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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 20, 2020

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Delbert Africa, member of radical group MoveSally Banes, dance historian and criticEleanor Carol Leavell Barr, wife of US Congressman Andy BarrGordon H. Bower, Stanford psychologistLewis John Carlino, screenwriter, playwright, and film directorEduardo Cojuangco Jr., Philippine business tycoonBarbara Costikyan, wrote gourmet column for 'New York' magazineConstance Curry, civil rights activistMadeline McWhinney Dale, first female officer of Federal ReserveDr. William Dement, researcher of sleep disordersAnders Ericsson, psychologistPaolo Giorgio Ferri, Italian hunter of looted antiquesPaul Fortune, interior designer to celebritiesDan Foster, American who made it big on Nigerian radioSir Ian Holm, acclaimed British actorKim ('Yohan') Jeong-hwan, K-pop starElsa Joubert, South African writerSergei Khrushchev, son of former Soviet leaderJim Kiick, Dolphins' running backDame Vera Lynn, British World War II singerJohn J. Mooney, inventor of catalytic converterJosé Morón, founder of Chicago metalworksEdén Pastora, Nicaraguan revolutionary heroSushant Singh Rajput, Bollywood actorJean Raspail, French authorRobert D. Richardson with statue of Henry David ThoreauJean Kennedy Smith, last of Kennedy siblingsKirk R. Smith, research scientistOla Mae Spinks, librarian who helped to preserve historyNadine Taub, lawyer who fought gender discriminationMax Tuerk, Chargers' linemanCharles Webb, author of 'The Graduate'Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Spanish author

Art and Literature

Paolo Giorgio Ferri (72) when Italian prosecutor Ferri visited New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004, he posed for a picture beside an ancient terra cotta mixing bowl so rare and celebrated that it had held pride of place in the Met’s Greek and Roman galleries for 32 years. In 2008, as a result of Ferri’s work as an investigator and antiquities hunter with Rome’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, that object, known as the Euphronios krater, was back on Italian soil, as were scores of other looted treasures acquired by American museums and collectors since the ‘60s. Ferri’s legacy consists of dismantling multinational looting and trafficking rings; recovering tens of hundreds of Greco-Roman artifacts from secret storehouses; and compelling what is typically known as “the nice giveback,” an interval that started in 2006 and continues to this day, through which American museums have returned at the very least 120 ill-gotten antiquities valued at greater than $1 billion to the Greek and Italian authorities. Ferri died of a heart attack in Rome, Italy on June 14, 2020.

Elsa Joubert (97) one of South Africa’s best-known writers in the Afrikaans language whose apartheid-era novel, The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena, opened the eyes of many white South Africans to the harsh treatment that the black majority had been enduring largely out of their sight. Joubert belonged to a group of dissident writers in Afrikaans—a language derived from the 17th-century Dutch spoken by South Arica’s first white settlers—who called themselves “Die Sestigers” (the Sixtyers, or writers of the ‘60s). Her work ranged from novels to autobiography to travelogues, but among her books it was Poppie Nongena that struck the most resounding chord in South Africa. First published in 1978 in Afrikaans as Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena, the novel was based on the life of an actual South African black woman and tells of her struggle to keep her family together in the face of oppressive apartheid laws intended to control the lives of the black majority from cradle to grave. Joubert died of the coronavirus in Cape Town, South Africa on June 14, 2020.

Jean Raspail (94) award-winning French author best known for The Camp of the Saints, a novel that envisions a takeover of the Western world by immigrants from developing countries that was embraced as a cautionary tale by white supremacists, far-right political figures, and a member of the Trump administration. Raspail died in Paris, France on June 14, 2020.

