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A list of notable deaths from the past year

Sparky Anderson (Associated Press)

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Tokunboh Adeyemo

66, March 17 | Nigerian Muslim convert to Christianity in 1966 who became a leading evangelical scholar (two doctorates), African educator, editor (the monumental African Bible Commentary), head of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa and Madagascar for 22 years, and executive director of the Center for Biblical Transformation in Nairobi, Kenya.

Alex Anderson

90, Oct. 22 | Artist who created Crusader Rabbit, television's first animated cartoon series in 1949, and also the popular 1960s TV cartoon characters Rocky and Bullwinkle, a flying squirrel and luckless moose.

Sparky Anderson

76, Nov. 4 | Hall of Fame baseball manager who led the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers to World Series championships.

Louis Auchincloss

92, Jan. 26 | New York lawyer and prolific polished writer of many novels (Venus in Sparta, The Partners, East End Story), biographies (Woodrow Wilson), and short stories.

Vernon Baker

90, July 13 | Heroic U.S. Army lieutenant in World War II, the last survivor among only seven black men who received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for battlefield valor-belatedly, 52 years after the war ended, in 1997, having been denied the honor because of their race.

Ivy Bean

104, July 28 | British centenarian who, with her donated nursing home computer, became the world's oldest Twitter user, attracting 56,000 followers on the short-messages networking website, which she joined when she reached Facebook's maximum number of friends (5,000) but still had 25,000 Facebook "friend" requests.

Glen Bell

86, Jan. 17 | Restaurateur who founded the Taco Bell fast food chain in 1962 and sold it in 1978 to Pepsico for $125 million.

Barbara Billingsley

94, Oct. 16 | Film and television actress best known as June Cleaver in TV's Leave It to Beaver.

George Blanda

83, Sept. 27 | Hall of Fame quarterback and field goal kicker for the Chicago Bears, Houston Oilers, and Oakland Raiders, whose 26-year career was the longest in pro football history.

Donald Bloesch

82, Aug. 24 | Evangelical theologian ordained in the United Church of Christ and longtime professor at Dubuque Seminary (Presbyterian), whose opus magnum was his seven-volume Christian Foundations (InterVarsity Press).

Lisa Blount

53, Oct. 28 | Academy Award-winning film actress known for her roles in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987).

Jerry Bock

81, Nov. 3 | Broadway composer of Fiddler on the Roof and other acclaimed musical productions, including, with lyricist Sheldon Harnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Fiorello!

Jim Bohlen

84, July 5 | Quaker-inspired activist environmentalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International.

Manute Bol

47, June 19 | Lithe 7-foot-7 pro basketball shot-blocker for four NBA teams over 10 years, known for his humanitarian work in his native Sudan.

Denise Borino-Quinn

46, Oct. 27 | Actress who played weight-battling Mafia wife Ginny Sacrimoni on the HBO series The Sopranos.

Tom Bosley

83, Oct. 19 | Actor best known for his TV series roles as Howard "Mr. C" Cunningham in Happy Days, Sheriff Tupper in Murder, She Wrote, and the priest in Father Dowling Mysteries.

Robert Bratcher

90, July 11 | Controversial Southern Baptist translator of Good News for Modern Man, the New Testament portion of the American Bible Society's Good News Bible, who rejected claims that the Bible is inerrant and infallible.

David Brown

93, Feb. 1 | Movie producer (Jaws, Cocoon, The Sting) and editor who married Helen Gurley (Brown) in 1959, helped her to revamp Cosmopolitan magazine, and coaxed her to write Sex and the Single Girl, a 1962 bestseller based on her freewheeling single years.

Solomon Burke

70, Oct. 10 | Grammy-winning R&B gospel and soul singer ("Everybody Needs Somebody," "Don't Give Up on Me") nicknamed "King Solomon" for often wearing a crown and carrying a scepter.

Orval Butcher

92, Oct. 5 | Influential suburban San Diego megachurch founder, a mentor to pastors, and a leader in the Wesleyan Church.

Robert Byrd

92, June 28 | Fiddle-playing self-educated son of a coal miner who became U.S. senator from West Virginia from 1959 until his death in 2010, the longest-serving member of Congress, known for his flamboyant and sometimes fiery oratory, his evolution from segregationist to anti-war liberal, and his funneling of over a billion federal dollars to his home state.

Dixie Carter

70, April 10 | Actress known for her seven-season role as Julia Sugarbaker in the TV series Designing Women, and as a scary mother-in-law on Desperate Housewives.

