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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, April 13, 2019

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Georgia Engel, actress from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'Charles Van Doren, right, with 'Twenty-One' host Jack BarryBlasé Bonpane, former priest and lifetime antiwar activistLorraine Branham, dean of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public CommunicationsSeymour Cassel, character actor in independent filmNeus Catalá, last Spanish survivor of Ravensbrück women's concentration campLt. Col. Richard ('Dick') Cole, last of Doolittle Tokyo RaidersEarl Thomas Conley, country singerMichael Fesco, owner of early gay nightclubsQuentin Fiore, graphic designer of Marshall McLuhan booksPaul Greengard, Nobel-winning neuroscientistForrest Gregg, Green Bay Packer starBarbara Marx Hubbard, futurist VP candidateJosine Ianco-Starrels, former LA art curatorKazuhiko Kato, Japanese cartoonistClaude Lalanne, whimsical sculptor with her cabbage on chicken legsSally O'Neill, Irish human rights workerStanley Plumly, award-winning poet inspired by KeatsBarbara Schultz, TV producerMarilynn Smith, cofounder of LPGADonald Stewart, career educatorGary Stewart, advocate for old, 'gold' musicCho Yang-ho, longtime president of Korean Air

Art and Literature

Quentin Fiore (99) graphic designer whose work helped to magnify and popularize communications theorist Marshall McLuhan’s maxim that “the medium is the message.” Fiore spent much of his career doing conventional design work for large corporations and book jackets for university presses but was best known for his book collaborations in the ‘60s with McLuhan and later with antiwar activist Jerry Rubin and inventor and visionary Buckminster Fuller. By the time of their collaboration, McLuhan (died 1980) had already coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” His point was that the medium from which we acquire information is more important than the information itself. He was speaking chiefly of TV but later enjoyed a revival as an oracle of the cyber age. Fiore’s first book with McLuhan was The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967). “Massage” was a printer’s error, but McLuhan, who delighted in puns, liked the typo and kept it, believing that it amplified his theory about how different forms of media thoroughly “massage” the senses in the “mass age” of communications. Some pages were printed backward, to be read in a mirror; some of the writing was upside down; some pages contained text superimposed over pictures. Fiore died of bronchitis in North Canaan, Connecticut on April 13, 2019.

Josine Ianco-Starrels (92) curator whose passion for artistic independence and social justice had a strong influence on Los Angeles's art scene in the mid-20th century. Romanian-born Ianco-Starrels directed the city-funded Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park from 1975–87, when professionally run nonprofit showcases for contemporary art were relatively scarce in LA. Providing an alternative to commercial galleries and conventional museums, she focused on southern California's under-recognized artists of all ages and colors. But the Muni was merely the highlight of a career that included curatorial positions at the Lytton Center of the Visual Arts, Cal State LA, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. She also compiled the LA Times’s Sunday “Art News” column in the ‘70s and ’80s. She died in Rogue River, Oregon on April 8, 2019.

Kazuhiko Kato (81) cartoonist best known as creator of the Japanese megahit comic series Lupin III. The story of master thief Lupin’s adventures with his gang—gunman Daisuke Jigen, sword master Goemon Ishikawa, sexy beauty Fujiko Mine, and detective Zenigata—started in 1967. The cartoon also was adapted for TV animation and movies, some directed by renowned animators including Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Kato himself directed the 1996 animated film Lupin III: Dead or Alive. The hard-boiled yet comical story with a bit of sexy content quickly won adult comic fans and became a longtime best-seller. Kato’s intended readership was adults, and he reportedly told younger fans to watch Lupin TV animation and read comic books when they became high school students. Kato died of pneumonia in Tokyo, Japan on April 11, 2019.

Claude Lalanne (93) French sculptor with a whimsical streak whose metalwork included quirky cutlery, an apple with lips, and bronze cabbages standing on chicken legs. Claude Lalanne and her husband, sculptor François-Xavier Lalanne, who died in 2008, were known collectively as “Les Lalanne,” and their work was coveted by collectors, who often paid attention-getting prices for it. Despite their collective billing, they didn’t collaborate often. Rather, they shared a fondness for the unexpected. Claude Lalanne was especially known for surrealistic sculptures, like a baboon with a fireplace in its belly and a flock of stone-and-bronze sheep, some adorned with real sheepskin. Her works tended to be smaller and often drew on imagery from the botanical kingdom, as with elegant candelabra reminiscent of entwined branches or mirrors framed by bronze foliage. She died in Fontainebleau, France on April 10, 2019.

