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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, April 20, 2019

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Warren Adler, author of 'War of the Roses'Bibi Andersson, Swedish actress in Ingmar Bergmnan filmsDavid Brion Davis, award-winning American history author and professorAlan Garcia, former president of PeruOwen Garriott, former astronautJohn MacLeod, winningest coach of Phoenix SunsMirjana Markovic, widow of Serbian leader Slobodan MilosevicJames W. McCord Jr., Watergate figureSol Pais, Florida teen obsessed with Columbine shootingDon Perry, coached LA Kings

Art and Literature

Warren Adler (91) novelist who launched a long and lucrative Hollywood career with his classic story, The War of the Roses—the story of a hollowed-out marriage that became a runaway movie hit in 1989 starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. It was such a success that there was a bidding war for Adler’s next book, Private Lies. TriStar ended up paying $1.2 million for the rights in what was then an astonishing sum and among the largest paydays ever for a novelist at the time. Adler later optioned more than a dozen of his books. It was also a victory for writers across America, who had generally worked in near poverty while studios made money by the bucketful. Adler wrote 50 novels examining love, attraction, infidelity, aging, and the often frayed relationships between married couples. He died of liver cancer in New York City on April 15, 2019.


Education

David Brion Davis (92) professor and award-winning author of a trilogy on the history of slavery in the Western world. Davis had been Sterling professor of American history emeritus at Yale University, where he taught for more than 30 years. He wrote or edited 16 books, but most important were the three that examined the moral challenges and contradictions of slavery in American and Atlantic history. The first, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1966), won a Pulitzer Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. The second, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770–1823 (1975), won the National Book Award and the Bancroft Prize, one of the most prestigious in the study of American history. The last book of the trilogy, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, was published in 2014 as Davis approached age 90. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He died in Guilford, Connecticut on April 14, 2019.


News and Entertainment

Bibi Andersson (83) Swedish actress who personified first purity and youth, then complexity and disillusionment, in 13 mid-20th century Ingmar Bergman films. Andersson's emotionally complex role in Persona (1966), the film that made her acting reputation, was one of the great stereotype reversals in film history, a definite departure for 30ish Andersson, who had begun acting in her teens. Before that film, Bergman had given her roles “symbolizing simple, girlish things,” she said in 1977. “I used to be called a 'professional innocent.'” Andersson had a stroke in 2009 and had been hospitalized in France. She died in Stockholm. Sweden on April 14, 2019.


Politics and Military

Alan Garcia (69) former Peruvian president who shot himself in the head and died as officers waited to arrest him in a massive graft probe that has put that country’s most prominent politicians behind bars and provoked a reckoning over corruption. Authorities broke through a door at Garcia’s mansion in an upscale neighborhood of the Peruvian capital after hearing gunfire. The former head of state was rushed to a hospital, where a team of doctors performed emergency surgery but could not save him. It was a shocking end for a man who twice ruled Peru—once in the ‘80s and again more than 20 years later. In more recent years he became ensnared in Latin America’s biggest corruption scandal, a sweeping investigation of politicians’ dealings with the Brazilian construction giant known as Odebrecht, which admitted in a 2016 plea agreement that it paid nearly $800 million throughout Latin America in exchange for lucrative public-works contracts. Garcia committed suicide in Lima, Peru on April 17, 2019.

Owen Garriott (88) former astronaut who flew on America’s first space station, Skylab, and whose son Richard, a computer game developer, paid the Russians $30 million for a ride to the International Space Station in 2008. Owen Garriott served on the second Skylab crew in 1973, spending close to 60 days in space, a record at the time. He also was part of the ninth space shuttle mission, flying aboard Columbia in 1983 and operating a ham radio for the first time from orbit. While he never flew in space again, Garriott traveled to Kazakhstan in 2008 for his son’s launch aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. They were the first US father and son space travelers. Owen Garriott died in Huntsville, Alabama on April 15, 2019.

Mirjana Markovic (76) widow of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbian leader accused of war crimes. Markovic was so politically powerful that she was branded “the Lady Macbeth” of the Balkans. The couple wreaked havoc when they ruled as Serbia’s power couple from 1989–2000. After leading their country into catastrophic wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo that left 200,000 dead, Milosevic was the first head of state charged by an international court for crimes against humanity committed while he was in office. He died in 2006 while awaiting trial in The Hague. Markovic, a sociology professor at Belgrade Uuniversity and leader of a neo-Communist party, was suspected of complicity in 1999 in the assassination of Slavko Curuvija, a Belgrade newspaper editor, and the disappearance in 2000 of Ivan Stambolic, Milosevic’s onetime mentor. Facing corruption charges in Serbia in 2003, she escaped to Moscow and was granted political asylum. Markovic died of pneumonia in Sochi, Russia, a beach resort city on the Black Sea, on April 14, 2019.

James W. McCord Jr. (93) security expert who led a band of burglars into the shambles of the Watergate scandal and was the first to expose the White House crimes and cover-ups that precipitated the downfall of the Nixon administration in 1974. It was just reported this week that McCord died of pancreatic cancer in Douglassville, Pennsylvania on June 15, 2017. His death went unnoticed by local and national news organizations at the time. For more information, see the entry on the Life in Legacy page dated June 17, 2017.


Society and Religion

Sol Pais (18) Florida teenager who authorities said was obsessed with the Columbine school shooting and may have been planning an attack in Colorado just ahead of its 20th anniversary. Police and the FBI were tipped off about Pais after the Miami Beach high school student made remarks to others about her “infatuation” with the 1999 bloodbath at Columbine High School and this weekend’s anniversary of the 13 killings. Pais purchased three one-way tickets to Denver on three consecutive days, then flew in on April 15 and went directly to a gun store, where she bought a shotgun. She was found dead in an apparent suicide after a nearly 24-hour manhunt. Her body was discovered in the mountains outside Denver with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after investigators got a tip from the driver who took her there. During the manhunt, Denver-area schools closed as a precaution, with classes and extracurricular activities canceled for a half-million students. Pais committed suicide outside Denver, Colorado on April 17, 2019.


Sports

John MacLeod (81) longtime NBA coach who led the Phoenix Suns to the 1976 NBA Finals. MacLeod was the winningest coach in Suns history, going 579-543 in the regular season from 1973–87. He also coached the Dallas Mavericks from 1987–89 and the New York Knicks in ‘90–91, finishing his 18-year head coaching career with a 707-657 mark. MacLeod had his biggest success in Phoenix, capped by the 1975–76 “Sundarella Suns” run to the NBA Finals. The Suns lost to Boston in six games in the finals, with the Celtics’ triple-overtime victory in Game 5 at Boston Garden regarded as one of the greatest games ever. MacLeod's Phoenix teams made nine playoff appearances, also reaching the Western Conference finals in 1979 and ’84. He had a franchise-record 37 playoff victories and was placed in the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor in 2012. MacLeod also worked as an assistant with Phoenix, Denver, and Golden State, ending his coaching career with the Warriors in 2006. He died of Alzheimer's disease on April 14, 2019.

Don Perry (89) coach of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team for their famous “Miracle on Manchester” playoff victory. Perry coached the Kings for parts of three seasons, from 1982–84. He was behind the bench when the Kings erased a five-goal deficit in the third period against the Edmonton Oilers and won 6-5 on Daryl Evans’ overtime goal on April 10, 1982, in Game 3 of the Smythe Division semifinals. The Kings lost in the next round, but the comeback win stood as the most famous in franchise history until their 2012 and ‘14 Stanley Cup triumphs. Perry died in Green Valley, Arizona on April 15, 2019.


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