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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, January 5, 2019

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Howell Begle, legal crusader for underpaid R&B starsHarold Brown, secretary of defense in Carter administrationJohn Burningham with his cover art for 'Mr. Gumpy's Outing'Joe Casely-Hayford, British fashion designerSylvia Chase, Emmy-winning TV news correspondentMungau Dain, star of Oscar-nominated filmDaryl Dragon, 'Captain' in Captain & TennilleBob Einstein, created and played 'Super Dave Osborne'John Falsey, cowriter of 'St. Elsewhere' and 'Northern Exposure'Dean Ford, vocalist with Scottish band MarmaladeNicholas Heyward Sr., father of boy killed by police officerEdgar Hilsenrath, German Holocaust survivor and novelistEugeniu Iordachescu, Romanian civil engineer who saved buildings from Communist destructionKerb Kelleher, cofounder of Southwest AirlinesNicola L, French Pop artistGeoffrey Langlands, British officer who became educator in PakistanBlake Nordstrom, one of three brothers heading Nordstrom department store chainGene Okerlund, wrestling interviewer and commentator known as 'Mean Gene'Alan R. Pearlman, engineer who founded synthesizer company ARP InstrumentsBernice Sandler, 'godmother of Title IX'Ray Sawyer, guitarist and vocalist with Dr. Hook & The Medicine ShowMrinal Sen, Indian filmmakerSamuel Snipes, lawyer who represented first black family in Levittown, Pa.Jessica Tcherepnine, botanical artistHéctor Timerman, Argentine politicianRoberta Weintraub, founder of LA Police Academy Magnet School ProgramPegi Young, singer, songwriter, and ex-wife of rock musician Neil Young

Art and Literature

John Burningham (82) British author who wrote and illustrated scores of books that took generations of young children on fanciful journeys full of surprise. Burningham had quick success in the children’s book field: his first published book, Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers, won the 1963 Kate Greenaway Medal, a British prize that recognizes outstanding children’s book illustration. The story involved a featherless goose who, left behind by her migrating siblings, finds a place in the world nonetheless. Burningham won the same prize in 1970 for Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, in which the title character, about to take his boat out on a river, agrees to requests from his children and a series of animals to come along, with cheerfully waterlogged results. Burningham liked to mix line drawings and ink washes in small scenes but also would often throw in, several times in each book, a larger, more arresting painting to startle and captivate the 7-and-under crowd. He died in London, England on January 4, 2019.

Edgar Hilsenrath (92) German-Jewish survivor of Nazi persecution who stoked the embers of the Holocaust with satirical autobiographical novels. Hilsenrath finished his first novel, Night, after emigrating to New York in 1951 as a refugee from war-torn Europe. Published in English in 1964, the novel was inspired by his captivity in a Jewish ghetto. He also wrote a celebrated farce, The Nazi & the Barber (1971), which tells the story of an SS officer and mass murderer who kills his Jewish best friend from childhood, assumes his identity, flees to Palestine, and is transformed into an ardent Zionist. Hilsenrath died of pneumonia in Wittlich, Germany on December 30, 2018.

Nicola L (81) French Pop artist best known for sculptures of female and male forms that often function as furniture. Although well known in Europe in the ‘60s and ’70s, Nicola L—born Nicola Leuthe—was largely unknown in the US until 2017, when the Sculpture Center in Long Island City, Queens, New York, mounted a show of about 50 of her works dating from 1968 to the present. That relative obscurity over the years could be attributed in part to her spreading herself thin as she moved frequently among different media, including performance, film, and painting. In the '60s she began making her “Pénétrables,” rectangles of stretched canvas with attachments into which viewers could insert their arms, legs, or heads, becoming literally at one with art. Nicola L’s best-known communal garment is “The Red Coat” (1969). The piece resembles a series of hooded, zippered red raincoats with sleeves that end in big mittens. Those garments are attached to a single horizontal expanse of the same fabric that accommodates 11 people. Nicola L died in Los Angeles, California on December 31, 2018.

