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Life In Legacy - Week ending November 18, 2006

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Ruth Brown, R&B singerMilton Friedman, Nobel-winning economistBo Schembechler, legendary Michigan coachSteve Benbow, British folk guitaristRudy Bladel, railroad killerMarcus Cassel, former UCLA football playerCurtis Cate, expatriate American biographerBetty Dick, fought park serviceFrank Durkan, defender of Irish nationalistsRobert Fennell, Broadway press agentEd Foley, father of disgraced congressmanKonrad Fuchs, oldest priest in the worldMaurice Graham, King of the HobosEric Grammas, actor and singerGary Graver, cinematographerGeoff Griffin, South African cricketerAlphonse Halimi, former boxing championSidney Kosasa, founder of ABC StoresBill Larson, founder of Round Table PizzaWolf Leslau, Ethiopian expertYuri Levada, Russian sociologistEustace Lycett, Disney special effects engineerJack Macpherson, southern California legendHarvey Manning, conservationistMichele Maxian, Legal Aid lawyerRobert B. McCurry, inventor of car rebatesBruno Menicucci, former mayor of Reno, Nev.Mario Merola, Neapolitan singerManuel D. Moreno, former bishopBertrand Poirot-Delpech, French writerApichart Puapimon, Thai actorMark Purdey, British farmerFerenc Puskas, Hungarian soccer starAthalie Range, Florida public servantAna Carolina Reston, anorexic Brazilian modelPaul Rigby, Australian editorial cartoonistPablo Shilton, Argentine actorGen. Jacob E. Smart, WWII strategistJoseph Ungaro, Rhode Island journalistRobert V. West Jr., founder of Tesoro Petroleum Corp.Harold Robert White, disgraced Denver priestH. Donald Wilson, business consultantDavid K. Wyatt, Southeast Asia authority

Art and Literature

Bertrand Poirot-Delpech (77) journalist, writer, and member of France's prestigious Academie Francaise. A prolific novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic, Poirot-Delpech got his start at the French daily Le Monde in 1951. He died in Paris, France on November 14, 2006.

Paul Rigby (82) award-winning cartoonist for the New York Post and the New York Daily News who first made his name on the editorial pages of Australian dailies. With jam-packed, detailed images and often caustic wit, Rigby offered his outrageous take on politics and the day's gossipy events. He died of a heart attack in Busselton, Australia on November 15, 2006.

Business and Science

Sidney Kosasa (86) founder of the ABC Stores chain of convenience stores catering to tourists, selling beach gear, food, souvenirs, and local apparel. Kosasa opened his first ABC Stores in 1964 and eventually expanded to 55 storefronts in Hawaii, eight in Guam, two in Saipan, and six in Las Vegas. He died in his sleep in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 17, 2006.

Bill Larson (73) founder of Round Table Pizza. In 1959 Larson borrowed $1,800 and opened his first pizza parlor in Menlo Park, California. He named the restaurant Round Table after the redwood tables he and his father built. Today the chain has more than 500 restaurants, and the company is wholly owned by employees through a stock ownership plan. Larson died of cancer in Palo Alto, California on November 15, 2006.

Robert B. McCurry (83) inventor of the concept of cash rebates while an executive at Chrysler who later became one of the most prominent Americans at a Japanese car company. The rebate campaign was introduced on January 12, 1975, during Super Bowl IX, in ads that featured sportscaster Joe Garagiola. McCurry later joined Toyota, where he encouraged a mass-market sales approach. He died of prostate cancer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on November 13, 2006.

Mark Purdey (52) maverick British farmer who argued that bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was caused by chemicals, not contaminated cattle feed. Purdey's efforts to challenge the government, the chemical industry, and the British scientific establishment, although unavailing, were widely admired. He died of a brain tumor in England on November 12, 2006.

Robert V. West Jr. (85) business executive who built Tesoro Petroleum Corporation from a small regional firm into one of the nation's largest independent oil producers. West, who took his company public to pay off debts to two banks, was the first to create and head a San Antonio-based company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He died of respiratory failure in San Antonio, Texas on November 16, 2006.

H. Donald Wilson (82) business consultant under whose leadership the commercial database service LexisNexis introduced electronic research to law firms and news organizations. Wilson was the first president (1969-73) of Mead Data Central, which developed LexisNexis, a database of information for law firms, businesses, libraries, and the news industry. He died of a heart attack in front of his computer in Mitchellville, Maryland on November 12, 2006.


