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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, November 12, 2016

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Janet Reno, first woman to serve as US attorney generalRobert Vaughn, TV and movie actorDavid Adamany, university presidentRosamond Bernier, entertaining art lecturerDana Brown, Florida surferAl Caiola, versatile guitaristDawn Coe-Jones, Canadian champion golferLeonard Cohen, Canadian singer-songwriterRaoul Coutard, French cinematographerClarence M. Ditlow 3rd, auto safety directorYaffa Eliach, Holocaust survivor and documentarianShirley Calkins Ellis, media co-owner and philanthropistPedro ('Perico') Fernandez, Spanish boxing championRobert N. Hall, physicist whose legacy includes laser and microwave ovenCella Irvine, new media pioneerZoltan Kocsis, director of Hungarian National Philharmonic OrchestraClaire Labine, Emmy-winning soap opera writerAileen Mehle, also known as 'Suzy,' society gossip columnistDick Oliver, award-winning New York TV reporterHoward Ruff, conservative economistGeorge ('Bucky') Sallee, Kentucky horse race buglerJack Simms, AP veteran who headed Auburn University's journalism departmentRaynoma Gordy Singleton, second wife of Motown founder Berry GordyAnthony ('The Saint') St. Laurent, New England mobsterBill Stanfill, Georgia football player who played for Miami DolphinsMorris Taft, UCLA basketball playerLupita Tovar, Mexican film actressTheodore ('Ted') Twardzik, founder of Mrs. T's PierogiesDr. Umberto Veronesi, Italian oncologistRuth Baron Ziff, creator of 'Mr. Whipple' commercials for Charmin bath tissue

Art and Literature

Rosamond Bernier (100) cultural figure who transformed the museum art lecture into entertainment by blending scholarship, a flair for the dramatic, and tales of her days as a journalist and friend to Picasso, Matisse, and other 20th-century artists. On what was billed as an elegant occasion, crowds that had bought tickets months in advance filled auditoriums at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Los Angeles County Museum, and other sites in the ‘70s and ‘80s for Bernier talks of erudition and wit—often laced with stories about the legendary artists she had known. She died in New York City on November 9, 2016.

Business and Science

Clarence M. Ditlow 3rd (72) executive director of the Center for Auto Safety whose work over 40 years forced the auto industry to make important safety and consumer improvements, including installing air bags. Ditlow joined the center, founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, in the early ‘70s. His work there helped to lead to the passage of the federal “lemon law” empowering consumers to force automakers to take back faulty vehicles. Ditlow died of colon cancer in Washington, DC on November 10, 2016.

Shirley Calkins Ellis (82) Calkins Media co-owner and vice president. Calkins Media owns several community newspapers and TV stations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, and Alabama. Ellis’s father founded the company in 1937. She and her two sisters and a brother inherited the business when their father died in 1973. The three sisters bought out their brother in 1984. Ellis organized the Ellis Family Charitable Foundation, which has given about $750,000 to arts, community, and civic groups that serve the people of Burlington County, New Jersey. She died in Willingboro, New Jersey on November 12, 2016.

Robert N. Hall (96) physicist whose legacy can be found at almost every checkout counter—that little red blinking laser scanner that reads bar codes on milk cartons, boxes of light bulbs, price tags dangling from a new jacket, and just about everything else that can be bought in a store. A product of Hall’s inventive labor can also be found in most kitchens nowadays: the microwave oven. He died of pneumonia in Schenectady, New York on November 7, 2016.

Cella Irvine (59) Silicon Alley pioneer who led and other new media companies in New York starting in the early ‘90s. Irvine broke ground in a male-dominated field in her corporate roles and as a founding board member and chairwoman of the nonprofit New York New Media Association. The group, which had 8,000 members at its peak, was acquired by the Software & Information Industry Association in 2003. Irvine died of thyroid cancer in New York City on November 8, 2016.

Howard Ruff (85) economist, best-selling author, and political conservative best known for being bullish on gold and silver and gloomy about the economy. In 1975 Ruff started publishing a newsletter called Ruff Times, which mixed financial counsel (predicting inflation and recommending investment in gold) with conservative commentary. It drew more than 175,000 subscribers. He drew his widest attention in 1979 with his book How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years. It recommended survivalist strategies, like stocking a year’s supply of food. Ruff died of Parkinson’s disease in Lehi, Utah on November 12, 2016.

