Emmett Till’s death was a major catalyst for the civil rights movement. We remember Till’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Emmett Till‘s death was a major catalyst for the civil rights movement. Just 14 years old, the African-American teen had traveled from his home in Chicago to Money, Mississippi, visiting relatives. After allegedly flirting with a white woman, he was attacked and brutally murdered. When his murderers were acquitted, despite admitting to the murder, the nation’s eyes turned to Mississippi, and the backlash began. The fight for civil rights was galvanized, and Till’s name lived on in the heart of anyone who fought for racial justice. We remember Till’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Juan Gabriel, legendary Mexican singer who sold over 30 million records, dies at 66.
2016: Mr. Fuji, popular U.S. professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment, dies at 82.
2015: Al Arbour, Canadian NHL head coach who won four Stanley Cup finals with the New York Islanders, dies at 82.
2015: Nelson Shanks, U.S. painter known best for his portrait of Princess Diana, dies at 77.
2014: Glenn Cornick, English bassist who was a founding member of the British band Jethro Tull, dies at 67.
2013: Murray Gershenz, U.S. character actor and entrepreneur who owned the popular record store Music Man Murray, which contained over 300,000 vinyl records that he collected over the years, who later became an actor at age 79, appearing in “The Hangover,” “Modern Family,” and “Mad Men,” dies of a heart attack at 91.
2012: Dick McBride, U.S. Beat Generation poet, playwright, and novelist who worked at the well-known City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and was friends with Allen Ginsberg and other Beat Generation writers, dies at 84.
2009: Wayne Tippit, U.S. actor known best for his role as Ted Adamson on the television soap opera “Search for Tomorrow,” dies of emphysema complications at 76.
2009: Adam Goldstein, U.S. disc jockey, musician, and record producer known better as DJ AM, who worked on albums for Will Smith and Papa Roach, dies of an accidental overdose of cocaine and other drugs at 36.
While many DJs specialize in a single genre – think Skrillex and dubstep, deadmau5 and house – DJ AM was notable for his variety, mixing musical styles that might not seem so compatible at first glance. Not many DJs can throw together hip-hop, rock, pop, and other genres while keeping an amped-up crowd dancing to the Rocky theme song or a slow Oasis ballad. But when DJ AM was at the turntable, he made it all fit. Read more
2008: Phil Hill, U.S. race car driver who is the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship, which he did in 1961, dies at 81.
After retiring as a driver in 1967, Hill worked as a racing commentator for ABC and a contributing editor for Road & Track magazine, and devoted time to classic cars and auto restoration, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. “His knowledge of automobiles was almost spooky,” said friend John Lamm, a noted automotive photographer. “And he knew it off the top of his head. … He was extremely intelligent and well-rounded. He was an opera expert and very well-read. He was very sophisticated.” Read more
2007: Umeki Miyoshi, U.S. actress and singer who was the first Asian to win an Academy Award for her role in the movie “Sayonara” and also played housekeeper Mrs. Livingston on 1960s sitcom “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” dies of cancer complications at 78.
2007: Hilly Kristal, U.S. musician who owned the iconic nightclub CBGB in New York City, dies of complications of lung cancer at 75.
Kristal started the club in 1973 with the hope of making it a mecca of country, bluegrass, and blues – called CBGB & OMFUG, for “Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandisers” – but found few bands to book. It instead became the epicenter of the mid-1970s punk movement, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. “There was never gourmet food, and there was never country bluegrass,” Mark Dana Kristal said the day after his father’s death. Besides the Ramones and the Talking Heads, many of the other bands that found frenzied crowds at CBGB during those years became legendary – including Patti Smith, Blondie, and Television. Read more
1995: Michael Ende, German writer of fantasy and children’s fiction known best for his epic fantasy novel “The Neverending Story,” dies of stomach cancer at 65.
1988: Max Shulman, U.S. writer known best for his television and short story character Dobie Gillis, whom he wrote into his TV series “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” dies of bone cancer at 69.
1988: Hazel Dawn, U.S. actress known for starring in the silent movie “The Pink Lady,” dies at 97.
1987: John Huston, U.S. movie director, screenwriter, and actor whose films include such classics as “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Asphalt Jungle,” “The African Queen,” and “The Misfits,” dies of emphysema complications at 81.
1985: Ruth Gordon, U.S. actress and screenwriter known for her performances in the movies “Harold and Maude” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” who also co-wrote the movie “Adam’s Rib,” dies at 88.
1983: Jan Clayton, U.S. actress most well-known for playing Ellen Miller on the original Lassie television series, dies of cancer and other diseases at 66.
1978: Robert Shaw, English actor and novelist known best for his roles as mobster Doyle Lonnegan in “The Sting” and as the shark hunter Quint in “Jaws,” dies of a heart attack at 51.
1976: Anissa Jones, U.S. child actress known best for her role as Buffy on the TV sitcom “Family Affair,” dies of an accidental drug overdose at 18.
Jones was just 8 when she landed the role of the precocious and adorable Buffy on the new CBS sitcom, a role she would play in 138 episodes over five years. The show was a top-30 hit in the ratings until its final season, inspiring merchandising tie-ins and intense publicity for the young actress. Read more
1955: Emmett Till, U.S. African-American teenager from Chicago who was killed while visiting relatives in Mississippi, whose murder and the acquittal of the two white men accused of the crime proved a pivotal event in the civil rights movement, dies at 14.
1951: Robert Walker, U.S. actor known best for his starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “Strangers on a Train,” dies at 32.
1933: Helen Dunbar, U.S. film actress during the silent era who appeared in motion pictures with John Gilbert and Norma Talmadge, dies at 69.
1903: Frederick Law Olmsted, U.S. landscape architect who was well-known for co-designing Central Park in New York City and Niagara Falls State Park in New York, dies at 81.