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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 23, 2020

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Annie Glenn, widow of astronaut and US senator John GlennKen Osmond, actor who played Eddie Haskell on 'Leave It to Beaver'Emma Amos, feminist painterRichard Anuszkiewicz, pioneer of Op ArtBert Bial, NY Philharmonic contrabassoonist and official photographerKaren Blumenthal, financial journalist who wrote nonfiction for young adultsRobb Forman Dew, prize-winning fiction writerRobert Dixon, Jamaican recording producer known as 'Bobby Digital'Robert Ford Jr., hip-hop writer and producerHarry Hoffman, made Waldenbooks US's No. 1 booksellerMory Kante, Guinean singerHana Kimura, Japanese pro-wrestlerCharles Kleinberg, federal prosecutorLeonard Levitt, NYC crime reporterWilliam Lyon, Orange County real estate magnateMargaret Maughan, Britain's first Paralympic gold medalist, in archeryAlbert Memmi, French writerTânio Mendonça, Brazilian Carnaval composerCynthia Navaretta, promoted female artistsLucky Peterson, early-blooming musicianHarry ('Hecky') Powell, owner of Hecky's Barbecue in Evanston, Ill.Nikita Price, advocate for NYC homelessSusan Rothenberg, figuration painterPatricia Reed Scott, former NYC entertainment production promoterJames Sherwood, revived Orient ExpressRonald Shurer 2nd, Medal of Honor recipientJerry Sloan, longtime Utah Jazz coachEddie Sutton, basketbal coachOliver E. Williamson, Nobel-winning economist

Art and Literature

Emma Amos (83) figurative artist whose high-color paintings of women flying or falling through space were charged with racial and feminist politics. Amos had a long teaching career—first at the Newark (New Jersey) School of Fine & Industrial Art, then at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where she remained until retiring in 2008. Amos joined feminist groups, including Guerrilla Girls, a collective whose members appear in public wearing gorilla masks to deliver scathing critiques of art-world racism and sexism. Her paintings from the ‘60s and ’70s often depicted scenes of black middle-class domestic life, a subject little explored in contemporary art at the time. Her work became increasingly personal and experimental, combining painting, print media, and photographic technology. Amos died of Alzheimer’s disease in Bedford, New Hampshire on May 20, 2020.

Richard Anuszkiewicz (89) pioneering practitioner of Op Art in the US before that style was even given a name in the ‘60s. Anuszkiewicz devoted his career to studying how some of the fundamental elements of art could be manipulated to create perceptual effects. His experiments with color led him to make paintings of geometric shapes that seem to vibrate and emanate light; and although his compositions are hard-edged, their repetition of shapes and lines and their complementary radiating hues evoke a kind of spirituality. Anuszkiewicz died in Englewood, New Jersey on May 19, 2020.

Robb Forman Dew (73) prize-winning fiction writer who drew upon her small-town Ohio background for such novels as Dale Loves Sophie to Death and The Evidence Against Her. Dew had a rich literary heritage. She was the granddaughter of author-critic John Crowe Ransom and goddaughter of poet-novelist Robert Penn Warren. Her own record of achievement began with Dale Loves Sophie to Death, winner in 1982 of the National Book Award (then called the American Book Award) for best debut fiction. Her other works included a trilogy set in fictional Washburn, Ohio; the memoir The Family Heart; and the cookbook A Southern Thanksgiving. She died of endocarditis in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 22, 2020.

Albert Memmi (99) leading mid-20th-century French intellectual and writer best known for nonfiction books and novels that unraveled his identity as an ardent anti-imperialist, an unapologetic Zionist, and a self-described “Jewish Arab.” Memmi's essays on colonialism, dominant behavior, and racism are sociological classics inspired by his own personal suffering. In 1942, as a young sociology student, he was expelled from the University of Algiers by the Vichy regime and held captive until 1943, during the German occupation of Tunisia. An avowed atheist, Memmi died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, on May 22, 2020.

