Features

Departures

Year in Review | Notables deaths during 2005

Issue: "News of the year," Dec. 31, 2005

John Paul II
(Karol Józef Wojtyla)

84; April 2 | Much-traveled charismatic pope credited with hastening the fall of communism in Poland and in other Eastern bloc countries; a staunch conservative, he defended traditional Catholic theology and church teachings on social and moral issues throughout his 26-year reign.

Rosa Parks

92; Oct. 24 | Shy seamstress and devout Christian who on Dec. 1, 1955, was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., city bus to a white man, triggering a chain reaction leading to the civil-rights movement.

Johnny Carson

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79; Jan. 23 | Legendary, quick-witted comedian who hosted NBC's The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992, becoming a national institution putting his viewers to bed for 30 years with a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter and heartland charm.

William Rehnquist

80; Sept. 3 | Chief Justice of the United States, appointed to the Supreme Court in 1971 by President Nixon and named chief justice in 1986; under his tenure, the court largely reversed the liberal trend of the Warren years.

Anne Bancroft

73; June 6 | Academy Award--winning actress for her portrayal of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher, in The Miracle Worker, but perhaps best known for her role as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate.

Eddie Albert

99; May 26 | Comedic actor best known as the city slicker-turned-farmer in TV's Green Acres; he was nominated for Academy Awards as supporting actor in Roman Holiday and The Heartbreak Kid.

Shirley Chisholm

80; Jan. 1 | First black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, served seven terms and was a Democratic critic of the Vietnam War.

Bob Denver

70; Sept. 2 | Actor who played Gilligan, the first mate of the SS Minnow on TV's Gilligan's Island.

Sandra Dee

62; Feb. 20 | Spirited actress who played innocent tomboys in teeny-bopper films in the late 1950s, including Gidget and A Summer Place.

Peter Jennings

67; Aug. 7 | Canadian-born broadcast journalist who anchored ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 to April 2005, when he announced he was battling lung cancer.

Rafik Hariri

60; Feb. 14 | Former prime minister of Lebanon, killed by suicide bomb in downtown Beirut after his persistent calls for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.

Archbishop Iakovos

93; April 10 | Primate of the 2-million-adherent Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America for 37 years and first Orthodox archbishop in more than 350 years to meet with a Catholic pope.

Eugene J. McCarthy

89; Dec. 9 | Former senator from Minnesota and four-time presidential candidate whose anti-Vietnam War campaign drove Lyndon B. Johnson from power and helped Richard Nixon defeat Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential campaign.

Pat Morita

73; Nov. 24 | Actor and comedian best known as Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movies.

Arthur Miller

89; Feb. 10 | One of America's most respected playwrights, whose Death of a Salesman won a Pulitzer.

Mickey Owen

89; July 13 | Four-time All-Star catcher in 13 major-league baseball seasons, whose infamous dropped third strike cost the Brooklyn Dodgers Game 4 in the 1941 World Series against the Yankees.

Rainier III

81; April 6 | Prince of Monaco and Europe's longest-serving monarch, ruling for 56 years; Grace Kelly, the American actress he married, died in a car accident in 1982.

Terri Schiavo

41; March 31 | Survived 15 years after a seizure left her severely brain-damaged, but died after 13 days of court-ordered food and water deprivation.

Max Schmeling

99; Feb. 2 | German heavyweight-boxing champion who in 1936 gave Joe Louis his first-ever defeat; in a politically charged rematch in 1938, the American great scored a first-round knockout, which many saw as a symbolic victory over Nazi Germany.

Ezer Weizman

80; April 24 | Israeli president from 1993 to 2000; he led Israel's victory in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, then went from hawk to dove in advocating peace with the Palestinians and Egypt, and his conversations with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat helped secure the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.

Other notable departures

Oleta Kirk Abrams, 77; Jan. 8 | Co-founded the nation's first rape crisis center in 1971.

Shana Alexander, 79; June 23 | Liberal columnist and commentator who often sparred with conservative James Kilpatrick on 60 Minutes during the 1970s.

Jack Anderson, 83; Dec. 17 | Pulitzer Prize--winning investigative reporter and muckraking newspaper columnist who broke a series of big political scandals.

Saul Bellow, 89; April 5 | Nobel Prize--winning novelist who wrote about Jewish American life in the city.

Renaldo "Obie" Benson, 68; July 1 | Founding member in 1956 of the Four Tops vocal group, often at the top of the R&B charts.

Fernando Bujones, 60; Nov. 10 | Cuban-American who was one of the world's greatest male ballet dancers.

Edmund P. Clowney, 87; March 20 | Distinguished Presbyterian pastor, educator, and author who taught at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia from 1952 to 1984, serving as its president from 1966 to 1982.

