Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Student Work – Nicholas Bett and Marie Severin

Nicholas Bett by Stacy Singh


Nicholas Bett image from Wikipedia

Nicholas Bett


Stacy Singh

On August 8, 2018 Kenya mourned the loss of Olympic athlete, Nicholas Kiplagat Bett. Bett succumbed to his injuries following a tragic car crash the same day. Nicholas Bett was killed in Nandi County as he lost control of his vehicle and landed in a ditch. He was the only person driving in the car and he died on the spot. He was just twenty-eight years old. The athlete has left behind his first wife, three children, second wife, and his twin brother Haron Koech who is also a hurdler.


Kenyan athlete, Nicholas Bett was born on January 27, 1990 in the Uasin Gishu County of Kenya. Bett initially played volleyball in his youth, but he went on to pursue a career in running track and he became one of Kenya’s most famous track and field athletes. He suffered a foot injury in 2014 but the pain never slowed him down. He gained recognition in 2015 after winning the 400-meter hurdles world championship scoring a record of 47.79 seconds which was the fastest in that year. While there is no information on Bett’s net worth, it is reported that Kenya’s runners account for 35% of the real estate business.


Bett’s personal life was tangled in a bit of controversy as he was rumored to be in a relationship with another woman. A woman by the name of Brenda Cheruto claims to be the mother of Bett’s third child and she also claims to be his second wife. Nicholas Bett was also legally married to a woman by the name of Gladys Bett and together they have twins. His death stirred up problems between the two women as Brenda Cheruto was banned by Nicholas Bett’s family from attending his funeral. Cheruto even accused Bett’s first wife of stealing her eulogy that she claims she wrote first. Currently, there is no information about Bett’s will or family inheritance. Bett did own a Simat home in Uasin Gishu where his burial took place.


Jack De Menezes, Nicholas Bett death: 400m hurdles World Champion dies in road accident, aged 28, Independent (Aug. 8, 2018, 9:18 PM),


Citizen Team, Nicholas Bett: Facts about fallen Kenyan hero, Citizen Digital (Aug. 8, 2018),


Kahawa Tungu, Family of Nicholas Bett Blocks Woman Claiming to be His Wife from Burying Him, tech (Aug.12, 2018),


Phoebe Cooke, what was Nicholas Bett’s cause of death, how old was the Kenyan athlete and where was the car crash? The Sun (Aug.8, 2018, 8:33 AM),


Marie Severin by Rachel Hogan


Image from Wikipedia



Marie Severin, born August 21, 1929, was well known for being a comic book artist and colorist for Marvel Comics beginning in the 1950s. She was very influential to women worldwide, as she is responsible for assisting in the production of many famous Marvel Comic characters, including Doctor Strange, The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Woman. Severin worked for Marvel Comics at a time when it was rare for women to work in such fields. She passed away on August 30, 2018 at age 89, due to complications from a hemorrhagic stroke. At the time of her death, Severin was under hospice care in Massapequa, New York. She left behind no surviving family members.

Severin began her career working alongside her brother, John, as a colorist for EC Comics in 1949. After her brother moved on to start his career at Mad Magazine in the 1950s, Severin then began to work for Marvel Comics, known as Atlas Comics during that time. Severin worked alongside Marvel executive producer and editor-in-chief Stan Lee. It was not commonly known that Severin was the one responsible for many of the Marvel comic book covers during the 1960s and ‘70s. Being one of only a handful of women working in that industry at that time, it’s no coincidence that Severin was not often credited for her creativity and hard work. A staggering statistic that further proves this is her net worth being $3 million, compared to Stan Lee’s net worth of $50 million. In addition to working for Marvel Comics, Severin worked in the late 1960s creating and editing Marvel comic parodies for a section in Mad Magazine. Some of these parodies included The Silver Burper (The Silver Surfer in Marvel), and The Inedible Bulk (The Incredible Hulk in Marvel).

There is no public knowledge or information on Marie Severin’s will, if one was ever executed. She left behind no surviving family members, as her brother John, her only sibling, had passed away in 2012. Severin lived a very humble life; she owned her family house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and lived their almost her entire life before being moved into hospice care. There is no public information on any assets left behind. The only thing Severin appears to have left behind is her quiet legacy.

Works Cited:

Slotnik, Daniel, Marie Severin, Versatile Comic Book Artist, Dies at 89, The New York Times Obituaries (September 6, 2018 3:19 PM)

Schudel, Matt, Marie Severin, versatile Hall of Fame Comic-Book Illustrator, Dies at 89, The Washington Post (September 6, 2018 3:02 PM)






Student Work: Luis Valbuena and Robert Morgenthau

Luis Valbuena by David Ramdass

luis valbuena

Luis Valbuena – Image from Wikipedia


David Ramdass

Luis Valbuena was a popular Venezuelan baseball player who recently died in December. Luis was born in Venezuela in 1985 where he started his baseball career as a youth. He was part of a local baseball league where he developed the necessary skills and learned the game of the baseball from his peers and family members. Luis has played with numerous Major League Baseball teams and is widely recognized throughout the baseball community. He started his career in the Major Leagues back in 2005 and has been traded to many other teams in his short career. He has played with major teams such as the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels.

Luis was a first, second and third baseman but positions frequently shifted from team to team. He wasn’t the best player but an average player according to statistics. Throughout his career he struggled with running and was labeled as the slowest base runner at one point in his career. His career with the Major Leagues ended in August 2018 where he was released by the Los Angeles Angels and became a free agent.

Unfortunately, Luis was killed in December while he visiting his country of Venezuela. He was accompanied by his good friend Jose Castillo who was also a Major League Baseball player. Jose has also played with numerous Major League teams and was released as a free agent as well. Both players were killed in an ambush attempted by robbers in Yaracuy, a state in Venezuela. The driver of the vehicle tried getting away but stuck a rock and overturned the vehicle killing both Luis and Jose. Due to the unfortunate event, Luis was only 33 years old at the time of death. Jose was 37. Both players were relatively young and still had a bright future ahead of them.


