Ellis Marsalis Jr., 85
Ellis Marsalis Jr. was a prominent jazz pianist and teacher in New Orleans. His melodic style, with running improvisations in the right hand, has been described variously as romantic, contemporary or simply "Louisiana jazz." While teaching jazz in New Orleans, several of his students would later become well-known jazz musicians, citing Marsalis as an influence, including Harry Connick Jr., Victor Goines and Terence Blanchard. </br></br>Portrait of jazz musician Ellis Marsalis in New Orleans, 2000.
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Adam Schlesinger, 52
Adam Schlesinger co-founded Fountains of Wayne with lead singer and guitarist Chris Collingwood in the mid-1990s. The band produced five albums together. In 2003, Fountains of Wayne found mainstream success with their single "Stacy's Mom." Outside of the band, Schlesinger was active in TV and movies. He wrote the title song to the 1996 Tom Hanks-directed film "That Thing You Do!" which was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and he won an Emmy for his work on the show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." </br></br>Adam Schlesinger performs during Bonnaroo 2007 in Manchester, Tennessee.
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Joe Diffie, 61
Country singer Joe Diffie had 18 Top Ten singles throughout the '90s with such hits as “Pickup Man” and "John Deere Green.” Diffie was named along with several of his songs in Jason Aldean’s 2013 single “1994.” He died from complications from the coronavirus on March 29th. Diffie was 61. <br><br> Diffie performs on Day 3 of Country Thunder Milwaukee, July 23, 2016, in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.
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Joseph Lowery, 98
Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, the fiery Alabama preacher and civil rights icon, fought for equality alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lowery died at his home in Atlanta on March 27, 2020. He was 98.<BR><BR>After meeting King in the 1950s, Lowery became a leading force in the civil rights struggle. He led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) for two decades. President Barack Obama awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.<BR><BR>Joseph Lowery at the Lincoln Memorial during 50th anniversary ceremonies of the 1963 March on Washington, Aug. 28, 2013, in Washington.
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Terrence McNally, 81
Playwright Terrence McNally won a remarkable four Tony awards over just six years in the 1990s for "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Love! Valour! Compassion!," "Master Class" and "Ragtime." In 1991 his play "Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune" was adapted into a movie starring Michelle Preiffer and Al Pacino. He was awarded an Emmy award for the TV adaptation of his play, "Andre's Mother." He died on March 24 at the age of 81.<br><br>Here, McNally works with actors on "Mothers and Sons," at the Roundabout Theatre Company rehearsal studios on Jan. 31, 2014 in New York.
Kenny Rogers, 81
Actor-singer Kenny Rogers produced such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady,” and “Islands in the Stream.” Rogers died at his home in Sandy Springs, GA, on March 20, 2020. He was 81.<BR><BR>Known for his husky voice and silver beard, the Grammy-winning balladeer's music spanned jazz, folk, country and pop. Rogers sold tens of millions of records, won three Grammys, and was the star of TV movies based on the "The Gambler" and other songs.<BR><BR>Rogers poses for a portrait in 1979 in Los Angeles.
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Max von Sydow, 90
Max von Sydow had a decades-long acting career and was best known for his roles in such films as "The Seventh Seal" in 1957 and "The Exorcist" in 1973. He was also known for playing the Three Eyed Raven on the hit television show, "Game of Thrones." He was twice nominated for an Academy Award - for "Pelle the Conqueror" in 1988 and for "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" in 2012. He died on March 8, 2020. He was 90. <br><br>Max von Sydow is shown in this Feb. 6, 2012, file photo.
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McCoy Tyner, 81
Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner was known for his work with the John Coltrane Quartet as well as having a successful solo career. He was a five-time Grammy winner and in 2002 was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. On March 6, Tyner died at his home in New Jersey. He was 81. <br><br>Tyner attends "The Recording Academy New York Chapter presentation of Duke Jazz Talks," Oct. 29, 2008 in New York.
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James Lipton, 93
TV personality James Lipton's career in the entertainment industry spanned multiple decades and fields, having a stint as a writer, actor and producer, before earning recognition as the longtime host of "Inside the Actors Studio." During the show's 22 seasons Lipton interviewed high-profile, A-list actors, posing questions about their career, roles and method. He was known for his existential ending question: "If Heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you arrive at the pearly gates?"
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Jack Welch, 84
Jack Welch, the American business executive, author and former chairman and CEO of GE, led the company through its most prosperous decades and became an influential business manager. He joined GE as a chemical engineer and quickly rose up the ranks, becoming the companyâs youngest vice president in 1972 and CEO in 1981. He was named "Manager of the Century" by Fortune in 1999 and nicknamed "Neutron Jack" for his aggressive style and propensity for slashing jobs.
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Hosni Mubarak, 91
Hosni Mubarak was president of Egypt for three decades before being ousted by the military during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011. Rising to office after his predecessor, Anwar el-Sadat, was killed, Mubarak survived multiple assassination attempts during his rule which was marked by repression, corruption and poverty. He suppressed terrorism and maintained a stable peace, aligning Egypt with the West.
<br><br>Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Jan. 26, 2006.
