Legacy (Cont.) – Some Additional 2011 Deaths You May Have Missed

by M.C. Antil on January 10, 2012

Tom WickerAward-winning journalist Tom Wicker, who was the lead reporter on the New York Times coverage of the JFK assassination, Jack Jones, who won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the 1965 Watts riots for the L.A.Times, and Robert Pierpoint, long-time CBS newsman whose iconic radio reporting on the Korean War found a second life on the soundtrack to the final episode of M*A*S*H

Tom Keith, who for years was known as the sound effects guy on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and who played in a number of recurring roles in the show’s many parodies, like Guy Noir, Private Eye

Former Notre Dame receiving legend, Jim Seymour, who in 1966 caught 13 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns in his very first college game

Dave Gavitt, who as a basketball coach took an unlikely Providence team led by Ernie DiGregorio and Marvin Barnes to the NCAA Final Four, and who then changed the face of college basketball, if not all of sports television, by forming and then serving as the first commissioner of the TV-centric Big East

Biggest, baddest and just maybe toughest running back in the history of the AFL, Cookie Gilchrest

Staples co-founder Leo Kahn

60’s-era TV writer and producer, Sam Denoff, who with Bill Persky wrote for the Dick Van Dyke Show and created That Girl, and Sherwood Schwartz, who not only conceived and produced The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, but wrote the lyrics to the shows’ annoying but undeniably catchy theme songs

Jim Mandich, physically underwhelming but gutty tight end for the physically underwhelming but gutty – and undefeated – ’72 Miami Dolphins

One of cable TV’s first sports anchors, CNN veteran Nick Charles

Bil Keane, who wrote the long-running syndicated comic strip, Family Circus, and Tom Wilson, who created Ziggy

Director Ken Russell, whose many credits include the film version of the Who’s rock opera, Tommy, and Peter Yates, who directed both Breaking Away and Bullitt

Joanne Siegel, who as a Cleveland teenager modeled for aspiring comic book artist, Joe Shuster, who in turn drew the character Lois Lane based on her, and who then became the wife of Shuster’s partner and Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel

First woman to ever run for Vice President of the United States on a major ticket, Geraldine Ferraro

Disney animator Bill Justice, who is responsible for bringing the character Thumper to life in the classic animated feature, Bambi, and who would later help create the chattering chipmunks, Chip and Dale

Radio voice of the 1960’s-era Kansas City Chiefs of Hank Stram, winners of Super Bowl IV, Bill Grigsby

Milton Levine, whose invention became a staple in bedrooms and classrooms throughout the country in the 50’s and 60’s, and one that remains nearly as popular with kids today; the ant farm

High-energy 1950’s fitness guru, juicer pitchman and eternal jumpsuit-wearer, Jack LaLanne

Kennedy in-law, statesman, one-time VP candidate and driving force behind the creation of social programs like the Peace Corps, Job Corps and Head Start, Sargent Shriver

J.P. Getty III, heir to the Getty fortune, who in 1973 was kidnapped and held for ransom in Rome, and whose ear was then cut off and sent to a local newspaper by the kidnappers; later the father of actor Balthazar Getty

Architect Bernard Cywinski, who was commissioned by founder Steve Jobs to create the prototype for the ultra-sleek, ultra-modern Apple stores

Lorenzo Charles, North Carolina State forward who caught Dereck Whittenburg’s air ball just before time expired and jammed home the winning basket in the 1983 NCAA men’s basketball championship game

Henry Cooper, Cockney-tongued Brit heavyweight who, before being beaten to a bloody pulp by a young Cassius Clay in their 1963 title fight, dropped the champ to the canvas with a powerful hook he liked to call ‘Enry’s Answer

Former WWF superstar Randy “Macho Man” Savage

Arguably, the most famous brother on talk radio, Fred Imus

Author Newton Thornburg, whose critically acclaimed mystery novel, Cutter and Bone, was turned into the 1981 thriller, Cutter’s Way

