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2022 Departures

People we said goodbye to between January and December.


Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 (left) and in 2015. Dorothy Wilding/Bettmann / Getty Images (left) and Ute Grabowsky / Photothek via Getty Images

2022 Departures
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January

From left: Bob Saget, Sidney Poitier, and Yvette Mimieux

From left: Bob Saget, Sidney Poitier, and Yvette Mimieux Saget: James Brickwood/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images; Poitier: Ronald Grant Archive/Alamy; Mimieux: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Dan Reeves | Jan. 1 | 77 | Running back for the Dallas Cowboys and coach for the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons. During his 38-year career, he appeared in nine Super Bowls and became one of nine coaches with 200 total wins.

Richard Leakey | Jan. 2 | 77 | Fossil hunter whose discovery of “Turkana Boy,” a supposedly 1.6-million-year-old hominin skeleton, led many to believe that the theory of ­evolution had been verified.

Jay Weaver | Jan. 2 | 42 | Bassist for Big Daddy Weave, a contemporary Christian band whose song “Redeemed” earned platinum status in 2018.

Lawrence N. Brooks | Jan. 5 | 112 | Oldest living World War II veteran, who served as caretaker to three white officers, cooking, driving, and doing chores in a segregated Army unit stationed in Australia to build roads, bridges, and airstrips.

Sidney Poitier |Jan. 6 | 94 | Bahama-born actor who starred in dozens of films, including 1961’s A Raisin in the Sun and 1963’s Lilies of the Field. For his role in the latter, he became the first black man to win an Oscar. His career peaked during the civil rights era and many of his films portrayed racial discrimination.

Dwayne Hickman | Jan. 9 | 87 | Producer and actor best known for his role as the blundering Dobie Gillis in the ’60s TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. His other movie and television appearances included the sitcom Clueless, and in the 1970s he worked as a program director at CBS for shows such as M*A*S*H.

Bob Saget | Jan. 9 | 65 | Stand-up comedian and host of America’s Funniest Home Videos from 1990 to 1997. He also played Danny Turner on ABC’s sitcom Full House. Toward the end of his career, he enjoyed shocking audiences with an explicit stand-up routine.

Robert Durst | Jan. 10 | 78 | Wealthy real-estate heir whose wife Kathie Durst, friend Susan Berman, and neighbor Morris Black all disappeared or were killed between 1982 and 2001. Durst was charged with (and later acquitted of) Black’s murder but convicted and ­sentenced to life in prison in 2021 for killing Berman. He was awaiting trial for his wife’s alleged murder when he died.

Don Maynard | Jan. 10 | 86 | Wide receiver whose 13 seasons with the New York Jets earned him a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame. During his career, he completed 633 catches for 11,834 yards and 88 touchdowns.

Ronnie Spector | Jan. 12 | 78 | Soloist and lead singer of the Ronettes trio, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers whose 1963 hit song “Be My Baby” appeared in films such as Dirty Dancing and Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets.

Charles McGee | Jan. 16 | 102 | Tuskegee Airman who overcame racism to fly World War II combat missions. He also flew in the Korean and Vietnam wars, logging a total of 409 missions.

Yvette Mimieux | Jan. 17 | 80 | Actress who starred alongside Rod Taylor in The Time Machine, a film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel. She acted in at least a dozen films in the ’60s. In a 1979 Washington Post interview, she said, “I was often cast as a wounded person, the sensitive role.” After retiring from the screen, she took up writing and sold real estate.

Marvin Lee Aday | Jan. 20 | 74 | Rock singer who adopted the stage name Meat Loaf and recorded Bat Out of Hell, a 14-time platinum album. In 1994, he won a Grammy for his hit song “I’d Do Anything for Love.”

Louie Anderson | Jan. 21 | 68 | Comedian and TV actor who won an Emmy for his role playing a mother in Baskets. He was known for self-deprecating humor about his wide girth, 10 siblings, and alcoholic father.

Thich Nhat Hanh | Jan. 22 | 95 | Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher of mindfulness techniques. An exile from Vietnam, Hanh authored over 100 books, the most famous being The Miracle of Mindfulness, published in 1975.

Duane King | Jan. 25 | 84 | Pastor who founded Deaf Missions, a nonprofit providing sign language devotional materials. In 2020, several years after King’s retirement, Deaf Missions produced the entire Bible in sign language.

Jeremiah Stamler | Jan. 26 | 102 | Northwestern University researcher known as the father of preventive cardiology. He showed that diet and lifestyle play a fundamental role in heart health at a time when doctors considered heart attacks and strokes inevitable consequences of aging and genes.

Mel Mermelstein | Jan. 28 | 95 | Holocaust survivor whose memoir By Bread Alone recounted his experiences in Auschwitz. In 1985, he won a lawsuit against a group of Holocaust deniers and was awarded $90,000.

Yale Kamisar | Jan. 30 | 92 | Legal scholar whose research distinguished him as the “father” of the Miranda rights warning, the practice of informing criminal defendants of their rights before questioning them. His work influenced landmark Supreme Court rulings including Miranda v. Arizona and Gideon v. Wainwright.

