Robert Hoffman's Legacy

Yesterday, we posted the story about how Robert Hoffman--local philanthropist, art collector and the civic leader behind The Dallas Plan--helped start National Lampoon when he was in his early 20s. Hoffman, as you know doubt know by now, died Sunday at the age 59 from acute myelogenous leukemia, with which he was diagnosed last year. News of his death has made the national rounds today; an Associated Press obit is working its way across the country's biggest papers, all of which are highlighting his National Lampoon days. As in, "Robert K. Hoffman, one of three founders of the irreverent National Lampoon magazine, has died. He was 59."

Well, as it's done for the likes of Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash and Pope John Paul II, the Evanston, Illinois-based Legacy.com obituary repository has opened a "guest book" for folks who want to say nice things about Hoffman that, ostensibly, will be read by his family. So far this morning, three people have offered their condolences and thank-yous ("Thank you for the laughs that still endure today," says Ray from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania). Hoffman has a long way to go to catch Walter E. Jagiello, the self-proclaimed "Polka King" who died Thursday of heart failure at the age of 76. (Jagiello's best known as the author the Chicago White Sox fight song; no idea.) Legacy offers the postings for free, and posts them after its editors make sure they're, ya know, appropriate--and how do you judge such a thing for the guy who co-founded National Lampoon? Make sure they're full of curse words and naked boobies? On second thought, probably not. --Robert Wilonsky

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