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Life In Legacy - Week ending June 4, 2011

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James Arness, star of ‘Gunsmoke’Dr. Jack Kevorkian, advocate for assisted suicidePauline Betz Addie, ‘40s US tennis championLee Ames, illustratorSergei Bagapsh, leader of AbkhaziaHarry Bernstein, late-blooming memoiristBetty Taylor & Wally Boag in Disney’s ‘Golden Horseshoe Revue’Jonas Bevacqua, cofounder of LRGLilian Jackson Braun, author of ‘Cat Who...’ booksClaudio Bravo, Chilean painterRay Bryant, jazz pianistBill Clements, Texas governorLindsey Durlacher, Greco-Roman wrestlerLawrence S. Eagleburger, former US secretary of state for five monthsMatthew Kipling Fong, California politicianMarion Fuller Brown, Maine state legislatorAndrew Gold, singer, songwriter, and musicianLeo Greenland, advertising executiveJessica Harris, teen heart transplant recipientJosephine Hart, Irish novelistKeith Irvine, interior designerJohn Henry Johnson, pro Football Hall of FamerBros. Adrian & Julian Riester, twin FranciscansDr. Hans Keilson, psychoanalyst and authorFerenc Madl, Hungarian politicianAdolfas Mekas, Bard College professor of filmSammy Ofer, Israeli billionaireIda, Central Park Zoo polar bearElmer (‘Geronimo’) Pratt, former Black Panther Party leaderAndy Robustelli, football Hall of FamerPhilip Rose, producer of landmark Broadway playsBill Roycroft, Australian gold-medal OlympianMartin Rushent, British record producerAlbert M. Sack, NYC antiques dealerAlbertina Sisulu, widow of Nelson Mandela mentor, Walter SisuluClarice Taylor, actress who played Bill Cosby’s motherGiorgio Tozzi, operatic bassGus Tyler, labor agitator and columnistRosalyn S. Yalow, 2nd woman to win Nobel Prize in medicine

Art and Literature

Lee Ames (90) former Mission Viejo illustrator whose Draw 50 books taught generations of children how to draw animals. Ames died of congestive heart failure in Huntington, New York on June 2, 2011.

Harry Bernstein (101) author whose acclaimed memoir of an English childhood haunted by anti-Semitism—The Invisible Wall—was published when he was 96. Bernstein had written 40 other books but destroyed most of the manuscripts after they were rejected by publishers. He died in Brooklyn, New York on June 3, 2011.

Lilian Jackson Braun (97) author who wrote 29 books in the “The Cat Who ...” mystery series. Braun wrote 31 books, including two short-story collections, and worked 30 years at the Detroit Free Press until her retirement in 1984. Her first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, was published in 1966. She died in Landrum, South Carolina on June 4, 2011.

Claudio Bravo (74) Chilean-born artist whose technically dazzling paintings of paper-wrapped packages and draped cloth blended hyperrealism and classical Spanish influences. Bravo died of complications from epilepsy in Taroudant, Morocco on June 4, 2011.

Josephine Hart (69) Irish-born novelist whose best-selling tale of erotic obsession, Damage, inspired the 1992 feature film of the same title starring Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche. Hart died of cancer in London, England on June 2, 2011.

Keith Irvine (82) Scottish interior designer whose English country house style won the allegiance of clients like Jacqueline Onassis, Rex and Lady Harrison, and Pat and William F. Buckley Jr. Irvine died of cardiac arrest in Carmel, New York on May 31, 2011.

Dr. Hans Keilson (101) German-born psychoanalyst and author who won literary fame at the end of his long life when two of his long-forgotten works of fiction, set in Nazi-occupied Europe, were republished to great acclaim. Keilson died in Hilversum, the Netherlands, on May 31, 2011.

Business and Science

Jonas Bevacqua (33) cofounder of the Orange County-based hip-hop and skateboarding clothing line known as LRG that became an influential fashion leader. Bevacqua, who cofounded the Irvine company with business partner Robert Wright in 1999, achieved success with products that appealed to artists, athletes, and musicians. He died at his Laguna Beach, California home on May 30, 2011. An autopsy was inconclusive, and county medical officials are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Leo Greenland (91) advertising executive known for a string of evocative campaigns of the late 20th century and for public advocacy of truthfulness in his profession. Greenland died of pneumonia in New York City on June 4, 2011.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian (83) retired pathologist who captured the world’s attention as he helped dozens of terminally ill people to commit suicide, igniting intense debate and ending up in prison for murder. Kevorkian said he helped some 130 ailing people to end their lives (1990-99). He was freed in June 2007 after serving eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder. He had been hospitalized since May with pneumonia and kidney problems and died in Royal Oak, Michigan on June 3, 2011.

