2023 Departures | WORLD
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2023 Departures

From celebrities to saints, a look at the people who died this year

Tim Keller José A. Alvarado Jr./Redux

2023 Departures
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From left: Lisa Marie Presley, Jeff Beck, and Cindy Williams.

From left: Lisa Marie Presley, Jeff Beck, and Cindy Williams. Presley: Mario Tama/Getty; Beck: Michael Putland/Getty; Williams: Bob Riha Jr./Getty

Walter Cunningham

Jan. 3 | 90 | Last surviving astronaut from the 1968 Apollo 7 mission, an 11-day spaceflight that paved the way for the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

Nate Thayer

Jan. 3 | 62 | Intrepid investigative reporter and the last Western correspondent to interview (in 1997) barbarous Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, after tracking him through Cambodian jungles for nearly a decade.

Marcelle Engelen Faber

Jan. 7 | 99 | Last surviving French resistance fighter of Équipe Pur Sang, a group of six women who helped get prisoners out of Nazi Germany and into Vichy France during World War II.

Jack Hayford

Jan. 8 | 88 | Pentecostal pastor of the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., who wrote “Majesty” and more than 500 other praise songs and founded the King’s College and Seminary in Los Angeles (now the King’s University in Southlake, Texas).

Adolfo Kaminsky

Jan. 9 | 97 | French Resistance member and document forger for World War II’s Jewish children. Kaminsky clandestinely created so many false identity cards, baptismal certificates, ration books, and other documents that he went blind in one eye.

Jeff Beck

Jan. 10 | 78 | Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee ­considered one of the most influential lead guitarists of the 1960s and ’70s. Beck’s original style helped shape electric blues, ­psychedelic rock, heavy metal, and jazz-rock.

Constantine II

Jan. 10 | 82 | Last king of Greece who reigned for three years before fleeing into exile after a military coup ousted him. He remained head of state in exile until a referendum abolished the monarchy in 1973.

Paul Johnson

Jan. 12 | 94 | Influential historian and prolific British journalist who shifted from advocating leftists politics to conservative politics in midlife and published more than 50 books, including histories of the modern world, Jews, and Christianity.

Lisa Marie Presley

Jan. 12 | 54 | Singer, songwriter, and daughter of rock ’n’ roll ­legend Elvis Presley, who died when she was 9. She released three albums, but her famous father and tumultuous personal life, including four marriages (one to Michael Jackson), overshadowed her music career.

Robbie Knievel

Jan. 13 | 60 | Record-setting and oft-injured stunt performer (and son of Evel Knievel) whose daredevil motorcycle feats included jumps over Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace fountains in 1989 and a Grand Canyon gorge a decade later.

Lloyd Morrisett

Jan. 15 | 93 | Sesame Street co-creator, Yale-trained psychologist, and philanthropic executive with Carnegie Corp. who founded the Children’s Television Workshop with producer Joan Ganz Cooney in 1968.

Gina Lollobrigida

Jan. 16 | 95 | Italian, international film sensation of the 1950s, whose fetching looks and allure earned her roles in more than 50 films, often alongside famous male stars like Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, and Sean Connery.

David Crosby

Jan. 18 | 81 | Singer-­songwriter and guitarist co-founder of the Byrds, a band that garnered two No. 1 singles—­“Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Crosby also co-founded Crosby, Stills & Nash (later adding Neil Young), which produced hits like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”

Sal Bando

Jan 20 | 78 | Sixteen-year major leaguer at third base, including as team captain for the Oakland Athletics for three consecutive World Series victories (1972-1974), later becoming general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers for much of the ’90s.

Cindy Williams

Jan. 25 | 75 | Actress known for playing straight-laced Shirley on television’s Laverne and Shirley, a sitcom spinoff from the popular 1970s show Happy Days.

Bob Born

Jan. 29 | 98 | So-called Father of Peeps, the chick- and bunny-­shaped marshmallow candy, who used his engineering savvy to streamline production in 1954 from 27 hours to six minutes. He also helped invent Hot Tamales candy.

John Morris

Jan. 29 | 76 | Geological ­engineer and Institute for Creation Research president who published numerous creation science books and led over 12 expeditions to Mount Ararat searching for Noah’s Ark.

Bobby Hull

Jan. 30 | 84 | Hockey Hall of Famer, Chicago Blackhawks winger, and slap shot master nicknamed the “Golden Jet” for his speed and blond hair. He was the first NHL player to score more than 50 goals in a season and helped Chicago win the 1961 Stanley Cup.


From left: Burt Bacharach, Tim McCarver, and Raquel Welch

From left: Burt Bacharach, Tim McCarver, and Raquel Welch Bacharach: Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; McCarver: Bettmann/Getty; Welch: Bob Riha Jr./Getty

Christian Atsu

c. Feb. 6 | 31 | Professional Ghanian soccer star who used his position to praise God publicly. He was found deceased in his destroyed apartment building nearly two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Antakya, Turkey, on Feb. 6.

Burt Bacharach

Feb. 8 | 94 | Prolific pop music composer and Oscar winner with megahits across six decades, including “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “This Guy’s in Love With You,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”

Morgan Hill

Feb. 9 | 27 | Advocate for abandoned babies and national spokesperson for Safe Haven Laws, which allow parents to give up babies safely and ­anonymously. She herself was abandoned in a dumpster as a newborn, found by a construction worker, and dubbed “Baby Grace.”

Hans Modrow

Feb. 11 | 95 | Last communist leader of East Germany after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, serving as prime minister until free ­elections were held in 1990. He urged reunification with West Germany, later served in the united parliament, and became a member of the European Parliament.

