league. Hill was 13 when he fractured his spine during a 2011 Pop Warner championship game in Laguna Hills, south of Los Angeles. It left him with minimal use of his arms and no independent movement below his chest. Hill and his mother, Crystal Dixon, claimed in a 2014 lawsuit against the youth league that the teen used a dangerous head-first tackling technique promoted by his coaches. The suit alleged that Hill was punished when he objected to the technique in practice. Hill reached a seven-figure settlement with Pop Warner in January 2015, although exact details were not disclosed. He died in Orange County, California of complications from surgery related to management of his injury, on May 11, 2016.

Rex Hughes (77) basketball coach at Kent State, the University of Southern California, and the University of Nevada/Las Vegas, besides the NBA. Hughes Hughes was an assistant at USC from 1973–74 under Bob Boyd, then became head coach at Kent State from ‘75–78, followed by two years as an assistant at UNLV. He was an assistant with the Sacramento Kings from 1991–92 and interim head coach for 57 games in the ‘92 season, then became an assistant with San Antonio in 1993 and interim head coach for one game. He also worked in scouting and basketball operations with the Kings, Atlanta Hawks, and Orlando Magic. He died of cancer in Nipomo, California on May 9, 2016.

Dick McAuliffe (76) longtime Detroit Tigers infielder. McAuliffe joined the Tigers as a 20-year-old in 1960 and was a fixture in the middle of the infield until ’73. He played in three straight All-Star Games from 1965–67 and led the American League with 95 runs scored in ’68. Despite coming to the plate 658 times that season as Detroit’s leadoff hitter, he didn’t ground into a double play. McAuliffe hit .222 in the 1968 World Series but homered in Game 3 and played errorless defense in Detroit’s seven-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished his career in 1975 with 1,530 hits, 197 homers, and 697 runs batted in. He died in Detroit, Michigan on May 13, 2016.

Christy O'Connor Sr. (91) Irish golfer who played on 10 Ryder Cup teams and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. O’Connor won 24 times on the European Tour and played 15 times in what is now the World Cup, winning for Ireland in 1968 with Harry Bradshaw. He also won the Professional Golfers Association Seniors Championship in Europe six times. O'Connor held the record for most Ryder Cup appearances—including the 1957 Britain-Ireland team that won for the first time after World War II—until Nick Faldo surpassed him in ‘97. O'Connor's nephew, Christy O'Connor Jr., also a champion golfer, died in his sleep on January 6 at age 67. The elder O’Connor died in Virginia Water, England on May 14, 2016.

John Young (67) founder of a baseball youth program that has served thousands across North America and the Caribbean. Young was an executive, scouting director, and briefly a major league player. In 1989 he started Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, known as the RBI program. In 1991 Major League Baseball assumed its operations. The program aims to increase participation in baseball and promote minority inclusion. It serves more than 230,000 youngsters in 200 cities. Young died in Los Angeles, California on May 8, 2016.

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