Robert Morgenthau by Ronald Joseph


Robert Morganthau with author’s sister.


Ronald Joespth

Robert Joseph



Born:                   July 31, 1919

Deceased:           July 21, 2019

Age:                    99 years

Cause of death: Brief unspecified illness / Lenox Hill Hospital, NY, NY



Wife:               Lucida Franks (2nd) (2 children) (Wedded 1977) Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist                                 Martha Pattridge (1st) (5 children) (Deceased 1972)

Daughters:      Jenny Morgenthau, Anne Morgenthau Grand, Elinor Morgenthau, Barbara Morgenthau Lee, Amy Elinor Morgenthau

Sons:               Robert P. Morgenthau, Joshua Franks Morgenthau

Grands:           Six (6)

Great-grands:  Three (3)



Grandfather:   Henry Morgenthau Sr., WWI US Ambassador to Ottoman Empire, (Turkey);                       real estate tycoon

Father:             Henry Morgenthau Jr., US Treasury Secretary 1934 – 1945 (Theodore Roosevelt administration)

Mother:           Elinor Fatman, Niece of NYS Governor / US Senator Herbert H. Lehman,

As the Decedent’s lineage may suggest, he originates from an affluent, politically well-connected family. This is further demonstrated by his close relationship to the Kennedys. Although I was unable to locate the monetary value of Decedent’s estate, there is a presumption that it may be one of inordinate value.

Of consequence is Decedent’s two (2) marriages, both of which resulted in children (5 from the 1st, 2 from the 2nd); which may suggest the possibility of complex probate proceedings; including a contested will.  Decedent’s will is unavailable at present.

Decedent married Martha Pattridge in 1943, who bore 5 Children for Decedent, and herself became deceased in1972.  Decedent subsequently wedded Lucinda Franks in 1977, who bore 2 additional children for Decedent, and currently survives Decedent.


Decedent, while enrolled in the Navy Reserves, earned a Political Science degree from Amherst College in 1941; where he exhibited exceptional academic aptitude.  Subsequent to graduation, Decedent transitioned to active duty as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, and commenced a decorated Naval career.  During World War II Decedent survived several enemy attacks, and on April 20, 1944, the sinking of the Navy Destroyer U.S.S. Lansdale.  Decedent, now a Lieutenant, suffered injuries; yet exhibited exemplary valor when he assisted several shipmates to safety by swimming for 3 hours in the dead of night until rescued. Decedent’s acts of heroism resulted in the awarding of the Bronze Star for bravery-under-fire; but unknow to most, that incident would play a far more pivotal role in his life.   In a 2009 interview with the New York Times, Decedent stated: “I was swimming around without a life jacket,” …

“I made a number of promises to the Almighty, at a time when I didn’t have much bargaining power.” … “That I would try to do something useful with my life.”

This promise, I suspect, was a driving factor in molding Decedent’s career path for years to come.  After the War, Decedent enrolled in Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1948, and commenced his promise to “do something useful” with his life.


Subsequent to graduating Yale, Decedent obtained a position as the Assistant to the Senior Partner of Patterson, Belknap & Webb, who was killed in a plane crash in 1952.  As fate would have it, Decedent who almost always traveled with Paterson, elected to remain at home in order to prepare a brief.  Decedent left the firm in 1961, when he became the chairman of Bronx Citizens for Kennedy (John F.), Decedent’s close ties to the Kennedy family led to an appointment as a U.S. Attorney in 1961.  During Decedent’s tenure, spotted with two (2) failed attempts at a run for Governor of New York in 1962 and 1970, he developed a record of convicting mob bosses and high-level white-collar offenders.  Decedent’s belief that: “If government is to be perceived as fair, it has to prosecute both drug dealers and white-collar criminals.” would be a hallmark of his career.  In 1975 Decedent won a special election for New York District Attorney.  There he would be elected to nine (9) consecutive terms, and served from Jan 1975 to Dec 2009; 3 years longer than the incumbent whom he replaced.




Decedent was the longest serving New York District Attorney, 35 years, garnering him the name, “America’s D.A.” by the ABA Journal in 2010.  Law and Order, the television series, was alleged to have based DA Adam Schiff’s character upon New York’s illustrious DA.

Decedent understood the importance of the administrative aspect of the D.A.’s office and pioneered several innovative changes that brought efficiency and increased conviction rates to an organization in disarray. The innovations included the office’s first Sex Crimes Units.  Decedent supervised and was heavily criticized for the controversial Tricia Meili, Central Park Five (5) convictions; and equally so for his 2002 acquittal based on DNA evidence and confession of the actual perpetrator. Notable persons under his tutelage included Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayor, and NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Some less notable influences include Alison Alexander, PhD, featured in the photo on the cover page, who was employed as an Executive Assistant in Decedent’s office during the 90’s.  Although working behind the scenes, Mrs. Alexander interacted with Decedent on almost a daily basis. Having done so, Alexander capitalized on the opportunity to learn from the “legal genius;” which catapulted her to the title of Principal, NYC Board of Education, and her doctorate.


