They made you cry and they made you laugh. Some united a country and others divided its people.
Here is a look at some of the well-known people who died in the past year:
Chuck Berry and Fats Domino were known as founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll. Musicians Tom Petty and Greg Allman led their musical groups to the top of popular music charts. Glen Campbell was known for country music and Al Jarreau for jazz. They also were among the well-known musicians who died in 2017, leaving a void in music.
Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles and Dick Gregory left their own mark on comedy. But the story of the 1960s could not be told without Hugh Hefner and Charles Manson.
Hefner founded Playboy magazine and was credited with helping to start the sexual revolution in the 1960s. The decade ended with Manson becoming the face of evil across America. He directed his followers to kill several people in Los Angeles, including American actress Sharon Tate.
Notable political figures also died this year. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reunited East and West Germany, a country divided by the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He helped put Germany at the heart of the European Union.
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega who was ousted by a U.S. military action also died in 2017.
Ali Abdullah Saleh was Yemen’s president for 33 years. He stepped down in 2012 during the Arab Spring uprisings that swept through the Middle East. He was killed by the Houthie rebels this year.
And Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston, died at age 86. His failure to stop sexual abuse of children by religious workers brought a serious crisis to the American Catholic church.
Fans said goodbye to film and television stars in 2017.
Mary Tyler Moore changed how women appeared on television in her popular program “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Roger Moore was known for playing James Bond and Adam West played the first “batman” on television.
Haruo Nakajima played the role of Godzilla in the original 1954 classic movie. Godzilla has gone on to star in movies for more than 60 years.
Other notable people who died in 2017 include:
Zhou Youguang, a Chinese language expert who died at age 111. Zhou is considered the father of modern China’s Pinyin writing system. The system uses the Roman alphabet to represent Chinese characters based on their pronunciation.
Sumiteru Taniguchi spent his life seeking to stop nuclear weapons. He was burned severely in 1945 when an atomic bomb was used on his hometown of Nagasaki, Japan.
Norma McCorvey was the “Jane Roe” in the famous U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, known as Roe versus Wade. She later became an opponent of abortion.
Carl Clark was awarded a medal of honor some sixty years after his bravery during World War II. Clark died at age 100.
And Otto Warmbier was an American college student who was jailed in North Korea for more than one year. Warmbier fell into a coma and was released by North Korean officials. He died shortly after his return to the U.S. at the age of 22.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on an Associated Press report. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
void –n. an empty space
abortion –n. medically ending a pregnancy
coma –n. a condition in which a sick or injured person cannot wake up for a long time