Died March 31
By: Legacy Staff
9 months ago
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was on the verge of major mainstream musical success when she was shot and killed in 1995. Already a successful Tejano artist, she released five studio albums in her short career and landed 14 top-10 singles on Billboard's Latin Songs chart, including seven No. 1 hits. At the time of her death, she was recording a crossover, English-language album, "Dreaming of You." Released three months after her death, the album debuted at No. 1, making her the first solo artist to debut at the top spot posthumously. We remember Selena's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Zaha Hadid, British architect known for designing the London Aquatics Centre for the Olympics, dies at 65.
2016: Ronnie Corbett, Scottish comedian and actor known for his BBC show "The Two Ronnies," dies at 85.
2014: Frankie Knuckles, U.S. disc jockey known as the Godfather of House Music, dies at 59.
In Chicago, he was resident DJ at the city's The Warehouse club until it closed in 1983. It was there that he defined House music's distinct style and took on the role of DJ as tastemaker, said Phil White, co-author of "On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide." Knuckles "defined really what House music was in terms of style," White said. Knuckles even would cut and tape together pieces of reel-to-reel recordings to make extended tracks, he said. Read more
2013: Ronnie Ray Smith, U.S. athlete who won an Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 relay at the 1968 Olympics, dies at 64.
2013: Bob Clarke, U.S. illustrator who worked for MAD magazine, dies at 91.
Clarke was just a teen when he began his uncredited work for "Ripley's" – Ripley collected trivia tidbits from around the world and sent them to Clarke, who illustrated them. For MAD magazine, Clarke illustrated the "Believe It or Nuts!" parody of "Ripley's Believe It or Not." He also drew the magazine's iconic "Spy vs. Spy" content for years. Read more
2011: Mel McDaniel, U.S. country music artist who charted hits in the 1980s, including "Let It Roll," dies at 68.
Eventually, Clancy rose to prominence as a corner man and worked with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya, and Ken Buchanan. But he's known best for his 20-year association with Emile Griffith. Griffith captured the welterweight title from Benny "The Kid" Paret in April 1961 with a 13th-round knockout. Six months later, Griffith lost the title to Paret in a narrow split decision, then regained it in a controversial rematch with Paret in 1962. Read more
2010: Shirley Mills, U.S. actress known best for her roles in "Child Bride" and "The Grapes of Wrath," dies at 83.
2008: Jules Dassin, U.S. movie director whose films include "The Naked City" and "Topkapi," dies at 96.
Dassin, a leftist activist whose more than 20 films also included "Topkapi," abandoned Hollywood in 1950 during the Communist blacklisting era. Five years later, he won wide acclaim for "Rififi," famous for its long heist sequence that was free of dialogue. The movie won him the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, where he met Melina Mercouri. He married the actress-politician in 1966 and settled permanently in Athens, Greece. Dassin directed his wife in seven films, including 1960's "Never on Sunday," in which she gained international notice for her portrayal of a kindhearted prostitute. Read more
2005: Terri Schiavo, U.S. woman who was the subject of a landmark right-to-die legal battle, dies at 41.
Schiavo died at 9:05 a.m. at the Pinellas Park hospice where she lay for years while her husband and her parents fought over her in what was easily the longest, most bitter – and most heavily litigated – right-to-die dispute in U.S. history. Michael Schiavo was at his wife's bedside, cradling her, when she died a "calm, peaceful, and gentle" death, said his attorney, George Felos. Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, were not at the hospice at the time, he said. Read more
2005: Frank Perdue, U.S. businessman who was the president and CEO of Perdue Farms, one of the largest chicken producers in the U.S., dies at 84.
2003: Anne Gwynne, U.S. actress of the 1940s who was known as one of the first "scream queens" because of her numerous appearances in horror films, and who also was one of the most popular pinups of World War II and the grandmother of actor Chris Pine, dies at 84.
1998: Tim Flock, U.S. NASCAR pioneer who won the Series Championship in 1952 and 1955, dies at 73.
1998: Bella Abzug, U.S. politician and social activist who was a congresswoman for New York State from 1971 until 1973, dies at 77.
1996: Jeffrey Lee Pierce, U.S. musician who was the leader of the influential punk band the Gun Club, dies at 37.
1995: Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known better as Selena, U.S. singer-songwriter who was named the top Latin artist of the '90s and best-selling Latin artist of the decade by Billboard for her 14 top-10 singles on the Latin charts, including seven No. 1 hits, is killed at 23 by the former president of her fan club.
In 1989, Selena landed a record contract with Capitol/EMI and became the label's first Latin artist (they were excited to sign her and thought she would be the next Gloria Estefan). "Selena," her debut album with EMI, yielded her first entry on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart, "Contigo Quiero Estar" ("I Want To Be With You.") Read more
1986: Jerry Paris, U.S. actor and director known best for portraying Jerry Helper on the "Dick Van Dyke Show" and for directing numerous episodes of "Happy Days," dies at 60.
1986: O'Kelly Isley Jr., U.S. singer who was a member of the Isley Brothers, dies of a heart attack at 48.
1980: Jesse Owens, U.S. track and field star who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, dies at 66.
Owens was one of the greatest track stars – and one of the most beloved Olympians – of all time. In a year when hate threatened to overshadow the Olympic Games being held in Nazi Germany, Owens delighted the free world by winning four gold medals and destroying Adolf Hitler's notion that his Aryan athletes were superior to black competitors. Read more
1931: Knute Rockne, U.S. college football player, coach, and professional player who achieved fame as the head coach at Notre Dame by leading them to three national championships, dies at 43.
1913: John Pierpont "J.P." Morgan, U.S. financier, banker, philanthropist, and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time, dies at 75.
1855: Charlotte Bronte, English novelist and poet whose novels include the classic "Jane Eyre," dies at 38.