Theodore F. ('Ted') Twardzik (89) founder of Mrs. T's Pierogies who used his mother’s pierogi recipe as the foundation of a successful business. Mrs. T’s Pierogies traces its roots to the church fairs of Twardzik’s childhood, where his mother would sell homemade pierogis—dumplinglike pockets of dough containing various fillings (meat, cheese, or vegetable)—to long lines of people. He founded the company in 1952. Five women were hired to make pierogies in his mother's kitchen to be sold to local stores. But the business quickly outgrew that arrangement and later became the largest employer in Shenandoah, Pa.; It has about 240 people on the payroll today. Mrs. T’s Pierogies was the first frozen pierogi brand available in American supermarkets. Twardzik died in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on November 10, 2016.

Dr. Umberto Veronesi (90) Italian oncologist, former health minister, and senator widely respected for his work on preventing and treating breast cancer. Veronesi was internationally recognized as one of the fathers of cancer research. He advocated conservative treatment of breast cancer, and his research over 30 years is credited with helping hundreds of thousands of women each year to receive curative surgery, preserving the breast. His work led him to vegetarianism and fasting, subjects of several books he wrote. He also promoted a conservative approach to treating melanoma, adopted by the World Health Organization. Veronesi died in Milan, Italy on November 8, 2016.

Ruth Baron Ziff (92) real-life Peggy Olson who made it in the Mad Men era of advertising. Ziff created the Mr. Whipple campaign for Charmin bath tissue, familiar to anyone who watched TV in the ‘60s or ‘70s. The “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” commercials featured the fictional supermarket manager Mr. Whipple, played by the late actor Dick Wilson (d. 2007). Ziff died in Jupiter, Florida on November 11, 2016.


David Adamany (80) former Temple University president. Adamany became Temple's president in August 2000 and retired in June ’06. He also was a professor of law and political science at Temple, where he taught a course on the US Supreme Court. Before going to Temple, he was president of Wayne State University in Detroit from 1982–97. From 1999–2000 he was chief executive of the Detroit Public Schools under a state reorganization of the school district. Adamany died on November 10, 2016.

Yaffa Eliach (79) Holocaust survivor who as a 4-year-old survived the Nazi massacres of Jews in her Lithuanian town and later documented their daily lives in a book and a three-story canyon of photographs (Tower of Faces) at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Eliach dedicated herself to the study and memorialization of the Holocaust and its victims. Starting in 1969, as a professor of history and literature in the department of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College, she founded the pioneering Center for Holocaust Studies at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. She died in New York City on November 8, 2016.


Anthony ('The Saint') St. Laurent (75) New England mobster convicted of trying to hire someone to kill a rival mafia member. St. Laurent was a captain in the Patriarca crime family and had a long criminal record dating to 1961, including convictions for running a multistate gambling operation from a Kentucky prison cell and for conspiring to extort $50,000 from two men by threatening them with physical violence. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to attempting to orchestrate a hit on rival mobster Bobby DeLuca after DeLuca accused St. Laurent of being a government informant, which St. Laurent denied. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released early because of illness. He died in Providence, Rhode Island two weeks after his release, on November 7, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Al Caiola (96) versatile guitarist who recorded hit versions of the themes from the westerns The Magnificent Seven and Bonanza and worked with artists ranging from Buddy Holly to Tony Bennett. Caiola had Top 40 hits in 1961 with his renditions of those two themes, becoming one of the relatively few artists to reach that plateau with instrumental recordings. His version of the galloping theme from the NBC western Bonanza (1959–73), reached No. 19 on the Billboard singles chart. His rendition of the now-classic heroic theme, composed by Elmer Bernstein, from The Magnificent Seven, a 1960 film starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, reached No. 35. Caiola died in Allendale, New Jersey on November 9, 2016.

Leonard Cohen (82) Canadian singer-songwriter who blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” ‘‘Suzanne,” and “Bird on a Wire.” Also renowned as a poet, novelist, and aspiring Zen monk, Cohen combined folk music with a darker, sexual edge that won him fans around the world and among fellow musicians like Bob Dylan and REM. He remained popular into his 80s. Cohen’s “Hallelujah” went from cult hit to modern standard, now an unending staple in movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, reality shows, and high school choir concerts. He died in Los Angeles, California on November 7, 2016.