Art Clokey

88, Jan. 8 | Animator who created the green clay cartoonish figure Gumby in the early 1950s that debuted on the Howdy Doody Show and became the star of his own successful TV show, and who in 1960 created and produced the long-running Lutheran-sponsored Davey and Goliath Christian TV series.

Hank Cochran

74, July 15 | Nashville songwriter who wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs that were recorded by top artists, including Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline ("I Fall to Pieces"), and Eddy Arnold ("Make the World Go Away").

Gary Coleman

42, May 28 | Actor who started out at age 10 as Arnold Jackson, a cute and mischievous black child adopted by a wealthy white Manhattan family, on the 1978-1986 TV sitcom Different Strokes.

Cammie King Conlan

76, Sept. 1 | Actress who at age 4 played Bonnie Blue Butler in Gone with the Wind and also voiced the fawn Faline in Walt Disney's Bambi (1942).

Paul Conrad

86, Sept. 4 | Syndicated Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times.

Don Coryell

85, July 1 | Well-liked former San Diego Chargers head coach widely credited with modernizing the offensive passing game in the National Football League.

Robert Culp

79, March 24 | Veteran actor best known for his role as Kelly Robinson, starring next to Bill Cosby's Alexander Scott, in the 1965-1968 adventure­comedy TV series I Spy.

Tony Curtis

85, Sept. 29 | Handsome Hollywood actor who starred in films like The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951), The Defiant Ones (1958), Spartacus (1960), and The Boston Strangler (1968).

Jimmy Dean

81, June 13 | Baptist-bred Country Music Hall of Fame singer ("Big Bad John," "Little Black Book"), TV host of The Jimmy Dean Show, and founder and pitchman for 30 years of the meat company that makes the sausage bearing his name.

Robert Dugan

78, May 4 | Conservative Baptist leader and respected director of public affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals' Washington, D.C., office 1978-1997, who successfully pushed passage of bills on drunk driving, church audit procedures, and equal access to public-school facilities for religious organizations.

Elizabeth Edwards

61, Dec. 7 | Author and estranged wife of 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards, diagnosed with cancer during his first White House run and with its return during his 2007-2008 campaign, and separated after his admitted adultery, she went on to become an activist for healthcare reform.

Allan Emery

91, Sept. 26 | Business leader and long-time president and COO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah

74, July 4 | Sometimes called the spiritual leader of Hezbollah, was accused of masterminding the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing that killed 241 Americans.

Eddie Fisher

82, Sept. 22 | Hugely popular clear-voiced singer of the 1950s who sold millions of records with 32 hit songs ("Oh, My Pa-pa," "I'm Yours," "Lady of Spain") but lost his fame and fortune to marriage scandals (Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor were among his ex'es), gambling, and drugs.

Antony Flew

87, April 8 | Noted English philosopher, author, and atheist who in 2004 became a deist after his research into genetics and DNA convinced him it displayed intelligent design.

John Forsythe

92, April 1 | Star in three TV series spanning four decades: Bachelor Father, Charlie's Angels, and Dynasty.

Dick Francis

89, Feb. 14 | Champion steeplechase jockey and internationally popular British mystery novelist, many of whose horse-related thrillers were adapted for television.

Raymond Franz

88, June 2 | Former high-ranking leader of Jehovah's Witnesses who was banned by the sect in 1981 for questioning its authoritarian policies and other teachings and for advocating reform, and who then wrote books (Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom) that helped expose the inner workings of the secretive group.

Miep Gies

100, Jan. 11 | Teenager Anne Frank's Dutch protector 1942-1944 until the Gestapo found and arrested the Frank family and other Jews.

Daryl Gates

83, April 16 | Tough and innovative Los Angeles police chief who defended his officers after the Rodney King beating and subsequent 1992 race riots, the worst in U.S. history, that left 53 dead and forced him to resign.

Donald Goerke

83, Jan. 10 | Campbell Soup researcher who invented SpaghettiOs.

Henryk Gorecki

76, Nov. 12 | Polish composer whose beautiful heart-tugging Symphony No. 3, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," became a recording phenomenon of the early 1990s, topping charts in Europe and America.

Harold Gould

86, Sept. 11 | Film and TV actor for nearly 50 years (as Martin Morgenstern in the sitcoms Rhoda and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and many more).

Peter Graves

83, March 14 | Best known as Jim Phelps on the hit TV show Mission: Impossible and Captain Oveur from the comedic spoof Airplane!

