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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, March 17, 2018

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Stephen Hawking, renowned British physicistFrancis M. Bator, '60s White House adviser and Harvard economistTom Benson, owner of New Orleans SaintsBetty Ann Bowser, TV journalistDr. T. Berry Brazelton, pediatricianEd Charles, poet of New York MetsAlfred W. Crosby, historian who studied Christopher ColumbusSir Ken Dodd, British entertainerNokie Edwards, bassist-guitarist for VenturesKen Flach, '80s tennis championRussell Freedman, historian and biographerAugie Garrido, college baseball coachMichael Getler, journalist and ombudsmanRobert Grossman, illustratorJean Gump, peace activist and protestorRabbi Mordechai Hager, Hasidic leaderPhan Van Khai, Vietnamese premierLefty Kreh, globe-trotting sport fishermanLarry  Kwong, first Asian to play in NHL gameAdrian Lamo, computer hackerGary Lincoff, 'pied piper' of mushroomsMike MacDonald, Canadian stand-up comicCraig Mack, Grammy-nominated rapperEmily Nasrallah, Lebanese author and feministBuell Neidlinger, jazz bassistLiam O'Flynn, Irish musicianLisa Garcia Quiroz, founding publisher of 'People en Espanol'Robert S. Rubin, investment banker and philanthropistLouise Slaughter, US congresswoman from New York stateKatherine Westphal, textile artistSammy Williams, Tony-winning Broadway dancer in 'A Chorus Line'Olly Wilson, classical composer and music educatorDavid S. Wyman, scholar of US response to Holocaust

Art and Literature

Russell Freedman (88) historian who brought readable, relatable history to young readers in dozens of well-researched, generously illustrated books. Beginning in 1961, Freedman wrote more than 60 books, most of them about the people, movements, and events that shaped the world, and especially the US. There were biographies like Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery (1993) and Becoming Ben Franklin (2013). There were books about conflicts, like The War to End All Wars (2010), about World War I, and Vietnam (2016). And there were books about young people who did impressive or courageous things, like We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler (2016). Freedman related those stories in an engaging prose that was expertly pitched to pre-adult readers, avoiding condescension while finding angles and anecdotes that resonated with his audience. He had suffered a series of strokes before he died in New York City on March 16, 2018.

Robert Grossman (78) illustrator who made President Richard M. Nixon into Pinocchio, put President George W. Bush in a dunce cap, and tied a jet in a knot for the Airplane! movie poster. On magazine covers and in newspaper pages, Grossman chronicled and caricatured 50 years’ worth of politicians, pop-culture figures, and social issues. He had a knack for causing a stir with his colorful images, whether they were one-shot covers for magazines like Rolling Stone and Time or serial comic strips for the New York Observer or New York magazine. Although he created plenty of nonpolitical work—like portraits of Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, and other musicians for Rolling Stone—Grossman's most memorable efforts often involved skewering politicians. He died of heart failure in New York City on March 15, 2018.

Emily Nasrallah (87) Lebanese author and feminist whose writing touched on women’s determination, migration, and the terror of Lebanon’s 1975–90 Civil War. Nasrallah was the author of several novels and children’s books and was awarded regional and international prizes for her work. She began her career as a journalist and published her first book, Birds of September (1962), to critical acclaim. She died of cancer in Beirut, Lebanon on March 13, 2018.

Katherine Westphal (99) textile artist whose collagelike designs helped to make her a leader of the wearable art movement in the San Francisco Bay Area in the ‘60s and ’70s. Westphal’s canvases—which included quilts, kimonos, dresses, and baskets—reflected her life and her world travels and were distinguished by her pioneering use of heat-drying processes to transfer photocopied images onto fabrics. Her works are in many permanent museum collections, including those of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She died in Berkeley, California on March 13, 2018.

Business and Science

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton (99) one of the world's best-known pediatricians and child development experts whose work helped to explain what makes kids tick. A Texas native long affiliated with Harvard University, Brazelton was widely lauded for his knowledge of how infants and children develop. The pediatrician, TV personality, and writer was still spry into his 90s, having published his memoir in 2013, shortly before his 95th birthday, and remained active teaching, researching, and lecturing worldwide. He died of congestive heart failure in Barnstable, Massachusetts on March 13, 2018.