Charles Webb (81) lifelong nonconformist whose debut novel, The Graduate, was a satire of his college education and wealthy background adapted into the classic film of the same title. Webb was only 24 when his most famous book was published, in 1963. The sparely written narrative was based closely on his years growing up comfortably in southern California, his studies in history and literature at Williams College in Massachusetts, and his return home. Webb’s fictional counterpart, Benjamin Braddock, challenges the materialism of his parents, scorns the value of his schooling, and has an affair with Mrs. Robinson, wife of his father’s business partner and mother of the young woman with whom he falls in love. The film, directed by Mike Nichols and starring a then-little-known Dustin Hoffman as Braddock and Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson, was an immediate sensation. Nichols won an Oscar, Hoffman became an overnight star, and the film is often ranked among the greatest, most quoted, and talked about of all time. Webb died in Eastbourne, England of a blood condition on June 16, 2020.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón (55) whose popular 2001 novel The Shadow of the Wind led to three sequels and made Zafón one of the world’s most beloved Spanish authors. A literary thriller, the book was the first in his series The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The novel, set in Barcelona and mingling reality, fantasy, and romance, recounts the son of a bookshop owner’s quest to find the works of a mysterious author and to learn who has been destroying them. Zafón was known to have cancer. He died in Los Angeles, California on June 19, 2020.

Business and Science

Gordon H. Bower (87) research psychologist who spent more than 50 years studying how the brain learns and remembers, plus a host of related subjects, and was among the leaders in his field. In a long career at Stanford University, Bower was known for elegant experiments that explored learning and memory. He died of pulmonary fibrosis in Stanford, California on June 17, 2020.

Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. (85) Philippine tycoon, a key ally of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a low-key businessman who led a food and beverage empire that produced San Miguel beer. Cojuangco had a net worth of $1.1 billion, with interests in cement manufacturing, orchards, a stud farm, and Australian wineries, aside from San Miguel. That company, one of Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerates with a workforce of more than 28,000 people, has ventured into fuel and oil, power and infrastructure. Aside from business, Cojuangco delved into politics and sports and owned three teams in the Philippine Basketball Association. He fled from the Philippines when Marcos was overthrown by an army-backed “people power” revolt in 1986. During his years in exile, he was known to have traveled to the US and Australia, where he bred thoroughbred racehorses. He had been linked to the 1983 assassination of a key anti-Marcos politician, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., but the allegation has never been proven. Cojuangco died of pneumonia and heart failure in Manila, Philippines, on June 16, 2020.

Barbara Costikyan (91) loved traipsing around New York for fresh foods, often taking her children along in search of homemade feta from Astoria, Spanish sausage from East Harlem, or fresh herring from the Lower East Side. When she divorced her first husband and needed an independent source of income, Costikyan turned her love of food into a job. Beginning in 1980, she wrote the “Underground Gourmet” column in New York magazine. The column, created by Milton Glaser and Jerome Snyder, sought to democratize high-quality meals by not emphasizing price when it exceeded a specific value. When Costikyan took over the column, that value was $6.95 (about $22 in today's dollars). She died of the coronavirus in Edgewater, New Jersey on June 18, 2020.

Madeline McWhinney Dale (98) first female officer of the Federal Reserve Bank. In the ‘40s and ’50s, when Madeline McWhinney was a young economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, banking was such a men’s club that meetings were often held inside one. At such gatherings at the Union League Club on Park Avenue, which didn’t allow women to join until the late ‘80s, McWhinney had to enter through a side door and be chaperoned by an older Fed official. Later, in another first, she ran a commercial bank largely owned and operated by women. Madeline McWhinney Dale died in her sleep in Red Bank, New Jersey on June 19, 2020.

Dr. William Dement (91) researcher of sleep disorders who preached the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Dement spent his working life as a popular professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where he started what is believed to be the world’s first successful sleep disorders clinic. He taught a class on sleep and dreams that drew as many as 1,200 students. He died from complications of a heart procedure in Stanford, California on June 17, 2020.

Anders Ericsson (72) cognitive psychologist who demystified how expertise is acquired, suggesting that anyone can become a grand chess master, a concert violinist, or an Olympic athlete with the proper training and the will. Ericsson’s research helped to inspire Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book on the keys to excelling. Ericsson died in Tallahassee, Florida, likely of a blood clot to his heart or brain, on June 17, 2020.

Paul Fortune (69) the terms that tended to attach themselves to Fortune—style guru, epitome of taste, acme of chic—had about them a whiff of P. T. Barnum, but his job description, “interior designer,” failed to capture his larger calling as a self-appointed ringmaster in the social circus of Los Angeles. He designed the interiors of the Tower Bar and the homes of Sofia Coppola, Marc Jacobs, and other celebrities. Fortune was regularly listed among the top 100 professionals in his field. He died of cardiac arrest in Ojai, California on June 15, 2020.

