Notable 2021 deaths – The Washington Post


In year two of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to fight a virus that shapes life – and our meaning of death – in deep ways. Covid19 killed more than 770,000 people in the United States alone, more this year than last year and with the vast majority of everyday American victims die out of public sight. All the while, we remain fascinated by the deaths of people in the public arena, whether due to covid-19 or other causes. Some of these people we thought of them perhaps as immortal – a reflection of their larger-than-life qualities and also our desire to capture a memory of them in amber, forever in their prime. We remember the distinctive (broadly defined) voices of Larry King, Stephen Sondheim, DMX, Roger Mudd and Rush Limbaugh; the athletic prowess of Hank Aaron, Eddie Robinson and Lee Elder; literary pleasures derived from Beverly Cleary, Larry McMurtry and Lawrence Ferlinghetti; the divergent political impact of Walter F. Mondale, Sheldon Adelson, Frances “Sissy” Farenthold and FW de Klerk; and the vitality of show business of Christopher Plummer, Cicely Tyson, Cloris Leachman, Jane Powell, Ed Asner, Michael K. Williams, Ned Beatty, Willard Scott and Anna Halprin. These are people who have shaped not only our world, but us personally. Their loss continues to resonate as they have connected with us intensely in life, causing laughter, excitement, reflection and sometimes rage. The following obituaries seek to capture their accomplishments and shortcomings – the things that make them sensitive human beings, not celebrities at arm’s length. In other words, the human qualities that remind us of ourselves.


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