February

From left: Luc Montagnier and Sally Kellerman

From left: Luc Montagnier and Sally Kellerman Montagnier: Francois Lochon/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; Kellerman: Deborah Jaffe/Contour by Getty

Luc Montagnier | Feb. 8 | 89 | French virologist who discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in 1983 and later won a Nobel Prize for his research.

Duvall Hecht | Feb. 10 | 91 | Gold-medal Olympian rower who founded Books on Tape, popularizing audiobooks. After Books on Tape had accumulated over 6,000 recordings, he sold the company to Random House for some $20 million.

Peter Earnest | Feb. 13 | 88 | CIA agent involved in overseas operations during the Cold War who later served as the executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington.

P.J. O’Rourke | Feb. 15 | 74 | Conservative columnist and political satirist known for unapologetic cultural critiques. He authored more than 30 books and wrote for publications including The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and The Weekly Standard.

Gail Halvorsen | Feb. 16 | 101 | Pilot who promoted the idea of dropping candy to children in Soviet-controlled Germany at the beginning of the Cold War. He and at least two dozen other pilots became known as “Candy Bombers,” dropping 23 tons of sweets over 15 months.

Bob Beckel | Feb. 20 | 73 | Democratic political analyst who rose to fame when running Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign. In 2000, he became a commentator on Fox News and co-hosted The Five from 2011 to 2015.

Paul Farmer | Feb. 21 | 62 | Medical humanitarian who brought healthcare to impoverished countries like Rwanda and Haiti. Farmer helped developing regions become self-sustaining through the nonprofit he co-founded, Partners in Health.

Sally Kellerman | Feb. 24 | 84 | Singer and actress who earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Maj. “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the 1970 film M*A*S*H and later played opposite Rodney Dangerfield in the 1986 comedy Back to School.

Gary North | Feb. 24 | 80 | Christian reconstructionist and author who taught that the Bible supports free market economics and the gold standard. He promoted libertarian Ron Paul and in the 1990s called on Christians to stockpile supplies ahead of a feared Y2K economic collapse.

Shirley Hughes | Feb. 25 | 94 | British award-winning author of more than 50 children’s books, including the Alfie series, and illustrator of another 200. Her 1977 picture book Dogger endeared generations of readers.

March

From left: Autherine Lucy Foster, William Hurt, and Madeleine Albright

From left: Autherine Lucy Foster, William Hurt, and Madeleine Albright Foster: Gene Herrick/AP; Hurt: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; Albright: David M. Russell/CBS via Getty Images

Autherine Lucy Foster | March 2 | 92 | First black woman to attend the University of Alabama after a federal judge ruled that the school could not refuse her admission. In 1956, she began taking classes but was expelled within a few weeks due to student ­protests. Thirty-two years later, she returned to the university and earned a master’s degree in education.

Alan Ladd Jr. | March 2 | 84 | Producer who gave George Lucas the green light to write Star Wars. During his career, his pictures won 50 Academy Awards and earned over 100 nominations. He took over as CEO of MGM in 1985, overseeing the making of films such as Moonstruck, A Fish Called Wanda, and Thelma & Louise.

Yuriko Kikuchi | March 8 | 102 | Longtime dancer in Martha Graham’s company who, in 1951, performed in the original cast of the Broadway musical The King and I. Four years later, she played a role in the film adaptation. In 1983, she started the Martha Graham Ensemble, a student company.

William Hurt | March 13 | 71 | Actor whose more than 100 film credits included portraying Gen. Thaddeus Ross in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and other Marvel movies. In 1986, he won an Academy Award for his role as a gay prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Bernard Nussbaum | March 13 | 84 | New York lawyer who led the investigation into President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. He later served as White House counsel under President Bill Clinton but resigned at Clinton’s request after 14 months amid the Whitewater controversy.

Stephen Wilhite | March 14 | 74 | Computer programmer who created a compressed image file known as the graphics interchange format, or GIF (pronounced like the peanut butter, according to Wilhite).

Don Young | March 18 | 88 | U.S. representative from Alaska and longest­-serving member of Congress. His tenure began in 1973 during the Nixon administration, and over several decades he lobbied to secure millions of dollars to fund public projects and enhance Alaskan industries.

Madeleine Albright | March 23 | 84 | First female U.S. Secretary of State, she served in the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001. Known for her resolute foreign policy, she advocated for the expansion of NATO and ensured that the United States would have access to biological weapons sites in Iraq. She later called the U.S. reluctance to intervene in the Rwandan genocide one of her deepest regrets.

Charles G. Boyd | March 23 | 83 | Air Force fighter pilot during the Vietnam War who, in 1966, was captured and spent nearly seven years as a prisoner. After his release, he returned to the Air Force and became a four-star general, the only former Vietnam POW to achieve such rank.

Dirck Halstead | March 25 | 85 | Photojournalist who documented historical moments. Among them: Mikhail Gorbachev meeting with President Ronald Reagan, American soldiers in Vietnam, and President Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky.

Franz Mohr | March 28 | 94 | Chief concert technician who for 24 years tuned instruments for the piano company Steinway & Sons. Many of his clients were famous pianists, and while traveling with them, he gave them Bibles and told them about Jesus. He also smuggled Bibles into Soviet Russia when touring with Vladimir Horowitz in 1986.

Patricia MacLachlan | March 31 | 84 | Author of over 30 children’s books including the beloved Sarah, Plain and Tall.

