We remember Trayvon Martin and other notable people who died this day, February 26, in history.
2017: Joseph Wapner, the judge who presided over the birth of the courtroom-reality TV genre, dies at 97.
2016: Andy Bathgate, Canadian NHL Hall of Fame winger who scored 349 goals during his career, dies at 83.
2015: Earl Lloyd, U.S. NBA Hall of Famer was the first Black player in the league, dies at 86.
“The NBA family has lost one of its patriarchs,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in an NBA game, was as inspirational as he was understated. He was known as a modest gentleman who played the game with skill, class, and pride.” Read more
2014: Tim Wilson, U.S. country singer and comedian who appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “The Bob and Tom Show,” dies at 52.
Wilson, of Columbus, Georgia, appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and recorded several albums including “I Should Have Married My Father-in-Law,” “Low-Class Love Affair,” and “Hillbilly Homeboy.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Wilson spent much of his career in Atlanta and was a regular at The Punchline Comedy Club for several decades. The newspaper also reported he was featured on several syndicated radio programs. Read more
2012: Trayvon Martin, U.S. teenager from Florida who was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, dies at 17.
Martin grew up in Florida, dividing his time between his parents, who divorced when he was 4. When he was 9, Trayvon saved his father’s life, pulling him from a burning apartment after the elder Martin was injured and immobilized. Trayvon enjoyed sports, both in video games and real life, and earned spending money by washing cars, cutting grass, and baby-sitting. In high school, Trayvon volunteered at the concession stand in a public park near his home and played football on his school’s team. He showed a mechanical aptitude with dirt bikes and an interest in aviation.
While we may never know what really happened on that rainy night, the impact of the shooting will continue to be felt—by Trayvon’s family and friends seeking justice and by a nation grappling with the role of guns in the wake of the shooting deaths of children from Connecticut to Chicago and beyond. Read more
2012: Ed Brigadier, U.S. actor known for the title character in the cult horror film “Dr. Chopper,” dies at 62.
2009: Johnny “Red” Kerr, U.S. NBA player and coach who then became a popular broadcaster for the Chicago Bulls, dies at 76.
The Bulls unveiled a statue of Kerr at the United Center in Chicago during an emotional ceremony Feb. 10, 2009, that included taped messages from President Barack Obama and NBA Commissioner David Stern, and speeches from former Bulls Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. Pippen said Kerr “makes Chicago Bulls basketball what it is,” while Jordan called him “an inspiration to me as a basketball player and as a person.” Read more
2009: Norm Van Lier, U.S. NBA guard for the Chicago Bulls who became a broadcaster for the Bulls after his playing career ended, dies at 61.
Van Lier was a defensive standout and a fan favorite who was given the nickname “Stormin’ Norman” because of his fiery play. Picked to the NBA All-Defensive first or second teams eight times, he retired after the 1979 season with 8,770 points and 5,217 assists. Read more
A child prodigy whose father had a jazz band, Miles was playing with Wilson Pickett in the ’60s when guitarist Mike Bloomfield asked him to form Electric Flag, a band that would fuse soul, rock, and blues. Originally known for his powerhouse drumming, Miles also became known as a soulful rock singer on a million-selling 1972 live album recorded with Carlos Santana. Read more
2002: Lawrence Tierney, U.S. actor known for playing tough guys who had the starring role in the movie “Dillinger,” dies at 82.
1997: David Doyle, U.S. actor who was known for playing Bosley on the TV series “Charlie’s Angels,” dies at 67.
1994: Bill Hicks, U.S. standup comedian who was known for his comments on social issues, dies of pancreatic cancer at 32.
1993: Constance Ford, U.S. actress known best for her role as Ada Hobson on “Another World,” dies at 69.
1991: Slim Gaillard, U.S. jazz singer-songwriter known for his vocalese singing who played with artists such as Charlie Parker, dies at 75.
1990: Cornell Gunther, U.S. singer who was a member of the Platters and the Coasters, dies at 53.
1989: Roy Eldridge, U.S. jazz trumpet player who was one of the most influential musicians of the swing era, dies at 78.
1982: Gabor Szabo, Hungarian jazz guitarist who was famous for mixing jazz, pop, rock, and Hungarian music, dies at 45.
1977: Bukka White, U.S. blues rock guitarist who had his songs covered by Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley, dies at 67.
1966: Minerva Urecal, U.S. actress who played the role of Mother on the TV series “Peter Gunn,” dies at 71.
1965: Jimmie Lee Jackson, U.S. civil rights activist who was shot and killed by an Alabama state trooper during a protest and whose death provided the inspiration for the Selma to Montgomery marches, dies at 26.