Sergei Khrushchev (84) son of late Cold War-era Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who became a US citizen in 1999. The younger Khrushchev was a rocket scientist in the Soviet Union and moved to Rhode Island in 1991 to lecture on the Cold War at Brown University. Khrushchev and his wife, Valentina, became naturalized US citizens in July 1999. He said he hoped his father, who died in 1971, would be supportive of his American citizenship. Sergei Khrushchev died in Cranston, Rhode Island from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, on June 18, 2020.

John J. Mooney (90) inventor of the catalytic converter, the small ubiquitous device that makes the engines that power everything from cars to lawn mowers less polluting and more fuel-efficient. The device Mooney developed with a colleague in the ‘70s has prevented billions of tons of carbon emissions from being spewed by cars, trucks, and motorized lawn mowers. He was a high school graduate working as a clerk at a gas company when his colleagues encouraged him to pursue a college education. After earning a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, he received 17 patents during his 43-year career with the Englehard Corp. in Iselin, New Jersey (now the Catalyst Division of the German chemical manufacturer BASF). Mooney died of the coronavirus in Wyckoff, New Jersey on June 16, 2020.

José Morón (54) when Morón, known as Fredo, first came to the US from Mexico at 18, the only word he knew in English was “cheeseburger,” and he ate a lot of them. He was working construction jobs in Texas and would escape the heat by going to restaurants and giving the same order, day after day. Decades later, upscale neighborhoods and low-income housing throughout Chicago display iron gates, metallic stairwells, and window bars put in by Morón and the workers of the metalwork company he founded, New Town Iron Works. He died in Chicago, Illinois of respiratory failure and pneumonia induced by Covid-19 on June 16, 2020.

Kirk R. Smith (73) when Smith began his research career in the ‘70s, he was studying the health risks posed by nuclear power. But after a trip to rural parts of Asia, he detected an even bigger threat, affecting more people: toxic fumes being spewed from the solid fuels that heat the chulha, a small indoor cooking stove made of mud and clay and used by more than 40 per cent of the world’s population. Smith’s meticulous research established household pollution as one of the leading causes of disease and death in the developing world. Then he began to focus on what he called household air pollution. Smith died in Berkeley, California of cardiac arrest after a stroke, on June 15, 2020.


Robert D. Richardson (86) prize-winning historian known for his elegant and authoritative biographies of such leading American thinkers as William James and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Richardson grew up in Massachusetts and had a close affinity with Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and other New England writers. Concord, Mass. was home in the 19th century to Emerson and Thoreau, among others. Richardson won the Bancroft Prize in 2007 for William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism. He died after sustaining head injuries in a fall, just days after his 86th birthday, on June 16, 2020.

Ola Mae Spinks (106) librarian and descendant of slaves who went to the US Library of Congress in 1972 to bring order to a vast but scattered archive of interviews with former slaves, thus helping to preserve them for scholars. Spinks was a middle-school librarian in Pontiac, Michigan when she and Phyllis Williams, a friend and fellow librarian, spent the summer of 1972 as volunteers at the Library of Congress in Washington collating and indexing a trove of paperwork about slavery in Alabama and Arkansas. Spinks died in Southfield, Michigan on June 16, 2020.


Delbert Africa (74) member of the radical group Move who spent more than 40 years in prison after being convicted in a 1978 confrontation with the police in Philadelphia that left a police officer dead. Africa was released last January. His beating by Philadelphia police officers in 1978 was broadcast nationwide. His daughter Yvonne Orr-El and members of the Move organization said he had received inadequate care for a kidney condition while in prison. Africa died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania only five months after his release, on June 15, 2020.

Nadine Taub (77) in the early ‘70s Taub was one of a cadre of young female lawyers breaking new ground by fighting gender discrimination. Along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg (now a US Supreme Court justice), Nancy Stearns, and others, she made legal history in cases that successfully argued that equal rights for women were protected under the Constitution. Taub litigated cases for rape victims, for women seeking access to abortion, and for employees battling workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. She died on June 16, 2020.

