ANNA MERZ, CHEERLEADER AND GUARDIAN FOR BLACK RHINOS
Anna Merz with a rhinoceros named Samia.
Published: April 21, 2013
- Anna Merz, who went to Kenya seeking a serene retirement but became so appalled by the slaughter of black rhinoceroses that she helped start a reserve to protect them, becoming a global leader in the fight against their extinction, died on April 4 in Melkrivier, South Africa. She was 81.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the reserve she founded, announced her death. She left no immediate survivors, but more than 70 black rhinos, including one born the day she died, continue to thrive in the sanctuary that she created to protect them from poachers, who kill the animals for their horns.
As a young woman, Mrs. Merz roamed the world and ended up in Ghana, where she married twice, ran an engineering firm and became active in wildlife conservation. She and her husband went to Kenya to retire, but her revulsion at seeing the carcasses of rhinos strewn about a national park, each missing its distinctive double horn, compelled her to change her plans.
She started looking for land to use as a rhino reserve and, after many rejections, found a patron, David Craig, who with his wife, Delia, owned a vast tract in the shadow of Mount Kenya. They agreed to set aside 5,000 acres for the project, which opened in 1981 as the Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary. It has since grown to 61,000 acres through more land donations and was renamed the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in 1995.
Lewa’s success helped the black rhino population double to 4,880 over the last decade, still a far cry from the millions that once roamed Africa. Lewa is home to 10 percent of Kenya’s black rhinos, and its efforts have lent substance to the dream of returning the species to its former dominance in northern Kenya.
Lewa rhinos must be regularly resettled elsewhere because the success of the breeding program — the reserve’s numbers grow 10 percent a year — has caused overcrowding and fights.
Mrs. Merz’s example has inspired other wildlife conservation efforts and has helped make the black rhino, which is still critically endangered, a global symbol of extinction prevention.
“I have met many remarkable animal specialists during my life, but none as extraordinary as Anna Merz,” Desmond Morris, the zoologist and author, wrote in the foreword to her 1991 book, “Rhino at the Brink of Extinction.” “What Joy Adamson was to lions, Dian Fossey was to gorillas, and Jane Goodall is to chimpanzees, Anna Merz is to rhinos.”
Florence Ann Hepburn was born in Radlett, England, on Nov. 17, 1931, and moved between London and Cornwall as a child. A formative experience was seeing a museum exhibit on the dodo, which became extinct in the 17th century. Another was being on a beach at age 9 when a German fighter attacked: a total stranger threw his body on top of hers and died saving her life.
She graduated from Nottingham University, studied law and traveled to exotic places before settling in Ghana. There she married Ernest Kuhn, whom she divorced in 1969, and Karl Merz, who died in 1988. Both husbands were Swiss.
In Ghana she trained and rode racehorses, rescued chimpanzees and was named an honorary game warden by the nation’s game department. She and Mr. Merz moved to Kenya in 1976.
After securing the first 5,000 acres for the reserve, Mrs. Merz, using her inheritance, built an eight-foot-high fence, then began rounding up rhinos using helicopters and stun guns. She hired more than 100 armed guards, bought a plane for surveillance and built a network of spies to inform on poachers. Poachers, also armed, sell the horns largely to Asians, who grind them for folk medicine, and Arabs, who carve them to use as dagger handles. Prices for rhino horns can run higher than those for gold.
“These are very ruthless people,” she said of poachers.
Mrs. Merz herself carried a gun and knife. Deborah Gage, a conservancy official in London, wrote in an e-mail that about a year ago Mrs. Merz heard a yelp and “went into the next-door room to find that a python had taken her favorite dog, so she grabbed her pistol, shot the python in the head and gradually unraveled it off her dog.”
At first Mrs. Merz used her own money to finance the project, a total of more than $1.5 million, but she came to rely on donations. The American Association of Zoo Keepers helped by raising millions for rhino preservation through its annual “Bowling for Rhinos” campaign. Winners spent a week with Mrs. Merz at her reserve.
Giving local people a stake in the reserve was crucial to its success. She employed them, built schools and medical clinics for them and helped foster the tourist industry. Besides rhinos, of both the black and white species, visitors come to see lions, elephants and other animals. Prince William of Britain and Kate Middleton became engaged in 2010 while staying at a cottage at the reserve.
In 1990, the United Nations Environmental Program named Mrs. Merz to its Global 500 Roll.
To Mrs. Merz, rhinos — far from being the stupid, aggressive, ill-tempered sorts many suppose — were, in her words, beautiful and elegant. She blamed their bellicosity on their poor eyesight, leading them to charge first and ask questions later. She found that rhinos have a sense of humor and that they communicate by altering their breathing rhythms. She read them Shakespeare to soothe them.
