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Category: One year ago

One year ago: Nao Takasugi

Takasugi Nao Takasugi was a Republican state Assemblyman, an Oxnard mayor and held an MBA. He also was sent with his family to an internment camp during World War II. Takasugi died one year ago at age 87.

At the internment camp, he earned $16 a month as a Spanish and business tutor, he told The Times in 2003, and his family ate slices of Spam for a "Sunday treat."

He left the camp after several months when a Quaker organization offered Takasugi the chance to complete his business degree (which he began at UCLA) at Temple University in Philadelphia.

His career success dissuaded him from dwelling on the negative internment camp experience.

"I don't feel angry anymore," he told the Ventura County Star in 2002. "In spite of all the shortcomings of this country, it's still a great country. Where else can you come from a concentration camp and become the mayor?"

For more, read Nao Takasugi's obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Nao Takasugi. Credit: Alan Hagman / Los Angeles Times

One year ago: Jeanne-Claude


Jeanne-Claude was a flame-red-haired artist whose works of art with her husband Christo garnered worldwide attention in the 1960s and '70s for their massive size and scope. Jeanne-Claude, who like her husband only used a first name, died one year ago at age 74.

Among their epic installations was "Running Fence," installed in 1976, which consisted of 2,050 white fabric panels extending across 24 1/2 miles in Sonoma and Marin counties.

Another was "The Umbrellas," a bi-continental project made up of 1,760 gigantic, custom-made yellow umbrellas along an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 5 through the Tejon Pass and 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki, Japan.

The husband-and-wife team preferred temporary installations that were taken down after a couple of weeks. Like a rainbow, Jeanne-Claude once reasoned, a beautiful thing becomes just normal if it's there all the time.

For decades, Jeanne-Claude did not actually receive credit for her contributions to the art. It wasn't until the 1990s that the couple began putting both their names on their work. Still, she frequently made clear in interviews that she was not an artist when they first met.

"I became an artist out of love for Christo," she said. "If he had been a dentist, then I would have become one too."

For more on the artistic couple, read Jeanne-Claude's obituary that appeared in The Times. Also, see a photo gallery of their work.

--Michael Farr

Photo: Jeanne-Claude and Christo speak in 2008 at a gallery displaying their "Over The River" project in Denver. Credit: Associated Press

One year ago: Harry Kabakoff

KabakoffHarry Kabakoff was a boxing trainer and manager known for his colorful personality and intense loyalty to his fighters. He died one year ago at age 82.

Kabakoff was called "the General Motors of fight managers" in 1972 by The Times' Jim Murray, who pointed out that Kabakoff had a roster of 67 names but only 10 who could "really fight."

One of his best fighters was Jesus Pimentel, whom he found while scouring the barrios of Mexico in search of young talent. Despite a loyal 12 years together, Pimentel's career was marked by near-misses that often were blamed on Kabakoff's reluctance to take risks.

"He was maybe the most colorful character in boxing that I've ever met, and everyone in boxing is colorful," said Bill Caplan, a boxing publicist. "He was a rogue and a rascal and he was funny and lovable."

Kabakoff was born Melville Himmelfarb, but he changed his name in honor of his uncle, a successful boxer. Sportswriters at the time joked at his trading one unwieldy name for another.

For more on the eccentric boxing manager, read Harry Kabakoff's obituary by The Times.

--Michael Farr

Photo: Harry Kabakoff. Credit: Los Angeles Times

One year ago: Edward Woodward

Woodward Edward Woodward, a British actor who died one year ago, may have been best known in the United States for his role as Robert McCall on "The Equalizer," a detective TV series that ran from 1985 to 1989 on CBS. The character, a disillusioned former secret agent, was the last stop for people seeking justice. His newspaper ad read, "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer."

Woodward also starred in the gripping 1980 Australian film "Breaker Morant," about three Australian officers on trial for murdering Boer prisoners during the Boer War in South Africa. Spoiler alert: Click here only if you have already seen the movie. If you don't know the movie, you should. Find it and watch it today.

For more on the actor, read the Edward Woodward obituary by Dennis McLellan that appeared in The Times.

-- Claire Noland

Photo: Edward Woodward as "The Equalizer." Credit: CBS

One year ago: Lewis Millett


Retired Army Col. Lewis Millett, a veteran of three wars and a Medal of Honor recipient, loved his country and was eager to fight. So eager, in fact, that in 1941 he deserted the U.S. Army and joined the Canadians when the United States delayed joining World War II. He died one year ago today.

