Features

2012 Departures

"2012 Departures" Continued...

Issue: "2012 News of the Year," Dec. 29, 2012

Earl Scruggs

88, March 28 | Banjo virtuoso and Bluegrass legend whose three-finger picking style revolutionized banjo playing and elevated the instrument’s reputation. He and guitarist Lester Flatt in 1948 formed the “Foggy Mountain Boys,” best known for their rendition of The Beverly Hillbillies theme song, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.”

Junior Seau

seau.jpg43, May 2 | Football great who spent 20 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL, most notably with the San Diego Chargers (including on its only Super Bowl team in 1994). A 10-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowl selection, he was a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. An apparent suicide.

Maurice Sendak

83, May 8 | Children’s book author and illustrator, best known for his award-winning book, Where the Wild Things Are. The darker themes in his books, reflecting his struggles with life’s meaning, appealed to generations of children dealing with their own fears.

Anthony Shadid

43, Feb. 16 | U.S.-born foreign correspondent who spent most of his career covering the Middle East, first for The Associated Press, then The Boston Globe, The Washington Post (where his reporting won two Pulitzer Prizes), and The New York Times. His astute grasp of the region, including getting kidnapped, beaten, and shot, helped Americans and the world better understand each successive iteration of the “Arab Spring” that started in Tunisia in 2010 and was in its “most bloody” stage in Syria, where he died from an apparent asthma attack.

Yitzhak Shamir

96, June 30 | Hardliner Israeli prime minister in 1983-84 and again from 1986-92 who resisted land-for-peace compromises with the Palestinians and led Israel during the first intifada, the 1991 Gulf War, and the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

Shenouda III

88, March 17 | Pope of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church for 41 years, who led the church to grow amid escalating tensions with Muslims as he advocated for Christian interests while offering support to former President Hosni Mubarak.

Robert Sherman

86, March 5 | The older brother of a fraternal song-writing team who wrote songs for many films and won Best Song and Best Score awards for “Mary Poppins.” They also wrote the world’s most listened to song, “It’s a Small World After All,” for Walt Disney and a successful “UNICEF Salutes the Children of the World” fundraiser at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Doris Singleton

92, June 26 | Busy TV actress with roles in dozens of shows during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s but is best remembered for her I Love Lucy role as Lucy’s friend and rival Caroline Appleby who engaged in unremitting competition with Lucy (Lucille Ball) over their respective sons.

Arlen Specter

82, Oct. 14 | Pennsylvania’s longest-serving senator, a moderate who lost his bid for a sixth term when he suddenly withdrew from the GOP and failed to win the Democratic Party primary.

J. Christopher Stevens

52, Sept. 11 | U.S. ambassador to Libya slain in a terrorist attack at the American consulate in Benghazi.

Bob Stewart

91, May 4 | Television producer who created such popular game shows as To Tell the Truth, The $10,000 Pyramid, and the enduring daytime hit The Price Is Right.

Arthur O. “Punch” Sulzberger

86, Sept. 29 | Publisher who took the helm of his family’s New York Times business at age 37. His determination to publish the Pentagon Papers (a secret government history of the Vietnam war) against the advice of the newspaper’s lawyers, and his persistence in the face of Nixon administration demands to back off, resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling on press freedom and earned him wide respect among journalists.

E. Donnall Thomas

92, Oct. 20 | Medical researcher awarded a Nobel Prize in 1990 for decades of work to perfect the bone marrow transplant, a complex procedure that has saved tens of thousands of patients with leukemia and other diseases of the blood.

Richard Threlkeld

74, Jan. 13 | Award-winning television news correspondent whose 33 years with ABC and CBS saw him on site covering the Vietnam War (he was on one of the last helicopters to lift off from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon in 1975), in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, in Moscow as the Soviet Union imploded in the 1990s, and at many other major happenings and events.

Roman Totenberg

101, May 8 | World famous violin prodigy who made his concert debut in Poland at age 11, migrated to America in the 1930s, and continued to earn rave reviews for performances well into his 90s.

Read more "2012 Departures."

Listen to a report on notable deaths of 2012 on WORLD’s radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

Photo credits: ARMSTRONG: NASA/Reuters/Landov; CLARK: Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images; GRIFFITH: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; KINKADE: Rick E. Martin/MCT/Landov; PATERNO: Ronald C. Modra /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images; SEAU: Matt A. Brown/Icon SMI/Corbis/AP; WELLS: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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