Decedent retired in 2009; yet continued to “do something useful” with his life.  Up to his death, Decedent engaged in pro bono work, advocated for war veterans, and immigration and gun reform. With such polarizing positions, people either loved or hated Decedent.  During my adolescent years I recall not being very fond of Decedent, who for young men of color represented a staunch ally of the NYC Police Department; both embattled with a number of high profile racially charged cases including the 1983 death of graffiti artist Michael Stewart while in police custody, in addition to the 1984 subway shooting of four (4) Black males by Bernard Goetz.    On the opposite end of the spectrum, were people who considered themselves to be under siege by young males of color, and therefore loved Decedent for his alleged unrelenting quest for convictions.  Years later, I have come to understand Decedent as a man who was tough on crime, when necessary, while still being guided by a strong moral compass. Decedent may not have been motivated by an overzealous quest for convictions as I previously suspected, but rather by concern for the safety of all inhabitants of New York City, including myself.  They say time heals all wounds; for me, time has brought a greater understanding of a man I may have been proud to have referred to as my FRIEND.  In an August 29, 2019 interview,  Dr. Alexander stated it quite poignantly: “He was a fair man, he would often go out of his way to help you, but if you messed up … lookout.”  As a pro se litigant with very little resources in S.D.N.Y. during the 1990’s, I recall seeking permission to conduct research at the D.A. office’s law library; to which, I was never denied access.  In a far-removed manner, even I benefitted intellectually as a result of Mr. Morgenthaus’s quest for justice; for that I am forever grateful.


Telephone interview with, Dr. Alison Alexander, Principal, N.Y.C. Bd. of Educ., (Aug. 29, 2019)

Laurence I. Barrett, Robert Morgenthau, bane of rogue banks and scofflaws, dies at 99, Wash. Post, Jul. 22, 2019, available at,

Robert D McFadden,  Robert Morgenthau, Longtime Manhattan District Attorney, Dies at 99, N.Y. Times, Jul. 21, 2019, available at.


















Student Work: Ingvar Kamprad and Anthony Allen Shore



Ingvar Kamprad – image from Wikipedia



Kinga Leung

Ingvar Kamprad

 Ingvar Kamprad was famous because of the Swedish furniture retail company, IKEA, he founded. He died at age 91, at his home in Smaland, Sweden, on January 27, 2018. He left this world behind, after a short illness, surrounded with his family. He was a billionaire. His total net worth $ 58.7 billion, puts him on the eighth place of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index[1].

Ingvar Kamprad was born on March 30, 1926, near the town of Almhult, in southern Sweden. His parents managed the family farm and ran a lodging house. Kamprad started selling matches to his neighbors when he was five. Later, he sold picture frames, pencils, and seeds. In 1943, at age of 17, he founded the IKEA enterprise[2]. The abbreviation, IKEA, comes from the founder’s initials and the first letters of the family’s farms[3] where he grew up.

Kamprad’s wealth was broken up into a structure that was intended to keep his net worth secure, even after his death. Kamprad, of course, had the control over his entire assets because he was the founder of IKEA. However, this structure made sure that no individual can gain control over Kamprad’s net worth after his death. He kept his money in foundations and holding companies, such as $ 48.6B in IKEA, $ 10B in Inter IKEA[4], and $ 0.1B in Public holdings. This resulted in his heirs (three sons) not having direct control over the IKEA firm. However, they did gain a smaller sum of the money from the family-owned Ikano Group, which is a group of finance, real estate, manufacturing, and retail businesses. Its net worth was $ 10 billion in 2016. Many IKEA stores are in the hand of the Stichting Ingka Foundation, whose main purpose is to donate some of the profit for charity and support innovation in design.

Per Heggenes, the chief executive of the IKEA Foundation, has said that Ingvar Kamprad did not care about money. This is the reason why he spread his assets the way he did. IKEA’s profile was, and let’s hope will be in the future, the production of affordable furniture that is easily transportable. Ingvar Kamprad was known for driving an old Volvo, resisting wearing suits, and flying on economy class. The way Kamprad built up his company and lived his life shows that he cared more about people than about money.



  1. Devon Pendleton, What’s Going to Happen to Ikea Founder’s Billions?, Bloomberg Business (Jan. 31, 2018 5:12AM),
  2. Niklas Magnusson, Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s Swedish Billionaire Founder, Dies at 91, Bloomberg (Jan. 28, 2018 6:39AM),
  3. Devon Pendleton and Niklas Magnusson, How the Ikea founder’s billions will be broken up, Irish Examiner (Feb. 01, 2018 7:26AM),



[1] It reports the daily ranking of the world’s richest people.

[2] It started out as a small company selling pens, wallets, and nylon stockings. Then from 1948, it started selling furniture. Finally, Ikea opened its first store in Almhult, Sweden, in 1958.

[3] Elmtaryd farm and Agunnaryd village.

[4] Inter Ikea is the global Ikea franchisor which is controlled by Interogo Foundation. The Interogo Foundation controls the company’s trademarks, brand, and concept. The Interogo Foundation’s Supervisory Council consists the Kamprad family members, but they are in minority and they don’t hold shares.


Anthony Allen Shore



Maria Ameen

Anthony Allen Shore, known to newspapers and the people of Texas as “the Tourniquet Killer,” goes down in history as an American serial killer and child molester, as well as the first person to be executed in the U.S. in 2018. In addition to molesting countless girls, including his two daughters, he sexually assaulted and murdered four female victims between the ages of 9 and 21 with his signature tourniquet between years 1986 and 1995. He is survived by his parents, his sister, and his two daughters.

Born June 25th, 1962 to military parents Robert and Deanna Shore, the family moved frequently before Shore’s parents divorced. He then accompanied his mother to her home state of California before he eventually migrated to Houston where the murders occurred. Interviews with his family revealed him to be a predator long before his move to Texas. His sister describes him as using her to stalk female classmates when they were children and, when they were teenagers, to lure high school girls into his car. He would drive by high schools into his twenties, and while the sister was convinced he was assaulting and molesting the girls we picked up, no criminal charges were ever brought against him. Later, after he divorced his first wife and received full custody of his two daughters, his sister became convinced that he was sexually molesting them. Though she reported him several times to social services, no investigations were made. Had an investigation occurred at this time, a minimum of three murders might have been prevented. But no charges were brought against Shore until 1998 when the girls were 12 and 13 and admitted to Shore’s sister that they had both been raped. Even then, Shore was put on probation, was allowed contact with his daughters, was permitted to live across the street from a children’s school, and was not arrested when two urine samples return signs of cocaine use. While not common place in Texas, this situation is, unfortunately, not uncommon.

