Friday, February 28, 2014

Freeman Hrabowski III, Educator and Mathematician

Freeman A. Hrabowski III is a prominent American educator, advocate, and mathematician. In May 1992 he began his term as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), one of the twelve public universities comprising the Maryland university system. Hrabowski has transformed a no-name, commuter university into a research institution recognized as one of the most innovative in the country. His administration continues to build a campus that’s first-rate in research and instruction, and that prepares students of all backgrounds for career success. Under his adept leadership, UMBC has been ranked the #1 Up and Coming University in the USA for three consecutive years (2009, 2010, and 2011) by U.S. News and World Report magazine.[1]
Hrabowski is the co-author of the books, Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males (1998), and Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women (2001). His research and many publications focus on science and math education, with a special emphasis on minority participation and performance. His leadership, expertise and vision are integral to programs world-wide in science/technology/engineering/mathematics (STEM), and are used by universities, school systems, and community groups around the country.[2] Hrabowski chaired the prestigious National Academies’ committee that produced the report Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Hrabowski to Chair of the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.;[3] and he was also a candidate for Secretary of Education in his administration.[4] He has been called one of America’s Best Leaders,[5] one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World,[6] and one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents.[7]
In 2011, Hrabowski received the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, one of the highest honors given to an educator. The award included a $500,000 grant, which he has directed to support and promote a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and student success at UMBC.[8]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Hrabowski was born in 1950 in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, the only child of busy, hard-working parents, both of whom were educators.[9] His mother was an English teacher who decided to become a math teacher, and she used the young Hrabowski as a guinea pig at home. His father had been a math teacher and then went to work at a steel mill because, as Hrabowski is quoted as saying, "frankly, he could make more money doing that." Frequently asked about the origin of his unusual surname, Hrabowski explains that he is the great-great-grandson of Eaton Hrabowski, a Polish-American "slave master who lived in rural Alabama”, and his wife Rebecca McCord.[10] In a CBS television interview, Hrabowski recounted that he is the third Freeman Hrabowski; his grandfather was the first Freeman Hrabowski born a free man, as opposed to having to be freed.[11]
When he was 12 years old, in 1963, Hrabowski saw his friends readying for the Children's Crusade march for civil rights. He convinced his parents to let him join in as a youth advocate, but soon into the march he was swept up in a mass arrest. Birmingham's notorious Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor spat in his face,[12] and he was incarcerated for 5 days. The jail guards locked even the youngest freedom marchers in with hardened criminals. Hrabowski spent five terrified days and nights shielding other youngsters and comforting them by reading his Bible aloud or singing songs. After being reunited with the adults, Hrabowski remembers the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King telling them, “What you do this day will have an impact on generations as yet unborn." King's words resonated with Hrabowski, and ultimately rang true as the national outrage at the brutality against Birmingham children helped build the pressure for laws banning racial discrimination. That outcome gave Hrabowski a life mission, and he has since been a staunch and tireless campaigner for equality, education, and excellence.
When he was 19 years old, Hrabowski graduated from Hampton Institute with high honors in mathematics. During his matriculation there he spent a year abroad at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received his M.A. in mathematics and four years later his Ph.D. in higher education administration and statistics. Hrabowski focused his education on math and science in part because he was worried that the American economy would suffer if other countries continued to graduate more technology experts than the United States. He wants to ensure smart, dynamic students of all backgrounds continue to be amongst the graduates from STEM programs.


