Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives / Photo by Cyrus Andrews

Died December 10

Otis Redding was the King of Soul, a vocal powerhouse who had an enormous influence on the soul sounds of the 1960s. A prolific songwriter, he began writing all his own songs by the middle of his career, creating intricate arrangements for the horn section as well as lyrics and music. His songs remain vital parts of the rhythm and blues canon, especially the classics "Respect" and "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay." Redding was only 26 when he died in a plane crash, along with five members of his backing band. We remember Redding'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 actor Michael Clarke Duncan.

2015: Dolph Schayes, U.S. NBA Hall of Fame forward who was a 12-time All-Star, dies at 87.

2013: Jim Hall, U.S. jazz guitarist who performed with Ella Fitzgerald and Sonny Rollins, dies at 83.

Jim Hall  (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)The guitarist was known for his duo and small-group recordings with some of the greatest names in jazz during the past 60 years, including saxophonists Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan, Ornette Coleman, and Paul Desmond, pianist Bill Evans, bassist Red Mitchell, and singer Ella Fitzgerald, according to Hall's obituary by The Associated Press. As a member of Rollins' quartet in the early 1960s, Hall appeared on the landmark 1962 album "The Bridge," which was the tenor saxophonist's first recording after a three-year hiatus during which he practiced his chops on the Williamsburg Bridge. The saxophonist's fiery playing contrasted with Hall's subdued guitar lines. Read more



2010: MacKenzie "Mack" Miller, U.S. horse trainer and breeder, dies at 89.

2007: Ashleigh Aston Moore, U.S. actress known best for starring in the movie "Now and Then" with Christina Ricci and Thora Birch, dies at 26.

2006: Augusto Pinochet, former Chilean dictator, dies at 91.

2005: Richard Pryor, U.S. comedian and actor, dies at 65 of a heart attack.

Like many edgy comedians who came after him – George Carlin, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock – he wasn't opposed to tempering his profane onstage persona for big-screen PG paydays. Though in the late '70s he launched a film career that included critically lauded, adult-targeted films such as "Lady Sings the Blues," "Blue Collar," and "Bustin' Loose," for audiences who grew up in the 1980s – those too young to have listened to his racy nightclub comedy albums or to have known exactly what freebasing cocaine entailed – he's mostly remembered as the lovable misfit of "The Toy," "Brewster's Millions," or "See No Evil, Hear No Evil." Read more



2005: Eugene McCarthy, U.S. senator who served from 1959 to 1971, dies at 89.

The former college professor, who ran for president five times in all, was in some ways an atypical politician, a man with a witty, erudite speaking style who wrote poetry in his spare time and was the author of several books, according to McCarthy's obituary by The Associated Press. "He was thoughtful and he was principled and he was compassionate and he had a good sense of humor," his son said. Read more




1999: Shirley Hemphill, U.S. actress known best as Shirley in "What's Happening!!", dies at 52.

Hemphill played namesake Shirley on "What's Happening!!" from 1976 to 1979 before moving on to her own short-lived show, "One in a Million" and the revival show "What's Happening Now!!" Throughout the '80s and '90s – before dying of kidney failure Dec. 10, 1999, at 52 – Hemphill had occasional guest-star gigs on TV as well as movie roles and opportunities to perform her stand-up routine. But we'll always remember her best as Shirley. Read more




1999: Rick Danko, Canadian bassist and singer for the rock group the Band, dies of heart failure at 56.

1996: Faron Young, U.S. country music singer, dies by suicide at 64.

1995: Darren Robinson, U.S. rapper with the Fat Boys, dies of a heart attack at 28.

1982: Freeman "Amos" Gosden, U.S. radio actor known for "Amos 'n' Andy," dies at 83.

1979: Ann Dvorak, U.S. actress whose movies include "Three on a Match" and "Scarface," dies at 67.

1978: Ed Wood, U.S. film director known for low-budget movies such as "Plan 9 From Outer Space," dies of heart failure at 54.

In 1980, Wood received a posthumous Golden Turkey Award naming him the worst director of all time. It was an insult, to be sure, but it prompted renewed interest in his work. Critics began writing essays about his movies. The films made their way to festivals and were lampooned on "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Tim Burton's 1994 biopic, "Ed Wood," starring Johnny Depp as the director and focusing on the making of "Plan 9 From Outer Space," sealed the deal for Wood's renewed fame, and "Plan 9" is now practically a household name. Read more




1977: Adolph Rupp, U.S. Hall of Fame basketball coach for the Kentucky Wildcats, dies at 76.

1972: Mark A. Van Doren, U.S. poet, writer, and critic, dies at 78.

1968: Thomas Merton, U.S. Catholic writer and spiritualist, dies at 53.

1967: Otis Redding, popular U.S. singer who wrote and performed the song "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," dies in a plane crash at 26.

No songs have been written about the plane that crashed into Wisconsin's frigid Lake Monona Dec. 10, 1967. Unlike the Feb. 3, 1959, crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, on "the day the music died," the 1967 date isn't observed with a yearly memorial concert, and it doesn't occupy the place in the hearts and minds of pop culture lovers that the Clear Lake crash has. But five musicians lost their lives that December day, and one of them had a talent that easily rivaled any of the rockers who perished in the 1959 crash. He was Otis Redding. Read more.




1946: Walter Johnson: U.S. Hall of Fame pitcher who won more than 400 games, dies at 59.

1946: Damon Runyon, U.S. newspaper journalist and author, dies of throat cancer at 66.

1909: Red Cloud, influential Oglala Lakota Sioux chief, dies at 87.

1896: Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and founder of the Nobel Prize, dies of a cerebral bleed at 63.

The Swedish-born Nobel was a trained chemical engineer with more than 300 patents to his name. He began experimenting with nitroglycerin in the early 1860s. In 1864, a lab explosion in Stockholm killed Nobel's younger brother, Emil, and four others. A local newspaper mistakenly thought Alfred had died, and published an obituary that noted his inventions had made it possible for humans to kill each other more easily. "What he read horrified him: The newspaper described him as a man who had made it possible to kill more people more quickly than anyone else who had ever lived." Read more



Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including actor Michael Clarke Duncan.