Former star winger Rick Martin, who teamed with Gil Perreault and Rene Robert to form the Buffalo Sabres’ famed “French Connection” line of the 1970’s

Arthur Laurents, who in 1957 not only wrote the book for and directed the stunning, game-changing and Tony Award-winning West Side Story, but who in ’09 directed its highly anticipated (and bi-lingual) Broadway revival

Award-winning photographer Richard Steinheimer, often called the “Ansel Adams of railroad photography”

Former NFL standouts and All Pro offensive linemen, Forrest Blue (49ers), Kent Hull (Bills) and Gale Gillingham (Packers), as well as AFL defensive greats, Pete Duranko (Broncos) and Floyd Rice (Oilers)

Homer Smith, who coached a winless Army football team during the difficult final year of the Viet Nam War, while holding not only an undergraduate degree from Princeton, but a graduate degree in business from Stanford and a graduate degree in theology from Harvard

New York ad man John Chervokas, who developed one of the most enduring campaigns in the history of Madison Avenue, Please Don’t Squeeze the Charmin, while creating one of its most enduring characters, Mr. Whipple

Point guard on the first of John Wooden’s remarkable ten NCAA men’s basketball championship teams in 12 years at UCLA, Walt Hazzard

Michigan physician called Dr. Death by some, an Angel of Mercy by others, Jack Kevorkian

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Lanford Wilson

William Walsh, former mayor of Syracuse, New York, who at 98 had been the oldest and longest surviving ex-mayor of any major city in the country

One-time college stars turned journeyman NBA power forwards, Armen Gilliam and Robert “Tractor” Traylor

Former members of the legendary brigade of World War II Navajo “code talkers,” Joe Morris and Lloyd Oliver

Screenwriter Kevin Jarre, who wrote films like Tombstone and Glory, and David Rayfiel, who co-authored the screenplay for Three Days of the Condor

Two-time Masters champ and Ryder Cup great, Seve Ballesteros, and PGA veterans Dave Hill and Paul Harney

Butch Lewis, who managed boxing brothers Michael and Leon Spinks in the 1980’s, and Gil Clancy, who trained such legendary heavyweight champions as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes before turning himself into one of the best boxing commentators going

Ed Manning, erstwhile high school basketball coach who was hired by Larry Brown to be his top assistant at the University of Kansas; coincidentally, at the exact same time Brown was recruiting then-high school All American, Danny Manning – Ed’s son – to play for the Jayhawks

Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Walter Mondale, one-time hell raiser, Hollywood actress and girlfriend of Warren Zevon, a young lady linked to Bill Clinton in the Starr Report, a former wife of Chicago Bear Doug Van Horne, ESPN commentator, CBS analyst and radio talk show host, and a woman who remained right up until the very end, my secret crush

Pete Gent, former basketball star who, without ever having played football, got drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, made the team, started a handful of games, caught passes from Dandy Don Meredith, and then used the experience to write one of the best sports novels of all time, North Dallas Forty

Lenny Lyles, one of the first blacks ever in the NFL, a man who was a Baltimore Colt in that epic OT battle vs. the New York Giants in the ’58 NFL Championship, and a Colt once again when he was beaten repeatedly by the New York Jets’ Joe Namath and George Sauer in their stunning upset win over the Colts in Super Bowl III

Former NFL running backs, Joe Perry (49ers), John Henry Johnson (Steelers), Ollie Matson (Cardinals) and Ricky Bell (Bucs)

Glib infomercial star, huckster, and as it turns out, con man and inmate-to-be, Don Lapre

Henry Coover, former chemist for Eastman Kodak who invented Super Glue

Doe Avedon, pretty but bookish-looking woman who got transformed into an international beauty by photographer husband Richard Avedon, and later had her story transformed onto the big screen as Funny Face

James Ramseur, who one day was just another teenage punk on the New York subway, until he found himself shot while trying to mug a guy who that day would become the very symbol of fed-up, vigilante justice in the “Make my day” Ronald Reagan America of the 1980’s, Bernard Goetz