UMBC was a relatively young school in a Baltimore suburb when Hrabowski arrived in 1987 as Vice Provost, then Executive Vice President, and finally President in 1992. From the very beginning he had big plans to turn the mid-sized, unremarkable campus into a place where "it is cool to be smart." It seems Hrabowski's civil rights and administration experiences, his doctoral studies, and his enthusiastic advocacy for education led him seamlessly to UMBC’s presidency.
Within his first two years at UMBC, he had raised enough money to set up the comprehensive tutoring and financial aid programs of the Meyerhoff Scholars.[13] Initially designed to help smart black males become scientists and engineers, the program he co-founded with Robert Meyerhoff quickly expanded to include students of all races and both genders, "who are interested in the advancement of minorities in the sciences and related fields." The Meyerhoff program has since become a national model for colleges and universities everywhere.
Freeman Hrabowski at the opening of the Performing Arts & Humanities Building at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
It was Hrabowski’s background that empowered him to take several bold administrative actions, such as disbanding an Africana graduate studies program and refusing to field a college football team in favor of funding math undergraduates and a championship chess team. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of technologically advanced graduates of all races and genders. Hrabowski frequently writes about minority participation and high performance in the sciences, math, and engineering fields. He advises President Obama on educational issues and consults for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the National Academies. Hrabowski is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Hrabowski holds over 20 honorary degrees, including those from Harvard University, Duke University, the University of Illinois, Gallaudet University the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Binghamton University, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Haverford College, Harvey Mudd College, and Goucher College. Hrabowski is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity. He serves on the boards of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Chair), The Urban Institute, McCormick & Company, and the Baltimore Equitable Society. He has served on the boards of the Constellation Energy Group, Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Company, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Maryland Humanities Council (member and Chair). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Leadership and Innovation[edit]

Hrabowski is a respected voice in the discussion on innovation in science and engineering, who strives to ensure America's readiness in the arena of global competiviness. Under his dynamic leadership, UMBC has become a powerhouse in higher education and has gained a national reputation as one of the nation’s premier universities. The University honored the 20th anniversary of Hrabowski's presidency as hundreds of supporters and friends, faculty and staff, students and alums gathered for a celebration of his leadership and innovation.[14]
The outpouring of support from people across the state and nation recognizes the tremendous contributions the entire UMBC community has made to the social fabric of the region, to Maryland’s economy, and to public education nationwide. The enthusiasm is palpable for the model UMBC has created for excellence in teaching across the disciplines under President Hrabowski's administration. His work continues with the launch of The Hrabowski Fund for Innovation[15] in honor of his anniversary and his many contributions to the university. UMBC has established the fund to permanently endow the initiatives launched with support of the Carnegie grant the president received in 2011. The Hrabowski Fund for Innovation will enable the President’s Office to invest in faculty, staff, and student initiatives such as course design and redesign; development of unique classroom learning environments that support active learning, team-based learning, and entrepreneurial skill development; lab-and-project-based capstone courses; faculty fellowships; and peer-learning initiatives. This fund will sustain and drive UMBC’s culture of innovation.

Quotes by Freeman Hrabowski[edit]

  • “It's hard work that makes the difference. I don't care how smart you are or how smart you think you are. Smart simply means you're ready to learn.”
  • "The more we expect from children, the more they can do."
  • "I guarantee the people who study are going to be successful. Nothing can replace hard work."[16]
  • “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they form your character. Watch your character because it shapes your destiny.”[17]
  • "Success is never final.".[9]

Awards and Honors[edit]

President Hrabowski has received numerous awards recognizing his prowess in leadership, education, innovation, science, and engineering, some of which are listed below:
  • TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award
  • Top American Leaders by The Washington Post and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.
  • McGraw Prize in Education
  • U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring
  • Columbia University Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service
  • GE African American Forum ICON Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Marylander of the Year
  • Heinz Award in the Human Condition category
  • Fast Company magazine’s first Fast 50 Champions of Innovation in Business and Technology
  • Technology Council of Maryland’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Inaugural inductee into the STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame.
  • William D. Carey Award, American Association for the Advancement of Science’s named a
  • Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) by the BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference
  • Educator of the Year by the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC

Selected Media Appearances[edit]

