David Bowie’s death affected so many people around the world. The legendary musician was an icon for more than 40 years. We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
David Bowie‘s death affected so many people around the world. The legendary musician was an icon for more than 40 years. He knew how to push boundaries, creating a glam-rock alter ego in the 1970s called Ziggy Stardust and then reinventing himself as a new-wave star in the MTV era of the 1980s. Bowie released his final album, “Blackstar,” on his 69th birthday, two days before his death. We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2017: Buddy Greco: Jazz legend Benny Goodman hired Greco to sing in his band when he was just 16. He toured the world for four years with Goodman’s band, singing, arranging, and playing the piano. After leaving Goodman’s band, he headlined clubs and began his recording career. He was 90 years old.
2017: Clare Hollingworth: British journalist Clare Hollingworth was just 27 when she reported the scoop of the 20th century: the outbreak of World War II. She died at the age of 105.
2016: David Bowie, British rock star who was a boundary-breaking icon, dies at 69.
Bowie’s musical career spanned six decades, with his first hit single charting in 1969 and his final album released just days before his death. In between, he adopted myriad musical styles, reinventing his look and creating personas to match as he delighted fans across the world. Read more
2015: Taylor Negron, U.S. actor and comedian who appeared in many movies and TV shows, dies at 57.
Negron appeared on such popular TV shows as “Seinfeld and Friends” and movies such as “Easy Money” with Rodney Dangerfield. His best-known role is probably as the pizza delivery guy in a classic scene in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Read more
Speakes became Reagan’s acting spokesman after Press Secretary James Brady was wounded during an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, according to Speakes’ obituary by The Associated Press. Republican Haley Barbour, who served as Mississippi governor from 2004 to 2012, was political director of the Reagan White House when Speakes worked there. He said it wasn’t unusual to have tension between the political office and the press office, but he and Speakes had a good working relationship. Read more
2013: Evan Connell, U.S. author who wrote the novels “Mr. Bridge” and “Mrs. Bridge,” dies at 88.
Connell was the author of 19 books, including two book-length poems, a biography of Spanish painter Francisco Goya, and a historically detailed novel about the Crusades, “Deus Lo Volt!” According to his obituary by The Associated Press, Connell wrote often of seekers and doubters, world travelers through the ages, and conventional folks who secretly yearned to break out. The author himself was blessed with a curious and unpredictable mind, his subjects including alchemy, Antarctica, Nordic tales, Marco Polo, Mayan sculpture, and the quest for gold in the New World. Read more
2011: Margaret Whiting, U.S. singer of pop and country music, dies at 86.
It was Johnny Mercer who had coached the teenage Whiting through her first recording, of her father’s “My Ideal,” and although Maurice Chevalier and Frank Sinatra had already recorded the tune, her version sold well, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She followed it with a remarkable procession of million-sellers: “That Old Black Magic,” “It Might As Well Be Spring,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and her biggest-seller and signature song, “Moonlight in Vermont.” Read more
2008: Christopher Bowman, U.S. figure skater who won two medals at the World Championships, dies of an accidental drug overdose at 40.
Bowman, a former child actor, was one of figure skating’s bigger personalities in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Immensely talented, with a gift for performance that few others could match, he won the U.S. men’s figure skating titles in 1989 and 1992, and was runner-up in 1987 and 1991. He also won a silver medal at the 1989 World Championships and a bronze the next year. He skated in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics, finishing seventh in 1988 and fourth in 1992. Read more
2007: Carlo Ponti, Italian film producer of more than 140 films and the husband of actress Sophia Loren, dies at 94.
He produced more than 140 films, including “Doctor Zhivago,” “The Firemen’s Ball,” and “The Great Day,” which were nominated for Oscars, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Other major films included “Blow-Up,” “The Cassandra Crossing,” “The Verdict,” and “The Squeeze.” In 1956, “La Strada,” which he co-produced, won the Academy Award for best foreign film, as did “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” in 1964. But it was his affair with the young ingenue Loren that captivated the public, rather than his work with such top filmmakers as Dino De Laurentiis, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Ustinov, David Lean, and Roman Polanski. Read more
2005: James Forman, U.S. civil rights leader active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, dies at 76.
