2020 has been a rough year, and we’ve lost far too many people along the way.
Below The Oregonian/OregonLive offers up a list, far from exhaustive, of notable Oregonians and other Americans who died in the past 12 months, from the beloved to the notorious. (We also include a few dearly departed from foreign locales who made an impact in the United States).
David Stern, 77
The NBA commissioner for 30 years, Stern helped transform the professional basketball league from wobbly third wheel in American sports to international juggernaut. Before moving into sports administration, he was a corporate lawyer, becoming the NBA’s general counsel in 1978.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, 52
The writer burst onto the literary scene in 1994 with her powerful, genre-expanding memoir “Prozac Nation,” which helped bring clinical depression out of the shadows. Controversy-seeking follow-up books, such as “Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women,” didn’t make a similar splash, and in the early 2000s she pivoted to a law career. She died of breast cancer.
Saul Zaik, 93
The influential Portland architect, a Benson High and University of Oregon grad, designed eye-catching, practical residences that came to define 20th-century Oregon living. He also worked on an acclaimed Timberline Lodge addition.
Buck Henry, 89
The actor/writer/director penned the script for the 1960s Hollywood classic “The Graduate.” He also wrote the screenplays for “Catch-22” and “To Die For,” and he co-directed (with Warren Beatty) 1978′s “Heaven Can Wait.” Henry and comedy legend Mel Brooks created the 1965-70 James Bond-parody TV series “Get Smart.”
Jim Lehrer, 85
The Texan worked as a newspaperman before joining Robert MacNeil as one of the sober, analytical anchors of PBS’ acclaimed MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. As the rise of cable television in the 1980s and ’90s changed the nature of broadcast journalism, Lehrer stuck to his guns. He said in a 2001 interview: “I have an old-fashioned view that news is not a commodity.”
Leila Janah, 37
The entrepreneur founded the pioneering training-data company Samasource and the skin-care company LXMI. She also was a visiting scholar at Stanford University. The New York native and Harvard graduate died of cancer.
Kobe Bryant, 41
Bryant was one of the NBA’s biggest stars over a 20-year career that saw him win the 2008 Most Valuable Player award and lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships. After retiring from basketball in 2016, he moved into film and other entertainment pursuits. He and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash.
Mary Higgins Clark, 92
The Bronx native published her first novel in 1969 and soon became a regular on bestseller lists, earning the title “The Queen of Suspense.” Before launching her writing career in her early 40s, she raised three children and worked at an advertising agency.
Kirk Douglas, 103
The stocky, blue-eyed New Yorker, born Issur Danielovitch, became a Hollywood star in the late 1940s — and stayed a star throughout a long, heralded acting career that stretched into the 21st century. He received an Academy Award nomination for playing Vincent van Gogh in 1956′s “Lust for Life,” took the title role in 1960′s “Spartacus” and starred in the derivative 1980 sci-fi flick “Saturn 3” with the 30-years-younger Farrah Fawcett as his love interest.
Robert Conrad, 84
The Chicago native starred in the popular television series “The Wild Wild West” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” His pugnacious, Napoleon-complex appeal didn’t translate to the big screen, and he ended up on TV commercials and the gimmicky 1970s-’80s celebrity competition show “Battle of the Network Stars.”
Charles Portis, 86
The Arkansan served in the Marines during the Korean War and then worked as a newspaper reporter, covering the Civil Rights movement in the South. His Western novel “True Grit” became a best-seller and was adapted for film, winning John Wayne his lone Academy Award.
Katherine Johnson, 101
Johnson was one of three Black students to integrate West Virginia University in 1939. Twenty years later, she became the first woman in NASA’s Flight Research Division to receive author credit on a research report. The mathematician’s innovative work helped guide NASA’s Mercury and Apollo missions in the 1960s. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Larry Tesler, 74
The computer scientist invented the cut/paste command, making word processing user-friendly and hastening the demise of the typewriter. He worked at Apple for nearly two decades and later at Amazon.
Mike Hughes, 64
Known as “Mad Mike,” the flat-Earth proponent set out to prove his false belief by launching himself into space. He died when his homemade rocket crashed shortly after takeoff in California.