Jessica Tcherepnine (80) British-born watercolorist whose depictions of flowers, fruits, and vegetables established her as one of the world’s leading creators of botanical art. Tcherepnine’s portraits—of pumpkins and peppers, mushrooms and morels, cocoanuts and quinces and more—combined an artistic sensibility with superb technique, and scientific accuracy with a passion for nearly anything that grows out of the ground. She died in New York City of corticobasal degeneration, a progressive neurological disease, which caused her to stop painting in 2015, on December 31, 2018.

Business and Science

Joe Casely-Hayford (62) one of the first black British fashion designers to win international acclaim, whose clothes were worn by Michael Jackson, Bono, and Drake and admired by Diana, Princess of Wales. Regularly acclaimed as one of the most talented British designers of his generation, with a distinctive approach that fused sharp Savile Row-honed tailoring with a quirky East End streetwear sensibility, Casely-Hayford alternately embraced and rejected the norms of the fashion establishment over the course of a 40-year career. He died of cancer in London, England on January 3, 2019.

Eugeniu Iordachescu (89) Romanian civil engineer who devised an ingenious way to save 12 churches and many other historic buildings from being destroyed by his country’s former Communist strongman. From 1982–88, thousands of buildings were razed in the heart of Bucharest, the Romanian capital, to make way for a plan by then-Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu to build a giant House of the People and Soviet-style apartment buildings. The urban redesign known as systemization, which occurred all over Romania, was inspired during Ceausescu’s 1971 visit to North Korea. Dubbed “the guardian angel” of churches, Iordachescu devised a radical system that placed whole buildings—including churches, monasteries, banks, and apartment buildings—on the equivalent of railway tracks and rolled them hundreds of meters (yards) away to save them from destruction. In all, he moved 29 buildings. He died of a heart attack in Bucharest, Romania on January 4, 2019.

Herb Kelleher (87) not many chief executives dress up as Elvis Presley, settle a business dispute with an arm-wrestling contest, or go on TV wearing a paper bag over their head. Kelleher did all those things. Along the way, the cofounder and longtime leader of Southwest Airlines also revolutionized air travel by practically inventing the low-cost, low-fare airline. In the late ‘60s, US airlines were a clique of venerable companies that offered onboard dining, movies, and other amenities to make flying pleasant but pricey. Fares approved by federal regulators made air travel a luxury that few could afford. Kelleher was a lawyer in San Antonio in 1967 when a client, Rollin King, came to him with the idea for a low-fare airline that would fly to San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Kelleher guided Southwest through legal obstacles thrown up by other airlines, and the new carrier began flying in 1971. He died in Dallas, Texas on January 3, 2019.

Blake Nordstrom (58) led the upscale department store chain Nordstrom as copresident with his brothers Erik and Peter. Blake Nordstrom had worked at the chain for more than 40 years. He was the great-grandson of company founder John W. Nordstrom, a Swedish immigrant who opened a Seattle shoe store in 1901 that eventually became the national department store chain. Blake Nordstrom was diagnosed with lymphoma in December 2018, but his cancer was said to be treatable. He died in Seattle, Washington on January 2, 2019.

Alan R. Pearlman (93) engineer who founded the synthesizer company ARP Instruments and designed its pioneering equipment. ARP’s analog synthesizers—particularly the compact, portable ARP Odyssey, introduced in 1972—grew ubiquitous in pop and electronic music. By the mid-‘70s, ARP was the leading synthesizer manufacturer, commanding 40 per cent of the market and outselling its predecessors and competitors, Moog and Buchla, ARP sounds were central to numerous songs, including Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein,” Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon,” Kraftwerk’s “The Robots,” Underworld’s “Rez,” Nine Inch Nails’ “The Hand That Feeds,” and the early-‘80s version of the theme to the TV series Doctor Who. The five-note signature motif of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was played on an ARP 2500 synthesizer, which is seen in the film. An ARP 2600, mixed with natural sounds, provided the voice of R2-D2 in the first Star Wars movie. Pearlman died in Newton, Massachusetts on January 5, 2019.