Cynthia Navaretta (97) with a newsletter, a publishing house, and an unflagging enthusiasm, Navaretta promoted female artists for decades, beginning at a time when male domination of the art world was particularly pronounced. She was not an artist herself, nor a gallery owner, but she was a quiet force on the art scene in New York and beyond. In the early ‘70s she was immersed in various efforts by women to secure a bigger voice in the art world, and in 1975, she began publishing Women Artists Newsletter, covering issues and events of interest to women in that world that often went unmentioned in mainstream publications. Navaretta died in New York City on May 18, 2020.

Susan Rothenberg (75) artist whose paintings helped to usher figuration back into an art world that had declared it extinct in the ‘70s. Rothenberg’s work has been included in museum collections worldwide, and she was one of the artists who represented the US in the 1980 Venice Biennale. Major surveys of her work originated at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo in 1992 and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2009. Rothenberg said she considered herself a groundbreaking artist partly in the sense that she had had the confidence to paint for herself. She died in Galisteo, New Mexico on May 18, 2020.


Business and Science

Karen Blumenthal (61) longtime financial journalist who turned to writing nonfiction books for young adults. Blumenthal was widely recognized for her works of narrative nonfiction addressing complicated subjects. Her first published book was Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 (2002), which enabled her to use her business expertise in a different way. Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America (2005) followed. In all, she wrote nine titles for young readers, including her most recent book, Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade & the Fight for Reproductive Rights (2020). She also wrote three business titles for adults, two Wall Street Journal Guides focused on personal finance among them. Blumenthal died of a heart attack in her hometown of Dallas, Texas on May 19, 2020.

Harry Hoffman (92) as president of Waldenbooks, Hoffman cemented its standing as the No. 1 bookseller in the US in the ‘80s by opening hundreds of new stores and using aggressive marketing strategies. He was hired by Waldenbooks in late 1978 when it had nearly 500 stores. In his dozen years at the company, he opened 800 more. That rapid expansion was fueled by his calculation that an aging population would continue to browse his stores and buy best-sellers. Hoffman died of congestive heart failure in Bradenton, Florida on May 20, 2020.

William Lyon (97) Orange County real estate magnate who built more than 100,000 homes nationwide and helped to shape suburban America over the past 50 years. Lyon, a former US Air Force general, was among the pioneers of southern California’s post-World War II economic boom, a businessman who foresaw the region’s growth and the need for housing. Lyon began his construction career in 1954 with a 66-home project in Anaheim. Within 10 years he was among the nation’s largest homebuilders and rode the wave of suburban sprawl for decades to come. He died in Coto de Caza, California, not from the coronavirus, on May 22, 2020.

Harry ('Hecky') Powell (71) had a deal with one of his longtime employees, a woman who had struggled with a drug habit. Every time she attended a rehab meeting, he paid her $15. If she worked a full week, she got a bonus; but if she flaked, she lost the entire week’s wages. Powell, whose South Side Chicago-style barbecue restaurant, Hecky's, was an institution in Evanston, Illinois, liked to say that he didn’t want to give people handouts; he wanted to give them skills. Powell fed Northwestern University students who didn’t have the money to travel home for Thanksgiving, paid struggling high school students $20 for every A they earned, and offered scholarships and grants to countless others. He also fed the Chicago Bulls, catering the team’s private plane on occasion at the request of their All-Star forward Scottie Pippen. He died of Covid-19 in Glenview, Illinois on May 22, 2020.

James Sherwood (86) started many businesses—container leasing, a London guidebook, ferries and riverboats, hotels and restaurants, an ice cream company, a magazine, fruit farms, and a vineyard. A multimillionaire by age 36, Sherwood also bought Cipriani in Venice, the “21” Club in New York, Harry’s Bar in London, and dozens of grand hotels. But what made his name was his revival of the once glamorous Orient Express, the European long-distance passenger train service created in 1883. He died in London, England of complications after gallbladder surgery, on May 18, 2020.


