Last Farewells interactive 2020
December 31, 2020 - Last Farewells graphic shows some of the famous faces who died in 2020. From the world of politics: Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Hosni Mubarak, John Lewis, John Hume, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. From the world of sport: Kobe Bryant, Stirling Moss, Jack Charlton, Diego Maradona, Paolo Rossi. From the world of science and business: Katherine Johnson, Lee Kun-hee, Chuck Yeager. From the arts and entertainment: Kirk Douglas, Mirella Freni, Kenny Rogers, Irrfan Khan, Little Richard, Christo, Ian Holm, Olivia de Havilland, Chadwick Boseman, Diana Rigg, Kenzo Takada, Eddie Van Halen, Sean Connery, John le Carré.
Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman, died on January 10 at age 79. After overthrowing his father in a coup d’état in 1970, Qaboos implemented a policy of modernisation and brought an end to Oman’s international isolation.
U.S. basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California on January 26 alongside his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others. Bryant, 41, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career.
Kirk Douglas, one of the last survivors of Hollywood’s golden age, died on February 5 at the age of 103. His muscular intensity made him a commanding screen presence in movies such Spartacus, Lust for Life and Paths of Glory.
Mirella Freni, an outstanding soprano in the great Italian operatic tradition, died on February 9 aged 84. Her voice was ideally suited to lighter lyric roles such as Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème.
Pioneering mathematician Katherine Johnson, who calculated rocket trajectories for NASA’s early space missions including John Glenn’s orbit of Earth and the Apollo 11 moon mission, died on February 24 at age 101.
Hosni Mubarak, former Egyptian president who was the autocratic face of stability in the Middle East for nearly 30 years before being forced from power in the Arab Spring uprising of 2011, died on February 25 aged 91.
U.S. country music legend Kenny Rogers died on March 20, aged 81. The triple Grammy winner topped pop and country charts during the 1970s and 1980s, with songs including The Gambler, Lucille and Coward Of The County.
British motor racing legend Stirling Moss died on April 12 at age 90. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time, even though he never won the World Championship.
Actor Irrfan Khan, who enjoyed art house acclaim in his native India and crossover-success in major Hollywood films like Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and Jurassic World, died on April 29 from a rare form of cancer. He was 53.
Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard died on May 9 at age 87. Hits like Good Golly, Miss Molly, and Tutti Frutti, with its lyric “awopbopaloobop alopbamboom”, influenced musicians from Elvis Presley and the Beatles to Elton John.
Bulgarian-born artist Christo, who with his late wife Jeanne-Claude was best known for wrapping buildings, including Berlin’s Reichstag, and other famous landmarks in reams of fabric, died May 31 aged 84.
Renowned British stage and screen actor Ian Holm, best known in recent years as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings films, died aged 88. Other notable movies included Chariots of Fire and Alien
Football star Jack Charlton died on July 10 aged 85. He won the World Cup with England in 1966 and made a record number of appearances for Leeds Utd, before a successful 10-year stint managing the Republic of Ireland team.
John Lewis, a key figure of the U.S. Civil Rights movement, died on July 17, aged 80. His beating by state troopers at Selma in 1965 shocked the nation and helped pass the Civil Rights Act. He went on to serve 17 terms in the House of Representatives.
Olivia de Havilland, a double Oscar winner and one of the last remaining stars from Hollywood’s golden age, died on July 26, aged 104. She was the last surviving cast member from the 1939 epic Gone with the Wind.
Nobel Laureate John Hume, a driving force behind the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that brought decades of deadly sectarian violence to an end in his native Northern Ireland and beyond, died on August 3 at age 83.
Chadwick Boseman, best known as Black Panther in the Marvel superhero franchise, died on August 28, aged 43. He also played figures such as baseball great Jackie Robinson in 42, and soul singer James Brown in Get on Up.
Diana Rigg, British actress best known as Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers, Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, and the only woman to marry James Bond, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, died on September 10 at age 82.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon who served 27 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, died on September 18, aged 87. An outspoken advocate for gender equality and civil rights, she was known affectionately as the Notorious RBG.
Fashion designer Kenzo Takada died in Paris on October 4 at age 81, from Covid-19. His bright colours and jungle inspired prints made him the first Japanese designer to gain prominence on the exclusive Paris fashion scene.
Eddie Van Halen, the virtuoso guitarist whose complex harmonics and innovative solos created some of the most distinctive riffs in rock history, died of cancer on October 6 at age 65.
Lee Kun-hee, South Korean businessman who turned his father’s modest company, Samsung, into an economic powerhouse that became the world’s largest producer of smartphones, died on October 25 at age 78.
Scottish actor Sean Connery died on October 31 at age 90. He was the first to portray fictional British agent James Bond on the big screen, appearing as 007 in seven films. He won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.
Football legend Diego Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, died on November 25 at age 60. He inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 after scoring two of the sport’s most famous goals.
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, French president from 1974 to 1981 and who is credited with transforming postwar France and encouraging European integration, died on December 2 at age 94 from complications linked to Covid-19.
Chuck Yeager, the U.S. test pilot who in 1947 the first person to break the sound barrier in a Bell X-1 experimental rocket plane, died on December 7, aged 97. His feat was later immortalised in Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff.
Italian football hero Paolo Rossi, who scored a memorable hat-trick against one of the best-ever Brazil teams en route to World Cup glory in 1982, died on December 9 at age 64.
John le Carré, whose intricately plotted thrillers of Cold War intrigue, such The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, elevated the spy novel to high art, died on December 12 at age 89.