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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, December 16, 2017

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Simeon Booker, pioneering black journalistBruce Brown, surfing filmmaker of 'Endless Summer'Pete Brown, helped to form Cincinnati Bengals franchiseMax Clifford, British public relations agentPat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter for SmithereensCharles Jenkins, US Army deserter to North KoreaVera Katz, three-term mayor of Portland, Ore.Ed Lee, San Francisco's first Asian-American mayorTommy Nobis, first draft pick of Atlanta FalconsRoy Reed, Arkansas journalist who covered civil rights movement for NY TimesRabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, Israeli spiritual leaderZarley Zalapski, Canadian hockey defenseman


Max Clifford (74) once the highest-profile public relations agent in Britain. Clifford was found guilty in 2014 of eight indecent assaults on women and girls between 1977–85. He was the first person convicted as a result of Operation Yewtree, a British police investigation begun after it emerged that entertainer Jimmy Savile (died 2011) had been a serial sexual predator for years. Police officers questioned many current and former celebrities over accusations of abuse dating back years, and several other prominent figures were jailed. As a publicist, Clifford represented a roster of world-famous clients, including Muhammad Ali and O. J. Simpson. But he made his name from scandal, with exposés of extramarital affairs that brought down at least one British government minister and filled the pages of tabloid newspapers in Britain and elsewhere for decades. Clifford died of a heart attack in a hospital after collapsing twice at the prison in Cambridgeshire, England where he was serving an eight-year sentence for sexual offenses against victims as young as 15, on December 10, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Simeon Booker (99) trail-blazing black journalist and the first full-time black reporter at the Washington Post. Booker served for decades as Washington bureau chief for the iconic black publications Jet, a weekly, and Ebony, a monthly. He was credited with bringing to national prominence the 1955 death of Emmett Till, the 14-year old black boy whose brutal murder in Mississippi became a galvanizing point for the nascent civil rights movement. Booker's article included an open-casket picture of Till's mangled face that shocked the nation. Booker had recently been hospitalized for pneumonia and died in Solomons, Maryland on December 10, 2017.

Pat DiNizio (62) lead singer and songwriter for the New Jersey band the Smithereens, known for such hits as “Blood & Roses” and “A Girl Like You.” The Smithereens peaked in the late ‘80s–early ‘90s but continued to tour and record, their more recent albums including 2011 and The Smithereens Play Tommy. DiNizio helped to form the Smithereens in 1980. Influenced by everyone from Buddy Holly to the Clash, the band blended catchy melodies and grinding guitars on “A Girl Like You,” “Only a Memory,” and other songs. Their breakthrough came in 1986 when “Blood & Roses” was featured in the movie Dangerously Close and the song's video was aired on MTV. DiNizio was receiving physical therapy for neck and back injuries when he died in Scotch Plains, New Jersey on December 12, 2017.

Roy Reed (87) journalist who covered key events during the civil rights movement for the New York Times before returning to his native Arkansas to write and teach. After stints at the Joplin (Missouri) Globe and the Arkansas Gazette, Reed reported on the civil rights movement during the ‘60s for the Times. In 1965 he witnessed what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers and others beat black marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Reed suffered a severe stroke on December 9 and died the next night at a Fayetteville, Arkansas hospital, on December 10, 2017.

Politics and Military

Charles Jenkins (77) US Army deserter to North Korea who married a Japanese abductee and lived in Japan after their release. From Rich Square, North Carolina, Jenkins disappeared in January 1965 while on patrol along the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea. He later called his desertion a mistake that led to decades of deprivation and hardship in the Communist country. Jenkins was found collapsed outside his home in Sado, northern Japan, rushed to a hospital, and later pronounced dead of heart failure, on December 11, 2017.

Vera Katz (84) Jewish refugee elected to three terms (1993–2005) as Portland, Oregon's mayor who helped to transform it from a sleepy backwater into a trendy city known for its public transit, ecoconscious design, and live-work architecture style. Katz was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and an aggressive form of uterine cancer in ’04. Treatment was successful but left her reliant on dialysis three times a week for 13 years. Earlier this month she was diagnosed with acute leukemia. She died in Portland, Oregon on December 11, 2017.