Education

Oliver E. Williamson (87) economist whose groundbreaking work on analyzing the structure of organizations was honored with the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Williamson had for many years taught economics at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley when he was awarded the Nobel, sharing it with Elinor Ostrom, a political scientist at Indiana University, the first woman to receive the economics prize. Williamson died of pneumonia in Oakland, California on May 21, 2020.


Law

Charles Kleinberg (71) federal prosecutor with a master's degree in mathematics whose cross-examination of hostile witnesses was meticulous and calculating. Kleinberg’s most prominent court appearance came in 2012 in the prosecution of Cecilia Chang, a dean at St. John’s University in Queens, New York on charges involving fraud and embezzlement. Chang was accused of exploiting her position to dispense honorary degrees as patronage and to recruit scholarship students from overseas, promising them a free education but then forcing them to clean her seven-bedroom home, hand-wash her laundry, and shuttle cases of liquor to her room at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Against the advice of her lawyers, she testified in her own defense, which exposed her to hours of withering cross-examination by Kleinberg. The case ended in a mistrial after Chang hanged herself. Kleinberg died of the new coronavirus in Brooklyn, New York on May 22, 2020.


News and Entertainment

Bert Bial (93) when he wasn’t playing contrabassoon in the New York Philharmonic, Bial was snapping pictures as the orchestra’s official photographer, making him a witness to numerous remarkable moments in a career that stretched over 40 years. During a rare trip behind the Iron Curtain, in Moscow in 1959, he was on hand with his camera as Leonard Bernstein welcomed composer Dmitri Shostakovich to the stage after the Philharmonic had performed his Fifth Symphony. And Bial was there on that tour when Bernstein had a visitor in his dressing room—Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago, who had not appeared publicly since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1958. In 1978 Bial caught Diane Keaton and Woody Allen chatting with conductor Zubin Mehta at Avery Fisher Hall, where the orchestra was recording music for Allen’s film Manhattan. Then there was the fan who came backstage to greet Bernstein during an orchestra tour of California in 1986: Michael Jackson. Bial died of cardiac arrest in Englewood, New Jersey on May 19, 2020.

Robert Dixon (59) also known as Bobby Digital, one of Jamaica’s most influential recording producers whose production of dancehall toaster (rapper) Shabba Ranks's song “Dem Bow” became a cornerstone of reggaeton and 21st-century pop. In the ‘80s, Bobby Digital was at the forefront of dancehall’s transformation from rhythm tracks built on live studio performances to computerized and electronic beats. In a career that yielded more than 800 released songs, he recorded influential hits with Ranks, singer Garnett Silk, vocal harmony group Morgan Heritage, and socially conscious artist Sizzla. Dixon died of kidney disease in Kingston, Jamaica on May 21, 2020.

Robert Ford Jr. (70) journalist who got his start in the music industry as a writer for Billboard in the late ‘70s. Ford was an early chronicler of the newly emerging hip-hop scene, then became a producer and mentor to a generation of influential figures, including Kurtis Blow and Russell Simmons. The hip-hop journalist and producer was a mentor to a young Simmons at the beginning of the music mogul’s career. Ford had dealt with several chronic illnesses in recent years. He died in Brooklyn, New York on May 19, 2020.

Mory Kante (70) Guinean singer, an influential figure in African and world music. Kante brought Guinean, and Mandingo, culture to the world. He was called an ambassador of Afro-Pop music. His song “Yeke Yeke,” released in the late ’80s, has been remixed and covered extensively. Kante died in the capital, Conakry, Guinea, on May 22, 2020.

