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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, February 16, 2019

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Betty Ballantine, pioneer of paperback booksGordon Banks, British soccer goalkeeperDr. Theodore Bayless, specialist in intestinal disordersDon Bragg, US champion pole vaulterPatrick Caddeli, political pollsterDick Churchill, last living escapee from Stalag IIIJean Fairfax, Mississippi civil rights community organizerBibi Ferreira, Brazilian singerDavid Forden, Cold War CIA agentBruno Ganz, Swiss actorRichard Gardner, Cold War US ambassador to ItalyW.E.B. Griffin, author of military novelsDavid Horowitz, consumer reporterEdith Iglauer, US author of articles and books on CanadaWalter B. Jones Jr., US congressmanLyndon LaRouche, US extremist presidential candidateAndrea Levy, prize-winning novelistGene Littler, champion golferRoderick MacFarquhar, Harvard scholar of Communist ChinaPedro Morales, champion wrestlerLuis M. Neco, high-ranking Puerto Rican official in NYPDKen Nordine, read poetry aloud to jazz accompanimentJohn O'Neal, cofounder of Free Southern TheaterRaymond K. Price Jr., Nixon speechwriterLee Radziwill, younger sister of Jackie Kennedy OnassisDr. Theodore Rubin, psychiatrist and authorLi Rui, Chinese Communist historianBisi Silva, Nigerian art gallery curatorJoe Sirola, actor and TV pitchmanDave Smith, official Walt Disney archivistJan-Michael Vincent, '80s TV star

Art and Literature

Betty Ballantine (99) pioneer of the modern paperback. Ballantine and her husband, Ian (died 1995), were a publishing team who vastly expanded the range and availability of paperbacks and released budget-priced editions of such blockbusters as The Hobbit and Fahrenheit 451. The Ballantines published everything from reprints of Mark Twain novels to paperbacks of contemporary best-sellers. They helped to establish the paperback market for science fiction, Westerns, and other genres. They started out as importers of Penguin paperbacks from England and founded two lasting imprints: Bantam Books and Ballantine Books. Betty Ballantine died in Bearsville, New York on February 12, 2019.

W.E.B. Griffin (89) best-selling author of military novels. Himself a military veteran who enlisted in the Army when he was just shy of 17 and later served in the Korean War, Griffin wrote more than 200 books under the pen name W.E.B. Griffin and various other names and sold millions of copies. His many popular series included Badge of Honor, Clandestine Operations, and Presidential Agent. Under his own name, William E. Butterworth 3rd, he helped to write several sequels in the ‘70s to the Richard Hooker novel M*A*S*H, the basis for the hit movie and TV show about a US medical unit in Korea. Griffin started using other names on his books in the ‘60s because he worried that libraries wouldn’t accept multiple works by the same author in a given year. His pen names included Alex Baldwin, Webb Beech, and Walter E. Blake. He died of colorectal cancer in Daphne, Alabama on February 12, 2019.

Edith Iglauer (101) New Yorker writer who, in the early '70s, found romance while on an assignment to write about salmon fishing in British Columbia. Iglauer married fisherman John Daly (died 1978), and her attention shifted to Canada's prairies, Arctic ice, and dramatic coastlines. She became one of the most eloquent interpreters of Canada to American readers, writing profiles of famous Canadians like Pierre Elliott Trudeau, prime minister at the time. The best known of her five books about Canadians, Fishing with John (1988), was both a love story and an examination of the world of commercial salmon fishermen in British Columbia. Iglauer died of pneumonia in Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada on February 13, 2019.

Andrea Levy (62) prize-winning novelist who chronicled the hopes and horrors experienced by the post-World War II generation of Jamaican immigrants in Britain. One of the first black British authors to achieve both critical and commercial success, Levy was best known for her novel Small Island, which tells the story of two couples, one English and one Jamaican, whose lives intertwine in London after the war. The saga of war and racism won several major literary prizes: the Orange Prize for women's fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the Whitbread Book of the Year award. Levy died of cancer in London, England on February 14, 2019.

Dr. Theodore Rubin (95) psychoanalyst and writer whose short novel Lisa & David, about two teenagers finding love at a therapeutic school, was made into an Oscar-nominated movie. Rubin became the public face of psychotherapy in postwar American popular culture. A psychiatrist who spent most of his long career in private practice in Manhattan, he was a young analyst in the late ‘50s when he found his literary calling—writing a novella, Jordi, about a troubled boy. He followed that book with Lisa & David, which examined the inner lives of two young people with severe mental distress. The book was made into the popular 1962 movie David & Lisa, starring Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin, with Howard Da Silva as a psychiatrist. Rubin died in New York City on February 16, 2019.