Geoffrey Langlands (101) British officer who stayed in Pakistan after his military service ended and became one of the country’s most celebrated educators. Langlands spent 25 years at Aitchison College, Pakistan’s most prestigious boarding school, in Lahore, as a teacher and later a headmaster. In more than 60 years of teaching mathematics and English, sometimes in regions rife with violence. Commonly known as “the Major,” Langlands guided the children of Pakistan’s elite to top careers. His students included Zafarullah Khan Jamali, a former prime minister, and Imran Khan, current prime minister. Langlands died in Lahore, Pakistan on January 2, 2019.

Bernice Sandler (90) when Bernice Resnick was a schoolgirl in the ‘30s and ’40s, she was annoyed that she was not allowed to do things that boys could do, like be a crossing guard, fill the inkwells, or operate the slide projector. When she was older, teaching part-time at the University of Maryland, Bernice Sandler was told that she wasn’t being hired for a full-time job because “you come on too strong for a woman.” Another interviewer complained that women stayed home when their children were sick. By 1969, that attitude led Sandler to become the driving force behind the creation of Title IX, the civil rights law of 1972 that barred sex discrimination by educational institutions that received federal funding. She was central to its development, passage, and implementation. The law changed the landscape of education. It required that male and female students have equal access to admissions, resources, and financial assistance, among other things. Sandler died of cancer in Washington, DC on January 5, 2019,

Roberta Weintraub (83) controversial figure in the antischool-busing movement that swept the San Fernando Valley in the late ‘70s. Elected to the Los Angeles school board as an activist, Weintraub became a coalition builder, elected president four times during her 14 years as a school board member. After an unsuccessful run for LA City Council in 1995, she moved from politics to what admirers call her most important work, blending her passions for education and law enforcement. She founded the Police Academy Magnet School Program to teach high school students the principles of law enforcement, constitutional law, and the criminal justice system. The program has grown to nine campuses. She died after a long fight with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, on January 1, 2019.


Howell Begle (74) Washington corporate lawyer who found a second career crusading on behalf of underpaid black rhythm-and-blues stars of the ‘50s and ’60s, leading to industry-wide royalty reform and the creation of the charitable R&B Foundation, which gives grants to artists in need. Begle specialized in media mergers and had a roster of high-profile arts clients, like the Kennedy Center. In 1982 a friend introduced him to Ruth Brown (died 2006), singer of ‘50s R&B classics like “Teardrops from My Eyes” and “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” A lifelong fan of Brown’s music, Begle met her after a performance. She told him she had not received any royalties in decades from her former record company, Atlantic. As a seasoned Washington insider, Begle knew how to pressure Atlantic and its parent company, Warner Communications. In 1988 Brown received her first royalty payment in 28 years, for about $20,000. Begle died in Lebanon, New Hampshire on December 30, 2018 of injuries he sustained in a skiing accident six days earlier.

Samuel Snipes (99) white lawyer who held off an angry mob while representing the first black family to move into the all-white development of Levittown, Pennsylvania. In 1957 Snipes represented Daisy and Bill Myers when the black couple and their three young children quietly moved into Levittown. Snipes handled the closing on the home purchase and informed police that a black family would be moving into the development, knowing that controversy would follow. The Myers’ arrival on August 13, 1957 sparked weeks of unrest, harassment, and cross burnings. Threats were made by phone, by mail, and by screaming, spitting protesters outside the family’s home. At one point Snipes held off a mob of enraged white people until police arrived. He died in Morrisville, Pennsylvania on December 31, 2018.

News and Entertainment

Sylvia Chase (80) Emmy-winning news correspondent whose professionalism and perseverance in the ‘70s helped a generation of women to infiltrate the boys’ club of TV news. Chase was one of several correspondents hired by network and local TV news departments—along with Connie Chung, Cassie Mackin, Marya McLaughlin, Virginia Sherwood, Lesley Stahl, and others—at a time when women were striving to be taken seriously and to defy being typecast as eye candy for male viewers. Chase was an original member of the reporting team for the weekly ABC News magazine 20/20; a correspondent for another ABC News series, Primetime; and producer and host of a daytime program for CBS, Magazine. She also anchored the nightly news on KRON-TV in San Francisco. Chase had undergone surgery for brain cancer several weeks ago. She died in Marin County, California on January 3, 2019.

