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2021 Deaths

Cloris Leachman: Vera Anderson/WireImage via Getty Images; Hank Aaron: Bettmann/Getty Images; Prince Philip: Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images; Rush Limbaugh: Kimberly Butler/Contour by Getty Images

2021 Deaths
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Lasorda: AP; Aaron: MLB Photos via Getty Images; Tyson: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images; Leachman: Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank;

Paul Westphal / Jan. 2; 70 / Hall of Fame basketball player who won a championship with the Boston Celtics but spent most of his career with the Phoenix Suns, as both a player and coach. After his pro career ended, Westphal coached at Southwestern Baptist Bible College and Grand Canyon University.

Tanya Roberts / Jan. 4; 65 / Actress for TV and film who had roles on Charlie’s Angels and That ’70s Show and as a Bond girl in A View to a Kill.

Tommy Lasorda / Jan. 7; 93 / Longtime L.A. Dodgers ­manager who led the team to two World Series championships. He earned a reputation as a nonstop motivator during his seven decades as a player, scout, minor league manager, and ambassador for the organization.

Neil Sheehan / Jan. 7; 84 / Reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for the 1988 book A Bright Shining Lie.

Ed Bruce / Jan. 8; 81 / Songwriter who penned “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” which became a huge hit for Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. He ended his career writing Christian music after his conversion in 1997.

Ved Mehta / Jan. 9; 86 / New Yorker writer who introduced American readers to his native India through a 12-volume autobiography, writing in a visual style even though he was blind from the age of 3.

Siegfried Fischbacher / Jan. 13; 81 / Entertainer and part of the act Siegfried and Roy. He was a Las Vegas institution with an act that ­combined big cats with magic.

Dale Baer / Jan. 15; 70 / Animator on films including The Lion King and Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a reputation as an animator’s animator through his work at Disney, Hanna-Barbera, and his own studio.

Stephen Lungu / Jan. 18; 78 / Evangelist in Malawi with a reputation as the Billy Graham of Africa, he went from living on the streets and gang membership to Bible college after his dramatic conversion. During his life, he preached to large crowds and headed up Africa Enterprise in Malawi and internationally.

Joe Scheidler / Jan. 18; 93 / Pro-life activist for half a century, he marched, picketed, and wrote books and pamphlets to inspire other activists.

Don Sutton / Jan. 18; 75 / Baseball broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher with 324 career victories who had a reputation for workmanlike durability, starting 756 games, more than any pitchers other than Nolan Ryan and Cy Young.

Sharon Kay Penman / Jan. 21; 75 / Writer of carefully researched historical novels and mysteries set in the middle ages, she was an Edgar Award finalist in 1996 for her first mystery, The Queen’s Man.

Hank Aaron / Jan. 22; 86 / Hall of Fame baseball slugger who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, he overcame racial prejudice throughout a career that took him through the Negro Leagues and the Southern Association, where black players had to stay in separate accommodations. He then played 23 years in the majors, mostly with the Braves, a team that moved from Boston, to Milwaukee, and then Atlanta. As he chased Ruth’s record, some fans reviled him with ­racist taunts and hate mail. A convert to Catholicism, Aaron told Guideposts, “I need to depend on Someone who is bigger, stronger and wiser than I am. I don’t do it on my own. God is my strength.”

Hal Holbrook / Jan. 23; 95 / Actor who for more than 60 years played Mark Twain in a one-man show. He also played other ­historical figures: Lincoln (twice), John Adams, and Deep Throat in the movie All the President’s Men.

Larry King / Jan. 23; 87 / Television and radio ­personality who conducted more than 50,000 on-air interviews, he was famous for his suspenders, eight ­marriages to seven different women, and soft interviews of people ranging from presidents to psychics.

J.D. Power III / Jan. 23; 89 / Founder of the consumer research firm that carries his name, he got his start as a paperboy in Worcester, Mass., and credited his Jesuit education at Holy Cross College with helping establish and maintain his personal value system.

Frank Shankwitz / Jan. 24; 77 / Arizona Highway Patrol officer who in 1980 helped a boy with leukemia realize his wish to be an honorary patrol officer for a day. He went on to serve as president and CEO of the fledgling Make-A-Wish Foundation.

George McDonald / Jan. 26; 76 / Successful businessman who quit and took a vow of poverty, he started the Doe Fund to provide jobs and second chances to ex-offenders and homeless people in New York.

Cloris Leachman / Jan. 27; 94 / Actress who won a ­supporting actor Oscar for a role in The Last Picture Show and worked with Mel Brooks in Young Frankenstein, she won eight Emmys for her television work in comedies like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Phyllis. She appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2008 at age 82, the oldest dancer ever to appear on the show.

Cicely Tyson / Jan. 28; 96 / Oscar-nominated actress for her role in Sounder, who played dignified black women in The Trip to Bountiful on stage (for which she won a Tony Award at age 88) and TV’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, which earned her two Emmys. Her memoir Just As I Am: A Memoir came out two days before her death.

Allan Burns / Jan. 30; 85 / Screenwriter and co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Munsters, and Lou Grant, who got his start working in Jay Ward’s animation studio, where he created Fractured Fairy Tales and Dudley Do-Right.


Plummer: Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; Wilson: Casey Curry/Invision/AP; Cross: Paul Spinelli/AP; Limbaugh: Brett Hufziger/ALAMY;

Dustin Diamond / Feb. 1; 44 / Child actor in television’s Saved By the Bell and spin-offs, he failed to find new roles when the show ended.

Emil Freireich / Feb. 1; 93 / Pioneering cancer doctor at the National Institutes of Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center, he helped develop the standard treatment for acute childhood leukemia.