Hana Kimura (22) Japanese pro-wrestler who appeared in the latest season of the popular reality show Terrace House. Kimura became the target of massive bullying on social media over her role on the show on Netflix, which involves three men and three women temporarily living together at a shared house in Tokyo. The show was temporarily suspended owing to the coronavirus. In her latest Instagram posting on May 22, Kimura published a photo of herself and her cat, with a message saying “Goodbye.” She was found dead at her home in Tokyo, Japan on May 23, 2020.

Leonard Levitt (79) longtime New York crime reporter known for his writing on the inner workings of policing and coverage that helped to reopen the investigation into the killing of Martha Moxley. Aside from his coverage of the New York Police Department, Levitt was perhaps best known for his work digging into Moxley’s death. His reporting on the 1976 killing of the Greenwich, Connecticut teenager led authorities to revisit the case and charge Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel with murder. Levitt wrote about the Moxley case in Conviction, one of six books he wrote. Friends, colleagues, and even some of his targets remembered Levitt as a one-of-a-kind journalist who brought integrity and depth to his reporting—and zero tolerance for people who hid the truth. He died of lung cancer in Stamford, Connnecticut on May 18, 2020.

Tânio Mendonça (52) composer and director for Mocidade Independente, one of Rio’s top-flight samba schools. The so-called schools are actually parade groups from Rio’s poor neighborhoods that each year mount the over-the-top spectacles in the Sambadrome parade area that have helped to give Rio’s Carnaval its fame. For months leading up to the pre-Lenten bash, composers like Mendonça compete fiercely to have their songs selected as the school’s annual theme. Since he joined Mocidade in 1996, Mendonça’s sambas have made it only as far as the finals. Still, he trained a new generation of composers and played percussion in the rhythm section. He was also the sole composer for Estica Marimba, one of the dozens of smaller Carnaval groups that crowd Rio’s streets when the main parade is not taking place. Mendonça was one of 23 people from his Carnaval group to die from Covid-19, which has ravaged the working-class neighborhoods that gave birth to samba. He died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 23, 2020.

Ken Osmond (76) actor who played two-faced teenage scoundrel Eddie Haskell on TV’s Leave It to Beaver, a role so memorable that it left him typecast and led to a second career as a police officer. The classic family sitcom, which ran from 1957–63 on CBS and ABC, had a decades-long life of reruns and revivals. Eddie was the best friend of Tony Dow’s Wally Cleaver, big brother to Jerry Mathers’ Beaver Cleaver. Eddie constantly kissed up to adults, flattering and flirting with Wally and Beaver’s mother, but kicked down his peers, usually in the same scene. He was the closest thing the wholesome show had to a villain, and viewers of all ages loved to hate him. Osmond returned to TV in 1983, when Leave It to Beaver reruns were having a heyday, appearing in the TV movie Still the Beaver. A revival series, The New Leave It to Beaver, came next, with Osmond reprising the role of Haskell alongside Dow and Mathers from 1983–89. Osmond’s real-life sons, Eric and Christian, played Haskell’s sons, who inherited their father’s smarminess on the series. Osmond died in Los Angeles, California on May 18, 2020.

Lucky Peterson (55) in his recent concerts this bluesman had been celebrating his 50th anniversary in show business. That was amazing considering that Peterson was only 55. Known as a guitarist, an organist, and a vocalist, he cut his first record at 5. By age 8 he had been on The David Frost Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and more. But he was more than a childhood novelty act. Peterson blossomed into a reliable blues player, backing stars like Etta James and Otis Rush and fronting his own groups on albums and in live shows. His latest album, 50: Just Warming Up!, was released in 2019. Peterson died in Dallas, Texas on May 17, 2020.

Patricia Reed Scott (86) was instrumental in transforming New York into Hollywood-on-the-Hudson as the city’s film, TV, and theatrical production promoter under two mayors. A former singer and host of an Emmy Award-winning TV series on aging, Scott played a major but invisible role in the hundreds of productions she helped to lure to New York in the ‘80s and ’90s. She served under two mayoral administrations—Edward I. Koch and Rudy Giuliani—in key leadership roles with the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting. In the Koch years—1983–89—she was director of the office; she was commissioner of the office during the Giuliani years, 1994–2002. She died in Neptune, New Jersey of a subdural hematoma sustained in a fall, on May 23, 2020.