Raquel Welch

Feb. 15 | 82 | Actress hailed as an international screen siren in the 1960s and ’70s, with hundreds of magazine covers and multiple movies, exercise videos, and books. She divorced four times but returned to her religious roots and settled at a Christian church near Los Angeles.

Tim McCarver

Feb. 16 | 81 | Two-time All-Star catcher and two-time World Series winner with the St. Louis Cardinals. He played on four teams over four decades and became a Hall of Fame broadcaster known for his effusive, knowledgeable, and analytical commentary.

George T. Miller

Feb. 17 | 79 | Scottish-born Australian film and TV director whose most celebrated works include The Man From Snowy River and The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter.

Stella Stevens

Feb. 17 | 84 | Popular actress in 1960s and ’70s movies including The Nutty Professor and The Poseidon Adventure. She later appeared in TV series like Murder, She Wrote and Magnum, P.I.

Michael S. Heiser

Feb. 20 | 60 | Old Testament scholar, professor, and Christian author of The Unseen Realm, which addresses Biblical ideas about what some theologians call a “divine council.”

Betty Boothroyd

Feb. 26 | 93 | The first, and so far only, female speaker of Britain’s House of Commons in its 700-year history, leading from 1992 to 2000. She was known for no-nonsense authority, warmth, and wit, and was later appointed to Parliament’s unelected House of Lords.

Terry Holland

Feb. 26 | 80 | Transformative coach who elevated University of Virginia basketball to national prominence during his 16 seasons, beginning in 1974. He emphasized defense, focused on his players becoming good men, and led them to nine NCAA tournaments and the 1980 NIT title.


From left: Wayne Shorter, Chaim Topol, and Willis Reed

From left: Wayne Shorter, Chaim Topol, and Willis Reed Shorter: Robert E. Klein/ap; Topol: Steve Schapiro/Corbis via Getty; Reed: Gene Kappock/NY Daily News Archive via Getty

Wayne Shorter

March 2 | 89 | Popular saxo­phonist, improviser, and jazz composer whose complex harmonies, melodies, and rhythms earned him 12 Grammys. He performed with the Miles Davis Quintet, then led the Wayne Shorter Quartet into his 70s.

Kenzaburo Oe

March 3 | 88 | Nobel Prize–­winning Japanese author whose emotional novels and essays often revolved around the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 (when he was 10) and his ­relationship with his developmentally disabled son.

Judy Huemann

March 4 | 75 | Disability rights activist and teacher, herself a quadriplegic since childhood, who was a catalyst for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act that protects the dignity and rights of the disabled.

Chaim Topol

March 8 | 87 | Celebrated Israeli actor who played in more than 30 movies but was renowned for his role as Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof in London, on Broadway, and on-­screen. For the 1971 film version he won the lead actor Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Robert Blake

March 9 | 89 | Temperamental actor whose work spanned six decades, including in the 1970s as a detective in the series Baretta. He was tried and acquitted in 2005 for his wife’s 2001 murder, but lost a wrongful death suit filed by his wife’s children.

Bud Grant

March 11 | 95 | Demanding, stoic Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who built powerful Minnesota Vikings teams, taking them to four Super Bowls, but never winning. He assembled the respected defensive line dubbed the Purple People Eaters, whose mantra was “Meet at the quarterback.”

Dick Fosbury

March 12 | 76 | Gangly high jump gold medal winner at the 1968 Olympics, whose back-­arching style over the bar (instead of straddling it) revolutionized the sport. Called the Fosbury Flop, the technique remains the predominant high jumping technique worldwide.

Joe Pepitone

March 13 | 82 | Three-time New York Yankee All-Star and Golden Glove winner between 1962 and 1969, known as much for off-field antics and carousing as his play at first base and center field.

Patricia Schroeder

March 13 | 82 | U.S. Representative (D-Colo.) from 1972 to 1997 who championed women’s rights and promoted the 1993 family-­leave bill. She paid for Harvard Law School through her airplane piloting service and later worked for Planned Parenthood as legal counsel.

Lance Reddick

March 17 | 60 | Actor specializing in taciturn, often authoritative figures like TV’s Lt. Cedric Daniels in The Wire, Gen. Phillip Broyles in Fringe, and Police Chief Irvin Irving in Bosch.

Willis Reed

March 21 | 80 | NBA Hall of Fame center and power forward who led the New York Knicks to two championships. His comeback after a debilitating thigh injury to play briefly in the 1970 championship game against the Lakers is considered one of the NBA’s greatest moments.

Gordon Moore

March 24 | 94 | Silicon Valley ­pioneer and co-founder of Intel, a semiconductor company whose innovations helped make computers ­commonplace. His prediction that computer capacity and speed would grow exponentially while becoming cheaper and smaller was dubbed “Moore’s Law.”


From left: Charles Stanley, Harry Belafonte, and Klaus Teuber

From left: Charles Stanley, Harry Belafonte, and Klaus Teuber Stanley: InTouch Ministries; Belafonte: Bettmann/Getty; Teuber: Bernd Kammerer/AP

Klaus Teuber

April 1 | 70 | German board game designer and creator of The Settlers of Catan, where players race each other to settle and develop new lands, but must also cooperate to succeed. The game has been translated into nearly 50 languages with more than 40 million units sold.

Nigel Lawson

April 3 | 91 | Britain’s chief financial official in the 1980s who helped Margaret Thatcher privatize state-run companies, including British Airways, British Steel, and British Telecom. He backed tax cuts, encouraged Brexit, and dismissed climate change warnings as overblown.

Ben Ferencz

April 7 | 103 | Jewish prosecutor and former investigator of a group of Nazis responsible for more than a million deaths during World War II. He was the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials.