Clive Cussler, 88
The author of over-the-top, formulaic adventure novels, Cussler lived an over-the-top, one-of-a-kind life. The college dropout from Illinois served in the Air Force, ran an award-winning advertising agency and led maritime expeditions that discovered more than 50 wrecks. To relax, he restored vintage cars.
Joe Coulombe, 89
The entrepreneurial grocer launched the first Trader Joe’s store, in Pasadena, in 1967. The store focused on low-price natural and organic foods, catching the California zeitgeist. Trader Joe’s, he said, was “for overeducated and underpaid people, for all the classical musicians, museum curators, journalists.” There are now more than 500 Trader Joe’s stores around the country.
Lisel Mueller, 96
The Hamburg native escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 with her mother and sister, settling in the Chicago metro area. She won the 1981 National Book Award for poetry and a 1997 Pulitzer Prize.
Jack Welch, 84
The hard-charging, workforce-slashing CEO made General Electric one of the world’s most profitable companies in the 1980s and ’90s. His success made him a celebrity, with Fortune magazine deeming him “Manager of the Century.”
James Lipton, 93
The suave Detroit native romanticized the craft of acting on the popular cable-TV program “Inside the Actors Studio.” Long before he began interviewing Hollywood stars on television, he was an actor himself, appearing in various TV programs in the 1950s. He also wrote and produced for television and the theater.
Mike Thrasher, 48
The Portland musician became an influential local concert promotor in the 1990s, focusing on up-and-coming performers. He later took charge of the Hawthorne Theatre.
Mart Crowley, 84
The Mississippi native wrote the pioneering 1968 play “The Boys in the Band” as the gay-rights movement was beginning to make progress. Before establishing himself as a playwright, he worked as an assistant to film director Elia Kazan and then as a personal assistant for Natalie Wood.
Jim Bartko, 54
The California native was a longtime University of Oregon athletic-department administrator, developing a close relationship with Nike co-founder and UO benefactor Phil Knight. In 2015, he became Fresno State’s athletic director, but he returned to Eugene after just two years.
Kenny Rogers, 81
The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee sold more than 100 million records over his long career, producing lasting hits such as “Lucille,” “The Gambler” and “Coward of the County.” The bearded singer’s popularity transcended Nashville, leading to starring roles in a series of television movies.
James Douglass, 83
The trumpetist directed Oregon State’s marching and symphonic bands for more than three decades before retiring in 1999. The beloved band leader also founded Northwest Band Camp.
Terrence McNally, 81
The Floridian won Tony Awards for his plays “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class,” and for writing the books for the musicals “Ragtime” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” He died of complications from COVID-19.
Fred “Curly” Neal, 77
The beloved entertainer and athlete spent more than 20 years with the Harlem Globetrotters. He was famed for his astonishing basketball dribbling skills, inspiring and influencing many future NBA players.
Tom Coburn, 72
The obstetrician, a Republican U.S. senator from Oklahoma, passionately embraced the principles of limited government.
Joseph Lowery, 98
The civil-rights leader worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and was a devoted activist for criminal-justice reform. He served as a Methodist minister in Alabama and Georgia for more than 50 years.
James A. Redden, 91
The longtime U.S. district judge in Oregon gained national attention when he made the Bonneville Power Administration rewrite its salmon-protection plan. Before joining the federal bench, Redden served as a state representative, Oregon treasurer and state attorney general.
Bill Withers, 81
The 3-time Grammy winner wrote the beloved songs “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The West Virginia native spent time in the Navy and worked at an aircraft-parts factory before launching his music career.
Ellis Marsalis, 85
The pianist and prominent music educator helped revive the popularity of traditional jazz. Well-known jazz musicians Wynton and Brandon Marsalis are his eldest sons. He died of complications from COVID-19.
Arlene Schnitzer, 91
The lifelong Oregonian founded Fountain Gallery in 1961. She helped launch the careers of various acclaimed artists, sparking Portland’s ascent as a regional culture center. Schnitzer and her late husband Harold became the city’s foremost arts philanthropists.
Al Kaline, 85
The Detroit Tigers legend, known as “Mr. Tiger,” thumped 399 home runs and 3,007 hits during 22 years in the Major Leagues. Because his time as a player came before the advent of free agency, he had to work during the off-season early in his MLB career, holding a salesman position at a sporting-goods store.