April

From left: Estelle Harris, Naomi Judd, and Orrin Hatch

From left: Estelle Harris, Naomi Judd, and Orrin Hatch Harris: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; Judd: Harry Langdon/Getty Images; Hatch: AP

Estelle Harris I | April 2 | 93 | Comedic actress known best for playing George Costanza’s mother on Seinfeld and voicing Mrs. Potato Head in three Toy Story movies.

Nehemiah Persoff  | April 5 | 102 | Longtime character actor who appeared in dozens of TV series and movies since 1948 including The Twilight Zone, Yentl, and (as the voice of Papa Mousekewitz) An American Tail.

Mimi Reinhard | April 8 | 107 | Jewish secretary in Poland’s Plaszow concentration camp who compiled the list of prisoners, including herself, that became known as “Schindler’s list.” Industrialist Oskar Schindler convinced the Nazis to move these Jews to Czechoslovakia, thereby saving them.

Jack Higgins | April 9 | 92 | Best-selling British author of The Eagle Has Landed, a fictional story of Nazis trying to kidnap Winston Churchill, made into a successful 1976 movie. Higgins, whose real name was Henry Patterson, wrote more than 70 novels that sold over 250 million copies.

Gilbert Gottfried | April 12 | 67 | Comedian and actor best known for voicing a smart-aleck parrot in the Disney animated film Aladdin.

Shirley Spork | April 12 | 94 | Golf pro who taught the sport to other women and co-founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 1950. In 1947, she won the first national women’s collegiate golf championship.

Rosario Ibarra | April 16 | 95 | Former Mexican senator and a leading human rights activist, she led protests against the arrest and disappearance of thousands of political prisoners in Mexico, including her son, whom authorities arrested in 1975. She ultimately became Mexico’s first female presidential candidate, though she never found her son.

Jon A. Reynolds | April 16 | 84 | Air Force pilot who, after his plane was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965, became prisoner of war for seven years, including at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” After his release in 1973, he remained in the Air Force, retiring as a brigadier general in 1990.

Robert Morse | April 20 | 90 | Actor whose six-­decade career took off in 1961 after his appearance in the Broadway musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying earned him a Tony Award for best actor. His 100 theater and television roles included the advertising mogul Bert Cooper in Mad Men.

Guy Lafleur | April 22 | 70 | Right-wing hockey champ for the Montreal Canadiens who led the team to five Stanley Cup championships in 14 seasons. Nicknamed “The Flower,” he became the first NHL player to score at least 50 goals and 100 points for six years in a row.

Orrin Hatch | April 23 | 88 | Former U.S. senator from Utah who held office from 1977 to 2019, making him the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. The Mormon ­legislator championed tax cuts and pro-life measures and co-authored the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. As president pro tempore of the Senate from 2015 to 2019, Hatch was third in line of succession to the presidency.

Morton Mower | April 25 | 89 | Cardiologist who, with colleague Dr. Michel Mirowski, invented a now widely used implantable defibrillator designed to detect arrhythmia and administer an electric shock.

Peter Moore | April 29 | 78 | Shoe designer who worked with basketball superstar Michael Jordan to create the first Nike Air Jordans in 1985. The first year of their release, Air Jordan sales totaled about $126 million.

Naomi Judd | April 30 | 76 | Half of the mother-­daughter country music duo the Judds. During their career, the Judds won five Grammys, and Naomi won a sixth for writing “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

May

From left: Norman Mineta, Mickey Gilley, and Ray Liotta

From left: Norman Mineta, Mickey Gilley, and Ray Liotta Mineta: Carlos Osorio/AP; Gilley: CBS via Getty Images; Liotta: Wyatt Counts via AP

Kathy Boudin | May 1 | 78 | Member of Weather Underground, a violent far-left group operating in the 1970s that touted “Black Power” and ­retaliated against the Vietnam War. In 1981 she was arrested for participating in a deadly armed robbery of a Brink’s truck. After serving 22 years in prison, she dedicated her time to preparing former inmates for employment and co-founded the Center for Justice at Columbia University.

Norman Mineta | May 3 | 90 | First Asian American to serve in the U.S. Cabinet, ­initially as commerce secretary during the final months of President Bill Clinton’s presidency, then as transportation secretary for President George W. Bush. He oversaw creation of the TSA after 9/11. In 1971, San Jose elected him the first Japanese American mayor of a major U.S. city. He later served 10 terms as a Democratic congressman from California.

Mickey Gilley | May 7 | 86 | Country singer-­songwriter whose Texas honky-tonk, Gilley’s, with its mechanical bull, inspired the 1980 film Urban Cowboy and a nationwide trend of Western-themed nightclubs. He had 17 No. 1 songs and crossed over into pop with hits like “Stand By Me.”

Leonid Kravchuk | May 10 | 88 | First president of an independent Ukraine who actively supported the Soviet Union’s dissolution, relinquished his country’s nuclear weapons, and stepped down peacefully after losing a reelection bid in 1994.

Robert McFarlane | May 12 | 84 | A national security adviser for President Ronald Reagan who was the only White House official to accept blame voluntarily in the Iran-Contra affair. That overshadowed his role in shaping Reagan’s “Star Wars” Strategic Defense Initiative.