As president of UMBC, Hrabowski is a frequent feature in various media venues[18] such as:
  • President Hrabowski Discusses Workforce Competitiveness on NBC News’ Education Nation (10/8/13)
  • “UMBC Carving a Singular Niche in Cyber, STEM Education” – Q&A in the Baltimore Business Journal (9/27/13)
  • “Ideas for Improving Science Education” in the NY Times (9/2/13)
  • “Oral Histories: Freeman Hrabowski,” C-Span’s American History TV
  • President Hrabowski Discusses the Importance of a Liberal Arts Education on NPR’s Tell Me More (6/6/12)
  • Five universities that really are up-and-comers in the Washington Post (3/21/12)
  • Andrea Mitchell Reports, MSNBC (1/27/12)
  • “Freeman Hrabowski on Job Creation” on WBAL (12/9/11)
  • News Coverage from White House Meeting on Higher Education (12/5/11)
  • Talk of the Nation (12/5/11)
  • 60 Minutes (11/13/11)
  • WBAL Editorial on President Hrabowski and Academic Leadership
  • President Hrabowski in Diverse Issues in Higher Education (pdf) (11/13/11)
  • President Hrabowski in the Chronicle of Higher Education (7/11)
  • President Hrabowski, and Anthony Johnson and Elaine Lalanne of CASPR, in Physics Today(3/11)
  • President Hrabowski on Midday with Dan Rodericks, WYPR (12/9/10)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski and Richard Forno, Cybersecurity programs, in the Gazette of Politics and Business (11/5/10)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski on C-SPAN: The College Board Forum on College Completion (10/28/10)
  • President Hrabowski in the Chronicle of Higher Education (10/10/10)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski in Diverse Issues in Higher Ed (10/1/1)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski on C-SPAN: The College Board Forum on College Completion (10/28/10) (Archive not available)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports (10/1/10)
  • President Hrabowski on WYPR’s Maryland Morning (9/28/10)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski on NPR’s Tell Me More (9/15/10)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski in Black Enterprise (8/24/10)
  • President Freeman Hrabowski in U.S. News and World Report (pdf) (8/10)*
  • President Hrabowski in U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine(Fall/Winter 2009)
  • President Hrabowski on the Today Show (9/09)
  • President Hrabowski on PBS “Charlie Rose” Show (6/7/06)
  • President Hrabowski Interviewed by “Kids of America” (3/14/05)
  • President Hrabowski on “The Today Show” (8/02)
  • Hrabowski discusses changes to the SAT on PBS’ “Newshour with Jim Lehrer (video) (7/02) (video not available)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gabriel Axel, 'Babette's Feast" Director

Gabriel Axel Dies at 95; Directed ‘Babette’s Feast’

