In Memoriam: People We've Lost in 2021

19 photos
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Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio host and one of the most influential voices of American right-wing politics, died Feb. 17, 2021, at age 70. Limbaugh had been battling advanced lung cancer after he announced his diagnosis in January 2020. His radio show ran for more than three decades.
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Larry Flynt, the controversial publisher who founded “Hustler” magazine, died on Feb. 10, 2021, at the age of 78. Flynt launched “Hustler” in the 1970s, a print extension of his adult club of the same name that featured nude hostesses.
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In this Nov. 18, 2015, file photo, singer Mary Wilson performs at Amoeba Records in Los Angeles, California. Wilson, one of the founders of Motown group The Supremes, died on Feb. 8, 2021, at age 76.
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NBC 5 News
U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Texas, died on Feb. 7, 2021, after contracting COVID-19 while fighting a prolonged battle against lung cancer. The 67-year-old became the first sitting member of Congress to die after contracting COVID-19.
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NASA
Millie Hughes-Fulford, a trailblazing astronaut and scientist who became the first female payload specialist to fly in space for NASA, died following a years-long battle with cancer, her family said. She died on Feb. 2, 2021, at 75.
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Photographed here with then-President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush, then-Secretary of State George P. Shultz walks along the White House Colonnade in Washington D.C., on Jan. 9, 1985. Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy, died on Feb. 6, 2021, at age 100.
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Mike Groll/AP Photo
Hall of Famer Leon Spinks, pictured here at the Boxing Hall of Fame parade in Canastota, New York, in 2011, died on Feb. 5, 2021. The 67-year-old, who once beat Muhammad Ali to become the heavyweight champion, had been diagnosed with several forms of cancer.
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Christopher Plummer, the prolific actor who first came into prominence as Captain von Trapp in the film "The Sound of Music," has died at 91. Plummer remained active in Hollywood for over five decades, having played notable parts in recent films like "Knives Out," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," and even as the voice of the villain in "Up."
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Hal Holbrook holds his Emmy Awards at The 26th Emmy Awards on May 28, 1974, at Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, California. The five-time Emmy awards winner, best known for his portrayals as Mark Twain and the Watergate whistleblower "Deep Throat," died at the age of 95 on Feb. 2, 2021.
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Dustin Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom "Saved by the Bell," died at age 44 from stage four lung cancer on Feb. 1, 2021.
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Pioneering actor Cicely Tyson earned a reputation for portraying strong Black women in a career that spanned more than seven decades. She earned an Oscar nomination for her role in “Sounder” (1972) and a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88. Tyson died Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. She was 96.
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Cloris Leachman, known for playing Phyllis Lindstrom on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and her own spinoff, died Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, of natural causes in Encinitas, California, according to a representative. Leachman won a best-supporting actress Oscar for "The Last Picture Show" and multiple Emmys. She was 94.
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Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron, seen here during spring training with the Braves in 1967, had died at the age of 86 on Jan. 22. The 25-time All-Star Hall of Famer led the Braves to a World Series pennant in 1957, and after retiring as a player, served the same organization as an executive in 1986.
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In this 2006 photo, John Reilly attends NBC's "Days of Our Lives" and "Passions" pre-Emmy party. Reilly, known for his roles in "General Hospital" and "Beverly Hills, 90210," died at age 84, his daughter announced on Instagram on Jan. 10, 2021.
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Tommy Lasorda poses during a 1980 photo portrait session at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Lasorda, who had spent seven decades with the Dodgers as a player, scout, manager and executive, is most known for his time managing the team from 1976 to 1996, leading them to two World Series wins and two World Series losses. He died at 93, according to the Dodgers.
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Via Getty Images
Reporter Neil Sheehan reports on the war in Vietnam for UPI in this archival photo. Sheehan, who later published the Pentagon Papers while working at the New York Times, has died Jan. 7, 2021 at the age of 84.
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Jemal Countess/Getty Images
Author Eric Jerome Dickey attends the 5th Anniversary of the African American Literary Award Show at the Harlem Gatehouse, Sept. 24, 2009, in New York City. Dickey, the bestselling novelist who blended crime, romance and eroticism in “Sister, Sister,” “Waking With Enemies” and dozens of other books about contemporary Black life, has died at age 59.
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CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images
Tanya Roberts, best known for her role in a James Bond film and the TV comedy ‘That 70s Show,’ died at age 65 on Jan. 4, 2021.
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John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Gerry Marsden, lead singer of the 1960s British group Gerry and the Pacemakers that had such hits as “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and the song that became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” died Jan. 3, 2021. He was 78.
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