Archive for the ‘In Memoriam’ Category

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 23-29, 2013)

Monday, December 30th, 2013

IN MEMORIAM

Edgar M. Bronfman, Who Built a Bigger, More Elegant Seagram, Dies at 84.” By Jonathan Kandell. New York Times. December 23, 2013.
Related story:
Remembrances: Edgar Bronfman, Champion of Jewish Rights; Canadian Liquor Tycoon Was Longtime Head of World Jewish Congress.” Wall Street Journal. December 23, 2013.

Robert W. Wilson, Frugal Philanthropist, Dies at 87.” By Paul Vitello. New York Times. December 28, 2013.
Related story:
Tycoon Robert Wilson gives away $800 million fortune before jumping to death.” Independent (UK). December 28, 2013.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 16-22, 2013)

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

IN MEMORIAM

‘”Billionaire businessman, Jewish advocate Bronfman dies.” USA Today. December 22, 2013.
Related story:
Edgar M. Bronfman, billionaire head of World Jewish Congress, dies at 84.” Los Angeles Times. December 22, 2013.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (JANUARY 7-13, 2013)

Monday, January 14th, 2013

IN MEMORIAM

Celeste Bartos, New York Philanthropist, Dies at 99.” By Margalit Fox. New York Times. January 10, 2013. Celeste Bartos, a philanthropist who supported some of New York City’s most esteemed cultural institutions, in particular the New York Public Library and the Museum of Modern Art, died last Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 99. Her daughter-in-law Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos confirmed the death. With her husband, Armand Phillip Bartos, Mrs. Bartos, known in private life as Celeste Gottesman Bartos, was long a quietly visible presence on the city’s cultural landscape. At the library’s flagship branch, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, the Celeste Bartos Forum — a vast lecture hall that in 1987 was restored to combine its original Beaux-Arts splendor with late-20th-century technology — bears her name. So does the library’s Celeste Bartos Education Center, likewise used for lectures and public programs. Gottesman Exhibition Hall, the library’s main exhibition space, was a gift of Mrs. Bartos and her sisters, Miriam Wallach and Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson. At MoMA, Mrs. Bartos endowed the chief film curator’s chair and the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, the museum’s $11.2 million conservation center in Hamlin, Pa. Avid collectors of contemporary art, she and her husband gave many pieces to the museum, including works by Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler and Barnett Newman. A daughter of D. Samuel Gottesman and the former Jeane Herskovitz, Celeste Ruth Gottesman was born in New York City on Dec. 25, 1913. Her father, a pulp and paper magnate and financier, helped found the Central National Bank in New York. Mrs. Bartos’s other philanthropic endeavors included support of Film Forum, Anthology Film Archives and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (August 6-12, 2012)

Monday, August 13th, 2012

IN MEMORIAM

Martin E. Segal, Titan of the Arts in New York City, Dies at 96.” By Robin Pogrebin. New York Times. August 5, 2012. Martin E. Segal, whose puckish warmth and old-fashioned ways belied his power and influence as one of the city’s leading cultural figures, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 96. Mr. Segal, who made his fortune through the Segal Company, an international consulting business, was perhaps best known as the elder statesman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he served in several leadership roles, contributed his own funds and generated substantial gifts to the organization. Most people know that Lincoln Center has halls named after Alice Tully and Avery Fisher; Mr. Segal knew Ms. Tully and Mr. Fisher personally. Mr. Segal was chairman of Lincoln Center from 1981 to 1986. His successors have included the soprano Beverly Sills. But a recent chairman, Frank A. Bennack Jr., said in a November 2008 interview that as far as he was concerned “somehow Marty is the Lincoln Center chairman.” Mr. Segal was also the founding president and chief executive of the Film Society of Lincoln Center from 1968 to 1978. During his tenure the Film Society honored Charlie Chaplin, whom Mr. Segal went to great lengths to bring to the United States from Britain, at its first annual gala tribute. The second award went to Fred Astaire, the third to Alfred Hitchcock. Well into his 90s, Mr. Segal remained a larger-than-life presence on New York’s cultural scene. Although his board positions evolved into emeritus or advisory roles, he continued fund-raising and counseling executives at his favored arts organizations. He went into the office almost every day and out on the town almost every night. And he was constantly at fund-raising galas, be it in honor of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the New York Public Library or the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. While Mr. Segal was generous with his money, he was perhaps most admired for the donations he managed to extract from others. He used to say he had no trouble giving people the “opportunity” to contribute to the causes he cared most about, whether it be Lincoln Center’s redevelopment project, which updated the campus; Public Radio International (formerly American Public Radio), of which he was a founding member; or the Library of America, a nonprofit publisher dedicated to publishing, and keeping in print, editions of America’s most significant writing. Mr. Segal was also the moving force behind several arts organizations, including the New York International Festival of the Arts, which he founded in 1985 and ran until its discontinuation in 2002. He helped establish the Martin E. Segal Theater Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2000. In 1986 Lincoln Center established the annual Martin E. Segal Awards, given to aspiring young artists.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (June 11-17, 2012)

