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December 28, 2009 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Dozens of men and women surrounded the auctioneer, yellow bid cards in hand, whispering and vying for a glimpse of the latest lot for sale. They were bidding on the unclaimed belongings of the dead, each tagged with the name of its former owner. A 200-year-old German violin that belonged to a man named Leon David Cislin rested in a case of crushed red velvet. Hundreds of Hallmark Christmas ornaments once owned by a Thomas Young, many in unopened packaging, filled several tables.
June 20, 2008 | Bloomberg News
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. doesn't owe any profits from the "Pink Panther" films to the heirs of a man who co-wrote the first movie treatment about the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. Heirs of Maurice Richlin claimed in a lawsuit against MGM that Richlin's role in writing the initial plot outline in 1962 made him a co-author of the 1963 film "The Pink Panther" and its nine sequels, giving them rights to the movie's copyright. An appeals court in San Francisco disagreed, saying Richlin assigned all rights to the treatment to a production company that made and copyrighted the film.
July 4, 2005
John Walton, one of five Wal-Mart heirs who are ranked among the richest people in the U.S., died with a fortune of $18.2 billion (Obituary, June 28). If all five heirs have approximately the same net worth, their total net worth would be more than $90 billion. Meanwhile, some of their employees are compelled to apply for public benefits funded with tax dollars while Wal-Mart squeezes subcontractors so that they cannot pay a living wage. Regardless of any of John Walton's charitable works, this disparity is a shameful commentary on our society and its tax laws.
October 8, 1985
Accolades to Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping for replacing the aging leaders of the Central Committee and Politburo, with new, younger, better educated technocrats. If Deng and his heirs succeed in their modernization of China, it will be similar to the modernization of feudal Japan, magnified 10,000 times. MONROE LEUNG Beverly Hills
September 29, 1985 | DEBRA ZAHN, Zahn, former life style editor for the Herald Examiner and assistant features editor of the Daily News, is View editor for The Times' San Fernando Valley edition.
It's dusk as a van pulls alongside James Dean's grave in a cemetery less than a mile from the stately white farmhouse in which he was raised. The blue Indiana sky is beginning to turn lavender and the cornfield across the street sparkles with the lights of thousands of fireflies. Terry Lee Dunn, 24 and unemployed, slides open the van door and silently contemplates Dean's small, plain gravestone.
October 31, 2008 | associated press
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has sent a painting by cubist Fernand Leger back to the heirs of a Jewish art collector in France, after concluding it had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II. The museum had owned the 1911 Leger painting "Smoke Over Rooftops" since 1961. But after a decade of detective work, the institute decided to return it to the heirs of noted Parisian collector Alphonse Kann, who died in 1948. "Having researched this to the end of the road, we decided we had to return the painting; it was the right thing to do," Kaywin Feldman, director of the institute, told the Star Tribune for a story published Thursday.
May 15, 1994 | Mark Swed, Mark Swed is a music critic based in New York and is currently writing a biography of John Cage for Simon & Schuster
It was a marvelous life. And Leonard Bernstein, of course, knew it. As a young conductor, he once urged on a student orchestra, telling the players in rehearsal: "Give it all you've got and then crescendo." Having done just that, himself, in the most celebrated musical career in America for the next 45 years, he said, on his 70th birthday: "I feel that I have lived five lives or so already." A few days before he died at age 72, his body no longer able to beat the odds against such an accelerated lifestyle, he began his own elegy: "Cut down in the prime of his youth."
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