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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, July 27, 2019

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Anner Bylsma, Dutch classical cellistCarlos Cruz-Diez, Venezuelan kinetic artistBéji Caid Essebsi, president of TunisiaCathy Inglese, winning women's basketball coachBen Johnston, microtonal composerDr. Edith Irby Jones, pioneering physicianMark A. R. Kleiman, professor and drug policy advocateChris Kraft, creator and leader of NASA's Mission ControlPaul Krassner, political activist who named 'Yippies'Arthur Lazarus Jr., champion of legal rights for Native AmericansRev. M. Owen Lee, Catholic priest and opera expertEdward Lewis, film producer who broke Hollywood blacklistKeith Lincoln, San Diego Chargers starBryan Magee, British philosopher, author, and broadcasterRobert M. Morgenthau, former Manhattan DAArt Neville, New Orleans keyboardistDorothy Olsen, World War II WASPJaime Lucas, Cardinal Ortega y Alamino, Cuban mediatorVivian Paley, early childhood educatorDarren W. Parker, LA political activistLi Peng, former Chinese prime ministerJ. Robert Schrieffer, Nobel-winning physicistRussi Taylor, voice of Minnie MouseLois Wille, Chicago Pulitzer-winning journalist

Art and Literature

Carlos Cruz-Diez (95) Venezuelan artist who won international acclaim for his work with color and the style known as kinetic art. Cruz-Diez developed a reputation as one of Latin America’s most prominent artists in the second half of the 20th century. His installations have been featured in major international art museums and public spaces from Los Angeles to Paris. He died in Paris, France on July 27, 2019.

Business and Science

Dr. Edith Irby Jones (91) first black student to enroll at an all-white medical school in the South and later first female president of the National Medical Association. Besides being the first black student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Jones also was the first black female resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston after earning her medical degree from Arkansas in 1952. She was also a founding member of the Association of Black Cardiologists. In the ‘90s Jones sponsored and cofounded a clinic in Haiti. She died in Houston, Texas on July 22, 2019.

Chris Kraft (95) creator and longtime leader of NASA’s Mission Control. Behind America’s late leap into orbit and triumphant small step on the moon was the agile mind and guts-of-steel of Kraft, making split-second decisions that propelled the nation to once unimaginable heights. Kraft founded Mission Control, created the job of flight director, and established how flights were run as the space race between the US and Soviets heated up. The engineer was flight director for all the one-man Mercury flights and seven of the two-man Gemini flights, helped to design the Apollo missions that took 12 Americans to the moon from 1969–72, and later was director of the Johnson Space Center until ‘82, overseeing the beginning of the era of the space shuttle. Kraft became known as “the father of Mission Control,” and in 2011 NASA returned the favor by naming the Houston building that houses the nerve center after him. He died in Houston, Texas just two days after the 50th anniversary of what was his and NASA’s crowning achievement: Apollo 11's moon landing, on July 22, 2019.

J. Robert Schrieffer (88) shared a Nobel Prize in Physics for figuring out how certain materials can convey electricity without resistance—a brainstorm that came to him while riding the New York subway. Schrieffer’s greatest accomplishment came as a graduate student in the ‘50s when he tackled the question of how electrical resistance disappears in certain materials known as superconductors, used in the magnets of most modern magnetic resonance imaging machines and for accelerating protons at the particle accelerators that study the smallest bits of the universe. Conventional conductors like copper overheat when too much current is pushed through. Schrieffer died in Tallahassee, Florida on July 27, 2019.


Mark A. R. Kleiman (68) drug policy advocate who favored what he viewed as a sensible middle ground on marijuana—eliminate criminal sanctions for selling and using it but preclude full-blown commercial legalization. Author, blogger, adviser to government, and a teacher at New York University and UCLA, Kleiman considered himself a “policy entrepreneur.” His purview extended beyond drugs to the broader criminal justice system, which he sought to reform by imposing “swift, certain, and fair” punishment through shorter sentences and more resources devoted to probation and parole. He died in New York City of lymphoma and complications from a kidney transplant in April, on July 21, 2019.

Bryan Magee (89) British philosopher, writer, and broadcaster who sought to bring philosophy to a mass audience through radio and TV. Working with the BBC in the ‘70s, Magee challenged a popular aversion to showing talking heads and sought to demonstrate that ideas could be as entertaining as images. On the TV program Men of Ideas, he interviewed prominent philosophers of his time, including Isaiah Berlin, Iris Murdoch, and Noam Chomsky. The format gave scores of students and others an introduction to philosophy that left a lasting impression. Magee also wrote and edited 23 books, including memoirs, social commentary, a volume of poetry, and a novel. He died in Oxford, England on July 26, 2019.

