Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2021

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Both built sterling reputations as military and political leaders over their years of public service. But both see their legacy tarnished by the long, bloody war in Iraq.

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are among the many notable people who died in 2021.

Powell, who died in October, was a leading soldier and diplomat. He rose to the rank of a four-star general in the Army before becoming the first black chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And under former President George W. Bush, he became the country’s first black Secretary of State.


Rumsfeld, who died in June, had a long career in government under four US presidents and was seen as a visionary of a modern military.

Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense and took some of the blame as Iraq plunged into chaos after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. In the lead-up to the war, Powell cited faulty information during a UN Security Council address, while claiming that Hussein had secretly possessed weapons of mass destruction.

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Among other political figures who said goodbye to the world this year, former US Vice President Walter F. Mondale, former South African President F.W. de Klerk, former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Miner. , former Danish Prime Minister Paul Schlueter and Iranian ambassadors Ali Akbar Mohtashmipoor and Ardeshir Zahedi.

Also among those who died this year was a man who for years had held the title of home run king of baseball. Hank Aaron, who died in January, faced racist threats on his way to breaking Babe Ruth’s record and is still regarded as one of the sport’s greatest players.

Other sports figures to die in 2021 include Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda, college football coach Bobby Bowden, Olympic swimmer Clara Lamor Walker, NBA players Paul Westphal and Elgin Baylor, auto racer Bobby Unsar, golfer Lee Elder, track and field star Milkha Singh. Are included. and boxer Leon Spinks

Among those who died this year was a children’s author whose books have been enjoyed by millions around the world. Beverly Cleary, who died in March, channeled memories of her youth in Oregon to create such beloved characters as Ramona Quimby, her sister Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby, and Henry Huggins.

Others in the arts and entertainment world who died this year include actors Cicely Tyson, Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Plummer, Olympia Dukakis, Ned Beatty, Jane Powell, Sonny Chiba, Gavin McLeod, George Segal, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Johnny Are included. Briggs and Dustin Diamond; the magician Siegfried Fischbacher; Bollywood star Dilip Kumar; Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts; theater songwriter Stephen Sondheim; ballerina and actress Carla Frasey; rappers DMX and Biz Marquee; artist Arturo di Modica; telenovela author Delia Fiallo; authors Eric Carle and Norton Juster; Reggae musician Bunny Valar; comedians Norm Macdonald and Paul Mooney; singers Parvis Staples and Saba Fakhri; ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill; and filmmaker Richard Donner.

Here is the roll call of some influential personalities who died in 2021 (cause of death for underage people if available):




George Whitmore, 89. Member of the first team of climbers to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and a conservationist who dedicated his life to protecting the Sierra Nevada. January 1st.

Paul Westphal, 70. A Hall of Fame NBA player who won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and later coached the league and college. January 2.

Brian Urquhart, 101. British diplomats were early leaders of the United Nations and played a central role in developing the United Nations practice of peacekeeping. January 2.

Gerry Marsden, 78. Lead singer of the 1960s British group Gerry and the Pacemakers, which produced hits such as “Ferry Cross the Mercy” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, which became a Liverpool Football Club song. January 3

Eric Jerome Dickey, 59. The best-selling novelist who blended crime, romance, and sexuality in “Sister, Sister,” “Waking With Enemies” and dozens of other stories about contemporary Black lives. January 3. Cancer.

Tanya Roberts, 65. She drew James Bond in “A View to a Kill” and appeared in the sitcom “That ’70s Show”. January 4.

Tommy LaSorda, 93. The fiery Baseball Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved. January 7.

Meredith C. Ending Jr., 79. A member of the “Tougaloo Nine,” who famously participated in a library “read-in” in segregated Mississippi nearly 60 years ago. January 8.

Sheldon Adelson, 87. He rose from a modest beginning as the son of an immigrant taxi driver to become a billionaire Republican powerbroker with a casino empire and influence on international politics. January 11.

Siegfried Fischbacher, 81. He was a surviving member of the magic duo Siegfried & Roy, who entertained millions with illusions using rare animals. January 13. Pancreatic cancer.

Phil Spector, 81. The eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who was later convicted of murder. 16 January.

Hank Aaron, 86. While chasing Babe Ruth’s home run record, he faced racist threats with fanatical dignity and gracefully took his…


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