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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, December 12, 2020

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Dick Allen, Phillies All-Star sluggerHarold Budd, minimalist composer and musicianLawrence M. Byrne, NYPD lawyer, right, and his brother, EdwardBetty Campbell-Adams, cofounder of Lloyd's Carrot CakeNatalie Desselle, comic actressRichard Hinch, speaker of New Hampshire House of RepresentativesJohn le Carré, former British spy turned novelistPhil Linz, right, Yankees 'supersub,' with manager Yogi BerraTommy Lister, wrestler turned actorAdål Maldonado, Puerto Rican photographerAlex Olmedo, tennis championRay Perkins, Alabama receiver and coachCharley Pride, black country music starNancye Radmin, founded Forgotten Woman, plus-size boutiqueDennis Ralston, tennis championAnn Reinking, Broadway and film dancer and choreographerJoseph Safra, Brazi's richest personPaul Sarbanes, former Maryland congressman and senatorDoug Scott, part of first British team to climb Mount EverestJack Steinberger, Nobe Prize winner in physicsBryan Sykes, British geneticistDr. Tabaré Vázquez, former president of UruguayDame Barbara Windsor, British actress, star of 'Carry On' films and 'EastEnders'Ralph K. Winter Jr., legal scholar and judgeBrig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, first pilot to break sound barrier

Art and Literature

John le Carré (89) spy-turned-novelist whose elegant narratives defined the Cold War espionage thriller and brought acclaim to a genre critics had once ignored. In classics such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Honourable Schoolboy, Le Carré combined terse prose with the kind of complexity expected in literary fiction. His books grappled with betrayal, moral compromise, and the psychological toll of a secret life. In the quiet, watchful spymaster George Smiley, he created one of 20th-century fiction’s iconic characters—a decent man at the heart of a web of deceit. Le Carré died of pneumonia in Cornwall, southwest England on December 12, 2020. His death was not related to COVID-19.

Adål Maldonado (72) Puerto Rican photographer and artistic provocateur who explored the psychological and cultural fallout of the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York. Maldonado’s primary subject was identity, a concept that for him was constantly shifting depending on his circumstances. When he was a teenager, he moved with his family from their home in the Puerto Rican countryside to New Jersey, then to the Bronx. The experience left him with a sense of displacement that became the driving theme of his art and made him a quintessential “Nuyorican”—one who straddles New York and Puerto Rico and feels at home in neither. For more than 45 years Maldonado worked in multiple media across various genres. His works include photo novellas—small photo storybooks with titles like I Was a Schizophrenic Mambo Dancer for the FBI. His La Mambopera (2006), a musical play, incorporates elements from film noir and science fiction in portraying a dark future in which Latin music is banned. Maldonado used the camera both to document reality and to distort it. He died of pancreatic cancer in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 9, 2020.


Business and Science

Betty Campbell-Adams (65) with her husband—and the help of his Caribbean grandmother’s secret carrot cake recipe—Campell-Adams founded Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, a Bronx institution that has become internationally renowned for its New York delicacy. The story of Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, which occupies a little storefront in Riverdale that emits ambrosial aromas, is a tale of humble beginnings, lots of cinnamon and butter, family, and heartbreak. Campbell-Adams, who took over the business and expanded it after her husband died in 2007, was the entrepreneurial force and personality who ensured the cake’s legacy as a sweet New York staple known to fans around the world. Campbell-Adams died of a heart attack in Mount Vernon, New York on December 11, 2020.

Nancye Radmin (82) pioneer of plus-size fashion who for 20 years ran an upscale chain of stores, the Forgotten Woman, that served a group of women who had otherwise been overlooked by high fashion. For most of her life, Radmin hovered around a size 8 and preferred wearing fine fabrics like cashmere and jacquard. But by her second pregnancy, in 1976, she had gained 80 pounds and was a size 16. When she went shopping at her favorite stores in Manhattan for new clothes, she was shocked to find that there were only polyester pants and boxy sweaters in her size. In 1977 she opened the Forgotten Woman, a boutique stocked with the kind of upscale clothes she wanted to wear, at 888 Lexington Avenue on the fashionable Upper East Side. The store’s name was a reference to her clientele, women who wore larger sizes than most fashion designers manufactured—and, perhaps, to a culture that overlooked them, too. By 1991 she had 25 shops around the country, with annual sales of $40 million. Radmin died in Lakeland, Florida on December 8, 2020.

