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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 22, 2019

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Alan Brinkley, historian son of TV news anchor David BrinkleyGloria Vanderbilt, heiress and mother of CNN anchor Anderson CooperDesmond ('Etika') Amofah, YouTube personalityPeter Ball, former Anglican bishop convicted of sexual abuseSusan Bernard, actress and daughter of Bernard of HollywoodGary Burrell, cofounder of Garmin GPS makerJerry Carrigan, Nashville session drummerDimitris Christofias, former president of CyprusLt. Col. Robert J. Friend, Tuskegee airman who directed study of UFOsPhilip H. Geier Jr., advertising executiveCharles Ginnever, sculptor of outdoor metal creationsJudith Krantz, author of million-selling novelsGlenn Langer, cardiovascular researcher and  education  philanthropistRobert V. Levine, social psychologistBrenda Maddox, biographer of Nora Barnacle, wife of James JoyceJan Meyers, first Republican congresswoman from KansasMohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected presidentSister Jeanne O'Laughlin, played key role in Elian Gonzalez custody caseMolly O'Neill, food writerColin A. Palmer, historian of African diasporaSuzan Pitt, experimental animatorMilton Quon, Disney animatorJack Renner, recording engineerElliot Roberts, manager of rock starsPeter Selz, art curator and founding director of Berkeley's University Art MuseumFrancine Shapiro, psychologist who developed trauma therapyJohn Shearer, magazine photographerPhilippe Zdar, French music producer

Art and Literature

Charles Ginnever (87) sculptor whose metal creations can be seen on museum grounds, in parks, outside public buildings, and dotting college campuses all over the US. Working largely in steel, Ginnever made massive geometric forms that often seemed to defy gravity—giant squares or slabs appearing to float in the air or balance precariously on a point. His works were deliberately made to be walked around. Viewing them from multiple angles gave dramatically different experiences. Ginnever was among a group of sculptors who expanded the view of sculpture from something that sits on a pedestal to something that inhabits and interacts with space on a grand scale. He died in Putney, Vermont on June 16, 2019.

Judith Krantz (91) writer whose million-selling novels such as Scruples and Princess Daisy engrossed readers worldwide with their steamy tales of the rich and beautiful. Krantz wrote for Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal magazines before discovering, at age 50, the talent for fiction that made her rich and famous like the characters she created. Her first novel—Scruples in 1978—became a best-seller, as did the nine that followed. Krantz’s books have been translated into 52 languages and sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. They inspired a series of hit TV miniseries with the help of her husband, film and TV producer Steve Krantz (died 2007). Judith Krantz died in Bel-Air, California on June 22, 2019.

Brenda Maddox (87) biographer whose books included one about novelist James Joyce’s little-studied wife and muse and another about Dr. Rosalind Franklin, an overlooked DNA researcher. American-born, Maddox had spent most of her adult life in Britain, maintaining a dual citizenship. She was especially known for Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom (1988), about Nora Barnacle, who became Joyce’s wife and was an inspiration for some of his female characters, including Molly Bloom of Ulysses. Maddox died of dementia in London, England on June 16, 2019.

Suzan Pitt (75) animator who created fantasy worlds in ingenious animated films that dealt with miracles, mortality, depression, and women’s sexuality. In a diverse group of experimental short films like Asparagus, Joy Street, and El Doctor, Pitt pursued a vision influenced by Surrealist artists, underground comics, and, most of all, her interior world. In Asparagus, a 1979 film, she created a wordless, erotic, and jarring visual poem about a faceless woman. While exploring the creative process, the character enters a theater, where she opens a suitcase and unleashes a hodgepodge of items—a lamp, a chair, balloons, and insects—that waft above a fascinated audience of animated clay figures. Pitt died of pancreatic cancer in Taos, New Mexico on June 16, 2019.

Milton Quon (105) animator who worked on the beloved Disney classics Dumbo and Fantasia and was one of the first Chinese-Americans employed at the media conglomerate. Quon was one of the last living artists who worked at the Walt Disney Studios in the ‘40s, considered the golden years of American animation. Fantasia, widely acclaimed, is considered one of the greatest animated films ever made. In 2017 the Library of Congress preserved Dumbo in the National Film Registry because of its aesthetic, cultural, and historic importance. Quon died in Torrance, California on June 18, 2019.