Monday, June 18th, 2012

IN MEMORIAM

Elinor Ostrom, Winner of Nobel in Economics, Dies at 78.” By Catherine Rampell. New York Times. June 12, 2012. Elinor Ostrom, the only woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science — an achievement all the more remarkable because she was not actually an economist — died on Tuesday in Bloomington, Ind. She was 78. The cause was cancer, according to Indiana University, where she taught for many years. Professor Ostrom’s work rebutted fundamental economic beliefs. But to say she was a dark horse for the 2009 economics Nobel is an understatement. Not because she was a woman — although women in the field are still rare — but because she was trained in political science. Professor Ostrom’s prizewinning work examined how people collaborate and organize themselves to manage common resources like forests or fisheries, even when governments are not involved. The research overturned the conventional wisdom about the need for government regulation of public resources. In 1973, Professor Ostrom and her husband, Vincent, who survives her, founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. It would become the first of several interdisciplinary institutions she helped shape, and a locus for her collaboration with scholars across academia, including ecologists, computer scientists and psychologists. Just as her academic habits emphasized collaboration and cooperation, so did the content of her study. Traditionally, economics taught that common ownership of resources results in excessive exploitation, as when fishermen overfish a common pond. This is the so-called tragedy of the commons, and it suggests that common resources must be managed either through privatization or government regulation, in the form of taxes, say, or limits on use. Professor Ostrom studied cases around the world in which communities successfully regulated resource use through cooperation. Her work has important applications for climate change policy today. Professor Ostrom’s research and Mr. Williamson’s related work on corporate oversight are part of a field known as institutional economics. Some economists still debate whether the field deserves a rightful place within the economics discipline. Elinor Awan was born on Aug. 7, 1933, in Los Angeles, an only child. She often spoke about how growing up in the Depression had influenced her interest in cooperative institutions. She recalled helping her family grow food in a large garden and knitting scarves for soldiers. She received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees — all in political science — at the University of California, Los Angeles.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (August 8-14, 2011)

Monday, August 15th, 2011

IN MEMORIAM

Remembrances: Charles Wyly 1933-2011; Software Billionaire Bankrolled Arts and GOP.” By Ann Zimmerman and Stephanie Simon. Wall Street Journal. August 9, 2011. Charles Wyly was a Dallas billionaire entrepreneur who won acclaim for his patronage of the arts, but whose business practices drew scrutiny in recent years, culminating in federal civil-fraud charges. Mr. Wyly and his younger brother, Sam, the sons of a weekly newspaper owner in rural Louisiana, amassed their fortune founding, buying, expanding and selling a slew of businesses. They were pioneers in computer software, founding University Computer Co., which they later sold for $840 million. They launched Sterling Software in 1981 and sold it 20 years later to Computer Associates Inc. for $4 billion. In 1983, they acquired a controlling stake in Michaels Stores Inc., building it into the largest arts and crafts retailer in the nation before they sold their stake in the past decade. They also founded Maverick Capital Ltd., an early hedge fund. Mr. Wyly’s business achievements lately have been overshadowed by a six-year Securities and Exchange Commission investigation that resulted in formal fraud and insider-trading charges against him and his brother last summer. The SEC alleged the brothers hid $550 million in trading profits by using an “elaborate sham system” of offshore entities. A football star at Louisiana Tech University, Mr. Wyly eventually embraced Texas and was among the top contributors to the gubernatorial and presidential campaigns of George W. Bush. He also donated heavily to the Republican National Committee. He left an indelible imprint on the Dallas arts community. He and his wife, Dee, donated $20 million to help erect a theater in 2009 that serves as one of the centerpieces of the sprawling AT&T Dallas Performing Arts Center complex downtown.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 2-8, 2011)

Monday, May 9th, 2011

IN MEMORIAM

Richard Cornuelle, Libertarian Author, Dies at 84.” By Margalit Fox. New York Times. May 3, 2011. Richard Cornuelle, a libertarian writer whose best-known book, Reclaiming the American Dream, championed volunteerism as a means of addressing social problems like poverty, unemployment, delinquency and urban blight, died on April 26 at his home in Manhattan. He was 84. Published in 1965, Reclaiming the American Dream was Mr. Cornuelle’s first book. In it, he used the phrase “independent sector” to describe the network of existing voluntary associations — foundations, churches, labor unions, trade groups and fraternal organizations — that, he argued, could marshal their resources to solve a range of contemporary ills more efficiently than government could. The book received wide attention, as did Mr. Cornuelle (pronounced cornell), whose political ideology — neither undiluted conservatism nor undiluted liberalism — defied easy classification. He was perhaps most accurately described as a classical liberal in the 19th-century sense of the term, advocating the rights of individuals while seeking to limit the reach of government. In the 1950s, Mr. Cornuelle was vice president and editorial director of the Princeton Panel, a center for the study of American capitalism; he was later executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers. He helped found several nonprofit organizations, including United Student Aid Funds (now USA Funds), which guarantees student loans. His other books include De-Managing America: The Final Revolution (1975) and Healing America (1983). Though the news media of the 1960s often described Mr. Cornuelle as a conservative, he later bristled at the term, his wife said on Friday. In any case, he took pains throughout his life to articulate his personal construction of the word. As he told Life magazine in 1968, “The notion that a conservative is indifferent to human problems is part of a myth — the same myth that says the government is the only instrument that can solve social problems.”