Launch media viewer
The director Gabriel Axel with his Oscar after winning for best foreign language film for "Babette's Feast" in 1988.Credit Lennox McLendon/Associated Press
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
Continue reading the main story
Gabriel Axel, a director whose 1987 labor of love, “Babette’s Feast,” received the first foreign-language Oscar awarded to a Danish motion picture — and heralded a growing popular interest in all things food — died on Sunday in Copenhagen. He was 95.
His death was confirmed by a spokesman for the Danish Film Directors Association.
Mr. Axel struggled for more than a decade to find backers for a film in which the characters shared equal billing with plates of ravishingly beautiful blinis, truffles and pastry-crusted quail. He wrote his first draft of the script, based on a short story by the Danish-born writer Isak Dinesen, in 1973.
Working steadily on French and Danish television and movie projects in the 1970s and early ’80s, Mr. Axel doggedly pursued his vision for 14 years before the film was completed and released.
“Babette’s Feast” was a surprise Oscar winner as best foreign-language film — it beat the heavy favorite, Louis Malle’s “Au Revoir les Enfants” — partly because of rave reviews and word-of-mouth support, and partly because of new rules adopted in the early 1980s by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requiring voting members to actually see the films they voted on.
Launch media viewer
Stéphane Audran as Babette Hersant in a scene from the 1987 film "Babette's Feast."Credit Orion Classics, via Photofest
Mr. Axel was a week shy of his 70th birthday when he took the podium in Los Angeles in April 1988 to accept the award. After saying his thank-yous, he quoted a line from his film: “Because of this evening, I have learned, my dear, that in this beautiful world of ours, all things are possible.”
“Babette’s Feast” tells the story of Babette Hersant, a Cordon Bleu chef in 19th-century Paris who flees political upheaval and personal tragedy to find sanctuary in rural Denmark. There Babette, played by the French actress Stéphane Audran, works as a housemaid and cook for a pair of aging, unmarried sisters living ascetic lives as wardens of a pleasure-shunning, Puritan-like community founded by their father, who is now dead.
The story’s climax involves a five-star meal of many courses prepared by Babette that serves as a kind of revelation, opening the palates (and souls) of her mistresses and their flock to the communal joys — spiritual and sensual — of a shared meal, lovingly prepared.
The film’s spiritual overtones made it a favorite of both dedicated epicures and the devoutly religious. In 2010 Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina — later to become Pope Francis — told journalists that “Babette’s Feast” was his favorite film.
The film’s success coincided with, and helped propel, a broadening popular interest in haute cuisine. In the next decade there would be a proliferation of cookbooks, television shows and movies catering to epicurean tastes — including “Like Water for Chocolate” (1992), “Belle Époque” (1992), “The Wedding Banquet” (1993), “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994) and “Big Night” (1996).
Launch media viewer
Mr. Axel in 1959.Credit Svend Aage Mortensen/European Pressphoto Agency
“In ‘Babette’s Feast,’ the art of cooking by a dedicated professional chef became a cinematic subject worthy of our attention,” Steve Zimmerman, an anthropologist of food and author of the book “Food in the Movies,” wrote in a 2009 article published in Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. In Mr. Axel’s film and others that it inspired, he added, food was not only “exquisitely photographed in close-up,” but also served as a “metaphorically significant” part of the story.
Gabriel Axel was born Gabriel Axel Moerch on April 18, 1918, in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city. He spent his childhood in Paris, where his father owned a furniture factory, and returned to Denmark at 18 to study carpentry, with an eye toward joining the family business. But, drawn to the performing arts, he enrolled instead in the Danish Royal Theater Actors School. He graduated in 1945 and dropped the last name Moerch when he joined the Paris theater troupe of the French film and stage artist Louis Jouvet.
Mr. Axel directed several large projects for French television, then returned to Denmark, where he produced series for public television and directed films in the ’50s and ’60s. He also acted in films.
He is survived by four children. His wife of nearly 50 years, Lucie Juliette Laraignou, died in 1996.
Before making “Babette’s Feast,” Mr. Axel was best known for “Hagbard and Signe” (1968), a tragic love story set amid warring Icelandic tribes. Among his other films is “Royal Deceit” (1994), based on the Danish legend of Prince Hamlet.
In interviews, Mr. Axel said “Babette’s Feast” was his most gratifying work because it tested his ability as a storyteller and as a translator of another writer’s poetic imagery. In producing the feast of the film’s title, he recalled, professional chefs prepared over 100 stuffed quails before he completed shooting the dinner for 12. Some birds lost their photogenic beauty under the hot lights and had to be replaced. Others were discarded because actors refused to suck the brains from the quails’ heads, as the script required.
Since it was essential that characters “crushed by pain” be shown coming “alive to love” as a result of real culinary pleasure, he said, he ordered the chefs on the set to prepare substitute brains made from marzipan.