Peter Selz (100) leading curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) who staged wide-ranging exhibitions of Mark Rothko’s paintings and Auguste Rodin’s sculptures before leaving to become founding director of the University Art Museum, Berkeley. A German-born bon vivant whose guests at his Manhattan apartment often included artists Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler and her husband, Robert Motherwell, and Rothko, joined the MoMA in 1958 as its curator of painting and sculpture exhibitions, one of the most prestigious positions in the art world. “New Images of Man” (1959), Selz’s first major show at the MoMA, was a largely despairing survey of the human image through paintings and sculptures by 23 American and European artists, including Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, and Alberto Giacometti. Selz died in Albany, California on June 21, 2019.

John Shearer (72) was already a promising photographer at 16 when the photo director of Look magazine, who was preparing to cover John F. Kennedy’s funeral, invited him along to carry his bags. But when they arrived at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, the photo director instead handed him a press pass and told him, “Take pictures of people grieving.” Shearer worked his way up to a reviewing stand. Using a telephoto lens that his father had bought him for the occasion, he clicked the shutter just as the president’s toddler son, John Jr., raised his right hand in one of the most poignant salutes in American history. Other photographers had the picture too. But Shearer’s was particularly striking; it was somewhat overexposed, so that it illuminated Jacqueline Kennedy’s face behind her black veil. Over the years it has become one of the most reproduced images of that memorable moment. Shearer died of prostate cancer in Eastham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, on June 22, 2019.

Business and Science

Gary Burrell (81) cofounder of the Global Positioning System (GPS) device-maker Garmin who helped to grow the startup into a global operation. Burrell used his background working at marine and aviation electronics companies when he started Garmin in 1989 with fellow engineer Min Kao. The Olathe, Kansas-based company now has more than 13,000 employees in 60 offices around the world. It recorded earnings of $3.3 billion in 2018. Burrell retired in 2002 and continued to serve as Garmin’s cochairman until '04 when he was named chairman emeritus. He died of Parkinson’s disease in Spring Hill, Kansas on June 19, 2019.

Philip H. Geier Jr. (84) business executive whose acquisitions as chief executive of the Interpublic Group of Companies turned it into an advertising industry behemoth. Geier began his advertising career in the late ‘50s as a trainee at McCann-Erickson, the ad agency that created memorable campaigns for clients like Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, and General Motors. Under its former chairman, Marion Harper, McCann had become a conglomerate that offered its clients a wide range of advertising and marketing services. It changed its name to Interpublic in 1961. But Geier proved even more of an empire-builder than Harper. As Interpublic’s chairman and CEO from 1980–2000, he oversaw the acquisition of nearly 200 companies, among them other ad agencies; public relations, lobbying, and event planning firms; management consultants; and digital marketers. All were meant to fill the expanding needs of clients under a holding company model. Geier died in Palm Beach, Florida on June 19, 2019.

Glenn Langer (91) former head of UCLA’s cardiovascular research lab. When Langer retired in 1997, he dipped into his savings to buy books, calculators, and tickets to museums and theaters, not for himself but for disadvantaged students at Lennox Middle School. His philanthropy helped to establish the Partnership Scholars Program, whose mission was to create academic opportunities for youth. Impressed by the students, Langer donated $8,600 to seven students over a six-year period to cover school supplies and pay mentors to work with each of them. Over ensuing years he sponsored another bunch of students, and by 1999 he had donated $235,000 of his savings. By 2006 Langer had committed about $600,000 of his retirement income to the effort. Now, every student receives a scholarship of $10,400 for the program’s six-year duration. It eventually expanded from Lennox to several other campuses in LA and Mendocino counties. Since it began, 622 students have been awarded scholarships, and nearly 100 per cent have gone on to college. Langer died in San Jose, California on June 19, 2019.