Curtis Cate (82) American biographer who chronicled the lives of several well-known European writers, among them Nietzsche, George Sand, and André Malraux. Cate was born in Paris in 1924 to transplanted American parents. He died of melanoma in Paris, France, where he had lived for most of his life, on November 16, 2006.

Ed Foley (85) longtime educator and father of former US Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.). Ed Foley was a teacher and principal who frequently campaigned on his son's behalf. Mark Foley recently resigned from Congress when, in the waning weeks of his campaign for reelection, he was confronted with sexually explicit messages he had sent to male teenage pages who worked on Capitol Hill. Ed Foley died of cancer in West Palm Beach, Florida on November 14, 2006.

Wolf Leslau (100) professor emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles and a leading expert on Ethiopian languages and culture. Leslau learned to use a computer at 80, and the last of the nearly 50 books he wrote was published when he was 98. He spoke 17 languages. He died in Fullerton, California four days after his 100th birthday, on November 18, 2006.

David K. Wyatt (69) leading authority on Southeast Asia and widely recognized as the foremost historian of Thailand. At Cornell University, Wyatt was a former director of the Southeast Asia Program and chairman of the history department. His many books include Thailand: A Short History, which for years has been the standard on the topic. He died of multiple sclerosis in Ithaca, New York on November 14, 2006.

News and Entertainment

Steve Benbow (74) one of a handful of technically accomplished guitarists responsible for raising the elementary standards of musicianship as the revivalist folk movement grew out of the '50s skiffle boom. Benbow recorded more than 25 albums over the course of his long career. He died of a heart attack 12 days short of his 75th birthday, in London, England on November 17, 2006.

Ruth Brown (78) singer whose recordings of "Teardrops in My Eyes," "5-10-15 Hours," and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" shot her to rhythm-and-blues stardom in the '50s. Brown later won a Tony for best actress in the Broadway revue Black & Blue and played a feisty deejay in the cult movie Hairspray (1988). In 1989 she won a Grammy for best jazz vocal performance for the album Blues on Broadway. She died of a stroke and heart attack in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 17, 2006.

Robert Fennell (48) Broadway press agent who represented more than 100 productions across the US, including the hit musical Wicked. Over a 20-year career, Fennell, a respected, genial straight-shooter, worked on productions with many major names in the theater. He also helped to orchestrate the swirl of publicity surrounding Broadway appearances by Sean ("P. Diddy") Combs (A Raisin in the Sun) and Julia Roberts (last season's Three Days of Rain). Fennell died of liver cancer in Yonkers, New York on November 12, 2006.

Eric Grammas (24) award-winning actor and singer who didn't let a degenerative illness keep him from performing despite the fact that he had used a wheelchair for years. Grammas had frequently sung the National Anthem at basketball games. He also performed in numerous student productions. He died of complications from muscular dystrophy, from which he had suffered since he was a child, in Rochester, New York on November 16, 2006.

Gary Graver (68) Orson Welles's final cinematographer who waged a decades-long campaign to complete the celebrated director's final film, The Other Side of the Wind. When Welles died in 1985, the film about a gifted director's slide toward mediocrity had been in the works for 15 years. Shooting was completed, but there was only about 40 minutes of edited footage. Graver was trying to complete a deal with Showtime when he died of cancer in Rancho Mirage, California on November 16, 2006.

Eustace Lycett (91) engineer who spent more than 40 years bringing fantasy and magic to Disney films through special effects and won two Oscars for the visual effects in Mary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs & Broomsticks (1971). Lycett died in Fullerton, California on November 16, 2006.

Mario Merola (72) Italian singer whose dramatic renditions of traditional songs from his native Naples made him wildly popular with Neapolitans for decades. Merola mixed dialogue and singing in stage and TV performances. He had been admitted a few days earlier to a hospital in Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples, Italy, because of worsening cardiac problems. He died there after suffering a series of heart attacks, on November 12, 2006.

Apichart Puapimon (30) Thai actor dubbed the "Keanu Reeves of Thailand" who had starred in the film Fan ja Porb ma leaw (2003). Puapimon was found dead in his bedroom of an apparent asthma attack in Bangkok, Thailand on November 16, 2006.

Ana Carolina Reston (21) anorexic Brazilian model who had worked in China, Turkey, Mexico, and Japan for several modeling agencies. Reston was 5-foot-8 but weighed only 88 pounds. She died of generalized infection caused by anorexia nervosa, a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, an aversion to food, and severe weight loss, in São Paulo, Brazil on November 14, 2006.