Al Jaffee

April 10 | 102 | Mad magazine’s longest-serving contributor and creative cartoonist known for caustic humor and signature features like “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” “Al Jaffee’s Mad Inventions,” and the illustrated fold-in.

Anne Perry

April 10 | 84 | Prolific London-born crime novelist whose books, featuring whodunits set in the Victorian age, sold more than 26 million copies. As a teenager, she herself served five years in prison in New Zealand for committing murder in a plot with her best friend.

George Verwer

April 14 | 84 | Evangelist, ­missionary, and organizer who founded Opera­tion Mobiliza­tion in 1961 for global missions trips. His quintessential question: “Well, are you ready to go?” Later, Operation Mobilization bought cruise ships and used them worldwide as floating Christian bookstores.

Charles Stanley

April 18 | 90 | Former megachurch pastor of First Baptist Atlanta for 51 years who founded In Touch radio and TV ministry and authored more than 50 books, including The Blessings of Brokenness. He also served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1984 to 1986). His 2000 divorce estranged him from his son Andy, who is also a pastor, but they later reconciled.

Michael Brescia

April 19 | 90 | Christian doctor who invented a lifesaving kidney dialysis method he refused to profit from. He later devoted his life to comfort the dying, pioneering modern palliative and hospice care procedures.

Ron Hamilton

April 19 | 72 | Singer-songwriter who in 1981 created a Christian music and audio drama series for children after losing his eye to cancer and donning an eye patch. Episodes of Patch the Pirate have sold more than 2 million copies and are played on more than 450 radio stations.

Richard Riordan

April 19 | 92 | Wisecracking businessman who in 1993 became the last Republican mayor of Los Angeles, winning two terms. He presided over the city’s recovery from a 1994 earthquake, and later served as California’s ­secretary of education.

Len Goodman

April 22 | 78 | Longtime judge for British TV’s Strictly Come Dancing and its American counterpart, Dancing With the Stars. He helped revive interest in ballroom dancing with his enthusiasm, cockney accent, and remarks like “You floated across that floor like butter on a crumpet.”

Harry Belafonte

April 25 | 96 | Harlem-born singer and actor who used his racial-crossover popularity, international stardom, and earnings from albums like Calypso and films like Island in the Sun to promote civil rights in the 1950s and ’60s. A confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., he also spoke against South African apartheid.

Jerry Springer

April 27 | 79 | Daytime talk show host and former Cincinnati mayor, whose nearly 30 years of confrontational television highlighted the outrageous (with episodes like “Brawling Over Babes”), airing guests’ feuds that often led to physical onstage fights.

LeRoy Carhart

April 28 | 81 | Outspoken late-term abortionist who fought to preserve partial-birth abortions in Nebraska after the state tried to outlaw the procedure, ­winning his case at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. In 2007 the high court upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban, angering Carhart.

Mike Shannon

April 29 | 83 | Fifty-year St. Louis Cardinals baseball broadcaster and ­two-time World Series champion (1964, 1967) known for his exuberant on-air style and colorful tales.


From left: Jim Brown; Tina Turner; and Vida Blue

From left: Jim Brown; Tina Turner; and Vida Blue Brown: Tony Tomsic/AP; Turner: Steve Rapport/Getty Images; Blue: Louis Requena/MLB via Getty

Gordon Lightfoot

May 1 | 84 | Canadian folk singer-songwriter whose hits like “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” often told Canadian or autobiographical stories as ballads. Lightfoot recorded 20 studio albums and wrote hundreds of songs that artists like Bob Dylan also recorded.

Vida Blue

May 6 | 73 | Left-handed pitching sensation who helped the Oakland A’s win three straight World Series championships (1972-1974), made six All-Star teams, and was 1971’s American League Cy Young Award ­winner. He also played for the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals.

Menahem Pressler

May 6 | 99 | German-born Israeli American pianist who fled Germany after 1938’s Kristallnacht attacks and became a ­six-time Grammy nominee and co-founder of the world-renowned Beaux Arts Trio.

Grace Bumbry

May 7 | 86 | Pioneering black opera diva whose far-­ranging mezzo-­soprano and flamboyant stage presence helped her shatter racial barriers and achieve ­stardom while performing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and numerous global venues.

John Somerville

May 10 | 95 | Educator and ­missionary to South Korea with his wife, Virginia, for more than 40 years, who taught at the Presbyterian seminary in Seoul, promoting Korean human rights and helping found Hannam University.

Jim Brown

May 18 | 87 | Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, actor, and activist, who broke almost every NFL rushing record during his nine-year career with the Cleveland Browns. He retired in 1966 at age 29 after never missing a game, then acted in more than 50 films and advocated for civil rights.

Harry Reeder III

May 18 | 75 | Author, theologian, teacher, and senior pastor since 1999 of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Ala., the founding site (in 1973) of the Presbyterian Church in America. He was also co-founding pastor of another prominent PCA church, Christ Covenant, outside Charlotte, N.C.

Tim Keller

May 19 | 72 | Influential pastor and bestselling author who founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church (1989) in New York City and co-founded the Gospel Coalition (2005). He advocated being a winsome witness for Christ, engaged culture through speaking and books like The Reason for God, and often preached on idolatry, sin, and grace. The church-planting ­network he founded, Redeemer City to City, works in over 75 ­cities around the globe.

Elizabeth Sherrill

May 20 | 95 | Co-author with her husband John of Christian books like The Hiding Place, The Cross and the Switchblade, and God’s Smuggler. Together, they founded Chosen Books publishing company.

Ed Ames

May 21 | 95 | Singer and actor who gained popularity in the 1950s with his brothers as the Ames Brothers pop quartet. He was best remembered for his role on the ’60s TV series Daniel Boone, playing Mingo, Boone’s Oxford-educated Native American friend.

