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2019 Deaths

Hall of Fame baseball player Frank Robinson was the first African American to manage a Major League Baseball team.

2019 Deaths

Frank Robinson (Bob Riha Jr./Getty Images)

Juanita Abernathy

87 / Sept. 12 / Civil rights activist who wrote the business plan for the Birmingham bus boycott and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and her husband, Ralph Abernathy, despite threats and the KKK firebombing of her home. She once said, “The men ran the movement, but we were the actual bodies that made it happen.” 

Luis Alvarez

53 / June 29 / A 9/11 first responder who spent three months at Ground Zero searching for survivors and later fought for extended health benefits for those who, like him, developed cancer and other illnesses as a result of their service. 

René Auberjonois

79 / Dec. 8 / Actor best known for his roles on the TV shows Benson and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and his part in the 1970 film M.A.S.H. playing Father Mulcahy.

Hildegard Bachert

98 / Oct. 17 / Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who became co-director of a Manhattan art gallery that discovered primitive artist Grandma Moses. 

Michel Bacos

94 / March 26 / Heroic pilot of the Air France jet hijacked to Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976. After three days the plane’s hijackers released non-Jewish passengers and offered to release the crew, but Bacos insisted the crew stay with the hostages.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

48 / Oct. 26 / Brutal leader of Islamic State (ISIS) who sought to establish a caliphate in the Middle East and inspired followers to commit terrorist acts around the world.

Ginger Baker

80 / Oct. 6 / Drumming superstar with bands including Cream and Blind Faith whose reputed bad temper led to many band breakups.

Russell Baker

93 / Jan. 21 / Journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his often-humorous “Observer” column in The New York Times and the memoir Growing Up, which recounted his Depression-era childhood. 

Kaye Ballard

93 / Jan. 21 / Actress and comedienne who starred for two years in the TV show The Mothers-in-Law in the late 1960s. She was the first singer to record “Fly Me to the Moon.” 

Birch Bayh

91 / March 14 / Three-term U.S. senator from Indiana who helped draft the 25th (presidential succession) and 26th Amendments (18-year-old vote) to the Constitution, and the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment. 

Kathleen Blanco

76 / Aug. 18 / Former Louisiana governor whose slow response to Hurricane Katrina came to define her four years in office. 

Henry W. Bloch

96 / April 23 / Franchising pioneer and co-founder of tax preparation company H&R Block, which grew rapidly when the IRS stopped offering free tax prep help. 

Harold Bloom

89 / Oct. 14 / Yale professor, best-selling author, and literary critic who defended the Western canon, those books he believed should be taught and read. 

John C. Bogle

89 / Jan. 16 / Index fund pioneer who founded the Vanguard Group, which grew to have more than $5 trillion under management. Bogle’s philosophy of low-fee investing cut into his profits but benefited his investors. One investment manager said, “He basically chose to forgo an enormous fortune to do something right for millions of people.” 

Cameron Boyce

20 / July 6 / Actor best known for his roles in the Disney Channel’s Descendants franchise and the TV show Jessie as well as the voice of Jake in Jake and the Never Land Pirates

Mary Clavering/Young Hollywood/Getty Images

Cameron Boyce (Mary Clavering/Young Hollywood/Getty Images)

Gert Boyle

95 / Nov. 3 / Housewife who at age 45 took over the in-debt Columbia Sportswear Company after her husband died and turned it into a billion-dollar business. Boyle became famous for print and TV ads that used her age and toughness to highlight the durability of Columbia products.

Alan Brinkley

70 / June 17 / Columbia University historian and award-winning author of Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (1983) and The Publisher (2010).

Bill Buckner

69 / May 27 / Major league baseball player for 22 years whose career became defined by an error that cost the Red Sox the 1986 World Series. Bitter Red Sox fans eventually forgave him. When he returned to Fenway Park in 2008 to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, the fans gave him a two-minute standing ovation.

Nick Buoniconti

78 / July 30 / Hall of Fame middle linebacker who starred for the AFL’s Boston Patriots and the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. He was part of the defense that led the Dolphins to three straight Super Bowls, including an undefeated season in 1972. 

George Brich/AP

Nick Buoniconti (George Brich/AP)

Patrick Caddell

68 / Feb. 16 / Democratic pollster who helped Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign and later drifted to the right in reaction to a Democratic Party he perceived as elitist and out of touch.