John J. Sweeney / Feb. 1; 86 / Lifelong Roman Catholic and head of the AFL-CIO for 15 years, he saw unionism as an outgrowth of his faith.

Rennie Davis / Feb. 2; 80 / Leader of the anti–Vietnam War movement, he helped found Students for a Democratic Society and was one of the Chicago Seven, anti-war protesters who faced conspiracy charges for disrupting the Democratic convention in 1968. He later became a mystic and New Age entrepreneur.

Wayne Terwilliger / Feb. 3; 95 / Baseball lifer, he played and coached for 62 years. He achieved fame when writer Annie Dillard wrote in An American Childhood that her mother once heard the phrase “Terwilliger bunts one” during a broadcast and fell in love with the sound of the words. Terwilliger titled his memoir Terwilliger Bunts One.

Christopher Plummer / Feb. 5; 91 / Actor who starred in The Sound of Music, a role he disliked and considered an “empty carcass,” he used his classical training to play Shakespearean roles on stage and television. He won an Oscar, two Tonys, and two Emmys over a seven-­decade career.

Hershel Shanks / Feb. 5; 90 / Jewish lawyer who became fascinated with Biblical archeology and founded the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review. He broke the stranglehold certain academics had on the Dead Sea Scrolls, publishing bootleg copies, which led to their broad dissemination.

Leon Spinks / Feb. 5; 67 / Former heavyweight boxer, he won gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and defeated Muhammed Ali, who outweighed him by 25 pounds, to become heavyweight ­champion in 1978.

Rajie Cook / Feb. 6; 90 / Graphic designer, he co-created the familiar pictographs used in public buildings to designate men’s and women’s restrooms, ­smoking and nonsmoking areas, exits, parking, food, etc.

George Shultz / Feb. 7; 100 / Republican who served in three cabinet-level posts in the Nixon administration (Labor, Office of Management and Budget, and Treasury) and as Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan. He encouraged Reagan to engage the Soviets, helped negotiate the INF arms control treaty, and pushed Soviet officials to allow Jews to leave the USSR.

Mary Wilson / Feb. 8; 76 / One of the original Supremes, she stayed with the Motown girl group until it disbanded in the late 1970s. She appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2019 and wrote several books about the Supremes.

Chick Corea / Feb. 9; 79 / Jazz pianist who earned 23 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys, he was an innovative player and composer who played with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and other greats.

S. Prestley Blake / Feb. 11; 106 / Founder with his brother of the Friendly’s restaurant chain, which, he called “his baby,” he was a history buff, collector of Rolls Royce cars, and generous philanthropist: To celebrate his 100th birthday, he built a replica of Monticello in Somers, Conn., which he donated to Hillsdale College for the Blake Center for Freedom and Faith.

Leslie Robertson / Feb. 11; 92 / Structural engineer who designed the World Trade Center towers and lived to see terrorists destroy them in 2001.

Tom Bethell / Feb. 12; 84 / Journalist who moved to the U.S. from London to write about jazz. He was a conservative and traditional Roman Catholic who was a media fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote for The American Spectator, and challenged evolution in the book House of Cards: A Journalist’s Odyssey Through the Darwin Debates.

Lynn Stalmaster / Feb. 12; 93 / First casting director to receive an Oscar and the first to receive a credit in the main titles of a feature film (The Thomas Crown Affair). He discovered Christopher Reeve (Superman) and jump-started the career of John Travolta (Welcome Back Kotter).

Melvin Banks / Feb. 13; 86 / Founder of Urban Ministries and a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College, he realized that the black church needed teaching ­materials with positive images of black people, so he set out to publish them.

Louis Clark / Feb. 13; 73 / Musician with the Electric Light Orchestra, he brought classical music to ordinary people with the popular Hooked on Classics, which fused a drum beat to classical compositions.

Carman / Feb. 16; 65 / Gospel Music Hall of Fame singer who drew large audiences of Christian teens to concerts with ­elaborate videos and hit story-songs, including “The Champion” and “Radically Saved.”

Bernard Lown / Feb. 16; 99 / Cardiologist who invented the modern direct current defibrillator, opposed nuclear weapons, and won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Jessica McClintock / Feb. 16; 90 / Former teacher who purchased a fashion business and turned her love for romantic hippy/Victorian design into a business that designed wedding dresses for the likes of Hillary Clinton.

Rush Limbaugh / Feb. 17; 70 / Broadcaster who in the 1980s gave voice to conservatives who recoiled at the leftward trend of the mainstream media, he used his daily show to skewer liberals. In the process he revitalized talk radio, inspired ­imitators on the right and left, and contributed to our polarized political climate.

Arturo Di Modica / Feb. 20; 80 / Italian sculptor whose 3.5-ton bronze “Charging Bull” came to symbolize Wall Street, he spent $350,000 to cast it and erected it ­without permission after the 1987 stock market crash.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti / Feb. 22; 101 / Last of the Beat poets and founder of San Francisco’s City Lights bookstore and City Lights Publishers.

Aleksander Doba / Feb. 22; 74 / Polish adventurer who ­kayaked three times across the Atlantic Ocean, making his third crossing when he was 70. He died on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

John Baker / Feb. 23; 72 / Co-founder of Celebrate Recovery, a Christian 12-step program, he was a recovering alcoholic when he proposed the idea to Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church. It now has chapters in more than 30,000 churches and works with Prison Fellowship.

David Mintz / Feb. 24; 89 / Inventor of Tofutti, he experimented for nine years to create a nondairy ice cream for observant Jews who can’t mix milk and meat at the same meal. It became popular among vegans, health nuts, and celebrities, earning Mintz millions and launching the nondairy dessert category.

