Notable April deaths

Getty Images: James Croucher, Newspix; AP Photo: Miguel Tovar; Corbis; AP Photo: Peter Dejong
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In memoriam

Those we lost in April included a literary giant, a Hollywood legend and an international symbol of racial injustice. Click through to read about these individuals and others who passed away during the month. See gallery

Clockwise from top left: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Gabriel García Márquez, Mickey Rooney and Anja Niedringhaus.

Getty Images: Dick Raphael, NBAE
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Lou Hudson

July 11, 1944 – April 2, 2014

 

Lou Hudson (see more photos) was a six-time NBA All-Star and one of the best-shooting guards in basketball history. Known as "Sweet Lou," partly for his smooth shooting style, Hudson averaged more than 20 points per game over his 13-year career. He played mostly with the Atlanta Hawks before wrapping up his career with this team from 1977 to 1979.
 

Find: Hudson later was elected councilman in this city

Alamy: Zuma Press
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Sandy Grossman

June 12, 1935 – April 2, 2014

 

Sandy Grossman directed a record 10 Super Bowl broadcasts and forged a partnership with two legendary NFL announcers (this man and this one) that lasted more than two decades. He also directed 18 of these and five Stanley Cup Finals.

 

Bing: Grossman won eight of these

Getty Images: Michael Ochs Archives
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Arthur Smith

April 1, 1921 – April 3, 2014

 

Musician Arthur Smith (see more photos) was best known for his instrumental country hit "Guitar Boogie" (listen to it), a 1940s precursor to rock 'n' roll, and for "Feudin' Banjos," a bluegrass piece that became "Dueling Banjos" (hear the tune) in this gripping 1972 film. He hosted "The Arthur Smith Show," a syndicated country music TV show, from 1951 to 1982.

 

Find: Smith's many influences included this jazz legend

AP Photo: Peter Dejong
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Anja Niedringhaus

Oct 12, 1965 – April 4, 2014


Anja Niedringhaus, a Pulitzer-winning Associated Press photographer (see photos of and by Niedringhaus), was killed in eastern Afghanistan when a policeman opened fire on the car she was riding in. AP reporter Kathy Gannon was wounded in the attack.

 

Bing: Niedringhaus was a native of this country

Getty Images: Ed Rode
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John Pinette

March 23, 1964 – April 5, 2014

 

Stand-up comedian John Pinette (see more photos) was a regular guest on "The View" and "The Tonight Show," but he may be best remembered as a carjacking victim in the final episode of this landmark TV series. In 1999, the American Comedy Awards named Pinette the Stand-Up Comedian of the Year.

 

Bing: Pinette got a big break touring with this singer, one of the all-time greats

 

AP Photo: Ed Betz
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Peter Matthiessen

May 22, 1927 – April 5, 2014

 

Award-winning author Peter Matthiessen (see more photos) wrote more than 30 books, including the novel "In Paradise," published just days after his death. Matthiessen won National Book Awards for this nonfiction account of his two-month spiritual trek in the Himalayas and for "Shadow Country," a condensed and reworked version of three previous novels. Matthiessen's book "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse," a defense of this Indian activist, led to a highly publicized but ultimately unsuccessful defamation lawsuit brought by an FBI agent.

 

Bing: Matthiessen's first major novel (this one) later was adapted by Hollywood

Corbis
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Mickey Rooney

Sept. 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014

 

Mickey Rooney's roller-coaster career spanned more than 80 years, starting when he was a toddler (see more photos). Famed for his early roles in this movie series and in musicals with Judy Garland, he was the biggest moneymaker in Hollywood from 1939 to 1942. He was nominated for four Academy Awards and won two special Oscars for his film achievements, and in late career, after many down years, he won an Emmy for his role as a mentally disabled man in this television movie.

 

Bing: This glamorous actress was the first of Rooney's eight wives

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Peaches Geldof

March 13, 1989 – April 7, 2014

 

Peaches Geldof (see more photos), a 25-year-old DJ, journalist, model and TV personality in Britain, was found dead in her home in Kent, England. She was the daughter of Irish musician Bob Geldof (see photos), who is best known as the founder of this charity to raise money for famine relief in Africa and as the leader of the rock band Boomtown Rats (check out their music).

 

Bing: Peaches Geldof's mother, Paula Yates, died young of this

 

AP Photo: Josh Reynolds
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Zeituni Onyango

May 29, 1952 – April 7, 2014

 

Zeituni Onyango (see more photos), an aunt of President Barack Obama, had stayed in the U.S. illegally for years, living in public housing in this city, after her initial request for political asylum was denied. She won asylum in 2010 after a federal judge ruled that returning to her homeland could put her in jeopardy because of her ties to the president.