Sammy Ofer (89) Israeli billionaire at the center of a recent scandal involving trade with Iran. The US government sanctioned Ofer’s company, Ofer Brothers Group, in May for selling an oil tanker to Iran’s national shipping company through a Singapore subsidiary; the move violated US trade restrictions on Iran. Ofer died in Tel Aviv, Israel on June 3, 2011.

Albert M. Sack (96) prominent New York antiques dealer and author of a guidebook to early American furniture that became the bible for a generation of weekend antiquers and a standard for professional collectors. Sack died in Durham, North Carolina on May 29, 2011.

Rosalyn S. Yalow (89) medical physicist who persisted in entering a field largely reserved for men to become only the second woman to win a Nobel Prize in medicine. In the ‘50s Yalow became a codiscoverer of the radioimmunoassay, an extremely sensitive way to measure insulin and other hormones in the blood. She died in The Bronx, New York on May 30, 2011.


Adolfas Mekas (85) Lithuanian-born artist, member of the avant-garde New American Cinema movement of the ‘60s and a longtime professor of film at New York’s Bard College. Mekas founded the film program at Bard in 1971 and taught until his retirement in 2004. He died in Poughkeepsie, New York on May 31, 2011.

News and Entertainment

James Arness (88) 6-foot-6 actor who towered over the TV landscape for 20 years (1955-75) as Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, the longest-running dramatic series in network history until NBC’s Law & Order tied in 2010. Arness was the elder brother of actor Peter Graves (d. 2010), star of Mission: Impossible. Arness died in his sleep in Brentwood, California on June 3, 2011.

Wally Boag & Betty Taylor (90, 91) entertaining couple who shared a stage at Disneyland five days a week for nearly 30 years (‘50s-‘80s) and died within a day of each other. Taylor, who played Slue Foot Sue in Disney’s long-running Golden Horseshoe Revue, died in Coupeville, Washington on June 4, 2011—one day after the death of Boag, who played her character’s sweetheart, Pecos Bill, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Santa Monica, California.

Ray Bryant (79) jazz pianist whose talent made him a busy accompanist and a successful solo artist, beginning in the mid-‘50s. Bryant died in Queens, New York on June 2, 2011.

Andrew Gold (59) singer, songwriter, and musician who had a Top 10 hit in 1977 with “Lonely Boy” and was a vital component of Linda Ronstadt’s pop success in the ‘70s as a member of her band. The son of Oscar-winning (Exodus [1960]) composer Ernest Gold and film singing dubber for the stars Marnie Nixon, Andrew Gold wrote "Thank You for Being a Friend," the theme for the TV sitcom The Golden Girls, among many other songs. He died of cancer in Encino, California on June 3, 2011.

Jessica Harris (17) teenage girl who got a heart transplant thanks to a fund-raising campaign by singer/actress Brandy. Harris, from McComb, Mississippi where Brandy was raised, suffered from hypoplastic left heart syndrome and was denied medical insurance because her illness was deemed a preexisting condition. She died less than four months after her surgery, in New York City on June 2, 2011.

Philip Rose (89) producer of Broadway plays like A Raisin in the Sun (1959) and Purlie Victorious (1961) who advanced the cause of black playwrights and actors and helped to widen the scope of American theater to include stories of blacks and other minorities. Rose died of a stroke in Englewood, New Jersey on May 31, 2011.

Martin Rushent (62) record producer who helped to define the sound of British rock in the late ‘70s and early ’80s. Rushent had his biggest success with the 1981 album Dare by the Human League, one track of which, “Don’t You Want Me,” was a No. 1 hit in both Britain and the US. Rushent died in Berkshire, England on June 4, 2011.

Clarice Taylor (93) actress best known for portraying Grandmother Huxtable on the hit TV sitcom The Cosby Show. Both Taylor and Earle Hyman, who played her husband, received Emmy nominations in 1986 for their roles as Anna and Russell Huxtable.

 Taylor died of congestive heart failure in Englewood, New Jersey on May 30, 2011.

Giorgio Tozzi (88) tall, handsome bass who spent 20 years with the Metropolitan Opera and appeared on film, TV, and Broadway. On film, Tozzi most famously dubbed the singing voice of actor Rossano Brazzi in the role of Emile de Becque in South Pacific (1958). At his death, he was a distinguished professor emeritus at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he had taught since 1991. He died of a heart attack in Bloomington, Indiana on May 30, 2011.

Politics and Military

Sergei Bagapsh (62) leader of Abkhazia, a separatist region of Georgia aligned with Russia. Bagapsh, who had led Abkhazia since 2005, was credited with leading the region to de facto independence. He died of lung cancer in Moscow, Russia on May 29, 2011.

Bill Clements (94) former Texas governor who in 1979 became the state’s first Republican elected governor since Reconstruction. Clements’ belief that state government should operate like a big business helped to change the face of Texas politics. He died in Dallas, Texas on May 29, 2011.