Pablo Shilton (35) Argentine actor best known for his performances in homespun dramas and telenovelas who made his break with the hit friends-growing-apart drama Truth/Consequence in 1996, playing one of the first gay parts on Argentine TV. Shilton later landed roles in the acclaimed murder drama Women Killers and Juan Bautista Stagnaro's hit crime film The Fury. He was killed in a car accident in Zarate, Argentina on November 16, 2006.

Joseph Ungaro (76) former managing editor of the Providence (RI) Evening Bulletin whose question to President Richard Nixon at an editors' meeting about whether he had accurately reported his income taxes elicited Nixon's "I'm not a crook" reply. Nixon later agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Ungaro died in Providence, Rhode Island on November 12, 2006.

Politics and Military

Frank Durkan (76) lawyer, writer, and political spokesman who carved out a reputation as a fierce and clever defender of Irish-Americans who came into conflict with the law because of their involvement in the tangled politics of Northern Ireland. Durkan was a scion of the O'Dwyer political dynasty, started by William O'Dwyer, who immigrated from County Mayo in Ireland in 1910 and became mayor of New York City. Durkan died of a lung infection in Greenwich, Connecticut on November 16, 2006.

Milton Friedman (94) Nobel Prize-winning economist who, in numerous books, a Newsweek magazine column, and a PBS-TV show, championed individual freedom in economics and politics, influenced the economic policies of three US Presidents, and favored a policy of steady, moderate growth in the money supply. Friedman opposed wage and price controls and criticized the Federal Reserve when it tried to fine-tune the economy. His theory of monetarism opposed the traditional Keynesian economics that had dominated US policy since the New Deal. His work in consumption analysis, monetary history, and stabilization policy won him the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976. He died of heart failure in San Francisco, California on November 16, 2006.

Bruno Menicucci (69) former Reno mayor and city councilman during the height of the city's casino boom in the '70s. During Menicucci's tenure on the Reno City Council, the MGM Grand—later called the Reno Hilton and now the Grand Sierra Resort—opened in May 1978 with 1,000 rooms and the largest casino floor in the world at the time. Menicucci underwent open-heart surgery in 2002. He died in Reno, Nevada on November 14, 2006.

Athalie Range (91) first black person to head a state agency. Gov. Reubin Askew appointed Range director of the Florida Department of Community Affairs in 1971. She also was the first black city commissioner of Miami. First elected in 1965, she served several terms and proposed tougher gun laws, updated fire codes, and the creation of more parks and playgrounds. She had been ill for several months and died in Miami, Florida on November 14, 2006.

Gen. Jacob E. Smart (97) four-star general who conceived the strategy for the daring World War II bombing raid on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania and later helped to shape the postwar US Air Force. Then a colonel, Smart came up with the idea of having planes fly exceedingly low to bomb the tightly defended refineries, believed to be producing one-third of the fuel oil for the Nazi war machine. He died of congestive heart failure in the Ridgeland, South Carolina house where he was born, on November 12, 2006.

Society and Religion

Rudy Bladel (73) man convicted of murdering three Michigan railroad employees in 1978 and suspected in the deaths of four others. A railroad fireman, Bladel was angry about a 1959 merger between a freight yard in Niles, Michigan and the one where he worked in Elkhart, Indiana. A union agreement and court decision resulted in periodic layoffs and a loss of seniority for Bladel and his coworkers. He was serving three life sentences when he died of thyroid cancer in Jackson, Michigan on November 15, 2006.

Betty Dick (84) widow who fought the National Park Service to keep her summer home inside the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado congressmen took up Dick's cause after the park service threatened her with eviction from a summer cabin she and her late husband had spent summers in since the '70s. Just months after President George W. Bush signed a law allowing her to use the property for the rest of her life, Dick died of ovarian cancer in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 14, 2006.

Konrad Fuchs (109) second-oldest man in Germany, the oldest living Catholic priest in the world, and one of the last eight German World War I veterans. Fuchs died in Germany on November 13, 2006.

Maurice Graham (89) hobo who began hitching rides on trains as a teenager and was known as the “King of the Hobos.’’ Nicknamed “Steam Train Maury,’’ Graham was a founding member of the National Hobo Foundation and helped to establish the Hobo Museum in Britt, Iowa. He recently suffered a stroke and died in Napoleon, Ohio on November 18, 2006.