A Chicago native who grew up in Mississippi, Forman was a principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and the Freedom Rides in which blacks rode across the South to make sure buses were integrated as ordered by the courts, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. In 1961, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was elected its executive secretary one week later. Although both the student group and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s Southern Christian Leadership Conference were fighting the same struggle, there was friendly competition. Often the students organized demonstrations and took positions that went beyond those advocated by King. Read more
2004: Alexandra Ripley, U.S. author known best for writing “Scarlett,” a sequel to “Gone With the Wind,” dies at 70.
2004: Spalding Gray, U.S. actor and screenwriter known for his monologue, “Swimming to Cambodia,” dies of an apparent suicide at 62.
Gray’s greatest success was his Obie-winning monologue, “Swimming to Cambodia,” which recounted in part his movie role opposite Sam Waterston in “The Killing Fields.” The monologue, developed over two years of performance, became a film directed by Jonathan Demme, according to Gray’s obituary by The Associated Press. In the theater, he starred as the stage manager in the 1989 revival of “Our Town,” a production that won a Tony Award for best revival. Read more
2000: Sam Jaffe, U.S. talent agent who represented such actors as Humphrey Bogart and Richard Burton, dies at 98.
1994: Charles “Chub” Feeney, U.S. president of Major League Baseball’s National League from 1969 to 1986, dies at 72.
1989: Herbert Morrison, U.S. radio reporter known best for his dramatic report, “Oh, the humanity …,” while covering the Hindenburg passenger-zeppelin disaster, dies at 83.
1987: Marion Hutton, U.S. singer and actress who was a vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, dies at 67.
1982: Paul Lynde, U.S. actor known for his roles in the movie “Bye Bye Birdie” as Harry MacAfee and as Uncle Arthur on the television hit “Bewitched,” dies of a heart attack at 55.
1981: Richard Boone, U.S. actor who starred on the TV Western “Have Gun: Will Travel,” dies at 63.
1980: Bo Rein, U.S. college football head coach for North Carolina State University from 1976 to 1979 who had just been hired as head coach at Louisiana State University, dies in a plane crash at 34.
1980: George Meany, U.S. labor leader, dies at 85.
1976: Howlin’ Wolf, highly influential Chicago blues singer-guitarist known for such blues standards as “Killing Floor” and “Back Door Man,” dies at 65.
1971: Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand, dies at 87.
The casual knits in Chanel’s boutiques were new and exciting for a generation of young women raised in corsets but eager to live active lives. Coco Chanel herself was the epitome of what these women sought to be: independent, dynamic, slim, and sporty. Her cropped hair and boyish figure became the ideal for many young women, and the straight lines and boxy silhouettes of her designs were tailor-made for that figure. Her own taste in color also was a key element in Chanel’s fashion design: In her home and her dress, Chanel looked toward classic blacks, whites, and beiges. Those colors were the cornerstone of the House of Chanel – particularly the “little black dress,” a wardrobe staple that she made famous. Read more
1968: Howard Smith, U.S. actor who appeared in many movies and TV series including a recurring role on “Hazel,” dies at 74.
1961: Dashiell Hammett, U.S. author of such detective novels as “The Thin Man” and “The Maltese Falcon,” dies at 66.
1951: Sinclair Lewis, U.S. writer whose books include Elmer Gantry and who was the first American author to win the Nobel Prize in literature, dies at 65.
1917: Buffalo Bill Cody, one of the most colorful figures of the American Wild West who was an Army scout before he became a showman, dies at 70.
1862: Samuel Colt, U.S. inventor of the Colt revolver, dies of gout at 47.