Daniel Callahan

88 / July 16 / Bioethics pioneer who co-founded the Hastings Center.

Jake Burton Carpenter

65 / Nov. 20 / The “godfather of snowboarding” who developed the modern snowboard and marketed the sport, which gained Olympic status in just two decades.

Diahann Carroll

84 / Oct. 4 / Singer and award-winning actress who starred in Julia, a 1968-1971 TV series in which she played a nurse and single mother at a time when black actresses were confined to playing domestic servants. 

Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Diahann Carroll (Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)

George “Pops” Chambers

88 / Oct. 12 / Singer and bassist for the 1960s-era Chambers Brothers band, whose big hit was the song “Time Has Come Today.” 

Carol Channing

97 / Jan. 15 / Tony Award–winning Broadway actress with a raspy voice and oversize personality who played matchmaker Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! more than 5,000 times on stage. When Barbra Streisand won the role for the movie version, Channing said, “I felt suicidal; I felt like jumping out a window.”

Bob Ganley/NBCU Photo Bank/NBC Universal via Getty Images

Carol Channing (Bob Ganley/NBCU Photo Bank/NBC Universal via Getty Images )

Gus Chavez

76 / Aug. 18 / Activist who successfully pressured filmmaker Ken Burns to include in his World War II documentary the role of the 500,000 Hispanic soldiers who served.

Jacques Chirac

86 / Sept. 26 / Suave two-term French president who acknowledged France’s role in the Holocaust and advocated a strong European Union. His defiant opposition to the 2003 Iraq War birthed an American backlash against French wine and cheese and turned french fries into “freedom fries.”

Thad Cochran

81 / May 30 / Former U.S. legislator from Mississippi who spent six years in the House and 39 years in the Senate. A Republican, he was known for working congenially with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and for earmarking federal funds for projects in his home state.

Dick Cole

103 / April 9 / Last remaining member of the Doolittle Raiders, whose surprise air attack on Japan four months after Pearl Harbor shocked the Japanese and boosted the morale of Americans. 

Peter Collier

80 / Nov. 1 / Influential member of the New Left who moved right politically and co-wrote Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties

Tim Conway

85 / May 14 / Actor and comedian who starred in TV’s McHale’s Navy and The Carol Burnett Show. He often played bumblers and won three Emmys for his work on Carol Burnett and one more for his writing. 

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Tim Conway (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

John Conyers Jr.

90 / Oct. 27 / African American congressman from Detroit who served 53 years before resigning in 2017 after two women charged him with sexual misconduct. He long advocated making Martin Luther King’s birthday a federal holiday. 

Fred Cox

80 / Nov. 20 / A star kicker for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1960s, he invented the Nerf football.

Jean Pieri/Pioneer Press via AP

Fred Cox (Jean Pieri/Pioneer Press via AP)

Lewis Cullman

100 / June 7 / Philanthropist who made his fortune with At-A-Glance calendars and appointment books. 

Elijah Cummings

68 / Oct. 17 / Civil rights leader and Democratic congressman from Baltimore since 1996. He used his position as chairman of the House Oversight Committee to investigate President Donald Trump. 

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Elijah Cummings (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

William E. Dannemeyer

89 / July 9 / Seven-term GOP congressman from Orange County, Calif., who earned the designation “No. 1 Taxpayers’ Friend” from the National Taxpayers Union in 1992.

Doris Day

97 / May 13 / Singer and actress who starred in 40 movies, including comedies with Rock Hudson (Pillow Talk) and Cary Grant (That Touch of Mink). She turned down the role of middle-aged Mrs. Robinson who seduces college-aged Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, saying it “offended my sense of values.” 

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Doris Day (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

John Dingell

92 / Feb. 7 / Democrat from Michigan who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 59 years (1955–2015), making him the longest-serving member of either chamber of Congress. His father served the district for 22 years before him, and his wife now represents it: Dingells have occupied that seat for 90 years. 

Werner Doehner

90 / Nov. 8 / Last survivor of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. The accident killed 13 passengers, including 8-year-old Doehner’s father and sister, plus 22 crew members and one man on the ground. 

Stanley Donen

94 / Feb. 21 / Film director of movie musicals including Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Dr. John

77 / June 6 / Six-time Grammy-winning musician and singer who developed a unique style that drew from New Orleans funk, blues, and rock ’n’ roll. His most popular song was “Right Place, Wrong Time.” 

