In chronological order of their deaths, these are people with whom I was at least vaguely familiar who passed away this year:
Lee Dreyfus, former governor of Wisconsin.
Gerry Staley, former MLB pitcher.
Jimmy Stewart, former British racecar driver.
Phillip Agee, author and former CIA agent.
Jim Dooley, former Chicago Bears coach.
Johnny Grant, former honorary mayor of Hollywood.
Rod Allen, former lead singer of the Fortunes (”Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling Again”).
Sir Edmund Hillary, first mountaineer to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Johnny Podres, former MLB pitcher.
Bobby Fischer, chess grandmaster.
Ernie Holmes, former NFL player.
John Stroger, Chicago politician.
Lois Nettleton, movie and TV actress.
Lou Palmer, radio announcer.
Georgia Frontiere, owner of St. Louis Rams football team.
John Stewart, member of the Kingston Trio.
Eugene Sawyer, former mayor of Chicago.
Suzanne Pleshette, movie and TV actress.
Heath Ledger, movie actor.
Margaret Truman Daniel, author and daughter of Harry S Truman.
Ed Vargo, former MLB umpire.
Earl Butz, former secretary of agriculture.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, former guru to the Beatles.
Roy Scheider, movie actor.
Freddie Bell, R&B singer.
Tom Lantos, member of Congress and Holocaust survivor.
Robin Moore, author (”The Green Berets”).
Evan Mecham, former governor of Arizona.
Buddy Miles, rock drummer.
William F. Buckley Jr., author, political commentator, founder of the National Review magazine.
Mike Smith, lead singer of the Dave Clark Five.
Jerry Groom, former NFL player.
Buddy Dial, former football star.
Bob Purkey, former MLB player.
Ivan Dixon, movie and TV actor (”Hogan’s Heroes”).
Sir Arthur Clarke, author (”2001: A Space Odyssey”).
Richard Widmark, actor.
Paul Scofield, actor.
Neil Aspinall, former road manager for the Beatles.
Wally Phillips, Chicago radio personality.
Charlton Heston, movie actor.
Bob Pellegrini, former NFL player.
Joy Page, movie actress (”Casablanca”).
Al Wilson, soul singer (”Show and Tell”).
Paul Davis, pop singer (”65 Love Affair”).
Eddy Arnold, country music singer.
Arthur Burks, mathemetician and computer pioneer.
Utah Phillips, folk singer.
Jimmy McGriff, jazz and blues organist.
Dick Martin, comedian (”Laugh-In”).
Sydney Pollack, movie actor and director.
Earle Hagen, TV theme composer (”The Andy Griffith Show”).
Harvey Korman, actor and comedian.
Yves St. Laurent, fashion designer.
Paul Sills, co-founder of the Second City improv troupe.
Mel Ferrer, actor.
Bo Diddley (pictured above), rock pioneer.
Tim Russert, TV journalist.
Cyd Charisse, actress and dancer.
Dody Goodman, actress and comedian.
George Carlin, comedian.
Larry Harmon, actor (Bozo the Clown).
Evelyn Keyes, actress (”Gone With the Wind”).
Charles Joffe, producer of most of Woody Allen’s movies.
Michael DeBakey, pioneer heart surgeon.
Bobby Murcer, former MLB player.
Tony Snow, journalist and White House press secretary.
Les Crane, TV personality.
Jo Stafford, singer (”Jambalaya”).
Estelle Getty, TV actress (”Golden Girls”).
Anne Armstrong, Republican politician.
Skip Caray, baseball broadcaster.
Orville Moody, golfer.
Bernie Mac, comedian and actor.
Isaac Hayes, soul musician.
Gene Upshaw, NFL player and union executive.
Phil Hill, racecar driver.
Jerry Reed, country singer and actor.
Ike Pappas, TV journalist.
Richard Wright, keyboardist and songwriter for Pink Floyd.
Norman Whitfield, Motown songwriter (”I Heard It Through the Grapevine”).
Anna Langford, Chicago politician.
Connie Haynes, singer.
Dick Lynch, former NLF player.
Mickey Vernon, former MLB player.
Paul Newman, actor.
Nick Reynolds, former member of the Kingston Trio.
Lloyd Thaxton, TV personality.
Gil Stratton, sportscaster and actor (”Stalag 17″).
Tom Tresh, former MLB player.
Edie Adams, singer and actress.
Levi Stubbs, lead singer of the Four Tops.
Ben Weider, bodybuilding enthusiast.
Richard Blackwell, fashion critic.
Tony Hillerman, mystery writer.
Delmar Watson, former child actor (”Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”).
Studs Terkel, author and radio personality.
Yma Sumac, singer.
Michael Crichton, author (”Jurassic Park”).
Heather Pick, TV journalist.
Jody Reynolds, singer and guitarist (”Endless Sleep”).
Preacher Roe, former MLB pitcher.
Miriam Makeba, singer.
Herb Score, former MLB pitcher.
Odetta, folk singer.
Nina Foch, actress.
Beverley Garland, actress.
Sunny von Bulow, heiress.
Dennis Yost, lead singer of the Classics IV.
Robert Prosky, actor.
Betty Page, pin-up model.
Van Johnson, actor.
Sammy Baugh, former NFL player.
Paul Weyrich, conservative political activist.
Conor Cruise O’Brien, political activist and author.
W. Mark Felt, “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame.
Dock Ellis, former MLB pitcher.
Harold Pinter, playwright.
Eartha Kitt, singer and actress.
Delaney Bramlett, singer and songwriter.