John Geddert / Feb. 25; 63 / Former USA gymnastics coach who led his team to the 2012 London Olympics. He committed suicide hours after Michigan charged him with 24 felony counts, including human trafficking and sexual assault of gymnasts in his care.

Patricia Bartley Brown / Feb. 26; 103 / One of the female codebreakers at Bletchley Park, she led the effort to crack the Nazi’s diplomatic code Floradora, enabling the allies to read Hitler’s encoded messages.

Larry Crabb / Feb. 28; 77 / Influential Christian ­counselor, Bible teacher, and author of more than 25 books, he was involved for three decades with Colorado Christian University.

Irv Cross / Feb. 28; 81 / NFL player and the first black sports analyst on network TV, he anchored NFL Today for 14 years. Cross wrote in his memoir, “There hasn’t been one problem I’ve ever had that wasn’t addressed in the Bible. To me, to solve any issue, you turn to Jesus Christ.”


Baylor: AP; Palau: Brad Barket/Getty Images; Cleary: Christina Koci Hernandez/San Francisco Chronicle by Getty Images; Liddy: Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty Images

Vernon Jordan / March 1; 85 / Washington, D.C., lawyer and power broker who survived an assassination attempt, he began his career after law school working as a civil rights lawyer and then head of the National Urban League. He used his connections with business and political leaders to help the next generation of black leaders advance.

Mark Pavelich / March 4; 63 / Olympic gold medalist as part of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey team, he played in the NHL where he suffered repeated concussions that may have led to his serious mental illness.

Allan McDonald / March 6; 83 / Engineer with the company responsible for the space shuttle Challenger’s booster rockets, he refused to approve the January 1986 launch out of concern that freezing temperatures had weakened the ship’s O-rings. NASA ignored the warnings and Challenger exploded, killing everyone onboard.

Lou Ottens / March 6; 94 / Dutch engineer with Philips who invented the audio cassette, which transformed the way people ­listened to music.

Carla Wallenda / March 6; 85 / One of the Flying Wallendas, she first appeared on the high wire when her parents carried her across on a bicycle at 6 weeks old. She last performed at age 81 when she did a handstand atop an 80-foot sway pole.

Norton Juster / March 8; 91 / Author of The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line, he was also an architect who designed the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass.

Larry Walker / March 8; 88 / Hebrew scholar and Baptist seminary professor, he was the last living member of the original NIV translation team.

Joan Walsh Anglund / March 9; 95 / Poet and illustrator who wrote more than 120 little books, including A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You, and sold more than 50 million ­copies of her books worldwide.

James Levine / March 9; 77 / Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera for more than four decades before illness and charges of sexual harassment and abuse brought him down.

Roger Mudd / March 9; 93 / Noted television political reporter at CBS, NBC, and PBS who was present at Robert Kennedy’s assassination.

John Polkinghorne / March 9, 90 / British physicist, writer, and Anglican priest who retired from science after 25 years to pursue the priesthood. He wrote 26 books and received a knighthood and the Templeton Prize among other honors.

Luis Palau / March 11; 86 / Evangelist who preached to large crowds in Latin America and sponsored festivals in the U.S. that reached beyond evangelicals.

Marvin Hagler / March 13; 66 / Hall of Fame boxer who changed his name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler, he was the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987.

Yaphet Kotto / March 15; 81 / Actor who played Idi Amin in the 1976 TV movie Raid on Entebbe, the Bond villain Mr. Big in Live and Let Die, and a police lieutenant on the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street.

Glynn S. Lunney / March 19; 84 / NASA flight director who devised the plan to return safely three Apollo 13 astronauts after an explosion disabled their spacecraft.

Elgin Baylor / March 22; 86 / Hall of Fame basketball player and 11-time All Star who changed the game with his ability to jump and change direction in midair.

Bobby Brown / March 25; 96 / Veteran of two wars (WWII and Korea) and an infielder with the New York Yankees whose bat came alive in postseason play. He hit .439 in 17 World Series games, earning four championship rings. He attended medical school while playing baseball, became a cardiologist, and served as American League president for 10 years.

Beverly Cleary / March 25; 104 / Creator of well-loved children’s books about Henry Huggins and Beezus and Ramona, she was a children’s librarian who wrote because kids asked her for books about children like them.

Larry McMurtry / March 26; 84 / Novelist and antiquarian bookseller who wrote more than 30 books, many of which became movie and television hits, including The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, and Lonesome Dove, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

G. Gordon Liddy / March 30; 90 /
Lawyer who worked for Richard Nixon, he led the White House “plumbers,” a group of dirty tricksters who bugged the Democratic National Committee. He served 52 months in prison and went on to write best-selling books and host a talk radio show.


Philip: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images; Madoff: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Mondale: Owen Franken/Corbis via Getty Images; Collins: Frederic Castel/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Robert E. Cooley / April 1; 91 / Archaeologist and former president of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, he was one of the founding board members of the Museum of the Bible.

Penelope Laingen / April 3; 89 / State Department wife who became famous when Iranian militants took her husband and other Americans hostage in 1979. Inspired by the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” she tied a yellow ribbon around the tree in her front yard, setting off a movement that made its way even to the White House. The original yellow ribbon is now at the Smithsonian.

Charles Coolidge / April 6; 99 / He earned the Medal of Honor for his “heroic and superior ­leadership” during a WWII battle in France that lasted for four days.

Alcee Hastings / April 6; 84 / Sitting congressman from South Florida, he was a civil rights ­lawyer and impeached federal judge before his election to the U.S. Congress in 1992 as a Democrat.

John Naisbitt / April 8; 92 / Business analyst who transformed himself into a futurist with the bestselling Megatrends, he predicted the rise of the information age and the movement of populations from the industrial North and Midwest to the Sun Belt.