Paul Eshleman

May 24 | 80 | Strategizing evangelist with Cru—formerly Campus Crusade for Christ—who in 1972 directed evangelism-training Explo ’72 in Dallas (drawing 80,000 attendees), later ran the ministry’s nationwide “I Found It!” campaign, and finally led the production and distribution of the Jesus film, history’s most-translated movie, available in 2,000 languages.

Tina Turner

May 24 | 83 | Husky-voiced “Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll” who overcame childhood abandonment and her husband’s abuse to become an uninhibited solo singer, with songs like “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “The Best.” During her five-­decade career, she sold more than 150 million albums and won 12 Grammys.

Harald zur Hausen

May 29 | 87 | Nobel Prize–winning German virologist who found links between a common wart-causing virus and cervical cancer. His research led to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and exposed HPV’s role in other sexually ­transmitted cancers.


From left: Jim Hines, Alan Arkin, and Pat Robertson

From left: Jim Hines, Alan Arkin, and Pat Robertson Hines: AP; Arkin: Matt Sayles/AP; Robertson: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Philippe Pozzo di Borgo

June 1 | 72 | Quadriplegic French businessman whose inspirational life and friendship with his Algerian caregiver inspired the 2011 film The Intouchables, one of France’s most popular movies. Its 2017 U.S. remake is The Upside.

Cynthia Weil

June 1 | 82 | Grammy-winning lyricist who, along with her husband Barry Mann, composed some of pop’s biggest hits between the 1960s and ’90s, including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Walking in the Rain,” and “Don’t Know Much.”

Jim Hines

June 3 | 76 | American who became the first man to run a documented 100-meter sprint in under 10 seconds. Hand-timed at 9.9 seconds at the 1968 AAU National Championships, he took gold at the Mexico City Olympics later that year with an electronically timed 9.95 seconds.

Roger Craig

June 4 | 93 | Major league ­baseball pitcher for 12 seasons (1955-1966) who later became a pitching coach and manager. He helped his players master the split-finger fastball.

George Winston

June 4 | 74 | Self-described folk pianist whose three instrumental solo albums—Autumn, Winter Into Spring, and December—filled with warm, melodic, soothing music, propelled the commercial ­success of what became known as New Age music.

Robert Hanssen

June 5 | 79 | FBI agent turned Soviet spy who traded state secrets for wealth, disclosing classified info and outing nine double agents. Considered the most damaging spy in FBI history, he escaped detection for over 20 years until his colleagues arrested him in 2001.

Pat Robertson

June 8 | 93 | Baptist preacher and evangelical broadcaster who founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (1960), Regent University (1977), and the Christian Coalition (1987). He helped mobilize the Christian right in politics and unsuccessfully sought the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.

Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski

June 10 | 81 | Domestic terrorist known as the Unabomber who over 17 years unpredictably sent shrapnel-packed pipe bombs to seemingly random victims nationwide. A Harvard-trained mathematician who became an anti-technology anarchist, he lived in isolation in remote Montana mountains until the FBI captured him in 1996.

Roger Payne

June 10 | 88 | Biologist who pioneered whale-song studies and recorded their vocalizations, and whose work led to the 1970 hit album Songs of the Humpback Whale, the Save the Whales movement, and the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Michael Catt

June 12 | 70 | Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., and executive producer of Christian films Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous. He founded ReFRESH conferences for pastors and lay leaders, a pregnancy counseling center, and a Biblical counseling center.

Carol Higgins Clark

June 12 | 66 | Murder mystery novelist who infused stories with dark humor and often used her signature character Regan Reilly to trace her own life path. She co-authored Christmas-themed novels with her mother, suspense author Mary Higgins Clark.

Treat Williams

June 12 | 71 | Versatile actor whose nearly half-century film career ranged from hippie leader in the 1979 movie ­musical Hair to widowed brain surgeon in the television series Everwood. He played in the Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores and had recurring roles on CBS’ Blue Bloods.

Cormac McCarthy

June 13 | 89 | Celebrated American author of 12 novels characterized by simple, often haunting prose, including All the Pretty Horses (1992 National Book Award winner) and post-apocalyptic father-son story The Road (2007 Pulitzer Prize winner).

Daniel Ellsberg

June 16 | 92 | Military analyst and whistleblower who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of the ongoing Vietnam War. His disclosures revealed government deception to the American people and prompted a landmark Supreme Court decision upholding freedom of the press.

Russell Dilday

June 21 | 92 | Pastor and former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1978-1994) who spearheaded building a new library and launching preaching, archaeological, and world missions centers. He also authored Higher Ground: A Call for Christian Civility.

Lowell Weicker

June 28 | 92 | Republican U.S. representative (for one term) and senator (for three) from Connecticut who insisted President Richard Nixon resign after Watergate, despite White House pressure to silence him. He lost his Senate seat to Democrat Joe Lieberman in 1988, but became Connecticut’s governor as a third-party candidate in 1991.

Alan Arkin

June 29 | 89 | Oscar-winning supporting actor for his wisecracking grandpa role in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). His more than six-­decade career spanned music, theater, film, and TV, and his versatile roles ranged from a menacing intruder in Wait Until Dark to the comic chief in the 2008 Get Smart film adaptation.


