2012 saw the loss of many icons, in entertainment, politics and journalism; several gone too soon and tragically included superstar Whitney Houston, TV’s Jeffersons star Sherman Hemsley, Sen. Arlen Specter, George McGovern, TV music producing pioneers Don Cornelius, Dick Clark and Hal Jackson; award-winning journalist and 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace and Pulitzer Prize winning writer William Raspberry.
Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
Astronaut, Explorer, Pilot
Fontella Bass (1940-2012); ‘60s R&B singer, famous for her song, “Rescue Me.
Maeve Binchy (1940-2012)
Griselda Blanco (1943-2012)
Drug Dealer, Murderer, Organized Crime Boss
Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012)
Award-winning Film,Theater,Television actor
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)
Don Brinkley (1921-2012)
Television Producer, Screenwriter
Chuck Brown (1936-2012)
Dave Brubeck (1920-2012)
Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)
Dick Clark (1929-2012)
Television Personality and producer; and host of American Bandstand
Don Cornelius (1936-2012)
Television Personality, and Producer/founder/host of Soul Train
Richard Dawson (1932-2012)
Film Actor, Television Actor, Comedian, Game Show Host Family Feud
Miguel de la Madrid (1934-2012)
Educator, Economist, World Leader
Herman D. ‘Preacher’ Dennis (1916-2012) Folk artist
Phyllis Diller (1917-2012)
Film Actress, Comedian, Pianist
Michael Clarke Duncan (1957-2012)
Acclaimed Film Actor, star of ‘The Green Mile.’
Charles Durning (1923-2012)
Celebrated “King of Character Actors” on stage, screen and TV. Appeared in Tootsie, TV’s Evening Shade among his many roles.
Willis Edwards (1946-2012)
Activist & Hollywood branch of the NAACP
Nora Ephron (1941-2012)
Director, Journalist, Screenwriter
Niles Ford (1959-2012)
Al Freeman, Jr. (1932-2012)
Actor, Chairman & Artistic Director of the Theater Dept. at Howard Univ.
John Gadson (1952-2012)
Veteran reporter for St. Louis’s KTVI
Barbara Graves (1937-2012)
CFO & Circulation Dir. of Black Enterprise Mag
Robin Gibb (1949-2012)
Songwriter, Singer, Bee Gees member
Andy Griffith (1926-2012)
Helen Gurley Brown (1922-2012)
Author/Publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine
Rosa Guy (1925-2012)
novelist who wrote for young people about black urban life
Larry Hagman (1931-2012)
Theater Actor, Television Actor, Television Producer, star of “Dallas”, “I Dream of Jeannie.
Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012)
Major Harris (1947-2012), Former member of the Delfonics & singer died of congestive heart & lung failure.
Levon Helm (1940-2012)
Sherman Hemsley (1938-2012)
Celebrated stage and television actor, played the popular role “George Jefferson,” on 70s TV sitcom, The Jeffersons.
Henry Hill (1943-2012)
Organized Crime Boss; life portrayed in movie, “Goodfellas.”
Celeste Holm (1917-2012)
Film and stage actress
Whitney Houston (1963-2012)
Film Actress, Singer
Hal Jackson (1915-2012)
Etta James (1938-2012)
Iconic R&B Singer
Davy Jones (1945-2012)
Television Actor, Singer
Mary Kennedy (1960-2012)
Erica Kennedy (1970-2012)
Rodney King (1965-2012)
Jack Klugman (1922-2012)
Acclaimed stage,screen and TV actor, TV’s Odd Couple, Quincy, M.E.
Alfred Kumalo (1930-2012)
South African photographer who chronicled apartheid brutalities & the rise of Mandela
Byard Lancaster (1942-2012)-Saxophonist & flutist who took part in the wave of free jazz (blues, reggae & Afrobeat) died of cancer on August 23 in Pennsylvania.
Chris Lighty (1968-2012), hip-hop manager to many successful stars in the music business: Diddy, 50 Cent, LL Cool J and Mariah to name a few. He took his life on August 30.
Jon Lord (1941-2012), Musician
George McGovern (1922-2012)
American historian, author and U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.Russell Means (1939-2012)
Activist, Film Actor
Willie Middlebrook (1957-2012)
Photographer, master technician & storyteller
Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012)
Business Leader, Religious Leader
Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012)
Leo O’Brien (1970-2012)
actor, starred in the cult classic ‘The Last Dragon’
Johnny Otis (1921-2012)
Joe Paterno (1926-2012)
Legendary Penn State University Coach, Football Player
William Raspberry (1935-2012)
Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist
Sally Ride (1951-2012)
Educator, Astronaut, Physicist
Jenni Rivera (1969-2012)
Wayne Roberts (1951-2012)
Pioneering ’70s graffiti writer
Vidal Sassoon (1928-2012)
Tony Scott (1944-2012)
Earl Scruggs (1924-2012)
Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)
Ravi Shankar (1920-2012)
Arlen Specter (1930-2012)
Lawyer, U.S. Representative
Donna Summer (1948-2012)
Emanuel Steward (1944-2012)
Celebrated boxing trainer, worked with Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya and Michael Moorer among others.
Gore Vidal (1925-2012)
Critic, Author, Playwright
Moses Walker, Jr. (1972-2012)
19-year veteran police officer shot multiple times, after finishing night shift in North Philadelphia.
Mike Wallace (1918-2012)
Radio Personality, award-winning journalist co-host of 60 Minutes.
Doc Watson (1923-2012)
Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
Andy Williams (1927-2012)
Singer, Television Personality
Dick Anthony Williams (1934-2012)
Award winning Broadway/theater/TV actor,
Yvette Wilson (1964-2012)
Comedian & actress, starred in TV’s Moesha, and the Movie comedy, “Friday.
Adam Yauch (1964-2012)
Rapper, Beastie Boys member.