NOTABLE DEATHS OF 2012
James Q. Wilson
James Wilson, a political scientist who coauthored the influential “Broken Windows” article in The Atlantic Monthly in 1982, died of leukemia. He was 80.
NOTABLE DEATHS OF 2012
Retired General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the US-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991 but kept a low public profile in controversies over the second Gulf war against Iraq, died in Tampa. He was 78. Read more.
Durning, a World War II veteran who fought at Normandy and at the Battle of the Bulge, played everyone from a Nazi colonel to the pope to Dustin Hoffman’s would-be suitor in “Tootsie.” He was 89.
Klugman, the prolific, craggy-faced character actor and regular guy who was loved by millions as the messy one in TV’s ‘‘The Odd Couple’’ and the crime-fighting coroner in ‘‘Quincy, M.E.,’’ died on Christmas Eve, a son said. He was 90.
Judge Robert Bork
Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, died at age 85. Bork stepped in to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox at Richard Nixon’s command in 1973, and his failed 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights, and other issues.
Senator Daniel Inouye
Daniel Inouye, the influential Democrat from Hawaii who broke racial barriers on Capitol Hill and played key roles in congressional investigations of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals, died on Dec. 17 at age 88.
Michael Mercogliano, the “Mike” behind the famed Mike’s Pastry in the North End, died at 90.
Ravi Shankar, a sitar virtuoso who helped connect the world through music, hobnobbed with the Beatles, and became a hippie musical icon, died at 92.
Jenni Rivera, the California-born singer who rose through personal adversity to become a superstar adored by millions in a male-dominated genre of Mexican-American music, died in a plane crash in northern Mexico. She was 43.
Brubeck, whose cerebral approach as a pianist and composer helped elevate jazz in the 1950s and made him one of the music’s best-known figures, died in Norwalk, Conn. He was one day shy of turning 92.
State Representative Spiliotis, a Peabody Democrat who served in the Massachusetts House for 10 years, died at 65 after a battle with cancer. Her family said that she had kept her illness quiet.
Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, died Nov. 27 in New York. He was 95.
Dr. Joseph E. Murray
Dr. Murray, who conducted the world’s first successful organ transplant on Christmas Eve 1954, died at the Boston hospital where the pioneering surgery was performed. He was 93.
Alexandra “Sasha” McHale
McHale, the daughter of Houston Rockets coach and former Celtics legend Kevin McHale, died at age 23. The team disclosed no further details.
Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho
The famed Puerto Rican boxer was taken off life support four days after being shot in the face in his native land. He was 50.
Hagman, whose portrayal of predatory oil baron J.R. Ewing on television’s long-running nighttime soap opera ‘‘Dallas’’ became a symbol for 1980s greed and coaxed forth a Texas-sized gusher of TV ratings, died at 81.
Bryce Courtenay, the author of 21 books, including 1989's "The Power of One," died after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 79.
Former US senator Warren Rudman of New Hampshire died at age 82. He co-authored a ground-breaking budget-balancing law and led a commission on terrorism.
Joseph D. Early Sr.
Former US representative Joseph D. Early died at age 79. The Worcester Democrat served in Congress from 1975 to 1993. His son, Joseph D. Early Jr., is the Worcester County district attorney.
The towering American composer Elliott Carter died at 103 years old. Carter was one of the most respected composers of the late 20th century. His catalog included 158 works, with many added in the final decade of his life. He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music and was the first composer to receive the US National Medal of Arts.
Emanuel Steward, owner of the Kronk Gym in Detroit and an International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer, died at age 68. Steward trained Lennox Lewis, Thomas Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, and Wladimir Klitschko, the current heavyweight champion.
George S. McGovern
George S. McGovern, the three-term US senator from South Dakota who defied the odds to win the Democratic nomination for president in 1972 based on his opposition Vietnam War only to suffer one of the worst electoral defeats in US history, died at age 90.
Malden Catholic athletic director and ice hockey coach Chris Serino died at age 63 after battling throat cancer. Serino guided the Lancers to the top of the Catholic Conference, winning the Super 8 Division 1A state tournament in 2011 and 2012.
Former US Sen. Arlen Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died. He was 82.