Yuri Levada (76) pioneering sociologist shut out of his profession in Soviet times who came back to track public opinion as Russia made the transition from communism. In 1988, as Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's glasnost campaign swept the country, Levada joined the first independent public opinion survey firm in the Soviet Union, which provided snapshots of Russians' attitudes toward the biggest questions of the day and toward their own lives. He died of a heart attack in Moscow, Russia on November 16, 2006.

Jack Macpherson (69) retired La Jolla mailman who earned a permanent niche in the history of southern California beach culture, thanks to the loosely organized group of surfers he cofounded in the early '60s—a crew whose logo was a mushroom cloud and whose name became synonymous with "huge beer orgies." Macpherson was the Mac in the Mac Meda Destruction Company, the party-loving "underground society" immortalized in The Pump House Gang, Tom Wolfe's famous chronicle of the teenage surfers who hung out at Windansea Beach in La Jolla. Macpherson died of liver and kidney failure in La Jolla, California on November 16, 2006.

Harvey Manning (81) tireless, irascible conservationist and author of numerous Pacific Northwest mountaineering and hiking guides. Manning was perhaps best known for about two dozen titles in the Footsore and 100 Hikes series. He was undergoing treatment for colon cancer before his intestines failed and he died after being taken off life support, in Redmond, Washington on November 12, 2006.

Michele Maxian (55) Legal Aid Society lawyer who successfully battled to require New York State courts to arraign a suspect within 24 hours of being arrested, helping to spur reform in the New York City justice system. In 1992, suspects were typically being kept for 39 or 40 hours while being booked and fingerprinted, then waiting to appear before a judge to be charged and make a plea. Maxian attributed the delays to inefficiency, not malevolence. The city ultimately responded by streamlining procedures. Maxian died of ovarian cancer in Union City, New Jersey on November 14, 2006.

Manuel D. Moreno (75) bishop emeritus, son of a migrant farm worker who became the nation's sixth Hispanic bishop and led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson for 21 years. The diocese serves more than 350,000 Catholics across nine counties in southern Arizona. Moreno died of prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease in Tucson, Arizona on November 17, 2006.

Harold Robert White (73) former Catholic priest at the center of clergy sexual abuse allegations in Colorado. More than two dozen lawsuits were filed against the Archdiocese of Denver over its handling of White. Most alleged that the church knew he was accused of sexually abusing young men but failed to take steps to protect them. White died of a heart attack in Denver, Colorado on November 14, 2006.


Marcus Cassel (23) former University of California at Los Angeles cornerback, a four-year letterman for the Bruins. Cassel played for the Bruins (2002-05) and started all 12 games as a senior in 2005, helping the team to a 10-2 record. He died of injuries sustained in a one-car accident in Santa Monica, California, after being transported to the UCLA Medical Center, on November 17, 2006.

Geoff Griffin (67) South African fast bowler who remained the only player to have taken a hat-trick in a Test at Lord's. But Griffin's international career was extinguished during that same match in June 1960 when he was no-balled 11 times for throwing. That was a climactic incident in a controversy that has haunted cricket since over-arm bowling was legalized in 1864. Griffin died in Durban, South Africa on November 16, 2006.

Alphonse Halimi (74) former world bantam-weight boxing champion from France. In April 1957, at age 25, Halimi won the word bantam-weight title by outpointing Italian Mario d'Agata in 15 rounds. He successfully defended his title six months later in Los Angeles against Raul Macias of Mexico, but in 1959 Joe Becerra of Mexico scored a ninth-round knockout of Halimi, also in Los Angeles. For the past few years, Halimi had suffered from Alzheimer's disease but died of pneumonia in Paris, France on November 12, 2006.

Ferenc Puskas (79) former captain of the Hungarian national soccer teams of the '50s who won three European Cup titles with Real Madrid. Puskas was considered one of the all-time greats of world soccer. He had been hospitalized for six years with Alzheimer's disease and was being treated for a fever and pneumonia when he died of respiratory and circulatory failure in Budapest, Hungary on November 17, 2006.

Bo Schembechler (77) one of college football's great coaches in 20 years at Michigan. The seven-time Big 10 Coach of the Year compiled a 194-48-5 record at Michigan (1969-89). He had a heart attack on the eve of his first Rose Bowl in 1970 and another in '87. He underwent two quadruple heart-bypass operations, and doctors implanted a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat after he became ill during a taping at WXYZ-TV in Southfield, Michigan in October. He collapsed at the studios before another taping and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he died on November 17, 2006.

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