However, during the investigation into the molestation of his daughters, Shore was forced to give a DNA sample, which was run through the system and matched to the murder of a Hispanic female found assaulted and strangled in a Dairy Queen drive-through in 1992. The long overdue investigation led to a full confession and imprisonment in 2004, and Shore’s execution by lethal injection in January 2018.

While there are no public records of property or a will, Shore owned a house and a tow-truck business before his imprisonment in 2004. However, it is unlikely that he retained his property or business, or that his personal possessions remained in police custody during his 14 years on death row. There are also no public records of whether the family collected his body. However, there are interviews of his family, as well as his two ex-wives and his ex-girlfriend, with whom he considered himself married, expressing relief at his execution. It is unlikely from their interviews that any of them had any interest in collecting any real or personal property of Shore, or even his body for funerary services.

Works Cited

Ap, Texas “Tourniquet Killer” Set to Be First Inmate Executed in U.S. This Year CBS News (2018), (last visited Feb 7, 2018).

Sarah Fenske, The Killer Next Door Houston Press (2016), (last visited Feb 5, 2018).

State of Texas, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, (last visited Feb 5, 2018).

Student Work – Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington by Veronica Debbie


Chester Bennington, Image from Wikipedia


Veronica Debbie

Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was the lead singer of the American rock band, Linkin Park. He committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt. There were no drugs present at the scene, although a half-empty bottle of alcohol was found. His suicide coincided with the 53rd birthday of his friend Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden’s singer, who also committed suicide in May by hanging.

Bennington was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His father, Lee Russell Bennington, was a police detective and his mother, Susan Elaine Johnson, was a nurse. He had an older half-brother, Brian Bennington, who appeared to have a good relationship with him, and two older half-sisters who prefer to stay away from the media. Bennington revealed in an interview that he was continuously bullied due to his small stature and was sexually abused by an older male friend. His parents divorced when he was eleven years old, and his father gained custody of him. He moved in with his mother when he was seventeen. The abuse and his parents’ divorce drove him to alcohol and drugs. Eventually he stopped his drug use, and to comfort himself, he drew pictures and wrote poetry and songs.

His life changed when when he auditioned and joined the band, Xero, in 1996. This band later on changed its name to Hybrid Theory, and then to Linkin Park. With hit songs such as “Numb,” “Faint,” and “In the End,” they have produced 7 albums, sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, and won two Grammy Awards. Their songs were featured as soundtracks for blockbusters like Transformers and Twilight. Bennington himself appeared in movies Crank: High Voltage, and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter.  Other than the Linkin Park, Bennington formed another group, Dead by Sunrise, and served as lead singer for the Stone Temple Pilots. The latter was his music inspiration when he was young. Bennington also had a great interest in tattoos, and did some promotion for the Club Tattoo, a tattoo parlor in Tempe, Arizona, which was owned by his high school friend, Sean Dowdell.

Jaime, Bennington’s son, was born on May 12, 1996 from his relationship with girlfriend Elka Brand. Bennington later adopted Isaiah, Brand’s other son, who was born on November 8, 1997. On October 31, 1996, he married his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, and had one child together, Draven Sebastian, on April 19, 2002. They divorced in 2005. In 2006, he married a former Playboy model, Talinda Ann Bentley, and had three children, Tyler Lee Bennington, born on March 16, 2006, and twins Lilly and Lila, born in March 2011. After Bennington’s death, Olit wrote a Facebook message that her son, Draven, was not treated equally by Bentley and never wanted to go to the family house. Olit expressed gratitude towards Bennington, that he had provided her with a judgment so that Draven went to the family house only when Bennington was there.

Bennington purchased the Palos Verdes Estates, Los Angeles, $2.5million, 3,956-square-foot, five bedrooms and two bathrooms house at the end of May 2017, about two months prior to his suicide. This raised speculation of some parties that Bennington was preparing for his family’s well being after his death. However, there is no information if he prepared a will.

Bennington had an estimated net worth of $20 to $30 million. He was laid to rest in a private burial near his home on July 29, 2017.



Stephanie Dube Dwilson, Chester Bennington’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know (July 20, 2017, 7:10 P.M.),


Chester Bennington’s Ex-Wife Blasts Family Members ‘Capitalizing on His Death’ (August 24, 2017),


Chester Bennington (September 6, 2017, 00:02 A.M.),


Emily Crane and Ann Schmidt, Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington Bought $2.5 Million Home for His Family just Two Months before He Was Found Dead in a Bedroom (July 25, 2017, 07:03 A.M.),

Effie Orfanides, Chester Bennington’s Net Worth 2017 (July 20, 2017, 4:01 P.M.),

Student Work – Arthur Rosenfeld and Lorenzo Servitje Sendra

Arthur Rosenfeld by Ksenia Khismatulina



Arthur Rosenfeld receiving a medal from President Obama Image from Wikipedia

Ksenia Khismatulina

Ksenia Khismatulina

Brilliant scientist, honored researcher, and global advocate for energy efficiency, Arthur Rosenfeld passed away on January 27, 2017 at the age of 90 at his home in Berkeley, California. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

Arthur Rosenfeld was born in Alabama on June 22, 1926. He spent his childhood years in Egypt, where his father was a consultant to the Egyptian sugarcane industry. While still in high school, Arthur Rosenfeld earned his bachelor degree in industrial physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He continued his studies under Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi at University of Chicago where he received his Ph.D. After that, Rosenfeld joined the physics faculty at the University of California at Berkeley. It was the oil embargo of 1973 that made the scientist famous worldwide. One night, before going home, he decided to turn off the lights in all 20 offices of his lab and started to calculate the energy savings. That is how his meticulous research and quest for energy conservation began. In 1975, Rosenfeld created the Energy Efficient Buildings Program. It is a study about impact of low-energy refrigerators and air conditioners and glass windows that trap heat on energy security. Doctor Rosenfeld came to a conclusion that more efficient appliances could cut energy consumption and save billions of dollars. His work received recognition from Governor of California Jerry Brown when energy efficient requirements for refrigerators and freezers went into effect in 1977. Ten years later, the federal government followed golden state example and started to implement its own requirements for appliances. Arthur Rosenfeld developed the DOE-2 series of computer programs for building energy analysis and design that has been the standard for building energy analysis for more than 25 years. He is considered a father of energy efficiency movement.

