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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, November 25, 2017

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David Cassidy, '70s teen heartthrob from 'Partridge Family'Rance Howard, actor father of director Ron HowardDella Reese, actress and singerMel Tillis, country music singer and songwriterMary Adelman, repairer of typewritersGeorge Avakian, jazz scholar who built American music recording industryNorman Baker, businessman turned adventurerIris Campbell, widow of former South Carolina Gov. Carrroll CampbellWayne Cochran, R&B singer turned ministerHilda Eisen, Holocaust survivor with American success storyRabbi Neil Gillman, NYC Jewish theologianTerry Glenn, former NFL receiverAnthony Harvey, director of 'Lion in Winter'Jon Hendricks (right), jazz singer and songwriter of '50s vocalese trio, with Dave Lambert and Annie RossMaurice D. Hinchey, former US congressman who championed environmental causesDmitri Hvorostovsky, Russian operatic baritoneSteve ('Snapper') Jones, basketball star and broadcasterCharles Manson, leader of murderous Manson 'family'Mitch Margo, second from left with the Tokens; the others, from left, are Eddie Rabkin, Hank Medress, Phil Margo (seated), and Jay SiegelPete Moore, original member of Motown group The Miracles: clockwise from left, Smokey Robinson, Moore, Bobby Rogers, and Ron WhiteCarol Neblett, soprano, in Wagner's 'The Flying Dutchman'Jana Novotna, Czech tennis championHarry Pregerson, US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judgeJacob Thompson, Maine boy who loved penguinsJoseph L. White, pioneer in black psychology

Business and Science

Mary Adelman (89) widow of Stanley Adelman (died 1995), whose Manhattan typewriter-repair shop tended to machines with shift-lock keys that would do neither and carriages that would not return—and to the people who pounded away on them. for decades the Adelmans' shop, Osner Business Machines (named after previous owners) at 393 Amsterdam Ave., just south of 79th Street, was an emergency room for typists with bent keys and ruined ribbons. It was a dusty leftover from a time before word processors and, even more new-fangled, computers—a place that at its busiest was jammed with typewriters that could be repaired, cannibalized for parts, or sold. The shop attended to the typewriters of such well-known writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer, David Mamet, Erich Maria Remarque, Nora Ephron, Gene Shalit, and Philip Roth. After her husband's death, Mary Adelman kept the shop going until 2001. She died of dementia in Washington, DC on November 22, 2017.

Norman Baker (89) Brooklyn boy destined to inherit his family’s construction business. As a teenager, Norman won a model-airplane-building contest whose first prize was flying lessons. As a man, he mined gold in Alaska, climbed the Matterhorn, and lived on a 19th-century schooner that he and his wife had rebuilt. In the ultimate adventure, he navigated a treacherous 3,275-mile voyage across the Atlantic on a papyrus raft captained by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Baker never stopped flying planes. He was on his way to join his grown children, their spouses and partners, and his grandchildren for Thanksgiving when his 1966 four-seat single-engine Cessna crashed in a wooded area the day before the holiday, near Pittsford in central Vermont. His body was found in the wreckage, four days after his 89th birthday, on November 22, 2017.

Hilda Eisen (100) Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family to the Nazi death camps. When Hilda and her husband Harry (died 2012) arrived in America after World War II, they had no money and spoke little English. Settling in the Los Angeles area, over the years they built their chicken and egg business into Norco Ranch, which supplied grocery chains and restaurants throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada. The couple emerged as multimillionaires and generous benefactors when they sold out to Moark, a Minnesota-based agribusiness and subsidiary of Land-O-Lakes. Hilda Eisen died in Beverly Hills, California on November 22, 2017.


Joseph L. White (84) pioneer in the field of black psychology and an influential figure to countless students at the University of California/Irvine. White’s career was a blend of activism and scholarship. He fought to increase minority students’ access to higher education and helped to create California’s Educational Opportunity Program, which has allowed more than 250,000 students to attend college, many as the first in their families to do so. He also challenged the psychology establishment. In 1968, as part of a group of black psychologists, he confronted the American Psychological Association about its lack of racial diversity. At the time, White wrote, fewer than 1 per cent of the association’s more than 10,000 members were black. That same year, White helped to found the Association of Black Psychologists. While on a connecting flight to visit family in St. Louis for Thanksgiving, he died of a heart attack on November 21, 2017.