William Zeckendorf Jr., Developer Who Impacted New York City Skyline

William Zeckendorf Jr., 84, Dies; Developer Put Stamp on Skyline

Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
Continue reading the main story
William Zeckendorf Jr., the son of a celebrated developer who himself transformed New York City by making big bets on big projects that helped refashion neighborhoods from the Upper West Side to Union Square, died on Wednesday in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 84.
The cause was complications of respiratory failure, his family said.
In 1986, The New York Times said Mr. Zeckendorf was Manhattan’s “most active real-estate developer,” noting that he was a partner in 20 developments worth well over $1 billion.
After Lincoln Center opened in 1962, developers built housing in the immediate vicinity, but few ventured north of 72nd Street into what the real-estate industry called “the wild, wild west.” But in 1981, Mr. Zeckendorf broke ground on a 35-story building called the Columbia at Broadway and 96th Street for “luxury condominiums” in what had been a community garden.
“Here come the crooks,” protesters shouted over the roar of bulldozers.
But when the condos went on sale in 1983, most of them were snapped up by people who lived in the area. The units soon doubled in value.
Launch media viewer
William Zeckendorf Jr., center, with his sons in 1986, built on the Upper West Side when others were hesitant to do so.Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
“The Columbia was pivotal because it stabilized the West Side,” Mr. Zeckendorf told The Times in 1986. “Until then, there had been an uncertainty about where the area was going. The Columbia proved there was a demand for quality construction.”
Mr. Zeckendorf named his full-block development at 1 Irving Place at 14th Street in honor of his father, who had assembled the parcel on which the United Nations rose and built the Roosevelt Field shopping center on Long Island and Century City in Los Angeles. Completed in 1987, Zeckendorf Towers replaced many run-down low-rise buildings, and is credited with anchoring the resurgence of Park Avenue South and the Flatiron district.
In 1989, Mr. Zeckendorf finished One Worldwide Plaza on the site of the old Madison Square Garden on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Major developers had hesitated to go that far west. Mayor Edward I. Koch called the development, in what had been a tattered area, “a tremendously important part of the ongoing renaissance of New York City.”
Mr. Zeckendorf also bought, renovated and sold the Mayfair, Delmonico, Statler and McAlpin hotels. He built the Park Belvedere, Bellaire, Vanderbilt and Central Park Place luxury apartment buildings. Other major projects included the Four Seasons Hotel and 4 Columbus Circle in Manhattan, and the Ronald Reagan Building and the International Trade Center in Washington.
In the 1990s, Mr. Zeckendorf’s luck ran out. He had overreached financially and was swamped in debt. One creditor persuaded a judge to allow a safecracker accompanied by lawyers and a city marshal to break into Mr. Zeckendorf’s apartment and try to recover millions in jewels and other valuables. They could not find a safe, but took pictures of valuable works of art including a Modigliani painting and a Degas sculpture.
“Why would they do this to me?” Mr. Zeckendorf said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2000. “They’ve ruined my name.”
Eventually, he was able to borrow money to repay the creditor.
William Zeckendorf Jr. was born on Oct. 31, 1929, in Manhattan. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., near Princeton, and attended the University of Arizona for two years before enlisting in the Army, where he was in intelligence officer during the Korean War.
After his discharge in 1953, he joined his father’s company, Webb and Knapp. He left before the company went bankrupt in 1965 to work on his own projects, which at first were mainly renovations. In the mid-1970s, he returned to the sort of major developments his father handled, although he recruited more partners to spread the risk. He kept his public profile low, in contrast to his father’s flamboyance.
The elder Mr. Zeckendorf was known for hiring star architects like I. M Pei and Le Corbusier, and his son inherited a feeling for good design. He figured that the architecture and décor of apartments accounted for 90 percent of their selling points.
“Any time I see someone putting up an ugly building I get upset,” he told The Times.
The Journal reported that part of the younger Mr. Zeckendorf’s financial problems in the latter part of his career occurred because he personally guaranteed debts, and wanted to please outside investors by giving them a greater share of profits than is customary.
“The idea of building and creating was more important to him than earning a lot of money from these buildings,” Herbert Sturz, a former chairman of New York City’s Planning Commission, told The Journal.
Mr. Zeckendorf lived the last 15 years of his life in Santa Fe. His sons, Arthur and William, started their own business and developed two of Manhattan’s most luxurious buildings, 15 Central Park West and 515 Park Avenue.
Mr. Zeckendorf was a trustee of Long Island University for 25 years, and served as chairman during the 1980s. His philanthropy in Santa Fe included transforming a quaint 1930s movie house into the Lensic Performing Arts Center.
Mr. Zeckendorf’s marriage to Guri Lie, daughter of Trygve Lie, the first secretary general of the United Nations, ended in divorce. In addition to his sons, he is survived by his wife, the former Nancy King, a former ballerina; his sister, Susan Zeckendorf Nicholson; and two grandchildren.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jackie Ormes, First African American Woman Cartoonist