Arthur Rosenfeld’s scientific contributions and advocacy for energy preservation were very well acknowledged. He served as an advisor at the Department of Energy under President Bill Clinton. In 2006, he was awarded one of the most reputable science honors, the Enrico Fermi. In 2011, President Barack Obama expressed the country’s gratitude with national Medal of Technology and Innovation. In order to honor Arthur Rosenfeld’s achievements, a group of 54 scientists proposed a new unit of measurement that refer to annual electricity savings of three billion kilowatt-hours (equivalent to the amount of energy produced by coal plant each year). They suggested naming it the Rosenfeld.

Dr. Rosenfeld is survived by daughters Dr. Margaret Rosenfeld and Dr. Anne Hansen, two granddaughters and four grandsons. His wife of 53 years, Roselyn Bernheim Rosenfeld, died in 2009. As for the Arthur Rosenfeld’s estate information, nothing was found with the exception of his Berkeley home, an 80-year-old Spanish-style place that boasts double-glazed windows, high-efficiency appliances and energy-sipping lightbulbs

Works Cited

Harrison Smith, Arthur Rosenfeld, Physicist at Forefront of Energy-Efficiency Movement, Dies at 90, Wash Post (January 31, 2017),

Kate Galbraith, Arthur Rosenfeld, Zealous Champion of Energy Efficiency, Dies at 90, N.Y. Times (January 27, 2017),

Marc Lifsher, You Can Thank Arthur Rosenfeld for Energy Savings, L.A. Times (January 11, 2010),

Lorenzo Servitje Sendra by Demi Huang


2017-03-02 23.02.08

Demi Huang

Don Lorenzo Servitje Sendra passed away on Friday, February 3, 2017 at the age of 98 in his home in Mexico City. He is survived by his two sons, six daughters, 24 grandchildren, and 50 great-grandchildren. His wife, Carmen Montull, passed away in 2002.

Don Lorenzo Servitje Sendra, also known as Don Lorenzo, was born on November 20, 1918 in Mexico City, the son of Juan Servitje Torrallardona and Josefina Sendra. He studied accounting at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, but is now known for being one of the founders of Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican bakery conglomerate that now includes Wonder Bread, Sara Lee, Entenmann’s, Thomas’ English Muffins, and more. The company started off as a small bakery and retail store called El Molino, opened by his father in 1928. When his father passed away suddenly in 1936, Mr. Servitje inherited the business and decided to leave his work as an accountant. It was then that he began working out how to import modern American industrial baking technology.

At the end of 1945, Servitje and his partners started the company. Initially, Grupo Bimbo had 34 employees and 10 trucks that solely delivered loaves of white bread in two sizes, rye bread, and toasted bread. Today, the company has 130,000 employees and 170 factories in 22 countries. They make 10,000 products, which are marketed under more than 100 different brands, and are distributed by more than 11,000 vehicles. In 2014, the company reported over $14 billion in sales. After buying Weston Foods, and having previously acquired the Mexican Rights to Wonder Bread, Grupo Bimbo became the biggest baking company in the United States in 2009. Only two years later, the company became the biggest baking company in the world after buying its competitors in Spain, Portugal, and Argentina.

Works Cited

Co-Founder of Mexican Baking Giant Grupo Bimbo Dead at 98, Latin American Herald Tribune (February 3, 2017),
Sam Roberts, Lorenzo Servitje, a Founder of the World’s Biggest Bakery, dies at 98, The New York Times (February 6, 2017),









Student Work – Juan Gabriel and Gene Wilder

Juan Gabriel by Roberto Fernandez


Image of Juan Gabriel from Wikipedia



Roberto Fernandez


Juan Gabriel was affectionately called “El Divo de Juarez” by his fans. Divo can be translated as a male Diva. Juan Gabriel wrote more than 1800 songs during his life. He was a gifted singer, actor, businessman, philanthropist and songwriter. When he was younger he acted in several movies as the male lead. His songs have been used in movies, television shows and soap operas for decades, making him an icon and a household name. He was widely believed to be gay although he never confirmed or denied it. In an interview he was asked if he was gay, he replied “ Lo que se ve, no se pregunta.” Which can be translated as “ you don’t ask, what can be clearly seen.”

He was born on January 7th 1950 in Michoacan, under the name Alberto Aguilar Valadez. However, he grew up in Ciudad Juarez near the Texas border. He was the youngest of ten brothers and sisters. During his childhood he spent years in an orphanage until he was reunited with his mother. He travelled to Mexico City a few times trying to get a record deal. On one of his trips he was falsely accused of robbery and sent to prison. After a year and a half he was released because of a lack of evidence. By 19 years old he had already signed a deal with a record label.

Juan Gabriel was very flamboyant, reminiscent of Liberace and he was very patriotic. He refused to sing in English saying “Mexican music must be defended with vigilance…My thoughts, my feelings, my spirit, they are all in Spanish.”