Daryl Dragon

76 / Jan. 2 / Half of the pop duo Captain & Tennille. In the 1970s, Dragon and his wife, Toni Tennille, saw seven songs, including “Love Will Keep Us Together,” reach the Top 10 on the pop charts. 

Yechiel Eckstein

67 / Feb. 6 / Rabbi and founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, an organization that raised more than $1 billion from American evangelicals to support Jewish causes and the state of Israel. 

Diet Eman

99 / Sept. 3 / Dutch Christian who risked her life to save Jews from the Holocaust. She told her story in the book Things We Couldn’t Say and in the movie The Reckoning (2007).

Georgia Engel

70 / April 12 / Emmy-nominated actress who played the innocent Georgette in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Jeffrey Epstein

66 / Aug. 10 / Financier and convicted sex offender who cultivated relationships with the rich and powerful, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Rachel Held Evans

37 / May 4 / Former evangelical Christian who became an influential voice for millennials disenchanted with their conservative upbringings. 

Cain Hope Felder

76 / Oct. 1 / African American Biblical scholar who taught for many years at the divinity school at Howard University and edited The Original African Heritage Study Bible.

Martin Feldstein

79 / June 11 / Influential Harvard economist who served as chairman of Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Marco Feingold

106 / Sept. 19 / Oldest living Austrian Holocaust survivor. He survived four concentration camps—Auschwitz, Neuengamme, Dachau, and Buchenwald—before Americans liberated him and other surviving Jews. After the war he ran a network that allowed 100,000 Jews to migrate to Palestine.  

Robert Finley

96 / March 22 / Evangelist who founded International Students Inc. and Christian Aid Mission to reach foreign students studying in the United States.

Albert Finney

82 / Feb. 7 / British actor who starred in Tom Jones and won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in A Gathering Storm

Bernard Fisher

101 / Oct. 16 / Physician who fought established medical opinion to change the way doctors treat breast cancer: He used science to show that simple mastectomies were as effective and less debilitating than radical mastectomies.

Peter Fonda

79 / Aug. 16 / Actor and screenwriter who starred in Easy Rider, a 1969 film celebrating sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. He was the son of actor Henry Fonda and brother of actress Jane Fonda.

Dorothea Benton Frank

67 / Sept. 2 / New York Times best-selling author of 20 novels set near her native Charleston, S.C. 

Ernest Gaines

86 / Nov. 5 / African American author of nine novels, including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, A Lesson Before Dying, and A Gathering of Old Men. He received a MacArthur grant for his work depicting the lives of people like those he’d known on the Louisiana plantation where he picked cotton as a child. 

Norman Geisler

86 / July 1 / Christian apologist and founder of Southern Evangelical Seminary who taught in higher ed for more than 55 years and wrote or co-authored more than 90 books.

Courtesy of Life Touch

Norman Geisler (Courtesy of Life Touch)

Mordicai Gerstein

83 / Sept. 24 / Artist and children’s book illustrator whose 2003 The Man Who Walked Between the Towers won the Caldecott Medal. The post-9/11 book honored the Twin Towers and celebrated Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between them. 

Nathan Glazer

95 / Jan. 19 / Urban sociologist who became disenchanted with liberalism. Though described as a neo-conservative, he said, “I consider myself pragmatic, rather than a man of the left or a man of the right.”

Marie Greenwood

106 / Nov. 15 / Teacher in Denver who spent her life desegregating local institutions and the first African American to receive tenure in the Denver public school system. She acknowledged that her accomplishments came “by the grace of God,” which was also the title of her autobiography.

W.E.B. Griffin

89 / Feb. 12 / Best-selling novelist who wrote more than 100 books—including the Brotherhood of War series—under various pen names. 

Valerie Harper

80 / Aug. 30 / TV actress who played Rhoda Morgenstern on the 1970s-era Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda. She won four Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe for the role of the New Yorker with the self-deprecating sense of humor.

Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Valerie Harper (Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Hart

88 / Feb. 16 / National Review writer and longtime Dartmouth professor who was an adviser to the conservative Dartmouth Review. Hart didn’t like the evangelical influence on the GOP, describing his conservatism as “aristocratic in spirit, anti-populist and rooted in the Northeast.” 

John Havlicek

79 / April 25 / Star basketball player for the Boston Celtics who played on eight Celtic championship teams. Celtic great Bill Russell called him “the best all-around player I ever saw.”

Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

John Havlicek (Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

Al Haynes

87 / Aug. 25 / United Airlines captain who on a flight between Denver and Chicago in 1989 used great skill to pilot his plane after an engine exploded. The plane crash-landed at the airport in Sioux City, Iowa, with 296 people on board, of whom 184 survived.

Maida Heatter

102 / June 6 / Self-taught baker, cookbook author, and “Queen of Cakes” who called herself “the Chairperson of the Board of the Chocolate Lovers Association of the World.”

Barbara Hillary

88 / Nov. 23 / A retired nurse who became the first African American woman to reach both the North Pole (at age 75) and South Pole (at age 79).

Ernest “Fritz” Hollings

97 / April 6 / Long-serving Democratic senator from South Carolina (1966–2005) who moderated his segregationist views over time. 

Gerald L. Holmes

79 / Sept. 23 / Artist from the Texas Panhandle whose humorous drawings of Hank the Cowdog and other fictional characters filled 74 books.  

Lee Iacocca

94 / July 2 / The only automobile executive to head two of the Big Three automobile companies (Ford Motor Co., Chrysler). He brought to market the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler minivan. 

Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Lee Iacocca (Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

Dan Jenkins

90 / March 7 / Sportswriter for Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, and Playboy who also penned the bawdy football novel Semi-Tough, which became a movie starring Burt Reynolds. 

Arte Johnson

90 / July 3 / Actor and comedian whose depiction of kooky characters on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In earned him an Emmy Award in 1969. He once said, “I work best when I have a false nose, a false mustache, an odd costume, a piece of hair, a bone through my nose. Give me some odd, weird thing, and that’s me.”

Joan Johnson

89 / Sept. 6 / Pioneering co-founder with her husband of black hair care giant Johnson Products (Afro Sheen), the sponsor of Soul Train and the first black-owned company to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. 

Phillip E. Johnson

79 / Nov. 2 / Lawyer who became godfather of the intelligent design movement after the success of his book Darwin on Trial. Johnson’s critique of neo-Darwinian evolution paved the way for skeptical scientists to open up about their own doubts. 

José José

71 / Sept. 28 / Mexican crooner known for melancholy love songs. Gloria Estefan said, “He squeezed our hearts with his unmistakable voice.”

Herb Kelleher

87 / Jan. 3 / Co-founder of Southwest Airlines whose innovative approach of combining low prices and good service transformed the industry. He turned Southwest from a Texas-only airline to America’s most popular domestic one.

George L. Kelling

83 / May 15 / Criminologist who, along with James Q. Wilson, developed the “Broken Windows” theory of policing that said “one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares.” They urged police to focus on relatively minor crimes—grafitti, drug dealing, prostitution—that could lead to the decline of communities. 

Ben Kinchlow

82 / July 18 / Evangelist, author, and co-host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club for nearly two decades.

David Koch

79 / Aug. 23 / Billionaire businessman and philanthropist who funded free-market and libertarian causes as well as cancer research, museums, and the arts.

Eva Kor

85 / July 4 / Holocaust survivor who with her sister Miriam suffered through Josef Mengele’s experiments with twins. Eva eventually established CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Indiana and advocated forgiveness as a way for victims to reclaim their lives.

Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr.

95 / July 22 / Creator of NASA’s Mission Control and originator of the flight director position. He said of that role, “No one can overrule me. ... They can fire me after it’s over. But while the mission is underway, I’m Flight. And Flight is God.”

L. Bruce Laingen

96 / July 15 / Top U.S. diplomat in Iran in 1979 when protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy, taking hostages they held for 444 days.

Lyndon LaRouche

96 / Feb. 12 / Eight-time presidential candidate who began as a Trotskyist and moved to the anti-Semitic and conspiratorial right. 

Jerry Lawson

75 / July 10 / Baritone a cappella singer with the Persuasions, a musical group whose fans ranged from Rod Stewart to Boyz II Men. 

Alexei Leonov

85 / Oct. 11 / Soviet cosmonaut who became, in March 1965, the first person to walk in space.

Li Peng

90 / July 22 / Chinese premier with the nickname “the Butcher of Beijing” who ordered in 1989 the military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square.

Peggy Lipton

72 / May 11 / Actress who played an undercover cop in the 1960s TV show The Mod Squad, which earned her four Emmys.

Richard Lugar

87 / April 28 / Indiana’s longest serving U.S. senator, a Republican who for 36 years in Washington worked to control the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. 

