Those We Lost in 2012

Whitney Houston, Joe Paterno, Dick Clark, Ravi Shankar
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2012 5:13 PM CST
Updated Dec 30, 2012 7:00 PM CST
Those We Lost in 2012
FILE - In this Sunday, April 25, 2010, file photo, U.S singer Whitney Houston performs in London as part of her European tour. Houston, 48, died Feb. 11, 2012.    (Joel Ryan)

Neil Armstrong would always be taking that first step onto the moon, and Dick Clark was forever "the world's oldest teenager." A look at some of the notables who died in 2012:

  • Etta James, 73. Blues singer best known for her enduring classic "At Last." Jan. 20. Complications from leukemia.
  • Joe Paterno, 85. Longtime Penn State coach who won more games than anyone in major college football but was fired amid the Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Jan. 22.
  • Whitney Houston, 48. She ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use. Feb. 11. Accidentally drowned in a bathtub.

  • Davy Jones, 66. Actor turned singer who helped propel The Monkees to the top of the pop charts. Feb. 29. Heart attack.
  • Andrew Breitbart, 43. Conservative media publisher and activist behind the fall of Anthony Weiner. March 1.
  • John Demjanjuk, 91. One of the best-known faces of Nazi prosecutions. March 17.
  • Pope Shenouda III, 88. Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church who led Egypt's Christian minority for 40 years. March 17.
  • Thomas Kinkade, 54. Painter of idyllic landscapes, cottages, and churches. April 6.
  • Mike Wallace, 93. Dogged CBS reporter and 60 Minutes stalwart. April 7.
  • Dick Clark, 82. "America's oldest teenager" and TV pioneer. April 19.
  • Junior Seau, 43. Homegrown superstar who was the fist-pumping, emotional leader of the San Diego Chargers for 13 years. May 2. Apparent suicide.
  • Adam Yauch, 47. Also known as MCA, the gravelly voiced rapper helped make the Beastie Boys one of the seminal groups in hip-hop. May 4. Cancer.
  • Mary Richardson Kennedy, 52. Estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr. May 16. Apparent suicide.
  • Donna Summer, 63. Disco queen whose pulsing anthems became the soundtrack for a glittery age of drugs, dance, and flashy clothes. May 17.
  • Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, 60. The only person ever convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. May 20.
  • Robin Gibb, 62. One of the three Bee Gees whose falsetto harmonies defined the disco era. May 20.
  • Ray Bradbury, 91. Sci-fi master who transformed childhood dreams and Cold War fears into telepathic Martians, lovesick sea monsters, and Fahrenheit 451. May 5.
  • Rodney King, 47. Black motorist whose 1991 beating by LA police officers sparked race riots. June 17. Accidentally drowned.
  • Nora Ephron, 71. Essayist, author, and filmmaker who thrived in the male-dominated worlds of movies and journalism. June 26. Leukemia.
  • Andy Griffith, 86. The wise sheriff in The Andy Griffith Show and a rumpled defense lawyer in Matlock. July 3.
  • Ernest Borgnine, 95. Beefy screen star known for blustery, villainous roles. July 8.
  • Sally Ride, 61. She blazed trails into orbit as the first American woman in space. July 23. Pancreatic cancer.
  • Gore Vidal, 86. Author, playwright, politician, and commentator. July 31.
  • Tony Scott, 68. Director of such Hollywood blockbusters as Top Gun and Days of Thunder. Aug. 19. Died after jumping from a bridge.
  • Phyllis Diller, 95. Housewife-turned-humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself. Aug. 20.
  • Neil Armstrong, 82. Steely-nerved astronaut who made "one giant leap for mankind" on the moon. Aug. 25.
  • Michael Clarke Duncan, 54. Hulking character actor in The Green Mile, Armageddon, Planet of the Apes and Kung Fu Panda. Sept. 3. Heart attack.
  • Chris Stevens, 52. US ambassador to Libya. Sept. 11. Killed during the attack on a US consulate in Libya.
  • Arlen Specter, 82. Outspoken former Pennsylvania senator. Oct. 14. Complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
  • Larry Hagman, 81. Actor whose predatory oil baron J.R. Ewing on Dallas became a symbol for 1980s greed. Nov. 23.
  • Besse Cooper, 116. World's oldest person. Dec. 4.
  • Dave Brubeck, 91. Jazz composer and pianist whose pioneering style in pieces such as "Take Five." Dec. 5.
  • Oscar Niemeyer, 104. Architect who recreated Brazil's sensuous curves in concrete. Dec. 5.
  • Jenni Rivera, 43. California-born singer who became a superstar in Mexican-American music. Dec. 9. Plane crash.
  • Ravi Shankar, 92. Sitar virtuoso who hobnobbed with the Beatles. Dec. 11.
  • Daniel Inouye, 88. Hawaii senator and influential Democrat who broke racial barriers. Dec. 17.
  • Robert Bork, 85. Nixon-era solicitor general and failed Reagan nominee to the Supreme Court. Dec. 19.
(More Best of 2012 stories.)

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