Tupac Shakur’s tragically brief music career fundamentally changed the world of hip-hop music. We remember Tupac’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died on this day in history.
Tupac Shakur‘s tragically brief music career fundamentally changed the world of hip-hop music. His groundbreaking lyrics raised the bar for the genre, and his larger-than-life persona helped to propel him to the top of the popular music charts. In addition to his work as a musician, Shakur starred in several films, including “Juice,” “Poetic Justice,” and “Above the Rim.” After his murder in 1996, three more of his completed films were released, as was a series of previously unreleased studio recordings and remixes of his songs. Since Shakur’s death, his work has been studied by academics at several U.S. universities, and a clothing line has been established in his name. His mother also created a foundation in his honor to help foster creative growth in children. Most recently, Shakur appeared as a hologram during a performance at the Coachella Music Festival. We remember Shakur’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2015: Moses Malone, U.S. NBA Hall of Fame center who was nicknamed the Chairman of the Boards for his rebounding skills, dies at 60.
A 6-foot-10 center who made the leap right from high school to the pros, Malone is the NBA’s career leader in offensive rebounds and led the league in rebounds per game for five straight seasons from 1980-85. Read more
2015: Gary Richrath, U.S. musician known best as the guitarist and one of the songwriters for the rock band REO Speedwagon, dies at 65.
Richrath continued to write and co-write popular songs for the band, including 1973’s “Ridin’ the Storm Out” and 1981’s “Take It on the Run,” a No. 5 Billboard single that was one of the first videos played on MTV. Richrath remained one of the band’s principal songwriters, penning multiple tracks on each of their albums for the nearly 20 years he was a member. He left the band in 1989 after a dispute over the band’s direction. Read more
2013: Patti Webster, U.S. entertainment publicist who represented Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Usher, dies of cancer at 49.
Webster founded W&W Public Relations in 1991, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She represented celebrities in almost every field, including Halle Berry, Dwight Howard, and Steve Harvey, and organizations including Creflo Dollar Ministries. Magic Johnson was among those who tweeted condolences, calling her a “sensational publicist.” Webster, whose parents were pastors, was an ordained minister. She wrote “It Happened in Church: Stories of Humor From the Pulpit to the Pews.” Read more
2013: Jimmy Herman, First Nations Canadian actor who appeared in “Dances With Wolves” and “Reindeer Games,” dies at 72.
2013: Rick Casares, U.S. NFL fullback for the Chicago Bears who is still the fourth leading rusher in the team’s history, dies at 82.
A five-time Pro Bowl pick and a member of the 1963 championship team, Casares played 10 seasons in Chicago and ran for 5,675 yards. He was the Bears’ all-time leading rusher until Walter Payton surpassed him and currently ranks third. Casares also played for Washington in 1965 and Miami in 1966 and starred at the University of Florida. Read more
2009: Paul Burke, U.S. actor who starred in two 1960s ABC television series, “Naked City” and “Twelve O’Clock High,” dies of leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma at 83.
2006: Ann Richards, U.S. politician who was the 45th governor of Texas, dies of complications of throat cancer at 73.
She was defeated by George W. Bush in 1994. Never one to retire, however, she kept busy making speeches for liberal causes; appeared as a commentator on CNN; and even was featured, with the also defeated New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, in a national campaign for Doritos. Richards guest-starred in an episode of TV’s “King of the Hill”; was interviewed for Ken Burns’ documentary “The West”; and in the movie “W” about Bush, she is referred to as Ms. Big Mouth, Big Hair. Read more
2001: Dorothy McGuire, U.S. actress who starred in “Old Yeller” and “A Summer Place,” dies of cardiac arrest at 85.
1998: George Wallace, U.S. politician who was the 45th governor of Alabama and was known for his segregationist policies during the civil rights era, dies of respiratory and cardiac arrest at 79.
Wallace is still perhaps known best as a symbol of America’s resistance to the civil rights movement. Throughout the 1960s, his candor and raw political acumen cast him into the role of defender of Southern traditions – namely white supremacy and segregation. But after a series of unsuccessful presidential bids and surviving a failed assassination attempt, Wallace pulled off perhaps the most astounding late career political reinvention in American history. He publicly apologized for his past, won a majority of black votes, and earned a final gubernatorial term in 1982 as the most liberal candidate on the Alabama ballot. Read more
1996: Tupac Shakur, U.S. rapper and actor who sold more than 75 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time, dies of gunshot wounds in a drive-by shooting at 25.
1987: Mervyn LeRoy, U.S. director whose movies included “Little Caesar,” “Quo Vadis,” and “Mister Roberts,” dies at 86.
1973: Betty Field, prominent U.S. actress who appeared in “Bus Stop,” “Picnic,” and “Birdman of Alcatraz,” dies of a brain hemorrhage at 60.
1950: Sara Allgood, Irish-born U.S. actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the movie “How Green Was My Valley,” dies of a heart ailment at 70.
1321: Dante, Italian poet known for his masterpiece “Divine Comedy,” dies at about 56.