From left: Paul Reubens, Sinead O'Connor, and Tony Bennett

From left: Paul Reubens, Sinead O'Connor, and Tony Bennett Reubens: Barry King/Sygma via Getty; O’Connor: Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty; Bennett: Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

CoCo Lee

July 5 | 48 | Hong Kong–born international pop singer who voiced Disney’s title character in the 1998 Mandarin version of the animated film Mulan. At the 2001 Academy Awards, she performed in English her Oscar-nominated song “A Love Before Time” from the 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Stuart Epperson

July 17 | 86 | Co-founder of the Salem Media Group in 1974 who spent decades advancing Christian and conservative ideas, growing the radio empire to more than 100 stations with 11 million listeners. Time magazine in 2005 named him one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.

Tony Bennett

July 21 | 96 | New York–born singing sensation who achieved his first two No. 1 songs in 1951, with hits in every decade since. He won 20 Grammys over a seven-­decade career, selling up to 60 million records, but his signature song remained 1962’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Bennett also became the oldest person to have a No. 1 album when he collaborated with Lady Gaga in 2014.

Johnny Lujack

July 25 | 98 | Star Notre Dame quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner, and College Football Hall of Famer who led the Fighting Irish to win national titles in 1943, 1946, and 1947. He later played for the Chicago Bears.

Arthur Gay

July 26 | 86 | Illinois pastor, former president of World Relief (1991-1996), and former president of the National Association of Evangelicals (1982-1984). During Gay’s NAE tenure, President Ronald Reagan spoke at the group’s 1983 convention, giving his historic “Evil Empire” speech about the Soviet Union.

Randy Meisner

July 26 | 77 | Founding member of the 1970s band the Eagles, which blended rock, country, and folk and produced America’s bestselling album (1976’s Their Greatest Hits [1971–1975]). Meisner, the ­bassist, co-wrote and sang lead for the band’s popular single “Take It to the Limit.”

Sinéad O’Connor

July 26 | 56 | Irish singer-songwriter and activist who drew global ire when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on live TV (1992). Though famous for her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” she talked openly about her mental health struggles and admitted she’d attempted suicide multiple times. She became a Muslim convert late in life.

Betty Ann Bruno

July 30 | 91 | Native Hawaiian and original Wizard of Oz Munchkin in 1939 (at age 7). She went on to work as a CIA secretary and became a TV reporter in California’s Bay Area.

Paul Reubens

July 30 | 70 | Comedic actor who created and portrayed Pee-wee Herman of children’s TV and movies, recognizable by his gray suit and red bow tie, geeky antics, and nasal catchphrases like, “I know you are, but what am I?” He was arrested on an indecent exposure charge in 1991 and an obscenity charge in 2002. (He claimed innocence in both cases.)


From left: Ron Cephas Jones, Bob Barker, and Mark Margolis

From left: Ron Cephas Jones, Bob Barker, and Mark Margolis Jones: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; Barker: Lennox McLendon/AP; Margolis: Dipasupil/Getty for Glass Eye Pix

Charles Hardy

Aug. 3 | 57 | Nicknamed the “Godfather” of competitive eating, the 320-pound devourer set world records for consuming the most boiled cabbage and the most shrimp, and was two-time runner-up in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. (His personal record: 23.5 dogs and buns.)

Mark Margolis

Aug. 3 | 83 | Prolific actor known for playing Hector Salamanca, the mute, wheelchair-bound ­former drug lord in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He appeared in more than 160 TV shows and movies, including Scarface and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Harvey “Bud” Meyerhoff

Aug. 6 | 96 | Baltimore real estate developer, civic leader, and philanthropist. He was the driving force behind the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., raising funds and leading its design and construction.

William Friedkin

Aug. 7 | 87 | Winner of the 1972 Oscar as best director for the film The French Connection. He also directed The Exorcist, one of Hollywood’s biggest-­grossing movies and the first horror film nominated for a best picture Oscar (in 1974).

Dorothy Casterline

Aug. 8 | 95 | Deaf researcher who helped codify American Sign Language. In the early 1960s, she helped write the first comprehensive ASL dictionary.

Tom Jones

Aug. 11 | 95 | Co-creator in 1960 of The Fantasticks, a musical that opened in New York with modest reviews, then ran for 42 years to become what’s believed to be the longest-running musical in American history.

James Buckley

Aug. 18 | 100 | Conservative who served in all three U.S. government branches: New Yorkers elected him to the U.S. Senate in 1970. President Ronald Reagan appointed him in the ’80s to positions in the State Depart­ment and in 1985 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. His younger brother, William, founded National Review magazine.

Ron Cephas Jones

Aug. 19 | 66 | Tony Award–nominated stage actor whose guest appearance on the NBC TV drama series This Is Us, where he played a long-lost father who finds redemption, won him Emmys in 2018 and 2020.

John Warnock

Aug. 19 | 82 | Adobe Systems co-founder who invented the PDF in 1993, enabling accurate sharing of electronic documents (words and images) to other computer systems and printers. He received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2009.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

Aug. 23 | 62 | Vladimir Putin protégé who rose from being a Russian government caterer to become chief of the mercenary Wagner Group, leading paramilitary attacks abroad and devising online ­propaganda to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. His mutiny against Russia’s military establishment during the Ukraine war preceded his likely targeted death in a plane crash.

Sheila Lewis

Aug. 24 | 58 | Canadian woman who sued Alberta Health Services when it removed her from its organ transplant list because she refused a COVID-19 vaccine. She claimed she had natural immunity from a prior infection, but lost her lawsuit.

Bob Barker

Aug. 26 | 99 | Game-show fixture who emceed Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1975 and The Price Is Right (the longest-running game show in North American TV history) from 1972 to 2007. He also hosted events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Parade, and the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but quit hosting Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants when organizers wouldn’t stop giving ­contestants fur coats.