Charles Manson (83) one of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century. Manson was a semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician before he came to attention in the late ‘60s as the wild-eyed leader of the Manson family, a murderous band of young drifters in California. Convicted of nine murders in all, Manson was known in particular for the seven brutal killings collectively called the Tate-LaBianca murders, committed by his followers on two consecutive August nights in 1969. The most famous of the victims was Sharon Tate, an actress who was married to film director Roman Polanski. Tate was 8-1/2 months pregnant when she was killed with four other people at her Benedict Canyon home. The Tate-LaBianca killings and the seven-month trial that followed were the subjects of feverish news coverage. In 1971 Manson and two of his followers were found guilty of seven counts of murder each and conspiracy to commit murder. Their death sentences were reduced to life in prison when California outlawed capital punishment. Manson died in Kern County, California on November 19, 2017.

Harry Pregerson (94) US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, a Los Angeles-based jurist who embraced the underdog and let his conscience inform his rulings. On the bench, Pregerson was often controversial. He stirred criticism when he refused to follow a 2003 US Supreme Court ruling upholding California’s tough three-strikes sentencing law. Not long after the court’s decision, Pregerson dissented in rulings that upheld life sentences, some for relatively minor crimes. His dissents were seen by some critics as insubordination, but Pregerson was frank about putting his conscience first. The judge, who was suffering from respiratory ailments, died in Woodland Hills, California on November 25, 2017.

News and Entertainment

George Avakian (98) Russian-born jazz scholar and architect of the American music industry who produced essential recordings by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and other stars. An executive at Columbia Records and Warner Bros., among other labels, Avakian helped to popularize such consumer standards as liner notes, the long-playing album, and the live album. He started out as an Ivy League prodigy, rediscovering old jazz recordings, and became a monumental industry figure and founder of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, presenters of the Grammys. Through the artists he promoted and the breakthroughs he championed, Avakian helped to shape the music we listen to and the way we listen to it. He died in New York City on November 22, 2017.

David Cassidy (67) teen and preteen idol who starred in the ‘70s sitcom The Partridge Family and sold millions of records as the musical group’s lead singer. The show aired from 1970–74 and was a fictional variation on the ’60s performers the Cowsills, intended at first as a vehicle for Shirley Jones, Oscar-winning actress and Cassidy’s stepmother. Jones played Shirley Partridge, a widow with five children with whom she forms a popular act that travels on a psychedelic bus. The cast also featured Cassidy as eldest son and family heartthrob Keith Partridge; Susan Dey, later of LA Law fame, as sibling Laurie Partridge; and Danny Bonaduce as sibling Danny Partridge. Cassidy, who announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with dementia, died of liver failure in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 21, 2017.

Wayne Cochran (78) wrote a classic love-and-loss pop song while still in his early 20s, then morphed into an energetic rhythm and blues singer with a devoted following and an outrageous pompadour before finding a new purpose in a Christian ministry near Miami. Cochran was a relative unknown trying to make it as a singer in Georgia in 1961 when he wrote and recorded “Last Kiss,” a heart-wrencher about a fatal car wreck. His initial recording did not make much of an impact, but a 1964 cover by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers became a national hit. Cochran later turned to religion, receiving a call to the ministry in 1981 and founding the Voice for Jesus ministries northwest of Miami. He died of cancer in Miramar, Florida on November 21, 2017.

Anthony Harvey (87) film director best known for The Lion in Winter (1968), which won a best-actress Oscar for Katharine Hepburn, who shared the award with Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl. Harvey died in Water Mill, Long Island, New York on November 23, 2017.

Jon Hendricks (96) jazz singer and songwriter who became famous in the ‘50s with the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross by putting lyrics to well-known jazz instrumentals and turning them into vocal tours de force. Although he was a gifted vocal improviser in his own right, Hendricks was best known for adding words to the improvisations of others. He took pieces recorded by jazz ensembles like the Count Basie Orchestra or the Horace Silver Quintet and created narratives that matched both the melody lines and the contours of the instrumental solos. Hendricks did not invent that practice, known as vocalese—most jazz historians credit singer Eddie Jefferson with that achievement—but became its best-known exponent, and he turned it into a group art with Dave Lambert (died 1966) and Annie Ross. The trio of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, with Hendricks as principal lyricist and onstage between-songs spokesman, introduced the concept of vocalese to a vast audience. Hendricks died in New York City on November 22, 2017.