David B. Calhoun / April 9; 83 / Professor of church history at Covenant Seminary for 30 years, he served as a missionary in Jamaica, wrote books about the Reformers, and used his decades-long struggle with cancer to teach on suffering.

Ray Lambert / April 9; 100 / Medic in WWII who received honors in 2019 from Donald Trump for heroism at Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion of France, saving fellow soldiers despite his own serious injuries.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh / April 9; 99 / Born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, he was husband of Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years and is remembered for helping modernize the royal family.

Ramsey Clark / April 10; 93 / Attorney General under LBJ who filed lawsuits to desegregate schools and uphold voting rights. He supported and then turned against the Vietnam War, becoming a critic of American foreign policy and defender of dictators, including Muammar al-Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

Bernie Madoff / April 14; 82 / Ponzi-schemer who bilked thousands, including Sandy Koufax and Elie Wiesel, in the largest fraud in Wall Street history. He died in prison where he was serving a 150-year sentence.

Charles Geschke / April 16; 81 / Computer scientist and co-founder of Adobe Inc., he became a father of desktop publishing. He was a product of Catholic education and donated to Catholic agencies and schools.

Hester Ford / April 17; 116 / America’s oldest person for a time, she was born in 1904 and witnessed profound cultural changes, especially for African Americans. She had 12 children, 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and approximately 120 great-great-­grandchildren.

Walter Mondale / April 19; 93 / Liberal U.S. senator from Minnesota from 1964 to 1976 who served as vice president under Jimmy Carter. He ran for president in 1984 but lost to incumbent Ronald Reagan in a landslide. His running mate, Rep. Geraldine Ferraro from New York, was the first female vice-presidential ­nominee of any major party in U.S. history.

Daniel Kaminsky / April 23; 42 / Chief scientist at White Ops, the internet security firm he founded. He learned to code at age 5 and discovered in 2008 a major security flaw in the basic address system of the internet. He alerted authorities who fixed the problem before hackers could take advantage of it.

Arthur Staats / April 26; 97 / Psychologist who invented the “time out,” he was, according to Child magazine, one of the “20 People Who Changed Childhood.”

Michael Collins / April 28; 90 / Astronaut who piloted the command module of Apollo 11, he orbited the moon while fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin flew the lunar lander to the moon. He left NASA to head up the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Jason Matthews / April 28; 69 / CIA officer for 33 years who plumbed his experiences in writing realistic spy novels, including Red Sparrow.

Martin Bookspan / April 29; 94 / “Voice” of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Boston Symphony who provided commentary along with broadcasts of classical music on public radio and television for half a century.

Eli Broad / April 30; 87 / Los Angeles billionaire, he built two Fortune 500 companies and donated billions to arts organizations, universities, charter schools, and the Democratic Party.


Dukakis: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images; Grodin: Steve Schapiro/Universal Pictures/album/alamy; Carle: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty; Macleod: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Olympia Dukakis / May 1; 89 / Actress and cousin to 1988 Democratic candidate for president Michael Dukakis, she won an Oscar for her role as an Italian mother in Moonstruck.

Helen Murray Free / May 1; 98 / Chemist who developed with her husband a dip-and-read test to detect glucose, which made it easier to accurately diagnose and monitor diabetes.

Damon Weaver / May 1; 23 / Child news reporter who interviewed Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, basketball player Dwyane Wade, and Barack Obama. That interview took place at the White House when Weaver was only 11 years old.

Bob Abernethy / May 2; 93 / Journalist who retired from NBC and launched Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly to examine the spiritual aspects of the news.

Bobby Unser Sr. / May 2; 87 / Member of car racing ­royalty, he won the Indianapolis 500 three times and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 13 times, a record for the twisty race that ascends 4,720 feet, making 156 turns over its 12.42 mile length.

Lloyd Price / May 3; 88 / Singer and songwriter, member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and entrepreneur who wrote “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Stagger Lee,” and “Personality.”

Paul Van Doren / May 6; 90 / Creator of the rubber-soled Vans shoes, the skateboarding shoe of choice that Sean Penn popularized in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Leigh Perkins / May 7; 93 / Avid fisherman and hunter who bought the oldest mail-order company in America, Orvis, and turned it into a brand with thousands of stores and employees.

Pierre “Pete” DuPont IV / May 8; 86 / An heir to the DuPont ­fortune and governor of Delaware, he brought to his state fiscal discipline, banks and credit card companies, and desegregation of public schools.

Spencer Silver / May 8; 80 / 3M chemist who invented a unique adhesive that failed to catch on until another engineer experimented with it on the paper he used to bookmark his church hymnal—thus was born Post-it Notes.

Robert Quackenbush / May 17; 91 / Author and illustrator of more than 200 children’s books featuring characters such as Miss Mallard, Henry the Duck, and Sherlock Chick.

Buddy Roemer / May 17; 77 / Louisiana Democrat-turned-Republican who served in Congress for eight years as part of the conservative “Boll Weevils,” Democrats who supported many of Ronald Reagan’s policies. He later served one term as governor of his state.

Charles Grodin / May 18; 86 / Stage, movie, and TV actor who earned plaudits from The New York Times for portraying a “kind of masculine dunderhead that every decent man aspires to be.”

Arthur Hills / May 18; 91 / Noted golf course architect for more than 50 years, he moved from landscape design to golf course design at a time when golf was exploding in popularity and golf communities were developing across the country.

Harvey Schlossberg / May 21; 85 / A police detective with a psychology degree, he persuaded police departments to adopt a “waiting and talking” strategy in hostage situations.

Eric Carle / May 23; 91 / Children’s book author and illustrator of titles including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he used bright collage illustrations, cutouts, and simple storytelling in books that sold more than 170 million copies worldwide. Born in the U.S. of German parents, Carle spent WWII in Germany because his homesick mother wanted to return. The grayness of those war years resulted in his love of color.

