John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States, but he was also so much more than that. We remember Kennedy’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States, but he was also so much more than that. He was a war hero, an icon of the turbulent 1960s, a charismatic leader, and a deeply tragic figure who was killed just a few years after becoming the youngest man ever elected president. He helped advance the cause of the civil rights movement, and he inspired the nation to send a man to the moon. He is frequently voted one of the best presidents in U.S. history, on a par with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. We remember Kennedy’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2017: Tommy Keene, acclaimed singer-songwriter who was a favorite of power pop rock fans, dies at 59.
2012: Pearl Laska Chamberlain, U.S. female aviation pioneer who was the first woman to solo a single-engine plane up the Alaska Highway, dies at 103.
2010: Jean Cione, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League southpaw pitcher, dies at 82.
Cione went down in history as one of the top pitchers in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, pitching for four different clubs including the famous Rockford Peaches, according to her obituary in the Bozeman (Montana) Daily Chronicle. In her rookie season of 1947, Cione won 19 ballgames for the Peaches while posting a stingy 1.30 ERA in 37 games. Three years later with the Kenosha Comets, the southpaw picked up 18 wins while throwing two no-hitters. Read more
2008: MC Breed, U.S. rapper known best for his hit song “Gotta Get Mine,” which featured 2Pac (Tupac Shakur), dies at 37.
Breed grew up in Flint, Michigan, and “Ain’t No Future in Yo’ Frontin'” contained several references to the city. He moved to Atlanta in the 1990s. Between 1991 and 2004, Breed recorded 13 albums and collaborated with artists such as Shakur, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
2001: Norman Granz, U.S. jazz impresario and producer, dies at 83.
1998: Stu Ungar, U.S. professional poker player dubbed the Comeback Kid, dies destitute at 45.
1997: Michael Hutchence, Australian actor and founding member and frontman of the group INXS, dies by suicide at 37.
1992: Sterling Holloway, U.S. character actor who lent his distinctive voice to Pooh in “Winnie the Pooh” as well as Kaa the snake in “The Jungle Book,” dies of cardiac arrest at 87.
1988: Janet Ertel, U.S. singer and a founding member of the Chordettes popular singing group, dies at 75.
1986: Benjamin “Scatman” Crothers, U.S. actor whose credits include “Zapped!”, “The Shining,” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” dies of pneumonia at 76.
1983: Michael Conrad, U.S. television actor whose credits include “All in the Family” and “Hill Street Blues,” dies of urethral cancer at 58.
1980: Mae West, U.S. actress, playwright, and sex symbol, dies at 87 after a hospital stay for various illnesses.
“Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” That line could still work for West, assuming she is really “up” there somewhere. Could she be? The hot-as-a-pistol actress certainly didn’t act like she was on her way into heaven, consistently playing slithery, come-hither roles that portrayed her as tough but seductive. Read more
During his third term in 1951, he took a trip to India, Vietnam, Japan, and Israel with his siblings, Bobby and Patricia. The two brothers bonded on this trip, and though they were nine years apart in age, they became best friends. While he served as a congressman, Kennedy met Jacqueline Bouvier at a dinner party. The couple wed Sept. 12, 1953. Read more
1963: C.S. Lewis, Irish author and Christian apologist whose works include “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Chronicles of Narnia,” dies of kidney failure one week before his 65th birthday.
Lewis opposed the idea of turning his creations into movies, especially “The Chronicles of Narnia.” He worried that the talking animals he created – richly developed and dignified in the context of his books – would “turn into buffoonery or nightmare” on screen. It was the 1950s when he expressed this fear, and a look at that decade’s special effects goes a long way toward explaining it. Maybe Lewis would look more fondly at the 21st-century adaptations of his books, since technology now allows for less-nightmarish creatures. Read more
1963: Aldous Huxley, English author whose works include “Brave New World” and “The Doors of Perception,” dies at 69.
1955: Shemp Howard, U.S. comedian and actor who performed with his brother Moe and fellow comedian Larry Fine as The Three Stooges, dies of a heart attack at 60.
1954: Roderick McMahon, U.S. professional boxing and wrestling promoter, dies of a cerebral bleed at 72.
1943: Lorenz Hart, U.S. songwriter who, with Richard Rodgers, formed the songwriting duo Rodgers and Hart and wrote many classics including “Isn’t It Romantic?” and “My Funny Valentine,” dies of pneumonia at 48.
1916: Jack London, U.S. author whose works include “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang,” dies at 40.
1718: Blackbeard, born as Edward Teach, notorious English pirate, dies at 38.