Johnnie Cochran Jr., 67; March 29 | Trial lawyer best known for defending O.J. Simpson in his 1995 murder trial.

H. David Dalquist, 86; Jan. 2 | Inventor in 1950 of the aluminum Bundt pan, the top-selling cake pan in the world.

Ossie Davis, 87; Feb. 4 | Stage and screen actor, playwright, director, and civil-rights leader.

John DeLorean, 80; March 19 | Auto executive who left a high-level position at GM to start his own company building flashy cars that bore his name.

Clarence Dennis, 96; July 11 | In 1951 performed the first open-heart surgery that included the use of a heart-lung machine.

James Doohan, 85; July 20 | Canadian-born actor who played Scotty, chief engineer of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek.

Peter Drucker, 95; Nov. 11 | Political economist, writer, and speaker best known for developing management principles.

Spencer Dryden, 66; Jan. 10 | Drummer for the rock band Jefferson Airplane.

Ralph Edwards, 92; Nov. 16 | Radio and television pioneer who created the hit shows This Is Your Life and Truth or Consequences, and developed Name That Tune and The People's Court.

Fahd ibn Abdul Aziz, 84; Aug. 1 | Pro-Western king of Saudi Arabia whose reign was marked by the economic modernization of the staunchly conservative Islamic country; his support for Wahhabism, the country's strict form of Islam, led to anti-Americanism, religious discrimination, and Islamic extremism throughout the Muslim world.

Geraldine Fitzgerald, 91; July 17 | Actress who starred in classic 1930s films Dark Victory and Wuthering Heights.

Dennis Flanagan, 85; Jan. 14 | Editor of Scientific American for 37 years who saw his magazine's circulation grow from 40,000 to more than 600,000.

Shelby Foote, 88; June 27 | Novelist and historian famed for his eloquent commentary on the 1990 PBS Civil War documentary.

James Forman, 76; Jan. 10 | Mississippi-raised civil-rights activist who in the early 1960s organized the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to solidify protesters and seek slavery reparations for blacks.

John Garang, 60; July 30 | Leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army for 22 years, killed in a helicopter crash three weeks after becoming vice president of Sudan.

Theodore Gill, 85; June 10 | Prominent liberal Presbyterian theologian, former president of San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a former managing editor of Christian Century magazine.

L. Patrick Gray III, 88; July 6 | Acting director of the FBI during Watergate who resigned in 1973 after admitting to passing on confidential FBI files and to destruction of documents.

Edward Heath, 89; July 17 | Leader of Britain's Conservative Party and former prime minister; he lost his post in 1975 to Margaret Thatcher.

Skitch Henderson, 87; Nov. 1 | Pianist, composer, conductor, and first bandleader for The Tonight Show.

Hildegarde, 99; July 29 | The "incomparable" singer and entertainer whose career spanned seven decades.

Maurice Hilleman, 85; April 11 | Microbiologist who created more than half the 14 vaccines widely given to children.

Oswald Hoffmann, 91; Sept. 8 | Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod preacher and voice of The Lutheran Hour weekly radio program for over three decades.

John Johnson, 85; Aug. 8 | Grandson of slaves who built a publishing empire that now includes Ebony (circulation 1.8 million) and Jet magazines.

Philip Johnson, 98; Jan. 26 | Renowned architect who introduced modern European glass-and-steel architecture to the United States.

Robert H. Johnston, 77; Oct. 19 | Archeologist and expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls whose work in digital restoration resulted in ways to read ancient degraded texts.

Georgeanna Jones, 92; March 26 | Endocrinologist who, with her husband, Howard, established the country's first in vitro fertilization program and created the first "test-tube baby" in 1981.

George Kennan, 101; March 17 | Diplomat and historian who, while working at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in 1946, devised the U.S. policy of containment to deal with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Jack Kilby, 81; June 20 | Nobel Prize--winning electrical engineer who developed the integrated circuit, or microchip.

Diane Knippers, 53; April 18 | Conservative Episcopalian activist and evangelical renewal leader who headed the Washington-based Institute for Religion and Democracy; named by Time magazine one of the country's 25 Most Influential Evangelicals.

Gordon Lee, 71; Oct. 16 | Chubby child actor who played Spanky McFarland's little brother Porky in Little Rascals comedies.

Peter Malkin, 77; March 1 | Former Israeli intelligence agent, explosives expert, and master of disguises who in 1960 captured Adolf Eichmann, a leading planner of the Holocaust.

Gene Mauch, 79; Aug. 8 | Won 1,901 baseball games as a manager for 26 seasons in the major leagues, beginning with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1960 and ending with the California Angels in 1988.

Virginia Mayo, 84; Jan. 17 | Actress whose beauty prompted the sultan of Morocco to write that she was "tangible proof of the existence of God."

