Getty Images / Photo by Sporting News

Died May 2

NFL linebacker Junior Seau was one of the very best of his era. Playing for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, he was an All-Pro selection 10 times, played in 12 Pro Bowls, and was named to the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team. But his legacy goes beyond gridiron greatness – it includes a tragic consequence of a life lived playing hard. In 2012, Seau committed suicide, and post-mortem studies of his brain revealed damage consistent with the multiple concussions common to football players. Many hope Seau's death will inspire further safety regulations for football players. We remember Seau'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 singing sensation Lesley Gore.

2016: Afeni Shakur, U.S. mother of rap legend Tupac Shakur who was a political activist, dies at 69.

2015: Michael Blake, U.S. author who wrote the novel "Dances with Wolves" and the screenplay for the movie version, dies at 69.

2014: Efrem Zimbalist Jr., U.S. actor who starred on the TV series "77 Sunset Strip" and "The F.B.I.," dies at 95.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Associated Press, Nick Ut)A prolific actor who also appeared in numerous films and stage productions, Zimbalist became a household name in 1958 as Stu Bailey, the wisecracking private investigator who was a co-partner in a swinging Hollywood detective agency located at the exclusive address of 77 Sunset Strip. When the show of the same name ended in 1964, Zimbalist became an even bigger star playing the empathetic, methodical G-man Lewis Erskine on "The F.B.I." Read more

 

 

 

2013: Jeff Hanneman, U.S. musician who was a guitarist in the metal band Slayer, dies at 49.

Jeff Hanneman (Associated Press/Courtesy of Slayer - Mark Seliger)The guitarist had recently begun writing songs with the band in anticipation of recording a new album later in the year. He had been slowly recovering from what was believed to be a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm after he failed to seek immediate treatment. Read more

 

 

 

2012: Junior Seau, U.S. NFL linebacker who was a 12-time All-Pro, dies by suicide, which may have been related to chronic brain damage from his football career, at 43.

He spent nearly 20 years in the NFL, earning dozens of honors before retiring after the 2009 season. Seau took his own life in 2012, and an examination of his body revealed chronic brain damage that some doctors believe drove the former linebacker to suicide. Read more

 

 

 

2010: Lynn Redgrave, U.S. actress who appeared in many movies including "Tom Jones" and "Georgy Girl," dies at 67.

Redgrave was a beloved member of one of our favorite acting families. The sister of actors Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, sister-in-law of director Tony Richardson and aunt of actors Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson, Lynn Redgrave had a powerful talent herself. She was a star both on Broadway and on the big and small screens. Read more

 

 

 

2009: Jack Kemp, U.S. NFL quarterback and politician who was a seven-time All-Star and led the Buffalo Bills to two AFL championships, and then was a congressman for New York from 1971 until 1989, dies at 73.

Kemp, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, represented western New York for nine terms in Congress, leaving the House for an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988. Eight years later, after serving a term as President George H.W. Bush's housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole's running mate. Read more

 

 

 

2008: Beverlee McKinsey, U.S. actress who had a long career on the daytime soap operas "Another World" and "Guiding Light," dies at 72.

2006: Louis Rukeyser, U.S. financial journalist who was the host of the popular TV series "Wall $treet Week," dies at 73.

As host of "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser" on public TV from 1970 until 2002, Rukeyser took a wry approach to the ups and downs in the marketplace and urged guests to avoid jargon. He brought finance and economics to ordinary viewers and investors, and was rewarded with the largest audience in the history of financial journalism. Read more

 

 

 

2001: Gina Mastrogiacomo, U.S. actress who had a role in the movie "Goodfellas," dies at 39.

1999: Oliver Reed, English actor who had roles in "The Three Musketeers" and "Tommy," dies at 61.

On Feb. 13, 1938, Oliver Reed was born … and then he grew his mustache. OK, there were actually some other events in between, and Reed was known best as a popular actor, starring in movies including "Tommy," "Gladiator," and "Arthur!" But it can't be denied that his mustache was a glorious specimen ... Read more

 

 

 

1998: Gene Raymond, U.S. actor who appeared in the movies "Zoo in Budapest" with Loretta Young and "Flying Down to Rio" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, dies at 89.

1993: Julio Gallo, U.S. businessman who co-founded the E.&J. Gallo Winery, dies at 83.

1990: David Rappaport, English actor who was one of the best-known dwarf actors and who appeared in "Time Bandits" and "The Bride," dies by suicide at 38.

1984: Jack Barry, U.S. game show host who hosted the popular shows "Twenty-One" and "The Joker's Wild," dies at 66.

1984: Bob Clampett, U.S. animator and director known best for his work with the "Looney Tunes" animated series from Warner Brothers, dies at 70.

1983: Norm Van Brocklin, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and head coach who was a nine-time All-Pro and won two NFL championships, dies at 57.

1982: Hugh Marlowe, U.S. actor who appeared in many movies and TV shows, including "Elmer Gantry" and "Perry Mason," dies at 71.

1973: Alan Carney, U.S. comic actor who appeared in "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Herbie Rides Again," dies at 63.

1972: J. Edgar Hoover, U.S. director of the FBI, dies at 77.

1957: Joseph McCarthy, U.S. politician who was the senator from Wisconsin from 1947 until 1957 and whose McCarthyism led an anti-communist crusade, dies of hepatitis at 48.

1880: Eberhard Anheuser, German businessman who started the brewery in St. Louis that eventually became Anheuser-Busch, dies at 75.

1519: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, dies at 67.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including singing sensation Lesley Gore.