Julie Beckett | May 13 | 72 | Mother turned activist who overcame federal bureaucracy to get at-home medical coverage for her disabled daughter. Her continued advocacy led to Medicaid changes giving people with ­disabilities government benefits for home healthcare.

James Francis Edwards | May 14 | 100 | World War II Canadian fighter pilot considered his country’s “top gun.” Known as “Stocky” Edwards, he flew 373 combat missions, mostly over North Africa, but also to support Allied landings in Italy and in Normandy on D-Day.

Vangelis | May 17 | 79 | Greek composer of the 1981 Chariots of Fire movie theme, which won best original score at the 1982 Academy Awards, hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and became inextricably linked with athletic perseverance.

Colin Cantwell | May 21 | 90 | Animator, conceptual artist, and computer engineer who designed and built prototype spacecraft for the Star Wars films, including the X-wing, TIE fighter, and Death Star.

Nancy Clark Reynolds | May 23 | 94 | Confidante and aide to Ronald and Nancy Reagan, sometimes called “the other Nancy” in the Reagans’ inner ­circle, who became a sought-after lobbyist with ­clients ­including GM and American Airlines.

Ray Liotta | May 26 | 67 | Actor who starred in the 1990 film Goodfellas as a mobster turned informant. Though Liotta often played the hardened rogue, he took a wide range of roles, including an Emmy-winning guest appearance on ER playing the alcoholic Charlie Metcalf.

Lester Piggott | May 29 | 86 | Most successful British jockey of the late 20th century, with 11 championship titles and a record nine English Derby wins during his 47-year career.

Paul Vance | May 30 | 92 | Songwriter who wrote the lyrics to the 1960 No. 1 hit “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” after being inspired by his 2-year-old daughter who was uncomfortable wearing a two-piece suit to the beach for the first time. Vance’s other hits included “Catch a Falling Star” and “Playground in My Mind.”

Andrée Geulen | May 31 | 100 | Belgian schoolteacher who saved the lives of 300 to 400 Jewish children during the Holocaust by hiding them with host families in homes, convents, boarding schools, and on farms, where they stayed until Europe’s liberation.

June

From left: Hershel Williams, Ann Turner Cook, and Baxter Black

From left: Hershel Williams, Ann Turner Cook, and Baxter Black Williams: Mark Webb/The Herald-Dispatch/AP; Cook: Chris O’Meara/AP; Black: Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

Charles Kernaghan | June 1 | 74 | Crusader against sweatshops who exposed abusive conditions, sometimes with hidden cameras in his glasses, at overseas factories in China, Bangladesh, Central America, and Jordan. His public targets included Disney, Nike, Target, and Walmart.

Barry Sussman | June 1 | 87 | Pipe-smoking Washington Post editor who oversaw the Watergate investigative reporting by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that helped force President Richard Nixon from office.

Ann Turner Cook | June 3 | 95 | Original Gerber baby whose cherubic face became the company’s trademark in 1931 and has been used ever since. She became an English teacher and mystery novelist, but the company kept her identity as the iconic infant secret until 1978.

Sophie Freud | June 3 | 97 | Granddaughter of Sigmund Freud who called him one of the “false prophets of the 20th century,” alongside Adolf Hitler. She fled her home country of Austria during World War II and later worked in adoption, child, and family services and taught at Tufts University.

Jim Seals | June 6 | 79 | Lead vocalist of the 1970s soft-rock duo Seals and Crofts who, with Darrel “Dash” Crofts, crafted hits like “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl.” Both Baha’i in faith, they stoked controversy with their 1974 pro-life song “Unborn Child” after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Alexander Nikitin | June 7 | 87 | Renowned chess coach for Garry Kasparov from the time Kasparov turned 10 in 1973 until he won his fifth and final world championship match against rival Anatoly Karpov in 1990.

Baxter Black | June 10 | 77 | Cowboy poet with the bushy mustache whose early veterinarian career on Western ranches provided material for descriptive, humorous insights shared in more than 30 books. He also held public recitations, made appearances on The Tonight Show, and recorded regular segments for National Public Radio.

Leonardo Del Vecchio | June 27 | 87 | Italian founder of Luxottica, the world’s largest producer and retailer of sunglasses and prescription glasses, who grew up in an orphanage and rose from factory apprenticeship to become one of the world’s wealthiest men, with an estimated net worth of $27 billion. He is credited with turning eyewear into a fashion statement.

Sonny Barger | June 29 | 83 | Founder of the original Oakland, Calif., Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, who became the face for the outlaw counterculture road warriors. He spent years in prison for conspiracy to kill rival club members and for drug and firearms charges.

Hershel Williams | June 29 | 98 | Last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient. He was a 21-year-old Marine corporal on Iwo Jima when, armed with only a flamethrower, he took out seven pillboxes filled with Japanese soldiers during the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history.

July

From left: Tony Dow, Bill Russell, and Ivana Trump

From left: Tony Dow, Bill Russell, and Ivana Trump Dow: PBH Images/Alamy; Russell: Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty; Trump: Adam Scull/Photolink/MediaPunch/IPX/AP

James Caan | July 6 | 82 | Actor who during a nearly 60-year career starred as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, a role that garnered an Academy Award nomination in 1972. He received an Emmy nomination in 1971 for his lead role in Brian’s Song, a movie based on the true story of professional football player Brian Piccolo.