Manuel Luján Jr.

90 / April 25 / Secretary of the interior under George H.W. Bush: He dealt with environmental crises including the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and protests over the spotted owl that pitted loggers against environmentalists.

Bill Macy

97 / Oct. 17 / Actor on the popular 1970s sitcom Maude who played Walter Findlay, Bea Arthur’s husband.

George Mendonsa

95 / Feb. 17 / WWII veteran thought to be the celebrating sailor that photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt caught in the act of kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day. 

Norma Miller

99 / May 5 / The “Queen of Swing” and last-surviving original member of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, an all-black dance troupe that toured the world and danced in the movies Hellzapoppin’ and the Marx Brothers’ A Day at the Races.

Jesse Miranda

81 / July 12 / Assemblies of God pastor known as the “granddaddy of U.S. Latino Protestantism.”

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Jessee Miranda (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Eddie Money

70 / Sept. 13 / New York City cop who went on to become a rock star with hits including “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise.” 

Ed Perlstein/Redferns/Getty Images

Eddie Money (Ed Perlstein/Redferns/Getty Images)

Robert Morgenthau

99 / July 21 / Scion of a prominent political family, he served 34 years as Manhattan district attorney and became the model for the original prosecutor on TV’s long-running Law & Order

Edmund Morris

78 / May 24 / Award-winning writer of presidential biographies, including three volumes on Theodore Roosevelt. His Ronald Reagan biography, Dutch, took Morris 14 years to write. The result was controversial because he inserted himself as a fictional narrator. 

Toni Morrison

88 / Aug. 5 / First female African American winner of the Nobel Prize and author of 11 novels, including Song of Solomon and Beloved.

Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Toni Morrison (Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

Robert Mugabe

95 / Sept. 6 / Strongman leader of Zimbabwe for 37 years who led the fight against Britain and white colonial rule but later stamped out dissent and oversaw the destruction of his country’s resource-rich economy.

Jimmy Nelson

90 / Sept. 24 / Ventriloquist who appeared on TV in the 1950s and 1960s with puppets Danny O’Day and Farfel the dog. He taught many future ventriloquists their craft and made famous the jingle “N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestlé’s makes the very best. … Chaw-klit.” 

Art Neville

81 / July 22 / New Orleans musician who with his brothers formed the Neville Brothers band. Neville was only 17 when he recorded the classic “Mardi Gras Mambo” with the Hawketts.

Don Newcombe

92 / Feb. 19 / Cy Young Award–winning pitcher who become the first African American pitcher to start a World Series game. 

SPX/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Don Newcombe (SPX/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Alfred K. Newman

94 / Jan. 13 / One of 400 Navajo code talkers who helped defeat the Japanese by developing a code based on the Navajo language. 

Jessye Norman

74 / Sept. 30 / Trailblazing opera star who championed opportunities for other African Americans and opened in 2003 the Jessye Norman School of the Arts in her hometown of Augusta, Ga., to provide free fine arts education to disadvantaged children there.

Ric Ocasek

75 / Sept. 15 / Songwriter, lead singer, and rhythm guitarist for the ’80s New Wave band the Cars. The band benefited from the growing popularity of MTV, selling more than 23 million albums in the United States. 

Lloyd John Ogilvie

88 / June 5 / Presbyterian pastor and U.S. Senate chaplain from 1995 to 2003. 

Molly O’Neill

66 / June 16 / New York Times food writer and cookbook author who used food as a way to write about people and culture. 

I.M. Pei

102 / May 16 / Pritzker Prize–winning architect who designed iconic buildings including the Bank of China Tower, the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, and the Louvre Pyramid. 

Bernard Bisson/Sygma via Getty Images

I.M. Pei (Bernard Bisson/Sygma via Getty Images)

Maria Perego

95 / Nov. 7 / Italian creator of the big-eared mouse puppet Topo Gigio, a favorite on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s. The stiff Sullivan acted as straight man to the mouse, who ended appearances with a line that became famous: “Eddie, kiss me good night.”

H. Ross Perot

89 / July 9 / Billionaire businessman and philanthropist who ran for president in 1992, earning 19 percent of the vote, the most ever for an independent candidate. 