Samuel E. Wright / May 24; 74 / Voice of Sebastian the Crab in the 1989 Disney movie The Little Mermaid who starred in Broadway plays including The Tap Dance Kid and The Lion King. He earned two Tony nominations and sang the Oscar-winning song from Mermaid, “Under the Sea.” He was married to his wife, Amanda, for nearly five decades.

Lois Ehlert / May 25; 86 / Illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, she used bright collage artwork to illustrate 38 children’s books, including the Caldecott Honors awardee Color Zoo.

John Warner / May 26; 94 / GOP Senator from Virginia for 30 years who had military expertise and was Elizabeth Taylor’s sixth husband.

Foster Friess / May 27; 81 / Investment manager who became a major donor to Republican candidates and provided startup funds for the Daily Caller and Turning Point USA, he gave away $500 million to Christian and other charities.

Gwen Shamblin Lara / May 29; 66 / Founder of the Weigh Down Workshop who founded Remnant Fellowship Church, which critics called a cult because it denied the Trinity and treated Lara as a prophet.

Gavin MacLeod / May 29; 90 / Actor who played a reporter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and a genial cruise ship captain on The Love Boat. He professed faith in Christ in the 1980s and turned his attention to Christian film, including The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.

Floyd McClung / May 29; 75 / Missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for 35 years, including eight years as international director, he founded All Nations to train missionaries and wrote the bestselling The Father Heart of God.

B.J. Thomas / May 29; 78 / Country/pop singer whose “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” reached No. 1 on the pop charts. He made a profession of faith in Christ after a decade of drug and alcohol dependency.

Arlene Golonka / May 31; 85 / Comedic actress who played Millie Hutchens on The Andy Griffith Show and its spin-off, Mayberry R.F.D.


Williams: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Beatty: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty; Rumsfeld: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Raymond Donovan / June 2; 90 / Secretary of Labor in the Reagan administration who resigned after a Bronx grand jury indicted him on fraud and grand larceny charges.

F. Lee Bailey / June 3; 87 / High-profile and controversial criminal defense attorney who defended O.J. Simpson and the Boston Strangler, wrote books about his cases, and was disbarred in Florida and Massachusetts.

Clarence Williams III / June 4; 81 / Actor who played the hip Linc Hayes on The Mod Squad (1968-1973), one of the first regular starring roles for a black man on network TV.

Richard Robinson / June 5; 85 / Son of the Scholastic founder who turned the company into a billion-dollar business with series including Harry Potter, Magic Schoolbus, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Hunger Games, and Captain Underpants.

Martha White / June 5; 99 / In 1953, two years before the Montgomery bus boycott, Martha White, 31, sat down in a “whites only” section of a bus in Baton Rouge, La., leading police to threaten her with arrest. Subsequent events led to a ­boycott, which pioneered techniques that MLK later used in Montgomery.

Richard Longenecker / June 7; 90 / Evangelical New Testament scholar who wrote Paul, Apostle of Liberty and commentaries on Galatians and Romans.

Jim “Mudcat” Grant / June 11; 85 / Major League pitcher for 14 seasons who was the first black pitcher in the American League to win 20 games, which he did in 1965 for Minnesota. He also sang as part of Mudcat Grant and the Kittens, ­including three goodwill tours for the troops in Vietnam.

Ned Beatty / June 13; 83 / Supporting actor who played southern-fried characters on stage and in movies, including Deliverance and Nashville.

Bobby Unser Jr. / June 13; 65 / Stunt car driver in the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger, he was the son of the famous racing champion who died in May 2021.

Richard Stolley / June 16; 92 / Founding editor of People magazine, he convinced Abraham Zapruder in 1963 to sell his amateur movie of the John F. Kennedy assassination to Life magazine for $150,000.

Joan Ullyot / June 19; 80 / Doctor and marathon ­runner who helped convince the International Olympic Committee to include a women’s marathon in 1984.

Patricia Reilly Giff / June 22; 86 / Two-time Newbery Honor–winner for Lily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods, she also wrote humorous books that drew from her experience as a reading teacher.

Donald Rumsfeld / June 29; 88 / Defense secretary under Gerald Ford in the 1970s and George W. Bush in the 2000s, he became famous for talking about “unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”


Williams: Rick Diamond/WireImage/Getty Images; Robinson: CBS via Getty Images; Mason: Mike Abrahams/Alamy; Gould: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Henry Parham / July 4; 99 / Member of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion of D-Day who was part of a black combat unit responsible for launching at night enormous balloons, tethered by cables adorned with explosive charges, to bring down Nazi planes.

John P. McMeel / July 7; 85 / Co-founder of Universal Press Syndicate, he was the salesman who brought Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes to the funny pages.

Andy Williams / July 9; 49 / Drummer for Casting Crowns from 2001 to 2009 who died from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident while riding to church.

Charlie Robinson / July 11; 75 / Actor who played Mac on the television series Night Court, he had a 50-year small screen and stage career.

Edwin Edwards / July 12; 93 / Four-term Louisiana governor who served more than eight years in prison for bribery and extortion.

Kurt Westergaard / July 14; 86 / Danish cartoonist whose cartoon depicting Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban set off protests and made him the target of Muslim ire.

Floyd Cooper / July 15; 65 / Illustrator of about 100 children’s books, mostly on episodes in black history. He won the Coretta Scott King Award for The Blacker the Berry. His last book, Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford, came out in 2021.

Robby Steinhardt / July 17; 71 / Violinist and singer with Kansas who brought violin to rock music in songs such as “Dust in the Wind.”

