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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, August 1, 2009

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Corazon C. Aquino, former president of the PhilippinesMerce Cunningham, US modern dancer and choreographerBill Anton, LA’s first Latino school superintendentDina Gottliebova Babbitt, Auschwitz artistGuido Felix Brinkmann, owner of NYC’s Adam’s Apple disco nightclubBen Brown, decorated Philadelphia police officerJoseph Burke, son of Windjammer Cruise founderPetty Officer Jonathan Campos, decorated US Navy seamanDr. Antonio De la Cruz, neurotologistGayatri Devi, former maharani of JaipurRev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter 2nd, aka “Reverend Ike”Florence Foster, Native American whistle-blowerBaatin, rapper who cofounded Slum VillageInola Henry, Democrat activistLois Hunt, half of singing duo with Earl WrightsonMarcey Jacobson, photographer who focused on Mexican IndiansJim Johnson, NFL assistant coachJoanne Jordan, ‘50s ‘spokesmodel’Kaori Kawamura, Japanese pop and rock singerJohn W. Kiermaier, broadcasting executiveJim King, former Florida Senate presidentErnest W. Lefever, international affairs specialistZhuo Lin, widow of Chinese leader Deng XiaopingDr. James C. Marsters, coinventor of phone teletypewriter for the deafOlga Méndez, former NY state legislatorStanley Middleton, British novelistSteven Miessner, “Keeper of Oscars”Theodore Nierenberg, founder of DanskBilly Post, last cowboy in Big SurSir Bobby Robson, English soccer coachTony Rosenthal, creator of public sculptureGeorge Russell, jazz composerNaomi Sims, pioneering black fashion modelMichael Steinberg, classical music critic and program annotatorJivan Tabibian, Armenian ambassadorEdna (“Tiny”) Tarbutton, Louisiana high school basketball coachPrincess Felicitas von Preussen, great-granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm IIPeter Zadek, German stage director

Art and Literature

Dina Gottliebova Babbitt (86) Czech-born Holocaust survivor, an artist forced to paint portraits of fellow prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp who later sought unsuccessfully to recover her artworks from a museum there. Babbitt died of cancer in Felton, California, near Santa Cruz, on July 29, 2009.

Marcey Jacobson (97) self-taught photographer from New York who spent decades in the southern Mexican highlands documenting the lives of the indigenous Indian peoples. Jacobson died of heart failure in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, in the state of Chiapas, on July 26, 2009.

Stanley Middleton (89) British novelist, nearly all of whose 44 novels were based in Nottingham, although he often called the town "Beechnall." Middleton was born in Nottingham and taught English at a local school (1947-81). His novel Holiday shared the 1974 Booker Prize with Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist. Middleton died of cancer a week short of his 90th birthday, in Nottingham, England on July 25, 2009.

Tony Rosenthal (94) sculptor who created Alamo, the popular revolving black cube in Astor Place in New York’s East Village, and many other public sculptures. Rosenthal died of a stroke in Southampton, New York on July 28, 2009.

Business and Science

Guido Felix Brinkmann (89) Holocaust survivor who used his German language skills to avoid execution four times at Poland’s Auschwitz gas chamber during World War II. Brinkmann later was cofounder and owner of the popular Adam’s Apple disco nightclub in New York in the ‘70s. He was found dead, lying face-down on his bed with his arms bound, apparently after being beaten to death, in his New York City apartment on July 30, 2009. Police were seeking two unidentified suspects in connection with his murder.

Joseph Burke (46) youngest son of nautical millionaire Capt. Mike Burke, best known as founder and owner of south Florida’s now-defunct Windjammer Barefoot Cruise. The younger Burke was the cruise line’s president and director until his resignation in 2008. The family business had suffered from financial woes in recent years and again was in the news when the elder Burke’s abandoned medieval Miami Beach castle spectacularly burned to the ground on July 17. Joseph Burke died in his sleep in Miami Beach, Florida on July 26, 2009.

Dr. Antonio De la Cruz (65) neurotologist at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles who performed cochlear implant surgery on conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh in 2001. De la Cruz died of lymphoma in Los Angeles, California on July 31, 2009.

Dr. James C. Marsters (85) Pasadena orthodontist, the last of three deaf men who codeveloped a teletypewriter in the ‘60s that opened up phone use to the deaf. With physicist Robert Weitbrecht (d. 1983) and engineer-businessman Andrew Saks (d. 1989), Marsters helped to create a modem in 1964 that linked a teletypewriter to traditional phone lines and converted audio tones into typed messages. Marsters died in Oakland, California on July 28, 2009.

Theodore Nierenberg (86) founder and president of Dansk International Designs, whose cookware, flatware, and dinnerware helped to bring the Scandinavian Modern style to the postwar American table. Nierenberg died of pancreatic cancer in Armonk, New York on July 31, 2009.