 Shelly Katz/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

H. Ross Perot ( Shelly Katz/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images)

Luke Perry

52 / March 4 / Actor who played heartthrob Dylan McKay on the 1990s TV show Beverly Hills, 90210

Ron Davis/Getty Images

Luke Perry (Ron Davis/Getty Images)

T. Boone Pickens

91 / Sept. 11 / Oilman, corporate raider, advocate for shareholder rights, and philanthropist who gave more than $1 billion to charities, including his alma mater Oklahoma State University. He once said, “I firmly believe one of the reasons I was put on this Earth was to make money, and be generous with it.”

David Powlison

69 / June 7 / Pioneer in the Christian counseling movement who influenced generations of pastors and Christian counselors through his work at the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. 

André Previn

89 / Feb. 28 / Composer and musician who won Oscars for the film scores of Gigi, Porgy and Bess, and My Fair Lady. The genre-busting musician played jazz piano, conducted symphony orchestras, wrote operas, and won 10 Grammys. 

Harold Prince

91 / July 31 / Broadway director and producer who won 21 Tony Awards over his long career for plays including Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera, and Evita

Charles A. Reich

91 / June 15 / Yale Law professor who celebrated the 1960s counterculture in the best-selling The Greening of America

Alice Rivlin

88 / May 14 / Economist who was founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and later served as Bill Clinton’s director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

Cokie Roberts

75 / Sept. 17 / Washington insider and journalist who became one of NPR’s “founding mothers.” She later worked for ABC News and published many books about women in history.

Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Cokie Roberts (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

James I. Robertson Jr.

89 / Nov. 2 / Professor, Civil War historian, and author of the 900-page Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend. He once told C-Span’s Brian Lamb, “History should be the most exciting subject of all because it’s the story of human beings, God’s most unpredictable creatures.”

Frank Robinson

83 / Feb. 7 / Hall of Fame baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles who became the first African American to manage a Major League Baseball team. He is the only player to win MVP honors in both the American and National Leagues.

Armando Rodriguez

97 / Feb. 17 / Pioneering educator and advocate of Mexican American civil rights who served Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. 

Semyon Rozenfeld

97 / June 3 / Last-surviving escapee from the Sobibor concentration camp. He was one of only 60 Sobibor prisoners to survive World War II: “I was not afraid … because I didn’t have time to think about fear. I only thought about life.”

William Ruckelshaus

87 / Nov. 27 / The first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the deputy attorney general under Richard Nixon, he resigned rather than obey the president’s order to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Jan Ruff-O’Herne

96 / Aug. 19 / First European woman to describe how Japanese soldiers had turned her into a “comfort woman,” repeatedly raping her over a three-month period when she was a 21-year-old prisoner of war. Her story helped bring international attention to the plight of the 200,000 women, mostly Korean, who suffered abuse by the Japanese during WWII. 

Liane Russell

95 / July 20 / Pioneering geneticist whose study of the effects of radiation on unborn children led to warnings against X-ray use on pregnant women. 

Denny Rydberg

74 / May 16 / The 23-year president of Young Life who expanded the organization’s reach from 25 to 101 countries. 

Charles Sanna

101 / March 13 / The inventor of a process to make shelf-stable coffee creamer for the military. He used it to create Swiss Miss, the first instant hot cocoa mix. 

Lamin Sanneh

76 / Jan. 6 / Muslim convert to Christianity who taught theology for decades at Yale. He authored or edited more than 20 books on Christianity and Islam, including Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture

Ray Santos

90 / Oct. 17 / Classically trained Latino musician and teacher who arranged the music on movie soundtracks (The Mambo Kings) and pop albums (Linda Ronstadt).

Herbert Schlossberg

84 / May 31 / Christian historian who chronicled the relationship between Western history and religion in the seminal Idols for Destruction and two scholarly books about Victorian England. 

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

90 / March 12 / Author of more than 100 books for children, including the Nate the Great series about a boy detective.

John Singleton

51 / April 29 / Writer and director of 1991’s Boyz N the Hood, a low-budget film that earned Oscar nominations for best original screenplay and best director, the first in the latter category for an African American. 

Seymour Siwoff

99 / Nov. 29 / An accountant who loved sports and rescued from near bankruptcy the Elias Sports Bureau, a compiler of sports statistics for newspapers and wire services. Elias became the official record keeper for most major leagues and helped transform sports into data-heavy enterprises.

Bernard Slade

89 / Oct. 30 / Writer who created popular ’60s and ’70s TV shows including The Flying Nun and The Partridge Family.

