licia Gordon died suddenly in her home in Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, on January 19, 2004. She was 53. She is already sorely missed by the many who knew her in the translation and Apple Macintosh user communities, in Southern California and more especially in cyberspace.
As for many of us, translation was a second or even a third career for Alicia. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Hunter College High School, a competitive magnet school in Manhattan. Upon graduation, she ventured away from the city to Beloit College in Wisconsin, where she majored in economics and minored in physics. After college, she ventured even further afield to spend a decade living and working in Europe. For two years, she taught English and business at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce et d'Administration d'Entreprises in Nantes, France. For eight years, she lived in Seville, Spain, where she coordinated an overseas study program for the University of North Carolina, studied music at the Seville Conservatory, played in some flamenco rock groups, and worked as a translator on the side.
When she returned to the United States in the 1980s, she settled in Los Angeles and soon moved to Topanga, which she then never left. She put her foreign-language skills to use in jobs in sound engineering (she worked on the Spanish soundtrack of Star Wars) and producing advertising commercials, which led her deeper into the entertainment industry. As Gordon Artists, she became a talent agent representing jazz and international musicians, handling booking, management and public relations. Her clients included guitarist Pepe Habichuela and modern flamenco groups Pata Negra and Ketama from Spain, Limpopo from Russia and Ivan Lins from Brazil, for whom she arranged U.S. tours and, for the latter two, appearances at the Fifa World Cup in 1994.
In the mid-1990s Alicia switched careers entirely to become a full-time translator, renaming her business Gordon Word Artists. She obtained ATA accreditation in Spanish>English and French>English and acquired the first of a series of Mac computers, of which she became an ardent devotee. She was soon working for clients around the world by phone, fax and e-mail from her remote canyon location. As she put it, she specialized "in a fairly broad range of fields, from highly technical to creative, with legal and business in between." Her experience in the entertainment industry gave her an edge in subject matter related to it, especially broadcasting and licensing but not excluding adaptation of scripts for lip sync or subtitles. She became an active contributor to online forums including Flefo on Compuserve (where many of us first came to know her), Mac user groups and the Wordfast yahoogroup (to which she had posted just days before her death). For the ATA conference in Los Angeles in 2002, she drew on her music industry background to book the band and make the arrangements for the Friday evening "World Dance Party" at the conference hotel.
Alicia leaves behind a sister, Jane Gordon, who has arranged a memorial site on the Web celebrating Alicia's life. The site features a guest book, where contributions of memories and photos of Alicia may be posted.
Thanks to Kirk Anderson, Manuela Cerruti, Judy Langley and Isabel Leonard, who provided information for this notice.