John Prine, 73
The folk-country balladeer started his music career playing small clubs in Chicago while holding a day job as a mailman. His songs, such as “Sam Stone” and “Hello in There,” captured the highs and lows of everyday American life. Bob Dylan heralded Prine’s work as “pure Proustian existentialism.” Prine died of complications from COVID-19.
Linda Tripp, 70
The Pentagon employee became notorious in the late 1990s after secretly recording former White House intern Monica Lewinsky talking about her affair with President Bill Clinton. Faced with tabloid attention, Tripp underwent plastic surgery, with conservative activist Lucianne Goldberg commenting: “It looks like she’s had a head transplant.”
Brian Dennehy, 81
The former U.S. Marine was known for playing working-class tough guys. He appeared in a slew of feature films (“Cocoon,” “F/X,” “Tommy Boy”) and TV movies (“To Catch a Killer”) and starred on Broadway (“Death of a Salesman,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”).
Peter Beard, 82
The good-looking photographer produced memorable images of both supermodels and African wildlife. He also was a dashing man-about-town in New York society, as famous for being famous as he was for his work.
Sister Rita Ferschweiler, 102
During her time as St. Vincent Medical Center’s top administrator, the nun and nurse guided the relocation of the hospital from Northwest Portland to Washington County. Said Providence-Oregon chief executive Lisa Vance in a tribute: “She was an important person in our history. An amazing woman. Amazing leader. Amazing pioneer.”
Don Shula, 90
The longtime NFL head coach led the Miami Dolphins to the only undefeated season in league history (including playoffs), in 1972. Before taking over the Dolphins, Shula coached the Baltimore Colts. A defensive back, he played seven seasons in the NFL.
Roy Horn, 75
The German-born performer and his partner Siegfried Fischbacher became Las Vegas icons through their wild animal magic act Siegfried and Roy. Their long-running show closed in 2003 after a white tiger attacked Horn during a performance. Horn died of complications from COVID-19.
Little Richard, 87
The pioneering rock ‘n’ roller, born Richard Penniman, rose to fame in the 1950s with high-energy hits including “Tutti Frutti” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Though he never matched his early success in the decades that followed, he remained a beloved performer into the 21st century, influencing everyone from Paul McCartney to Prince.
Jerry Stiller, 92
Best known as Frank Costanza in the 1990s sitcom “Seinfeld,” Stiller had a long, varied career, ranging from a nightclub comedy act with his wife Anne Meara to a gritty Hollywood dramatic role in the 1970s classic “The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three.” His son is actor Ben Stiller.
Fred Willard, 86
The whimsical actor appeared in Christopher Guest’s quirky ensemble movies “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind.” He also had recurring roles on the sitcoms “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Modern Family.”
Astrid Kirchherr, 81
The stylish German photographer captured images of the Beatles that would become iconic. She and “Fifth Beatle” Stuart Sutcliffe fell in love shortly before Sutcliffe died, at 21, in 1962. Kirchherr later turned to interior design.
Mitch Greenlick, 85
The Democrat focused on health-care policy during his nearly 20 years in the Oregon House of Representatives. A Detroit native, he moved to Oregon after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in medical-care administration.
Lynn Shelton, 54
The Seattle-based film director helmed small-budget, critically acclaimed independent films, including “Humpday” and “Your Sister’s Sister.” She also directed episodes of popular TV series such as “Mad Men.” She died of a rare blood disorder.
Ken Osmond, 76
The former child actor was best known for playing unctuous teen Eddie Haskell in the 1950s TV series “Leave It to Beaver.” He later became a Los Angeles police officer.
Kenneth L. Smith, 85
The tribal leader oversaw significant development on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, such as an early childhood education center and the Museum at Warm Springs. In the 1980s, he served as assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Rod Harman, 93
Harman was a dedicated high-school economics, social-studies and English teacher in Oregon, but he was best known as a swim coach. He worked with three Olympians and 62 All-American high-school swimmers over his career.
Larry Kramer, 84
Kramer penned the novel “Faggots” and the Tony-winning play “The Normal Heart.” His political activism in the 1980s raised the public’s awareness of AIDS and helped push the U.S. government to find effective treatments.