Bisi Silva (56) curator who, with her own money, founded a nonprofit art gallery and education center in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, that has nurtured the growth and recognition of contemporary African artists. Silva started the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos in 2007 and made it a hub for bold and experimental sculpture, painting, photography and video, and performance art that could ignite local and global interest. She also curated exhibitions of African art around the world. She died of breast cancer in Lagos, Nigeria on February 12, 2019.


Business and Science

Dr. Theodore Bayless (87) physician whose discoveries helped to bring relief to lactose- and gluten-intolerant patients and others coping with the effects of intestinal disorders. Studies by Bayless, who taught, conducted research, and cared for patients at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for 50 years, helped in the development of treatments for acute diarrheal diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Bayless died of cancer in Towson, Maryland on February 10, 2019.


Education

Roderick MacFarquhar (88) scholar of Communist China whose writing on Mao’s power politics influenced how people around the world understood China. MacFarquhar specialized in the origins of the Cultural Revolution, the 10 years of turmoil that terrorized China beginning in 1966. His three-volume work, The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, came to be considered a classic. The research for those books, based on official texts, public speeches, and Mao’s own words, opened a world hidden to the West and illuminated an era of China’s past that still seems almost unfathomable. At Harvard MacFarquhar taught history and political science and was known for his wit and informality. He died of heart failure in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 10, 2019.


Law

Luis M. Neco (87) became the highest-ranking Puerto Rican official the New York police had ever appointed when he was named a deputy commissioner in 1968. Born in Puerto Rico and brought to the Bronx with his family when he was 3, Neco was an assistant corporation counsel during the Lindsay administration when Police Commissioner Howard R. Leary recruited him to be a deputy commissioner, in charge of the department’s license division. The division oversaw the granting of gun permits, which it continues to do, and the accrediting of cab drivers, which has since been delegated to a separate commission. Neco died in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 10, 2019.


News and Entertainment

Bibi Ferreira (96) grande dame of the Brazilian stage who performed internationally and helped to bring Broadway musicals to Brazil in the ‘60s. Ferreira, who sang in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, began acting when she was a child and continued performing well into her 90s—although she did not make her New York debut until 2013. Her voice was powerful and versatile, capable of making material identified with artists like Édith Piaf and Frank Sinatra entirely her own. She died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 13, 2019.

Bruno Ganz (77) Swiss actor who played Adolf Hitler cooped up in his Berlin bunker in Downfall (2004) and an angel in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire (1987). A prominent figure in the German-language theater world, Ganz shifted into movies in the ‘70s, appearing in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu and Wenders’ The American Friend, among others. In one of his more recent appearances, he starred as Sigmund Freund in The Tobacconist (2018). Ganz died in Zürich, Switzerland on February 15, 2019.

David Horowitz (81) whose Fight Back! syndicated program made him perhaps the best-known consumer reporter in the US. Fight Back! With David Horowitz won multiple Emmys and a huge audience as Horowitz investigated product defects, tested advertising claims, and confronted companies with customer complaints. It aired on KNBC-TV, where Horowitz was consumer reporter for more than 15 years. At its peak, the program was syndicated on dozens of TV stations across the country. Horowitz also made regular appearances on KNBC newscasts and on NBC's Today show, did radio commentaries, and had a newspaper column. He died in Los Angeles, California on February 14, 2019.

Pedro Morales (76) Hall of Fame professional wrestler who in the ‘70s and ‘80s became the first to win all three of what were then wrestling’s premier championships. Morales, who wrestled professionally for nearly 30 years, became a star in the early ‘70s. He was known as a vigorous puncher and a master of the Boston crab, a debilitating hold in which he grabbed his opponent’s legs, turned him face-down to the mat, and pulled the legs back toward his opponent’s head. Morales tangled with wrestlers like Mr. Fuji, Bruno Sammartino, and Ivan Koloff, whom he beat in Madison Square Garden to win the World Wide Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) title in 1970. He died of Parkinson’s disease in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on February 12, 2019.