Shinzo Abe | July 8 | 67 | Japanese prime minister who served the longest continuous term in Japanese history, eight years, before resigning in 2020. While in office he helped boost Japan’s economy with a program that became known as “Abenomics” and lobbied for the country’s military to become a formidable world power.

Monty Norman | July 11 | 94 | British composer known for writing the James Bond theme song, introduced in Dr. No, the 1962 spy movie that brought 007 to the screen. The song quickly became one of the world’s most recognized tunes.

Ivana Trump | July 14 | 73 | First wife of former U.S. President Donald Trump and mother of three of his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. Before Ivana and Donald’s divorce in 1990, she helped him manage his hotels and casinos. She also authored several books, including Raising Trump, and designed her own clothing line.

Claes Oldenburg | July 18 | 93 | Called the whimsical father of pop art, he created enormous sculptures of everyday objects, like the giant lipstick outside the National Gallery of Art and the huge cherry balancing on a spoon in the Walker Art Center sculpture garden in Minneapolis.

Rodney Stark | July 21 | 88 | Influential sociologist who sparked controversy with his assessment that people practice a certain religion because of social connections and rational choice, with creedal beliefs only a secondary consideration. He authored more than 30 books, including The Future of Religion and The Rise of Christianity.

Tim Giago | July 24 | 88 | Founder of the first independently owned Native American newspaper in the United States. The Oglala Lakota tribe member and Harvard University Nieman fellow started The Lakota Times in 1981 in South Dakota. He founded two other publications for reporting national Native American news and issues.

Paul Sorvino | July 25 | 83 | Imposing actor who played authority figures like crime boss Paulie Cicero in the gangster film Goodfellas and Sgt. Phil Cerrata in Law and Order.

Tony Dow | July 27 | 77 | Actor, writer, and director best known for playing Wally, the dependable older brother on the popular black-and-white TV sitcom Leave It to Beaver.

Ron Sider | July 27 | 82 | Evangelical activist, Palmer Theological Seminary professor, and author of the 1977 book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, who urged Christians to fight against what he viewed as systemic oppression. He founded Christians for Social Action, an organization that “helps Christian communities cultivate a faith-fueled commitment to justice.”

Pat Carroll | July 30 | 95 | Emmy-winning actress best known as the voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid.

Nichelle Nichols | July 30 | 89 | Actress who played Lt. Uhura in the 1960s original Star Trek series. As a black woman, her role in the show was considered formative in advancing the civil rights movement on screen. Before she became a film star, she sang and danced for jazz icon Duke Ellington.

Bill Russell | July 31 | 88 | Dominant 6-foot-10 basketball center who led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA championships in the 1950s and ’60s and won an Olympic Gold medal for the U.S. basketball team in 1956. The Celtics named him head coach in 1966, the first African American to hold that role in a major U.S. professional sport. He marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and started an integrated basketball camp after civil rights leader Medgar Evers’ assassination.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri | July 31 | 71 | Al-Qaeda leader believed to have been instrumental in planning the 9/11 attacks and who served as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man until 2011. In 2006, al-­Zawahiri survived a U.S. missile strike against him and members of his network.

August

From left: Vin Scully, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Olivia Newton-John

From left: Vin Scully, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Olivia Newton-John Scully: Paul Connors/AP; Gorbachev: Boris Yurchenko/AP; Newton-John: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Vin Scully | Aug. 2 | 94 | Sports broadcaster whose career with the Dodgers lasted 64 years, the longest tenure a broadcaster has ever had with one team. In 1953, he became the youngest World Series Game broadcaster. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. His standard broadcast greeting: “Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be.”

Stuart Briscoe | Aug. 3 | 91 | British-born evangelical author and senior pastor for 30 years of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wis., who wrote more than 40 books and with his wife, Jill, launched the Telling the Truth media ministry.

Jackie Walorski | Aug. 3 | 58 | Republican congresswoman representing Indiana’s 2nd District since 2013. She and her husband worked as missionaries in Romania before she served in the Indiana Legislature and then in Congress, where she advocated for better nationwide food and agricultural policies. Her pro-life voting record included co-sponsorship of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

David McCullough | Aug. 7 | 89 | Historian and author of two Pulitzer Prize–winning biographies, Truman and John Adams, each of which took nearly 10 years to complete. He received the National Book Award for two other nonfiction books. In 2008, HBO aired Painting With Words, a short documentary about his life and work. He also narrated the 1990 series The Civil War and 2003 film Seabiscuit.

Lamont Dozier | Aug. 8 | 81 | Singer and songwriter who, along with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, wrote and produced some of Motown’s greatest hits, including “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Heat Wave.” In 1988, the songwriting trio was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and, two years later, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Olivia Newton-John | Aug. 8 | 73 | Singer and actress who starred alongside John Travolta in the 1978 film Grease. Before appearing on screen, she had already won a Grammy and was named best female vocalist for her recording of “Let Me Be There” in 1973. In 1981, her fifth No. 1 single, “Physical,” went platinum, even though some radio stations banned it due to its sexualized lyrics.