Vernon Grounds

96, Sept. 12 | Influential leader in the formation of the evangelical movement who later advocated joining social action to evangelism; president of Conservative Baptist-founded Denver Seminary 1956-1979.

Bob Guccione

79, Oct. 20 | Catholic seminary dropout and American expatriate who founded Penthouse magazine.


48, April 19 | Born Keith Elam, the throaty-voiced rapper was half of the duo Gang Star who helped bridge hip-hop and jazz.

Alexander Haig

85, Feb. 20 | Former Army general who served as Richard Nixon's last-days chief of staff, NATO commander 1974-1979, and secretary of state under Ronald Reagan.

Corey Haim

38, March 10 | 1980s drug-troubled teen heartthrob best known for his role in Lucas and The Lost Boys.

Michael Harper

78, Jan. 6 | Internationally noted leader of the charismatic movement in the Church of England for 30 years who switched to the Antiochian Orthodox Church in 1995 after the COE decided to ordain female priests.

Walter Hawkins

61, July 11 | Grammy Award-winning gospel singer ("The Lord's Prayer"), composer, a founder of the famed Edwin Hawkins Singers, and Church of God in Christ pastor and bishop, whose hit albums included the Love Alive series.

Dorothy Height

98, April 20 | Unheralded but effective champion of rights for African-American women as head of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years and high-ranking leader of the YWCA.

Walter Hickel

90, May 7 | Two-time Alaskan governor who served as Interior secretary under President Nixon until he was fired for objecting to the treatment of Vietnam war protesters.

Richard Holbrooke

69, Dec. 13 | U.S. diplomat who most recently served as U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and was U.S. ambassador to the UN from 1999 to 2001.

Benjamin Hooks

85, April 15 | Lawyer, Baptist minister, first African-American appointed to the Federal Communications Commission (by President Nixon), and long-time head of the NAACP.

Dennis Hopper

74, May 29 | Film actor, director, and star of the 1969 film Easy Rider, an icon of the counter­culture who renounced drug abuse and quietly became a Republican in the 1980s.

Lena Horne

92, May 9 | Pioneering African-American singer and actress who cracked the race barrier in Hollywood in the 1940s.

Ralph Houk

90, July 21 | Former New York Yankees manager who led his team to three straight American League pennants and two World Series championships in the 1960s.

Gladys "Rusty" Hunt

83, July 4 | Christian author and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship leader.

Andy Irons

32, Nov. 2 | Three-time world champion surfer.

Mildred Jefferson

84, Oct. 15 | First American black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School; pro-life trailblazer who helped found the National Right to Life Committee and served as its president for three years.

Hank Jones

91, May 16 | Prolific and versatile jazz piano virtuoso.

Lech Kaczynski

60, April 10 | Staunch Catholic and Poland's third post-Communist-era president until a fatal plane crash, who in 2008 firmly opposed the European Union's Lisbon Treaty prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and won an opt-out provision for Poland.

James J. Kilpatrick

89, Aug. 15 | Former Virginia newspaper editor who left his pro-segregation views behind and became one of the most commanding conservative writers of his generation; his column, "A Conservative View," ran in hundreds of newspapers for nearly 30 years.

John Kluge

95, Sept. 7 | Entrepreneur and philanthropist who built an investment in a radio station into the Metromedia broadcasting and communications empire, whose sale made him one of the richest men in the world.

Art Linkletter

97, May 26 | Pioneering radio and television talk-show host best known for soliciting hilarious unrehearsed remarks from children on his "House Party" TV show that aired from 1952 to 1970 and spawned his bestselling book, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and sequels.

Ali Hassan Al-Majid

68, Jan. 25 | Cousin of Saddam Hussein better known as "Chemical Ali" for the 1988 gassing of over 5,000 Kurds, the largest use of chemical weapons in history, executed in Iraq for crimes against humanity.

James Macarthur

72, Oct. 28 | Stage and screen actor who was Dano, the No. 2 cop in television's Hawaii Five-O series from 1968 to 1979.

Wilma Mankiller

64, April 6 | Chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma 1985-1995, the first female in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe.

Peter Marshall Jr.

70, Sept. 8 | Presbyterian minister, author, and a leading conservative voice for greater recognition of "America's Christian heritage," especially in school textbooks and among historians and politicians.