Ken Nordine (98) improvised poetry in a silky voice to cool, vibrant musical accompaniment, creating a form of storytelling that he called “word jazz,” and that brought him renown on radio and led to collaborations with Fred Astaire, Tom Waits, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, and other artists. Nordine became wealthy doing voice-overs for TV and radio commercials but found his passion in using his dramatic baritone to riff surreally on colors, time, spiders, bullfighting, outer space, and dozens of other subjects. His free-form poems could be cerebral or humorous, absurd or enigmatic, and were heard on the radio and captured on records, one of which earned a Grammy nomination. He died in Chicago, Illinois on February 16, 2019.

John O'Neal (78) cofounder of a groundbreaking troupe that brought theater to black audiences in the South during the civil rights era and encouraged people to tell their own stories besides listening to his. O’Neal was still in his early 20s in 1963 when he, Doris Derby, and Gilbert Moses founded the Free Southern Theater, which presented free productions throughout the South. The troupe often performed in small towns to largely black audiences with little access to the theater. Some of its productions emphasized black themes and characters. In one of the troupe’s first shows, Ossie Davis’s Purlie Victorious, about a black preacher, O’Neal played the title character. But the company also performed works like Waiting for Godot. The idea, O’Neal explained in a 1964 interview, wasn’t merely to expose black audiences to theater; it was also to get them thinking about their own stories. O’Neal died of vascular disease in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 14, 2019.

Joe Sirola (89) actor who had a solid career playing secondary roles on TV and the stage and an even better one as an anonymous voice pitching gasoline, meat, rental cars, and countless other products in hundreds of TV commercials. Sirola was a show-business jack-of-all-trades, acting on Broadway, in small theaters, on TV soap operas and dramas, and in the occasional movie. Along the way he befriended fellow showbiz personalities large and small. When he’d tell stories about, say, his drinking buddy Richard Burton, he’d do it with a pretty good Burton impression. That vocal flexibility made him far richer than a journeyman actor could ever hope to be. In the ‘60s he began doing voiceover work and soon found himself in high demand. A 1971 article about him said he could be heard in 40 different commercials at that time and speculated that Americans who listened to the radio or watched TV probably heard his voice every single day. Sirola died of respiratory failure in New York City on February 10, 2019.

Dave Smith (78) for almost 50 years, those within and without the Walt Disney Co. had a simple response when it came to almost any question regarding the history of the entertainment giant: “Ask Dave.” Whether seeking obscure ephemera, wondering whether Prince Charming has a real name, or needing a long out-of-date contract, Smith no doubt had the answer. He created and maintained the Walt Disney Archives for 40 years. A steward of the company’s vast repository of intellectual property, Smith catalogued the company's secrets and debunked myths. The archives, housed at Disney’s Burbank headquarters, have long been essential for animators, executives, and Imagineers in need of research help—or inspiration. In an industry that’s notorious for neglecting its past, Smith stood out as perhaps the most respected, if unheralded, member of a small group of in-house studio historians. He was credited with helping Hollywood to understand the cultural value of its past, starting at Disney in 1970 when rival studios were auctioning or dumping their histories. Smith died in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 2019.

Jan-Michael Vincent (73) Airwolf TV star whose good looks belied a troubled personal life. Vincent starred in such films as The Mechanic (1972) and Hooper (1978), in which he played a stuntman opposite Burt Reynolds. Off-screen, his handsomeness earned him a spot on a cosmetic surgeon’s “Ten Best Noses” list in the late ‘70s. Vincent also starred in the 1983 TV miniseries Winds of War as the love interest of a character played by Ali MacGraw. His best-known role was on the TV action-adventure series Airwolf, which lasted for several seasons after launching in 1984. He played a rugged pilot who could pull off aerobatic crime-fighting maneuvers in an advanced helicopter but also played the cello. But he pleaded guilty in 1997 to a drunk driving accident that left him with a broken neck and was sentenced to a rehab program. He was also charged in ‘80s barroom brawls, receiving probation in one and an acquittal in another. Vincent died of cardiac arrest in Asheville, North Carolina on February 10, 2019.


Politics and Military

Patrick Caddell (68) political pollster who helped to send an obscure peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter to the White House, later became disillusioned with fellow Democrats, and finally advised supporters of Donald J. Trump. While Caddell was considered instrumental in Carter’s victory, he also shared the credit for limiting him to a single term. He helped to persuade the president to deliver a speech that was intended to inspire the nation during an energy crisis and economic slump but instead tarred Carter as a weakling to a nation fed up with endless lines at gas stations, inflation, and joblessness. Instead, in 1980 voters chose Ronald Reagan, a Republican who promised a rosier vision that he described during his successful reelection campaign as “morning again in America.” Caddell died of a stroke in Charleston, South Carolina on February 16, 2019.