"I must be the only Regular Army colonel who has ever been court-martialed and convicted of desertion," Millett told, speaking about the minor punishment and subsequent promotions he received after he rejoined the Army and his brief desertion was investigated.

The Army's quick forgiveness paid off. Millett went on to fight in Korea, where he led a bayonet charge up a ridge known as Hill 180 that earned him the Medal of Honor.

The charge, in which he personally stabbed two enemy soldiers, was called by historian S.L.A. Marshall "the most complete bayonet charge by American troops since Cold Harbor," an 1864 Civil War battle.

In his 31-year career, which also included service in Vietnam, Millett was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars, four Purple Hearts and three Air Medals in addition to his Medal of Honor.

"The man was born 170 years probably too late for his liking; there is zero question in my mind he would have been one of the original Sons of Liberty," said Mike Goldware, who was chairman of the committee that built the National Medal of Honor Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery in 1999.

For more, read Lewis Millett's obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Lewis Millett at Wheeler Army Air Field in Hawaii during a 50th anniversary ceremony commemorating the end of World War II.

Credit: Associated Press

One year ago: Frances L. Brody

Brody Frances L. Brody was an art aficionado with a fierce intellect and pointed opinions whose private art collection fetched more than $224 million at an auction in May. She died one year ago at age 93.

Brody, along with her husband, Sidney, played a major role in the launch of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which opened in 1965. For many years, she was a force on the UCLA Art Council, which she helped found and served as president.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens in San Marino, where Brody was a guiding patron and board member for 20 years, received a portion of the proceeds from her posthumous art auction.

Brody and her husband lived in a modernist masterpiece in Holmby Hills designed by architect A. Quincy Jones and decorator William Haines that became a gathering spot for a dazzling cross-section of the city's elite, from old Los Angeles families such as the Chandlers to Hollywood icons Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.

"Francie was one of those originals -- really smart, inquisitive," said longtime friend Robert C. Ritchie, the Huntington Library's director of research. "As a collector, she knew what she liked and knew what she didn't like and ... you knew where she stood. It was never unpleasant, just 'Here's what I think.' "

For more on the storied Los Angeles art patron and her husband, read Frances L. Brody's obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Frances L. Brody


The $106.5-million Picasso and the Bel-Air house where it hung

Private art collection may bring more than $150 million

One year ago: John J. O'Connor III


John J. O'Connor III was a successful Phoenix lawyer and husband to Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He died one year ago of complications arising from Alzheimer's disease.

O'Connor, a Stanford University law school alumnus, gave up a partnership at a venerable Phoenix law firm to accompany his wife to Washington after she became a Supreme Court justice in 1981.

He appeared unfazed at having to switch to a more supporting role in the relationship.

"Sandra's accomplishments don't make me a lesser man. They make me a fuller man," he once told a reporter.

In Washington, he practiced at the law firm of Miller & Chevalier but in 1988 switched to another firm, Bryan Cave, which allowed him to spend time in Phoenix and take advantage of his contacts there.

The O'Connors were fixtures on the Washington social circuit and were known for their ballroom dancing. John O'Connor was once described as "a magnificent man full of Irish humor and tales" by family friend Alan K. Simpson, a former senator from Wyoming.

For more, read John J. O'Connor's obituary by Times reporter Valerie J. Nelson.

--Michael Farr

Photo: John J. O'Connor III dances with his wife, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in 1998 at the annual Meridien Ball in Washington, D.C. Credit: Karin Cooper / Getty Images

Sandra Day O'Connor dances with her husband, John, in 1998 at the annual Meridien Ball in <runtime:topic id="PLGEO100101200000000">Washington, D.C

One year ago: David Lloyd [Updated]

David-lloyd David Lloyd, the father of television writer and producer Christopher Lloyd, was a television comedy writer who wrote the classic "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." He died of prostate cancer one year ago at age 75.

[For the record at 2:28 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated the David Lloyd was the father of actor Christopher Lloyd. He was the father of television writer and producer Christopher Lloyd.]

Lloyd's four-decade comedy career included writing for "The Tonight Show," "Frasier," "Taxi" and "Cheers" among others. His famous "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" earned him an Emmy award in 1976.

"If you consider how long his career was and how much he wrote for such really popular shows, he's got to have been responsible for a record number of laughs in this world," said Les Charles, co-creator of "Cheers."