Eddie Sutton, 84
The college basketball coach took three teams to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. Though his career was pockmarked by alcoholic episodes and recruiting violations, Sutton was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame shortly before his death.
George Floyd, 46
The death of the truck driver and bouncer, after he’d repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” while a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, sparked a worldwide movement protesting police violence.
The artist and his late French wife Jeanne-Claude created massive public installations, including wrapping Berlin’s Reichstag in fabric and filling New York City’s Central Park with waving “gates.” Christo Vladimirov Javacheff escaped his native Bulgaria in 1958, landing in Paris and then moving on to New York.
Wes Unseld, 74
The undersized center led the Washington Bullets to an NBA championship in 1978. The second pick overall in the 1968 NBA Draft, he won Most Valuable Player honors in his first season in the league.
Ramiza Koya, 49
The California native served as director of youth programs at the Portland nonprofit Literary Arts. Forest Avenue Press published her debut novel, “The Royal Abduls,” early in 2020. Koya died of breast cancer.
Harry Glickman, 96
The World War II vet (and Bronze Star recipient) brought an NBA franchise to his native Portland. He held hands-on executive positions with the Trail Blazers from the team’s founding in 1970 until the mid-1990s.
William S. Sessions, 90
The Arkansan was director of the FBI for six years in the 1980s and ’90s before President Clinton fired him. He previously served as a U.S. attorney and federal judge.
Vic Gilliam, 66
The former actor served for a decade in the Oregon House of Representatives. He died five years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurological disorder better known as ALS.
Joel Schumacher, 80
The New Yorker directed the high-profile Hollywood films “St. Elmo’s Fire and “Falling Down,” as well as two entries in the Batman franchise. Schumacher began his Hollywood career as a costume designer and screenwriter.
Charles Webb, 81
Webb wrote the 1963 novel “The Graduate,” which director Mike Nichols adapted into a Hollywood classic. The author, who eschewed celebrity and wealth, eventually wrote a “Graduate” sequel, “Home School.”
Carl Reiner, 98
The Hollywood comedy legend was a regular on Sid Caesar’s pioneering 1950s TV show “Your Show of Shows,” created the “Dick Van Dyke Show” (he played the lead in the original pilot for the show) and starred with Mel Brooks in the popular “2,000-Year-Old Man” comedy sketches. He also directed movies, such as “The Jerk.”
Hugh Downs, 99
The Ohio native started his career in radio and then moved to TV. He was Jack Paar’s second banana on “The Tonight Show” before Johnny Carson took over the program, and he later hosted “Today” and “20/20.”
Nick Cordero, 41
The musical-theater performer starred off-Broadway in “The Toxic Avenger,” and on Broadway in “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Waitress” and “A Bronx Tale.” He died of complications from COVID-19.
Charlie Daniels, 83
The always-bearded, always-cowboy-hatted singer combined old-school country music with Southern rock. His “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” became an anthem of sorts.
Mary Kay Letourneau, 58
The former Seattle-area teacher became the subject of national fascination and revulsion after she was convicted of raping a 13-year-old student, who she later married. She died of cancer.
Naya Rivera, 33
The actress starred in the hit TV series “Glee.” She died of accidental drowning.
Kelly Preston, 57
The Hawaii native, married to fellow actor John Travolta, was a popular Hollywood ingenue in the 1980s, starring in “Space Camp,” “Twins” and other movies. She died of breast cancer.
Grant Imahara, 49
The electrical engineer hosted the TV shows “MythBusters” and “White Rabbit Project.” He died of a brain aneurysm.
Vicki Wood, 101
The Detroit native earned respect in the male-dominated world of auto racing, setting a speed-trial record on the beach at Daytona. She gave up racing in the 1960s, going into sales at a department store.
Rev. C.T. Vivian, 95
The Baptist minister was a key player in the Martin Luther King Jr.-led Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the Civil Rights Movement. He wrote the 1970 book “Black Power and the American Myth.”
John Lewis, 80
The Georgia Democrat served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 30 years. One of the original Freedom Riders, he came to prominence as a young activist during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
Charles Evers, 97
The brother of murdered civil-rights leader Medgar Evers, the Mississippi native became the state’s first Black mayor since Reconstruction and unsuccessfully ran for governor and the U.S. Senate.