Jack Renner (84) who, with Robert Woods, founded Telarc, a record label whose carefully engineered recordings were prized by audiophiles and won dozens of Grammy Awards—11 of them for him personally. In the early ‘60s Renner was a high school music teacher in Cleveland looking for a way out of teaching when he began to turn a hobby, recording things, into a business. Renner soon met and teamed up with Woods, a vocal soloist who sang at Cleveland churches. Woods’s contacts with musicians in the Cleveland Orchestra expanded the business, with various players in the orchestra making vanity records. The two formed Telarc in Cleveland in 1977. Starting off by recording Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra, they employed the rarely used direct-to-disc method, which captured the sound directly onto a disc rather than tape and was thought to offer superior audio quality. Telarc soon began working in the emerging field of digital recording. In 1978 the company made what Renner said was the first commercially released digital recording of symphonic music in the US, featuring Frederick Fennell and the Cleveland Symphonic Winds. Renner died of cancer in Portsmouth, Rhode Island on June 19, 2019.

Francine Shapiro (71) psychologist who developed a popular but controversial therapy for trauma: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR. Shapiro built the case for therapy based on eye movement one person at a time, experimenting first on herself, then on friends and colleagues. The technique she settled on, after working with some 70 people over six months, was straightforward: people would bring an upsetting memory to mind and at the same time track her fingers as she moved them back and forth, for 20–30 seconds. She integrated that technique into a variant of what is called exposure therapy, in which people engage and reprocess painful memories in an effort to blunt their sharp edges, then reinterpret them by repeated recollection or exposure. Shapiro had been unwell for more than a year with respiratory and other problems. She died near Sea Ranch, California, north of San Francisco, on June 16, 2019.


Alan Brinkley (70) prize-winning historian who traced the evolution of liberalism from the New Deal to the 21st century and was a popular commentator on culture and politics. A former professor at Columbia and Harvard, Brinkley was the son of the late TV news anchorman David Brinkley (died 2003) and grew up in a home where guests included John F. Kennedy and Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. He became a National Book Award winner, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and prominent author of two widely used American history textbooks. The younger Brinkley died in New York City from a disease related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerrosis (ALS), on June 16, 2019.

Robert V. Levine (73) social psychologist who conducted attention-getting studies into how different cultures perceive time, how car dealerships persuade customers to buy, and whether a blind person is more likely to be helped across the street in Nashville or New York. Levine, who had taught at California State University, Fresno, for 45 years, made news in the mid-‘90s with research that addressed civility and kindness. With his students, he ran tests in cities large and small, looking for differences in responses to everyday help-a-stranger moments. He died of heart failure resulting from an infection, in Santa Rosa, California on June 22, 2019.

Colin A. Palmer (75) historian who broadened the understanding of the African diaspora, showing that the American slave trade was only one part of a phenomenon that spanned centuries and influenced cultures worldwide. Palmer published his first of many books in 1976 at a time when the black power movement and issues of black identity were prominent in the US. But it wasn’t about the Civil War-era slave trade; it was called Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570–1650, chronicling a period when the colonies that became the US were still in their formative stages. The book set Palmer on a career-long path. He died while conducting research in Kingston, Jamaica on June 20, 2019.

News and Entertainment

Desmond ('Etika') Amofah (29) days before he was found dead in the East River, Amofah, a popular YouTube personality known as “Etika” whose gaming videos attracted thousands of fans, recorded an 8-minute video that worried, rather than amused, his followers. In the video, which has since been removed by YouTube but was copied and posted in other online forums, Amofah spoke to the camera as he walked down a street. The sounds of the city—sirens, traffic—formed a backdrop to his reflections on life and mental illness and his apologies to family and friends. He said he had turned down help from people who offered it to him. He committed suicide in New York City on June 19, 2019.