Raoul Coutard (92) photographer whose camera work for Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut made him the leading cinematographer of the French New Wave. A former photojournalist in French Indochina, Coutard had never operated a movie camera when he was asked to “do some photos” for The Devil’s Pass, an adventure film being made in Afghanistan in 1958. After the film was nominated for the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, its producer, Georges deBeauregard, hired Coutard as a cinematographer for his next project, Breathless, Godard’s directorial debut. It proved to be a turning point in French cinema. Coutard died in Labenne, near Bayonne, France on November 8, 2016.

Zoltan Kocsis (64) pianist, conductor, and musical director of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. Kocsis founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983 with Ivan Fischer and became musical director of the Philharmonic in ’97. Born in Budapest in 1952, he began playing the piano as a toddler. His career was launched at age 18 when he won Hungarian Radio's Beethoven piano competition. He was considered the foremost piano interpreter of Hungarian composers Bela Bartok and Gyorgy Kurtag and a distinguished performer of works by Claude Debussy and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Kocsis underwent major heart surgery in 2012. Last month the orchestra announced that he was suffering from poor health and, following doctors' orders, canceling most of his concerts to rest and recuperate. He died in Budapest, Hungary on November 6, 2016.

Claire Labine (82) nine-time Daytime Emmy Award winner whose dramatic plots and cliffhanger climaxes kept millions of TV viewers returning day after day to Ryan’s Hope, General Hospital, Love of Life, and other soap operas. Ryan's Hope won two Daytime Emmys for outstanding drama series and eight Emmys for writing. On General Hospital, Labine was credited with story lines that heightened public awareness about breast cancer, cardiac transplants, and AIDS. She died in Somers, Connecticut on November 11, 2016.

Aileen Mehle (98) nationally syndicated grande dame of tabloid society gossip columnists who titillated readers with her rapier wit for 50 years as “Suzy.” Mehle admitted to indulging in trivia and superficiality but was unapologetic about her professed mission: to add some spice to the everyday lives of her millions of readers. Those millions read her column in scores of newspapers across the country and knew her face from her regular appearances as a panelist on the CBS game show What’s My Line in the ‘60s. She died in New York City on November 11, 2016.

Dick Oliver (77) award-winning reporter and editor for the New York Daily News who became familiar to New York TV audiences as a longtime correspondent for the local morning show Good Day New York. Oliver appeared on local TV as an interviewer and political commentator in the ‘80s. In 1988 he became a roving reporter for Good Day New York, a popular morning show broadcast on WNYW, Channel 5, the city's Fox affiliate. He was shooting a live segment for the show near City Hall when a plane struck the World Trade Center at 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001. Oliver died in New York City from complications of a stroke he suffered in September, on November 11, 2016.

George ('Bucky') Sallee (87) bugler who called horses to the post at Keeneland for more than 50 years. The Lexington native retired from the historic track in 2013 after starting there in the early ’60s. Sallee began taking trumpet lessons at age 7 before majoring in music at the University of Kentucky and later playing with notable bands and musicians such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Daniels, and Fats Domino. He died in Lexington, Kentucky on November 7, 2016.

Jack Simms (89) journalist and author who helped to build Auburn University's journalism department. Simms was hired at Auburn in 1974 to head the university's newly formed department of journalism. He went there after a 23-year career with the Associated Press. He was the AP's deputy general sports editor in New York and later was AP's bureau chief in Kentucky and Boston. He died in Auburn, Alabama on November 8, 2016.

Raynoma Gordy Singleton (79) business partner and second wife of Berry Gordy Jr., Motown's founder and patriarch, who played a vital role in the early days of the record label. Singleton died of brain cancer in Woodland Hills, California on November 11, 2016.

Lupita Tovar (106) Mexican film actress who starred in the 1931 Spanish-language version of Dracula. Tovar starred in one of Mexico's first sound films, Santa (1932). The Spanish-language Dracula was shot concurrently with the Bela Lugosi version, using the same sets at night—a common practice in the early days of sound film. The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress recently included the Spanish-language version on its list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically” significant films. Tovar died in Los Angeles, California on November 11, 2016.

