Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives

Died December 11

Bettie Page was the Queen of Pinups, one of the most unusual models of all time. Her blue eyes and black hair, cut into severe bangs, became symbolic of the pinup culture she helped nurture. Though Page converted to evangelical Christianity after her retirement and worked for the Rev. Billy Graham, she didn't disavow her days as a model. She commented in an interview, "I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous." We remember Page'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 blues great Big Mama Thornton.

2015: John "Hot Rod" Williams, U.S. NBA power forward with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 until 1995, dies at 53.

2012: Ravi Shankar, Indian musician known for his association with the Beatles, and the father of musician Norah Jones, dies at 92.

In some ways, Shankar was uncomfortable with his status as a rock star. He didn't like the drug use that was common among those who loved his music, and he was appalled by stunts like Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire at Monterey Pop. "That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God," he said. Read more




2012: Colleen Walker, U.S. professional golfer who won nine titles on the LPGA tour, dies at 56 of breast cancer.

Colleen Walker (Associated Press Photo)Walker played the LPGA Tour from 1982 to 2004. She had a career-high three victories in 1992 and won her lone major title in 1997 in the du Maurier Classic in Canada, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. In 1998, she won the Vare Trophy for the lowest-scoring average and finished a career-high fifth on the money list. Read more




2008: Bettie Page, U.S. model known best as the Queen of Pinups, dies at 85.

2000: David Lewis, U.S. actor known best for his role as Edward Quartermaine in the soap "General Hospital," dies at 84.

1995: Robert Shelton, U.S. music critic known for discovering an unknown Bob Dylan, dies at 69.

1991: Robert Q. Lewis, U.S. radio and television personality known best as the host of the game show "The Name's the Same," dies at 70 or 71.

1989: Louise Dahl-Wolfe, U.S. photographer known for her work with Harper's Bazaar magazine, dies at 94.

1984: George Waggner, U.S. director and writer known for directing "The Wolf Man," dies at 90.

1975: Lee Wiley, U.S. female jazz singer popular in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, dies of colon cancer at 67.

1974: Reed Hadley, U.S. actor who starred on the TV series "Racket Squad" and "Public Defender," dies at 63.

1971: Maurice "Mac" McDonald, U.S. fast-food pioneer who along with his brother started the McDonald's restaurant chain, dies at 69.

1968: Arthur Hays Sulzberger, U.S. publisher of The New York Times from 1935 to 1961, dies at 77.

1964: Sam Cooke, U.S. pioneer of soul music, is shot to death at 33.

At age 19, Cooke joined pioneering gospel quartet the Soul Stirrers and sang with them on their big hits "Jesus Gave Me Water," "Peace in the Valley," and "One More River." He stayed with the group until 1957, when he left to start a solo career in secular music. After a brief stint with Specialty Records, artistic differences led him to sign with Keen Records, where he landed his first big solo hit, "You Send Me." Read more




1964: Percy Kilbride, U.S. character actor known for playing Pa Kettle in the "Ma & Pa Kettle" films, dies at 76.

1941: John Gillespie Magee Jr., U.S. aviator and poet known best for his poem "High Flight," dies at 19 in a midair collision during World War II.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including blues great Big Mama Thornton.