Rene Preval, former Haitian President
PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA
By BERNARD MCGHEE
They made music that inspired legions of fans.
Rock ‘n’ roll founding fathers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, rockers Tom Petty and Greg Allman, grunge icon Chris Cornell, country superstar Glen Campbell and jazz great Al Jarreau were among the notable figures who died in 2017, leaving a void in virtually every genre of music.
Comedians Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles and Dick Gregory left their own indelible mark with their iconic routines. And the story of the 1960s could not be told without Hugh Hefner and Charles Manson, who were synonymous with the decade in vastly different ways.
Hefner founded Playboy magazine and was credited with helping rev up the sexual revolution in the 1960s. The decade ended with Manson becoming the face of evil across America by orchestrating seven murders that marked the end of the era of peace and love.
Among the political figures who died this year was Helmut Kohl, the German chancellor who reunited a nation divided by the Cold War and helped put Germany at the heart of a unified Europe. Others from the political arena who died in 2017 included former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
Entertainers who died in 2017 also included actors Roger Moore of James Bond fame, Bollywood star Reema Lagoo, “Batman”
actor Adam West and Mary Tyler Moore.
Prominent figures from the sporting world who died included Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian and boxer Jake LaMotta.
Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2017. (Cause of death cited for younger people, if available.) JANUARY: Sister Frances Carr, 89. One of the last remaining members of a nearly extinct religious society called the Shakers. Jan. 2.
Bud Lilly, 91. Fly fishing legend, conservationist and catch-and-release pioneer. Jan. 4.
Jill Saward, 51. A survivor of rape who became a powerful British campaigner against sexual violence. Jan. 5.
Mario Soares, 92. A former prime minister and president of Portugal who helped steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military coup and grew into a global statesman through his work with the Socialist International movement. Jan. 7.
Parker Beam, 75. He carried on his family’s historic bourbon-making tradition as longtime master distiller for Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Distilleries. Jan. 9.
Clare Hollingworth, 105. A British war correspondent who was the first to report the Nazi invasion of Poland that marked the be ginning of World War II. Jan. 10.
Michael Chamberlain, 72. He waged a decades-long battle to prove his baby daughter was killed by a dingo in Australia’s most notorious case of injustice. Jan. 9.
Steven McDonald, 59. A New York police detective who was paralyzed by a teenage gunman’s bullet in 1986 but publicly forgave the shooter and became an international voice for peace. Jan. 10.
Tommy Allsup, 85. A guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that later crashed and killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson. Jan. 11. Complications from a hernia operation.
William Peter Blatty, 89. A former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie “The Exorcist.” Jan. 12.
Dick Gautier, 85. The actor who gained fame playing an Elvis-like singer in the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and went on to play Hymie the Robot on TV’s “Get Smart.” Jan. 13.
Zhou Youguang, 111. A linguist considered the father of modern China’s Pinyin Romanization system. Jan. 14.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, 73. A former pro wrestler who had recently been found not competent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his girlfriend. Jan. 15.
Vlado Trifunovic, 78. A former Yugoslav army general whose treason conviction by Serbia’s wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of the senselessness of the 1990s’ Balkan conflict. Jan. 15.
Gene Cernan, 82. A former astronaut who was the last person to walk on the moon. Jan. 16.
Charlie Liteky, 85. An Army chaplain in Vietnam who was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing more than 20 wounded men but later gave it back in protest and became a peace activist. Jan. 20.
Masaya Nakamura, 91. The “Father of PacMan” who founded the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game. Jan. 22.
Butch Trucks, 69. A drummer who was one of the founding members of the Southern rock legend The Allman Brothers Band. Jan. 24. Suicide.
Mary Tyler Moore, 80. The star of TV’s beloved “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” whose comic realism helped revolutionize the depiction of women on the small screen. Jan. 25.
Mike Connors, 91. He starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix.” Jan. 26.
Barbara Hale, 94. A movie actress who found her most famous role on television as steadfast secretary Della Street in the long running “Perry Mason” series. Jan. 26.
John Hurt, 77. An actor who had a half-century career highlighted with memorable performances, two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe and four British BAFTA awards. Jan. 27.
FEBRUARY: Edward Tipper, 95. A World War II paratrooper who was portrayed in the HBO series “Band of Brothers.” Feb. 1.
Etienne Tshisekedi, 84. Congo’s opposition icon who pushed for democratic reforms for decades in the vast Central African nation throughout dictatorship and civil war. Feb 1.
Don McNelly, 96. He was known worldwide for powering through marathon runs and running up record totals into his 70s and 80s.
Irwin Corey, 102. The wild-haired comedian and actor known for his improvisational riffs and nonsensical style who billed himself as “The World’s Foremost Authority.” Feb. 6.
Alec McCowen, 91. A West End and Broadway star who had global success with a oneman show about the life of Jesus. Feb. 6.
Ljubisa Beara, 77. A former senior Bosnian Serb security officer convicted of genocide by a U.N. war crimes tribunal for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Feb. 8.
Peter Mansfield, 83. A physicist who won the Nobel Prize for helping to invent MRI scanners. Feb. 8.
Mike Ilitch, 87. The billionaire businessman who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire before buying the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Feb. 10.
Harold G. “Hal” Moore, 94. The American hero known for saving most of his men in the first major battle between the U.S. and North Vietnamese armies. Feb. 10.
Al Jarreau, 76. A Grammy-winning jazz singer who transcended genres over a 50-year career.
Norma McCorvey, 69. Her legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure. Feb. 18.
Omar Abdel-Rahman, 78. The so-called Blind Sheik convicted of plotting terror attacks in New York City in the decade before 9/11 and spiritual guide to a generation of Islamic militants. Feb. 18.
Died in federal prison.
Sofia Imber, 92. She turned a garage into the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art and became one of Venezuela’s most influential women journalists. Feb. 20.
Kenneth J. Arrow, 95. The youngest-ever winner of a Nobel prize for economics, whose theories on risk, innovation and the basic mathematics of markets have influenced thinking on everything from voting to health insurance to high finance. Feb.
Alan Colmes, 66. The radio and television host and commentator best known as the amiable liberal foil to the hard-right Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel.
William “Bud” Liebenow, 97. The WWII Navy officer who guided his warship into Japanese territory to rescue future President John F. Kennedy and his crew. Feb. 24.
Bill Paxton, 61. A prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as “Apollo 13” and “Titanic” while also cherishing his work in “One False Move” and other low-budget movies and in the HBO series “Big Love.” Feb. 25. Complications due to surgery.
Joseph Wapner, 97. The retired Los Angeles judge who presided over “The People’s Court” with steady force during the heyday of the reality courtroom show. Feb. 26. MARCH: Paula Fox, 93. A prize-winning author who created high art out of imagined chaos in such novels as “Poor George” and “Desperate Characters” and out of the real-life upheavals in her memoir “Borrowed Finery.” March 1.
Rene Preval, 74. A low-key technocrat who led Haiti as president during the devastating January 2010 earthquake and a messy and prolonged recovery. March 3.
Miriam Colon, 80. A pioneering actress in U.S. Latino New York theater who starred in films alongside Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. March 3.
Mother Divine, believed to be 92. The widow of Father Divine and leader for decades of a religious movement he founded that advocated racial equality and provided free food to thousands of people. March 4.
PLEASE NOTE: This article will be continued in next week’s edition.