Vivian Paley (90) pioneering teacher and acclaimed author who emphasized the importance of storytelling in early childhood development. Paley was a keen observer—and listener—of young children. She wrote 13 books about their social and intellectual development, including how they learn from telling stories, and received a MacArthur “genius” grant in recognition of her work. Her best- known works include You Can’t Say You Can’t Play (1993), the title referring to a rule she laid down in her classroom to teach children about rejection. Paley died in Crozet, Virginia on July 26, 2019.


Arthur Lazarus Jr. (92) lawyer and champion of legal rights for Native Americans who won a landmark award for the Sioux Nation in its ongoing struggle involving the Black Hills of South Dakota. Over 60 years Lazarus helped Native American tribes across the US to develop their democratic institutions, reclaim lands, and exercise their sovereign powers. His work was made possible by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, known as the “Indian New Deal.” The act reversed decades of assimilationist policies of the US government and allowed tribes to reestablish their tribal governments and cultures. Lazarus guided them in those efforts. He died of kidney and heart disease in Washington, DC on July 27, 2019.

Robert M. Morgenthau (99) former Manhattan district attorney who spent more than 30 years jailing criminals from mob kingpins and drug-dealing killers to a tax-dodging Harvard dean. Morgenthau, who was US Attorney for New York's southern district during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, returned to law enforcement as Manhattan’s top state prosecutor in 1975 and didn’t leave for 35 years, with his office handling around 100,000 criminal cases yearly. He died in New York City just 10 days short of his 100th birthday, on July 21, 2019.

News and Entertainment

Anner Bylsma (85) Dutch cellist and a groundbreaking figure in the early music movement, the postwar effort to create performances closer to what past audiences may have actually heard. Bylsma played a wide repertory on both period and modern cellos, from Baroque concertos by Vivaldi and Boccherini, a composer he championed, to sonatas and chamber works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, and Messiaen. Bylsma was especially known for his accounts of Bach’s six suites for solo cello, which he recorded twice, in 1979 and again in ’92. He also won acclaim for trio performances with recorder virtuoso Frans Brüggen and harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt, both of whom became important conductors. All three were leading figures of the early music movement, which called for the use of period techniques and instruments, became an established part of the concert scene, and has since influenced the wider classical music world. Bylsma died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on July 25, 2019.

Ben Johnston (93) composer who used microtonal tuning systems to create a large and varied catalogue of chamber works, stage pieces, and music for orchestra, choir, voice, and solo piano. Johnston's music was so melodically engaging and rhythmic that listeners who were unaware of his tuning experiments and their complex theoretical underpinnings heard his works as essentially neo-Romantic. Besides using microtonality—a system in which the octave is often divided into dozens of pitches rather than the traditional 12—Johnston sometimes used serial techniques, in which pitches were presented in a predetermined sequence. He invented his own notation systems to account for his tunings, which could change from piece to piece. His 10 string quartets, for example, are dramatic scores with hard-driving and often tense fast movements and thoughtful slow movements—with occasional quotations from folk melodies. He died of Parkinson’s disease in Deerfield, Wisconsin, near Madison, on July 21, 2019.

Edward Lewis (99) award-winning producer who hired banned screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to write the movie Spartacus, then demanded that he be publicly credited, heralding the end of Hollywood’s anti-Communist blacklist. Released in 1960, Spartacus won four of the nine Oscars awarded to films produced by Lewis, plus a Golden Globe. His 33 movies received 21 Oscar nominations. His producing credits included nine movies directed by John Frankenheimer (among them Seven Days in May [1964]) and films by John Huston (The List of Adrian Messenger [1963]) and Louis Malle (Crackers [1984]). With his wife, Mildred Lewis, who died last April, Lewis shared an Oscar nomination for best picture for Missing, the 1982 political thriller. He produced five more films written by Trumbo, including Lonely Are the Brave (1962), but none packed more punch than Spartacus, directed by Stanley Kubrick. Lewis died in Los Angeles, California on July 27, 2019.