Annie Ross, 89
The jazz singer and actress was a founding member of the experimental vocalese trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Her song “Twisted” became an enduring hit.
Regis Philbin, 88
The TV personality co-hosted “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” (followed by “Live! with Regis and Kelly”) and helmed the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” He became nationally known in the 1960s as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on the late-night talk show “The Joey Bishop Show.”
Olivia De Havilland, 104
The Golden Age of Hollywood actor appeared in “Gone With the Wind” and won Oscars for “To Each His Own” and “The Heiress.” Her successful 1945 lawsuit against Warner Bros. helped bring about the demise of the studio system.
Herman Cain, 74
The computer-systems analyst became CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, helming the chain for a decade. In 2012, he ran for president in the Republican primaries. He died of complications from COVID-19.
Wilford Brimley, 85
The rumpled, balding actor had memorable supporting performances in a series of movies and TV shows, including “Absence of Malice,” “Cocoon” and “The Natural.” He also starred in TV commercials for Quaker Oats and other brands.
Pete Hamill, 85
The newspaperman and author specialized in streetwise tales of New York City. He also became part of the story: he dated Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Shirley MacLaine, and he fought with the owners during brief tenures as the top editor at the New York Post and the New York Daily News.
Nina Popova, 97
The ballerina performed for New York’s Ballet Theater and appeared on Broadway and TV. She taught at the High School of Performing Arts and served as the Houston Ballet’s artistic director. She died of complications from COVID-19.
Brent Scowcroft, 95
The former Air Force general served as national security advisor under President Gerald Ford and President George H.W. Bush. In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War, he wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing against launching an attack on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Sumner Redstone, 97
The lawyer and businessman ran a chain of movie theaters before taking control of Viacom and CBS. A Harvard graduate, he served in Army intelligence during World War II.
Robert Trump, 71
President Donald Trump’s younger brother worked on Wall Street before becoming an executive in the Trump Organization. The cause of his death has not been publicly disclosed.
Dick Coury, 90
The Ohio native built a football dynasty as Mater Dei High School in Southern California and later coached Portland’s short-lived World Football League and United States Football League teams. He served as an assistant coach for nine NFL teams.
Justin Townes Earle, 38
The singer-songwriter, son of alt-country musician Steve Earle, had a critical hit with “Harlem River Blues.” He moved to Portland in 2017 but died in Nashville, where the police have called his death a “probable drug overdose.”
Gail Sheehy, 83
The journalist wrote the 1976 book “Passages,” about the difficulties and opportunities of middle age. The Library of Congress deemed the bestseller one of the 10 most influential books of modern times.
Genny Nelson, 68
Nelson co-founded Sisters of the Road, a Portland nonprofit devoted to ending poverty and homelessness. She served as executive director of the organization for three decades.
Chadwick Boseman, 43
The actor played real-life icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown in acclaimed biopics and took on the title role in the superhero film “Black Panther.” He died of cancer.
Cliff Robinson, 53
The former Portland Trail Blazers star played in a record 761 consecutive regular-season games for the team. Robinson appeared on the reality-TV show “Survivor” in 2014. He died of lymphoma.
John Thompson Jr., 78
“Big John” coached Georgetown University to the 1984 NCAA men’s basketball national championship. Twenty years earlier, as a player, he led Providence University to the NIT championship.
Frank Cullotta, 81
The Las Vegas mobster and murderer went into the witness-protection program — and eventually became a Mob Museum tour guide. He appeared in the movie “Casino” and talked about organized crime on his popular YouTube show “Coffee with Cullotta.” He died of complications from COVID-19.
Hans. A. Linde, 96
The Oregon Supreme Court justice pioneered what became known as the “new judicial federalism.” Early in his legal career, Linde clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
Tom Seaver, 75
The Hall of Fame pitcher won 311 games during a 20-year Major League career. He led New York’s “Miracle Mets” to World Series glory in 1969. Seaver died of complications from Lewy body dementia and COVID-19.
Lou Brock, 81
The longtime St. Louis Cardinals star set the Major League stolen-base record in 1974, when he swiped 118 bases. He had 3,023 hits during his 19-year career.
