Getty Images / Redferns / Photo by William Gottlieb

Died April 3

Jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan won her way to fame through a talent show at the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. She landed a spot opening for Ella Fitzgerald in 1943 and quickly rose to fame, thanks to her singular, unforgettable voice. She has been called one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century and the greatest voice in the history of jazz. Her career spanned five decades and included dozens of albums and hit singles. In 1989, the National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her the NEA Jazz Masters Award, its highest honor for the art form. We remember Vaughan's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including Hollywood acting legend Marlon Brando.

2016: Joseph Medicine Crow, U.S. historian of Montana's Crow Tribe who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, dies at 102.

2015: Sarah Brady, U.S. wife of Ronald Reagan's press secretary James Brady who became a prominent advocate for gun control in the United States, dies at 73.

The 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. left James Brady partially paralyzed. Four years later, Sarah Brady became involved in gun control. She chaired Handgun Control Inc., which was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as a tribute to the Bradys. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. Read more




2015: Bob Burns: U.S. drummer who was the original drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies at 64.

2013: Dorothy Taubman, U.S. music teacher who created the popular "Taubman" approach to playing the piano and founded the Taubman Institute of Piano, dies at 94.

2013: Jean Sincere, U.S. actress who appeared in the movies "Roxanne" and "The Incredibles" and had a recurring role as the librarian on the TV series "Glee," dies at 93.

2013: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and screenwriter who won two Academy awards for best adapted screenplay for "Howards End" and "A Room With a View," dies at 85.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Associated Press/Merchant Ivory Productions)Jhabvala was a longtime member of Merchant Ivory Productions, writing 22 films over four decades. She won two Academy awards for her adaptations of the E.M. Forster novels "Howards End" and "A Room With a View." She also was nominated for adapting 1993's "The Remains of the Day." All three films were also best-picture contenders. Read more




2012: Chief Jay Strongbow, U.S. professional wrestler who is a member of the World Wrestling Federation's Hall of Fame, dies at 83.

2007: Eddie Robinson, U.S. college football coach at Grambling State University who had more than 400 wins in his career, dies at 88.

From a young age, Robinson dreamed of being a college football coach, but segregation laws barred him from the majority of coaching opportunities, which were at whites-only universities. That left the programs at traditionally African-American schools, where vacancies were few and far between. Unable to find a coaching job, Robinson, who had just graduated with a bachelor's degree from Leland College, went to work for 25 cents an hour at a feed mill in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and waited for his shot. He didn't have to wait long. Read more




2003: Michael Kelly, U.S. journalist who worked with The New York Times and The Washington Post and was editor for The New Republic, dies while covering the Iraq War at 46.

1996: Ron Brown, U.S. politician who was the first African-American to hold the position of U.S. secretary of commerce, whose tenure was during the first term of President Bill Clinton, dies at 54.

1993: Pinky Lee, U.S. comic and host of the popular children's television program "The Pinky Lee Show" in the 1950s, dies at 85.

Lee took the concept of high energy to a whole new level. Indeed, once when he collapsed onstage while fighting off an infection, both the audience and the show's producers – knowing about his wacky antics – assumed it was an ad-libbed pratfall. There was quite a long pause before anyone realized something was actually wrong. Read more




1991: Graham Greene, English author known for his novels including "The Quiet American" and "Our Man in Havana," dies at 86.

1990: Sarah Vaughan, U.S. jazz singer who was known as the Divine One and is considered one of the greatest-ever jazz vocalists, dies at 66.

One of the great legends of vocal jazz, Sarah Vaughan, was born 90 years ago today. Nicknamed Sassy for her personality and the Divine One for her voice, she had a singing style like none other: rich and full, ranging from soprano to baritone, soaring from lush lows to delicate highs. Her voice inspired critics and fellow musicians to speak in superlatives … Read more




1988: Milton Caniff, U.S. cartoonist well-known for his comic strips "Terry and the Pirates" and "Steve Canyon," dies at 81.

1987: Tom Sestak, U.S. defensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills who led them to two American Football League championships and who was voted to the AFL All-Time team, dies at 51.

1982: Warren Oates, U.S. actor known best for his roles in "The Wild Bunch," "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" and "Stripes," the latter as Sergeant Hulka, dies at 53.

1971: Manfred Bennington Lee, U.S. author who was the co-creator and co-writer of the popular "Ellery Queen" detective novels, dies at 66.

1950: Kurt Weill, German composer, known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, who wrote mostly for the stage and penned U.S. singer Bobby Darin's No. 1 hit, "Mack the Knife," dies at 50.

1897: Johannes Brahms, German composer who was very popular and influential and is considered one of the "Three B's" along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, dies at 63.

1882: Jesse James, legendary outlaw of the Wild West who was killed by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang, to collect reward money, dies at 34.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including Hollywood acting legend Marlon Brando.