Nicholas Evans | Aug. 9 | 72 | British novelist whose literary debut, The Horse Whisperer, sold more than 15 million copies and became a hit movie adaptation of the same name by Robert Redford.

Anne Heche | Aug. 14 | 53 | Actress starring in Six Days Seven Nights, who claimed that her announcement of a lesbian relationship with Ellen DeGeneres blacklisted her from other major movies. She later married a cameraman. Her memoirs describe creating alter egos, including one as the half sister of Jesus, as a way to deal with her inner demons.

Frederick Buechner | Aug. 15 | 96 | Christian writer who published his first novel, A Long Day’s Dying, in 1950 when he was 23. After graduating from Union Theological Seminary, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and devoted his energies to writing and lecturing. Throughout his career, he published almost 40 books.

Pete Carril | Aug. 15 | 92 | Basketball coach who in 1967 began a 29-year run coaching the Princeton men’s basketball team to 514 wins. Along the way, he developed his signature system, featuring constant motion and off-ball cuts, known as the Princeton offense.

Tom Weiskopf | Aug. 20 | 79 | Professional golfer whose tall frame generated enough power to make him a perennial contender on the PGA tour throughout the 1970s. Weiskopf won the first of his 16 PGA tour victories in 1968 and notched his first of four second-place finishes at the 1969 Masters Tournament. After golf, he became a course designer.

Joey DeFrancesco | Aug. 25 | 51 | Jazz organist who, by age 17, had already toured with Miles Davis and opened for Bobby McFerrin. Though the Hammond B3 organ had largely gone out of style by the time he came on the jazz scene, DeFrancesco revitalized the instrument. He produced some 30 albums during his lifetime, featuring big names like Pharoah Sanders and Van Morrison.

Mikhail Gorbachev | Aug. 30 | 91 | Last leader of the Soviet Union whose seven years of reluctant reforms led to the end of the Cold War and the empire’s collapse. As he worked to revitalize the Soviet state’s political and economic stagnation through openness and restructuring, the Communist Party’s control waned and the countries it controlled began to regain their independence. Though many Russians despised him because of the Soviet collapse, Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

September

From left: Kenneth Starr, Queen Elizabeth II, and Bernard Shaw

From left: Kenneth Starr, Queen Elizabeth II, and Bernard Shaw Starr: Doug Mills/AP; Queen Elizabeth II: Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images; Shaw: Erik S. Lesser/AP

Earnie Shavers | Sept. 1 | 78 | Heavyweight prize-fighting boxer from 1969 to 1995 thought to deliver the hardest punches in the ring. He fought heavyweights like Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes but never brought home a championship title despite racking up 68 career knockouts, 23 in the first round.

Lance Mackey | Sept. 7 | 52 | Dog-musher who overcame throat cancer to become the only man to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race four times in a row.

Bernard Shaw | Sept. 7 | 82 | Founding news anchor for CNN who reported from Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Queen Elizabeth II | Sept. 8 | 96 | The British Commonwealth’s longest-serving monarch who ruled for seven decades, ascending to the throne after her father, King George VI, died in early 1952. Fifteen prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, served during her reign. Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947 and enjoyed strong public support throughout her reign. Known for her composure and colorful matching hats and dresses, she consistently attended Church of England services and spoke openly of her faith in Jesus Christ.

Maximilian Lerner | Sept. 10 | 98 | Austrian-born Jew who fled the Nazis with his family and joined the U.S. Army on his 18th birthday. He became one of the counterintelligence agents known as Ritchie Boys, who trained at the Army’s secret Camp Ritchie in Maryland. Eventually he was sent back to Europe to gather intelligence and later to help arrest Nazis.

Jim Martin | Sept. 11 | 101 | World War II paratrooper whose military unit’s exploits were featured in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Nicknamed “Pee Wee” because of his small stature, he parachuted into combat over Normandy and participated in Europe’s liberation, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Kenneth Starr | Sept. 13 | 76 | Former federal appeals court judge, U.S. solicitor general (under George H.W. Bush), and later, the independent counsel who famously investigated and uncovered the adultery scandal involving former President Bill Clinton that led to Clinton’s impeachment. Starr later served as dean of Pepperdine University’s law school and as president of Baylor University.

Henry Silva | Sept. 14 | 95 | High school drop-out who went on to become a character actor best known for playing scoundrels. He had supporting roles in Frank Sinatra’s Ocean’s Eleven and The Manchurian Candidate. His more than 130 screen credits also included Wagon Train, The FBI, and Jerry Lewis’ Cinderfella.

Nick Holonyak Jr. | Sept. 18 | 93 | Son of an immigrant Ukrainian coal miner, whose development of the first practical LED in 1962 led to countless applications including lightbulbs, mobile phones, and TVs.

Maury Wills | Sept. 19 | 89 | Dodgers shortstop, briefly with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos, who was the first major league player to steal more than 100 bases in a single season. He ended his 14-year career with 586 stolen bases and won the Golden Glove Award twice.

Darrell Mudra | Sept. 21 | 93 | College Football Hall of Fame coach who won more than 70 percent of his career games and also won two national championships, for North Dakota State and Eastern Illinois.