Sam Wurzelbacher

Aug. 27 | 49 | Working man known as “Joe the Plumber” who became a celebrity and the embodiment of middle-class taxpayers after he criticized presidential candidate Barack Obama’s tax plan on TV in 2008.

Alina Beary

Aug. 30 | 45 | Torrey Honors College professor at Biola University who taught ethics and philosophy. Born and raised in Russia, she often invited students into her home, reminding them, “We are in the hands of the Father, who is good.”

Sarah Young

Aug. 31 | 77 | Author of Jesus Calling, a devotional that has sold more than 45 million copies in various formats, including a ­children’s version and multiple adult editions. Some evangelicals, though, ­criticized her writing in Jesus’ voice as near blasphemous.


From left: Jimmy Buffett, Brooks Robinson, and Dianne Feinstein

From left: Jimmy Buffett, Brooks Robinson, and Dianne Feinstein Buffett: Richard Drew/AP; Robinson: Focus on Sport/Getty Images; Feinstein: AP

Jimmy Buffett

Sept. 1 | 76 | Singer-songwriter of soft rock who sold 20 million records and was known for his 1977 Caribbean-flavored ballad “Margaritaville,” which helped him launch a multimillion-dollar brand inspiring restaurants, resorts, and fans called Parrot ­Heads. The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted the song in 2016.

Bill Richardson

Sept. 1 | 75 | Former two-term governor of New Mexico, seven-­term Democratic congressman, Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton, and ambassador to the UN. He briefly ran for president in 2008, then became known for negotiating freedom for Americans detained overseas.

Gary Wright

Sept. 4 | 80 | Wielder of the ­keytar (a strap-on keyboard) who helped form the British progressive rock band Spooky Tooth but was best known for his hit singles “Love Is Alive” and “Dream Weaver.”

Mylon LeFevre

Sept. 8 | 78 | Grammy-winning Christian rock musician who wrote “Without Him,” performed by Elvis Presley on his 1967 album, How Great Thou Art, although he said he didn’t surrender his life to Jesus until 1980. He later associated with prosperity gospel preachers such as Kenneth Copeland.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Sept. 9 | 95 | South African Zulu leader whose bloody power struggle almost derailed the 1994 elections that put Nelson Mandela in power as the country’s first black president.

Howard Safir

Sept. 11 | 81 | Former New York Police Department commissioner (1996-2000) who oversaw a historic decrease in crime. He established the Courtesy, Professionalism & Respect ­program—a motto still emblazoned on New York City police vehicles today.

Roger Whittaker

Sept. 13 | 87 | British baritone who sang ballads like his 1971 signature hit, “The Last Farewell.” His songwriting, guitar skills, trademark whistling, and sentimental style gained international fans and resulted in 60 million album sales.

Michael McGrath

Sept. 14 | 65 | Broadway stage actor and singer for shows like Monty Python’s Spamalot and Nice Work If You Can Get It, for which he earned a Tony Award.

Fernando Botero

Sept. 15 | 91 | Colombian painter and sculptor of whimsical, ­corpulent figures that playfully mocked his country’s upper class. His recognizable art spurred the term Boterismo to describe works of exaggerated proportions.

Katherine Anderson

Sept. 20 | 79 | Singer and founding member of the Marvelettes, a girl group whose 1961 song “Please Mr. Postman” became Motown Records’ first No. 1 hit.

Matteo Messina Denaro

Sept. 25 | 61 | Ruthless Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia boss and Italy’s No. 1 fugitive who evaded capture for 30 years until January 2023. He murdered more than 50 people and, while he was in hiding, courts ­convicted him in absentia of murder, bombings, and other crimes, pronouncing 20 life sentences.

Uwe Holmer

Sept. 25 | 94 | German-Lutheran pastor who gained fame in 1990 for hosting Erich Honecker ­(former dictator of communist East Germany) and his wife for 10 weeks after Honecker’s ­cancer surgery. Holmer forgave the autocrat for harassing the church and his family.

David McCallum

Sept. 25 | 90 | Scottish-born actor who rose to TV fame as secret agent Illya Kuryakin on the 1960s’ The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He later starred as medical examiner Ducky for 20 years on NCIS (2003-2023) and was still a cast member when he died.

Brooks Robinson

Sept. 26 | 86 | Baseball’s best third basemen ever, as many regarded him, due to his fielding skills during a 23-year Baltimore Orioles career. Always admired for his play and his kindness, the Hall of Famer was an 18-time All-Star and 16-time Gold Glove winner who reached the World Series four times.

Michael Gambon

Sept. 27 | 82 | Irish-born, award-­winning actor in London theater, Broadway, and film, famed for portraying headmaster Albus Dumbledore (2004-2011) in the Harry Potter films. Known for his versatility and presence in many diverse screen productions, including The Singing Detective.

Dianne Feinstein

Sept. 29 | 90 | Called the “grande dame” of California Democrats for her 30-year U.S. Senate career (1992-2023) and influential voice, she was San Francisco’s first female mayor (1978-1988) and the first California woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She called herself a centrist, but usually promoted liberal legislation.


From left: Dick Butkus, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry

From left: Dick Butkus, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry Butkus: AP; Somers: PictureLux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy; Perry: PERRY: Mitchell Haaseth/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Tim Wakefield

Oct. 1 | 57 | Evangelical Christian and Boston Red Sox pitcher (1995-2011) known for his knuckleball and beloved for visiting cancer patients and fundraising for cancer causes. He was a two-time World Series champion and Red Sox broadcaster.

Dick Butkus

Oct. 5 | 80 | Hall of Fame middle linebacker considered both hard-hitting and speedy, who in eight years with the Chicago Bears was All-Pro multiple times and chosen for the Pro Bowl eight times. He later acted in commercials and films, including Brian’s Song.

