Robert F. Kennedy was poised to pick up where his brother left off, continuing President John F. Kennedy’s work toward civil rights while seeking a more peaceful world. We remember Kennedy’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Robert F. Kennedy was poised to pick up where his brother left off, continuing President John F. Kennedy’s work toward civil rights while seeking a more peaceful world. Attorney general during his brother’s presidency, Kennedy was elected to the U.S. Senate, representing New York, in the years after. He mounted a formidable presidential campaign in 1968, delighting some voters and deeply angering others with his platform that called for equality and justice. His assassination just months before the election tore apart a nation that was already grieving the deaths of leaders including JFK and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We remember Kennedy’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Kimbo Slice, U.S. mixed martial artist and actor known for his mutual combat street fights, dies at 42.
2015: Ronnie Gilbert, U.S. folk singer who was a member of the Weavers, dies at 88.
With the Weavers, whose other members were Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman, Gilbert helped spark a national folk revival by churning out hit recordings of “Goodnight Irene,” ”Tzena Tzena Tzena,” ”On Top of Old Smokey,” ”If I Had A Hammer,” ”Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” and “Wimoweh.” Read more
2015: Vincent Bugliosi, U.S. lawyer and author known best for his book “Helter Skelter,” dies at 80.
2013: Esther Williams, U.S. competitive swimmer and actress who was well-known in the 1940s and ’50s for her starring roles in “Aquamusicals,” or movies with elaborate synchronized swimming performances, dies at 91.
Following in the footsteps of Sonja Henie, who went from skating champion to movie star, Williams became one of Hollywood’s biggest moneymakers, appearing in spectacular swimsuit numbers that capitalized on her wholesome beauty and perfect figure. Such films as “Easy To Wed,” “Neptune’s Daughter,” and “Dangerous When Wet” followed the same formula: romance, music, a bit of comedy, and a flimsy plot that provided excuses to get Esther into the water. Read more
2013: Maxine Stuart, U.S. actress who appeared on many television shows, including “The Donna Reed Show” and “The Wonder Years,” dies at 94.
2012: Nolan Miller, U.S. fashion and TV costume designer known best for his work on the prime-time soap opera “Dynasty,” dies at 79.
2010: Marvin Isley, U.S. bassist and youngest member of the rhythm and blues group the Isley Brothers, dies at 56.
He joined his brothers’ band in 1973. By that time, the Isley Brothers had established themselves with hits like 1959’s “Shout,” which sold more than 1 million records. Isley splintered off to form Isley-Jasper-Isley in the 1980s and returned to the Isley Brothers in the 1990s. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and their career has spanned six decades. Read more
2006: Billy Preston, U.S. keyboardist who played with the Beatles, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, and Little Richard, who was the only non-Beatle given a credit by the Beatles for his work on the electric piano for the song “Get Back,” dies at 59.
Known for his big smile and towering Afro, Preston was a teen prodigy on piano and organ. He lent his gospel-tinged touch to classics such as the Beatles’ “Get Back” and the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for “Outta Space” and scoring other hits with “Will It Go ‘Round in Circles,” “Nothing From Nothing,” and “With You I’m Born Again,” a duet with Syreeta Wright. Read more
2005: Dana Elcar, U.S. actor who was well-known for his regular role as Peter Thornton on the popular television series “MacGyver,” dies at 77.
Despite being Bancroft’s most iconic character, Mrs. Robinson wasn’t her favorite. She later confessed that she was ambivalent about the role, as it overshadowed her other work. And for the record, Bancroft was no cougar: In real life, she was only six years older than her “much younger man,” co-star Dustin Hoffman. Read more
2003: Dave Rowberry, English pianist known best as a member of the British Invasion group the Animals in the 1960s, dies at 62.
2002: Robbin Crosby, U.S. guitarist who was a member of the rock group Ratt and co-wrote the band’s hit song, “Round and Round,” dies of a heroin overdose at 42.
1994: Barry Sullivan, U.S. actor who appeared in more than 100 movies including a starring role in “The Bad and the Beautiful” opposite Kirk Douglas, dies at 81.
1992: Larry Riley, U.S. actor known best for his regular role as Frank Williams on the TV series “Knots Landing,” dies at 38.
1991: Stan Getz, U.S. jazz saxophonist who played with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, and Oscar Peterson and whose bossa nova collaboration with Joao Gilberto produced the worldwide hit “The Girl From Ipanema,” dies at 64.
After recording the surprise hit “Early Autumn” with Herman Steward, Getz became famous enough to launch a solo career. Getz was known for never listening to his own recordings, but he did hear “Early Autumn” on the radio. “It’s OK,” was his reaction. “It’s a nice solo, but I don’t understand why it was such an earthshaking thing. It’s just another ballad solo for me.” Read more
Before his death June 6, 1979, Haley became famous for playing an iconic character in an equally iconic movie – the Tin Woodman of “The Wizard of Oz.” Famously, Haley replaced Buddy Ebsen in the role after Ebsen had a severe reaction to the silver makeup that covered his face. Read more
1976: J. Paul Getty, U.S. billionaire industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Co., dies at 83.
1975: Larry Blyden, U.S. actor and game show host who appeared on such TV shows as “The Loretta Young Show” and hosted the game show “What’s My Line?” from 1972 until the end of the series in 1975, dies at 49.
1968: Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Democratic politician and U.S. senator from New York who campaigned for president in 1968, is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan at 42.
While the death of President John F. Kennedy is often seen as the symbolic moment when the U.S. lost its postwar afterglow and plunged headlong into the tumult of the 1960s, it was also a time when America came together as a nation in mourning. The assassination of the president’s younger brother Robert, however – less than five years later – took on a different tone. Read more
1962: Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, U.S. actor who appeared in memorable Westerns including “Dodge City” and “Santa Fe Trail,” dies at 63.
1961: Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist who was the founder of analytical psychology, dies at 65.
1941: Louis Chevrolet, U.S. race car driver who founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Co., dies at 62.
1922: Lillian Russell, U.S. actress and singer who was very famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, dies at 61.
1799: Patrick Henry, U.S. politician and lawyer who was one of the founding fathers of America and spoke the words “Give me liberty or give me death,” dies at 63.