Larry Finch, college hoop coach and point guard on a Memphis State team outclassed in the 1973 NCAA Championship game by the single greatest shooting performance in history; Bill Walton’s astounding 21-22 night from the field

Don Chandler, former wide receiver and kicker for the legendary Vince Lombardi Packer teams of the 1960’s

Robert Easton, Henry Higgins-type linguist who taught dozens of Hollywood stars a number of different dialects, like the street-tough Cuban used by Al Pacino in the campy remake of Howard Hawk’s Scarface

Publisher William O. Taylor, who after four generations of ownership sold his family’s pride and joy, the Boston Globe, to the New York Times Company

Sidney Lumet, who from his first film (12 Angry Men) to his last (‘Til the Devil Knows You’re Dead), and including such quintessentially New York movies as Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, The Pawnbroker and Network, remained a director who could paint the city as simultaneously allegorical and ultra-real

Dave Duerson, two-time Super Bowl winning safety (Bears, Giants) who at the time he retired held the record for most sacks by a DB

Arthur Marx, Groucho’s kid who made a name for himself as a TV comedy writer, most notably for Norman Lear and the groundbreaking  All in the Family

Leonard Weinglass, young attorney who defended Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and the balance of the Chicago Seven, while serving as second chair to attorney and liberal icon, William Kunstler

Judy Sowinski, for nearly a quarter of a century a bruising star on the original Roller Derby circuit, and a babe with big hair whose no-prisoners style of play earned her the nickname, “the Queen of Mean”

Lee Roy Selmon, NFL Hall of Famer who to this day might be the best lineman to have ever played for either the University of Oklahoma or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Charles Murray, Jr., World War II hero who won three Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor – the U.S. military’s highest honor – for bravery and courage during the final days of the Allied War in Europe

Elliott Handler, co-founder of Mattel, who is credited with naming Barbie, while also developing any number of iconic toys, including Hot Wheels, Creepy Crawlers and Chatty Cathy

Former NFL star Pete Pihos, whose tragic struggle against Alzheimer ’s was juxtaposed against footage from his glory days as a Philadelphia Eagle in Dear Dad, a documentary by daughter, Melissa

Legendary New York cartoonist Bill Gallo, whose ability to capture the mood of the local fan made him more a part of the daily sports pages than many of the athletes he depicted

Max Weil, all-but-unknown inventor of one of the most important and readily accessible medical techniques ever developed, CPR

Murray Warmath, long-time University of Minnesota head coach who watched three former Gopher defensive stars – Carl Eller, Bobby Bell and Aaron Brown – all start in Super Bowl IV

Dorothy Young, the last surviving member of a small cadre of female assistants who did the on-stage bidding of legendary illusionist, Harry Houdini

Bill Nimmo, velvet-toned baritone who quit as Johnny Carson’s announcer, but not before suggesting he be replaced by a young man named Ed McMahon

One-time host of Meet the Press, Bill Monroe, and veteran Washington Post columnist, David Broder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who also made over 400 career appearances on the show Monroe once hosted

Edgar-winning mystery writer Joe Gores, whose novel Hammett was made into a 1982 Francis Ford Coppola film starring Frederic Forrest

The first female chief in the history of the Seminole Indian tribe in Florida, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

Bob Young, occasional ABC News anchor who happened to be on the desk the night that Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis during the summer of 1968

Ron Springs, middle-of-the-road running back whose world-class versatility turned him into a key cog in coach Tom Landry’s radically new, constantly shifting and multiple-set offense of the 1980’s

Classy woman whose addictions, courage and largesse led to the creation of an iconic substance abuse clinic-to-the-stars that still bears her name; and a woman – Betty Ford – who, as it turns out, apparently also did a little time as First Lady of the United States



More 2011 Deaths (Actors) Part 1

More 2011 Deaths (Actors) Part II

More 2011 Deaths (Baseball) Part III

More 2011 Deaths (Baseball) Part IV

More 2011 Deaths (Baseball) Part V

More 2011 Deaths (Music) Part VI

More 2011 Deaths (Music) Part VII


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