20 Notable Figures Who Passed Away in 2012


As a new year begins, the world looks back at the notable people who passed away in 2012. Here are 20 people whose accomplishments and personalities will be missed in 2013.

1. Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, by becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

2. Ray Bradbury

Bradbury was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

3. Dick Clark

The legendary TV personality graced many popular shows, including American Bandstand, $25,000 Pyramid and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes and later his annual New Year’ Eve special.

4. Don Cornelius

Cornelius created and hosted Soul Train, which spent more than 30 years on the air.

5. Mike Wallace

The 60 Minutes correspondent's 40+ year career garnered 21 Emmys.

6. Nora Ephron

The director and screenwriter was perhaps best known for When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail

7. Senator George McGovern

One of the leading liberal and progressive American political figures of the later 20th century, McGovern ran for president in 1972.

8. Sun Myung Moon

Moon founded the Unification Church.

9. Sally Ride

Ride, who joined NASA in 1978, was the first American woman in space.

10. Whitney Houston

The world famous multi-Grammy award singer sold over 100 million records.

11. Gore Vidal

The author and playwright wrote and published more than 200 essays and 24 novels throughout his career, and was famous for his frequent talk-show appearances and witty political criticisms.

12. Ravi Shankar

The musician and composer was best known for popularizing the sitar and Indian classical music in Western culture.

13. Russell Means

The Native American political activist was an early leader of the American Indian Movement, and lost the Libertarian nomination for president to Ron Paul.

14. Dr. Joseph Murray

The pioneer in organ transplants, who won the Nobel Prize in 1990, was the first to transplant a kidney to non-identical siblings.

15. Marvin Miller

The head of the Major League baseball union led the effort to establish free agency and changed the salary structure for major league professional athletes.

16. Dr. William F. House

The ear specialist and advocate for the hearing impaired invented the cochlear implant.

17. Senator Daniel K. Inouye 

The second-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor for combat duty during World War II.

18. Robert Bork

The constitutional law expert, a critical and leading voice in the conservative movement, was nominated for the Supreme Court.

19. General  H. Norman Schwarzkopf

The four star general was the commander of 1991's Operation Desert Storm.

20. Donna Summer

The "Queen of Disco," her music helped define an era.