He died on August 28, 2016 in Santa Monica, California from a heart attack. Juan Gabriel led a very private life, not much is known publicly about his estate. However, some consider it to be in the hundreds of millions based on the songs, property and investments he owned. He left behind four children conceived by artificial insemination with his friend Laura Salas. In an interview he claimed she was his best lifelong friend.



Kirk Semple and Elisabeth Malkin. Juan Gabriel’s Death, Like His Music, Brings Mexicans Together, The New York Times (Aug. 29, 2016),

Juan Gabriel, Mexican Singing Superstar- Obituary, The Telegraph Obituaries (Sept. 2,  2016),–obituary/


Gene Wilder by Genesis Parada


Image of Gene Wilder from Wikipedia

Genesis Parada


The film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” has captivated dozens of generations over the years. Forty-five years after the film was released, the lead actor, Jerome Silberman,  better known as Gene Wilder, died on August 29, 2016 at the age of 83 at home in Stamford, Connecticut from complications of Alzheimers disease.


The American comic, actor, screenwriter, director, and author, Gene Wilder, was known across the globe for his prominent role as Willy Wonka in the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Wilder was born on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Jeanne Baer and William J. Silberman-a manufacturer of miniature whiskey and beer bottles. At age 8, his passion for acting and comedy was brought to life when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told Wilder to “try and make her laugh”.


At age 15, he performed for the first time in front of a paying audience as Balthasar in a play of Romeo & Juliet. Three years after landing his first professional acting job at Herbert Berghof’s production, Charles Grodin convinced him to leave the studio to study Lee Strasberg’s method acting. Months later, Wilder was accepted into the Actors Studio-a membership organization for professional actors currently run by Al Pacino. Wilder then adopted the name “Gene Wilder” at the age of 26. Gene for Eugene Gant, and Wilder for the playwright Thornton Wilder.


Wilder’s film debut was in 1967 in the film “Bonnie & Clyde”. Wilder went on tour around the country with different theatre productions and was featured in a broadcast appearance on CBS of “Death of a Salesman”.  In 1971 he auditioned for his now legacy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and accepted the role under one condition: he wanted to make a grand entrance coming out of the factory with a cane and fall into a somersault and get up applauding. By this time he had released three novels, starred in over two dozen movies/productions and even produced his own film, “The Women in Red”. By 1971 he was already nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2000.


He was survived by Katherine Wilder, his daughter, and wife Karen Boyer. Alzheimers is a very mentally deteriorating disease, Wilder and his family took early measures in estate planning. According to a recent article in Forbes, Wilder’s estate has a reported net worth of around $20 million.

Danielle and Andy Mayoras “From Gene Wilder’s Struggle With The ‘Illness-Pirate’”. Forbes (Sep 7, 2016)


Daniel Lewis Gene Wilder Dies at 83; Star of ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘Young Frankenstein”. Times (Aug 26, 2016)


Allanah Faherty “8 Amazing Facts You Probably Never Knew About Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”. Movie Pilot (Aug 30, 2016)



The Original Sadist Had a Really Nice Prison Cell and Very Specific Last Wishes

Did you know that when we call someone a sadist, we are referring to the Marquise de Sade?


Image from Wikipedia, click for source.

According to Wikipedia, The Marquis was born into a noble French family in 1740. Early in life he joined the military and then married and had three children, but he wasn’t much of a family man. In fact, he reveled in procuring and abusing prostitutes as well as his own servants. His behavior was so outrageous that he spent half of his adult life in prisons or insane asylums. We remember Sade today for his writings – he wrote some scandalous books that mingled shockingly violent pornographic scenes with his political philosophy.

In 1777, Sade was arrested and imprisoned in the Chateau de Vincennes under a warrant obtained by (who else but) his mother-in-law. He escaped but was recaptured and remained at Vincennes for seven years after which they transferred him to the Bastille. Ten days before Bastille Day (when the people stormed the prison on July 14, 1789 and officially set off the French Revolution), Sade was moved to an “insane asylum”. Funnily enough, eventually he was released from the asylum and was then elected to a position in the new government!

His freedom didn’t last too long, alas. In 1802, Napoleon ordered the arrest of the author of Justine and Juliette (two of Sade’s pornos that had been published anonymously). He was housed in two other jails and then in an insane asylum until he died in 1814.

Sade’s will is fascinating.  He must have been worried about being buried alive because he wrote

“I categorically forbid the dissection of my body for any purpose whatsoever; I must pressingly request that it be kept for fourty-eight hours in the room in which I die …”

He also included his burial instructions, ” (A)n express messenger shall be sent to M. Le Normand, firewood merchant … to take my body and in his care transport it in the said firewood wagon to the woods on my Malmaison property … where I wish it to be placed, without any sort of ceremony … once the grave is filled in, acorns are to be scattered over it, so that in time the grave is again overgrown, and when the undergrowth is grown as it was before, the traces of my grave will vanish from the face of the earth as I like to think memory of me will be effaced from men’s minds …”

You can read more about Sade’s will and the wonderful story of his skull at  The Marquis and His Skull.

Although Sade was by all accounts a flagrant libertine, the French have preserved at least one of his prison cells as a tourist attraction in the Chateau de Vincennes. The Chateau is a short train ride from central Paris and boy howdy is it cool. It began as a residence for the French royal family during the Middle Ages and is considered one of the greatest Medieval castles in all of Europe. Once Versailles was built, Vincennes was used as a porcelain factory and then a jail. Eventually, the Chateau was turned over the military and they have been restoring it since WWII.

When I visited Vincennes I happened on Sade’s cell and I envied it for its spaciousness and super-high ceiling. It may have been hard to heat back in the day, but, in truth, I thought it nicer than many New York City apartments, including my own.

According to Wikipedia, Sade’s family considered him a shameful embarrassment. One of his sons burned a lot of his writings and the family tried to forget him, but of course,  his name lives on.  I wish Sade, the former prisoner/asylum resident, could return for a moment today – to see his name in common usage around the world and the millions of books, magazines and videos that share his particular predilictions.