Mark Souder | Sept. 26 | 72 | Republican U.S. representative and evangelical who represented parts of Indiana during his 15 years in Congress. He advocated for national parks, abstinence education, and a hard line on drugs. His political career ended abruptly in 2010 when he confessed to an affair with a married female staffer and resigned.

Andrew van der Bijl | Sept. 27 | 94 | Christian known as “Brother Andrew” who smuggled Bibles into communist Poland in the 1950s and later founded Open Doors, an international organization that delivers resources to persecuted Christians.

Dan Busby | Sept. 28 | 81 | Certified public accountant with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability who is credited with helping double the organization’s membership during his 12-year presidency. He encouraged ministries to improve their self-regulation, while striving to protect them from government oversight.

October

From left: Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, and Angela Lansbury

From left: Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, and Angela Lansbury Lewis: Dima Gavrysh/AP; Lynn: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Lansbury: Douglas C. Pizac/AP

Douglas Kirkland | Oct. 2 | 88 | Celebrity photographer for more than 60 years whose subjects ranged from Marilyn Monroe to Michael Jackson. He worked for Look and Life magazines, among other publications, and for films including The Sound of Music.

Jim Redmond | Oct. 2 | 81 | Englishman who helped create one of Olympic history’s most inspiring moments when he ran from the stands at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games to help his injured, fallen sprinter son rise and cross the finish line of the 400-meter race.

Loretta Lynn | Oct. 4 | 90 | Country music star whose Kentucky twang influenced the genre with songs like “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” an autobiographical ballad. She was one of the first to sing about heartbreak, unfaithful husbands, and birth control. She won four Grammy awards, two in 2005 for her album Van Lear Rose.

Lenny Lipton | Oct. 5 | 82 | Lyricist of the folk tune “Puff the Magic Dragon” that college friend Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary later put to music. He said Ogden Nash’s poem “The Tale of Custard the Dragon” inspired him (not marijuana, despite persistent rumors).

Angela Lansbury | Oct. 11 | 95 | Prolific actress who won five Tony Awards for Broadway musicals and played memorable roles such as that of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast. She also starred as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, a TV show that ran from 1984 to 1996. After 12 seasons on the show, Lansbury was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame.

James McDivitt | Oct. 13 | 93 | Astronaut commander of the 1965 Gemini 4 mission that featured the first American spacewalk.

Bruce Sutter | Oct. 13 | 69 | Baseball Hall of Fame relief pitcher who played for the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals during a 12-year career. He scored 300 saves and received the Cy Young Award in 1979.

Robbie Coltrane | Oct 14 | 72 | Actor who played Hagrid in all eight Harry Potter movies and portrayed a villain in James Bond thrillers Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough.

Albert Nolan | Oct. 17 | 88 | South African Catholic priest and anti­apartheid activist who advocated through Scripture for human rights and democracy.

Ashton Carter | Oct. 24 | 68 | Defense secretary under President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017 who opened combat roles to women against Marine Corps objections, strengthened Pentagon ties with tech companies to upgrade defenses, and led U.S. policy in the Middle East during the rise of Islamic extremists.

Vince Dooley | Oct. 28 | 90 | Georgia football coach with no prior head-coaching experience who became the fourth-winningest coach in Southeastern Conference history. He logged a career record of 201-77-10 between 1964 and 1988.

Jerry Lee Lewis | Oct. 28 | 87 | Rock ’n’ roll pioneer known as much for his wild life as for hits that spanned the 1950s to 1981, including “Great Balls of Fire.” Lewis performed until 2019 and won a lifetime achievement Grammy Award. He married five times, including a scandalous marriage to his 13-year-old cousin when he was 22.

November

From left: Christine McVie and Robert Clary

From left: Christine McVie and Robert Clary McVie: Thomas Cooper/Getty Images; Clary: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Wilson Kiprugut | Nov. 1 | 84 | Middle-distance ­runner who became the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal. In the 800 meter race, he won the bronze at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, then a silver in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, with the third-fastest performance in history at that time.

Ray Guy | Nov. 3 | 72 | Pro Football Hall of Fame punter considered the all-time best. The three-time Super Bowl champ played his entire career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, once achieving a 619-punt streak without one blocked.

Douglas McGrath | Nov. 3 | 64 | Film director and writer of diverse genres including the 1996 screenplay adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and the Oscar-nominated comedic crime drama Bullets Over Broadway.

Robert Le Sueur | Nov. 5 | 102 | British humanitarian appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 for risking arrest and death helping escaped Russian prisoners in Jersey during Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands in World War II.

Jeff Cook | Nov. 7 | 73 | Guitarist, fiddler, and vocalist co-founder of country band Alabama, a group with a string of 1980s hits including “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight.”

Bao Tong | Nov. 9 | 90 | Senior Chinese Communist Party official who helped shape policies that opened China’s economy but later became an outspoken dissident against Communist policies. He supported students during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and spent his final decades in prison or under house arrest.

Leo Gallagher | Nov. 11 | 76 | Sledgehammer-wielding, watermelon-pulverizing prop comic known for smashing foods onstage, sending chunks and glop onto audiences wearing ponchos.

Robert Clary | Nov. 16 | 96 | Beret-wearing Hogan’s Heroes sitcom actor, who played a French corporal imprisoned with other Allied soldiers who best their German captors. He himself was a French-born survivor of concentration camps whose parents and 10 siblings were killed by Nazis.

