“No man can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.” — Euripides
These people turned in their timecards in the year 2012. Some of them were great souls; some not.
- Robert Hegyes — Juan Epstein on “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
- Etta James
- Ben Hana — Famous Wellington, New Zealand homeless person; he worshipped the Maori sun-god Tama-nui-te-rā; known as “the blanket man,” he eschewed clothing as a religious observance; legend has it he took to the streets as an act of atonement for killing a friend in a drunk-driving accident.
- Davy Jones
- John Severin — One of the original Mad magazine cartoonists
- Florence Green — At nearly 111 years old, the last surviving veteran of World War I, member of the Women’s Royal Air Force (Britain).
- Ben Gazzara — “A Jackie Treehorn Production.”
- Don Cornelius — “Peace, love, and soul.”
- Addie L. Wyatt — First black woman named named international vice president of a major labor union (Amalgamated Meat Cutters); first black woman named Time magazine Person of the Year (Co-winner with Barbara Jordan).
- Earl Scruggs — Bluegrass banjo picker; member of Flatt & Scruggs.
- Harry Crews — Tough guy author, playwright, and essayist.
- Adrienne Rich — Lesbian feminist poet and essayist.
- Bert Sugar — Basso-profundo boxing journalist; also, co-writer with James Randi of the book, “Houdini: His Life and Art.”
- Murray Lender — CEO of Lender’s Bagels; developed ideas of selling frozen bagels and pre-slicing them.
- Chaleo Yoovidhya — Billionaire legal dangerous drug peddler; developed the Red Bull energy drinks.
- Tom Johnson — Founder of telescope manufacturing company, Celestron; his company kick-started amateur astronomy in the United States.
- Peter Bergman — Founder of The Firesign Theater; coined the term “love-in.”
- Mike Wallace — CBS news reporter who was famously punched in the stomach on the floor of the 1969 Democratic National Convention; father of the execrable Chris Wallace.
- Jim Marshall — If you’ve ever attended a rock concert, his amps blew your ears out.
- Mr. Imagination — Born Gregory Warmack, outsider artist.
- Eddie Blazonczyk — Polka king, leader of The Versatones.
Polka King Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr.
- Donna Summer — “Love to Love You Baby” is one of the most important recordings in American pop history.
- Andrew Brietbart — Professional obfuscator, political smear artist, media scourge, shrieking, moaning, pissing, infantile tantrum-thrower; his passing set off weeks of spontaneous raucous celebrations around the globe.
- Donald “Duck” Dunn — Blues guitarist with Booker T. & the MGs.
- Maurice Sendak
- Marilyn Houlberg — Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, leading academic expert on Haitian voodoo.
- Andrew Sarris — Film critic; brought France’s auteur theory to the United States.
- Judy Agnew — Veep Spiro’s widow.
- Rodney King — 1992 LA beating victim.
- Elinor Ostrom — IU Nobel Prize winner in Economics; & Vincent Ostrom, IU political scientist.
- Henry Hill — Mob rat whose gut-spilling was the basis for “Goodfellas.”
- Phil Corboy — The personal injury lawyer.
- Ray Bradbury — “Fahrenheit 451.”
- Gore Vidal — Author & homosexual.
- Sally Ride — Astronaut & lesbian.
- Alexander Cockburn — Irish-born political journalist for the Village Voice and The Nation.
- Celeste Holm — I never could understand why Gregory Peck’s Phil Greene didn’t go for her Anne Detrey in “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” she was pretty, smart, fun-loving, and a rebel — instead Greene went for the bland WASP, Kathy Lacy; truly, love is blind.
- Ernest Borgnine — Marty.
- Andy Griffith — Lonesome Rhodes.
Andy Griffith In “A Face In The Crowd”
- Neil Armstrong — First human on the moon.
- Phyllis Diller
- Scott Mackenzie — Sang the 1967 hit, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair);” the song had been commissioned to promote the Monterey Pop Festival
- Ron Palillo — Ooh, ooh, Horshack!
- Helen Gurley Brown — Cosmopolitan editor and author of “Sex and the Single Girl.”
- Sid Waddell — British darts commentator — who knew there was such a job?
- Judith Crist — New York magazine and New York Herald Tribune film critic
- Marvin Hamlisch — The definitive 1970s movie musical scorer.
- Sister Boom Boom — Born Jack Fertig, San Francisco gay rights activist and aspiring politician.
Sister Boom Boom
- Barry Commoner — Environmentalist; founder of the Citizens Party
- Arthur Ochs Sulzberger — New York Times publisher; made the decision in June, 1971 to run the Pentagon Papers.
- Louise Johnson — British biophysicist and crystallographer at the University of Oxford.
- Russell Train — EPA administrator under Nixon & Ford; president of the World Wildlife Fund.
- The Rev. Sun Myung Moon — The seminal Moonie.
Sun Myung Moon
- Hal David — He wrote the lyrics to Burt Bacharach’s tunes.
- Russell Means — Oglala Sioux, Native American rights activist, member of the American Indian Movement
- George McGovern — Liberal.
- Paul Kurtz — Philosophy professor at State University of New York at Buffalo and noted skeptic; known as “the father of secular humanism.”
- Sylvia Kristel — Godawful actress who gained fame and glory as the star of the unwatchable uber-70s soft core porn franchise “Emmanuelle”
- Mr. Shit — Born Abba Bina; Port Moresby, New Guinea businessman and political aspirant; he ran a manure operation, ergo earning his moniker.
- Larry Sloan — Boss at Price Stern Sloan publishers; he brought us “Mad Libs.”
- Joey Pal — Canadian football player; could his parents have known about the movie “Pal Joey” when they named him?
- Keith Campbell — Scottish biologist who was part of the team that cloned Dolly the Sheep
- Marvin Miller — Labor leader in the steel industry, went on to become the single most important force behind professional players unions as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association
- Lawrence Guyot — Civil rights activist, director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
- Hannie Lips — I had no idea who this person was until I came upon her obituary; she was a Dutch television announcer; her name was perfect.
- Major Harris — Delfonics singer
- Carmen Basilio — Boxer; his name was a poem to me; I used to hear it every week as I was drifting off to sleep and my father and brother were watching the Friday Night Fights on TV; go ahead, say it with me: CAHR-min buh-SILLY-oh — doesn’t it make you want to smile?
- Charles Bush — First black man to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy.
- Dave Brubeck
- Robert Bork — The Watergate figure who came thisclose to being a Supreme Court Justice.
- Jean Harris — I remember this line from somewhere: the 51st way to leave your lover.
- Frank Calabrese, Sr. — Mobster & hitman; his kid flipped on him and turned state’s evidence, leading to the Operation Family Secrets investigation and trials that essentially decimated the Chicago Outfit.
- Fontella Bass — “Rescue Me.”
Any omissions are purely intentional.