Alaskans and their Animals


My photograph of Alvin Eli Amason’s “Oscar Scared Him With His Icon” at the Museum of the North, Fairbanks (all photographs below are mine)

When you ask New Yorkers to think of local wildlife, we conjure up the disgusting animals that thrive on the trash in our wonderful  pig-sty city of smells – nasty rats, roaches, bedbugs, pigeons, squirrels (rats with cuter tails) and the occasional rabid raccoon, escaped gigantic pet snake or sewer alligator.

Most New Yorkers would cheer on learning of the extinction of our icky fauna,  but Alaskans have an entirely different relationship with their wild animals – they seem to deeply love and respect their non-human beings.


I visited Alaska a few year ago and from the moment I arrived, I sensed the importance of animals to the Alaskans – they like to stuff and display the wildlife they kill.  The Ted Stevens Airport in Anchorage features several big dead animals whose ferocity has been preserved and captured forever in glass cabinets. And in fact, I think every one of the six hotels I stayed at (in Seward, Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks) showcased taxidermied animals as part of the décor.


A bear at the airport.


For sure, some Alaskans depend on their local wildlife for survival.  Even today, in the age of Costco and Amazon  (they do have them in Alaska), some Alaskans prefer or are forced to live on a “subsistence” diet, reliant on what they can kill and gather.  There is a lot of meat and fish in Alaska – salmon, halibut, whale (yes, some native Alaskans still hunt whale), moose, caribou, bear and more.


Michael Nakoneczny’s painting in the Museum of the North

If you want to learn more about subsistence hunting and trapping, I highly recommend the series the Last Alaskans which features several different families and individuals living a subsistence existence.

From my visit, I learned that native Alaskans have a rather beautiful relationship with the animals they hunt.  They thank the animal for presenting itself to be eaten. They won’t kill an animal that is too large for their needs because they don’t believe in waste and every part of an animal is either eaten or used for something else – shelter, clothing,  jewelry, and even furniture.


An antler chair at the Museum of the North, Fairbanks.

It is not just the subsistence hunters who love animals.  Even the Alaskans in the  “big” cities, esteem their animals.   In fact, on virtually every day of my vacation, stories about animals were featured on the front pages of the Anchorage and Fairbanks newspapers!  In NYC we get the “pizza rat”, but in Alaska, they report on a bear walking into a liquor store and a moose getting caught in a soccer net and they even print dog obituaries.

Alaska is a wondrous, stunning state with lovely people and an abundance of fascinating wildlife.  I feel very fortunate that I could go to somewhere so different than New York City and I must admit it made me sad that our indigenous animals suck so bad.




ciao anita


Every tourist in Rome comes to the Trevi Fountain because it is breathtakingly beautiful and because a tradition says that if you toss a coin into the fountain, you are guaranteed to return to the Eternal City.


Pre-renovation  image from Wikipedia. Click for source

Last winter I returned to Rome and wandered over to the fountain to learn that there was to be no coin tossing into the Trevi’s waters.   The fountain (completed in 1762) was undergoing renovation – it  was dry and its gorgeous Baroque sculptures were covered in scaffolding.

On the upside, we tourists could walk a set of planks extending into the center of the fountain so that we could enjoy the remarkable sculptures up close.  It was a once in a lifetime bit of luck!TREVI3


To make the experience even more meaningful, suspended from the scaffolding was a huge banner commemorating the gorgeous Swedish-Italian actress, Anita Ekberg, who had died that week at age 83. During the 1950’s-60’s, Ekberg was known for her incredible beauty and glamorous life. She had roles in many films and she dated many famous men including Frank Sinatra.  She married twice but never had children.



 Although the tribute was temporary, I loved that the Romans honored Anita Ekberg so quickly, with such a gorgeous, gigantic banner.  It was wonderfully perfect that Anita Eberg was commemorated at the Trevi Fountain because her most famous role was playing a stunning actress much like herself in a great Fellini film set in Rome, La Dolce Vita.  In one of the most iconic scenes in all of film history, Ekberg’s character “Sylvia” dances in the Fountain at night during the evening she spends with a super-sexy journalist played by Marcello Mastroianni.

Enjoy Anita’s frolic on Youtube!


 Note: This is a cross-post from our class blog on New York City College of Technology’s OpenLab, “Our Places; How We Commemorate”.

Student Work – Yvonne Craig and Satoru Iwata and Roderick George Toombs


by Deborah Rios

Yvonne Craig's image from Wikipedia. Click for source.

Yvonne Craig image from Wikipedia.

Deborah Rios

Deborah Rios

Movie and television actress, Yvonne Craig died on August 17, 2015 at age seventy-eight in her home in Pacific Palisades, California. Craig had succumbed to metastasized breast cancer which had spread to her liver. She was born Yvonne Joyce Craig on May 16, 1937. Craig was born in Taylorville, Illinois and subsequently grew up in Ohio.
After a brief stint with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Craig commenced her acting career when she was discovered by Patrick Ford, son of film director, John Ford. Ford had cast Craig in the starring role of the movie, The Young Land. Craig also went on to do guest roles in television series such as Perry Mason, Mr. Lucky, and Star Trek.

During the early sixties, Craig had been dating Elvis Presley (the lucky girl) and worked in supporting roles opposite Presley in the films, It Happened at the World’s Fair and Kissin’ Cousins. However, Craig’s most memorable role was that of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in the short lived television series, Batman. This role was considered a “pioneer” role since this was the first female superhero on prime time television. At a time where the second leg of the Women’s Liberation movement was taking stride, Craig’s role as Batgirl was a major contribution. From 1972 through 2011, Craig continued to accept television roles which included the voice role of “grandma” in the children’s television show, Olivia which ran from 2009 through 2011.