Robert Vaughn (83) Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his turn on TV’s The Man from UNCLE, an immediate hit, particularly with young people, when it debuted on NBC in 1964. The series was one of many secret agent shows inspired by the James Bond films. Vaughn's superspy Napoleon Solo teamed with Scottish actor David McCallum's Illya Kuryakin, a Russian-born agent. The pair, who had put aside Cold War differences for a greater good, worked together each week for the mysterious UNCLE (United Network Command for Law & Enforcement) in combatting the international crime syndicate THRUSH. Before UNCLE, Vaughn made his mark in movies, earning an Oscar nomination in 1959 for his supporting role in The Young Philadelphians, in which he played a wounded war veteran accused of murder. He died in Danbury, Connecticut after a brief battle with acute leukemia, on November 11, 2016.

Politics and Military

Janet Reno (78) first woman to serve as US attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration. A former Miami prosecutor, Reno served nearly eight years under President Bill Clinton, the longest stint in a century. One of the administration's most recognizable and polarizing figures, she faced criticism early in her tenure for the deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, where sect leader David Koresh and some 80 followers died. Reno was known for deliberating slowly, publicly, and bluntly. After Waco, Reno figured into some of the controversies and scandals that marked the Clinton administration, including Whitewater, Filegate, bungling at the FBI laboratory, Monica Lewinsky, alleged Chinese nuclear spying, and questionable campaign financing in the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection. She died of Parkinson's disease in Miami, Florida on November 7, 2016.


Dana Brown (60) Florida surfer who dreamed of riding southern California waves. Brown was so religious he wouldn't surf on the Sabbath. He lived in Cocoa Beach in a van with his ailing father, George, and was heartbroken when the older man died last March. In September, Dana Brown began his dream trip to Huntington Beach. He was near the Huntington Beach pier on Nov. 6 when he was slammed into a pillar. He died four days later in Huntington Beach, California on November 10, 2016.

Dawn Coe-Jones (56) Canadian Golf Hall of Famer who won three times on the Ladies Professional Golfers Association Tour. From Lake Cowichan, British Columbia, Coe-Jones played on the LPGA Tour from 1984–2008. She won more than $3.3 million and had 44 career top-10 finishes. She won LPGA Tour's 1992 Women's Kemper Open, the ‘94 LPGA Palm Beach Classic, and the ‘95 Tournament of Champions. She also won the 1983 Canadian Women's Amateur. Coe-Jones died in Tampa, Florida after an eight-month battle with cancer, on November 12, 2016.

Pedro ('Perico') Fernandez (64) former super lightweight world boxing champion. Fernandez won the vacant super lightweight belt in 1974 after beating Japanese fighter Lion Furuyama on a split decision in Lazio, Italy. He retained the title in 1975 by knocking out Joao Henrique but lost it later that year when he was knocked out by Saensak Muangsurin in Bangkok. Fernandez lost a rematch for the title in 1977 in Madrid by unanimous decision. He fought 125 pro fights, winning 82 and drawing 15 until he retired in 1987. He died at a medical center in Zaragoza, Spain, where he had been under care since 2012, on November 11, 2016.

Bill Stanfill (69) voted the US's top college lineman at Georgia. Stanfill starred on two Super Bowl-winning teams with the Miami Dolphins. He was a fearsome defensive tackle at Georgia, earning All-America honors and capturing the Outland Trophy in 1968 as the nation's best interior lineman. During his three-year college career, the Bulldogs went 25-7-1 and captured two Southeastern Conference titles. Stanfill was a first-round pick of the Dolphins in 1969 and spent his entire eight-year NFL career in Miami. But his final two seasons were plagued by injuries, and he retired after the 1976 season. He died in Albany, Georgia on November 10, 2016.

Morris Taft (84) guard under coach John Wooden at UCLA from 1954–56 who helped the Bruins to win their first NCAA Tournament game, beating Seattle 94-70 in a consolation game after they lost to San Francisco and future Hall of Famer Bill Russell in the opening round. Taft helped to lead the Bruins to a 61-18 record during his three seasons, averaging in double figures his last two. He died in Los Angeles, California on November 6, 2016.

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