Mungau Dain (24) had never considered acting before he starred in the Oscar-nominated film Tanna (2015). Dain got the role because his elders decided he was the best-looking guy in their traditional village on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. They later described him as their answer to Brad Pitt. Martin Butler, who codirected Tanna, said Dain wasn’t a natural actor but was enthusiastic, learned quickly, and ended up giving a fabulous performance. The movie won several awards, including two at the Venice Film Festival. Jimmy Joseph, cultural director for Tanna island, said Dain was quiet, humble, and respected in Yakel, the village where he had chosen to remain living even after achieving some fame in the movie. Dain died in the capital Port Vila after contracting a leg infection that wasn’t quickly treated, on January 5, 2019.

Daryl Dragon (76) classically trained pianist who gained a share of fame as the “Captain” of Captain & Tennille. Dragon was the son of Oscar-winning composer and arranger Carmen Dragon (died 1984). He landed one of his first entertainment gigs as a backup musician for the Beach Boys in the mid-‘60s and was later hired by Toni Tennille to help work on a musical called Mother Earth, which she’d written while at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. The two later formed Captain & Tennille—and married. They had a run of easy listening hits in the ‘70s, notably the chart-topping “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Their other songs included “Muskrat Love,” “Shop Around,” and “Do That to Me One More Time.” They separated in 2013 and divorced in ’14; but they remained close, and Tennille even moved to Arizona to help care for Dragon when his health declined. He died of renal failure in Prescott, Arizona on January 2, 2019.

Bob Einstein (76) comedy veteran known for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The elder brother of filmmaker and actor Albert Brooks, Einstein created and played spoof daredevil character Super Dave Osborne, who appeared on comedy-variety shows and specials. He also played neighbor Marty Funkhouser on Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. He won an Emmy for writing on the ‘60s series The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, on which he also played opposite Tom and Dick Smothers. Einstein died of cancer in Indian Wells, California on January 2, 2019.

John Falsey (67) with his writing and producing partner, Joshua Brand, Falsey created some of the most innovative and acclaimed TV series of the ‘80s and ’90s, including St. Elsewhere and Northern Exposure. Falsey and Brand won two Emmy Awards in 1992: one for Northern Exposure, which was named outstanding dramatic series, and one for writing for the pilot episode of the series I’ll Fly Away. They had also won in 1987 for A Year in the Life, named outstanding miniseries. The two met when they were working on The White Shadow, a CBS drama that ran from 1978–81 about a white former professional basketball player (played by Ken Howard) who takes a job coaching a racially mixed team at an urban high school. Falsey died in Iowa City, Iowa of complications from a head injury sustained in a fall at his home, on January 3, 2019.

Dean Ford (72) vocalist for the Scottish band Marmalade, whose voice was heard around the world on the group’s biggest hit, “Reflections of My Life.” Ford had a heady 10 years in the ‘60s and early ’70s as Marmalade had hits in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, then grew even bigger with “Reflections,” a somber ballad in which the singer examines the world around him with dismay but also a glimmer of something positive. The song reached Billboard’s Top 10 in May 1970 after achieving even greater success in Britain. But fame proved hard to handle for Ford, who left the group in the mid-‘70s and struggled with alcoholism. In 1986 he sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous. He died of Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles, California on December 31, 2018.

Gene Okerlund (76) whose deadpan interviews of pro wrestling superstars like “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, and Hulk Hogan made him a ringside fixture in his own right. Okerlund started as an interviewer in the Minneapolis-based American Wrestling Association. He moved to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)—then the World Wrestling Federation—in 1984 and hosted several shows, including All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, and Prime Time Wrestling. Besides being the company’s lead locker room interviewer, he also provided ringside commentary. Former wrestler and ex-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who wrestled as “The Body,” dubbed him “Mean Gene.” Okerlund died in Sarasota, Florida on January 2, 2019.

Ray Sawyer (81) guitarist and vocalist with the rock band Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show. Wearing a black eyepatch, Sawyer was the face of the band as they produced several hits in the ‘70s. Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show’s hits included “Sylvia’s Mother,” “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman,” and “The Cover of Rolling Stone.” Sawyer wore a patch over his right eye after suffering an injury from a car accident as a young man. He toured until 2016. Sawyer died in his sleep in Daytona Beach, Florida on December 31, 2018.