Alex Karras, the rugged lineman who anchored the Detroit Lions’ defense in the 1960s, then went on to an acting career in which he starred in the sitcom ‘‘Webster’’ and famously punched a horse in the 1974 comedy ‘‘Blazing Saddles,’’ died. He was 77.
Scientist and activist Barry Commoner, who raised early concerns about the effects of radioactive fallout and was one of the pioneers of the environmental movement, has died at age 95. More on Commoner
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger
Former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, who led the newspaper to new levels of influence and profit amid some of the most significant moments in 20th-century journalism, died Saturday. He was 86. Read more
John R. Silber, whose tempestuous quarter-century as president of Boston University brought the school to new levels of academic excellence and financial stability while creating an atmosphere of conflict and controversy, and who in 1990 came within 77,000 votes of becoming governor of Massachusetts, died at age 86. Read more
Emmy-winning TV host and ‘‘Moon River’’ crooner Andy Williams died, following a year-long battle with bladder cancer. He was 84.
Avalanna Routh, a Merrimac girl whose adoration of pop star Justin Bieber earned her the nickname “Mrs. Bieber, died. The 6-year-old was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare brain cancer and was treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Steve Sabol, NFL Films president, died of brain cancer at age 69 in Moorestown, N.J.
Bruce Bolling, 67, a prominent member of a Boston political family who became the first black president of the Boston City Council, died after a long struggle with prostate cancer. Bolling was elected to the council in 1981 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1993.
Former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell has died at age 87. Modell owned the Cleveland Browns, which became the Ravens after he took the team to Baltimore in 1996 in a move that tarnished his reputation as one of the league’s most innovative and influential owners.
Michael Clarke Duncan
Michael Clarke Duncan, the hulking, prolific character actor whose dozens of films included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in ‘‘The Green Mile,’’ died Sept. 3 at age 54. Mr. Duncan died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for a heart attack.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon of South Korea, founder of the Unification Church, died Sept. 3 at age 92. He and his second wife had 13 children and are revered by followers as the ‘‘True Parents.’’ More on his children
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. He is best known for radioing back to Earth with the historic news of “one giant leap for mankind” and spent nearly three hours walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. He died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures at age 82.
Phyllis Diller, the housewife turned humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, punctuating her jokes with her trademark cackle, died in her Los Angeles home at age 95.
Tony Scott, director of such Hollywood hits as ‘‘Top Gun,’’ ‘’Days of Thunder’’ and ‘‘Beverly Hills Cop II,’’ died after jumping from a bridge spanning Los Angeles harbor. He was 68.
Teresa Stanley was the other woman in James “Whitey” Bulger’s life, the one who spent nearly 30 years with the gangster but refused to leave her family to stay with him on the run. Stanley died of lung cancer at her South Boston home, surrounded by her family. She was 71.
Nellie Gray, the founder and chief organizer of an annual antiabortion March for Life in Washington, D.C., and a key figure in efforts to overturn the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, died at 86.
Ron Palillo,who played nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on the 1970s TV series “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died at his Florida home. He was 63.
Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, a former player and longtime ambassador of the team, died at 92.
Helen Gurley Brown
Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine who invited millions of women to join the sexual revolution, died at 90.
Mel Stuart, an award-winning documentarian who also directed ‘‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,’’ died. He was 83.
Marvin Hamlisch, who composed or arranged the scores for dozens of movies including ‘‘The Sting’’ and the Broadway smash ‘‘A Chorus Line,’’ died in Los Angeles. He was 68.
Gore Vidal, the author, playwright, political critic, and commentator whose novels, essays, plays and opinions were stamped by his immodest wit and unconventional wisdom, died at his home in the Hollywood Hills at 86.
Sherman Hemsley, an actor best known for his overbearing sitcom roles, notably the upwardly mobile and bigoted African-American George Jefferson in the long-running show “The Jeffersons,” died in El Paso at 74.
John Atta Mills
President John Atta Mills vowed to spread Ghana’s wealth stemming from newly discovered offshore oil fields, but his death came before he could finish his first term in this West African nation long held up as a model of democracy. He was 68.
Ride, who blazed trails into orbit as the first American woman in space, died of pancreatic cancer at 61. Ride rode into space on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 when she was 32.
Stephen R. Covey
Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” died at 79 due to complications from a bicycle accident in April.
Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in “Marty” in 1955, died in Los Angeles. He was 95.