Joseph Safra (82) former immigrant from Lebanon who became Brazil’s richest person and one of the most successful bankers in the world through a lifetime of deal-making. Safra emigrated to Brazil with his father, Jacob, after World War II and with his family, including his brothers Edmond and Moise, built a private banking empire that reached from São Paulo to Geneva to NewYork. Banco Safra is Brazil’s eighth largest private bank. Its two offshoots are Safra National Bank of New York and the J. Safra Sarasin bank in Switzerland. He also held a stake in the banana firm Chiquita Brands International and owned the “Gherkin” skyscraper in London’s financial district besides 660 Madison Ave., the home of Barneys New York at East 61st Street in Manhattan. In 2006 Joseph Safra paid a reported $2.5 billion for his brother Moise’s 50 per cent stake in Banco Safra, cementing his control of the family business. Conservative but strategic, Safra surprised many in 2011 when he bought the venerable Swiss bank Sarasin (founded in 1841), doubling his assets under management. He died of Parkinson’s disease in São Paulo, Brazil on December 10, 2020.

Jack Steinberger (99) shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics for expanding understanding of the neutrino, a ubiquitous subatomic particle. The ancient Greeks proposed that there was one invisible, indivisible unit of matter: the atom. But modern physics has found more than 100 smaller entities lurking within atoms, and observations of their interactions compose the Standard Model of what is now taken to be the order of the universe. The neutrino’s existence was first proposed in 1931 to fill holes in a theory about the makeup of the universe, but finding one proved difficult. It has no electrical charge, travels at nearly the speed of light, and has almost no mass. Each second, trillions of neutrinos pass unimpeded through every human being. Not until 1956—when ways to smash atoms and examine the debris were developed—was one detected. In 1962 Steinberger joined with two fellow Columbia University physicists, Melvin Schwartz and Leon M. Lederman, to show that two types of neutrinos existed. Sternberger died in Geneva, Switzerland on December 12, 2020.

Bryan Sykes (73) Oxford geneticist who made his name as a public intellectual by studying the DNA of an alpine iceman, taking on ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl’s theory about the peopling of Polynesia, and analyzing samples said to come from yetis, almas, and sasquatches but which, he showed, actually came from bears, pigs, and people—a disappointing result for Bigfoot hunters that didn’t keep one of them from naming him cryptozoologist of the year in 2013. A researcher specializing in inherited bone diseases who was drawn into the burgeoning field of ancient DNA in the late ‘80s, Sykes had a hunch that mitochondrial DNA, which passes largely intact from mother to child, could be used to trace the deep origins of human populations. Sykes died in Edinburgh, Scotland on December 10, 2020.


Law

Lawrence M. Byrne (61) as top lawyer for the New York Police Department, Byrne defended several hotly disputed police policies and kept alive the legacy of his brother, a rookie police officer who was executed by a drug gang. Lawrence Byrne had a varied legal career. He served in private practice as a corporate defense lawyer, as a federal prosecutor, and as manager of legal affairs for the nation’s largest local police force. But he was perhaps best known to the public because of the gangland killing of his younger brother, Edward, in 1988. The same week that Lawrence Byrne reported to work as an assistant US attorney in the Southern District, Edward (22) was shot in the head five times on the orders of a jailed drug dealer as he sat in a marked police car in Queens, guarding the home of a key witness who was due to testify in a drug trial. The killing attracted national attention and came to symbolize the brazen reach of the ‘80s crack epidemic and the rampant lawlessness of that era. Larry Byrne died of renal failure in New York City on December 6, 2020.

Ralph K. Winter Jr. (85) conservative legal scholar whose work as a professor at Yale Law School and later as an appellate court judge changed the shape of campaign finance law and corporate governance. Although he graduated from law school in 1960, Winter did not take the bar exam until ‘73, after one of his former students, John R. Bolton, asked him to work on a case against Francis R. Valeo, a member of the Federal Election Commission, that was on its way to the Supreme Court. It was Winter's first-ever legal case, and he won it. The lawsuit, brought by Sen. James L. Buckley of New York, Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota, and several civil liberties organizations, contended that the Federal Election Campaign Act placed unconstitutional limits on free speech, a position Winter had written about in his book Watergate & the Law: Political Campaigns & Presidential Power (1974). In a landmark decision in 1976, the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the act and set the stage for a steady rollback of campaign finance laws in the decades that followed. Winter died of esophageal cancer in Guilford, Connecticut on December 8, 2020.