Ed Lee (65) San Francisco's first Asian-American mayor who oversaw a technology-driven economic boom in the city that brought with it sky-high housing prices. Lee was appointed mayor by the Board of Supervisors in 2011, replacing Gavin Newsom, who was elected the state's lieutenant governor. Lee later won a four-year term in 2011 and was reelected in ’15. He was a civil rights lawyer who became city administrator before taking over as mayor. He was a staunch supporter of the city's sanctuary city policy toward illegal immigrants, a stance he reiterated in November when a Mexican man who had been repeatedly deported was acquitted of murder in the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle. The case became a flashpoint in the nation's immigration debate. Lee was an advocate for the poor, but detractors claimed he catered too much to Silicon Valley, citing his brokering of a tax break in 2011 to benefit Twitter as part of a remake of the city's downtown. Housing prices have surged in San Francisco, with modest homes now topping $1.5 million, and Lee faced criticism for not doing more to provide affordable housing for the working class. He died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack in San Francisco, California on December 12, 2017.

Society and Religion

Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman (104) spiritual leader of Israel's non-Hassidic ultra-Orthodox Jews of European descent. Shteinman was one of Israel's most influential rabbis and a political king-maker whose orders were strictly followed by his representatives in parliament. After the 2012 death of his predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Shteinman was widely regarded as “Gadol Hador,” or “leader of the generation.” He fell ill weeks ago and died of a heart attack in Jerusalem, Israel on December 12, 2017.


Bruce Brown (80) filmmaker who molded the modern image of surfer as seeker and transformed the sport with his 1966 surfing documentary The Endless Summer. Along with the music of the Beach Boys, Brown took surfing from a quirky hobby to a fundamental part of American culture. Surfers had largely been portrayed as beach blanket buffoons in the mindless party movies of the early ‘60s. Then came Brown and The Endless Summer, a soulful story of surfers on a quest for fulfillment—an image that became emblazoned on the cultural psyche. Brown, who took up surfing in the early ‘50s, had made five other documentaries about the sport. He died in Santa Barbara, California on December 10, 2017.

Pete Brown (74) helped to form the Cincinnati Bengals franchise and served in the team's personnel department. Pete Brown was the son of Paul Brown and the younger brother of Mike Brown. He was part of the team's player personnel department since its founding in the ‘60s. He also developed a strength-training business called Hammer Strength. Unlike his famous father and his outspoken brother, Pete Brown stayed behind the scenes and declined interviews. Mike Brown, now 82, took over running the franchise when Paul Brown died in 1991. Pete Brown died in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 12, 2017.

Tommy Nobis (74) first player ever drafted by Atlanta in 1966 and a hard-hitting linebacker who spent his entire 11-year career with the Falcons. Nobis had been in poor health with physical and cognitive ailments that may have been related to his football career. He was among hundreds of ex-players who were part of a plan that reimburses them for expenses related to the treatment of dementia, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig's disease, or other neurological disorders. He also was among the plaintiffs who settled a massive concussion lawsuit against the league. After being drafted out of Texas with the first overall pick by the expansion Falcons, Nobis was picked as rookie of the year and earned the first of five Pro Bowl selections. He died in Atlanta, Georgia on December 13, 2017

Zarley Zalapski (49) former NHL defenseman. A native of Edmonton, Canada, Zalapski played 637 NHL games for Calgary, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Montreal, and Philadelphia from 1987–2000. He was with the Flames from 1993–98. Zalapski was a member of the Canadian team that finished fourth in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He had 99 goals, 285 assists, and 684 penalty minutes in the NHL. He was named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and participated in the NHL All-Star Game in ’93. Zalapski played stints in Austria and Switzerland after his NHL career and appeared in 11 games for the United Hockey League's Kalamazoo Wings in 2004-05. He was the fourth overall pick by the Penguins in the 1986 entry draft. He died in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on December 12, 2017.

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