Samia, an orphan rhino whom she raised from babyhood, even crawled into bed with Mrs. Merz — not entirely to her delight. Samia would follow her around like a dog, even after leaving Mrs. Merz’s immediate care and returning to the reserve, where she mated and had her own calf. If Mrs. Merz fell, Samia would extend her tail to help her up.
Not realizing how big she had grown, Samia once tried to sneak back into the house where she had been nursed and became jammed in the dining room door. Mrs. Merz had to pour a gallon of cooking oil on her rough skin to ease her through.
STORM THORGERSON, DESIGNER OF UNSETTLING ALBUM COVERS
By BRUCE WEBER
Published: April 20, 2013
- Storm Thorgerson, a British graphic designer whose comic, disturbing, semi-surreal images for the covers of albums helped illustrate the era of psychedelic rock, died on Thursday. He was 69.
His death was announced on the Web site of Pink Floyd, the band with which he was most closely associated. In a statement there, his family said he died of cancer but did not say where he died.
Over a 40-year career, Mr. Thorgerson, working with partners in two different companies, designed LP covers, and later CD covers, for bands including Led Zeppelin, Genesis, the Cranberries, Styx and Phish, helping to push album design away from simply featuring pictures of the artists.
It was Pink Floyd, a band whose eerie, electric operatics and portentous anthems made them emblematic of a progressive, otherworldly strain of rock, with whom Mr. Thorgerson melded most successfully, his images complementing their music and vice versa. Evidently influenced by Magritte, Dalí and Man Ray, he worked mostly with photographs, creating harsh collages, weird juxtapositions, infinite mirrors and reality-defying urbanscapes, images that often required elaborate constructions.
For “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” (1987), he hauled 700 iron hospital beds to the beach and arranged them in rows stretching out to the horizon. For “Wish You Were Here” (1975), he depicted a handshake between two well-dressed men, one of whom is on fire.
He was capable of grand jokes. For “Animals” (1977), he photographed an enormous inflatable pig floating between the smokestacks of a power plant. (The pig reportedly slipped away and entered the potential flight paths of aircraft approaching Heathrow Airport.) The cover of “Atom Heart Mother” (1970) was simply a cow standing in a field, looking over its shoulder, dumbly, back at the camera.
What was perhaps his best-known image was something of an anomaly. For the 1973 Pink Floyd album “The Dark Side of the Moon,” prompted by a request from a band member for something “graphic, cool and deliberate,” he created the suggestion of a triangular prism against a black background, an image of brilliant light refraction that became a symbolic reference to the band.
“It always seemed funny in a way to represent music by choosing to taking a picture of four chaps,” Mr. Torgerson said when asked about his approach to design in an interview with the BBC in 2007. “You’ve got music which might be about all sorts of things, from love lost and love won to politics to school days, from sport to perverse obsessions, etc., etc. Why would you have four chaps on the front? What does that say about the music?”
Storm Elvin Thorgerson was born on Feb. 28, 1944, in Potters Bar, north of London, and grew up mostly in Cambridge, where he and three of the original members of Pink Floyd — Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and David Gilmour — knew one another as teenagers. He attended Leicester University and the Royal College of Art in London. He was sharing an apartment with a friend, Aubrey Powell, when Mr. Powell was asked to design the jacket for Pink Floyd’s second album, “A Saucerful of Secrets” (1968). When Mr. Powell declined, Mr. Thorgerson volunteered, though he later said he had no idea what he was getting into or what was required. He created a swirl of images suggesting a solar system of planets tumbling out of a galaxy above the earth.
He and Mr. Powell eventually formed a design company, Hipgnosis, which lasted until 1983. A subsequent company, Stormstudios, produced music videos, concert films and documentaries as well as album designs.
Mr. Thorgerson is survived by his mother, Vanji; his wife, Barbie Antonis; a son, Bill; and two stepchildren, Adam and Georgia.
Tributes to Mr. Thorgerson, before and after his death, rarely failed to mention that he could be difficult to work with, a description he himself had no quarrel with.
“Scourge of management, record companies and album sleeve printers; champion of bands, music, great ideas and high, sometimes infuriatingly high, standards,” Pink Floyd’s drummer, Nick Mason, wrote about Mr. Thorgerson on the band’s Web site on Friday, adding: “Endlessly intellectual and questioning. Breathtakingly late for appointments and meetings, but once there invaluable for his ideas, humor and friendship.”
JIMMY DAWKINS, FAST-FINGERED CHICAGO BLUES GUITARIST
By PETER KEEPNEWS
Published: April 18, 2013
- Jimmy Dawkins, a Chicago blues guitarist whose prodigious technique earned him the nickname Fast Fingers, and whose admirers included a number of guitarists far more famous than he was, died on April 10 at his home in Chicago. He was 76.
