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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Gustave ('Lil Peep') Ahr, rapperAzzedine Alaia, fashion designer known for clingy stylesBobby Baker, LBJ protégéHelen Borgers, LA radio jazz disk jockeyJeff Capel Jr., college basketball coachBobby Doerr, Boston Red Sox second basemanThomas J. Hudner Jr., Medal of Honor recipientJeremy Hutchinson, British lawyer who defended publishers of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'Steve Mostyn, Texas Democrat megadonorUwe Reinhardt, health-care economist'Jungle Jim' Rivera, Chicago White Sox outfielderLiz Smith, syndicated gossip columnist

Business and Science

Azzedine Alaia (77) Tunisian-born designer, a fashion iconoclast whose clingy styles helped to define the ‘80s and who dressed famous women from Hollywood to the White House. Secretive and known as a fashion rebel, Alaia was based in Paris for decades but did not take part in the French capital’s seasonal fashion frenzy or flashy ad campaigns. Instead he showed privately on his own schedule. Alaia sometimes was dubbed the “king of cling” for the form-fitting designs he first populaized during the ‘80s and updated over the decades. He died in Paris, France on November 18, 2017.


Uwe Reinhardt (80) German-born economist whose unconventional insights cast him as what colleagues called a national conscience in policy debates about health care. Reinhardt had taught in the economics department at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University since 1968. He helped to shape health-care deliberations for decades as a contributor to numerous publications, an adviser to White House and congressional policymakers, a member of federal and professional commissions, and a consultant and board member, paid and unpaid, for private industry. He died of sepsis in Princeton, New Jersey on November 13, 2017.


Jeremy Hutchinson (102) British lawyer, a towering legal figure who helped to liberalize British laws pertaining to sex and freedom of expression. In 1960 Hutchinson was part of the team that successfully defended Penguin Books against obscenity charges for publishing D. H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The book was first published in Italy in 1928 but was banned in its full uncensored form in Britain until Penguin published it in ’60. Hutchinson later fought in court on behalf of the erotic novel Fanny Hill, the explicit movie Last Tango in Paris, and the academic book The Mouth and Oral Sex. In 1982 he defended the director of the play The Romans in Britain in a prosecution for gross indecency. He died in London, England on November 13, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Gustave ('Lil Peep') Ahr (21) rapper whose emotional, downtrodden lyrics gained a cult following through a series of mixtapes released online. Ahr’s numerous tattoos and striking appearance caught the fashion world’s attention. GQ magazine reported earlier this year that Lil Peep, whose real name was Gustav Ahr, made runway appearances for several labels in Europe. Police in Tucson, Arizona said he was found dead on his tour bus before a scheduled concert in that city. Evidence pointed to an overdose of the antianxiety medication Xanax, although no official cause of death has been announced. Date of discovery was November 15, 2017.

Helen Borgers (60) for decades a leading voice of jazz in Los Angeles, a drive-time radio personality with a booming voice and an easy laugh. On air, Borgers explored both the legends and the up-and-comers who—with some luck and a bit of airplay—might arrive at the threshold of fame. But her voice vanished from the airwaves last June when she was unexpectedly laid off by K-Jazz after 38 years, halting a career that stretched from the days of vinyl and turntables to the more sterile environment of punching buttons on a console. After months of health problems, Borgers died in Long Beach, California after surgery for a tumor, on November 12, 2017.

Liz Smith (94) syndicated gossip columnist whose mixture of banter, barbs, and bon mots about the glitterati helped her to climb the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered. For more than 25 years Smith’s column—titled simply “Liz Smith”—was one of the most widely read in the world. Its success was due in part to Smith’s own celebrity status, giving her an insider’s access rather than relying largely on tipsters, press releases, and publicists. With a big smile and her sweet Southern manner, the Texas native endeared herself to many celebrities and scored major tabloid scoops: Donald and Ivana Trump’s divorce, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s impending parenthood, etc. Smith died in New York City on November 12, 2017.

Politics and Military

Bobby Baker (89) onetime US Senate page who, through his close ties to Lyndon B. Johnson and others, became one of the most influential nonelected men in the American government of the ‘50s and early ‘60s, only to be investigated for and eventually convicted of tax evasion and other crimes. Baker arrived in Washington as a teenage Senate page and by 1955 had risen to secretary of the Senate Democrats, an important behind-the-scenes role in which he counted votes on pending legislation, served as a conduit for influence trading, and saw to senators’ needs, including extracurricular ones. He became so powerful that he referred to himself as the 101st senator, and as he and Senate majority leader Johnson formed a symbiotic relationship, others took to calling him Little Lyndon. He went to prison in 1971 and served 15 months. Baker died in St. Augustine, Florida on his 89th birthday, November 12, 2017.

Thomas J. Hudner Jr. (93) former US Navy captain and pilot who received the Medal of Honor for his heroics during the Korean War. Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1950 after his plane came under enemy fire and he crash-landed in an unsuccessful effort to save the life of his wingman and friend, Ensign Jesse Brown (shown above), the Navy's first black combat pilot. Hudner watched earlier this year as the USS Thomas Hudner, a destroyer, was christened at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Hudner was a former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services. He died in Concord, Massachusetts on November 13, 2017.

Steve Mostyn (46) Democrat megadonor, a powerful Texas trial lawyer among the nation’s largest backers of liberal causes and candidates. Mostyn’s fortune came largely from representing homeowners who sued insurance companies, especially after major hurricanes. As President Barack Obama was being reelected in 2012, Mostyn, his wife Amber, and his Houston-based law firm contributed nearly $5 million to the Democrat Party and its candidates for federal office, making them the US’s 10th-largest donors. According to his wife, Steve Mostyn died of a “sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue” in Austin, Texas on November 15, 2017.


Jeff Capel Jr. (64) former Old Dominion and Fayetteville (NC) State basketball coach. Capel coached seven seasons at Old Dominion from 1994–2001, taking the Monarchs to two NCAA Tournaments. He also spent one year at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University and four seasons at Division II Fayetteville State, and assisted with the Charlotte Bobcats (2004–11) and the Philadelphia 76ers (2011–13). His two sons were Atlantic Coast Conference-caliber players who went into coaching. The elder Capel was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig's disease) in the spring of 2016 by doctors at Duke University. He died on November 13, 2017.

Bobby Doerr (99) Hall of Fame second baseman dubbed the “Silent Captain” of the Boston Red Sox by longtime teammate and lifelong friend Ted Williams. Doerr played 14 seasons with the Red Sox and joined his fishing buddy in the Hall of Fame in 1986. He had a .288 lifetime average, helping the Red Sox to the 1946 World Series, and in the first All-Star Game played at night he hit a three-run homer that gave the American League the lead for good. He finished his career with 2,042 hits, 223 home runs, and 1,247 runs batted in and once went 414 games without an error—a record at the time. His six seasons with at least 100 RBIs was not matched by another second baseman for 25 years. Doerr died in Junction City, Oregon on November 13, 2017.

'Jungle Jim' Rivera (96) outfielder on the 1959 Go-Go Chicago White Sox pennant-winning team. The American League leader in triples in 1953 and steals two years later, “Jungle Jim” played for the White Sox from ‘52–61. He was part of the 1959 team that—led by Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, and Early Wynn—captured the franchise's first pennant since 1919. The White Sox lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. Rivera went 0 for 11, and Chicago did not win another pennant until 2005. Rivera batted .256 in a career that included short stints with the St. Louis Browns and the Kansas City Athletics. He died in Fort Wayne, Indiana on November 13, 2017.

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