Stephen Hawking (76) British physicist who suffered for more than 50 years from ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative disease that destroys the nervous system. Diagnosed at age 21, Hawking defied the normally fatal illness, pursuing a brilliant career that stunned doctors and thrilled his fans. He was known for writing about the mysteries of space, time, and black holes. As slowly as a word per minute, he used the twitching of the muscle under his right eye to grind out his thoughts on a custom-built computer, painstakingly outlining his vision of time, the universe, and humanity’s place within it. What he produced was a masterwork of popular science, one that guided a generation of enthusiasts through the esoteric world of antiparticles, quarks, and quantum theory. His success in turn transformed him into a massively popular scientist, one as familiar to the wider world through his appearances on primetime TV shows as for his work on cosmology and black holes. He made cameo TV appearances on The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Big Bang Theory. He died in Cambridge, England on March 14, 2018.

Gary Lincoff (75) self-taught mycologist whose enthusiasm turned him into a pied piper of mushrooms. A philosophy major and law-school dropout, Lincoff wrote a field guide to North American mushrooms that sold more than a half-million copies. He led mushroom hunts as far afield as Siberia, India, and the Amazon and as close to his home as Central Park, two blocks away, where over decades he counted more than 400 species. He taught for more than 40 years at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and wrote peer-reviewed journal articles, poems, and songs about mushrooms and helped to found the countercultural science and fun fair in Colorado known as the Telluride Mushroom Festival. He was a fungus fanatic who championed the mushroom as food, medicine, and soil decontaminator. Lincoff died of a stroke in New York City on March 16, 2018.

Robert S. Rubin (86) investment banker and philanthropist who as chairman of the Brooklyn Museum deflected Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s threat to censure an exhibit he considered sacrilegious. The show was titled “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection,” and even before it opened in 1999 the mayor denounced it as pornographic and anti-Catholic. He was so scandalized by one work, Chris Ofili’s portrait of the Virgin Mary stained with elephant dung, that he sued in state court to remove the museum’s directors and evict the institution from its city-owned Beaux-Arts home. He also sought to slash the annual subsidies that made up about a third of the museum’s budget. Rubin offered compromises, but the city rejected them, and the museum countersued in federal court, arguing that the mayor was defying the First Amendment. Eventually, as the court fight proceeded and the exhibit came and went, Giuliani called a cease-fire. He withdrew his suit over the show, which originated at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In return, the museum dropped its countersuit. Rubin died of pneumonia on March 17, 2018.


Francis M. Bator (92) White House economist who nudged the Johnson administration toward a closer collaboration with western Europe while reconciling with the Soviet Union and its Communist satellites. Bator, who fled Hungary with his family in the face of encroaching fascism in 1939, was one of a cadre of White House advisers in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who shuttled between academia and the White House, joining the likes of Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., McGeorge Bundy, and Walt W. Rostow. In Washington, Bator proposed federal programs and policies that were later incorporated into Johnson's War on Poverty. After leaving the administration in 1967, he became founding chairman of the public policy program at what is now the Harvard Kennedy School and director of studies at the school’s Institute of Politics. He retired as a professor in 1994. Bator was struck by an automobile in January while crossing the street and never recovered. He died in Dedham, Massachusetts on March 15, 2018.

Alfred W. Crosby (87) historian who studied and wrote books about the biological and cultural impact of Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the Americas, incorporating biology, ecology, geography, and other sciences in his efforts to chronicle and understand human events—work that introduced sweeping explanatory concepts like “the Columbian Exchange” and “ecological imperialism.” In The Columbian Exchange: Biological & Cultural Consequences of 1492 (1972), Crosby examined how disease had devastated indigenous populations after Columbus landed. He also described a parallel development that transformed global ecology forever: the transoceanic movement of plants and animals, in which Europeans shipped staple crops like wheat, oats, and fruit stock along with horses, goats, and pigs to the Americas, where they were not known, and transported back to Europe New World plant varieties like maize, potatoes, and beans. A retired professor of history at the University of Texas in Austin, Crosby died of Parkinson's disease on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts on March 14, 2018.

Olly Wilson (80) composer who integrated African, black, and electronic rhythms, riffs, and sounds into Western classical music. A longtime professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Wilson grew up listening to jazz and spirituals. He studied African music in Ghana under one of his two Guggenheim Fellowships; opened an electronic music studio at the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in Ohio, where he had formerly taught; and wrote academic papers, including a major essay on the art of black music. Wilson died of dementia in Oakland, California on March 12, 2018.