His death was confirmed by Bob Koester, the owner of Delmark Records, the Chicago blues and jazz label for which Mr. Dawkins made his first albums. Mr. Koester did not specify a cause.
Mr. Dawkins said he disliked his nickname, taken from the title of his first album, because he felt it typecast him as a high-energy, showy kind of player and gave short shrift to his affinity for the slower kind of blues. But it stuck.
A practitioner of the so-called West Side brand of Chicago blues, slicker and somewhat less hard-edge than the South Side style of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, Mr. Dawkins was an unusual kind of bluesman. As a guitarist, he was intense without being dramatic; as a singer, he was expressive without shouting; as a performer, he was, by choice, not much of a showman.
He never had a large following in the United States, in part because he decided early on to do most of his touring in Europe and Japan, where he found audiences to be more receptive. But among his fans were fellow guitarists like Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Reviewing a rare New York performance by Mr. Dawkins in 1990, at the blues club Manny’s Car Wash, Peter Watrous of The New York Times noted his introspective approach — “Whereas most bands play for the audience, Mr. Dawkins played for himself” — but praised him as “a master of rhythms” whose “playing reveled in the erratic.”
James Henry Dawkins was born on Oct. 24, 1936, in Tchula, Miss., and grew up in Pascagoula, a coastal town, where the easy-swinging music of New Orleans was as much an influence on his playing as the Delta blues. After teaching himself to play guitar, he moved to Chicago in 1955 and worked in a box factory by day while sharpening his guitar skills in blues clubs by night.
He was brought to Delmark Records by his fellow West Side blues guitarist Magic Sam. His first album, “Fast Fingers,” was released in 1969 and won the Grand Prix du Disque from the Hot Club of France. He recorded several albums in the United States and Europe and in the 1980s had his own record company, Leric.
Survivors include his wife, Verdia; six children; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
PAT SUMMERALL, STAR KICKER WITH GIANTS AND A CALM VOICE ON TV
Pat Summerall, left, worked with John Madden for 21 years as the lead N.F.L. broadcast team for CBS and then Fox. “John looks at it from a coach’s angle; I bring a player’s point of view,” he said.
Published: April 16, 2013
A family spokeswoman, Valerie Bell, said Summerall had been at Zale Lipshy University Hospital since Thursday, when he broke a hip in a fall at his home in Southlake, Tex., in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She said he was undergoing rehabilitation at the hospital when he experienced sudden cardiac arrest.
On a December afternoon in 1958, Summerall kicked a 49-yard field goal in a snowstorm at Yankee Stadium to give the Giants a 13-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns and send the teams to a playoff for the Eastern Conference title. The Giants beat the Browns again the next Sunday, then played in the first of three National Football League championship games in Summerall’s years with them.
That field goal provided one of the more thrilling moments in Giants history. But when Summerall took up broadcasting, he shunned the dramatic turn, preferring an understated and spare style in doing the play-by-play. He largely let the action on the screen speak for itself, meshing splendidly with Madden, a former coach, who eagerly explained the strategy.
“When you listen to Pat, it’s comfortable, it’s a big game, you’re bringing a gentleman into your house,” Madden once said.
Summerall spent more than 40 years in broadcasting with CBS and Fox. Although best remembered for his football work, he was also the voice of the Masters golf tournament and the United States Open tennis tournament.
But for much of his time at the microphone, Summerall had an addiction that afflicted his professional and his personal life, and cost him his health. He was an alcoholic.
In 1992, he was confronted by family members, friends and associates in an intervention and persuaded to enter the Betty Ford substance-abuse clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He emerged sober, remained so, and became a born-again Christian, speaking often of his newfound faith and the insights he had gleaned into his self-destructive conduct. But his liver had sustained irreparable damage. In 2004, he underwent a transplant, receiving the liver of a 13-year-old boy who had died of a brain aneurysm.
In his memoir “Summerall: On and Off the Air” (Thomas Nelson, 2006), he told of how his time at the Betty Ford Clinic “was full of revelations.”
“As the years and the parties passed,” he said, “I became more erratic in my judgment and less patient as I drank more frequently and recovered more slowly. In addition, I had lowered my standards along the way — professionally, personally and physically. To my shame, I had become a practiced liar and a seasoned cover-up man. I was spending more and more time on the road just to be around the party scene, always to the detriment of my family. I had walked away from my marriage and alienated my three kids. They didn’t deserve that treatment.”
George Allen Summerall, nicknamed Pat as a youngster, was born in Lake City, Fla., where he endured a traumatic childhood.
He was born with a right leg twisted backward. A doctor, trying a novel procedure, fractured the leg, turned it around and then reset it when he was an infant. The doctor thought the child might always walk with a limp and doubted he could play sports.