Phyllis Gould / July 20; 99 / One of the first six women hired to work in a California shipyard during WWII, she became a model for Rosie the Riveter and worked to see all the Rosies honored with a National Rosie the Riveter Day (March 21) and a Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal, which she helped design.

Jackie Mason / July 24; 93 / Ordained rabbi who quit the rabbinate after his rabbi father died, then became a stand-up comedian with a Jewish sensibility.

Robert P. Moses / July 25; 86 / Civil rights leader who helped blacks register to vote in Mississippi. He later founded the Algebra Project to help poor black children perform better in math.

Dusty Hill / July 28; 72 / Long-bearded, Stetson-wearing bass player for ’80s rock group ZZ Top. He gained entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ron Popeil / July 28; 86 / TV pitchman and inventor of the Veg-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman. He sold his products through late-night infomercials and home shopping networks, becoming an icon of popular culture.

Gary B. Nash / July 29; 88 / Historian who headed up a government-funded drive to establish national history standards in the 1980s and 1990s despite criticism from conservatives.


Hall: David Redfern/Redferns via Getty images; Bowden: Doug Benc/Getty Images; Everly: CA/Redferns via Getty Images; Asner: CBS via Getty Images

Dave Severance / Aug. 2; 102 / Marine captain at the time who sent his company to the top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during WWII to plant an American flag. The brave act, captured by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal, encouraged Americans at home.

J.R. Richards / Aug. 4; 71 / Overpowering pitcher with the Houston Astros who led the National League in strikeouts in 1978 and 1979. In July 1980 he suffered a stroke and never pitched again in the Majors.

Eloise Greenfield / Aug. 5; 92 / Poet and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award who wrote for children many biographies of black Americans, including Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Paul Robeson.

Walter Wangerin Jr. / Aug. 5; 77 / Lutheran pastor, professor, and writer who won a National Book Award for his Book of the Dun Cow and wrote about his relationship with an adopted son in Father and Son.

Jane Withers / Aug. 7; 95 / Popular child actress in the 1930s; as an adult she played Josephine the plumber in ads for Comet cleanser.

Bobby Bowden / Aug. 8; 91 / Legendary Florida State football coach who took his team to national championships in 1993 and 1999. He was open about his Christian faith, earned the nickname Saint Bobby, and told his children, “There’s only one person who’s ever been perfect on this earth, and He ain’t your daddy.”

Maki Kaji / Aug. 10; 69 / Japanese college dropout who took an existing logic puzzle, spiffed it up, dubbed it Sudoku, and made it a worldwide phenomenon.

Nanci Griffith / Aug. 13; 68 / Singer-songwriter who earned a place in the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame for songs like “Trouble in the Fields” and “Love at the Five & Dime.”

Don Poynter / Aug. 13; 96 / Inventor who made many TV appearances. He had more than 100 patents for gadgets and novelty toys: a basketball backboard for a waste ­basket, the Creeping Golf Ball, and the Talking Toilet. He also turned his college baton twirler and drum major experience into a three-year stint as a side entertainer with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Gilbert Seltzer / Aug. 14; 106 / Architect and one of the last surviving members of the “Ghost Army,” a WWII unit of 1,100 soldiers that used camouflage, inflatable tanks, and sound effects to make the Germans think the Allied armies were massing where they weren’t.

Daniel Farrell / Aug. 16; 74 / Antiques expert who brought the British Antiques Roadshow to PBS in 1997.

Sheila Bromberg / Aug. 17; 92 / Harpist and classically trained musician who played harp for orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, and picked up extra cash in the 1960s as a session musician for the Beatles, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra.

Iohan Gueorguiev / Aug. 19; 33 / Wilderness bikepacker who traveled from Canada to Argentina making long-form YouTube “See the World” videos of his adventures, capturing the isolation and grandeur of the rugged, off-road paths he took.

Tom T. Hall / Aug. 20; 85 / Country Music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter of hits including “Harper Valley PTA” who earned the nickname “The Storyteller” for his narrative tunes.

Don Everly / Aug. 21; 84 / Oldest of the harmonizing Everly Brothers of “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream” fame. He and his brother earned 15 Top 10 hits between 1957 and 1962 and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Charlie Watts / Aug. 24; 80 / Drummer for the Rolling Stones for half a century, he was a graphic artist by training and a jazz drummer by passion.

Ed Asner / Aug. 29; 91 / Actor and liberal ­political activist who played crusty journalist Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Lou Grant.

Michael Constantine / Aug. 31; 94 / Greek American actor who played the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and a principal on the TV series Room 222.


Scott and Powell: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; MacDonald: Michael Schwartz/WireImage via Getty Images; Kirk: Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

David Patten / Sept. 2; 47 / Undrafted receiver out of Western Carolina who played 12 seasons in the NFL, including four with the Patriots. He earned three Super Bowl rings and became a minister after retirement.

Willard Scott / Sept. 4; 87 / Goofy Today Show weatherman who gave shout-outs to people celebrating their 100th birthdays. He joined Today in 1980 and retired in 2015. A Baptist who often said if he hadn’t become an entertainer he would have been a preacher, he loved people: “I’m like a dog. You just open the door and I go, ‘rrrr, rrrr,’ and then I lick everybody’s face.”

Cliff Freeman / Sept. 5; 80 / Advertising copywriter who came up with “Where’s the beef?” for Wendy’s and the jingle “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t,” for Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars.

John Shelby Spong / Sept. 12; 90 / Bishop in the Episcopal Church who ordained the first openly gay priest, favored the ordination of women, denied the virgin birth and Christ’s resurrection, and wrote best-selling, pop theology books.