Rance Howard (89) actor whose career spanned more than 60 years in film and TV. Howard was the father of director Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard and the grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard, Ron's daughters. Rance Howard had 280 acting credits, the first in 1956, with roles in two 2018 projects in postproduction. He appeared in many films directed by Ron Howard, including Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, and Parenthood. His other film roles included those in Nebraska, Bloodworth, Angels & Demons, and Chinatown. On TV he appeared on such shows as Grey's Anatomy, Seinfeld, Happy Days, and The Waltons. Father and son shared writing credit for Grand Theft Auto (1977), Ron's feature film directing debut, and Rance had writing credits for Gentle Ben, a ‘60s TV series that starred Clint Howard, and one for The Andy Griffith Show, where Ron gained acting fame playing sheriff's son Opie Taylor. Rance Howard died in Los Angeles, California on November 25, 2017.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky (55) Russian baritone, one of the most prominent opera singers of his generation. Hvorostovsky topped the bill at the world's leading opera houses. Born in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk, he embarked on a successful career in the West in the late ‘80s. He was also known and loved at home for performing World War II-era classics. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, Hvorostovsky had all but given up live performances. In June the Vienna State Opera announced that he had canceled all upcoming appearances. He died in London, England on November 22, 2017.

Mitch Margo (70) original member of the Tokens, the singing group best known for their hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Margo was only 13 in 1960 when he and his brother, Phil, joined the Linc-Tones, who soon renamed themselves the Tokens. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the group’s biggest hit, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1961 and one week in ’62. The group wrote several of its songs—Mitch, Phil, and the Tokens’ Hank Medress collaborated on the group’s first hit, “Tonight I Fell in Love.” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was based on a 1939 recording, “Mbube”—Zulu for “The Lion”—by South African musician Solomon Linda and his group the Original Evening Birds. Pete Seeger recorded a version in the ‘50s as “Wimowe,” which is how he sang the original lyric “mbube.” American songwriter George David Weiss reworked it in 1961, adding the lyrics “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.” Mitch Margo died in Studio City, California on November 24, 2017.

Pete Moore (79) original member of the Miracles, the hit-making Motown group led by Smokey Robinson, and a cowriter of some of its most enduring songs. Moore’s credits include three Top-20 hits that were released in 1965 during an especially dynamic period for Motown and the Miracles: “Ooo Baby Baby,” written with Robinson; “The Tracks of My Tears,” with Robinson and guitarist Marv Tarplin; and “My Girl Has Gone,” with Robinson, Tarplin, and the group’s Ronnie White. Moore died of diabetes in Las Vegas, Nevada on his 79th birthday, November 19, 2017.

Carol Neblett (71) soprano who sang numerous roles at New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, and one particularly attention-getting one in New Orleans that included full nudity. Neblett sang all over the world after making her City Opera debut as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème in 1969. She sang the title role in Puccini’s Tosca more than 300 times, the first in 1976 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago with Luciano Pavarotti as Mario Cavaradossi. Neblett sang an excerpt from La Fanciulla del West (again by Puccini) with Plácido Domingo for Queen Elizabeth II’s 25th Jubilee celebration in 1977. But among her multitude of performances, one in particular received outsized attention: her 1973 appearance in Massenet’s Thaïs at the New Orleans Opera House. Playing a courtesan trying to seduce a monk, Neblett, in a scene at the end of the first act, shed her robe and briefly sang nude. By 1973 onstage nudity was beginning to lose its shock value—the musical Hair, for instance, had completed a four-year Broadway run the year before—but Neblett’s exposed moment generated plenty of news media coverage nonetheless. She died in Los Angeles, California on November 23, 2017.

Della Reese (86) actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel on the long-running TV drama Touched by an Angel (1994–2003). Before the series debuted, Reese was mainly known as a singer, although she had costarred on Chico & the Man, Charlie & Company, and The Royal Family and hosted her own talk show, Della. She had been ordained a minister by the Universal Foundation for Better Living and performed the ceremony when Angel costar Roma Downey married. As a church-singing teenager, Reese was discovered by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, with whom she toured for five summers. She later had a busy career as a TV actress, appearing on shows including Night Court, LA Law, Designing Women, Welcome Back, Kotter, The A Team, MacGyver, The Love Boat, and, more recently, That’s So Raven. She also appeared in the 2005 movie Beauty Shop and had a prominent role in the 1989 film Harlem Nights. Reese, who suffered from diabetes, died in Los Angeles, California on November 19, 2017.