Summerall’s parents had separated before he was born. When he was 3, his mother no longer wished to care for him, and he was raised by an aunt, an uncle and a grandmother, who inspired him to pursue sports.
Though his right leg was shorter than the left, he became a place-kicker and played end for the University of Arkansas, and then was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1952. He spent one season with Detroit and five with the Chicago Cardinals before joining the Giants in 1958.
Summerall sometimes played at defensive or tight end, but he was primarily a kicker in his 10 N.F.L. seasons, and no kick was more memorable than that 1958 field goal against the Browns in the snow.
As he told it in his memoir: “I made the mistake of looking toward the distant goal shrouded in a heavy curtain of falling snow. The wind was howling. My breath was a vapor cloud hovering in front of my face. It was a good snap and a good hold. As soon as I kicked it, I knew it was going to be far enough, but the ball was on a very unpromising trajectory, knuckleballing like a missile gone awry. Yet somewhere it stayed on course and cleared the uprights by so much it would have been good from 65 yards out.”
After beating the Browns a second time in the playoff game, the Giants lost to the Baltimore Colts in sudden-death overtime in the 1958 championship game, which buoyed pro football’s emerging popularity and came to be called “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” The Giants went to the title game again in 1959 and ’61, losing each time.
Summerall retired after the 1961 season with 563 career points, all coming on field goals and extra points except for one interception return for a touchdown.
He began his broadcasting career doing sports shows for CBS Radio while playing for the Giants, then worked as an analyst on Giants’ TV broadcasts, teaming with Chris Schenkel. He teamed with the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Tom Brookshier during the 1970s, then began working with Madden during the 1981 season. They remained together on CBS through 1993, then worked as a pair for Fox from 1994 through the 2001 season. Summerall remained with Fox for another year after that, then worked Dallas Cowboys games on the radio.
In 1994, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave him a lifetime achievement award, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored him with its Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
He is survived by his wife, Cheri; his sons, Kyle and Jay; and a daughter, Susan Wiles, from his marriage to his first wife, Kathy.
Summerall relished his collaboration with Madden, but liked to point out the contrast in their approaches.
“John looks at it from a coach’s angle; I bring a player’s point of view,” Summerall told The San Diego Union-Tribune when he and Madden prepared for the 2002 Super Bowl, their last one together. “What he doesn’t see, I see, and vice versa. But I always remember a bit of great advice from a producer doing golf for CBS. He told me that TV is a visual medium, and you don’t have to tell people what they already can see. His last words were, ‘If I ever hear you say that he made the putt, you’re fired.’ ”
FRANK BANK, LUMPY ON ‘LEAVE IT TO BEAVER’
From left, Tony Dow, Frank Bank and John Close in “Leave It to Beaver.”
By ANITA GATES
Published: April 16, 2013
- Frank Bank, who played the sweet teenage nitwit Lumpy Rutherford on the 1950s-60s hit sitcom “Leave It to Beaver,” died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He had celebrated his 71st birthday the day before.
His death was confirmed by Stu Shostak, a friend, who did not provide a cause.
Lumpy — a friend of Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow), the older brother of Beaver Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) — was something of a heavy on the cheerful series; he tried to push younger boys around but wasn’t very good at it. Thus the character, whose real name was Clarence Rutherford, reflected the idealized American suburbia of network television: even the town bully was lovable.
Nicknamed for his size and perhaps for his less-than-stellar intellect, Lumpy may have been larger than the other boys because he had repeated his sophomore year (at least once) or because his favorite hobby was eating. Constantly. Hapless and harmless, he appeared in 50 episodes during the show’s seven seasons, occasionally as the center of attention. (Certainly that was the case in the episodes called “Lumpy’s Scholarship,” “Lumpy’s Car Trouble” and “Wally Stays at Lumpy’s.”)
Mr. Bank reprised the role in a 1983 television movie, “Still the Beaver,” and a follow-up series, “The New Leave It to Beaver,” which ran from 1983 to 1989 and featured the once-young characters as the older generation. He also played a small part in the feature-film remake “Leave It to Beaver” (1997).
Mr. Bank was born on April 12, 1942, in Los Angeles, reportedly in a hospital corridor during a wartime air-raid drill, and made his credited film debut at 10 as the young Will Rogers in “The Story of Will Rogers” (1952). Typecast after his years on “Leave It to Beaver,” he soon retired from entertainment and became a securities trader. He did appear in the 1983 TV movie “High School U.S.A.,” along with Mr. Dow and other former child and adolescent television stars.
Two previous marriages, to Marlene Blau (1963-65) and Jeri Handelman (1966-82), ended in divorce. His survivors include his third wife, Rebecca Fink, whom he married in 1982; four daughters, Julie Bank, Kelly Lightner, Michelle Randall and Joanne Littman; and five grandchildren.
Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.