Susan Bernard (71) actress in soap operas and low-budget films who also promoted her photographer father’s vast archive of images of Marilyn Monroe. As an actress, Bernard was probably best known for her role at age 16 in the Russ Meyer cult favorite Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), the tale of three go-go dancers on a murderous spree in the California desert. Bernard played a woman they kidnapped. After her acting career was largely over, she founded and became president of Bernard of Hollywood Publishing/Renaissance Road Inc., a firm that preserves, exhibits, and licenses the work of her father, Bruno Bernard, who died in 1987. Known professionally as Bernard of Hollywood, he photographed the film industry’s A-listers, including Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and, most notably, Monroe. His most recognized image of her was the so-called white dress or flying skirt photo taken on the set of The Seven-Year Itch (1955). Shortly after her father’s death, Susan Bernard built Bernard of Hollywood into an international brand that exhibits and licenses his work on multiple platforms. She died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on June 21, 2019

Jerry Carrigan (75) Alabama-born drummer in the first rhythm section for FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals and later an in-demand session player in Nashville, Tennessee. Carrigan was just a teenager when he and his friends David Briggs, who played piano, and Norbert Putnam, who played bass, helped to create the Muscle Shoals sound under the guidance of producer Rick Hall. They played on some of the earliest FAME records, including Arthur Alexander’s “You Better Move On,” whose songs caught the attention of The Beatles. That led to Carrigan playing in the Muscle Shoals backup band that opened for The Beatles in their first US concert in Washington, DC in 1964. Later the three Alabama musicians moved to Nashville, where they became some of the most in-demand session players in town, a group commonly called the Nashville Cats. Carrigan became a prolific musician, playing for Elvis Presley, George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Porter Wagoner, and others. He died in Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 22, 2019.

Molly O'Neill (66) writer who transformed herself from a chef into one of America’s leading chroniclers of food. O’Neill ushered in an era of food writing in the ‘90s that was as much about journalism as taste. She built on the work of writers like M.F.K. Fisher, Richard Olney, Elizabeth David, and Craig Claiborne. She died of cancer and liver disease in New York City on June 16, 2019.

Elliot Roberts (76) manager of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and many other rock stars. Roberts was a college dropout who befriended David Geffen and with him helped to launch the California rock scene of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Besides representing such top acts as Young; Mitchell; and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Roberts helped to found Asylum Records, where performers included Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and the Eagles. He later managed the Cars, Tracy Chapman, and Tom Petty, among others. He died in Los Angeles, California on June 21, 2019.

Philippe Zdar (52) French music producer who worked with artists including Kanye West and the rock band Phoenix. Zdar was half of Cassius, an electro act he formed in the mid-‘90s with Hubert Blanc-Francard. They had previously produced tracks together for French rapper M. C. Solaar. Cassius was a major player in “French Touch,” an electronic music movement that found global success in the ‘90s and 2000s and included groups such as Daft Punk. Cassius did not have the hits of other groups on the scene, but the duo’s debut album, 1999, released that year, was seen as a touchstone of the genre. Zdar died after accidentally falling through the window of a building in Paris, France on June 19, 2019.

Politics and Military

Dimitris Christofias (72) Communist whose disastrous term as president of Cyprus was marked by financial crisis, dashed hopes of reconciling the divided island, and a freak explosion that knocked out the country’s main power supply. Christofias was an oddity in European politics, a Soviet-trained Communist who oversaw a nation that belongs to the eurozone and has a free-market economy. Cyprus is a major offshore financial center serving international corporations and wealthy people attracted by low taxes. Christofias's election as president in 2008 was perhaps less surprising to residents of Cyprus, a nation of 1.2 million where unorthodox politics are the norm. Although a member of the European Union, Cyprus is much closer to Beirut than to Brussels and has a large Russian expatriate population and cordial relations with the Kremlin. Despite his orthodox Communist ideology, Christofias won over Cypriots with promises to reunify the Greek and Turkish sectors of the island, which have been separated since a 1974 war. But talks between Christofias and his Turkish counterpart stalled, and any optimism about reunification was overshadowed by a series of disasters that he was blamed for mismanaging. Chrisofias had been suffering from a severe lung ailment and died in Nicosia, Cyprus on June 21, 2019.

Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend (99) one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, who defied racism at home and enemy fire over Europe and later oversaw the federal government’s investigation into Unidentified Flying Objects. Refused enlistment in the Army Air Forces because he was black, Friend was among the 355 pilots who served in the all-black unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen, flying single-engine planes into combat in the Mediterranean theater during World War II. His death leaves 11 surviving pilots from the unit. Remaining in the military in what became the US Air Force and rising to lieutenant colonel, Friend directed Project Blue Book, the government’s secret study of unidentified flying objects, assessing whether they posed a threat to national security or might advance scientific research. He held the post from 1958–63. When, after 20 years, the project ended in 1969, about 700 of more than 12,000 sightings had been classified as unidentified. Friend died of sepsis in Long Beach, California on June 21, 2019.

Jan Meyers (90) first Republican woman elected to the US House of Representatives from Kansas. Meyers, who was from Overland Park, represented Kansas’s Third Congressional District, an area in the eastern part of the state that included Kansas City, from 1985–97. She was unusual among Kansas Republicans in that she supported abortion rights and gun control. She died of heart disease in Merriam, Kansas on June 21, 2019.

Mohamed Morsi (67) Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Morsi won Egypt’s first free presidential election in 2012 as a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood but was removed from power a year later in a military takeover. Since then he faced a raft of charges including terrorism, spying, and breaking out of prison in trials that human rights groups say are deeply flawed. The first freely elected president in Arab history and the first Islamist to occupy that role, Morsi was elected on June 17, 2012, seven years to the day before he died. His election was the apex of the Arab Spring uprising and a high point for the Muslim Brotherhood, a 91-year-old Islamist movement founded in Egypt whose influence extends across the Arab world. For many Egyptians, Morsi’s election was their greatest hope for a definitive break with the country’s long history of autocracy after decades of harsh and corrupt rule under President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in the 2011 uprising. Morsi collapsed and died while on trial in a Cairo courtroom. on June 17, 2019.

Society and Religion

Peter Ball (87) former Anglican bishop and protégé of Britain’s royal family who was convicted of sexually abusing 16 boys and young men over 15 years. Ball had a sprawling network of well-positioned friends, among them Prince Charles, who provided him with housing on one of his estates. Those powerful friends helped to reinstate Ball to the ministry in 1993 after he had admitted to an act of gross indecency, as described under the law, with a 19-year-old man and accepted a police caution, which allowed him at first to avoid a criminal trial. But more than 20 years later, in 2015, the case was reopened. His trial was an acute embarrassment to the church, unearthing a history of complaints about Ball that had gone ignored by church officials. He served 18 months of a 32-month sentence. An independent inquiry’s report released in 2018, notable for its blunt criticism of Charles, concluded that Ball’s supporters had failed to consider that someone they liked might also be an abuser. Ball died in Taunton, England on June 21, 2019.

Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin (90) former president of Barry University who played a key role in the polarizing Elian Gonzalez case. O’Laughlin was an Adrian Dominican nun and was the university's longest-serving president. She helped to elevate the school to one of the largest Catholic universities in the Southeast and served there for 23 years. In 2000 she played a key role in the international custody and immigration battle over the Cuban child. She advocated for allowing then 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez to stay in Miami with his relatives. Elian eventually was sent back to Cuba by a Border Patrol unit. O’Laughlin survived lung cancer in 1996 but died of a recurrence in Adrian, Michigan on June 18, 3019.

Gloria Vanderbilt (95) heiress, artist, and romantic who began her extraordinary life as the “poor little rich girl” of the Great Depression, survived family tragedy and multiple marriages, and reigned during the ‘70s and ’80s as a designer jeans pioneer. Vanderbilt was the great-great-granddaughter of financier Cornelius Vanderbilt and mother of CNN newsman Anderson Cooper. Her life was chronicled in sensational headlines from her childhood through four marriages and three divorces. She married for the first time at 17, causing her aunt to disinherit her. Her husbands included celebrated conductor Leopold Stokowski and award-winning movie and TV director Sidney Lumet. In 1988 she witnessed the suicide of one of her four sons. Vanderbilt was a talented painter and collagist who also acted on the stage (The Time of Your Life on Broadway) and TV (Playhouse 90, Studio One, Kraft Theater, US Steel Hour). Later she was a fabric designer who became an early enthusiast for designer denim. Vanderbilt died of advanced stomach cancer in New York City on June 17, 2019.

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