He was known for being both a quality and a quick-writing comedian. Allan Burns, co-creator of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," called Lloyd a "one-man writing staff."

Lloyd was born in Bronxville, N.Y., and studied English at Yale. After graduating in 1956, he served in the Navy and began teaching English at Rutgers Preparatory School in New Jersey before making his break into television.

For more, read David Lloyd's obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: David Lloyd with his Emmy for comedy writing that he won in 1976 for his "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Credit: Family photo.

One year ago: Earl Cooley



Earl Cooley was one of the first two U.S. Forest Service smoke jumpers to parachute into a forest fire.

Cooley, who died a year ago at age 98, made nearly 50 jumps. The first time was in 1940 during a fire in Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest. The first man to jump was Rufus Robinson, followed closely by Cooley.

"We didn't know what we were doing," Cooley told the Associated Press in 2000.

There was little training. His teacher had hung a parachute in a tree to point out the harness, shroud lines and release handles, then said: "Tomorrow, we jump."

Cooley's obituary by Patricia Sullivan of the Washington Post appeared in The Times on Nov. 19, 2009.

-- Keith Thursby

 Photo: Earl Cooley in 2006. Credit: Associated Press

One year ago: John Scolinos

Scolinos John Scolinos was a Southern California baseball coach at Pepperdine University and Cal Poly Pomona who left a behind a much-heralded legacy of victory. He died one year ago at age 91.

Scolinos coached 14 seasons (1946-1960) at Pepperdine before becoming head coach at Pomona in 1962. There, he turned the program into a powerhouse, winning Division II national championships in 1976, 1980 and 1983.

He also won six California College Athletic Assn. championships and was named Division II coach of the year three times.

He retired in 1991 with a combined 1,198 victories and was inducted into the American Assn. of Collegiate Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1974.

"The good thing about coaching in a college atmosphere, a good atmosphere like this, is that it's constantly changing," Scolinos told The Times in 1987. "The kids keep it interesting. Every season is like a new life cycle."

Before coaching, Scolinos played semipro baseball and served in the Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945.

For more on the baseball coach, read John Scolinos' obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: John Scolinos in 1987. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

One year ago: Waldo Hunt

Pop-up-guru Pop-up cards and books became a modern mainstream hit because of the passion for paper art that possessed Waldo Hunt, an entrepreneur and movable-book collector who spent much of his career in Los Angeles. Hunt died one year ago in Porterville, Calif., at age 88.

Hunt ushered in the modern renaissance in pop-up books when he revived the art form in the U.S. in the 1960s with his firms Graphics International, which was eventually bought by Hallmark and Intervisual Books.

For decades, his team of master paper engineers dominated the market for pop-up, boasting large clients such as Random House and Disney.

In addition to his career, Hunt also amassed at least 4,000 antique and contemporary movable-book titles. He gave about 500 antique pop-ups to UCLA before deciding to showcase them in the Waldo Hunt Children's Museum, opened in 1994 within his Santa Monica offices.

"Wally was a truly gregarious guru," said paper engineer David A. Carter, who worked for Hunt for seven years."He was very, very popular in the European markets. He would get up there and be singing songs. His personality is what really drove it. He was a walking party, and he took care of business too."

For more on the pop-up guru, read Waldo Hunt's obituary by The Times.

Photo: Waldo Hunt displays some of his company's pop-up ads in 1986. Credit: Associated Press

One year ago: Thomas P. O'Malley

Omalley Thomas P. O'Malley was president of Westchester's Loyola Marymount University during a period of significant expansion for the university. He died one year ago at age 79.

O'Malley served as president of Loyola Marymount from 1991 to 1999. A skillful fundraiser, he oversaw a capital improvement drive that raised $144 million, $16 million more than its goal. Among projects completed during his tenure were the Hilton Center for Business and the Burns Recreation Center.

An inspired teacher, O'Malley was remembered for his enthusiastic engagement in campus life, from singing in the choir at Sunday Mass to portraying Pope Paul III in a faculty play.

"Father O'Malley was truly a renaissance man -- bigger than life, quick with wit, poetical and well-versed in languages," Loyola Marymount President Robert B. Lawton said in a statement.

Before Loyola Marymount, O'Malley worked at Boston College, where he was chairman of the theology department and was named the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1973. In 1980, he became president of John Carroll University in Cleveland, where he stayed for eight years.

For more, read Thomas P. O'Malley's obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Thomas P. O'Malley in 1998. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


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