Michael Gerson | Nov. 17 | 58 | Head speechwriter for President George W. Bush who helped craft post-9/11 messages of sorrow and resolve. He wrote for Prison Fellowship before joining the presidential campaign in 1999, quickly becoming a Bush confidant and policy influencer.

John Hadl | Nov. 30 | 82 | Sixteen-year NFL quarterback with six Pro Bowl appearances, he played 11 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, leading them to the 1963 AFL championship. He was a two-time All-American for the Kansas Jayhawks, whom he later helped coach, before coaching for the Rams, Broncos, and USFL’s LA Express.

Christine McVie | Nov. 30 | 79 | British-born vocalist, songwriter, and keyboard player for rock band Fleetwood Mac, whose mellow contralto helped define hit 1970s songs like “You Make Loving Fun” and “Don’t Stop.”

George Newall | Nov. 30 | 88 | Co-creator of Schoolhouse Rock!, the four-time Emmy Award–winning television show running from 1973 to 1985 that used upbeat songs and quirky cartoons to teach youngsters everything from grammar to math and science. It included songs like Newall’s favorite, “Unpack Your Adjectives.”

Jiang Zemin | Nov. 30 | 96 | Former Chinese president (1993-2003) who became leader of the Communist Party after the Tiananmen Square massacre, maintaining strong Communist control while promoting a socialist market economy and turning China into a global economic player.

December

From left: Franco Harris, Kirstie Alley, and Gaylord Perry

From left: Franco Harris, Kirstie Alley, and Gaylord Perry Harris: Harry Cabluck/AP; Alley: NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images; Perry: AP

Dorothy Pitman Hughes | Dec. 1 | 84 | Black feminist, child welfare advocate, and community activist who toured the country in the 1970s with feminist Gloria Steinem, speaking on gender and race. In New York City, she started a battered women’s shelter and a community center for day care and job training.

Gaylord Perry | Dec. 1 | 84 | Pitcher for eight major league baseball teams from 1962 to 1983 and the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues. Known for his illegal but hard-to-detect spitball, he compiled 3,534 strikeouts, entering baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1991.

Bob McGrath | Dec. 4 | 90 | Actor, singer, and original cast member of TV’s Sesame Street who for nearly 50 years played Mr. Johnson, an affable neighborhood music teacher helping children cultivate kindness, curiosity, and joy.

Kirstie Alley | Dec. 5 | 71 | Actress who won Emmys for her role in TV’s Cheers and for portraying an autistic boy’s mother in TV film David’s Mother. She defended the Church of Scientology she attended for four decades after its drug-treatment program helped her gain sobriety.

Joe Kittinger | Dec. 9 | 94 | Air Force colonel, Vietnam POW, and aerospace pioneer who for more than 50 years held a world record for a 20-mile-high parachute jump in 1960. In 1984, he became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in a helium balloon.

Mike Leach | Dec. 12 | 61 | College football coach who emphasized passing more than running and became Texas Tech’s winningest coach, also coaching at Washington State and Mississippi State. 

Franco Harris | Dec. 21 | 72 | Hall of Fame running back who, in the 1970s, helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowls. He was famous for his “Immaculate Reception,” an improbable, game-winning catch during a 1972 Raiders matchup now considered the greatest play in NFL history.

Tom Minnery | Dec. 24 | 83 | Christian leader who vigilantly defended First Amendment rights, including the right to share the gospel freely, and wrote the 2001 book Why You Can’t Stay Silent. He served in top roles with Focus on the Family, Family Policy Alliance, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Center for Christian Virtue and was a former senior editor of Christianity Today.


Kathy Whitworth | Dec. 24 | 83 | Winningest golfer in history, clinching 88 tournaments, more than Sam Snead and Tiger Woods. She was also the first female to earn more than $1 million in prize money. A clutch putter, Whitworth was named LPGA Player of the Year seven times.


Pelé | Dec. 29 | 82 | Brazilian soccer legend known as “King of Soccer” and one of history’s preeminent athletes. With his compact size, tactical savvy, ambidextrous footwork, and precise headers, he helped his country win three World Cup titles (in 1958, 1962 and 1970).


Vivienne Westwood | Dec. 29 | 81 | Self-taught British fashion designer who defined the punk look and is credited for starting the “underwear as outerwear” trend. A political activist and anti-consumerist, she advocated buying fewer clothes to help save the climate.

Barbara Walters | Dec. 30 | 93 | First female co-host of the Today show and first female anchor of network evening news (at ABC), who became highest paid anchor, with a 5-year, $5 million contract. Remembered for coaxing celebrities and politicians into interviews and asking probing questions, she also co-hosted 20/20 and created The View.


Pope Benedict XVI | Dec. 31 | 95 | German-born pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. Known as a gentle intellect and staunch protector of Catholic orthodoxy, he spoke against secularism, relativism, and liberation theology. Benedict became the first pope to resign in 600 years, saying his advanced age of 85 made him no longer suited for the papacy.

—Compiled by Sharon Dierberger and Bekah McCallum, with additional reporting from John Dawson

This page has been updated to include deaths from late December. It has also been corrected to note The Lakota Times was the first independently owned Native American newspaper in the United States.

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