Kevin McCarthy

96, Sept. 11 | Actor best known for his starring role as the terrified doctor who tried to warn the world about the alien "pod people" who were taking over in the 1956 sci-fi classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Rue McClanahan

76, June 3 | Actress who played the disrespectful Southern belle Blanche Devereaux in the long-running hit TV series The Golden Girls.

Alexander McQueen

40, Feb. 11 | British-born creative director of the luxury label Gucci and reputedly one of the most respected fashion designers in the world.

Don Meredith

72, Dec. 5 | NFL quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys better known as color commentator for ABC's Monday Night Football beginning in 1970 alongside Howard Cosell and Keith Jackson, bringing pro football to prime-time television as part of a show he co-anchored until 1984.

Mitch Miller

99, July 31 | Goateed orchestra leader who asked Americans to "Sing Along with Mitch," and record producer who headed Columbia Records in the 1950s, showcasing artists like Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett, and discovering an R&B artist named Aretha Franklin.

Buddy Morrow

91, Sept. 27 | Trombone great who took over as bandleader of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra 1977-2010.

John Murtha

77, Feb. 8 | Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania since 1974 known for funneling hundreds of millions in earmarks to his district and for switching from hawk to anti-war critic in 2005.

Patricia Neal

84, Aug. 8 | Actress and Academy Award-winner known for starring roles in The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (the pilot episode for The Waltons).

Roger Nicole

95, Dec. 11 | Theologian and professor at Gordon Conwell Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary who helped found the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy and the Evangelical Theological Society, along with editing recent Bible translations, including the NIV and New Geneva Study Bible.

Leslie Nielsen

84, Nov. 28 | Veteran drama actor but probably best known for his comedic roles in Airplane! and The Naked Gun series.

Edwin Newman

91, Aug. 13 | Witty and laid back but brainy NBC newsman, Today show host, commentator, and substitute anchor for more than 30 years, and assertive protector of proper English grammar.

Marshall Nirenberg

82, Jan. 15 | Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and geneticist who in 1961 deciphered the DNA code that lies at the basis of life.

Doug Oldham

79, July 21 | Award-winning gospel singer and former praise leader at TV pastor Jerry Falwell's church.

Charlie O'Donnell

78, Oct. 31 | Best known as the announcer on the game show Wheel of Fortune.

Merlin Olsen

69, March 11 | The "Gentle Giant" Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman for the Los Angeles Rams for 15 seasons who later became an actor (Little House on the Prairie) and sports broadcaster.

Fess Parker

85, March 18 | Actor best known as Davy Crockett in the mid-1950s Walt Disney television series.

Robert Brown Parker

77, Jan. 18 | Prolific bestselling mystery writer who created Spenser, the Boston private eye who was the hero of nearly 40 novels, movie adaptations, and a popular TV series (Spenser: For Hire).

Bill Pearce

83, Feb. 22 | Internationally noted Christian radio broadcasting pioneer with WMBI in Chicago and recording artist.

Thomas C. Peebles

89, July 8 | Physician and scientist who isolated the measles virus, leading to a vaccine in 1963.

Teddy Pendergrass

59, Jan. 13 | The booming "black Elvis" baritone who defined the genre of seductive rhythm and blues soul music ("The Love I Lost," "Turn Off the Lights").

Clark Pinnock

73, Aug. 15 | Well-known theologian whose views evolved from mainstream evangelical to "open theism," where God is self­limiting, not all-knowing, and can be persuaded to change His mind.

Elizabeth Post

89, April 24 | Etiquette expert, author, and syndicated columnist who carried on the work of her grandmother, Emily Post.

Lynn Redgrave

67, May 2 | Actress (Georgy Girl) who was a member of Britain's celebrated Redgrave family acting dynasty, including her sister Vanessa, with whom she co-starred in TV's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Rosa Rio

107, May 13 | Last of the silent movie and early radio soap opera organists.

Pernell Roberts

81, Jan. 24 | Best known for his role as Adam Cartwright, Ben Cartwright's eldest son, on the popular TV western series Bonanza and his title role as the chief surgeon on Trapper John, M.D.

Robin Roberts

83, May 6 | Hall of Fame pitching ace who won 286 games and led the Phillies to the 1950 National League pennant.

Moishe Rosen

78, May 19 | Colorful activist and founder of the Jews for Jesus outreach ministry.

Dan Rostenkowski

82, Aug. 11 | Eighteen-term Illinois congressman who chaired the House Ways and Means Committee for 14 years before serving 17 months in prison for mail fraud, pardoned in 2000 by President Clinton.

