Died July 21

Alan Shepard was known for an experience that only a few can say they share: He walked on the moon. After beginning his NASA fame in 1961 by becoming the second person, and the first American, to go into space, Shepard joined the Apollo 14 mission to the moon. When he walked on the lunar surface, he planted a U.S. flag … and indulged one of his hobbies when he hit a golf ball on the moon. After retiring from NASA, he became a successful businessman and established the Mercury Seven Foundation to encourage students to pursue science and engineering careers. We remember Shepard'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 the legendary Robin Williams.

2017: John Heard, character actor who played the father in “Home Alone,”  dies at 72.

2016: Dennis Green, U.S. NFL head coach for the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, dies at 67.

2015: E.L. Doctorow, U.S. author well-known for his novels "Ragtime" and "Billy Bathgate," dies at 84.

2010: Ralph Houk, U.S. Major League Baseball player and manager who led the New York Yankees to two World Series championships, dies at 90.

Ralph Houk (AP Photo)Houk spent parts of eight seasons as a backup catcher for New York, appearing in just 91 games, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Former Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek, who played for Houk in the minors and majors with New York, said Houk learned a lot about handling a pitching staff from working with Hall of Famer catchers Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey in the bullpen. "He had the Yankees' spirit, the Yankees' winning attitude," Kubek told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "He had all the qualities that make a special manager." Read more

 

 

 

2009: Les Lye, Canadian actor known best for starring on the children's television series "You Can't Do That on Television" on Nickelodeon, dies at 84.

2006: J. Madison Wright Morris, U.S. actress who starred on the television series "Earth 2" and also appeared on "ER," dies at 21.

2006: Herbie Kalin, U.S. singer who was one-half of the duo the Kalin Twins, who had a hit song in 1958 with "When," dies at 72.

The Kalin Twins, brothers Hal and Herbie, hit the charts big in 1957 with their rendition of "When," which reached No. 5 on the Top 100 before going on to … not much of anything. Their second single, "Forget Me Not," reached No. 12, but fans apparently did forget them, and subsequent releases never came close to matching that success. The twins went back to their normal lives, performing a few more times in the 1970s and one final time in 1989 at Wembley Stadium for Cliff Richard, who used to open for them. Read more

 

 

 

2005: Long John Baldry, English singer known best for blues music who played in bands with Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, and Elton John, dies at 64.

1998: Robert Young, U.S. actor known best for his leading roles on "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D.", dies at 91.

Young made his TV debut in 1954 on "Father Knows Best," having already starred in the show's radio version for five years. Playing Jim Anderson, father to Betty, Bud and Kathy, Young was the classic 1950s TV father – a working man (in this case, an insurance agent) who found time to be a gentle father and dispense good advice. Read more

 

 

 

1998: Alan Shepard, U.S. astronaut who was the oldest man to walk on the moon at age 47 in 1971, dies at 74.

Not many people would have the presence of mind or the creativity of instinct to hit golf balls on the moon. What kind of guy would even dream that up? That would be Shepard, the first American to travel into space and, later, the oldest American in the space program, piloting the Apollo 14 mission, and the fifth person to walk on the moon. It was during the Apollo 14 mission that he teed up with a 6-iron. Read more

 

 

 

1996: Herb Edelman, U.S. actor remembered best for his role on "The Golden Girls" as Dorothy's ex-husband, who also had a recurring role on "St. Elsewhere," dies of emphysema at 62.

1994: Dorothy Collins, Canadian-born U.S. singer and actress who was a regular vocalist on the television series "Your Hit Parade," dies at 67.

1986: Virginia Hewitt, U.S. actress known best for her role as Carol on the television series "Space Patrol," dies at 60.

1985: Vicki Vola, U.S. actress known best for her portrayal of Edith Miller on the radio and TV versions of "Mr. District Attorney," dies at 68.

1982: Dave Garroway, U.S. TV personality who was the founding anchor and host of NBC's "Today" show, dies by suicide at 69.

Wikimedia Commons/Shiels & BrunoHere's how a New York Times critic described the original "Today" show host: "He does not crash into the home with the false jollity and thunderous witticisms of a backslapper. He is pleasant, serious, scholarly looking, and not obtrusively convivial." Another called him "tutor, guide, inquisitor, philosopher, maestro, and companion. He was born to television." Read more

 

 

 

 

1968: Ruth Saint Denis, U.S. dancer who was a pioneer of modern dance and taught Martha Graham at her dance school, dies at 89.

1967: Basil Rathbone, South African actor known for playing Sherlock Holmes in 14 movies, mostly in the 1940s, dies of a heart attack at 75.

1967: Jimmie Foxx, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman who hit more than 530 home runs and was a nine-time All-Star, dies after choking on a piece of meat at 59.

1943: Charley Paddock, U.S. track and field sprinter who won two gold medals and a silver medal at the 1920 Olympics and a silver medal at the 1924 Olympics, dies in a plane crash at 42.

1796: Robert Burns, Scottish poet and lyricist whose poem "Auld Lang Syne" was set to the tune of a traditional folk song, dies at 37.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including the legendary Robin Williams.