Tom Jernstedt, 75
As an NCAA administrator, the McMinnville native helped turn the men’s basketball tournament into a cultural phenomenon, earning the nickname “father of the Final Four.” During his student days at the University of Oregon, he played football.
Shere Hite, 77
The former model abandoned graduate studies at Columbia when the university discouraged her interest in studying female sexuality. In 1976, she published the international bestseller “The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality.”
Diana Rigg, 82
Dame Diana became a star thanks to her role as Emma Peel in the 1960s TV series “The Avengers.” She had prominent roles in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and the TV show “Game of Thrones.”
Elaine Tanzer, 77
Inspired by a trip to northern Italy, Tanzer launched Elephants Delicatessen in Northwest Portland in 1979. The artisanal deli’s popularity skyrocketed, and stores eventually were added in downtown Portland, Portland International Airport and other locations.
Glenda Goldwater, 86
The former San Francisco librarian became a beloved arts patron in Portland. She also was a devoted Hillsboro Hops baseball fan.
George Atiyeh, 72
The nephew of the late Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh helped save Opal Creek forest from logging. The environmental activist died in the Beachie Creek Fire.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87
The pioneering lawyer made her name fighting for gender equality in the courts. She joined the federal bench in 1980 and was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993, ultimately becoming a cultural icon. The 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex” follows her legal battles against sex discrimination.
Bob Smith, 89
The rancher and businessman served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1980s and ’90s. Smith won his first election, a 1960 Republican primary for the Oregon House, as a write-in candidate.
Gale Sayers, 77
The “Kansas Comet” was pro football’s most explosive and exciting running back before knee injuries cut his career short. His friendship with cancer-stricken Chicago Bears teammate Brian Piccolo inspired the beloved 1971 TV movie, “Brian’s Song.”
Helen Reddy, 78
The Australian singer wrote the lyrics for “I Am Woman” and recorded it in 1971. The song quickly became a feminist anthem. Along with continuing to record, she pursued acting, starring in the Disney cult classic “Pete’s Dragon” and appearing in “Airport 1975.” A biopic about Reddy is now in the works.
Bob Gibson, 84
The intimidating St. Louis Cardinals ace struck out 3,117 hitters during his Hall of Fame career, currently putting him at 14th all-time. He was nearly unbeatable in the postseason, leading the Cardinals to two World Series titles in the 1960s.
Eddie Van Halen, 65
The rock ‘n’ roll star offered up joyful solos that defined the best-known songs of his band, Van Halen. Rolling Stone magazine put him at No. 8 on its 2015 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. He died of cancer.
Jim Weaver, 93
The South Dakota native represented Oregon’s 4th Congressional District in the 1970s and ’80s. He advocated for environmental protections for wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.
Whitey Ford, 91
The pitcher starred for the New York Yankees during a period of dominance for the franchise; he was a member of six World Series championship teams. He won the Cy Young Award in 1961.
Joe Morgan, 77
The second baseman twice won the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Morgan helped lead the Cincinnati Reds to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76.
Rhonda Fleming, 97
The actress appeared in classic 1940s and ’50s movies, including “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” She made four movies with future U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
James Randi, 92
Known as “The Amazing Randi,” the illusionist and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient became a determined foe of paranormal quackery. He appeared on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” many times and wrote the 1980 book “Flim Flam! The Truth About Unicorns, Parapsychology and Other Delusions.”
Jerry Jeff Walker, 78
The singer-songwriter was born in New York but became identified with the Texas outlaw movement in country music. He wrote the song “Mr. Bojangles,” made popular by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bob Dylan.
Marge Champion, 101
The Emmy-winning dancer and choreographer served as a movement model for Snow White for the Disney animated classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” She and her husband Gower Champion became the foremost dance team of the Golden Age of Television.
Leonard Laster, 92
The former U.S. assistant surgeon general led Oregon Health & Science University during an important period of growth in the late 1970s and early ’80s. He later served as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Diane di Prima, 86
An active player in the 1950s Beat movement in Greenwich Village, the Brooklyn native’s erotic autobiographical novel “Memoirs of a Beatnik” became an underground classic. Di Prima went on to become San Francisco’s poet laureate.