Ernst Mayr, 100; Feb. 3 | Evolutionary biologist who developed the now widely accepted synthetic theory of evolution, which combined Darwin's theory of evolution with genetics.

Nick McDonald, 76; Jan. 27 | Dallas police officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald in a movie theater shortly after JFK's assassination.

George Mikan, 80; June 1 | Professional basketball player who at 6 feet 10 inches was the game's first "big man," a three-time All America player for DePaul who led the Minneapolis Lakers to five titles in six years, and the American Basketball Association's first commissioner.

Robert Moog, 71; Aug. 21 | Electronic music pioneer who in 1965 created the Moog synthesizer, used by many experimental and rock bands in the 1960s and '70s.

K.R. Narayanan, 85; Nov. 9 | Politician in India who in 1997 became the first Dalit, or "untouchable," to become president.

Jean Parker, 90; Nov. 30 | Star of Sequoia, Little Women, The Ghost Goes West, and other hit films of the 1930s and '40s.

M. Scott Peck, 69; Sept. 25 | Psychiatrist and author who wrote one of the first self-help books, The Road Less Traveled.

Frank Perdue, 84; March 31 | Chicken farmer whose folksy TV commercials for his poultry company made him a household name.

William Proxmire, 90; Dec. 15 | Former pro-life senator (D-Wis.) and Congress' leading critic of government waste; in 1975 he created the monthly "Golden Fleece" awards.

Richard Pryor, 65; Dec. 10 | Comedian and actor who majored on racial-inequality themes.

Peter Rodino, 95; May 7 | Former congressman (D-N.J.) who led the impeachment hearings of President Nixon.

Chris Schenkel, 82; Sept. 11 | Sportscaster whose six-decade career covered everything from bowling to the Olympics.

Jay Schulberg, 65; Jan. 12 | Advertising executive responsible for the American Express "Don't leave home without it" campaign and the dairy industry's "Got milk?" ads, and the campaign that termed the worst kind of headaches "Excedrin headaches."

Hugh Sidey, 78; Nov. 21 | Veteran Time magazine White House correspondent.

Jaime Sin, 76; June 21 | Catholic cardinal and archbishop of Manila who led "people power" campaigns that ousted two presidents of the Philippines without bloodshed.

Kenneth N. Taylor, 88; June 10 | Originator of The Living Bible paraphrase, a former editor of InterVarsity's His magazine, long-time head of Moody Press, founder of Tyndale House Publishers, and author of children's books.

Gerry Thomas, 83; July 18 | Food-service salesman who invented the TV dinner while working for C.A. Swanson and Sons in 1954, whose original metal tray is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, 115; Aug. 30 | Dutch woman recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest person.

John Vernon, 72; Feb. 1 | Canadian actor who played Dean Wormer in the 1978 hit Animal House.

Ruth Warrick, 88; Jan. 15 | Actress who made her film debut in Citizen Kane as the icy first wife of Orson Welles, best known for her role as inveterate busybody Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on the soap opera All My Children.

Dick Weber, 75; Feb. 14 | One of the first and best-known stars of professional bowling with 30 Professional Bowlers Association titles in four decades.

Simon Wiesenthal, 96; Sept. 20 | Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to tracking down fugitive Nazi war criminals; he claimed to have exposed more than 1,000 of them.

Earl Wilson, 70; April 23 | Former Red Sox pitcher who endured racism to become the first black American Leaguer to throw a no-hitter.

Paul Winchell, 82; June 24 | Grammy-winning ventriloquist, inventor, and children's TV show host who created the puppet Jerry Mahoney and provided the voice for Tigger in the Winnie-the-Pooh movies.

Rose Mary Woods, 87; Jan. 22 | President Nixon's loyal secretary who took blame for erasing part of a taped conversation between the president and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, days after the Watergate break-in.

Catherine Woolley, 100; July 30 | Wrote 87 children's books under her name (I Like Trains and the "Ginnie and Geneva" series) and the pen name Jane Thayer-all with a typewriter.

Molly Yard, 93; Sept. 21 | Longtime liberal activist who led the National Organization for Women during the fight over the nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.

George Younce, 75; April 11 | One of Southern gospel music's all-time greats and "probably the greatest bass singer of all time," according to gospel music giant Bill Gaither.

Zhang Bairen (aka Peter Chang), 90; Oct. 12 | Underground Chinese Catholic bishop who served 24 years in jail after telling authorities in 1955 that he would rather be shot dead than renounce the pope.

Zhang Chunqiao, 88; April 21 | Last surviving member of the Gang of Four, the radical Maoist group the Chinese government authorized to institute and uphold extreme measures of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

Edward E. Plowman
Edward E. Plowman

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