Dick Churchill (99) last living participant in a daring breakout from a German prisoner-of-war camp that inspired the 1963 movie The Great Escape. Paul Royle, the second-to-last surviving prisoner to escape from Stalag Luft III in 1944, died in 2015 at 101. Many British news media outlets called Churchill the last surviving airman who took part in the escape. The Germans captured Churchill, a squadron leader at the time, after they shot down the bomber he was flying over the Netherlands in 1940. In 1942 he was transferred to Stalag III, a camp in what is now Zagan, Poland, little more than 100 miles southeast of Berlin and then a part of Germany, where a few hundred prisoners soon began excavating escape tunnels. Churchill later recalled that the inmates felt they had to do something, even though it probably would have been safer to try to wait out the war. He died near Crediton, Devon, England on February 12, 2019.

David Forden (88) American intelligence officer who helped a highly placed Polish colonel to deliver vital secrets for eight years during the Cold War, including advance warnings that may have helped to prevent a Soviet invasion of Poland. Forden was a Polish-speaking former Warsaw station chief for the Central Intelligence Agency who had returned to the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia when, from 1973–81, he oversaw the flow of Warsaw Pact military secrets from Ryszard Kuklinski, a colonel on the Polish Army’s general staff and a liaison with Moscow. Kuklinski gave Washington a heads-up that the Soviets were poised to invade Poland, as they had invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, if the Poles failed to squelch growing dissent. President Jimmy Carter publicly warned them not to and mustered diplomatic pressure. In December 1981, Kuklinski warned the US that the Polish government was about to impose martial law to crush Solidarity, the grass-roots dissident movement. The warning enabled Washington to better assess the implications of military maneuvers in and around Poland. Forden died of Alzheimer’s disease in Alexandria, Virginia on February 12, 2019.

Richard Gardner (91) in the late ‘70s Gardner was American ambassador to Italy in a period of political violence there and concern in Washington about the Italian Communist Party’s growing strength. While his profile was probably highest when he was posted to Rome, Gardner was also an adviser to Democrat presidential candidates and a law professor at Columbia University. One candidate he advised was Jimmy Carter, who on becoming president in 1977 appointed Gardner to the Rome post. Until then, American officials had long supported Italy’s Christian Democrats, who dominated politics there, and kept the door closed to leftist parties. It was the height of the Cold War, and Washington was worried about Communist influence in western Europe, especially in France and Italy. The administration had loosened its position on Eurocommunism when it sent Gardner to Italy but gave him instructions not to be the first one to articulate that new policy. Gardner died of congestive heart failure in New York City on February 16, 2019.

Walter B. Jones Jr. (76) Republican US congressman from North Carolina, a once-fervent supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq who later became an equally outspoken critic of the war. Jones was a political maverick unafraid to buck his own party. He was one of the first Republicans to reverse direction on the war in Iraq, even as his home district included the sprawling Marine installation Camp Lejeune. His ultimate opposition to the Iraq war came with the irony that he had instigated a symbolic slap against the French when their country early on opposed US military action. Jones was among the House members who led a campaign that resulted in the chamber’s cafeteria offering “freedom fries” and “freedom toast”—instead of French fries and French toast. Jones said he introduced legislation that would have required President George W. Bush’s administration to begin withdrawing troops in 2006 because the reason given for invading Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, had proved false. He died in Greenville, North Carolina on his 76th birthday, February 10, 2019.

Lyndon LaRouche (96) political extremist who ran for president in every election from 1976–2004, including a campaign waged from federal prison after a 1988 conviction for mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by defaulting on more than $30 million in loans from campaign supporters. The cultlike figure, who espoused a wide range of conspiracy theories and advocated for an overhaul of the world’s economic and financial systems, ran first as a US Labor Party candidate and later, after an apparent shift to the right, as a Democrat or independent. In 1986 LaRouche described himself as being in the tradition of the American Whig party, a forerunner of the Republican Party in the first half of the 19th century. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully to represent Virginia in Congress. His views evolved throughout his life, but a central tenet of his platform warned of an inevitable global downward slide into crisis. He died on February 12, 2019.

Raymond K. Price Jr. (88) pipe-smoking speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon who helped to write the first and last words of his presidency, his two Inaugural Addresses and his resignation speech. Price was editorial page editor of the New York Herald Tribune when it closed in 1966, and when he joined Nixon’s nascent second presidential campaign in ‘67, he brought with him the moderate Republicanism that had characterized that newspaper’s opinion pages. His loyalty to Nixon was never-bending, even though he later admitted that he had been “deceived” by the president on aspects of the Watergate cover-up at the time it happened. Price died of a stroke in New York City on February 13, 2019.