Mel Tillis (85) longtime country star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs, and many others and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles. The father of country singer Pam Tillis, Mel Tillis recorded more than 60 albums and had several top-10 country singles, including “Good Woman Blues,” ‘‘Coca Cola Cowboy,” and “Southern Rain.” Among hits he wrote for others were “Detroit City” for Bobby Bare and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” by Rogers & the First Edition. Tillis had battled intestinal issues since 2016 and never fully recovered. He died of suspected respiratory failure in Ocala, Florida on November 19, 2017.

Politics and Military

Iris Campbell (77) widow of a popular South Carolina governor credited with helping to make the Republican Party a powerful force in the state. Gov. Carroll Campbell died in 2005 after battling Alzheimer’s disease. He was governor from 1987–95. As South Carolina's first lady, Iris Campbell said she hoped people would remember her for her work to help children. She died in Debordieu, South Carolina on November 20, 2017.

Maurice D. Hinchey (79) former US congressman from New York who built a reputation as a champion of the environment and blue-collar workers over a political career that spanned nearly 40 years. Hinchey, a Democrat who retired from Congress in 2013 after 10 terms, began his political career as a state assemblyman in Albany in 1975. Within four years he became chairman of its Environmental Conservation Committee and served there until 1992, when he was elected to Congress. During his time on the State Assembly’s conservation committee, Hinchey led an investigation into Love Canal, an unfinished waterway in upstate New York that became one of the nation’s first major toxic dumpsites. Hinchey died of frontotemporal degeneration, a rare, terminal neurological disorder, in Saugerties, New York on November 22, 2017.

Society and Religion

Rabbi Neil Gillman (84) Jewish theologian who gave aspiring rabbis and congregants in the Conservative movement new ways to talk about God, death, and the afterlife and was an important advocate for the movement’s ordination of women and gays. A professor of Jewish philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan for 46 years and dean of its rabbinical school for 10, Gillman began publishing his writings in the ‘80s. At the time the centrist Conservative movement was struggling with identity and appeal, wondering whether its adherents were merely stopping over on their way to becoming barely observant Jews whose allegiance was largely ethnic rather than religious. Gillman died of concer in New York City on November 24, 2017.

Jacob Thompson (9) Maine boy with cancer. Jacob was diagnosed at age 5 with neuroblastoma and was admitted to the Maine Medical Center in Portland in October. Knowing time was short, his family held a Christmas celebration there earlier this month. People were touched by the story, and cards poured in from around the world. The boy loved penguins, so his family urged people to make a donation to a penguin rescue group, Operation Gratitude. Jacob died in Portland, Maine on November 19, 2017.


Terry Glenn (43) former record-setting NFL receiver with the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys and an all-American with Ohio State. Glenn in recent years started a foundation for troubled children. He won the Biletnikoff Award (named after former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff) as the nation’s top college receiver in 1995, piling up 1,411 yards and 17 touchdowns in his only year as a starter for Ohio State. He played 12 seasons in the NFL from 1996–2007, including six with the Patriots, five with the Cowboys, and one with the Green Bay Packers. Glenn died shortly before 1 a.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, less than 45 minutes after he was ejected from the car he was driving east on Highway 114 when it struck a concrete barrier and rolled over, on November 20, 2017. A passenger, his fiancée, who was not identified, was treated for minor injuries. It was not known whether the couple had been wearing seatbelts.

Steve ('Snapper') Jones (75) former ABA and NBA player who also had a long career in broadcasting. Jones was a three-time All-Star in eight ABA seasons, averaging 16 points in 640 regular-season games for Oakland, New Orleans, Memphis, Dallas, Carolina, Denver, and St. Louis. He finished his career with Portland in 1975–76, averaging 6.5 points in 64 games in his lone NBA season. He died in Houston, Texas on November 25, 2017.

Jana Novotna (49) Czech tennis player who won the hearts of the tennis world by sobbing on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent after a tough loss in the Wimbledon final. Novotna won her only Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 1998, eventually triumphing after two losses in the final at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in 1993 and ’97. She also lost in the 1991 Australian Open final. Her 1993 loss to Steffi Graf at Wimbledon was particularly painful for Novotna, who wasted a commanding lead in the decisive third set. During a 14-year professional career, she won 24 singles titles and reached a career-high No. 2 in the singles rankings in 1997. She won just that one Grand Slam singles title but collected 16 slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles and was a top-ranked doubles player. She was also a three-time Olympic medalist and won the Fed Cup with her country in 1988. Novotna died of cancer in the Czech Republic on November 19, 2017.

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