In addition to her acting career, Craig went into private business in the field of real estate. She also joined her sister, Meridel, in a thriving pre-paid telephone card business. Among her other endeavors, Craig wrote her autobiography entitled From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond in the year 2000. Moreover, Craig was a philanthropist and a heavy advocate for union workers rights as well as an advocate for equal pay for women. She was also a supporter of education and donated her time to mentoring and tutoring under privileged students.

Craig is survived by her husband, Kenneth Aldrich, Sister, Meridel Carson and nephews Christopher and Todd Carson. There is no information as to the estate of Yvonne Craig


KATIE ROGERS, Yvonne Craig, Actress Who Played Batgirl, Is Dead at 78, N.Y. Times, August 19, 2015,

Yvonne Craig,

Yvonne Craig sm


by Jasmeet Sahni

Satoru Iwata image from Wikipedi. Click for source

Satoru Iwata image from Wikipedi.

Jasmeet Sahni

Jasmeet Sahni

Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata passed away at the young age of 55 after battling cancer for over a year. He was a Japanese born programmer and businessman. Even at a young age he was always interested in computers and leadership. In middle school he worked with a demo computer just by using telephone lines. In high school he displayed leadership skills serving as class, student council and club presidents. After entering high school, he would save money by washing dishes in order to purchase his first programmable calculator. Not long after, he went on to develop his own game in his junior year making simple number games. He is widely known for his unconventional ideas and changing the medium.

Sadly, in June 2014 a tumor was discovered during a routine physical, the tumor was removed yet resurfaced one year later. Unfortunately, Mr. Iwata died from complications with a bile duct tumor on July 11, 2015 in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Throughout his career, Iwata built a strong relationship with Nintendo fans through social media and regular appearances at gaming events. He respectively became the public face of Nintendo.

Mr. Iwata’s death was a major shock to all video-game entrepreneurs and users. Iwata brought a new feel to the Nintendo world, unlike his predecessor, Hiroshi Yamauchi who was infamous for being very harsh with his rhetoric, once saying people who play RPG’s (role-playing games) were “depressed people who like to sit along in their dark rooms”. Instead Iwata’s hands-on approach to business earned him admiration and respect from both developers and gamers.

Satoru Iwata was named one of the world’s top CEO by Barron’s Magazine, he was the first Nintendo President not related to the Yamauchi family through either consanguinity or affinity. In 2003, thanks to Yamauchi, Iwata pushed for development of a revolutionary product that would later be known as Wii. According to Iwata, the premise of the console was that “a Mom has to like it”. He is more notably known for helping create major games such as Kirby’s Adventure, Super Mario Bros, Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong Pokémon Gold & Silver, Legends of Zelda, just to name a few.

Iwata believed “Above all, video games are meant to be just one thing; fun. Fun for everyone.” Even after he joined Nintendo, as the head of its corporate planning division in 2002, he saw Nintendo’s net sales fall by two-thirds, it was the first time in thirty years that the company saw its first operating losses. Iwate voluntarily halved his salary as an apology in both 2011 and 2014. As of April 2013 Forbes estimated Yamauchi’s net worth at $2.1 billion, he was the 13th richest person in Japan and the 491st riches in the world. Nintendo, alternatively, is worth $18.1 billion thanks to their timeless games and uniquely designed hardware.

Satoru Iwata’s death was a shock to the entire world. Due to his unconventional gaming ideas and strong relationship with Nintendo fans he will forever be known as an iconic and deeply admired individual. Luckily, through his games fans of his work such as myself are able to keep his memory alive. He is survived by his spouse, Kayoko Iwata.

Works Cited

Matt Peckham, “Why Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Mattered”. Times. Tech. Video Games (July 13, 2015)

Titiana Serafin, “Billionaire Nintendo Changemaker Hiroshi Yamauchi Dies”. Forbes (Sept 19, 2013)

Rich Stanton and Keith Stuart, “Satoru Iwata changed the whole games industry and now leaves it in mourning”. The Guardian. Tech. Games (July 13, 2015)

Nintendo. Game Credits


by Gina Delgado

Roddy Piper image from Wikipedia

Roddy Piper image from Wikipedia

Gina Delgado

Gina Delgado

Canadian professional wrestler, Roderick George Toombs better known as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper or “Hot Rod”, died on July 31, 2015 at 61 years old from a heart attack in his sleep at his Hollywood, California household. Piper had suffered from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the year 2006 but was reported cancer free at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Kitty Toombs, his four children; Ariel Toombs, Anastacia Toombs, Falon Tombs, and Colton Toombs.

Piper the most diverting, scandalous, and overbearing legend in World Wrestling Entertainment, cherished by millions of fans around the world was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on April 17, 1954 and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Piper first joined World Wrestling Entertainment in 1984 after receiving his first opportunity from National Wrestling Alliance in the 1970’s. His nickname, “Rowdy Roddy Piper” was known for trash talking, wearing a kilt, and his bagpipe entrance music.

Aside from his nickname, he headlined the very first WrestleMania in 1985 where he partnered up with Paul Orndoff against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. and appeared in many television shows and movies such as “They Live” which was directed by John Carpenter. He was also World Championship Wrestling U.S Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and World Tag Team Champion. With all of his many accomplishments, Piper was inducted to the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2005 at Los Angeles, California. To this day, Piper’s legacy lives on and forever will be remembered from World Wrestling Entertainment professional wrestlers and fans.


Steve Almasy, Roddy Piper, pro wrestling “bad guy” dies at 61, (August 1, 2015)

The Associated Press, WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper dies at 61, (July 31, 2014)

Nina Golgowski, Pro wrestler, WWE champion “Rowdy” Roddy Piper dead at 61, (August 1, 2015)

Marissa Payne, WWE legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper dead at age 61, (July 31, 2015)