J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger

91, Jan. 27 | Reclusive American author of the perennial youth favorite, Catcher in the Rye, a 1951 novel about adolescent angst.

Allan R. Sandage

84, Nov. 13 | Astronomer and protege of cosmologist Edwin Hubble ("the universe is constantly expanding") who spent much of his life trying to estimate the age of the universe (he set it high at 15 billion years).

Daniel Schorr

93, July 23 | Aggressive, unbending television news reporter and analyst at CBS, CNN, and NPR, and bane of conservative political leaders (he was No. 17 on President Nixon's "enemies list").

Erich Segal

72, Jan. 17 | Yale and Oxford classics professor and best-selling novelist (Love Story).

Edith Shain

91, June 20 | A nurse in Times Square on the day Japan surrendered, whose kiss by a sailor was immortalized in Life magazine.

Johnny Sheffield

79, Oct. 15 | "Boy" in the Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movie series who later starred in Bomba, the Jungle Boy film series.

Jean Simmons

80, Jan. 22 | Versatile British-born star of many films (The Robe) and Emmy winner for the TV mini-series The Thorn Birds.

Elinor Smith (Sullivan)

98, March 19 | Pioneer aviator who flew beneath all four of New York City's East River suspension bridges at age 17, and piloted an experimental plane at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia at age 89.

Stephen J. Solarz

70, Nov. 29 | New York Democratic congressman who in 1986 revealed the excesses of Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, including her 3,000 pairs of shoes, and was redistricted out of his seat in 1992 after co-sponsoring the resolution authorizing President George H.W. Bush to wage war in Iraq.

Ted Sorenson

82, Oct. 31 | JFK aide and speechwriter who ghosted much of Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles in Courage and who helped draft the letter to Nikita Khrushchev that diffused the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Jack Sparks

81, Feb. 8 | College professor turned Campus Crusade for Christ staffer who helped found the Christian World Liberation Front, and later helped start the Evangelical Orthodox church.

Michael Spencer

53, April 5 | Baptist minister and voice of the popular and sometimes controversial religion blog "Internet Monk."

Joseph Stein

98, Oct. 24 | Playwright who wrote the book for the musical Fiddler on the Roof and the librettos for more than a dozen Broadway musicals.

George Steinbrenner

80, July 13 | "The Boss" businessman and owner of the New York Yankees who led the team to seven World Series trophies.

Ted Stevens

86, Aug. 9 | Moderate Republican senator from Alaska for a record 40 years 1968-2008, who as chair of the Appropriations Committee delivered billions in federal contracts to his state, and who before he died in a plane crash saw indictments against him for corruption dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct.

Gloria Stuart

100, Sept. 26 | Actress (the sweetheart in The Invisible Man and Old Rose in Titanic) and a founder of the Screen Actors Guild.

Joan Sutherland

83, Oct. 10 | Australian coloratura soprano who was one of the most celebrated opera singers of all time.

Bobby Thomson

86, Aug. 16 | Baseball power slugger known for his three-run "Shot Heard 'Round the World" home run against the Brooklyn Dodgers that won the National League pennant for the New York Giants in 1951.

Albertina Walker

81, Oct. 8 | Gospel Hall of Fame Grammy Award-winning "Queen of Gospel" music (more than 60 albums) whose goal was to "deliver the message and win souls for Christ."

James "Jimmy" Wall

92, Oct. 27 | Captain Kangaroo's neighbor "Mr. Baxter" on the children's TV show.

George Webber

90, July 10 | Prominent liberal Protestant minister with the United Church of Christ, social action advocate, and former president of New York Theological Seminary.

Charles Wilson

76, Feb. 10 | Twelve-term Democratic Texas anti-communist congressman who funneled billions to the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, and whose life inspired the 2007 movie Charlie Wilson's War.

John Wooden

99, June 4| Legendary Bible-reading Hall of Fame UCLA basketball coach who led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships.

Howard Zinn

87, Jan. 27 | Controversial liberal historian and writer whose 1980 book, A People's History of the United States, was a rallying beacon for the American left.(Editor's note: This article has been edited to reflect the correct dates of death for Sparky Anderson, Denise Borino-Quinn, John Forsythe, Andy Irons, Edwin Newman, Elizabeth Post, Erich Segal, Jean Simmons, Ted Stevens, and John Wooden.)

Edward E. Plowman

Ed (1931–2018) was a WORLD reporter. Read Marvin Olasky's tribute.


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