Features

2012 Departures

"2012 Departures" Continued...

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

Jack Tramiel

83, April 8 | Hard-charging competitive tech pioneer whose inexpensive, popular Commodore computers, introduced in 1977, helped the personal computer industry take off. His 1982 Commodore 64 offered more memory (64K) and other features at half the price of the Apple II, becoming the best-selling single personal computer model of all time.

Steve Van Buren

91, Aug. 23 | One of the greatest running backs in NFL history, a Philadelphia Eagles player from 1944 to 1951. He led the Eagles to two NFL championships, made the All-Pro list five times, led the NFL in rushing four times, and held the NFL record for career rushing yards (5,860) and career rushing touchdowns (69) when he retired. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

Gore Vidal

86, July 31 | Prolific writer with a sour attitude and self-anointed judge of American politics and culture who wrote for television, film, and theater, and published two dozen novels and volumes of essays.

Mike Wallace

93, April 7 | Veteran broadcast journalist whose often hard-hitting interviews were a hallmark of his career spanning 38 years with television’s first newsmagazine show, CBS News’ 60 Minutes, which debuted in 1968.

Doc Watson

89, May 29 | Internationally celebrated blind folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist from North Carolina whose Grammy-winning Southern musical storytelling survives in more than 50 record albums.

Kitty Wells

wells.jpg92, July 16 | Country Music Hall of Fame singer who achieved notoriety and fame with songs about life and love from a woman’s point of view. She had the first No. 1 country song ever recorded by a female artist and is revered as the groundbreaking pioneer for every successful female country singer who came after her.

Andy Williams

84, Sept. 25 | Popular handsome “nice-guy” singer and host of the NBC easy-listening musical-variety TV show bearing his name from 1962 to 1971. Known for his signature song, “Moon River” (also the name he gave his theater in Branson, Mo.), he got his start singing with his three older brothers in their church choir at the age of 6; they sang as The Williams Brothers until they disbanded in 1952.

Eddie Yost

86, Oct. 16 | Popular third baseman for the hapless Washington Senators in the 1950s whose uncanny ability to size up blazing pitches, avoid swinging at bad ones, and draw walks (and score runs) earned him the title “The Walking Man.” His career batting average was just .254, but his on-base percentage of .394 was higher than that of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, and Derek Jeter.

Zig Ziglar

86, Nov. 28 | One of America’s most famous motivational speakers (“be the best you can be”) and authors (See You at the Top) whose career took off after his Christian conversion at age 42. In wide demand even in later life, he always made it home to teach his Sunday school class in suburban Dallas.

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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