Loren Cunningham

Oct. 6 | 88 | Founder in 1960 of Youth With A Mission, an unincorporated, nonhierarchical ministry, who believed ordinary people could fulfill the Great Commission serving short-term, globally, and without pay. He created a ­network of ministries that serves in nearly 200 nations.

Burt Young

Oct. 8 | 83 | Oscar-nominated actor best remembered for playing Paulie, brother-­in-law to the title character in the six Rocky movies. He also had memorable roles in Chinatown and TV’s The Sopranos.

Hughes Van Ellis

Oct. 9 | 102 | One of the last three known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa, Okla., race massacre in which white residents killed up to 300 mostly black residents in the Greenwood neighborhood. His 109-year-old sister, another survivor, is still alive.

Rudolph Isley

Oct. 11 | 84 | Founder with his brothers of the Isley Brothers band. It began as a gospel-style quartet, then transformed to a funk and disco trio, whose 1959 call-and-response song “Shout” remains a party favorite.

Piper Laurie

Oct. 14 | 91 | Initially typecast in roles as the beautiful starlet, she went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for her 1961 role in The Hustler, then 15 years later an Oscar nomination for portraying a fanatical mom in Carrie. She starred in numerous TV dramas, including Twin Peaks.

Suzanne Somers

Oct. 15 | 76 | Famous for playing the ditsy blonde on the hit sitcom Three’s Company before getting fired for demanding equal pay with the male star. She built a diet and health empire that included the mega-selling ThighMaster and 14 bestselling books.

Li Keqiang

Oct. 27 | 68 | Former Chinese premier (2013-2023) who strove for market liberalization and bureaucratic reform, but lost influence as President Xi Jinping centralized power.

Matthew Perry

Oct. 28 | 54 | Actor considered a scene-stealer for his comedic talent. He is best remembered for playing Chandler on the sitcom Friends (1994-2004), which launched him to celebrity status and led to numerous film and TV roles.

Frank Howard

Oct. 30 | 87 | Baseball slugger who, at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, hit 500-yard home runs for the LA Dodgers, Washington Senators, and Detroit Tigers. He was a two-time American League home run leader, four-time All-Star, and World Series champ in 1963.

Ken Mattingly

Oct. 31 | 87 | Astronaut who missed the Apollo 13 moon mission in 1970 because of measles, but helped controllers get the spaceship home safely after a crippling explosion. He later flew Apollo 16 to the moon, orbiting as fellow astronauts walked on the surface.


From left: Bob Knight, Rosalynn Carter, Henry Kissinger

From left: Bob Knight, Rosalynn Carter, Henry Kissinger Knight: Mike Albans/AP; Carter: John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty; Kissinger: Bettmann/Getty Images

Bob Knight

Nov. 1 | 83 | Indiana University basketball coach who elevated the school’s program to national prominence and was known for brilliant strategies, vulgar rants, angry outbursts, perfectionism, and strong athlete ­academic standards. He had the most college basketball wins when he retired in 2008.

Walter Davis

Nov. 2 | 69 | All-Star shooting guard with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets who was the NBA’s 1978 Rookie of the Year.

Frank Borman

Nov. 7 | 95 | Commander of the first Apollo moon mission, who read from Genesis 1 on Christmas Eve 1968 as his Apollo 8 spaceship orbited the moon.

Steve Norton

Nov. 12 | 89 | Gambling pioneer who ran the first U.S. casino outside Nevada (1978), advised state governments on gambling expansion, and helped found gambling’s national trade association.

Don Walsh

Nov. 12 | 92 | U.S. Navy captain and explorer who made a record-breaking deep sea dive aboard the submersible Trieste in 1960, descending nearly 7 miles to the Pacific Ocean’s deepest spot, in the Mariana Trench.

Maryanne Trump Barry

Nov. 13 | 86 | Former federal judge and Donald Trump’s older sister. Although they were once close, recordings of her harsh criticism leaked during Donald’s presidency, creating a rift.

George Brown

Nov. 16 | 74 | Co-founder and drummer for Kool & the Gang who played funk, disco, and pop songs popularized in 1970s TV and film soundtracks (like 1977’s Grammy-winning Saturday Night Fever). The group’s song “Celebration” hit No. 1 on Billboard in 1981.

Johnny Green

Nov. 16 | 89 | Basketball All-Star and power forward for 1960s and ’70s NBA teams like the New York Knicks and Cincinnati Royals, known as “Jumpin’ Johnny” for his ability to bound above opponents to snag rebounds and block shots.

Rosalynn Carter

Nov. 19 | 96 | First lady and close political adviser to her husband, Jimmy Carter, during his ­presidency from 1977 to 1981. She advocated for mental health reforms, women’s rights, Cambodian refugee relief, and children’s immunizations. After Jimmy left office, the couple supported and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for more than 35 years.

Frances Sternhagen

Nov. 27 | 93 | Two-time Tony-winning actress for roles in Broadway’s The Good Doctor (1974) and The Heiress (1995), who also starred in TV shows, including as matriarch Esther Clavin, Cliff Clavin’s mom on Cheers.

Charlie Munger

Nov. 28 | 99 | Investing genius and Warren Buffet’s witty vice chairman at investment powerhouse Berkshire Hathaway Inc. He pushed Berkshire, in Buffet’s words, to buy “wonderful companies at fair prices, rather than fair companies at wonderful prices.”

Henry Kissinger

Nov. 29 | 100 | Former national security adviser and later secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, whose diplomacy helped end the U.S. war in Vietnam (1973), shape Cold War policy toward the Soviet Union, and restore diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing. He ­continued to engage with world leaders and write books until his death.