Reuben Klamer / Sept. 14; 99 / Adman, inventor, and National Toy Hall of Fame member who created The Game of Life to celebrate the 100th anniversary of toy company Milton Bradley. The game, a reimagining of a 19th-century board game, has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide.

Norm MacDonald / Sept. 14; 61 / Comedian on Saturday Night Live who earned a reputation for droll wit as the show’s “Weekend Update” anchor.

Jane Powell / Sept. 16; 92 / Golden Age actress who played opposite Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding and Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She was a bridesmaid in Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding and sang at the inauguration ball of Harry S. Truman.

Melvin Van Peebles / Sept. 21; 89 / The “Rosa Parks of black cinema,” he wrote, directed, and starred in early 1970s movies that influenced black filmmakers of the next generation.

Tommy Kirk / Sept. 28; 79 / Actor and “Disney Legend” who starred as a child in Swiss Family Robinson, Son of Flubber, Old Yeller, and The Hardy Boys adventures.


Goldner: Steven Senne/AP; Powell: Bachrach/Getty Images; Carmichael: Facebook; Scolari: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Todd Akin / Oct. 3; 74 / Six-term Missouri Republican who gave up his House seat to run for the Senate in 2012, losing that race after he said rape rarely resulted in pregnancy.

Evelyn Mangham / Oct. 5; 98 / Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary who pushed evangelical churches in 1975 to sponsor ­refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. She and her husband co-founded World Relief’s refugee resettlement program.

Martin Sherwin / Oct. 6; 84 / Pulitzer Prize–winning co-author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer about the father of nuclear weapons.

William “Billy” Abraham / Oct. 7; 73 / Irish-born Methodist scholar who wrote more than 20 books and was the founding director in 2020 of the Wesley House of Studies at Baylor’s Truett Seminary.

Raymond Odierno / Oct. 8; 67 / Retired four-star general and the 38th Army Chief of Staff who led U.S. forces during the second Iraq War and oversaw the “surge.”

Shawn McLemore / Oct. 9; 54 / Singer with the gospel group New Image, he had hits including “I Believe” and appeared in Tyler Perry stage plays.

Ruthie Tompson / Oct. 10; 111 / Official “Disney Legend” (for her longevity at the studio) who worked as a painter and scene planner for 40 years on films, including classics Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and The Rescuers.

Brian Goldner / Oct. 11; 58 / Head of Hasbro Inc., he thought iconic toys like Transformers, Mr. Potato Head, and My Little Pony should star in movies and television shows. The six Transformer movies brought in more than $4 billion, ­proving him right and encouraging other toy companies to go and do likewise.

Gary Paulsen / Oct. 13; 82 / Author who twice ran the 1,200-mile Iditarod dog sled race, wrote children’s adventure books, including Hatchet, and was a three-time Newbery honoree.

Tom Morey / Oct. 14; 86 / Surfer and inventor of the lightweight foam Boogie Board, he made riding the waves possible for almost anyone.

Dorothy Steel / Oct. 15; 95 / Retiree who started acting at age 88, she appeared as a tribal elder in Black Panther at age 90, appeared in Jumanji: The Next Level, and was filming the Black Panther sequel when she died.

Ralph Carmichael / Oct. 18; 94 / “Father of contemporary church music” who introduced new musical forms to Christian music, wrote more than 300 gospel songs, scored movies like The Blob and The Cross and the Switchblade, and became a producer for secular artists, including Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, and Nat King Cole.

Colin Powell / Oct. 18; 84 / Barrier-breaking Army general who served as national security adviser to Ronald Reagan and the first black Secretary of State under George W. Bush. He became a familiar figure during the presidency of George H.W. Bush for leading military operations in Panama and against Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War.

Leslie Bricusse / Oct. 19; 90 / Songwriter and composer for stage and screen who ­collaborated on hits, including “What Kind of Fool Am I,” “The Candy Man” and “Pure Imagination” from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, “Goldfinger” from the James Bond film, and “Talk to the Animals” from Dr. Doolittle.

Jerry Pinkney / Oct. 20; 81 / Caldecott Medal winner and author or illustrator of more than 100 books who combined his love of classic tales with a desire to celebrate black culture. He also illustrated a series of black heritage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.

Halyna Hutchins / Oct. 21; 42 / Ukrainian-born cinematographer who died from a gunshot wound on the set of Rust.

Peter Scolari / Oct. 22; 66 / Actor who played opposite Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies, with Bob Newhart in Newhart, and in Girls with Lena Dunham.

A. Linwood Holton / Oct. 28; 98 / First Republican governor of Virginia (1970-74) after 100 years of Democratic rule who supported racial integration and gained union and small business support.


De Llerk: Antoine Gyori/Sygma via Getty Images; Cleland: Ed Reinke/AP; Sondheim: Fred R. Conrad/New York Times Co./Getty Images; Elder: Monica Morgan/WireImage via Getty Images

Bob Baker / Nov. 3; 82 / British screenwriter who was co-creator of robot dog K-9 on the original Dr. Who and co-wrote Wallace and Gromit features, including The Wrong Trousers.

Max Cleland / Nov. 9; 79 / Vietnam War veteran and triple amputee who served as head of the Veterans’ Administration under Jimmy Carter and one term in the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Georgia.

F.W. De Klerk / Nov. 11; 85 / Last president of apartheid South Africa who supported the country’s racial laws before changing his mind, releasing Nelson Mandela from prison, and joining with him to remake the country. He and Mandela share the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Jay Last / Nov. 11; 92 / Physicist and seminal figure in Silicon Valley who was one of the founders of Fairchild Semiconductor, which pioneered the design and manufacture of computer chips that made modern technology possible.

Labib Madanat / Nov. 14; 56 / Palestinian Christian pastor who evangelized his Jewish and Muslim neighbors, he headed the Palestinian Bible Society, opened a Christian bookstore in Gaza, and raised funds for a Bible translation into modern Hebrew.