Just listened to a report on Marketplace about the first African American woman cartoonist. It can be found at:
Then I looked her up on Wikipedia and read the following:
Jackie Ormes (August 1, 1911 – December 26, 1985) is known as the first African-American woman cartoonist, known for her strips Torchy Brown and Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger.
Jackie Ormes was born Zelda Mavin Jackson in the Pittsburgh area town of Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Ormes started in journalism as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Courier, a weekly African American newspaper that came out every Saturday. Her 1937-38 Courier comic strip, Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem, starring Torchy Brown, was a humorous depiction of a Mississippi teen who found fame and fortune singing and dancing in the Cotton Club.
Ormes moved to Chicago in 1942, and soon began writing occasional articles and, briefly, a social column for the Chicago Defender, one of the nation's leading black newspapers, a weekly at that time. For a few months at the end of the war, her single panel cartoon, Candy, about an attractive and wisecracking housemaid, appeared in the Defender.
By August 1945, Ormes's work was back in the Courier, with the advent of Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger, a single-panel cartoon which ran for 11 years. It featured a big sister-little sister set-up, with the precocious, insightful and socially/politically-aware child as the only speaker and the beautiful adult woman as a sometime pin-up figure and fashion mannequin.
Ormes contracted with the Terri Lee doll company in 1947 to produce a play doll based on her little girl cartoon character. The Patty-Jo doll was on the shelves in time for Christmas and was the first American black doll to have an extensive upscale wardrobe. As in the cartoon, the doll represented a real child, in contrast to the majority of dolls that were mammy and Topsy-type dolls. In December 1949, Ormes's contract with the Terri Lee company was not renewed, and production ended. Patty-Jo dolls are now highly sought collectors' items.
In 1950, the Courier began an eight-page color comics insert, where Ormes re-invented her Torchy character in a new comic strip, Torchy in Heartbeats. This Torchy was a beautiful, independent woman who finds adventure while seeking true love. Ormes expressed her talent for fashion design as well as her vision of a beautiful black female body in the accompanying Torchy Togs paper doll cut outs. The strip is probably best known for its last episode in 1954, when Torchy and her doctor boyfriend confront racism and environmental pollution. Torchy presented an image of a black woman who, in contrast to the contemporary stereotypical media portrayals, was confident, intelligent, and brave.
Jackie Ormes enjoyed a happy, 45-year marriage to Earl Clark Ormes. She retired from cartooning in 1956, although she continued to create art, including murals, still lifes and portraits. She contributed to her South Side Chicago community by volunteering to produce fundraiser fashion shows and entertainments. She was also on the founding board of directors for the DuSable Museum of African American History.
Ormes was a passionate doll collector, with 150 antique and modern dolls in her collection, and she was active in Guys and Gals Funtastique Doll Club, a United Federation of Doll Clubs chapter in Chicago.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Toshiko d'Elia, Champion Senior Marathon Runner