David S. Wyman (89) leading scholar of the US response to the Holocaust whose book, The Abandonment of the Jews: America & the Holocaust 1941–45 (1984), was a best-selling critique of everyone from religious leaders to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Wyman was in graduate school when he began a quest to learn what was done on behalf of the millions of Jews rounded up and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. His book drew upon private and government records and contemporary media accounts. He found widespread indifference and hostility to the Jews in Europe, even as their systematic extermination was conclusively documented. He faulted religious organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish; mainstream newspapers and movies; and the anti-Jewish feelings of the general public. The federal government was slow to act, enforcing strict immigration quotas and refusing to bomb the concentration camps, waiting until well after the Holocaust had begun to establish a War Refugee Board, then forcing the agency to rely mostly on private funding. The blame rose right to the top, with Roosevelt, who Wyman alleged was more concerned about angering anti-Semites than about helping the Jews. Wyman died in Amherst, Massachusetts, eight days after his 89th birthday, on March 14, 2018.


Adrian Lamo (37) hacker best known for breaking into the computer networks of the New York Times and other major corporations and for reporting Army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning to the authorities. Lamo was 22 when federal prosecutors accused him of breaking into the Times’s computer network, creating fake usernames and running up over $300,000 in data research fees. Lamo also gained access to the computer networks of Yahoo, Microsoft, and Cingular Wireless. He was found dead in an apartment in Wichita, Kansas on March 14, 2018.

News and Entertainment

Betty Ann Bowser (73) one of TV’s most prominent newswomen for years as a correspondent for CBS, then the PBS NewsHour. In an era when journalism, both broadcast and print, was still dominated by male reporters, Bowser became one of the most recognizable women in the field. She ranged far and wide as a CBS correspondent, covering national stories and international ones like the persistent famine in parts of Africa. At NewsHour she became a general assignment correspondent, covering stories that included the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995. Bowser died of pneumonia in Ajijic, Mexico on March 16, 2018.

Sir Ken Dodd (90) star of a vanishing age of British comedy whose fame at its peak rivaled that of the Beatles. Instantly recognizable by his unruly mop of hair and snaggle-toothed grin, Dodd came up through the ranks of Britain’s variety circuit, where performers kept eager crowds entertained with songs, a bit of dance, and lots of jokes. He was famous for his rapid-fire one-liners, surreal flights of fancy, use of fanciful words like “tattyfilarious,” and marathon stand-up shows. Even in his 80s, Dodd’s shows often ran three to four hours. In the ‘60s he held the Guinness world record for the longest joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in 3.5 hours. Knighted just last year, he died in Liverpool, England on March 11, 2018.

Nokie Edwards (82) longtime bassist-guitarist for the “surf rock” pioneers the Ventures, an instrumental group founded in Seattle in the late ‘50s by guitarists Bob Bogle and Don Wilson. Edwards joined soon after. They helped to create the twangy surf sound that influenced the Beach Boys, among others. Edwards played bass on the Ventures’ 1960 hit “Walk, Don’t Run” and had switched to guitar when they recorded what became the theme for the TV show Hawaii Five-O. The Ventures sold millions of records and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. Edwards died in Yuma, Arizona of a recurring infection three months after surgery for a broken hip, on March 12, 2018.

Michael Getler (82) reporter and editor who was later the first ombudsman appointed by an American TV network, reprising at PBS a role he had played at the Washington Post. As an independent internal critic, Getler brought more than 50 years’ experience as a reporter and an editor in high-ranking positions at the Post and the International Herald Tribune in Paris. At the Post he was the 13th ombudsman. At PBS from 2005–17, he was the first such monitor, hired after the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which directs federal money to public TV and radio, accused some stations of exhibiting a liberal bias and slanting their coverage of the Middle East against Israel. Getler died of bile duct cancer in Washington, DC on March 15, 2018.

Mike MacDonald (63) pioneer of the Canadian stand-up comedy scene. Known for gentle observational humor punctuated by often outlandish facial expressions, MacDonald was a regular at the annual Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, where he made the most consecutive appearances of any performer. He also had several specials on CBC and Showtime and appeared on the talk shows of David Letterman and Arsenio Hall. MacDonald died of heart complications in Ottawa, Canada on March 17, 2018.