Art Neville (81) member of a storied New Orleans musical family who performed with his siblings in The Neville Brothers band and founded the groundbreaking funk group The Meters. The Neville Brothers—Art, Charles, Cyril, and Aaron—started singing as kids but then went their separate ways in the ‘50s and ’60s. in the late ’60s Art was a founding member of The Meters, a pioneering American funk band that also included Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentelli (guitar), George Porter Jr. (bass), and Joseph (“Zigaboo”) Modeliste (drums). The Meters were the house band for Allen Toussaint’s New Orleans soul classics and opened for the Rolling Stones’s tour of the Americas in 1975 and Europe in ’76. They also became known for their session work with Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer, and Patti LaBelle and recordings with Dr. John. The Meters broke up in 1977, but members of the band have played together in groups such as the Funky Meters and the Meter Men. The father of Fox News host Arthel Neville, Art Neville died in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 22, 2019.

Russi Taylor (75) actress who gave voice to Minnie Mouse for more than 30 years. Taylor was married to the man who voiced Mickey Mouse opposite her, Wayne Allwine, from 1991 until his death in 2009. She became the official voice of Minnie in 1986, beating out more than 200 competitors who auditioned. She voiced Minnie across Disney projects in film, TV, and theme parks, including the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the TV show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Taylor also provided voices for many other minor Disney characters and for several smaller characters on The Simpsons, including Bart’s nerdy classmate Martin Prince. She died of colon cancer in Glendale, California on July 26, 2019.

Lois Wille (87) Chicago reporter, editorial writer, and author who examined, scolded, and challenged the city she loved with hard-hitting investigations and won two Pulitzer Prizes. Wille wrote for Chicago’s three biggest daily newspapers over 40 years, became a journalistic institution as she exposed scoundrels, and prodded the city to do better. She championed its neighborhoods, called for sensible city planning, and leaned on the horn to call attention to corruption and graft. Wille died of a severe stroke in downtown Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 2019.

Politics and Military

Béji Caid Essebsi (92) Tunisian president, that North African country’s first democratically elected leader and a symbol of the generation of Tunisians who shook off French rule in the ‘50s. Heir to Tunisia’s founding father, Essebsi emerged from retirement at age 88 to win office in 2014 in the wake of the country’s Arab Spring revolt. He presented his centrist Nida Tounes movement as a bulwark against rising Islamic fundamentalism and against the political chaos that rocked Tunisia after the “jasmine revolution” overthrew a longtime dictator and unleashed similar protests for democracy throughout the region. Essebsi was seen as a unifying figure but was ultimately unable to bring prosperity or lasting calm to a country beset by economic crises and fending off sporadic deadly terror attacks. Under the Tunisian Constitution, parliament president Mohamed Ennaceur should serve as interim president for 45–90 days while a new election is organized. Essebsi died in Tunis, Tunisia on July 25, 2019.

Paul Krassner (87) publisher, author, and radical political activist on the front lines of ‘60s counterculture who helped to tie together his loose-knit prankster group by naming them the Yippies, including Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, otherwise known as the Youth International Party. They briefly became notorious for such stunts as running a pig for president and throwing dollar bills onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Hoffman and Rubin, but not Krassner, were among the so-called “Chicago 7” charged with inciting riots at the chaotic 1968 Democrat National Convention. By the end of the decade, most of the group’s members had faded into obscurity. But not Krassner, who constantly reinvented himself, becoming a public speaker, free-lance writer, stand-up comedian, celebrity interviewer, and author of nearly a dozen books. He died in Desert Hot Springs, California on July 21, 2019.

Dorothy Olsen (103) as a teenager imagining the vast world beyond her family’s small farm in Oregon, then-Dorothy Kocher was mesmerized by The Red Knight of Germany, Floyd Gibbons’ biography of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German World War I ace. After graduating from high school, she used the money she made from teaching tap dance and ballet to take flying lessons. When World War II began, Kocher and 25,000 other women applied to the Army Air Force for the only jobs open to female pilots: freeing men for combat by ferrying new fighters and bombers from the factories to domestic embarkation points for service overseas. She became one of 1,879 women accepted and one of 1,074 to complete the training program to become Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs. After the war Dorothy married Harold W. Olsen, a state trooper, who died in 2006. Dorothy Olsen died in University Place, Washington, near Tacoma, on July 23, 2019.

