Died December 3

When Gwendolyn Brooks was still in high school, her mother drove her to meet the poet Langston Hughes, an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance, who encouraged her to study modern poets like T.S. Eliot. By age 17, Brooks' writing was featured regularly in The Chicago Defender, a newspaper founded by and written for African-Americans. In 1962,  President John F. Kennedy invited her to read at the Library of Congress poetry festival. We remember Brooks' 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 crooner Andy Williams.

2015: Scott Weiland, U.S. singer known best as the lead vocalist of the rock band Stone Temple Pilots, dies at 48.

Stone Temple Pilots' 1994 album, "Purple," saw their rise in popularity continue as it debuted at No. 1. "Vasoline" and "Interstate Love Song" were consecutive No. 1 hits on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and "Big Empty" also charted, as well as finding a place on the hit soundtrack to the 1994 Brandon Lee film "The Crow." Read more

 

 

 

2014: Ian McLagan, British keyboardist who played with such groups as the Rolling Stones and the Small Faces, dies at 69.

McLagan first started playing in bands in the early 1960s. In 1965, he was hired to join Small Faces, and in 1975, he became a sideman with the Rolling Stones. Later on, he played with Bruce Springsteen and John Mayer. Read more

 

 

 

2013: Richard Hunter, U.S. actor who appeared on "Kojak" and "The Big Bang Theory," dies at 70.

2006: Logan Whitehurst, U.S. musician who founded the California alternative rock band the Velvet Teen, dies of brain cancer at 29.

2003: David Hemmings, English actor, director, and producer whose film credits include "The Rainbow Jacket," "Camelot," and "The Charge of the Light Brigade," dies of a heart attack at 62.

2002: Glenn Quinn, Irish actor known for playing Mark Healy on "Roseanne" and Doyle on "Angel," dies at 32.

2000: Hoyt Curtin, U.S. songwriter and music producer who composed theme songs to such Hanna-Barbera cartoons as "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons," and "Jonny Quest," dies at 78.

2000: Gwendolyn Brooks, U.S. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet laureate of Illinois, dies at 83.

When Brooks was still in high school, her mother drove her to meet the poet Langston Hughes, an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance, who advised her to study modern poets like Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. By age 17, Brooks was publishing regularly in The Chicago Defender, a newspaper founded by and written for African-Americans. She would eventually publish more than 100 of her poems in its weekly poetry column. Varying in form and theme, most were about life in the poor, black inner city. Read more

 

 

1999: Madeline Kahn, U.S. actress and singer whose films include "Blazing Saddles," "Paper Moon," and "Young Frankenstein," dies of ovarian cancer at 57.

Kahn didn't consider herself very funny. In fact, she reflected later in her life that she would have made a good therapist – and that maybe she would have preferred that profession to comedy. She was a good listener, but a less confident comedian. "I can't even really tell a joke," she said. The rest of us beg to differ. Read more

 

 

 

1999: John P. Larkin, aka Scatman John, U.S. singer with a stutter who combined scat singing and dance music to become an international success, dies of lung cancer at 57.

1995: Jimmy Jewel, English comedian and actor whose films include "American Friends" and "The Krays," dies one day before his 86th birthday.

1991: Alex Graham, British cartoonist who created the comic strip "Fred Basset," dies at 78.

1984: Virginia Lacy Jones, African-American librarian from Ohio who advocated for the integration of public and academic libraries, dies at 72.

1981: Walter Knott, U.S. farmer in California who created the Knott's Berry Farm theme park and made his own brand of jelly, dies at 91.

1972: William M. "Bill" Johnson, U.S. Dixieland jazz bassist who played in King Oliver's Original Jazz Band, dies at 100.

1957: Frank Gannett, U.S. newspaper publisher and founder of the media corporation Gannett Co. Inc., dies at 81.

1919: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter and sculptor, dies at 78.

1894: Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist and poet whose works include "Kidnapped," "Treasure Island," and "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," dies at 44.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including crooner Andy Williams.