Craig Mack (47) former rapper best known for the platinum 1994 hit “Flava in Ya Ear.” Mack helped to launch Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment with his first album, Project: Funk da World. It was anchored by “Flava in Ya Ear,” which was nominated for a Grammy. The remix also included LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, and then-up-and-coming Biggie Smalls. Mack's follow-up single, “Get Down,” went gold. After Mack left Diddy, he released a second album, Operation: Get Down, in 1997 but left the music industry and devoted his life to religion. He died in Walterboro, South Carolina on March 12, 2018.

Buell Neidlinger (82) bassist who had a significant role in the establishment of free jazz, the premieres of works by John Cage and Igor Stravinsky, and credits on the recordings of numerous hit songs and soundtracks. Neidlinger’s virtuosity manifested itself early, first on the cello, which he played proficiently before his teens, then on the upright bass. So did his ability to thrive in almost any musical idiom. After a stint with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the late '60s, he spent almost 30 years as principal bassist with the Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra and recorded with pop stars like Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, and the Eagles. Neidlinger died of a heart attack on Whidbey Island, Washington, two weeks after his 82nd birthday, on March 16, 2018.

Liam O'Flynn (72) master at playing mournful, inspirational, and even rollicking music on the uilleann pipes, arguably the most difficult instrument to play in the arsenal of Irish music. O’Flynn was comfortable in practically any musical world, playing alongside rock and country stars, in front of orchestras, and on his own. He was best known as a member of Planxty, an acclaimed Irish folk band, formed in 1972, that was influential in the Irish folk revival of that period. The group released a series of albums, and O’Flynn also recorded solo records and played on albums by Emmylou Harris, Mark Knopfler, Enya, Nigel Kennedy, Kate Bush, and many others. He died in Dublin, Ireland on March 14, 2018.

Lisa Garcia Quiroz (57) founding publisher of People en Español, one of the most popular Hispanic magazines in the US. Quiroz’s career in media—first at Time Inc., where she also launched the magazine Time for Kids, then at Time Warner, where she became the company’s first chief diversity officer—was driven by a deeply held conviction, she said. “I feel a unique mission to give the Latino community a voice,” she told Harvard magazine (she was a Harvard graduate), referring to her role at People en Español, a Time Inc. offshoot of People magazine. Quiroz started People en Español in 1996, a time when coverage of Latino communities in the mainstream media was limited. She died of pancreatic cancer in Denver, Colorado on March 16, 2018.

Sammy Williams (69) won a Tony Award for his role in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line. Williams won best featured actor in a musical in 1976 for the role of Paul in A Chorus Line. The pioneering musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch told of the inner lives of dancers auditioning for a big show. The character of Paul was a young Puerto Rican performer starting to feel comfortable about being gay. Williams had other earlier smaller parts on Broadway in Applause and The Happy Time. He was later a choreographer, director, and actor in Los Angeles, appearing in Follies at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2012. He died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on March 17, 2018.

Politics and Military

Jean Gump (90) peace activist and protestor. Gump was arrested numerous times and served eight years in prison for invading Whiteman Air Force Base near Holden, Missouri with two other peace protesters in 1986. They had disabled a silo housing a Minuteman II nuclear missile, defacing its 120-ton cover with their own blood, poured in the shape of a crucifix from baby bottles, and spray-painting it with the battle cry, “Disarm and Live.” Her last arrest was in 2010, when she was 83; she was protesting upgrades of Trident submarine nuclear warheads at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennesee. Gump died of a brain hemorrhage in Louisville, Kentucky on March 16, 2018.

Phan Van Khai (84) former Vietnamese premier who helped to strengthen ties with the US and to drive market reforms that ignited the Communist country’s economy. A Soviet-trained economist from southern Vietnam, Khai held office for nine years starting in 1997, a period of reform that saw Vietnam transform into one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies. He also made history as the country’s first postwar leader to visit Washington, DC in 2005, a landmark trip that helped to cement ties between the former wartime foes. Khai died in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on March 17, 2018.

Louise Slaughter (88) veteran US congresswoman (D-NY), a Kentucky blacksmith’s daughter who represented New York state's 25th Congressional District, which includes the city of Rochester. She once chaired one of Congress’s most important committees. Slaughter was the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee (2007–10) and was her party’s top member on the panel. She was serving her 16th term in the House, and her 31 years in the chamber made her its third longest-serving woman. She died in Washington, DC a week after falling at her home and sustaining a concussion, on March 16, 2018.