Launch media viewer
The marathoner Toshiko d’Elia, center, with her husband, Manfred, and daughter, Erica, in 1977. CreditLonny Kalfus
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
Continue reading the main story
Toshiko d’Elia, who emerged from the destitution of postwar Japan to achieve renown in the United States as a marathon runner, taking up the sport at age 44 in the 1970s when few older women were doing so, died on Wednesday in Allendale, N.J. She was 84.
The cause was brain cancer, which was detected two months ago, her daughter, Erica Diestel, said. D’Elia, who died at her daughter’s home, lived in Ridgewood, N.J.
At 100 pounds and a little over 5 feet tall, d’Elia was a powerful runner, and a resilient one. At 49, she completed the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 58 minutes 11 seconds, shortly before she was found to have cervical cancer. Eight months later she resumed training, and eight months after that, in the world masters championship in Scotland, she ran 2:57:20, the first time a woman 50 or older had bettered three hours.
Over the years she broke many age-group records. Mary Wittenberg, the president of New York Road Runners, called her “our queen of the roads.”
D’Elia was born Toshiko Kishimoto on Jan. 2, 1930, in Kyoto, Japan. Gail Kislevitz, a friend, said she spoke of difficult times after World War II, her country defeated and largely in ruins. Ms. Kislevitz quoted her as saying: “We starved. My mother would stand on food lines all day and come home with a cucumber to feed a family of six. I dreamed of being a bird so I could fly away.”


Launch media viewer
Mrs. d'Elia running in the Ridgewood Run in 2006.CreditNorth Jersey Masters

Her path to the United States began with an accident at a Roman Catholic convent, where she was helping out as an interpreter. As she told The New York Times in 1977, one day an 18-year-old deaf youth who did odd jobs for the nuns fell from a ladder and began screaming in pain. Suddenly she realized he had a voice and took an interest in teaching the deaf.
She went on to study special education for the deaf in Tokyo at Tsuda College, an institution for women, and won a Fulbright scholarship to study at Syracuse University, accepting the invitation despite her tradition-bound father’s refusal to help pay her way to the United States. As she recalled, he said he would rather spend money on a new automobile than a daughter’s education.
She earned a master’s degree in audiology at Syracuse, married and had her daughter in the United States.
Her husband soon left her, however, and she returned to Japan with the child, then 6 months old. Her father said her failed marriage had disgraced the family and told her to put her daughter up for adoption, but her mother gave her money to return to the United States with the baby.
D’Elia went on to teach for many years at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains.
For years, d’Elia and her second husband, Manfred d’Elia, climbed mountains in the United States and around the world, including Fujiyama in Japan, Damavand in Iran and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. While climbing Monte Rosa in Switzerland, she tumbled into a crevasse, was hauled out by her fellow climbers and finished the ascent.
She and her husband took up running to build climbing strength and endurance: for her, it was a mile every morning at 5 o’clock.
Her serious running career also began by accident. The Ridgewood High School girls’ track team was preparing for a spring cross-country meet, and her daughter, Erica, the team’s captain, did not want any Ridgewood High runners to finish last.
“So my daughter tricked me into running it,” d’Elia told an interviewer. “The kids took off real fast from the start. I paced myself, and I came in third. Erica, who finished first, was standing there, and I could hear her screaming, ‘Oh, my God, that’s my mother.’ ”
Her first marathon was in 1976, in ice and snow in New Jersey. She had planned to run only the first half of the race; a friend’s husband was to pick her up at that point and give her a ride home. When he failed to show, she decided to finish the race, and she did so in 3:25, qualifying her for the Boston Marathon. By 1977, she was running 90 miles a week and winning long-distance races as well as sprinting events in 40-years-and-over competitions.
Manfred d’Elia, a classical pianist and piano teacher, was an accomplished runner himself as well as a prominent conservationist in New Jersey and a founder of hiking groups and the Opera Society of Northern New Jersey. He died in 2000.
Besides her daughter, d’Elia is survived by three grandsons, two stepdaughters and four step-grandchildren.
Despite having open-heart surgery when she was 78, d’Elia kept running, until December, around when her brain cancer was diagnosed.
“She was in the pool every day at 7 a.m.,” her daughter said on Wednesday. “She swam a mile and ran in the water for 45 minutes. Then there was a yoga class. Then she came home for lunch and a nap. Then, in the afternoon, she ran three to five miles. That was her day, until the day she couldn’t.”'