Stanley Plumly (79) award-winning poet whose narratives were inspired by the verse of John Keats, the 19th-century English Romantic who died at 25. Plumly used rich language and precise syntax in 11 volumes of poetry that often touched on aspects of his life, including growing up poor in rural Ohio; his alcoholic father, who became a muse; and the polio epidemic that struck some of his classmates after World War II. Plumly died of multiple myeloma in Frederick, Maryland on April 11, 2019.

Business and Science

Michael Fesco (84) whose trend-setting clubs on Fire Island and later in Manhattan gave gay men a place to gather, dance, and explore sexually at a time when homosexuality was largely unwelcome in mainstream society. Fesco gave a jolt of energy to the gay scene in 1970 when he opened the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove, a gay community on Fire Island, off New York City. For several years the Ice Palace did booming business. But competition from a nearby establishment, the Sandpiper, made 1973 a rough year for Fesco, and he began turning his attention to Manhattan. Management of the Ice Palace, still a popular gathering spot, passed to others. In December 1974 he opened Flamingo, a membership club, in SoHo. About the time Flamingo closed in 1981, the gay club scene was beginning to be disrupted by AIDS. But Fesco resurfaced with other ventures over the years, most prominently his Sea Tea cruises around Manhattan, which he began in 1997. He died in Palm Springs, California on April 11, 2019.

Paul Greengard (93) American neuroscientist whose 15-year quest to understand how brain cells communicate provided new insights into psychological diseases and earned him a Nobel Prize. Greengard used his entire $400,000 award to create an academic prize in memory of the mother he never knew; she died giving birth to him. He received the 2000 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Arvid Carlsson of Sweden and Dr. Eric R. Kandel of the US for independent discoveries related to the ways brain cells relay messages about movement, memory, and mental states. Their discoveries offered new insights into disorders linked to errors in cell communication, such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and drug addiction. Greengard’s research described how cells react to dopamine, an important chemical messenger in the brain. His work provided the underlying science for many antipsychotic drugs, which modulate the strength of chemical signals in the brain. He died in New York City on April 13, 2019.

Cho Yang-ho (70) whose 27 years as president of Korean Air brought substantial growth to the carrier but also a dizzying series of scandals, including two corruption investigations involving him and a notorious tantrum on a flight by one of his daughters. Shareholders ousted Cho from the company’s board less than two weeks ago, a highly unusual move in South Korea, where family-controlled conglomerates, called chaebols, like that run by the Chos, have tended to operate with a certain arrogance. Cho had been president of Korean Air since 1992, chairman since ’99, and chairman of the overarching entity, Hanjin Group, since 2003. He was indicted in 2018 on embezzlement charges. He was also indicted on several charges in 1999 and ultimately convicted of tax evasion. He had been undergoing treatment for an unspecified lung disease when he died in in Los Angeles, California on April 7, 2019.


Lorraine Branham (66) dean of Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Branham became a full-time journalism professor in 2002 after a 25-year career in newspapers as an editor, editorial writer, and reporter in stints at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tallahassee Democrat, Baltimore Sun, and Philadelphia Inquirer. She took over as dean of Newhouse in 2008 and led an $18 million fund-raising campaign for the renovation of Newhouse II and the creation of the Newhouse Studio & Innovation Center featuring Dick Clark Studios, the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation, and the Diane & Bob Miron Digital News Center. Branham also championed the student-produced, web-based news magazine, the NewsHouse, and spurred creation of the Newhouse Sports Media Center. She died of cancer in Syracuse, New York on April 9, 2019.

Donald Stewart (80) career educator credited with reviving Spelman College who later, as president of the College Board, sought to maintain high academic standards for college applicants while helping minority students to meet them. In 1976 Stewart became president of Spelman, the historically black women’s college in Atlanta that was rich in tradition but short of funds. His appointment was opposed by students who had wanted the school’s trustees to choose a black woman as president and briefly locked several trustees in a room in protest. Stewart’s tenure was successful despite the rocky start. When he retired from Spelman in 1986—he was succeeded by the school’s first black female president, Johnnetta B. Cole—the endowment had grown to more than $41 million from $9 million, and enrollment had grown to 1,600 from 1,200. About half the college’s professors had doctorates when Stewart took over. The share was 74 per cent when he left, and the average SAT scores of entering freshmen had surged by 100 points. Stewart died of a heart attack in Chicago, Illinois on April 7, 2019.

