Ray Charles was one of the greats of soul, belting out some of the greatest hits of the 20th century while accompanying himself flawlessly on piano. We remember Charles and other notable people who died this day, June 10, in history.
2018: Neal Boyd, singer who won “America’s Got Talent” in 2008, dies at 42.
2016: Gordie Howe, Canadian NHL legend who was known as “Mr. Hockey,” dies at the age of 88.
Playing with the Red Wings from 1946 to 1971, the bulk of his professional career, Howe is widely considered one of the very best hockey players of all time. He helped lead the Red Wings to four Stanley Cups, led the National Hockey League in scoring for six years, and ranked in the top 10 scoring players for 21 consecutive years. Read more
2016: Christina Grimmie, U.S. singer who was a YouTube sensation who starred on season six of NBC’s “The Voice, dies tragically from a gunshot wound after a performance at the age of 22.
2015: Robert Chartoff, U.S. movie producer who produced all of the movies in the “Rocky” series starring Sylvester Stallone, dies at 81.
2013: Barbara Vucanovich, U.S. Republican politician who was the first woman to represent Nevada in U.S. Congress and held the office from 1983 until 1997, dies at 91.
Vucanovich won her first term with the slogan, “What Congress needs is a tough grandmother.” She campaigned for her seventh term by attacking President Bill Clinton’s administration, saying she wanted to fight its tax proposals, including levies on casinos and gamblers. Her repeated re-election, she said, showed that Nevada residents wanted a conservative voice in Congress. Read more
2004: Ray Charles, U.S. musician and singer-songwriter who was a pioneer of soul music and whose hit songs include “Georgia on My Mind” and “Hit the Road Jack,” dies at 73.
Like the tales of Paul Bunyan or King Arthur, the story of Ray Charles seems to have picked up a few magical qualities along the way. Anecdotes abound of Charles driving a car or flying a plane, despite having been blind since childhood. In her song “Spiderwebs,” Joan Osbourne imagines Charles miraculously cured of his blindness and taking her on a vision quest of sorts while flying through air. In “The Blues Brothers,” Ray Charles is blind, but he’s an alarmingly good shot with a pistol – and just a few notes from his keyboard are all it takes to get the whole neighborhood dancing. Read more
1993: Arleen Auger, U.S. soprano who won a Grammy Award and performed a song at the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, dies at 53.
1993: Richard Webb, U.S. actor known best for playing the title role on the 1950s television series “Captain Midnight,” dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 77.
1988: Louis L’Amour, U.S. author whose books were mostly Westerns and included the “Sackett” series and “The Gift of Cochise,” which formed the basis for the John Wayne movie “Hondo,” dies of lung cancer at 80.
As a novelist, L’Amour was astonishingly prolific, writing more novels each year than his publishers cared to release. While the publishers typically topped out at one or two novels per author per year, L’Amour could produce as many as four in that time span. He ended his career with nearly 100 novels and more than 30 short story collections published, plus poetry and nonfiction. And over the years, dozens of his novels and stories have made it to screens both large and small. Read more
1987: Elizabeth Hartman, U.S. actress who achieved acclaim for her role opposite Sidney Poitier in “A Patch of Blue,” dies by suicide at 43 after jumping out of her fifth-floor apartment window.
1985: George Chandler, U.S. actor known best for his role as Uncle Petrie Martin on the television series “Lassie,” dies of cancer at 86.
1982: Addie “Micki” Harris, U.S. vocalist known best as a member of the girl group the Shirelles, dies of a heart attack while performing at 42.
1976: Adolph Zukor, Hungarian businessman who was one of the founders of Paramount Pictures, dies at 103.
1973: William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. playwright and novelist whose works include “Picnic” and “Bus Stop,” which were both adapted into films, and “Splendor in the Grass,” for which he won an Academy Award for best screenplay, takes his own life at 60.
1971: Michael Rennie, English-born actor who perhaps was known best for his starring role as Klaatu in the classic science fiction film “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” dies of an aortic aneurysm at 61.
1970: Earl Grant, U.S. keyboard player and vocalist who was popular in the 1950s and ’60s and had three albums on the Billboard Top 20, dies in a car accident at 39.
1967: Spencer Tracy, U.S. actor who was nominated for nine Academy awards for best actor and won two of them consecutively, for his roles in “Captains Courageous” and “Boys Town,” dies of a heart attack at 67.
1967: Frank Butler, U.S. screenwriter who co-won an Academy Award for the movie “Going My Way,” dies at 76.
1963: Anita King, U.S. actress and stunt driver who became famous for being the first woman to drive alone across the continental U.S. in 1915, dies of a heart attack at 78.
1946: Jack Johnson, U.S. boxer who was the first African-American heavyweight champion from 1908 until 1915 and was one of the major celebrities of his era, dies in a car accident at 68.
323 B.C.: Alexander the Great, Greek king of Macedonia whose military campaigns created one of the largest empires in the ancient world and who was undefeated in battle, dies at 32.