December 30, 2018: People We Lost in 2018

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

A Brief History

On December 30, 2018, we at History and Headlines take a moment to remember some of the notable people that died this year.  (Yes, we know there is an entire day left in the year, so we will update the article to include any last minute deaths of note.)  As always, we invite you, the reader, to nominate any other worthy people that died in 2018 that we neglected to mention, especially as we are not trying to name every single person of minimal celebrity that died.  If you choose to mention a person that died, please include cause of death.  As our list is partial, and American-centric, our international readers are especially invited to name people we neglected to mention.  Since over 55 million people died in 2018, we may have missed a few!  Honorable mention: Among the many famous animals that died in 2018 was Koko, a lowland gorilla famous for learning sign language, dead at the age of 46.

Digging Deeper

Associated with acting, television,film-making, etc.:

Harry Laverne Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018) in 1988. Photograph by Alan Light.

Harry Anderson (television actor famous for Night Court)

Ken Berry (good guy television actor)

Bernardo Bertolucci (Italian filmmaker, including The Last Emperor and The Last Tango in Paris)

Steven Bochco (television producer and writer of hit shows such as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue,and Doogie Howser, MD)

Anthony Bourdain (television gourmet who traveled the world in search of interesting foods and author, a suicide victim)

R. Lee Ermey (better known as, The Gunny, this former US Marine became famous in Full Metal Jacket and went on to a great career in film and television)

Lewis Gilbert (director with 3 James Bond films to his credit)

Stephen Hillenburg (creator of SpngeBob SquarePants)

Tab Hunter (American actor and singer)

Keith Jackson (television sports announcer)

Margot Kidder (Canadian-American actress famous for playing Lois Lane in the 1978 film, Superman and suffering from mental illness, died by suicide)

Robin Leach (television host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous)

Stan Lee (creator of legendary Marvel comic book superheroes Spider-Man, The Hulk, Fantastic Four, Black Panther and many others that became the subjects of numerous blockbuster films in which Lee had memorable cameos)

Sondra Locke (film actress and gal pal of Clint Eastwood from 1975 to 1989)

Penny Marshall (television icon as “Laverne” and successful movie producer and director, spouse of Rob Reiner from 1971-1981)

Burt Reynolds (once the biggest star in Hollywood, star of such films as Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit)

Neil Simon (writer of over 30 plays, receiver of more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer)

Verne Troyer: (little person actor, famous as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films)

“Clint” Walker (iconic strong and quiet type actor, famous as television’s Cheyenne and a star of The Dirty Dozen in 1967)


Associated with music:

Roy Linwood Clark (April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018) performing onstage in New York, late 1980s or early 1990s.  Photograph by Ronzoni.

Roy Clark (country music legend, superb banjo and guitar player, singer of “Yesterday, When I was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone”)

Vic Damone (crooner and the favorite singer of the author’s deceased father)

Dennis Edwards Jr. (singer with the Contours and lead singer of the Temptations after 1968)

D.J. Fontana (Rock Hall of Fame drummer for Elvis Presley)

Aretha Franklin (Soul Sister #1, known as “The Queen of Soul,” perhaps the greatest R&B female singer of all time)

Edwin Hawkins (multiple Grammy winning singer and pianist)

Ed King (Rock Hall of Fame guitarist with Strawberry Alarm Clock and Lynyrd Skynyrd, wrote “Sweet Home Alabama”)

Dolores O’Riordan (lead singer of the Cranberries, authorities failed to reveal cause of death for months, eventually stating drug and alcohol use leading to drowning in the bath)

Vinnie Paul (co-founder of Pantera, current member of Hellyeah)

Jim Rodford (former member of the Kinks and current member of the Zombies)

Nancy Wilson (jazz legend)


Associated with Politics:

Irving Charles Krauthammer (March 13, 1950 – June 21, 2018) at the White House in 1986. Photograph by Mary Anne Fackelman.

George HW Bush and Barbara Bush (former President of the United States, #41, and First Lady of the United States)

Charles Krauthammer (political commentator frequently seen on cable news)

John McCain (US Navy war hero, long time Senator, Republican nominee for President in 2008)

Ernest Medina (US Army officer involved in the My Lai Massacre in the Vietnam War)



Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister CH CBE (23 March 1929 – 3 March 2018) in 2009.  Photograph by User:Pruneau.

Sir Roger Bannister (doctor and runner, the first human to run a mile in under 4 minutes)

Alan Bean (American astronaut that walked on the moon as part of Apollo 12, the 4th human to do so)

Thomas Bopp (astronomer, co-discoverer of the Hale-Bopp comet)

Charles Ryland Burnett III (philanthropist restaurant chain owner and inventor of fast vehicles of all types, holder of several world speed records)

Billy Cannon (pro football player, Heisman Trophy winner in 1959)

William Coors (chairman of Coors Brewing 1959-2000, age 102, grandson of the founder of Coors)

Richard Marvin DeVos Sr. (billionaire co-founder of Amway and owner of NBA team Orlando Magic)

Douglas Michael Ford Sr. (Hall of Fame Golfer)

John Patsy “Tito” Francona (major league baseball player and father of Cleveland Indians manager, Terry Francona)

Oscar Gamble (major league baseball player and owner of the best “afro” hair-do in baseball, 17 year major league veteran and speaker of the immortal line, “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do”)

Hubert Green (Hall of Fame Golfer)

Darryl Greenamyer (aviator and high speed legend of air racing and automobile drag racing)

Dan Gurney (race car driver and builder)

Stephen Hawking (British scientist and reputedly smartest man in the world)

Carol Mann (Hall of Fame Golfer)

Willie McCovey (major league baseball slugger, 6 time All-Star, 3 time home run champion, MVP and Hall of Fame)

Richard Blair “Dick” Modzelewski (NFL defensive tackle for 4 teams, head coach of the Cleveland Browns for 1 game, College Football Hall of Fame inductee)

Richard Overton (the oldest American World War II veteran and the oldest man in America died at age 112)

Red Schoendienst (baseball manager, coach and player, Hall of Fame inductee)

Anita Shreve (author of 19 novels)

Kate Spade (fashion designer known for her purses, suicide)

Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub (baseball star, 6 time All-Star and 23 year veteran player, played on 5 major league teams, notably the Mets and Expos)

James R. Stillwagon (college and pro-football player, winner of the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award for his play with Ohio State Buckeyes, including National Championship 1968 team)

Mort Walker (American cartoonist artist of Beetle Bailey)

Jo Jo White (Hall of Fame pro-basketball player, notably with the Boston Celtics)

Tom Wolfe (journalist and writer)

Question for students (and subscribers): Which of these famous people that died in 2018 do you consider the biggest loss to humanity?  Are there any people listed you did not realize had died?  What people did we not list that you would have included on the list?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

If you liked this article and would like to receive notification of new articles, please feel welcome to subscribe to History and Headlines by liking us on Facebook and becoming one of our patrons!

Your readership is much appreciated!

Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Hawking, Stephen. Brief Answers to the Big Questions.  Bantam, 2018.

Patterson, Francine. KOKO-LOVE! Conversations With a Signing Gorilla. Dutton Juvenile, 1999.

Perritano, John. John McCain: An American Hero.  Sterling Children’s Books, 2018.

The featured image in this article, a photograph from 7 August 2018 by Sergio Perez Perez of O’Riordan’s and her father’s tombstone at Caherelly Cemetery in Herbertstown, was originally posted to Flickr by bresergioperez at It was reviewed on  by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.


About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.