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Notable Deaths 2019: Important Black People Who Died This Year – News One

UPDATED: 6:28 p.m. EST, Dec. 9 —

The list of legends being taken from us during this calendar year keeps getting longer.

Most recently, rapper Juice WRLD, an upstart artist who rose to fame quickly, died the morning of Dec. 8 following a seizure at an airport in his hometown of Chicago.

While an official cause of death was not reported immediately, law enforcement has said that large quantities of prescription pills and marijuana were found in the luggage of him and his entourage. TMZ reported that Juice WRLD “was seen swallowing several Percocet pills in what people believed was an attempt to hide them” in an act that “might’ve contributed to his death in a possible OD.”

Juice WRLD’s sudden death came just about a month after Bernard Tyson, a respected leader in the healthcare field and the Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, died Nov. 10. He was just 60 years old. Tyson had a 30-year career with Kaiser and eventually rose through the ranks to become the CEO in 2013. During his time, the integrated health-care system and insurance company grew from 9 million members, with more than 174,000 employees, to more than 12 million members with an employee base of 218,000. Under his leadership, the country’s largest nonprofit health system became a leading advocate in the push to improve the delivery of benefits and care.

Prior to that, John Witherspoon was called home after his sudden death at his Los Angeles area home in late October. The celebrated actor and comedian’s death followed the high-profile passings of former Michigan Congressman John Conyers, who died Sunday, and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died Oct. 17.

The above names recently joined this running file that NewsOne.com keeps in an effort to pay homage to notable Black people who have died this year.

Scroll down to read more about other notable figures who we’ve lost in 2019.

1. Juice WRLD, rapper, 21

Juice Wrld has died Source:WENN

Juice WRLD, an upstart and popular rapper, died Dec. 8 after suffering a seizure in Chicago. He was just 21 years old.

Pictured: Juice WRLD performs live at Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, Leeds, Aug. 24, 2019.

2. Irving Burgie, singer songwriter, 95

38th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony - Show Source:Getty

Irving Burgie, a singer and songwriter who wrote “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” a song that Harry Belafonte popularized, died Nov. 29 at the age of 95.

Pictured: During 38th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony in New York City.

3. Edna Smith Primus, civil rights lawyer, 75

The Associated Press reported that Edna Smith Primus was “South Carolina civil rights lawyer who helped redefine free speech rights for attorneys.” She died Nov. 29 at the age of 75.

4. Rev. Clay Evans, civil rights leader in Chicago, 94

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Rev. Clay Evans was “a civil rights leader, influential evangelical broadcaster and gospel music icon” in Chicago. He died Nov. 27 at 94 years old.

5. Rev. George Clements, civil rights advocate in Chicago, 87

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Rev. George Clements was “a longtime civil rights advocate from Chicago’s South Side who was also known as the first Catholic priest to adopt a child, and later, three more.” He died Nov. 25 at the age of 87.

6. Barbara Hillary, nurse-turned historic explorer, 88

The New York Times reported that Barbara Hillary was “the first black woman on record to reach the North and South poles.” Hilklary did so after decades of working as a nurse. She was 88 years old when she died Nov. 23.

7. Harrison Dillard, 4-time Olympic champion,

OLY1948-LONDON-ATHLETICS Source:Getty

Cleveland.com reported that Harrison Dillard “was the oldest living U.S. Olympic gold medal-winner” and “the only male runner in history to win Olympic gold in both a dash and the high hurdles.” He died Nov. 15 at the age of 96.

Pictured: Dillard jumps a hurdle during his training at the athletics event of the London 1948 Olympic Games.

8. Charles Rogers, former NFL football star, 38

Charles Rogers talks to the press Source:Getty

Charles Rogers, a former wide receiver with the Detroit Lions who was also a star at Michigan State University, died Nov. 11 at the age of 38. He reportedly died from cancer.

9. Bernard J. Tyson, health care CEO, 60

Fast Company Innovation Festival - Day 2 Source:Getty

Bernard J. Tyson, whose 30-year career with Kaiser Permanente led to him rising in the ranks to become the CEO in 2013, died Nov. 10 at the age of 60. During his time at Kaiser, the integrated health-care system and insurance company grew from 9 million members, with more than 174,000 employees, to more than 12 million members with an employee base of 218,000. Under his leadership, the country’s largest nonprofit health system became a leading advocate in the push to improve the delivery of benefits and care.

10. Ernest Gaines, writer, 86

Writer Ernest Gaines in the Bayou Credit: Getty Photographer: Philip Gould Source:Getty

Ernest Gaines, who wrote novels that dealt with racial issues and discrimination in his native Louisiana, died Nov. 5 at the age of 86.