News and Entertainment

Seymour Cassel (84) character actor, a pillar of independent film known for his frequent collaborations with John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson. Cassel always made an impression no matter how big the role, whether sharing top billing with Gena Rowlands as half of a volatile couple in Minnie & Moskowitz or posing as a cancer doctor for Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums. He even left legacies outside his own industry as the man who coined the nickname Slash for eventual Guns N’ Roses guitarist Saul Hudson (a childhood friend of Cassel’s son). Seymour Cassel died of Alzheimer's disease in Los Angeles, California on April 7, 2019.

Earl Thomas Conley (77) country musician, one of the most popular and prolific country singers of the '80s. Conley charted his first Top 40 hit in 1979 with “Dreamin’s All I Do.” He sang several other hits, including “Holding Her & Loving You,” ?Right from the Start,” and “What I’d Say.” He died of cerebral atrophy in Nashville, Tennessee on April 10, 2019.

Georgia Engel (70) actress who played Georgette on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and amassed a string of other TV and stage credits. Engel was best known for her role as Georgette, the character who was improbably destined to marry pompous anchorman Ted Baxter, played by Ted Knight. Engel also had recurring roles on Everybody Loves Raymond and Hot in Cleveland. She was a five-time Emmy nominee, receiving two nods for the late Moore’s show and three for Everybody Loves Raymond. Her prolific career included guest appearances on a variety of series, including The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Coach, and Two & a Half Men. Engel appeared on Broadway in plays and musicals including Hello, Dolly!, The Boys from Syracuse, and, most recently, The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006–07. She died in Princeton, New Jersey on April 12, 2019.

Barbara Schultz (92) TV producer who showcased serious topical dramas at a time when the networks were preoccupied with sitcoms and variety shows. One of a very few women in TV’s executive ranks at the time, Schultz oversaw CBS Playhouse in the late ‘60s and the PBS series Visions in the ‘70s. Both series were high-quality anthologies that featured original dramas, compelling writing, and up-and-coming actors. Unusually for her era, Schultz promoted ethnic and gender diversity both in front of the camera and behind it. Most prominently, she offered writers a platform free from interference by corporate sponsors in exchange for stories that explored contemporary American themes. She died of heart disease in New York City on April 10, 2019.

Gary Stewart (63) for much of the ‘80s and ’90s, Stewart was head of Artists & Repertoire (A&R) for Los Angeles-based Rhino Records, helping to turn it from a taste-making retail store in Westwood to an essential reissue and archival recordings label. After leaving Rhino, he was hired by Apple’s Steve Jobs to transform the company’s fledgling iTunes music service and eventually helped to curate playlists in much the same way he crafted album releases. As a music enthusiast, Stewart advocated lesser-known, unjustly dismissed, or overlooked music by artists including the Monkees, Love, Dionne Warwick, the Neville Brothers, and hundreds of others and in doing so helped to reframe cultural conversations by bringing into the present recordings considered long past their expiration date. Stewart died in Santa Monica, California on April 12, 2019. His death is being investigated as a potential suicide.

Charles Van Doren (93) dashing young academic whose meteoric rise and fall as a corrupt game show contestant in the ‘50s inspired the movie Quiz Show (1994) and served as a cautionary tale about the staged competitions of early TV. The handsome scion of a prominent literary family, Van Doren was the central figure in the TV game show scandals of the late ‘50s and eventually pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to a grand jury that investigated them. He spent the following decades largely out of the public eye. Before his downfall, Van Doren was a ratings sensation. He made 14 electrifying appearances on Twenty-One in late 1956 and early ’57, vanquishing 13 competitors and winning a then-record $129,000. NBC hired him as a commentator. Later, as the triumph unraveled into scandal, Van Doren initially denied he had been given advance answers, but he finally admitted that the show was rigged. He died in Canaan, Connecticut on April 9, 2019.

Politics and Military

Neus Catalá (103) in early 1939, when Gen. Francisco Franco’s troops invaded Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, Català led 182 orphans in her charge across the snow-covered Pyrenees to safety in France. It was just one episode in her lifetime of anti-Fascist resistance. Then she fought with the French Resistance against the Nazis but was captured by the Germans and deported to the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp in northern Germany. From Ravensbrück, Català was transferred to the Flossenbürg camp, where she was part of a forced labor group that quarried granite and sabotaged bullets and bombs while working in a munitions factory. Long after World War II was over, she tracked down other survivors of Ravensbrück, gathered their remembrances, and published them in the book Resistance & Deportation: 50 Testimonies of Spanish Women (1984). At her death on April 13, 2019, she was the last living Spanish survivor of Ravensbrück.