News and Entertainment

Harold Budd (84) minimalist composer and musician. Starting in the ‘60s, the Los Angeles native drew from Minimalism, free jazz, and ambient music to craft meditative work that moved like a Pacific breeze. Across a 50-year creative run, Budd worked with artists including visionary musician and producer Brian Eno, Scottish dream-pop group the Cocteau Twins, XTC’s Andy Partridge, producer and musician Daniel Lanois, British synth-pop innovator John Foxx, and French producer-musician Hector Zazou. Earlier this year Budd’s solo work helped to score the HBO drama I Know This Much Is True. Living mostly in southern California—with a few years in London—he composed, taught, and performed works that from the start rejected the jarring, busy approach to then-contemporary experimental music. Budd died of COVID-19 in Los Angeles, California on December 8, 2020.

Natalie Desselle (53) whose comedic talents helped to make the 1997 movie BAPS, a campy classic for a generation of fans, and later starred in the ensemble cast of the early 2000s TV show Eve. Known for her comedic timing onscreen and upbeat attitude offscreen, Desselle began her acting career in the ‘90s, when opportunities for plus-size actors were limited but beginning to expand. In 1996 she made a guest appearance in one episode of the family-friendly sitcom Family Matters and had a role in the women-led action movie Set It Off. In 1997 she appeared as Halle Berry’s sidekick in the movie BAPS, a fish-out-of-water comedy that helped to define Desselle’s career for the next 20 years. She played Mickey, and Berry played Nisi—two Georgia women with big hair, big egos, and even bigger dreams of achieving stardom as dancers in California. But their plans are derailed when they wind up working for an older, rich white man in Beverly Hills. The movie, whose title stands for Black American Princesses, was more popular with fans than with critics. Desselle died of colon cancer in Los Angeles, California on December 7, 2020.

Tommy Lister (62) former professional wrestler known for his bullying Deebo character in the Friday films. Lister started his career as a pro wrestler, standing 6-feet-5 with broad shoulders at about 275 pounds. His early roles included the HBO football series 1st & Ten, along with movie appearances in Beverly Hills Cop II, which starred Eddie Murphy, and No Holds Barred, the 1989 film where his character Zeus challenged Hulk Hogan in a wrestling match. The actor, who was blind in his right eye since birth, wrestled Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation in an actual match after the film's release. He also had a short stint in World Championship Wrestling under the name Z-Gangsta. But Lister’s most notable role came in the 1995 film Friday and its sequel five years later. He portrayed Deebo, a felon known as the neighborhood bully who terrorized his neighbors with intimidation and fear. Lister was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year. He overcame the virus but became sick about a week ago and recently had trouble breathing. He was found dead in Marina Del Rey, California on December 10, 2020.

Charley Pride (86) wasn’t country music’s first black artist, but he reached heights that had not been available to early black singers and musicians in the genre. And he did it by winning over millions of country music fans. While Pride’s career path was paved by artists like Grand Ole Opry pioneer DeFord Bailey, the Grammy winner’s success put him on par with his white peers, including Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, and Merle Haggard in a way that had never been afforded to black artists before. Pride’s hits include “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone?” The pride of Sledge, Mississippi was the son of a sharecropper who initially turned to sports as a way to a better life. Pride was a pitcher and outfielder in the Negro American League with the Memphis Red Sox and in the Pioneer League in Montana. After playing minor league baseball, he ended up in Helena, Montana, where he worked in a zinc smelting plant by day and played country music in nightclubs at night. Baseball was Pride’s first success, but it was the Grand Ole Opry that his father insisted everyone listen to on their home radio that proved to be his lasting legacy. Pride died of COVID-19 in Dallas, Texas on December 12, 2020.

Ann Reinking (71) Tony Award-winning choreographer, actress, and Bob Fosse collaborator who helped to spread a muscular hybrid of jazz and burlesque dancing to Broadway and beyond. Trained as a ballet dancer, Reinking was known for her bold style of dance epitomized by her work in the revival of the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago, complete with net stockings, chair dancing, and plenty of pelvic thrusts. Reinking costarred as Roxie Hart along with Bebe Neuwirth’s Velma Kelly and created the choreography in the style of Fosse, the show’s original director and choreographer who died in 1987. Her movie credits include Annie (1982), Movie, Movie (1978), and the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom (2005), which portrayed her as a ballroom-dance competition judge for New York kids. She died in her sleep while visiting family in Seattle, Washington on December 12, 2020.