William R. (Bill) Anton (85) first Latino superintendent of schools (1990-92) in Los Angeles, who rose through the ranks. Anton filled a groundbreaking role in developing the district’s Title 1 program, at the time a new experimental effort to help low-income and minority students. His greatest accomplishment in the job, he said, was simply holding the district together in spite of a fiscal crisis that forced spending cuts of more than $1 billion during his tenure. He died in Los Angeles, California on July 28, 2009.

News and Entertainment

Merce Cunningham (90) American choreographer, among a handful of 20th-century figures to make dance a major art and a major form of theater. Cunningham ranked with Isadora Duncan, Serge Diaghilev, Martha Graham, and George Balanchine in making people rethink the essence of dance and choreography. In 1953 he founded his own dance company, still performing today, as shown above. British ballet teacher Richard Glasstone maintains that the three greatest dancers he ever saw were Fred Astaire, Dame Margot Fonteyn, and Cunningham, who died in New York City on July 26, 2009.

Titus (Baatin) Glover (35) rapper who cofounded the progressive hip-hop group Slum Village. Baatin, who left Slum Village around 2003, had said in interviews over the years that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He embarked on a solo career but reportedly had recently rejoined the group. He was found dead in Detroit, Michigan on August 1, 2009.

Lois Hunt (84) singer whose operatic lyric soprano blended with Earl Wrightson’s (d. 1993) baritone in a professional and personal partnership that lasted nearly 40 years and brought the classics of the American musical theater to audiences through concerts, tent musicals, and record albums. Hunt died of complications from open-heart surgery in New York City on July 26, 2009.

Joanne Jordan (88) one of the top spokesmodels on TV in the ‘50s, best known for touting "long-lasting” Hazel Bishop lipstick during commercial breaks on This Is Your Life. Jordan also was an actress and TV host. She died from complications of Parkinson’s disease in Calabasas, California on July 29, 2009.

Kaori Kawamura (38) Japanese pop and rock singer and antibreast cancer activist who started her professional singing career in 1988 at age 17 with her debut single "Zoo." In 2004, Kawamura spoke openly about her battle with breast cancer as she underwent surgery after being diagnosed. In 2008 she wrote on her blog that the cancer had spread to her lungs, lymph nodes, and bones. She died in Tokyo, Japan on July 28, 2009.

John W. Kiermaier (87) broadcasting executive who steered Channel 13, the New York City area’s major public TV station, through precarious financial times in the ‘60s. Kiermaier was president (1964-70) of what was then WNDT/Channel 13 (now WNET/Channel 13) and led efforts that won grants from organizations like the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the CBS network, where he had worked for five years. He died in Norwalk, Connecticut on July 27, 2009.

Steven Miessner (48) the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ "Keeper of the Oscars” who each year donned white gloves to get the golden statuettes ready for a worldwide audience. Miessner died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on July 29, 2009.

George Russell (86) jazz composer, a MacArthur fellow whose theories influenced the music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Russell wrote "Cubano Be/Cubano Bop” for Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra; it premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1947 and was the first fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz. He died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Boston, Massachusetts on July 27, 2009.

Naomi Sims (61) fashion model whose appearance as the first black model on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in November 1968 was a breakthrough event in the "Black Is Beautiful" movement. Sims later designed successful collections of wigs and cosmetics for black women. She died of cancer in Newark, New Jersey on August 1, 2009.

Michael Steinberg (80) classical music critic, teacher, lecturer, author, and concert program annotator. Steinberg was music critic for the Boston Globe for nearly 12 years, until 1976, when he became program annotator for the Boston Symphony, then artistic adviser of the San Francisco Symphony in ‘79 and the Minnesota Orchestra in ‘89. He died of colon cancer in Edina, Minnesota, outside Minneapolis, on July 26, 2009.

Peter Zadek (83) German stage director known for his provocative and unconventional staging of plays by William Shakespeare and Anton Chekhov, among others. Zadek was considered among the top German stage directors. He died overnight in Hamburg, Germany on July 30, 2009.

Politics and Military

Corazon C. Aquino (76) former Philippine president who led a 1986 uprising that ended the repressive regime of Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino fought off seven coup attempts in six years but struggled to meet high public expectations and left many of her closest allies disillusioned by the end of her term. She was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2008 and confined to a Manila hospital for more than a month. Her cancer had spread to other organs, and she was too weak to continue her chemotherapy. She died in Manila, Philippines on August 1, 2009.

Jonathan Campos (32) decorated US Navy seaman facing murder charges in connection with the June 30 shooting death of a gay Houston-based sailor, Seaman August Provost 3rd (29) during an apparent drug-fueled crime spree at a San Diego-based military camp. Campos was previously charged with 16 counts of criminal offenses stemming from Provost’s death, including drug use, larceny, burglary, theft, arson, and unlawful handling of a deceased individual, but Navy officials insisted there was no indication that the slaying was a hate crime. Campos was found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide by self-inflicted asphyxiation in Oceanside, California on July 31, 2009.