Andy Griffith, known to fans from his roles in classic TV shows like “Matlock” and “The Andy Griffith Show,” died at his home in North Carolina. He was 86.
Nora Ephron, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker and director behind such hits as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” died at age 71.
Rodney King, the motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers led to some of the nation’s most destructive race riots, died at age 47.
Hill, who went from small-time gangster to big-time celebrity when his life as a mobster-turned-FBI informant became the basis for the Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas,” died at age 69.
Ray Bradbury, the author of “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” and many more literary classics, died in Los Angeles. Bradbury was 91.
Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits like “Only You” and “The Great Pretender,” died in a Boston area hospice after a period of declining health, his manager said. Reed, who lived in Arlington, was 83.
Kathryn Joosten, a character actress best known as the crotchety, yet lovable Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives” and the president’s secretary on “The West Wing,” died. She was 72.
Richard Dawson, the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s TV comedy “Hogan’s Heroes” and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show “Family Feud” has died. He was 79.
Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, a guitar picking master, who was blind from the age of 1, became one of America’s greatest folk musicians, died at age 89.
Longtime WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM personality Lovell Dyett died after a long illness. He was 77.
Hal Jackson, the first African-American voice on network radio died. He was in his late 90s.
Eugene Polley, the inventor of the first wireless TV remote control, died in Downers Grove, Ill. He was 96.
Thomas H. O’Connor
Thomas H. O’Connor, the unofficial dean of Boston history and a fixture for more than six decades on the Boston College faculty, died Sunday in his Milton home. He was 89.
Bee Gees star Robin Gibb died at the age of 62 following a long fight against cancer.
Donna Summer, the singer who turned disco anthems into ecstatic fantasias emblematic of the 1970s and became one of the most celebrated pop stars to emerge from Boston, died at 63.
Chuck Brown, who styled a unique mix of funk, soul, and Latin party sounds to create go-go music in the nation’s capital, died after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75.
Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s estranged wife, died of asphyxiation by hanging. She was 52.
Carlos Fuentes, who played a dominant role in Latin America’s novel-writing boom by delving into the failed ideals of the Mexican revolution, died in a Mexico City hospital. He was 83.
Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn
Donald “Duck” Dunn (pictured second right), the bassist from the legendary group Booker T. and the MGs died at 70 in Tokyo. He contributed to such classics as “In the Midnight Hour,” “Hold On, I’m Coming,” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.”
Legendary race driver and Shelby Cobra sports car designer Carroll Shelby died at a Dallas hospital. He was 89.
Hairstylist Vidal Sassoon, who undid the beehive with his wash-and-wear cuts and went on to become an international name in hair care, died at age 84.
Carl Beane, the public address announcer at Fenway Park, died of a heart attack while driving his car in Sturbridge. He was 59.
Roman Totenberg, the distinguished violinist who was for decades a pillar of Boston’s music community, died at the age 101.
Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who created one of the world’s best-known children’s books, 1963’s “Where The Wild Things Are,” died in Danbury, Conn., at the age of 83.
Adam Yauch, the gravelly voiced rapper who helped make the Beastie Boys one of the seminal groups in hip-hop, died of cancer. He was 47.
Junior Seau, former Patriots linebacker, was found dead in his Oceanside, Calif., home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 43. Seau, whose full name is Tiaina Baul Seau Jr., last played for the Patriots in 2009.
Charles Colson, the tough-as-nails special counsel to President Richard Nixon who went to prison for his role in a Watergate-related case and became a Christian evangelical helping inmates, died of complications from brain surgery. He was 80.
Jonathan Frid, a Canadian actor best known for playing Barnabas Collins in the 1960s original vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows,” died in a hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 87.
Levon Helm, the drummer and singer for The Band, who helped turn a bunch of musicians known mostly as Bob Dylan’s backup group into one of rock’s most legendary acts, died after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 71.
Dick Clark, who helped bring rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream on “American Bandstand,”and hosted “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” for three decades, died after a massive heart attack. He was 82.
The “60 Minutes” correspondent and long-time CBS newsman, who took on politicians, celebrities, and other public figures in a 60-year career, died at the age of 93.
The self-described “Painter of Light” who won acclaim for his brushwork paintings of landscapes, died at age 54.
