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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, April 28, 2018

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Michael Anderson, Oscar-winning British film directorAlvaro Arzú, former president of GuatemalaAbbas Attar, Iranian photographerRev. James H. Cone, leader in black liberation theologyBob Dorough, jazz pianist and composer known for 'Schoolhouse Rock!'Everett Fahy, art historianLarry Harvey, man who started annual 'Burning Man' festivalPhilip Hoff, Vermont governor who made state liberalJames Hylton, NASCAR driverRichard H. Jenrette, Wall Street CEO and restorer of historic homesBrooks Kerr, blind jazz piano prodigy and authority on Duke EllingtonSachio Kinugasa, Japanese baseball sluggerJudith and Gerson ('Gus') Leiber, artisan and artist, respectivelySteven Marcus, literary critic and educatorJerrold Meinwald, Cornell organic chemistCharles Neville, saxophonist in Neville Brothers bandArt Paul, magazine designer and illustratorAlice Provensen, author and illustratorDr. Donald W. Seldin, longest-serving medical school chairmanArt Shay, magazine photojournalistDoreen Simmons, British expert on Japanese sumo wrestlingFulvia Visconti Ferragamo, Italian fashion designerRonald A. Wolk, founder of 'Chronicle of Higher Education'

Art and Literature

Abbas Attar (74) Iranian-born photographer who documented cataclysmic events throughout the world, including the Iranian revolution, and developed a particular interest in the role of religion in them. Abbas, as he referred to himself professionally, was known for dramatic black-and-white photographs delivered with a point of view, especially in his book Iran Diary 1971–2002 (2002), a collection of images and text presented as a sort of journal. When the events that resulted in the overthrow of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in 1979 began, Abbas supported change, but he soon became disillusioned with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who took over the government. Abbas Attar died in Paris, France on April 25, 2018.

Everett Fahy (77) historian of Florentine painters from the late 15th and early 16th centuries who joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a young curator and left to run the Frick Collection before returning to the Met as its chairman of European paintings. Fahy became the Met’s curator in charge of European paintings, one of the museum’s most prestigious departments, in his late 20s. One of his tasks was to reorganize the collection so that pictures were arranged by national schools, identified by walls that were painted in different dark colors. He died of Parkinson's disease in Davis, California on April 23, 2018.

Gerson ('Gus') and Judith Leiber (97, 96) Artistic couple married for 72 years. American modernist painter Gerson's ambitions were stunted until he attended art school in Budapest, where he had served in the Army during World War II. Leiber and his wife Judith were a tight-knit couple who built distinctive and, at times, complementary careers—he, an artist raised in Titusville, Pennsylvania; she, a Hungarian-born artisan whose beaded handbags were sought-after accessories for first ladies dating to Mamie Eisenhower. Judith's whimsical creations were prized as collectors’ pieces and frequently displayed as objets d’art. In 2008 the couple opened the Leiber Collection, a museum dedicated to their work on their property in Springs, New York, where the expansive gardens were designed by Gerson. They died of heart attacks within hours of each other, on April 28, 2018.

Steven Marcus (89) Columbia College professor who transformed literary criticism into a lens on history and society by revealing a subculture of Victorian pornography and psychoanalyzing characters in Charles Dickens’s novels. The Bronx-born grandson of immigrants from eastern Europe, Marcus majored in English literature at Columbia, where he spent most of his academic and professional career as a leading New York intellectual. He studied under celebrated critic Lionel Trilling, with whom he collaborated on editing an abridged version of Ernest Jones’s three-volume biography of Sigmund Freud in 1961. That partnership spurred Marcus to apply psychology to much of his own literary criticism. In academia he was most admired as a teacher and mentor. He died of cardiac arrest in New York City on April 25, 2018.

Art Paul (93) magazine designer who created Playboy's famous tuxedoed bunny head logo. Paul was a free-lance illustrator when he started working with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as the magazine's first employee in the ‘50s. He said he came up with the bunny logo in about an hour. Paul also hired other artists to create illustrations for Playboy, including Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Shel Silverstein. Paul was the magazine's art director until he retired in 1982. He died of pneumonia in Chicago, Illinois on April 28, 2018.

Alice Provensen (99) illustrated and often wrote books for children for more than 50 years, helping young readers to learn about animals and aviators, poems and presidents, Aesop’s fables and Chinese legends. For almost 40 years Provensen formed half of an illustrating team that was famous in the world of children’s books. Her husband, Martin Provensen (died 1987), was the other half. Together they illustrated dozens of books for young and very young readers, beginning in the ‘40s, and as their careers advanced they wrote many as well. Alice Provensen died in San Clemente, California on April 23, 2018.

Business and Science

Richard H. Jenrette (89) cofounder of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the first Wall Street firm to offer shares to the public, who, after selling it to the giant but ailing Equitable Life Assurance Society, presided as chief executive over the company’s revival. A soft-spoken North Carolina native, Jenrette at the same time built a reputation involving what he called his hobby: buying and restoring historic American homes, more than a dozen of which he decorated and furnished with period antiques. He died of lymphoma in Charleston, South Carolina on April 22, 2018.