 

Search: What country was Onyango from?

Getty Images: Denver Post
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The Ultimate Warrior

June 16, 1959 – April 8, 2014

 

The Ultimate Warrior, one of pro wrestling's greatest stars of the 1980s and '90s, was the only wrestler to ever hold the World Wrestling Federation Championship and Intercontinental Championship at the same time. (Watch him in action.) He legally changed his name from James Brian Hellwig in 1993.


Bing: Warrior died three days after his induction into this

AP Photo: Cory Olsen, Grand Rapids Press
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Ben Van Houten

Died April 9, 2014

 

Ben Van Houten, 39, was the father of Michigan's first surviving set of sextuplets (see more photos), who are now 10 years old. He died after setting up a trampoline for his children.

 

Bing: Van Houten's father died at age 40 of the same ailment

Rex Features: Rob Judges
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Sue Townsend

April 2, 1946 – April 10, 2014

 

Author Sue Townsend (see more photos) was a single mom, factory worker and shop employee for years before the publication of her first novel, "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾," which was lauded as a comic masterpiece. She wrote a series of popular books featuring the same protagonist; a 10th was due to be published later this year. Several of the novels were adapted for TV, radio or the stage.

 

Bing: One Townsend work imagined this famous woman living in public housing

AP Photo: Justin Walters
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Phyllis Frelich

Feb. 29, 1944 – April 10, 2014

 

Deaf actress Phyllis Frelich (see more photos) won a Tony Award in 1980 for her starring role in the Broadway production of "Children of a Lesser God," about the professional and romantic relationship between a deaf school custodian and a teacher at the school. The play later was made into a movie and won an Oscar for this actress.

 

Find: Frelich also starred in "In the Hands of Its Enemy" opposite this popular actor

 

Getty Images: Michael Ochs Archives
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Jesse Winchester

May 17, 1944 – April 11, 2014

 

Opposed to the Vietnam War, Jesse Winchester (see more photos) fled to this country in 1967 after getting his U.S. military draft notice. In exile, he became a respected singer-songwriter (listen to some of his music) whose Southern-influenced works were recorded by Patti Page, George Strait, Bonnie Raitt, Wilson Pickett, Waylon Jennings, the Everly Brothers, Elvis Costello and many others. This popular singer has regularly performed Winchester's "Biloxi" in concert.

 

Find: Winchester was a protégé of this famed Canadian guitarist, songwriter and producer

AP Photo: Miguel Tovar
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Gabriel García Márquez

March 6, 1927 – April 17, 2014

 

Gabriel García Márquez (see more photos) was a giant of 20th-century literature, a writer in the genre of magical realism (what it is) and best known for this 1967 novel. His books, which also included "Love in the Time of Cholera," were translated into dozens of languages. The Colombian native was considered the most significant Spanish-language author since this 16th-century writer.

 

Bing: García Márquez won this prize in 1982

AP Photo: Andres Leighton
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Cheo Feliciano

July 3, 1935 – April 17, 2014

 

Puerto Rican salsa legend Cheo Feliciano's sudden death shocked his homeland (how did he die?), and the territory's governor declared three days of mourning. (See more photos of Feliciano.) Celebrated for his love songs and his improvisational singing, Feliciano made a name for himself in New York and was honored with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

 

Bing: Watch what made Feliciano a legend

 

AP Photo: Sue Veldkamp
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Kevin Sharp

Dec. 10, 1970 – April 19, 2014

 

Country singer Kevin Sharp (see more photos) had a No. 1 hit with "Nobody Knows" in 1996 and took time to give motivational speeches as he battled serious health problems over the years. A teenage cancer survivor, he advocated for children with chronic diseases and was this group's Wish Granter of the Year in 1997.

 

Bing: See Sharp perform "Nobody Knows"

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Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter

May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014

 

Former boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (see more pictures) was exonerated after spending nearly 20 years in prison for a 1966 triple murder in New Jersey in a case that became an international symbol of racial injustice. Carter's plight was dramatized in a song by this rock legend and in a movie starring this Academy Award-winning actor.

 

Bing: Listen to the song "Hurricane"

Getty Images: Steve Russell, Toronto Star
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Alistair MacLeod

July 20, 1936 – April 20, 2014

 

Canadian author Alistair MacLeod (see more photos) was known for his short-story collections and for "No Great Mischief," his only novel. "No Great Mischief" won the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2001 and was selected as Atlantic Canada's greatest book in a 2009 survey.

