Some Notable Deaths of 5773

Each year, for Yizkor on Yom Kippur, I put together a list of people who passed away during the previous year.  It is not meant to be comprehensive or exhaustive.  It is only meant to be interesting.  For me, at least, it is one more way to mark the passing of another year.  Here is this year’s list:

  1. George McGovern – lost the 1972 presidential election to Richard Nixon.
  2. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger – chairman of the board NY Times corporation
  3. Arlen Specter – long time US Senator from Pennsylvania.
  4. Larry Hagman – actor, “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Dallas”
  5. Ravi Shankar – sitarist, friend of the Beatles, father of Norah Jones.
  6. 26 innocent teachers & students of Sandy Hook Elementary School shot down by Adam Lanza in Newtown, CT.
  7. Charles Durning – Tony Award winning actor for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” His character fell in love with the cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie.”
  8. Jack Klugman – actor “The Odd Couple” & “Quincy MD.”
  9. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf – commander of Desert Storm – first war in Iraq.
  10. Patti Page – singer, “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”
  11. Ada Louise Huxtable – longtime New York Times architecture critic.
  12. Dr. Joseph Murray – performed first organ transplant in 1954.
  13. N. Joseph Woodland – inventor of the modern bar code.
  14. Sen. Daniel Inouye – US Senator from Hawaii.  Medal of Honor, Purple Heart & Bronze Star Medal recipient, he was President Pro-Tem of the Senate when he died – making him the highest ranking Asian American politician in US history.
  15. Judge Robert Bork – Jurist not confirmed by Senate for the US Supreme Court.  His name became a verb for being voted down in the Senate.
  16. French electrician Andre Cassagnes – creator of Etch A Sketch.
  17. Pauline Friedman Philips – a/k/a Abigail Van Buren, a/k/a Dear Abby
  18. Stan Musial – Stan the Man of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  19. Ed Koch –former NYC Mayor.
  20. Rabbi David Hartman – American-born, Israeli, orthodox rabbi who taught and believed in a tolerant, inclusive Judaism.
  21. C Everett Koop – US Surgeon General under President Reagan.
  22. Van Cliburn – American classical pianist. First American to win Tchaikovsky Competition.
  23. Bonnie Franklin – actress, “One Day at a Time.”
  24. Hugo Chavez – President of Venezuela.
  25. Phil Ramone – musician, composer and songwriter, but best known as a record producer.
  26. Pat Summerall – place kicker for the NY Giants who went on to have a long and distinguished broadcasting career.
  27. Roger Ebert – movie critic of Chicago Sun-Times.  Half of Siskel & Ebert.  One out of “two thumbs up.”
  28. Margaret Thatcher – first woman Prime Minister of the UK.
  29. Jonathan Winters – comedian, voice actor.  For the younger generation – he was the voice of Papa Smurf.
  30. Annette Funicello – Mouseketeer, actress.
  31. Robert Edwards – British physiologis, father of In-Vitro Fertilization.
  32. Al Neuharth – founder of USA Today, country’s largest newspaper.
  33. Dr. Joyce Brothers – first self-help TV show in 1958.
  34. Jean Stapleton – a/k/a Edith Bunker
  35. Christian de Duve – Belgian biochemist whose discoveries about the internal workings of cells shed light on Tay-Sachs disease.
  36. Senator Frank Lautenberg – Our US Senator from New Jersey who was the last US Senator to be a veteran of WWII.
  37. Esther Williams – swimming champion, actress.
  38. Deacon Jones – football player and TV personality
  39. James Gandolfini – a/k/a Tony Soprano
  40. Amar Bose – audio engineer and inventor.
  41. Douglas Englebart- inventor of the computer mouse.
  42. Helen Thomas – White House correspondent covered presidents from Eisenhower to Obama.  She retired after making anti-Israel, anti-Semitic comments.
  43. Virginia Johnson (as in Masters & Johnson) – she and her husband William Johnson pioneered the study of sexuality in the 1960’s.
  44. George Mitchell – became a wealthy oilman by developing a process to unlock the immense natural gas and petroleum resources trapped in shale rock – a process called “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking.”
  45. Eydie Gormet – singer, partnered with Steve Lawrence.
  46. Elmore Leonard – author of “Get Shorty.”
  47. David Frost, British journalist and TV host, most famous in this country for his interview of President Nixon.
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About Rabbi Avi Friedman

I am the rabbi of Congregation Ohr Shalom - SJCC, a progressive Conservative and traditional congregation. I am also husband to Jodi as well as father to Gabi, Jonah, Jessica and Ilana. I have been a part of the Summit community since 2005.
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