Dame Barbara Windsor (83) star of the Carry On films and the long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders, whose staccato laugh and ability to portray working-class life seared her into Britain’s collective memory. In a sign of the impact Windsor had on Britain’s cultural life over the last 60 years, members of the royal family were among those who paid tribute on social media, as was Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Windsor also had an impact in the US, albeit briefly, when she appeared on Broadway in 1964 in Oh! What a Lovely War, Joan Littlewood’s music-hall-style show that used irreverent songs from World War I to mock the absurdity of conflict. Windsor died of Alzheimer’s disease in England on December 10, 2020.


Politics and Military

Richard Hinch (71) Republican sworn in as speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on December 2. Hinch was looking forward to a productive legislative session. After two years of Democrats running the state’s House and Senate, Republicans had taken back both in November and held the governor’s office, giving the party total control over state government. They moved quickly to overturn Democrat rules, voting to allow lawmakers to carry concealed firearms on the House floor and to eliminate a requirement that members attend antisexual harassment training. Those were among the first acts of business that Hinch presided over in public as speaker, and they were also among the last. He died a week into his term at his home in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on December 9, 2020. A heated battle erupted in Concord, the capital, over who was to blame for his death.

Paul Sarbanes (87) former senator who represented Maryland for 30 years in the US Senate as a leader of financial regulatory reform and drafted the first article of impeachment against Republican President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal as a congressman. Sarbanes, who retired from the Senate in 2006 and served six years as a US representative, was a Democrat known for avoiding the spotlight while quietly pursuing liberal goals. He entered politics in 1966 with a successful run for Maryland’s House of Delegates before reaching Congress in ’70. As a House member, he was chosen by fellow Democrats to introduce an article of impeachment for obstruction of justice against Nixon. Sarbanes died in Baltimore, Maryland on December 6, 2020.

Dr. Tabaré Vázquez (80) former Uruguayan president who began 15 years of leftist leadership and continued to practice as a physician while in office. Both Vázquez’s parents and a sister died of cancer, motivating him to make that his medical specialty. As president, he battled tobacco companies and imposed one of the strictest antismoking regulations in the world. The election of Lacalle Pou, of the center-right National Party, marked the end of a 15-year streak in the presidency for the Broad Front, a coalition of leftist parties. Vázquez himself had started that run in 2005, when his alliance defeated the two traditional center-right parties that had long dominated Uruguayan politics. He was one of several left-leaning politicians who took power in Latin America at the time. Entering office on the heels of an economic crisis, Vázquez pursued market-friendly reforms while promoting social welfare programs, including a plan to give all public-school students free laptops and the expansion of pensions and public health care. He turned Uruguay into the first Latin American country to prohibit smoking indoors, part of an antitobacco crusade that led cigarette maker Philip Morris to file a lawsuit against the country at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in 2010. Uruguay won the suit in 2016. Vázquez died of lung cancer in Montevideo, Uruguay on December 6, 2020.

Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager (97) retired World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who showed he had the “right stuff” when in 1947 he became the first person to fly faster than sound. Yeager, from a small town in the hills of West Virginia, flew for more than 60 years, including piloting an F-15 to near 1,000 mph at Edwards Air Force Base in October 2002 at age 79. On October 14, 1947, Yeager, then a 24-year-old captain, pushed an orange, bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocket plane past 660 mph to break the sound barrier, at the time a daunting aviation milestone. He said he could have gone even faster if the plane had carried more fuel. Yeager died in Los Angeles, California on December 7, 2020.


Sports

Dick Allen (78) hit the ball so hard, fans in Philadelphia started showing up at batting practice during his rookie season just to watch him hammer shots over the Coca-Cola sign atop the left-center field roof at Connie Mack Stadium. The attention, Allen got that early; the rightful acclaim, sadly, he had to wait for much longer. He was a seven-time All-Star slugger whose fight against racism during a tumultuous time with the Phillies in the ‘60s cost him on and off the field. His No. 15 was retired by the team last September, an honor considered way overdue by many for one of the franchise’s greatest players. Phillies managing partner John Middleton broke from the team’s longstanding “unwritten” policy of retiring only the number of players who are in the Hall of Fame to honor Allen. In 2014 Allen fell one vote short of Cooperstown in a Hall committee election. He died after a lengthy illness in Wampum, Pennsylvania on December 7, 2020.