Lawrence S. Eagleburger (80) only US career foreign service officer to rise to the position of secretary of state. Eagleburger held the top post at the State Department for five months when James A. Baker 3rd resigned in the summer of 1992 to help President George H. W. Bush in an unsuccessful bid for reelection. Eagleburger was overweight; chain-smoked cigarettes, sometimes with an aspirator to ease chronic asthma; and was afflicted with a muscle disease. He died in Charlottesville, Virginia on June 4, 2011.

Matthew Kipling Fong (57) former California state treasurer who ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1998. A Republican, Fong was the scion of a political family with deep roots in state politics; his mother, March Fong Eu, a Democrat, was elected to the state Assembly in 1966 and was California’s secretary of state (1975-94). Matthew Fong died of skin cancer in Pasadena, California on June 1, 2011.

Marion Fuller Brown (94) former Maine state representative (1966–72) who sponsored legislation that banned billboards throughout the state—a law upheld by the US Supreme Court. Fuller Brown, who also was a founder of Scenic America, a national organization dedicated to preserving the visual character of America’s countryside, died in York, Maine on June 3, 2011.

Ferenc Madl (80) former Cabinet minister (1993-94) in Hungary’s first post-Communist government, then later (2000-05) the country’s president. Madl, who studied local and international law, was the author of 20 books, some of them about the process of European integration. He died in Budapest, Hungary on May 29, 2011.

Albertina Sisulu (92) veteran of the antiapartheid movement who was married to Nelson Mandela’s mentor. Walter Sisulu (d. 2003) spent 25 years in custody on Robben Island alongside Mandela, whom he had brought into the African National Congress. Albertina Sisulu was left behind to raise the couple’s five children. She also spent months in jail herself and had her movements restricted. She died in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 2, 2011.

Society and Religion

Bros. Adrian & Julian Riester (92) identical twins and Franciscan brothers who lived and worked together for many years at St. Bonaventure University in New York State. The Riesters died within hours of each other in retirement in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 1, 2011.

Ida the Polar Bear (25) resident of the Central Park Zoo. Ida was born in Buffalo in 1985 and at age 2 arrived at the Central Park Zoo, where she became a favorite of visitors. On average, polar bears in the wild live only to age 18. Ida was euthanized after veterinarians found she had liver disease caused by cancer, in New York City on June 3, 2011.

Elmer (Geronimo) Pratt (63) former Black Panther Party leader whose murder conviction was overturned in 1997 after he had spent 27 years in prison for a crime he maintained he did not commit. Pratt settled a false imprisonment and civil rights lawsuit against the FBI and city of Los Angeles for $4.5 million in 2000. He suffered from high blood pressure and died at his home in a small village in Tanzania, where he had lived for at least five years, on June 2, 2011.

Gus Tyler (99) New York self-described labor agitator and columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward. For more than 40 years Tyler headed the political and educational wings of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and was assistant to four union presidents, including longtime leader David Dubinsky (d. 1982). He died in Sarasota, Florida on June 3, 2011.


Pauine Betz Addie (91) champion tennis player who won at Wimbledon in 1946 on her first try, without dropping a set during the entire tournament. Addie reached the finals of the US National Championship (now the US Open) every year (1941-46), winning the title four times (1942-44, ‘46). She died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in Potomac, Maryland on May 31, 2011.

Lindsey Durlacher (36) 2006 Greco-Roman World Bronze medalist. At the 2006 World Championships in China, Durlacher won the bronze for the 121-pound weight class. He was a medalist in 2003 and ‘07 at the Pan American Championships. He died in Denver, Colorado on June 4, 2011.

John Henry Johnson (81) pro Football Hall of Fame running back during the ‘50s and ‘60s, a member of the San Francisco 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield.” Johnson also played for the Detroit Lions (1957-59), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1960-65), and the American Football League’s Houston Oilers in 1966. He died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Tracy, California on June 3, 2011.

Andy Robustelli (85) football Hall of Famer who played for the Los Angeles Rams (1951-55) and New York Giants (1956-64) during a 14-year NFL career. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound defensive end’s arrival in New York ushered in one of the greatest eras in Giants’ football. New York won the 1956 NFL championship in Robustelli’s first season, then won five more conference championships during his tenure, in 1958-59 and ‘61-63. Robustelli played on a winning team in 13 of his 14 pro seasons and in eight NFL championship games. He died of complications from recent bladder surgery, in Stamford, Connecticut on May 31, 2011.

Bill Roycroft (96) Australia’s oldest Olympian and winner of an extraordinary gold medal at the 1960 Rome Games. Roycroft won gold in the team three-day event at Rome despite a broken collar bone; he competed in the same event at five consecutive Olympics, his first at age 45. He died in Camperdown, Victoria, Australia on May 29, 2011.

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