The founder of Marshall Amps, made famous by Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend of The Who, and Eric Clapton, died at age 88.
Walt Sanders, who spent 27 years at WBZ in Boston and was one of the first black television reporters, died at 81.
Earl Scruggs, a pioneering banjo player who helped create modern country music, died of natural causes at the age of 88. Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt were best known for the 1949 recording “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” played in the 1967 movie “Bonnie and Clyde.”
Adrienne Rich, award-winning poet whose socially conscious verse influenced a generation of feminist, gay rights and antiwar activists, died at 82.
Ron Erhardt, former Patriots coach from 1979 to 1981. died at 80. He began his NFL career as the Patriots backfield coach in 1973, a position he held for four seasons before being named offensive coordinator.
Former Sox lefthander Mel Parnell died after battling cancer. He was 89.
John Demjanjuk, a retired US autoworker who was convicted of being a guard at the Nazis’ Sobibor death camp despite steadfastly maintaining over three decades of legal battles that he had been mistaken for someone else, died in Bad Feilnbach, Germany. He was 91.
Longtime Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack, whose work is heard on the hits “Listen To The Music” and “China Grove,” died of cancer at age 65.
Robert B. Sherman
Robert Sherman, who keyed the phrase “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” for Mary Poppins to sing on the sign screen, died in London. He was 86.
Stan Stearns, a photographer who took the iconic picture of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s coffin during the slain president’s 1963 funeral, died in Harwood, Md. He was 76.
James Q. Wilson
James Wilson, a political scientist who coauthored the influential “Broken Windows” article in The Atlantic Monthly in 1982, died of leukemia. He was 80.
Andrew Brieitbart, conservative media publisher who played a key role in the investigation of former US representative Anthony Wiener of New York, died of natural causes. He was 43.
Davy Jones, a British actor and musician who with bandmates Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz was a member of The Monkees, died of a heart attack in Indiantown, Fla. He was 66.
Jan Berenstain, who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, died at 88.
New York Times correspondent and former Boston Globe reporter Anthony Shadid, a prize-winning journalist who covered nearly 20 years of Middle East conflict, died in eastern Syria of an apparent asthma attack. He was 43.
Whitney Houston, the Grammy Award-winning pop music singer who was known as much for her powerful voice as she was for her tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, erratic behavior, and drug use, died. She was 48.
Dave Maynard, veteran WBZ-AM broadcaster who was the region’s top-rated morning personality in the 1980s, died at the age of 82 in Citrus Hills, Fla.
Florence Green (left), the last known surviving veteran of World War I, died in England, two weeks before her 111th birthday. She served with the Women’s Royal Air Force in eastern England, but was not officially recognized as a veteran until 2010 after a researcher found her service record in Britain’s National Archives.
Ben Gazzara, whose powerful dramatic performances brought an intensity to a variety of roles and made him a memorable presence in such iconic productions over the decades as the original “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on Broadway and the film “The Big Lebowski,” died at age 81.
Television icon Don Cornelius, the creator and former host of “Soul Train,” was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home in an apparent suicide. He was 75. “Soul Train” became the longest-running first-run nationally syndicated show in television history, bringing African-American music and style to the world for 35 years. Cornelius hosted the popular show from 1970 to 1993. “Soul Train” ceased production in 2006.
Kevin Hagan White, a colossal political figure who helped transform Boston into a world-class city during 16 often turbulent years as mayor, died at age 82.
Robert Hegyes, the actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J. He was 60.
A sainted figure at Penn State for almost 50 years but scarred by a child sex abuse scandal that led to his stunning dismissal, died at age 85.
The legendary blues singer had suffered from leukemia and was declared terminally ill in late 2011. James was known for iconic hits such as “At Last” and “Tell Mama.” She was 73.
Sarah Burke, a Canadian freestyle skier and four-time Winter X Games champion, died after suffering a traumatic brain injury while training in Park City, Utah. Burke succeeded in lobbying to add superpipe skiing to the Olympics, which will debut at the Sochi Games in 2014. She was 29.
Richard Threlkeld, a far-ranging and award-winning correspondent who worked for both CBS and ABC News during a long career, died in a car crash on New York’s Long Island. He was 74.
Ray Costict, former linebacker for the New England Patriots, died. Costict spent his whole NFL career with the team, from 1977-79. He was 56.