Billy Joe Shaver, 81
The Texas musician wrote hit songs for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. He had a small acting role in Robert Duvall’s 1997 movie “The Apostle.”
Matthew Choi, 33
The University of Oregon graduate and his mother operated the award-winning Choi’s Kimchi, which became popular at Portland Farmers Market before going national. He was fatally stabbed by an intruder in his Southeast Portland apartment.
Sean Connery, 90
The Scottish actor originated the role of James Bond, playing Ian Fleming’s suave secret agent in seven movies. He branched out in the 1970s with ambitious films like “The Man Who Would Be King.” Sir Sean won a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance in 1987′s “The Untouchables.”
Betty Dodson, 91
The feminist sex educator taught women the art of self-pleasure and hosted consciousness-raising groups at the height of the women’s-liberation movement of the 1970s. She coined the mantra: “Better orgasms, better world.”
Alex Trebek, 80
The Ontario native spent more than three decades as host of the Peabody Award-winning TV game show “Jeopardy!” He began his career as an announcer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. before moving into quiz shows.
Tommy Heinsohn, 86
The hard-charging power forward during the Boston Celtics’ dynasty years went on to become the team’s head coach. The Hall of Famer also served as the franchise’s TV color commentator for years.
Tom Metzger, 82
The TV repairman built a nationwide white-supremacist movement from his home in exurban Southern California. In 1990, a Portland jury found him, his son and his organization responsible for inspiring the murder of Ethiopian college student Mulugeta Seraw. The $12.5 million civil verdict cost Metzger his home and diminished his influence.
Paul Hornung, 84
The football legend, known as “Golden Boy,” won the Heisman Trophy while at Notre Dame and went on to star on the 1960s Green Bay Packers championship teams. The NFL suspended him in 1963 for betting on pro football.
Edward J. Perkins, 92
The former Marine became the first African-American U.S. ambassador to South Africa, serving in that post during the waning days of the African country’s racist apartheid era. He would go on to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Walter C. Reynolds, 100
The U.S. Army veteran was the first African-American to graduate from the University of Oregon Medical School, now Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Reynolds opened his own clinic on North Williams Avenue in Portland, became a leader at Emanuel Hospital and helped recruit minority students to OHSU. He also served as president of the Urban League of Portland. OHSU named one of its popular aerial trams “Walt” in his honor.
David Dinkins, 93
New York City’s only African-American mayor served one term in Gracie Mansion, from 1990 to 1993. The Brooklyn Law School graduate was Manhattan borough president before besting first long-time Mayor Ed Koch and then former federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani in the 1989 mayoral elections.
Bruce Boynton, 83
The Alabama native, son of civil-rights activist Amelia Boynton Robinson, inspired the 1961 Freedom Rides movement. He went on to work as a lawyer in Selma, where a wing of the county courthouse recently was renamed in his honor.
Diego Maradona, 60
The international soccer legend led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986. Despite drug suspensions and other personal controversies, he went on to become head coach of his country’s national team. He died of a heart attack after surgery for a blood clot on the brain.
Tony Hsieh, 46
The Harvard graduate spent 20 years as CEO of online shoe giant Zappos.com and led an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. He died of smoke inhalation from a house fire.
David Prowse, 85
The British weightlifting champion played Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” film trilogy. (The part was voiced by actor James Earl Jones.) Prowse was most proud of his work as the Green Cross Code Man, promoting road safety in the U.K.
Mary Fowkes, 66
Through autopsies on COVID-19 victims early this year, the New York neuropathologist expanded knowledge of how the new disease attacks the body. She began her career as a physician assistant before going on to medical school. She died of a heart attack.
Ben Bova, 88
Called “the last of the great pulp writers,” the Philadelphia native published science-fiction stories and edited the influential Analog magazine. He won six Hugo Awards and taught at Harvard University.
Rafer Johnson, 86
The 1960 Olympic gold-medalist set a world record in the decathlon three times before moving into acting and broadcasting. Johnson worked for Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign and helped detain assassin Sirhan Sirhan moments after Kennedy was fatally shot in Los Angeles.
Alison Lurie, 94
The Chicago native wrote 10 novels, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for “Foreign Affairs.” She founded an experimental theater company in Cambridge, Mass., and later taught children’s literature at Cornell University.