11. John Conyers, longtime Michigan Congressman, 90

Library of Congress Swear In Source:Getty

John Conyers, the legendary Democratic Congressman from Michigan who served more than a half-century on Capitol Hill to become the longest-serving Black U.S. Representative in history, died Oct. 27 at 90 years old.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

12. Willie Brown, Hall of Fame NFL player, 78

Bay Area News Group Archive Source:Getty

NFL Hall of Famer and legendary Oakland Raiders cornerback Willie Brown died Oct. 22 at the age of 78.

Piuctured: October 1, 1972 Oakland, CA – Oakland Raider DB Willie Brown heads to recover a fumble by San Diego Charger QB John Hadl. (By Ron Riesterer / Oakland Tribune)
(Digital First Media Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images) color image,photography,horizontal,usa,sport,california,1970-1979,archival,american football – sport,recovery,fumble,los angeles chargers

13. Elijah Cummings, Congressman from Maryland, 68

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Visits Baltimore Source:Getty

Elijah Cummings, the Congressman from Maryland and one of the main Democrats leading the charge to impeach President Donald Trump, died Oct. 17 at the age of 68.

14. Jessye Norman, soprano opera singer, 74

Black American soprano Jessye Norman in Australia to tour with the ABC., at the Hyatt Kingsgate, Kings Cross.La Norman returned to Australia on Saturday. It is five years since the first Jessye Norman tour of Australia which developed into a kind of "Norm Source:Getty

Jessye Norman, the pioneering Black soprano opera singer, died Sept. 30 at the age of 74.

15. Robert Mugabe, former Zimbabwe president, 95

Robert Mugabe Source:Getty

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe dies Sept. 5 in Singapore. He was 95 years old.

16. LaShawn Daniels, Grammy-winning songwriter, 41

Grammy-winning LaShawn Daniels, who often appeared on the reality show “Tamar & Vince,” died Sept. 3.

17. Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker, world champion boxer, 55

Whitaker V Vasquez Source:Getty

Pernell Whitaker died after being hit by a car in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Sunday, July 14. He was 55 years old.

18. Phil Freelon, architect, 66

Architect Phil Freelon, co-designer of the new Smithonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, at the National Building museum in Washington, DC. Source:Getty

Phil Freelon, architect and co-designer of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, died July 9 after years of battling ALS.

19. Etika, popular YouTuber, 29

Etika, popular YouTuber Source:NYPD

Etika, a popular YouTuber whose real name is Desmond Amofah, was found dead on June 25.

20. Bushwick Bill, rapper, 52

Bushwick Bill Source:Getty

Bushwick Bill died June 9 at the age of 52. The pioneering rapper and member of The Geto Boys had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

21. Dr. Patricia Bath, pioneering ophthalmologist, 76

Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards - 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Source:Getty

“Patricia Bath, a pioneering ophthalmologist who became the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent after she invented a more precise treatment for cataracts, died May 30 at a hospital in San Francisco,” the Washington Post reported. “She was 76.”

22. John Singleton, filmmaker, 51

John Singleton Portrait Session 1991 Source:Getty

Oscar-nominated movie director John Singleton died April 29. He was taken off of life support following complications from a stroke.

23. Nipsey Hussle, rapper, 33

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game Source:Getty

Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed on the afternoon of March 31 outside of a clothing store he owned in Los Angeles. He was only 33-years-old.

24. Andre Williams, R&B legend, dies at 82

R&B singer-producer Andre Williams died Monday, March 18, according to his record label.

25. Frank Robinson, baseball legend, 83

Major League Baseball 2005 Source:Getty

Frank Robinson, professional baseball’s first Black manager and Hall of Famer, died Feb. 7 at the age of 83.

Pictured: Frank Robinson, Manager of the Washington Nationals, is happy about the team’s performance in a game against the Chicago Cubs. The visiting Nationals defeated the Cubs 4-3 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Photo by Ed Wolfstein /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

26. Kristoff St. John, actor, 52

The Young and the Restless Source:Getty

Kristoff St. John, who starred in the popular soap opera “Young & the Restless” as Neil Winters, died Feb. 3 at the age of 52.

Pictured: LOS ANGELES – JUNE 20: Kristoff St. John plays Neil Winters on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS. (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)

27. Dr. Frank James, Former SWAC commissioner, NCAA president

Dr. James Frank, the former commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the first black president of the NCAA, died Jan. 26. He was

28. Kevin Barnett, Comedian, 32

Vulture Festival Presents: Comedy Night Source:Getty

Kevin Barnett, actor and comedian, died Jan. 22.

Pictured: BROOKLYN, NY – MAY 31: Comedian Kevin Barnett performs onstage at the Vulture Festival Presents: Comedy Night at The Bell House on May 31, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

29. John Lyle, Tuskegee Airman, 98

“World War II African-American fighter pilot John Lyle, a Tuskegee Airman, is dead at age 98,” the Associated Press reported. Lyle died Jan. 7 after a battle with prostate cancer.

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