Lt. Col. Richard ('Dick') Cole (103) last of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who carried out the daring US attack on Japan during World War II. Cole, who lived in Comfort, Texas, had stayed active even in recent years, attending air shows and participating in commemorative events including April 18, 2017 ceremonies for the raid’s 75th anniversary at the National Museum of the US Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. He was mission commander Jimmy Doolittle’s copilot in the attack less than five months after the December 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Doolittle died in 1993. The Gen. James (“Jimmy”) H. Doolittle Archives are at the University of Texas at Dallas. Cole died at a military hospital in Dallas, Texas on April 9, 2019.

Barbara Marx Hubbard (89) vice presidential candidate who wanted no part of the negativity of politics. Instead Hubbard offered an upbeat view of the future she foresaw for the human race. She was not a politician by trade but a futurist, spiritual thinker, author, and proponent of what are today lumped under the label of New Age ideas. Campaigning for months in 1984, she had gathered enough support to have her name placed in nomination for the vice presidency, mostly so that she could make a symbolic speech to the Democrat National Convention in San Francisco before endorsing the already assured ticket of Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine A. Ferraro. Hubbard died in Loveland, Colorado on April 10, 2019.

Society and Religion

Blasé Bonpane (89) former US Roman Catholic priest expelled from the Maryknoll order in the late '60s for speaking out against US support of the Guatemalan government against Communist rebels. The Maryknolls were one of the major American proponents of liberation theology, which sought to merge the New Testament with Marxist theory to help the destitute across the world. In Guatemala Bonpane and his fellow priests vaccinated children and helped to organize the poor in cities and the countryside. After his expulsion from the order, Bonpane returned to Los Angeles and launched a lifetime of antiwar activism. He died in California on April 8, 2019.

Sally O'Neill (68) human rights worker from Ireland who helped to investigate the 1981 massacre in El Mozote, El Salvador, in which more than 900 civilians were slain. O’Neill had worked for the fund as a part-time consultant for four years. She had spent most of her career, 37 years, working for Trocaire, the overseas development agency of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, with a concentration in Latin America. She officially retired in 2015 but continued to work voluntarily with prisoners and migrants in Honduras. In 1982, O’Neill and Michael D. Higgins, then a member of the Irish Parliament and now president of Ireland, were among the first outsiders to visit the village of El Mozote and to investigate reports of a massacre there. They found evidence of the systematic torture, rape, and slaughter of civilians, who were later confirmed to have been killed by death squads and by Salvadoran Army soldiers trained and supplied by the US. O'Neill was killed with two other human rights workers and their driver in a car crash in Guatemala on April 7, 2019.


Forrest Gregg (85) Hall of Fame lineman for the mighty Green Bay Packers of the ‘60s that Vince Lombardi called the “finest player I ever coached.” Gregg earned the nickname “Iron Man” for playing in a then-record 188 consecutive games. A guard and tackle, he was one of four NFL players to win a half-dozen NFL championships, including the first two Super Bowls with the Packers. He finished his career with another Super Bowl title with the Cowboys in 1971. The six-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler was elected to the NFL’s all-decade team of the ‘60s and to its 75th-anniversary team. He later coached in the NFL for 11 years with the Browns (1975–77), the Bengals (1980–83), and the Packers (1984–87). He died of Parkinson's disease in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 12, 2019.

Marilynn Smith (89) one of the 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour whose 21 victories, two majors, and endless support of her tour led to her induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Smith was president of the LPGA from 1958–60, and in ‘73 she became the first woman to work a PGA Tour event as a TV broadcaster. The LPGA Tour began in 1950. Shirley Spork and Marlene Bauer Hagge are now the only surviving founders. Smith had turned pro in 1949 at a time when equipment companies began to recognize the potential for growth in golf after World War II. She signed a $5,000 contract with Spalding for up to 100 clinics a year, and she eventually had a signature line of golf clubs. But the LPGA founders were far more than just players. They promoted, they organized, and they drove thousands of miles together to pitch women’s golf and encourage fans to come out to watch them. Smith died in Goodyear, Arizona on April 9, 2019.

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