Darren W. Parker (59) political activist who fought for racial equality as chairman of the California Democrat Party’s Black Caucus and former president of the local NAACP. A longtime local and political activist, Parker was deeply involved in local and state issues for years. He led the African-American Caucus for more than 10 years. He was president of the Antelope Valley Democrat Club and vice chairman of the Los Angeles County Democrat Party. He also worked for Assembly speakers John Peréz, Toni Atkins, and Anthony Rendon in the state capital and was a member of numerous community groups such as the Antelope Valley Partners for Health, the YouthBuild Advisory Board, and the LA County Commission for Children & Families. He also worked as a cable maintenance splicer for Pacific Bell, a job he held for more than 20 years, and an international staff representative for the Communication Workers of America, which represents telephone company employees. Parker died from esophageal cancer in Lancaster, California on July 22, 2019.

Li Peng (90) former Chinese premier derided as the stone-faced “butcher of Beijing” for his role in the bloody crackdown on the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in 1989. Born to Communist revolutionaries in the early years of the Chinese civil war and educated as a hydroelectric engineer in the Soviet Union, Li rose to the top ranks of the Communist Party, serving as a bridge between the old guard of revolutionaries and the more technocratic leaders who succeeded them. He served 10 years as prime minister, then five years, until his retirement in 2003, as chief of the National People’s Congress, the country’s party-dominated, rubber-stamp Parliament. He was never widely loved by the Chinese public and was a wooden presence on TV, but he wielded great power late in his career as a top-ranking member of the secretive Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s leading center of power. That he survived at such a rarefied level suggested that he was more politically adroit than his stodgy public image indicated. Li died in Beijing, the Chinese capital, on July 22, 2019.

Society and Religion

Rev. M. Owen Lee (89) Canadian Roman Catholic priest whose childhood fascination with opera prepared him for a 23-year avocation as a familiar voice on Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. Lee was a scholar by training; his field was the classics. But he did not sound particularly dry or academic on the radio as an opera quiz panelist or as a commentator explaining characters’ motives, composers’ motifs, and librettists’ plot twists for an international audience. His commentaries were typically heard during the first intermission of the live Saturday matinee broadcasts, the quiz segment during the second. He made his debut in 1983 between acts of Les Troyens, by Hector Berlioz, which had opened the Met’s 100th season with tenor Plácido Domingo and soprano Jessye Norman. Begun in 1931, the Saturday matinee Met broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical radio series in American broadcast history. Lee died in Toronto, Canada on July 25, 2019.

Jaime Lucas, Cardinal Ortega y Alamino (82) sugar worker’s son who oversaw the first papal visit to Cuba, helped to lower barriers to believers in the Communist country, and played a role in mediating improved US-Cuba ties. Ortega helped to open a dialogue between Havana and the US that led the two countries to resume relations in 2014 after presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama secretly turned to Pope Francis for help. Ortega was a messenger for both sides, carrying secret letters and responses that helped to thaw relations. He also helped to drive a gradual but significant thaw in relations with a government that was officially atheist and long barred religious believers from Communist Party ranks. He died in Havana, Cuba on July 26, 2019.


Cathy Inglese (60) longtime women’s basketball head coach who led Boston College to seven National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament appearances and Vermont to consecutive undefeated regular seasons. Inglese won more than 400 games in her 27 years as a head coach. She coached at Boston College from 1993–2008, and in the Eagles’ seven NCAA tournament appearances under her, they reached the Sweet 16 three times. She led the Eagles to their lone Big East Tournament championship in 2004, when they became the only school to capture the title by winning games on four straight days. Inglese went to Boston from Vermont, where she had led the Catamounts to consecutive undefeated regular seasons in 1992 (with a record of 29-0) and ‘93 (28-0). In 1993 Vermont was the only undefeated team entering the Division I NCAA tournament from the North Atlantic Conference. Inglese was hired in June to be an assistant coach at Hofstra University on Long Island. Her death came a week after she sustained a traumatic brain injury when she fell down a stairwell before a summer workout by the Hofstra team. She had undergone two surgeries in Manhassett, New York when she died on July 24, 2019.

Keith Lincoln (80) star on the San Diego Chargers’ 1963 AFL championship team. At Washington State University Lincoln was known as the “Moose of the Palouse.” He was a five-time AFL All-Star and was elected to the Chargers Hall of Fame. He was named the most outstanding player in the 1963 AFL Championship game, which the Chargers won 51-10. Lincoln was a second-round draft pick of the Chargers in 1961 and played for San Diego until ‘66 before a stint with Buffalo. He returned briefly to the Chargers in 1968. He rushed for 3,383 yards and 19 touchdowns and caught 165 passes for 2,250 yards and 19 touchdowns during his pro career. After football, he was Washington State’s director of alumni relations until 2003. Lincoln died in Pullman, Washington on July 27, 2019.

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