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Katherine Johnson, 101
NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson was born in 1918 and her skill with numbers was apparent from a young age. She studied math in college and graduated with honors in 1937, going on to work as a teacher and raise a family until starting at Langley Research Center in 1953. She worked on multiple key projects for NASA, including John Glenn's orbit of the earth in 1962, before retiring in 1986. In 2015 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the next year she was depicted in the film "Hidden Figures." She died on Feb. 24 at 101.<br><br>Johnson poses for a photo at Langley in 1966.
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B. Smith, 70
Model and restaurateur B. Smith began her career as a model in the 1960's. In 1986, she opened her first restaurant and would go on to publish several cookbooks and host her own cooking and lifestyle show. Smith died of Alzheimer's disease on Feb. 22. She was 70. <br><br>Smith at her restaurant in New York, Feb. 20, 2001.
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Pop Smoke, 20
Rapper Bashar Barakah Jackson known as Pop Smoke, rose to fame with his hit song "Welcome to the Party" off his debut album "Meet the Woo," released in 2019. Jackson was shot and killed in his Hollywood Hills home on Feb. 19. He was 20. <br><br> Pop Smoke performs onstage during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival, Dec. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles.
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Actress and singer Ja'net Dubois was best known for her role as Willona Woods on the sitcom "Good Times." She co–wrote and sang the theme song "Movin' on Up" for the television show "The Jeffersons." DuBois died Feb. 17, at her home in Glendale, Calif. <br><br>A studio image of Dubois in 1975.
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Joseph Shabalala, 78
Joseph Shabalala was the founder of the South African Grammy-winning choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group gained worldwide fame as a result of its collaboration with Paul Simon on the album “Graceland.” Known for their a cappella singing style, called isicathamiya, the group has received 17 Grammy nominations and won five Grammys.
Shabalala, who retired from Ladysmith Black Mambazo in 2014, died Feb. 11, 2020 in a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa.
Joseph Shabalala performs with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, April 10, 2005, at Town Hall in New York City.
Robert Conrad, 84
Actor Robert Conrad, most recognized for his work on the 1960's television shows "Wild Wild West" and "Hawaiian Eye" continued acting in a career that lasted for over 40 years. He won a People's Choice Award in 1977 and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1978 for his work on "Baa Baa Black Sheep." He died on February 8.<br><br>Here, Robert Conrad poses for a photo, circa 1960.
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Kirk Douglas, 103
In a career that spanned decades, Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas starred in dozens of movies including "Spartacus" and "Lust for Life." He received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts, among numerous accolades. No stranger to controversy, Douglas played a key role in dissolving the so-called "Hollywood blacklist" during the McCarthy era in the 1950's and remained active in humanitarian causes. Douglas died at this home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 5.<br><br>Here he is pictured circa 1950.
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Kobe Bryant, 41
Basketball player Kobe Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Considered to be one of the best players of all time, Bryant was drafted into the NBA straight out of high school. He would go on to win five NBA championships. <br><br>Bryant was killed, Jan. 26, 2020, when a helicopter he was on crashed in Calabasas, Calif. He was 41. <br><br>
Bryant points after making a basket in Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Los Angeles in 2009.
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Jim Lehrer, 85
PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer spent nearly half a century working in journalism. Known for his role as a debate moderator during U.S. presidential elections, he would go on to moderate 12, more than any person in history. Lehrer also authored numerous fiction and non-fiction books drawing from his years of journalism experience. Lehrer died on January 23, at his home in Seattle. He was 85.<br><br>Here, Lehrer poses for a portrait in his office in Arlington, Va., May 12, 2011.
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Terry Jones, 77
Comedian, actor, director, writer and historian Terry Jones is best known for his work with Monty Python. This includes starring in and co-directing "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" with Terry Gilliam and directing "Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life."</br></br>Jones wrote the screen play for the cult film "Labyrinth" directed by Jim Hensen and starring David Bowie.</br></br>Jones died from complications of dementia at his home in London, Jan. 21, 2020, he was 77.</br></br>Jones speaks during an interview with Reuters at Sao Luis theater in Lisbon, Portugal, Jan. 10, 2008.
David Stern, 77
David Stern was the NBA's longest-serving commissioner, working with the NBA for nearly two decades before he became its fourth commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. He was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. Stern oversaw the birth of seven new franchises and the creation of the WNBA and NBA Development League, now known as the G League, providing countless opportunities for players. He died on January 1 at the age of 77.<br><br>Here, former NBA Commissioner David Stern listens to a question during a news conference in Springfield, Mass., Aug. 7, 2014.
Don Larsen, 90
Yankees pitcher Don Larsen reached the heights of baseball glory when he threw a perfect game in game five of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was selected MVP of the series and retired in 1967 with an 81-91 record over 14 major league seasons. "They can never break my record," Larsen said of his game. "The best they can do is tie it. Oct. 8, 1956, was a mystical trip through fantasyland. Sometimes I still wonder whether it really all happened."<br><br>
Here, New York Yankees' Don Larsen poses for a photo on the pitchers mound, three days after his historic game.
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