News and Entertainment

Sally Banes (69) dance historian and critic whose books include Terpischore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance. Banes’s writing combined an inquisitive approach with a belief that dance was a crucial part of cultural history. She died of heart failure resulting from complications of ovarian cancer, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 14, 2020.

Lewis John Carlino (88) screenwriter and playwright who earned an Oscar nomination for I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977), based on Joanne Greenberg’s novel about a teenage girl’s struggle with schizophrenia, for which he and Gavin Lambert received an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay; and The Great Santini (1979), based on the autobiographical novel by Pat Conroy, which Carlino adapted and directed. That movie’s stars, Robert Duvall and Michael O’Keefe, were nominated for Oscars, and O’Keefe was nominated for a Golden Globe. After Carlino read Conroy’s novel about a son’s troubled relationship with his authoritarian and abusive father, a Marine Corps fighter pilot, he later recalled, he wrote furiously, finishing the entire screenplay in 21 days. He had written several Off-Broadway plays earlier, including Cages, Telemachus Clay, and Doubletalk. He died of myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disease, on Whidbey Island, Washington on June 17, 2020.

Dan Foster (61) when US-born Foster arrived in Nigeria to work in radio in 2000, he was an instant sensation, embracing his new country and being embraced in return. He told stories about his father and struggled on-air with the local languages, which only endeared him to his audience. His romantic life and career moves became fodder for entertainment websites. Unlike previous radio hosts from the US, who never fully settled in, Foster immersed himself in Nigeria’s culture, dressing in local fashions and dropping phrases from the local languages into his on-air patter. The country’s airwaves had only recently emerged from state control, and Foster’s mix of plain talk, folksy humor, and American swagger—calling himself the Big Dawg or the Top Dawg—made him a new kind of morning radio host, one of the most popular in the country. The Big Dawg parlayed his celebrity into roles in movies and on reality TV, as a judge on Idols West Africa and Nigeria’s Got Talent. Foster died in Lagos, Nigeria a day after receiving a positive test result for the coronavirus, on June 17, 2020.

Sir Ian Holm (88) British actor whose long career included roles in Chariots of Fire and The Lord of the Rings. A star of stage and screen, Holm won a Tony Award for best featured actor as Lenny in Harold Pinter’s play The Homecoming in 1967. An established figure in the Royal Shakespeare Co., he won a Laurence Olivier Award for best actor for his performance in the title role of King Lear in 1998. He won a British Academy Film Award and gained a supporting-actor Oscar nomination for portraying pioneering athletics coach Sam Mussabini in the hit 1982 film Chariots of Fire. He also appeared in The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Madness of King George. Holm more recently portrayed Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies. He was knighted in 1998 for his services to drama. Holm was married four times and had five children. He died from a Parkinson’s-related illness on June 19, 2020.

Kim ('Yohan') Jeong-hwan (28) K-pop star, a member of the South Korean boy band TST who performed under the name Yohan. Jeong-hwan launched his music career in 2013 as part of the band NOM (No Other Man) before joining TST (also known as Top Secret) in 2017. TST’s biggest hits include “Paradise,” “Mind Control,” and “Wake Up.” The six-piece group’s latest single, “Countdown,” was released in January. Surviving members of the group include Yonghyeon, Wooyoung, Ain, Junghoon, and K. Yohan was one of multiple K-pop luminaries to have died at a young age within the last year. In October 2019, singer and actress Sulli was found dead in her Seongnam home at 25. In November 2019, Kara’s Goo Hara was found dead in her Seoul home at 28. Yohan died on June 16, 2020.

Dame Vera Lynn (103) popular “Forces’ Sweetheart” who serenaded British troops abroad during World War II. During the war and long after, Lynn got crowds singing, smiling, and crying with sentimental favorites such as “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs of Dover.” She had a down-to-earth appeal, reminding servicemen of the ones they left behind. Lynn hosted a wildly popular BBC radio show during the war called Sincerely Yours on which she sent messages to British troops abroad and performed the songs they requested. She died in Ditchling, East Sussex, England on June 18, 2020.

