To say that the year 2020 was a difficult one for most people is likely an understatement. From the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic outbreak to widespread civil unrest to one of the most contentious elections in American history, negativity has been the norm this year.

Losing loved ones is always difficult, and that was no different during this challenging year. Whether from the effects of the virus, some other illness or disease, an accident, or natural or other causes many Americans were touched by the loss of an important person this year.

With five days still to go, I have been personally fortunate in that I have lost no immediate family members during the calendar year of 2020. It’s the first time in a long time that I can say that, and it is one thing for which I can be grateful.

But we have all lost a number of important and/or famous people this year. Individuals who touched our lives from the world of entertainment, sports, and politics. Folks whose memories and accomplishments will continue to live on for generations.

A number of those famous individuals died without likely ever hearing the terms “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” and left us before the pandemic really broke out. Those included basketball superstar Koby Bryant (41), Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas (103), and singer Kenny Rogers (81), who died in January, February, and March respectively.

Over the course of this year we lost many more. Here is just a sampling of some of the more popular individuals, divided by the career in which they became most famous:

MUSIC: Neil Peart (67), Bill Withers (81), John Prine (73), Little Richard (87), Benny Mardones (73), Charlie Daniels (83), Eddie Van Halen (65), Andre Harrell (59), Bob Kulick (70), Bonnie Pointer (69), Peter Green (73), Malik B (47), Ian Mitchell (62), Tommy DeVito (92), Helen Reddy (78), Mac Davis (78), Johnny Nash (80), Spencer Davis (81), Charley Pride (86), Leslie West (75), Jerry Jeff Walker (78)

ACTING: Kirk Douglas (103), Max von Sydow (90), Sam Lloyd (56), Ian Holm (88), Kelly Preston (57), Naya Rivera (33), Wilford Brimley (85), Chadwick Boseman (43), Diana Rigg (82), Sean Connery (90), Orson Bean (91), Robert Conrad (84), Zoe Caldwell (86), Lyle Waggoner (84), James Drury (85), Brian Dennehy (81), Shirley Knight (83), Olivia de Havilland (104), Ben Cross (72), Kevin Dobson (77), David Prowse (85), David Lander (73)

COMEDY: Terry Jones (77), Jerry Stiller (92), Fred Willard (86), Carl Reiner (98), Norm Crosby (93)

ENTERTAINMENT/WRITING: Roy Horn (75), Regis Philbin (88), Alex Trebek (80), Fred Silverman (82), Mary Higgins Clark (92), Mort Drucker (91), Joel Schumacher (80), Jackie Stallone (98), Tom Kennedy (93), John Le Carre (89), Ann Reinking (71)

SPORTS: Don Larsen (90), John Thompson (78), Tom Seaver (75), Gale Sayers (77), Whitey Ford (91), John Andretti (56), Tony Fernandez (57), Curly Neal (77), Tom Dempsey (73), Timmy Brown (82), Don Shula (90), Jerry Sloan (78), Wes Unseld (74), Cliff Robinson (53), Lou Brock (81), Joe Morgan (77), Dick Allen (78), Diego Maradona (60), Kevin Greene (58)

NEWS/POLITICS/BUSINESS: John Lewis (80), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (87), Jim Lehrer (85), Jack Welch (84), Joe Coulombe (89), Bobbie Batista (67), Jean Kennedy Smith (92), Herman Cain (74)

These are just a few dozen of the more famous and/or notable individuals who made their mark on our culture during the lifetimes and who passed away during this calendar year of 2020. Will we add to this list over the final week? Only the coming days will tell. May they all rest in peace.


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