Dave Frishberg / Nov. 17; 88 / Jazz songwriter of “Peel Me a Grape,” he gained a larger and younger audience with “I’m Just a Bill” and other songs for Schoolhouse Rock!

Peter Buck / Nov. 18; 90 / Nuclear physicist and co-founder of Subway, he encouraged the son of neighbors to open a sub shop to help pay for college and invested $1,000 to get the shop off the ground.

Ian Fishback / Nov. 19; 42 / Member of the 82nd Airborne in Iraq who in 2005 reported abusive behavior by U.S. Army members toward Iraqi prisoners, which led to an investigation and passage of the Detainee Treatment Act.

Philip Margo / Nov. 13; 79 / Member of the early ’60s group the Tokens, he sang baritone on their 1961 hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Robert Bly / Nov. 21; 94 / Prolific poet who opposed the wars in Vietnam and Iraq and launched a men’s movement with the book Iron John, which sat for more than a year on The New York Times bestseller list.

Stephen Sondheim / Nov. 26; 91 / Tony Award–winning composer and lyricist, he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy, and the words and music for 12 plays, including A Little Night Music, Company, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park With George, which were often more popular with critics than the theater-going public.

Adolfo / Nov. 27; 98 / Fashion designer for a who’s who of Manhattan society women in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, he designed hats for Lady Bird Johnson (for her husband’s 1964 inaugural ­festivities) and dresses for Nancy Reagan, as first lady both of California and of the U.S.

Lee Elder / Nov. 28; 87 / Barrier-breaking black golfer who was the first African American to earn an invitation to the Masters tournament (in 1975) and the first to play on the U. S. Ryder Cup team. He played many years on the UGA tour—like baseball’s Negro League—when blacks were banned from the PGA tour. He won four PGA tournaments even though he was 40 years old when he played in his first PGA tournament.

Carrie Meek / Nov. 28; 95 / Granddaughter of slaves, she became in 1992 the first African American to serve in Congress from Florida since Reconstruction.

Phil Saviano / Nov. 28; 69 / Sexual abuse survivor in Boston, he became an important source to the Boston Globe reporters investigating the scandal as portrayed in the movie Spotlight: “My gift to the world was not being afraid to speak out.”

Marcus Lamb / Nov. 30; 64 / Televangelist and founder of Daystar Television Network, he provided a forum for vaccine skeptics like Robert Kennedy Jr.


Dole: Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images; Rice: Bryce Lankard/Liaison via Getty Images; Nesmith: Bettmann/Getty Images; Tutu: Gallo Images/Oryx Media Archive/Getty Images

Bob Dole / Dec. 5; 98 / WWII veteran who suffered near fatal injuries in the war’s last weeks, he overcame his injuries—including a paralyzed arm—to become a U.S. Senator from Kansas, where he served for 27 years. He had a reputation while Senate Majority Leader for getting things done, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the WWII Memorial in Washington. He left the Senate when he won the 1996 GOP presidential nomination, a campaign he lost to Bill Clinton.

Bill Glass / Dec. 5; 86 / Defensive end for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns with an 11-year career in the NFL, he went to seminary while in Cleveland, discipled his teammates, and later established a prison ministry to serve incarcerated people.

Masayuki Uemura / Dec. 6; 78 / Inventor of the Nintendo and the Super Nintendo (which sold 49 million units worldwide).

Al Unser Sr. / Dec. 9; 82 / Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner. He and his brother Bobby (who died in May) were the only brothers to win the Indy 500, and he and his son Al Jr. were the only father/son winners of that race.

Michael Nesmith / Dec. 10; 78 / Stocking-cap-wearing member of the Monkees and the son of the woman who invented Liquid Paper, he had a brief solo music career and created one of the first music videos.

Anne Rice / Dec. 11; 80 / Novelist and author of Interview With a Vampire and other books in the Vampire Chronicles, she had been an atheist until 1998 when she returned to her childhood Catholic faith and wrote several Christian-themed novels and a spiritual memoir.

Henry Orenstein / Dec. 14; 98 / Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust and came to the U.S. as a refugee, he became a toymaker with more than 100 patents, most notably for Transformers.

Johnny Isakson / Dec. 19; 76 / Republican U.S. Senator from Georgia for 15 years who brought a conciliatory approach to issues he cared about, including veterans’ healthcare.

Grace Mirabella / Dec. 23; 91 / Editor in chief of Vogue from 1971-1988 who refocused the ­magazine on a new generation of ­working women.

Richard Marcinko / Dec. 25; 81 / Hard-charging founding commander of Navy SEAL Team 6, the most storied American special operations unit, he wrote tell-all bestseller, Rogue Warrior, and cemented the SEALs in pop culture as heroes and bad boys.

Desmond Tutu / Dec. 26; 90 / Nobel Prize–winning Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, who opposed apartheid, preached non-violence, and led his country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Sarah Weddington / Dec. 26; 76 / Lawyer who argued ­successfully Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court at age 26; she later served in the Texas House as a Democrat, worked in the Carter ­administration, and taught law.

John Madden / Dec. 28; 85 / Hall of Fame NFL coach turned broadcaster, he boiled action on the gridiron down to excited but simple soundbites. He also lent his name to a football video game franchise.

Harry Reid / Dec. 28; 82 / Longtime Democratic ­U.S. Senator from Nevada, the former boxer controlled the Senate as majority leader from 2007 to 2015 and imposed his will through backroom wrangling.

Susan Olasky

Susan is a former WORLD book reviewer, story coach, feature writer, and editor. She has authored eight historical novels for children and resides with her husband, Marvin, in Austin, Texas.



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