Sushant Singh Rajput (34) popular Bollywood actor. Rajput, who started as a TV actor, made his Bollywood debut in 2013 with director Abhishek Kapoor in Kai Po Che, based on the book by Chetan Bhagat. Rajput played former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 2016 film M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. Among his other movies are Kedarnath, Sonchiriya (Golden Bird), and Raabta (Connection). He was last seen in the 2019 Netflix film Drive. Mumbai, India’s financial hub and home to Bollywood, has been grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the business of entertainment to a complete halt in the country. Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai residence. Initial reports said the actor was found hanging in his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14, 2020. The police called the death a suicide.

Politics and Military

Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr (39) wife of US Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.). Eleanor Carol Leavell, who went by Carol, grew up in Kentucky, attended the University of Kentucky, and married Andy Barr in 2008. The couple had two children. Carol had worked for Pfizer and as executive director of Lexington’s Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship. Andy Barr represents Kentucky’s 6th District, which includes the cities of Lexington, Richmond, and Frankfort. Carol Barr died unexpectedly from a heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse in Lexington, Kentucky on June 16, 2020.

Edén Pastora (83) hero of the 1979 Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua known by his nom de guerre, “Commander Zero,” who later turned against his victorious comrades in arms in a long counterrevolutionary war of words and guerrilla attacks that failed to budge the socialist regime in Managua. Pastora mounted an international campaign of political pressure and later guerrilla attacks inside the country. He died of a heart attack in a military hospital in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, on June 16, 2020.

Jean Kennedy Smith (92) last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy who, as a US ambassador, played a key role in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Jean Kennedy was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, and several of them preceded her in death by decades. Her siblings included older brother Joseph Kennedy Jr., killed in action during World War II; Kathleen (“Kick”) Kennedy, killed in a 1948 plane crash; the former president, assassinated in ‘63; and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, slain in ’68. Sen. Edward Kennedy, youngest of the Kennedy siblings, died of brain cancer in August 2009, the same month their sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver died. Jean Kennedy, who married Kennedy family financial adviser and future White House chief of staff Stephen Edward Smith in 1956, was viewed for much of her life as a quiet sister who shunned the spotlight. She died in New York City on June 17, 2020.

Society and Religion

Constance Curry (86) activist, historian, and author and editor of five books, Curry was a bridge between black activists and white Southerners. She worked for Andrew Young, civil-rights-era leader and former mayor of Atlanta, and chronicled a black Mississippi family’s struggle against racism. As a white Southern woman working to end racial segregation in the ‘50s and ’60s, she at once stood out among black activists and, at least by appearances, blended in with white Southern society. Curry died of sepsis on June 20, 2020.


Jim Kiick (73) running back who helped the Miami Dolphins to achieve the NFL’s only perfect season in 1972. Kiick was part of a backfield that included his best friend, Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka. They earned the nicknames Butch and Sundance, inspired by the popular 1969 movie Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. Kiick (“Butch”) made the AFL All-Star team in his first two seasons and played on Miami’s back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams in 1972–73. He had two touchdowns for the ’72 Dolphins in the AFC championship game and scored in the Super Bowl victory that capped their 17-0 season under Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, who died May 4 at age 90. In his NFL heyday, Kiick and Mercury Morris split playing time with the Dolphins during the 1972–73 seasons, which gave Shula a potent one-two punch at halfback but sometimes led to second-guessing by fans. Kiick died of Alzheimer’s disease in Wilton Manors, Florida on June 20, 2020.

Max Tuerk (26) All-America offensive lineman at the University of Southern California who was drafted by the Chargers. Tuerk played for the Trojans from 2012–15. He was a freshman All-American and an All-Pac-12 first-team selection in 2014. The Chargers selected Tuerk in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft, but a knee injury during his senior year affected his progress. Despite making the Chargers’ roster, he was inactive all season. Before his second season, Tuerk was suspended for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He said he tested positive after taking over-the-counter supplements. After being released by the Chargers, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals in 2017 and played one game before being cut in ‘18. Tuerk died while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego, California on June 20, 2020.

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