Society and Religion

Rabbi Mordechai Hager (95) reserved but strong-willed leader of one of the nation’s largest Hasidic sects, who settled many of his followers in a relatively bucolic upstate enclave to escape New York's temptations and decadence. Hager lived in the Hasidic village he founded, Kaser, in Rockland County, New York. A bearded figure known affectionately by his followers as Reb Mottele, the rabbi was leader of the American branch of the Viznitz, believed to number roughly 5,000 families, or 30,000 people. There is also a second branch based in Israel, although Viznitz Hasidim are scattered in many countries. Rabbi Hager died in New York City of liver failure resulting from an undetermined infection, on March 16, 2018.


Tom Benson (90) auto dealer and longtime owner of the New Orleans Saints who brought the franchise its only winning seasons. Benson also owned the National Basketball Association's New Orleans Pelicans since 2012 but made his mark in pro sports with the Saints. He bought the Saints in 1985 when it appeared the club would be sold to out-of-state interests and perhaps moved out of Louisiana. He paid $70 million for the team, which is now worth close to $2 billion. Benson had been hospitalized since February 16 and died in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 15, 2018.

Ed Charles (84) third baseman known as “The Glider” who helped to lead the Miracle Mets to the 1969 World Series title with his veteran guidance and poetry. Charles was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1952 and spent nearly 10 years in the minor leagues before he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics after the ‘61 season. He made his big league debut with the As that April at age 29 but was best known for his time with the Mets, who acquired him on May 10, 1967 for outfielder Larry Elliot and $50,000. Charles hit just .207 with three homers and 18 runs batted in, in 169 at-bats in 1969, which turned out to be his final season, but he inspired his teammates with his poetry and came up with the occasional big hit. He singled off Baltimore’s Dave McNally in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the World Series and scored the go-ahead run on Al Weis’s sacrifice fly as the Mets won 2-1 for a 2-0 Series lead en route to New York's first title. He died in New York City on March 15, 2018.

Ken Flach (54) tennis champion who won four Grand Slam titles in men's doubles and two in mixed doubles. Flach reached No. 1 in the men's doubles rankings and paired with Robert Seguso to form one of the world's top teams in the ‘80s. They won 28 titles together, including major championships at the US Open in 1985 and Wimbledon in ‘87–88. They twice were runners-up at the US Open. Flach and Seguso also collected a gold medal for the US at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Flach retired as a professional tennis player in 1996 and became a coach, leading Vanderbilt to the NCAA finals in 2003. He died of pneumonia in California on March 12, 2018.

Augie Garrido (79) wherever Garrido went in his 60 years in college baseball, wins and championships always followed. His ability to motivate and innovate produced five College World Series titles with two schools and the most wins of any coach in college baseball history. He won three national championships with Cal State Fullerton in 1979, ’84, and ’95. He also won titles at Texas in 2002 and ’05. Garrido stepped away from coaching in 2016. His 1,975 career wins date to 1969. He also coached at San Francisco State, Cal Poly, and Illinois. He won 25 conference championships and national coach of the year honors six times. He was the first coach to win national championships with different schools. His teams played in the College World Series 15 times. Garrido, who had been hospitalized in Newport Beach, California after a stroke on March 11, died four days later, on March 15, 2018.

Lefty Kreh (93) one of the preeminent sport fishermen of his time. Kreh reeled in 126 species of fish and new generations of fishing enthusiasts. A member of three fishing halls of fame, he cast his line on every populated continent, fishing alongside presidents, Ernest Hemingway, Fidel Castro, and greats of other sports. Besides writing 32 books and columns for the Miami Herald and the Baltimore Sun, he designed a fly celebrated on a US Postal Service stamp. A Maryland fishing trail bears his name, as does a strain of anthrax; while working at Fort Detrick in the '60s, Kreh was the sole survivor of accidental exposure to the virus. He died in his sleep of congestive heart failure in Cockeysville, Maryland on March 14, 2018.

Larry Kwong (94) first player of Asian heritage to appear in a National Hockey League game. Kwong played a shift with the New York Rangers in a March 13, 1948 game against the Montreal Canadiens. Born in British Columbia, he played as a youth with his hometown Hydrophones before moving up to the senior ranks, joining the Trail Smoke Eaters as an 18-year-old. He eventually joined the New York Rovers, a Rangers farm team, and led them in scoring in the 1947–48 season. After his brief appearance with the Rangers, Kwong later played several seasons with the Valleyfield Braves of the Quebec Senior Hockey League. He also played in England and Switzerland, where he coached. He died in Calgary, Canada on March 15, 2018.

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