Li Rui (101) over nearly 40 years Li went from being one of Mao Zedong’s personal secretaries in the ‘50s to a Communist Party critic, revisionist historian, and standard-bearer for liberal values in China. His perseverance and longevity made him one of the most influential government critics in the 70-year history of the People’s Republic of China. His work also helped to reshape historians’ understanding of key moments in modern Chinese history—especially Mao’s responsibility for the catastrophic Great Leap Forward, in which famine killed more than 35 million people—while his political connections allowed him to protect moderate critics and make open appeals for free speech and constitutional government. But Li was no dissident. He was a Communist Party member to the end, enjoying the privileges that came from having joined the party in 1937, earlier than almost anyone else alive in China. Li died in Beijing, China of organ failure brought on by a lung inflammation and cancer of the digestive tract, on February 16, 2019.


Society and Religion

Jean Fairfax (98) Mississippi civil rights community organizer and philanthropist. Fairfax created the Legal Defense Fund’s division of legal information and community service and was its director from 1965–84. In that post she helped black families to wrestle with whether and how to enroll in white schools, where they faced certain hostility. Beyond that, she documented white resistance to school integration and wrote reports that helped to direct federal funds from President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” to poor black families and helped black workers to challenge discrimination in employment. Fairfax helped to protect historically black colleges from being downgraded in the face of cutbacks, and she helped to overhaul the National School Lunch Program to serve poor children more fairly. She died in Phoenix, Arizona on February 12, 2019.

Lee Radziwill (85) former princess who shared the qualities of wealth, social status, and ambition with her older sister, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (died 1994), but struggled as an actor, decorator, and writer to share her sister’s success. Living in the shadow of one of the world’s most famous women, the wife of President John F. Kennedy, Radziwill was hardly immune to competitive instincts. Jackie Kennedy had helped to create the mystique of the thousand days of Camelot—a woman who had made her new home a place of elegance and culture, who had brought babies into the White House for the first time in the 20th century. Radziwill, wife of a Polish émigré nobleman, Prince Stanislas Radziwill, was an international socialite and fashion icon who for years was on lists of the world’s best-dressed women. Like Jackie, she had cultivated passion for painting, music, dance, and poetry. She made several attempts for professional recognition but achieved only pale reflections of the spotlight on her sister. Radziwill died in New York City on February 15, 2019.


Sports

Gordon Banks (81) British goalkeeper known for blocking a header from Pele that many consider the greatest save in soccer history. Banks became one of English soccer’s most revered players after helping England to win the 1966 World Cup on home soil. He conceded only one goal in five games before England beat West Germany, 4-2, in the final at Wembley Stadium. At the next World Cup, playing against Brazil in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1970, Banks scurried across his line and dived to his right to stop a downward header from Pele. Banks died in Stoke-on-Trent, England on February 12, 2019.

Don Bragg (83) was denied his dream of playing Tarzan in the movies but parlayed his imposing physique into a gold medal in the pole vault at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Competing in the era of relatively rigid aluminum poles, which required superior upper-body strength, Bragg dominated the pole vault in the late ‘50s. Already the holder of world indoor and outdoor records, he vaulted 15 feet 5 inches at the Rome Games—exceeding by almost 6 inches the Olympic record set by Bob Richards in 1956—despite having injured a leg muscle a few weeks earlier. Bragg dueled for over six hours with his teammate Ron Morris, who won the silver medal, then climbed the victory stand and let out a Tarzan yell. He had been in failing health since suffering a stroke in 2009. He died in Oakley, California, near San Francisco, on February 16, 2019.

Gene Littler (88) golfer whose fluid swing carried him to 29 victories on the Professional Golfers Association Tour and a US Open title at Oakland Hills. Littler held his own among the golfing greats to emerge from San Diego with a tempo to his swing that made the game look easy. He was known as “Gene the Machine,” and he won the first of his tour titles in the 1954 San Diego Open while still an amateur. He won the 1955 Los Angeles Open for his first pro victory and later won three more times that year. A testament to the quality of his swing was that Littler had a malignant tumor removed from the lymph glands under his left arm in 1972 when he was 42, and he won four more times. He won three times at age 45 in 1975. Littler had neuropathy in his legs and had had several falls. He died in San Diego, California on February 15, 2019.


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