 

Bing: Growing up on this island influenced much of MacLeod's work

 

AP Photo: Gemunu Amarasinghe
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Win Tin

March 12, 1929 – April 21, 2014

 

Win Tin (see more photos) gained fame as the longest-held political prisoner of Myanmar's military rulers. The former journalist spent 19 years behind bars after co-founding the National League for Democracy, an opposition group that challenged the dictatorship. He was released in 2008. (Watch Win Tin on video.)

 

Bing: Win Tin worked with this Nobel-winning pro-democracy leader

Getty Images: Helene Wiesenhaan, WireImage
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Mark Shand

June 28, 1951 – April 23, 2014

 

Mark Shand (see more photos), the brother of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and brother-in-law of Prince Charles, died after suffering a head injury in a fall in New York. He was a travel writer and conservationist.

 

Bing: Shand was chairman of this wildlife foundation

Getty Images: Kidwiler Collection, Diamond Images
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Connie Marrero

April 25, 1911 – April 23, 2014


Connie Marrero (see more photos) was a star baseball pitcher in this island nation long before he arrived in America's major leagues at age 38 in 1950, when he joined the Washington Senators. He was known for an assortment of off-speed pitches – curveballs, sliders and knuckleballs – and an unorthdox delivery that longtime major-leaguer Felipe Alou once described as "a cross between a windmill gone berserk and a mallard duck trying to fly backwards." Marrero won 39 games over five seasons for the basement-dwelling Senators. At the time of his death, Marrero, 102, was the oldest former major-league ballplayer.

 

Bing: Marrero was named to this honor in 1951

AP Photo: NFL Photos
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Earl Morrall

May 17, 1934 – April 25, 2014

 

Earl Morrall (see more photos) played 21 seasons in the National Football League and was perhaps best known as a first-rate backup – a quarterback who stepped in and led teams to victory after starting quarterbacks were injured. For example, when this NFL great was injured, Morrall came off the bench and guided the Baltimore Colts to a 16-13 victory in the 1971 Super Bowl. Morrall quarterbacked this team much of the year en route to the only perfect season an NFL team has ever had.

 

Bing: Morrall lost his job in the 1973 Super Bowl to this quarterback

Redux: Karsten Moran, The New York Times
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DJ Rashad

Oct. 9, 1979 – April 26, 2014

 

Rashad Hanif Harden, who went professionally under the name DJ Rashad (see more photos), pioneered what became known as footwork music, which evolved from this music style. Rashad had been recording for about 15 years but only in the past few years had begun to get international recognition.

 

Find: Police suspect this caused Rashad's death

Getty Images: Scott Cunningham, NBAE
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Jack Ramsay

Feb. 21, 1925 – April 28, 2014


Basketball broadcaster and Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay (see more photos) led this NBA team in 1977 to its only championship. He coached NBA teams for all or portions of 21 seasons before moving to the broadcast booth, where he ended his career with this sports channel.

 

Find: This basketball great was the key player on Ramsay's 1977 championship team

AP Photo: Ronen Zilberman
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Dennis Kamakahi

March 31, 1953 – April 28, 2014

 

Dennis Kamakahi (see more photos) was a Hawaiian slack key guitarist (more information on the genre here) and composer who won multiple Grammys, and was a Christian minister.


Bing: Hear the music of Dennis Kamakahi

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Bob Hoskins

Oct. 26, 1942 – April 29, 2014

 

British actor Bob Hoskins (see more photos) starred in one of Hollywood's first hits that melded live action and animation (this movie), in 1988. His big break came as an East End gangster in the 1980 film "The Long Good Friday," opposite this Oscar-winning actress, who remembered Hoskins as "a great actor and an even greater man."

 

Bing: See clips of Hoskins in the acclaimed "Mona Lisa"

 

AP Photo: Jerry Mosey
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Al Feldstein

Oct. 24, 1925 – April 29, 2014


Al Feldstein (see more photos) edited Mad magazine from 1956 to 1984, turning it into a cultural institution, albeit a warped one, and transforming this magazine character into an underground hero. Over the years the magazine has skewered virtually every aspect of American authority and society and, at its peak in the early 1970s, had a circulation that topped 2 million. Feldstein's first job in comics was drawing background foliage for this strip.

 

Bing: See Mad magazine covers

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