Politics and Military

Annie Glenn (100) was thrust into the spotlight in 1962 when her husband, John Glenn, became the first American to orbit the Earth. But Annie shied away from the media attention because of a severe stutter that later moved her to advocate for people with speech disorders. John Glenn died in 2016 after also breaking the transcontinental speed record and serving as a Democrat US senator from Ohio. The couple were high school sweethearts and were married for 73 years. At age 53 in 1973, Annie enrolled in an intensive program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College, now Hollins University, in Roanoke, Virginia, that gave her the skills to control her stutter and to speak in public. By the time 77-year-old John Glenn returned to space in 1998 aboard the space shuttle Discovery, Annie showed she had become comfortable in her public role. She died of COVID-19 near St. Paul, Minnesota on May 19, 2020.

Ronald Shurer 2nd (41) former US Army staff sergeant who received the Medal of Honor in 2018 for braving heavy gunfire to save lives in Afghanistan. A native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Shurer was a senior medical sergeant in the special forces on April 6, 2008, when his team encountered machine-gun and sniper fire and rocket-propelled grenades from militants. Shurer stabilized one soldier, then fought his way amid gunfire up a mountain to the lead members of the unit. There he treated and stabilized four more soldiers and helped to evacuate them. He lowered the wounded down the steep mountainside while using his body to shield them from enemy fire. After he had loaded the wounded in an evacuation helicopter, Shurer went back up the mountain to fight. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and died in Washington, DC on May 21, 2020.


Society and Religion

Nikita Price (63) Price’s father named him after Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier during the height of the Cold War. Nikita called himself Hendrix, after Jimi. He was a conga player, an amateur Cajun chef, a single father, and an advocate for the homeless, partly because he had been homeless himself. Price campaigned against police abuse of New York's homeless and worked to include their voices in political decision making. When the organization he worked for ran out of money, he kept its office open anyway to ensure that its homeless members had a place to go. He united people in shelters with those living on the streets and negotiated with city officials for greater support. Price died of a heart attack in the Bronx, New York on May 21, 2020.


Sports

Margaret Maughan (91) her back was ramrod straight, her arms steady, and her aim true. When Mauughan pulled back the string on her bow—from her seat in a wheelchair—she shot her way into Paralympic history. She was Britain’s first gold medalist, winning in archery in the world’s first Paralympic Games, held in Rome in 1960. Over the years she won a total of six medals at the Games, four gold and two silver. Well into her later years she remained a fervent promoter of Paralympics, believing that sports are a valuable aid in rehabilitation. Maughan died in England on May 20, 2020.

jerry Sloan (78) basketball coach who spent 23 years as coach of the Utah Jazz and took the team to the NBA Finals in 1997–98. Sloan presided over the glory days of the John Stockton and Karl Malone pick-and-roll-to-perfection era in Salt Lake City. He was a two-time All-Star as a player with the Chicago Bulls. He led his alma mater, Evansville, to a pair of NCAA college division national championships and was an assistant coach on the 1996 US Olympic team that won a gold medal at the Atlanta Games. For four years he fought Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan died in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 22, 2020.

Eddie Sutton (84) coached major college basketball teams to a total of 806 victories in a career spanning 37 seasons and became the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA Division I championship tournament. Sutton coached Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State to a total of 26 NCAA championship tournaments and reached the Final Four three times—with Arkansas in 1978 and Oklahoma State, his alma mater, in '95 and 2004. Although he was not accused of wrongdoing, Sutton resigned from his coaching post at Kentucky after the 1988–89 season when the basketball program was hit with major penalties by the NCAA for a host of rules violations, many involving recruiting. He died in North Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 23, 2020.


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