Shane MacGowan

Nov. 30 | 65 | Irish songwriter and frontman for the Pogues and other groups. He fused punk rock and traditional Irish music, fanning his reputation for raucous, romanticized lyrics about the underbelly of Irish immigrant life.


From left: Ryan O'Neal, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Norman Lear

From left: Ryan O'Neal, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Norman Lear O’Neal: Screen Archives/Getty Images; O’Connor: Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images; Lear: CBS via Getty Images

Sandra Day O’Connor

Dec. 1 | 93 | The first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court (1981). Many considered her the most powerful ­justice and most powerful woman in America during her tenure. Known for moderation and compromise that pleased some and frustrated others, she often wielded the deciding vote. She affirmed Roe v. Wade in 1992, while upholding abortion restrictions in several states.

Juanita Castro

Dec. 4 | 90 | Staunch anti-communist sister of Fidel and Raúl Castro. She began working secretly with the CIA against Cuba’s government shortly after the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, but fled to Mexico in 1964.

Norman Lear

Dec. 5 | 101 | Writer, producer, and activist who mined society’s divisions for 1970s TV comedies, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, and The Jeffersons— shows that addressed issues like race, class, sexuality, and politics. He said Christian conservatives alarmed him because of their political influence.

Ryan O’Neal

Dec. 8 | 82 | Love Story actor whose 1970 role earned him Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. His role in 1973’s Paper Moon, which co-starred his daughter, Tatum, garnered a ­second Golden Globe nomination.

Andre Braugher

Dec. 11 | 61 | TV cop on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Homicide: Life on the Street who rose to fame after his ­performance in the 1989 film Glory. Beyond television and film, he also acted in Shakespearean plays throughout his career.


Dec. 11 | 36 | South African singer and guitarist who became lead singer of her Sunday school choir at age 6 and without training rose to global fame with soulful, faith-filled ballads, and platinum-selling albums.

George McGinnis

Dec. 14 | 73 | Hall of Fame ­basketball forward (1971-1982) with the Pacers, 76ers, and Nuggets who was a six-time All-Star in the NBA and ABA (and a two-time champion in the latter), known for his signature one-handed jump shot.

Hugh Aynesworth

Dec. 23 | 92 | Six-decade career journalist who shot to fame for his riveting firsthand reporting of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald’s arrest, and Jack Ruby’s murder of Oswald. Considered an expert on the Kennedy assassination, he debunked various conspiracies about the shooting and concluded Oswald acted alone.

Mark Lowrey

Dec. 24 | 78 | Strategist and visionary who in 1973 founded Reformed University Fellowship, the Presbyterian Church in America’s student outreach group now on more than 150 college campuses. He was also former head of Great Commission Publications, geared toward K-12 students, showing how all of Scripture points to Christ.

Tom Smothers

Dec. 26 | 86 | The older, comic half of the Smothers Brothers duo whose late-1960s Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour relied on folk music and sibling rivalry jokes to ridicule each other and the Establishment. Their culturally conscious, irreverent banter paved the way for programs like Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show.

Gaston Glock

Dec. 27 | 94 | Reclusive Austrian engineer who in the early 1980s created one of history’s bestselling handguns, the Glock 17, a lightweight semi-automatic made mostly of plastic. Police and military embraced the weapon while gun control advocates decried it. In 2021, Forbes estimated Gaston Glock and his family’s net worth at $1.1 billion.

Bill McColl

Dec. 28 | 93 | Two-time All-American football player at Stanford who finished medical school at the University of Chicago while he began an eight-year career with the Chicago Bears (1952-1959). As an orthopedic surgeon, he served as a Presbyterian missionary doctor in Korea (1962-1964) and won a Pro Football Hall of Fame humanitarian service award. He also ran three times (unsuccessfully) in California as a Republican candidate for the U.S. House.

Don Wildmon

Dec. 28 | 85 | Founder of the American Family Association (in 1977) and American Family Radio, created to inspire Christians to work together to promote Biblical values in media and public life. He campaigned against pornography and profanity, wrote 22 books, and won the 2017 National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame Award.

Maurice Hines

Dec. 29 | 80 | Celebrated tap dancer, choreographer, and actor who starred on Broadway and in national musical tours. He often appeared alongside his legendary tap-dancing younger brother Gregory Hines (who died in 2003), including in the 1984 musical film The Cotton Club.

Tom Wilkinson

Dec. 30 | 75 | Multifaceted British actor whose film, stage, and TV career spanned six decades. His roles included a comedic steel mill foreman in The Full Monty (1997), a mourning but vengeful father in In The Bedroom (2001), a Gotham City villain in Batman Begins (2005), the bipolar attorney in Michael Clayton (2007), and Ben Franklin in HBO’s John Adams (2008).

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Dec. 31 | 89 | Longtime Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1993-2023) who broke segregation barriers to become one of North Texas’ most influential lawmakers. She led the Congressional Black Caucus (2001-2003) and was the first black legislator to chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (and the first woman to do so).

Cale Yarborough

Dec. 31 | 84 | First of only two auto racers ever to be a three-time consecutive NASCAR Cup champion (1976-1978). He was legendary for his toughness and grit, entered the NASCAR Hall of Fame (2012), and was named one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers (2023).

This page has been updated to include deaths from late December.

Treat Williams’ obituary has been corrected to reflect that the actor’s film career lasted nearly half a century.

Sharon Dierberger

Sharon is a senior writer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Northwestern University graduate and holds two master’s degrees. She has served as university teacher, businesswoman, clinical exercise physiologist, homeschooling mom, and Division 1 athlete. Sharon resides in Stillwater, Minn., with her husband, Bill.


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