Robert E. Cooke, Pediatrician Who Helped Create Head Start

Robert E. Cooke, Pediatrician Who Helped Create Head Start, Dies at 93

Launch media viewer
Dr. Robert Cooke with a patient in 1982.
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
Continue reading the main story
Dr. Robert E. Cooke, a pediatrician who helped Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson create major initiatives to benefit children, including Head Start, died on Feb. 2 at his home in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard. He was 93.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Susan Cooke Anderson.
Dr. Cooke was a professor of pediatrics and the pediatrician in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in the late 1950s when he began an association with Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of John F. Kennedy, then a senator from Massachusetts, and her husband, R. Sargent Shriver, whose interest in children with intellectual disabilities dovetailed with his own.
The father of two daughters with cri du chat syndrome, a chromosomal defect that results in profound developmental problems, Dr. Cooke became a close adviser to the Shrivers, who ran the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. Created as a memorial to Mrs. Shriver’s oldest brother, who was killed in World War II, the foundation focused on improving the lives of those born with mental defects.
After the 1960 election, Dr. Cooke joined President Kennedy’s transition team, serving on a task force on health and Social Security headed by Wilbur J. Cohen, later an architect of Medicare.
Its recommendations, written in a stifling suite in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, were the beginnings of a broad program of social services. Its call for a separate entity within the National Institutes of Health devoted to children led to the establishment in 1962 of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, later renamed the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
“We had no secretarial money, we had no per diems, we had nothing; Wilbur Cohen had a portable typewriter,” Dr. Cooke recalled in an oral history in 1996, adding: “It was in November. The heat was on full blast in the Mayflower; you couldn’t open the windows and you couldn’t shut off the heat. We sat there in our shirt sleeves sweating away, while Wilbur with his portable typewriter typed this transition report.”
After President Johnson appointed Mr. Shriver to lead the administration’s so-called war on poverty in 1964, Dr. Cooke was recruited to head a committee whose recommendations led to Head Start, a comprehensive child development program that promoted early education as well as health, nutrition and parental education.
Its report, submitted in 1965, became known as the Cooke memorandum, and Head Start was begun on a limited scale that summer. Since then the program has served more than 31 million children, most from low-income families.
Robert Edmond Cooke was born in Attleboro, Mass., on Nov. 13, 1920. His father was an insurance executive. He graduated from Sheffield Scientific School, then a part of Yale, in 1941 and three years later received his medical degree at Yale. At the end of World War II, he served as an Army doctor, determining the fitness of inductees.
He completed his residency in the early 1950s at what is now Yale-New Haven Hospital.
In addition to Johns Hopkins, where he joined the faculty in 1956 and spent 17 years, Dr. Cooke taught at Yale, the University of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now part of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia) and the State University of New York branch now known as the University at Buffalo, where he became chairman of the school of medicine’s pediatrics department.
Dr. Cooke was a longtime board member and medical adviser for the Special Olympics, founded by Mrs. Shriver in the 1960s.
Dr. Cooke’s marriages to Gwen Weymouth and Nancy Perry ended in divorce. In addition to Ms. Anderson, he is survived by his wife, the former Sharon Riley; two other daughters, Kim Himmelfarb and Anne Ennis; two sons, W. Robert and Christopher; and two grandchildren. His two daughters born with cri du chat, Robyn and Wendy Cooke, died in 1967 and 2005, respectively.
In 1996, following President Bill Clinton’s failure to persuade Congress to pass a national health care plan, Dr. Cooke acknowledged that the results of Head Start, especially its early-education component, had been questioned. But he added that its “most convincing” benefits had been in its medical, nutritional and parental involvement efforts. “I think it’s probably the most successful social experiment of the 20th century,” he said, “but the remarkable thing was how easy it was to get it going. I mean, as I look back, it was so easy to get the National Institute of Child Health. It was so easy to get mental retardation centers and research centers going.
“Each one of those, I can remember going and testifying before Congress, and it was a matter of a couple of days,” he added. “When I think of the President’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform of the Clinton administration, we spent maybe five bucks and they spent about 15 million. And we got more accomplished.”