Phil Linz (81) played on three World Series teams with the Yankees in the ‘60s and spent seven seasons in the major leagues. But Linz was remembered mostly for playing the harmonica. He was usually a fill-in at shortstop, third or second base, and occasionally in the outfield, bringing him the nickname Supersub. But in the summer of 1964 he briefly became a baseball celebrity of sorts. On the afternoon of August 20, the Yankees were on the team bus heading to O’Hare Airport in Chicago for a flight to Boston to play the Red Sox after losing four straight games to the White Sox while in a tight pennant race. Linz was sitting at the rear of the bus practicing on a harmonica he had bought earlier on the road trip. It came with a learner’s sheet, and the first tune was “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Manager Yogi Berra, seated up front, was hardly in the mood for frivolity in view of the Yankees’ slump and shouted toward the back of the bus, “Shove that harmonica up!” New York sportswriters on the trip filed stories about the episode. Two weeks later Hohner, the company that had manufactured the offending harmonica, offered Linz $10,000 to endorse its brand. Linz died in Leesburg, Virginia, where he was being treated for Parkinson’s disease and dementia, on December 9, 2020.

Alex Olmedo (84) won the Wimbledon and Australian Championships singles titles in 1959 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in ’87. Olmedo was born in Peru in 1936 and moved to the US as a teenager. He went to the University of Southern California, where he won NCAA tennis championships in singles and doubles in both 1956 and ’58. He played in the Davis Cup for the US and led the team to the trophy in 1958, when he also paired with Ham Richardson to win the doubles title at the US National Championships, the tournament now known as the US Open. That was followed by Olmedo’s historic 1959 season, which, besides a victory over Rod Laver in the Wimbledon final and his triumph at the tournament now called the Australian Open, included a run to the final at the US National Championships. That was when Grand Slam tournaments were closed to professional players. Olmedo turned pro in 1960. He died of brain cancer in Los Angeles, California on December 9, 2020.

Ray Perkins (79) former Alabama receiver who replaced Bear Bryant as the Crimson Tide’s coach and started the transition with the New York Giants that led to two Super Bowl titles. Perkins left a head coaching job with the NFL’s Giants to replace Bryant after the 1982 season. It was a dream job for the former Crimson Tide star receiver. Perkins won three bowl games at Alabama and was 32-15-1, but he also went 5-6 in 1984. It was the program’s first losing season since 1957, the year before the school hired Bryant. Perkins also was athletic director during that period. An All-America receiver at Alabama in 1966, he played professionally for the Baltimore Colts from 1967–71. While he had only a 23-34 regular-season mark with the Giants, he started a turnaround for the organization before leaving in 1981. Perkins led the team to its first postseason berth since 1963. He had suffered heart problems in recent years and died in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on December 9, 2020.

Dennis Ralston (78) five-time Grand Slam doubles champion, one of the first players signed to the professional World Championship Tennis tour in the ‘60s and a member of the sport’s Hall of Fame. As a singles player, Ralston lost to Spain’s Manuel Santana in three sets in the 1966 Wimbledon final. He reached the semifinals at the 1960 US national championships and the ‘70 Australian Open. He was considered the highest-ranked American player for three years in the ‘60s, long before the sport’s computerized rankings system began. But Ralston found his greatest success in doubles. He paired with Rafael Osuna of Mexico to win Wimbledon in 1960 as a 17-year-old. Ralston and fellow American Chuck McKinley won titles at the US national championships in 1961, ’63, and ’64. Ralston died of cancer in Austin, Texas on December 6, 2020.

Doug Scott (79) part of the first British team to climb Mount Everest in 1975. Scott was perhaps most famous for being the first to climb, along with his Scottish partner, Dougal Haston, Everest’s southwest face in 1975. The southwest face of the world’s highest mountain is widely regarded as one of the greatest challenges in mountaineering because of its length and exposure to high winds. At the time, Queen Elizabeth II congratulated the team on a “magnificent achievement.” Haston was killed in an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland at age 36 in 1977. Scott came close to death that year too, when he broke both legs while abseiling from the peak of The Ogre, a relatively uncharted peak in the Himalayas. He effectively crawled to base camp supported by two teammates, Mo Anthoine and Clive Rowland. Scott died of cerebral lymphoma in Cumbria, England. on December 7, 2020.


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