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (April 25-May 1, 2011)

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

IN MEMORIAM

David Wilkerson 1931 – 2011; Preacher Built Activist Ministry in New York.” By Stephen Miller. Wall Street Journal. April 30, 2011. The Rev. David Wilkerson created the longest-running show on Broadway, an 8,000-strong Pentecostal church dedicated to saving New York City’s drug addicts and prostitutes. Mr. Wilkerson, who died Wednesday at age 79, was founder of World Challenge, a nondenominational Christian ministry that has worked in more than 50 countries, with a special emphasis on young people. In 1963, Mr. Wilkerson published The Cross and the Switchblade, an autobiographical account of working with teenage gang members in New York. The book sold 15 million copies, his church claims, and in 1969 was made into a movie starring Pat Boone as Mr. Wilkerson and Erik Estrada as troubled gang leader Nicky Cruz. Teen Challenge, Mr. Wilkerson’s antidrug organization, runs nearly 1,200 drug centers, 233 of them in the U.S. A native of Hammond, Ind., Mr. Wilkerson was the son of Pentecostal ministers and attended Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Mo. He was ordained by the Assemblies of God, the same denomination that included Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Initially pastor to a congregation in bucolic central Pennsylvania, Mr. Wilkerson was inspired to undertake a more activist ministry by a 1958 Life magazine article about a murder trial involving teen gang members unfolding in New York. Mr. Wilkerson created a ministry for gang members in Brooklyn, and soon began opening satellite Teen Challenge programs in other cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago. Medical professionals were skeptical, but he claimed that 80% of those who completed the program stayed clean. Mr. Wilkerson stayed in New York until 1971, when he moved to Tyler Texas, where he founded World Challenge.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 21-27, 2011)

Monday, March 28th, 2011

IN MEMORIAM

Elizabeth Taylor was ‘serious about getting things done’.” By Lorena Blas. USA Today. March 24, 2011. Elizabeth Taylor exploited her fame — to do good. The star’s activism and charity work made her stand out in an industry where fame can be used to put the spotlight on causes. Taylor raised and donated millions to charities over the years. And while she won two Oscars for her performances, she also was recognized with a special Oscar at the 1993 Academy Awards, where she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Taylor received more honors for her philanthropic efforts through the years, including a Presidential Citizens Medal from outgoing President Clinton in 2001. Most recently, she was awarded (in absentia) amfAR’s Award of Courage during the organization’s annual New York Gala in February. With that award, Taylor’s work came full circle. In 1985, she co-founded amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, with Mathilde Krim, a researcher at New York’s Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. amfAR is one of the leading non-profits supporting AIDS research, HIV prevention and awareness. Taylor’s involvement in amfAR ranks her among the top Hollywood philanthropists, says Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And it wasn’t just what she gave, but the cause she chose. “In those days, celebrities took on safe causes. To take on AIDS was a really courageous act for a celebrity, and it took her kind of star power to draw attention to the real needs that were going on,” Palmer says.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 14-20, 2011)

Monday, March 21st, 2011

IN MEMORIAM

Kim Hill, Inspiration for Ronald McDonald House, Dies at 44.” By Daniel E. Slotnick. New York Times. March 9, 2011. Kim Hill, whose childhood battle with leukemia inspired the first Ronald McDonald House, the model for an international network of temporary housing for families of sick children, died on Saturday in Orange, Calif. She was 44. Ms. Hill first came to public attention in 1972, when her father, a former tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, held a team fund-raiser for the Leukemia Society of America in her honor. Its success — more than $10,000 was raised — prompted Mr. Hill and a neighbor, Stan Lane, to start their own charity, Eagles Fly for Leukemia, with backing by the Eagles’ owner, Leonard Tose. The housing idea was suggested by Dr. Audrey Evans at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia when Mr. Hill and Mr. Lane asked her about ways to use the money they raised. She saw a need for short-term lodging near the hospital for families of cancer patients. Local McDonald’s restaurants were brought into the effort in 1974, when the Eagles reached an agreement with them to feature the quarterback Roman Gabriel and other players in a promotion for Shamrock Shakes if the franchises would donate a portion of the sales to buy a house. The chain’s regional manager later offered all the shake proceeds if the house was named after their mascot, the clown Ronald McDonald. The Eagles accepted. Ronald McDonald House Charities now operates 302 houses in 30 countries.