Marilynn Smith

89 / April 9 / Golfer who co-founded the LPGA and won 21 tour events and two major championships.

Bart Starr

85 / May 26 / Green Bay Packers quarterback who led his team to five league championships and victories in the first two Super Bowls. 

Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Bart Starr (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

John Paul Stevens

99 / July 16 / Supreme Court justice who became a mainstay of the court’s liberal wing even though appointed in 1975 by Republican Gerald Ford. The bow-tie-wearing Midwesterner was the second-oldest and third-longest-serving justice when he retired. 

Corbis via Getty Images

John Paul Stevens (Corbis via Getty Images)

Russi Taylor

75 / July 26 / Voice of Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters since 1986. In 1991 Taylor married Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse. 

Peter Tork

77 / Feb. 21 / One of the four bandmates in the 1960s TV show The Monkees. He was an accomplished musician but rarely sang on the band’s signature hits like “The Last Train to Clarksville” and “Daydream Believer.” 

Charles Van Doren

93 / April 9 / Urbane academic who participated in the 1950s television quiz show scandals. He pleaded guilty to perjury, lost his job and TV contract, and earned the nation’s scorn. 

Gloria Vanderbilt

95 / June 17 / Heiress, socialite, artist, and fashion designer who as a child was the subject of a vicious custody fight that played out in the media and earned her the nickname “poor little rich girl.” 

Alex Gotfryd/Corbis via Getty Images

Gloria Vanderbilt (Alex Gotfryd/Corbis via Getty Images)

Sander Vanocur

91 / Sept. 16 / Television journalist who covered Washington politics for decades. 

Paul Volcker

92 / Dec. 8 / Former Federal Reserve chairman who played a key role in stabilizing the American economy in the 1980s. While at the Treasury Department, he was the chief architect of the country’s abandonment of the gold standard.

Claus von Bülow

92 / May 25 / Socialite who made headlines when prosecutors charged him with trying to murder his heiress wife, Sunny von Bülow. A jury convicted him but an appeals court overturned the verdict. 

Suzanne Whang

56 / Sept. 17 / Actress best known for being the voice-over host of the HGTV series House Hunters and for her recurring role as manicurist Polly Chae on the NBC series Las Vegas.

Jack Whitaker

95 / Aug. 18 / Emmy-winning sportscaster for CBS and ABC who broadcast Super Bowls, golf championships, Olympic games, and Secretariat’s Triple Crown victory at the Belmont Stakes.

Warren W. Wiersbe

89 / May 2 / Pastor, Bible teacher, and author of more than 150 books, whose sermons were featured on Moody Radio and the Back to the Bible radio ministry. 

Joseph Wilson

69 / Sept. 27 / Diplomat who cast doubt on Bush administration claims about Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program, a move that led to the unmasking of Wilson’s CIA-agent wife, Valerie Plame.

“Jumping” Johnny Wilson

91 / Jan. 11 / Harlem Globetrotter basketball player who was Indiana’s second African American “Mr. Basketball.” 

Mac Wiseman

93 / Feb. 24 / Bluegrass musician whose biggest hits were “Jimmy Brown the Newsboy” and “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.” 

John Witherspoon

77 / Oct. 29 / Actor and comedian who starred in a variety of TV shows and movies, perhaps best known for his role as Willie Jones in the movie Friday and its sequels.

Herman Wouk

103 / May 17 / Pulitzer Prize–winning author (1952) of The Caine Mutiny, he wrote giant bestsellers about WWII (The Winds of War, War and Remembrance) and other books that drew from his Jewish upbringing (Marjorie Morningstar). 

David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Herman Wouk (David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

Lester Wunderman

98 / Jan. 9 / Hall of Fame advertising executive and “Father of Direct Marketing,” Wunderman created the subscription club model (Columbia Record Club) as well as the consumer loyalty program, newspaper insert, and the toll-free 1-800 customer service number.

Franco Zeffirelli

96 / June 15 / Italian director whose lavish movie productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew introduced a new generation to Shakespeare.

—This list has been corrected to note “Jumping” Johnny Wilson was Indiana’s second African American “Mr. Basketball” (George Crowe was the first), and Don Newcombe was the first African American pitcher to start a World Series game (Dan Bankhead was the first black pitcher in the major leagues).

Susan Olasky

Susan Olasky

Susan is WORLD’s story coach and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband, Marvin, live in Austin, Texas. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.