Dennis Ralston, 78
The tennis Hall of Famer won five Grand Slam doubles titles and reached a Wimbledon singles final. Ralston also served as captain for a Davis Cup-winning American team and coached legendary champion Chris Evert.
William Kittredge, 88
The Klamath Union High School and Oregon State graduate wrote the influential memoir “Hole in the Sky.” He taught English and creative writing at the University of Montana.
Paul Sarbanes, 87
As a young Maryland Democratic congressman, he drafted the first article of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon. The Harvard Law grad went to become a U.S. senator and, in response to corporate accounting scandals, co-authored the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act that required greater public disclosure by companies.
Chuck Yeager, 97
The legendary fighter pilot shot down five Nazi planes on a single mission during World War II. After the war, the West Virginia native became a test pilot — and the first person to break the sound barrier. He also flew bombing runs during the Vietnam War, retiring from the Air Force in 1975. Tom Wolfe famously captured Yeager’s laconic appeal in his 1979 book “The Right Stuff.”
Dick Allen, 78
The 1972 American League Most Valuable Player hit 351 home runs with a .292 batting average over 15 seasons in the Major Leagues. Allen began his baseball career with the Philadelphia Phillies, winning the 1964 National League Rookie the Year award.
Alex Olmedo, 84
The Peru native won Wimbledon and the Australian Championships in 1959 when tennis’ most prestigious tournaments were open only to amateurs. He became a barnstorming professional the following year. After his playing days, he taught tennis to Hollywood stars, including Robert Duvall and Charlton Heston.
Charley Pride, 86
The Mississippi native played minor-league baseball before he changed course and became a country-music star and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” singer died of complications from COVID-19.
John le Carré, 89
David Cornwell was working as a British intelligence agent when he launched his literary career in the early 1960s, thus necessitating the John le Carré nom de plume. With novels such as “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “The Little Drummer Girl,” he established himself as the preeminent spy novelist of the Cold War era, one whose insightful books transcended the genre.
Ann Reinking, 71
The Seattle native played a fictional version of herself in Bob Fosse’s autobiographical 1979 film “All That Jazz.” In the 1990s, she starred in the influential Broadway revival of the late Fosse’s “Chicago,” winning a Tony Award for the show’s choreography. She went on to create, choreograph and co-direct the popular Broadway revue “Fosse.”
Jack Steinberger, 99
The German-born scientist shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in physics for unlocking secrets of the subatomic particle the neutrino. After escaping Nazi Germany as a preteen, Steinberger served in the U.S. Army during World War II and later worked under Atomic Age scientific giants Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller and J. Robert Oppenheimer. He spent most of his academic career at Columbia University.
Sheri Eckert, 59
The Beaverton counselor and her husband Thomas Eckert led the successful effort this year to pass Measure 109, allowing for the regulated use of psychedelic mushrooms. The couple founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society and argued that therapeutic psilocybin can help people struggling with depression, anxiety and addiction. Eckert died of an apparent cardiac arrest.
T. Allen Bethel, 67
The beloved local pastor and civil-rights leader led the Maranatha Church in Northeast Portland for more than 20 years. He also served as president of the Albina Ministerial Alliance. The Rev. Dr. Bethel worked to improve opportunities in Portland’s Black community and advocated for police reform.
K.C. Jones, 88
The basketball Hall of Fame inductee was a key member of the legendary Boston Celtics teams that dominated the NBA in the 1960s. Jones later led the Celtics to two league championships as head coach.
George Blake, 98
The notorious British double agent exposed American and U.K. intelligence operations — and cost lives — while secretly working for the Soviet Union in the 1950s. After being caught and convicted, Blake escaped from a British prison and made his way to Russia, where he was awarded the Order of Lenin.
Phil Niekro, 81
The knuckleball pitcher won 318 games during a 24-season Major League career before retiring at age 48. The Ohio native was a 5-time All-Star, and in 1997 he was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Barry Lopez, 75
The Oregon author focused on the natural world (and humanity’s place in it) in work that ranged from deep reportage to personal experience. Lopez won a National Book Award in 1986 for “Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape,” and this year the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference awarded him its inaugural Writer in the World Prize.
— Douglas Perry