Mrinal Sen (95) one of India’s leading filmmakers and a central figure in the movement known as parallel cinema, a socially conscious alternative to splashy Bollywood films. Sen began making films in the mid-‘50s, exploring societal divisions and other themes in movies like Baishey Shravana (The Wedding Day, 1960), about a dumpy middle-aged man who marries a teenager, and Akash Kusum (In the Clouds, 1965), about a lower-middle-class man who inflates his credentials to try to win over a young woman. In 1969 Sen earned wide acclaim with Bhuvan Shome, whose title character, a rigid railroad official, takes a life-altering hunting trip. The movie, named best feature at India’s National Film Awards, established Sen as a major director and is considered a foundational film of what is sometimes called India’s new wave cinema, whose realism and small-scale storytelling contrasted with the grandiose fantasies, singing, and dancing of Bollywood. Sen died in Kolkata, India on December 30, 2018.

Pegi Young (66) singer, songwriter, and activist who cofounded the Bridge School in northern California for severely disabled students and their families with her ex-husband, rock musician Neil Young, and later helped to create the annual fund-raising concerts that became one of pop music’s most respected benefit shows. For most of their 36-year marriage, Pegi devoted much of her time and energy to raising their two children, Ben and Amber Jean. After Ben was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, she could not find a school that could provide the services he needed, which led her to cofound the Bridge School. To help fund and sustain it, Neil headlined annual Bridge School benefit shows that attracted a who’s who of rock, pop, country, folk, rhythm-and-blues, and hip-hop artists year in and year out. He filed for divorce in 2014 and married actress and activist Daryl Hannah in '18. Pegi Young died of cancer on January 1, 2019.

Politics and Military

Harold Brown (91) as defense secretary in the Carter administration, Brown championed cutting-edge fighting technology during a tenure that included the failed rescue of hostages in Iran. He was a nuclear physicist who led the Pentagon to modernize its defense systems with weapons that included precision-guided cruise missiles, stealth aircraft, advanced satellite surveillance, and improved communications and intelligence systems. He successfully campaigned to increase the Pentagon budget during his term, despite skepticism inside the White House and from Democrats in Congress. That turbulent period included the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian hostage crisis. Brown died of pancreatic cancer in Rancho Santa Fe, California on January 4, 2019.

Héctor Timerman (65) foreign minister in former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s government who played a key role in the investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of the Associacion Mutual Israelita Argentina Jewish center. Timerman was Argentina’s top diplomat from 2010–15. He was detained late in 2017 and placed under house arrest, accused of taking part in a cover-up of Iran’s role in the bombing of the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, which left 85 people dead in Argentina’s worst terrorist attack. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, whose 2015 death remains unsolved, had contended that a ‘13 agreement with Iran, portrayed as a joint attempt to solve the case, in reality ensured that the Iranians involved would never be prosecuted. A joint “truth commission” called for by the deal was approved by Argentina’s Congress, but it was never formed because it was later ruled by local courts to be unconstitutional. Timerman, a signatory to the agreement, and Fernandez both denied there was a cover-up. Investigators have linked former Iranian officials to the attack, but Iran has denied any connection with the attack and declined to turn over suspects. A former Argentine ambassador to the US, Timerman died of cancer in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 30, 2018.

Society and Religion

Nicholas Heyward Sr. (61) father of Nicholas Heyward Jr. (13), who was shot and killed by a black police officer in 1994 while playing with a toy gun in a Brooklyn housing project. The boy’s death drew intense news media coverage nationwide. About 1,000 people attended his funeral, where then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani spoke, and it set Nicholas Heyward Sr. on a quest for justice for his son. The elder Heyward became an activist against police brutality and argued publicly for toy stores to stop carrying authentic-looking toy guns, or toy guns that could be made to appear realistic. He helped to convene an annual march against police brutality in New York as one of the first members of the October 22 Coalition, a group that has documented and protested police killings nationally. Heyward also held training sessions to teach young black people their legal rights. He died in New York City on December 31, 2018.

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