Jerrold Meinwald (91) organic chemist at Cornell University who conducted pathbreaking studies of how animals use chemicals to attract mates, repel predators, and send other messages back and forth. Soon after he arrived at Cornell in 1952, Meinwald tackled the question of what exactly in catnip drives some cats into a playful frenzy. He isolated from the plant the active ingredient—a chemical called nepetalactone—then deduced its structure, but found that not all cats respond to it. He later had a partnership with Thomas Eisner, an entomologist who joined the Cornell faculty in 1957. That collaboration continued for more than 50 years and established a new field of science, chemical ecology. Meinwald died in Ithaca, New York on April 23, 2018.

Dr. Donald W. Seldin (97) transformed an abandoned Army barracks in Texas into one of the nation’s leading medical schools, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, endowed with a faculty that included six Nobel laureates. When he retired in 1988, Seldin had served 36 years as chairman of Southwestern's department of internal medicine—setting a record for the longest tenure as a department chairman in American medicine. He died of lymphoma in Dallas, Texas on April 25, 2018.

Fulvia Visconti Ferragamo (67) one of three daughters of Salvatore Ferragamo, founder of the Italian luxury women's apparel company. Following her siblings, Fulvia joined the family business in 1970, taking charge of accessories and designing printed silk scarves and ties that became part of the 91-year-old Italian fashion house’s visual identity. She died of cancer in Milan, Italy on April 25, 2018.


Ronald A. Wolk (86) steelworker’s son who almost skipped college but continued with his education to become a national spokesman for school reform and a founder of two leading academic weekly newspapers. A report written by Wolk in the early ‘60s urging better communications among college and university administrators led to the founding in 1966 of the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 1981 Wolk established a pre-college version of the Chronicle called Education Week, with Martha K. Matzke, a fellow journalist, who was its first publisher and editor in chief. Wolk died of kidney and congestive heart failure in East Sandwich, Massachusetts on April 28, 2018.

News and Entertainment

Michael Anderson (98) British director whose films included the science fiction cult favorite Logan’s Run, the World War II epic The Dam Busters, and Around the World in 80 Days, which won five Oscars. Anderson directed dozens of films during his 50-year career. The Dam Busters (1955) told the story of a daring wartime bombing raid on Germany’s industrial heartland. The movie’s thrilling climax was an inspiration for the attack on the Death Star in the first Star Wars movie. Anderson followed The Dam Busters with the big-budget adventure Around the World in 80 Days (1956), an adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel with an ensemble that included David Niven, Shirley MacLaine, Noël Coward, Marlene Dietrich, and Mexican comedian Cantinflas. Anderson died of heart disease on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada, on April 25, 2018.

Bob Dorough (94) singer, pianist, and composer well known for his jazz but even better known for Schoolhouse Rock!, an infectious TV series of song-filled cartoons that conveyed math and grammar principles to young viewers. The original concept was to make a record and workbook, but when Dorough started producing zippy songs like “Three Is a Magic Number” and “My Hero, Zero,” the vision expanded into a series of animated shorts, which ABC began inserting into its Saturday morning lineup in 1973. The series continued into the mid-‘80s, with several revivals in subsequent decades, the subject matter growing to include civics, science, and, perhaps most important, grammar. Dorough died in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania on April 23, 2018.

Brooks Kerr (66) in 1972, two years before Duke Ellington died at age 75, he spent a week at the University of Wisconsin in Madison with his orchestra, teaching and performing in concert. Among the indispensable members of his entourage was a legally blind 20-year-old pianist from New York to whom Ellington referred students in his master class who had questions about his music. Kerr was 2 years old when he began playing the piano, 5 when he met the maestro, and 17 when he helped to celebrate Ellington’s 70th birthday at the White House. He first displayed his passion for jazz as a child prodigy. Mentored by the great stride pianist Willie (“The Lion”) Smith, Kerr later gigged with the Duke’s orchestra and formed a trio in the ‘70s with two former Ellington sidemen, clarinetist and alto saxophonist Russell Procope and drummer Sonny Greer. Kerr had been ill with kidney disease when he died in New York City on April 28, 2018.

Charles Neville (79) New Orleans-born saxophone player who once backed up B. B. King and later gained fame with the Neville Brothers band and their rollicking blend of funk, jazz, and rhythm and blues. Neville’s career dated to the ‘50s when he performed with King and other musical greats. Yet he was best known for 30 years of performances with his brothers Aaron, Art, and Cyril as the Grammy-winning Neville Brothers band. Formed in the ‘70s, it gained fans with high-energy performances featuring a distinctive fusion of funk, jazz, and New Orleans R&B. Charles Neville died of pancreatic cancer in Huntington, Massachusetts on April 26, 2018

Art Shay (96) photographer who chronicled the famous and powerful, including nine US presidents, and the everyday life of mid-20th-century Americans. In more than 1,500 assignments for Life, Time, Look, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune magazines, Shay photographed famous Americans like Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Hoffa, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, and President John F. Kennedy. He also passionately documented the streets of his adopted hometown, Chicago. Shay was a prolific writer as well, with more than 60 books, including many nonfiction children’s books, and five plays to his credit. He died of heart failure in Deerfield, Illinois on April 28, 2018.