Gayatri Devi (90) former queen, or "maharani," of the western Indian desert kingdom of Jaipur, often described as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Devi became the third wife of Sawai Man Singh (d. 1970), the "maharaja” or ruler of Jaipur, in 1939. She also served three times as a national lawmaker in India. She was hospitalized for about 10 days with stomach and respiratory problems before she died, in Jaipur, India on July 29, 2009.

Inola Henry (66) Los Angeles educator, teachers’ union leader, and longtime Democrat Party activist on the local, state, and national levels. Henry was well known within the California Democrat Party as chairwoman of the resolutions committee, which reviews proposals to clarify the party’s position on an array of issues, including affirmative action, gay marriage, and the Iraq war. She died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on July 26, 2009.

Jim King (69) former Florida Senate president (2002-04) who fought Gov. Jeb Bush and his own Republican Party over Terri Schiavo’s right-to-die battle in 2005. King died of pancreatic cancer in Tallahassee, Florida on July 26, 2009.

Ernest W. Lefever (89) former international affairs specialist with the National Council of Churches, a staff consultant on foreign affairs to then-Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.), and a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution who founded the Ethics & Public Policy Center, a conservative public policy organization in Washington, DC, in 1976. Lefever suffered from Lewy body dementia, a progressive brain disorder, and died in New Oxford, Pennsylvania on July 29, 2009.

Zhuo Lin (93) widow of the late Chinese leader and economic reformer Deng Xiaoping (d. 1997). Zhuo was the third wife of Deng, who led China’s Communist Party from 1978 to the early ‘90s and guided the country’s capitalist economic reforms in the ‘80s. They married in 1939 and had five children. Zhuo died in Bejing, China on July 29, 2009.

Olga Méndez (84) first Puerto Rican woman elected to a state legislature in the mainland US. Méndez was a New York state senator for more than 20 years (1978-2004) and wielded tremendous political influence in the Hispanic community. She lost her seat after switching parties, from Democrat to Republican. She had been diagnosed with cancer and died in New York City on July 29, 2009.

Jivan Tabibian (71) Armenian ambassador to Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia (2000-05) who earlier co-owned the Remi restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif. Tabibian died of heart failure in Vienna, Austria on July 31, 2009.

Society and Religion

Benjamin Franklin Brown (79) decorated Philadelphia police officer and plainclothesman for 26 years who later did security work for hotels and entertainment venues. Brown died of pancreatic cancer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 29, 2009.

Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter 2nd (74) minister who preached the gospel of material prosperity to millions nationwide as Reverend Ike. At his United Church Science of Living Institute, a former movie theater in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, Reverend Ike preached the power of what he called "positive self-image psychology” to his 5,000 parishioners. In the ‘70s, he was one of the first evangelists to reach an audience of millions through TV. He suffered a stroke in 2007 and never fully recovered. He died in Los Angeles, California on July 28, 2009.

Florence Foster (68) electronics technician who in 1987 blew the whistle on a small Los Angeles-area outpost of Northrop Corp., which led to a massive criminal case involving the falsification of tests on cruise missiles. A direct descendant of a 19th-century Potawatomi chief, in 2001 Foster (in full tribal attire) waved to Rose Parade crowds from a float honoring "The First Americans." She died of renal failure in Covina, California on July 30, 2009.

Billy Post (88) last cowboy in Big Sur. Post was a direct descendant of one of the early settlers of El Sur Grande, the 19th-century name for the coastal wilderness south of Monterey. He herded cows, built roads, trapped bobcats, and sold the fur. When, in 1992, a chunk of Post land became the exclusive Post Ranch Inn, he settled in as resident sage and nature guide, charming guests with his tales of Big Sur in the frontier era. He died of cardiac failure in Monterey, California on July 26, 2009.

Princess Felicitas von Preussen (75) great-granddaughter of the last German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The princess died in Wohltorf, Germany, near Hamburg, on August 1, 2009.


Jim Johnson (68) NFL assistant coach whose attacking defenses helped the Philadelphia Eagles to one Super Bowl appearance and five NFC title games. A veteran of 22 years as an NFL assistant, Johnson was regarded as one of the top defensive minds in the league, known for building units able to pressure the quarterback from every angle. He died of spinal cancer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 28, 2009.

Sir Bobby Robson (76) knighted (2002) ambassador of English soccer who coached his country to the 1990 World Cup semifinals and won trophies in four countries. Robson died of cancer in County Durham, northeast England, on July 31, 2009.

Edna (Tiny) Tarbutton (87) girls’ basketball coach who set national records at Baskin (La.) High School in the ‘40s and ’50s. Under Tarbutton, Baskin set a national record with 218 consecutive victories (1947-53); that is still a record for organized sports, according to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, to which she was named in 2005. Her teams won nine state titles, eight in a row. Tarbutton ended her 33-year coaching career in 1977 with a record of 654-263-2, all at Baskin. She died in West Monroe, Louisiana on July 26, 2009.

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