Politics and Military

Alvaro Arzú (72) former Guatemalan president who signed the final 1996 peace accord ending his country’s 36-year civil war and later served for 14 years as mayor of Guatemala City, the capital. In 2017 prosecutors and a United Nations-backed antigraft panel accused Arzú of campaign finance violations involving the use of city funds to pay a prison cooperative to produce election material. But Arzú was immune from prosecution while holding elected office. He was also investigated for providing support to Byron Lima, a former army captain imprisoned for the killing of Msgr. Juan Jose Gerardi in 1998 while Arzú was president. Lima had been part of Arzu’s personal security team. Prosecutors said that Arzú had maintained a close relationship with Lima, who asked him for money to pay for an operation and lawyers’ fees. Lima was murdered in a 2016 prison riot. Arzú, one of Guatemala’s most influential politicians, was the country’s 32nd president from 1996–2000. He was playing golf with friends when he suffered a heart attack and died in Guatemala City, Guatemala on April 27, 2018.

Philip Hoff (93) Democrat who as governor of Vermont was credited with starting the state’s transition from one of the most Republican in the country to one of the most liberal. A lawyer, Hoff became the first Democrat elected governor of Vermont in more than 100 years when he defeated the incumbent, Republican F. Ray Keyser, in 1962 by about 1,300 votes. Over three two-year terms in office, Hoff focused on reducing pollution and cleaning up the state’s rivers and streams and on revamping the state’s judicial system. He created a civil rights commission, a precursor to the state’s Human Rights Commission. He also presided over a ban on highway billboards, abolition of the state’s poll tax, and an increase in state aid to education. He died in Shelburne, Vermont on April 26, 2018.

Society and Religion

Rev. James H. Cone (79) central figure in the development of black liberation theology in the ‘60s and ’70s who argued for racial justice and an interpretation of the Christian Gospel that elevated the voices of the oppressed. A distinguished professor at Union Theological Seminary, Cone was a theologian, minister, and author. For decades he spoke forcefully about racial inequalities that persisted in the form of economic injustice, mass incarceration, and police shootings. In 2018 he won the Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his most recent book, The Cross & the Lynching Tree, which drew parallels between the crucifixion of Jesus and the lynching of black people in the US. His recently completed memoir is expected to be published later this year. He died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City on April 28, 2018.

Larry Harvey (70) San Francisco man whose whimsical decision to erect a giant wooden figure, then burn it to the ground led to the popular, long-running counterculture celebration known as “Burning Man,” which takes place annually the week before Labor Day in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The week-long festival attracts some 70,000 people who pay anywhere from $425 to $1,200 a ticket to travel to a dry lake bed 100 miles east of Reno, where temperatures can routinely reach 100 degrees during the summer. There they must carry in their own food, build their own makeshift community, and engage in whatever interests them. On the gathering’s last day, the giant effigy—or Man, as it is known—is set ablaze during a raucous celebration. Harvey suffered a stroke earlier this month and died in San Francisco, California on April 28, 2018.


James Hylton (83) 1966 NASCAR rookie of the year. Hylton started 602 races in the Cup Series and won two races in a career that began in 1964. He finished second in the points standings three times. In all, he had 140 top-5 finishes and 301 top-10s in the Cup series. He also attempted 21 Daytona 500s between 1966–2007, finishing as high as third in ’67. He raced full-time in the ARCA Series between 2009–13 and started 175 ARCA races as a driver, making his final start at 78 in 2013. Hylton and his son, James Jr. (61), were killed in a traffic accident in Carnesville, Georgia on April 28, 2018.

Sachio Kinugasa (71) Japanese baseball slugger who in 1987 broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played, only to see his durability exceeded nine years later by Cal Ripken Jr. In Japan, Kinugasa played in game after game for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp over 17 years despite broken bones, slumps, and age. Even after a pitch fractured his left shoulder blade in 1979—about halfway through his streak—he continued to play, reasoning that it would have been more painful for him to sit out. He amassed 504 home runs, tied for seventh-best in Japanese baseball history, and 2,543 hits, tied for fifth. He died of colon cancer on April 23, 2018.

Doreen Simmons (85) was born in England, studied theology and classics at the University of Cambridge, and taught school in Singapore. Yet Simmons found a remarkably different world to explore—as an expatriate sumo wrestling expert in Japan, analyzing matches in English for NHK, the country’s public broadcaster, for 25 years. She adored sumo, the quintessential Japanese sport. She lived in a part of Tokyo known for its sumo stables where wrestlers live, eat, and practice. Simmons loved how they tossed salt in the air before their matches as a purification ritual. She prized the sport’s ancient history and its enormous but surprisingly fast athletes in topknots and loincloths. She died of a pulmonary condition in Tokyo, Japan on April 23, 2018.

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