Notable August deaths: Gorme, Donovan & more

By Krystal Hagan of MSN News | FilmMagic: Michael Tran; AP Photo: Chris Pizzello, File; AP Photo: File; Getty Images: Munawar Hosain
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In Memoriam

This month, we lost a beloved crime writer, a star of "That '70s Show" and a former NBC News anchor. Click through to read about the notable people who passed away in August. See gallery

Reuters: Charles Platiau: Files
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Seamus Heaney

Died Aug. 30 (b. 1939)

Seamus Heaney (see photos), was a Nobel Prize-winning poet lauded as one of Irelend's greatest lyrical minds. Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, the fourth Irishman to do so, joining the legendary William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw.

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Poetry center named after him

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AP Photo: Dave Pickoff, File
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Muriel 'Mickie' Siebert

Died Aug. 24 (b. 1928)

Muriel "Mickie" Siebert (see photos) was the first woman to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange. After months of grappling with the male-dominated business world, Siebert bought a seat on the NYSE in December 1967. Ten years later, she was the first woman to be appointed superintendent of banking for the state of New York.

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Siebert rang the closing bell at the NYSE in 1998

This program greatly benefited young people

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AP Photo: Michael Tweed
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Julie Harris

Died Aug. 24 (b. 1925)

Julie Harris (see photos) was one of Broadway's most revered performers, winning an unprecedented five Tony Awards for best actress in a play. Beyond her Broadway career, Harris also was well known for her role as the free-spirited Lilimae Clements on the prime-time soap opera "Knots Landing."

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Cause of death

This actress won four Tonys for best actress

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AP Photo: NBC
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Lew Wood

Died Aug. 21 (b. 1928 or 1929)

Lew Wood (see photos) was a former news anchor and correspondent best known for his work on the "Today" show. He began his career at WDZ-AM in 1952. While a reporter, he covered such high-profile events as the 1960s civil rights movement and President John F. Kennedy's tragic Dallas visit in 1963. He took over the anchor spot on "Today" in 1975, but his high-profile gig ended after a year. Wood left the news business and worked in public relations until his retirement.

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Cause of death

Dan Rather's kind words

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AP Photo: NASA
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C. Gordon Fullerton

Died Aug. 21 (b. 1936)

C. Gordon Fullerton (see photos) was a research and test pilot for NASA and the Air Force who flew on two space-shuttle missions. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology and joined the Air Force in 1958. He spent nearly two decades as an astronaut, flying on the shuttle Columbia in 1982 and the shuttle Challenger in 1985. He also helped test the shuttle prototype Enterprise in 1977. He retired from NASA in 2007.

 

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Cause of death

Watch a National Air and Space Museum tribute

His 2009 award

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Wenn.com: Joseph Marzullo
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Sid Bernstein

Died Aug. 21 (b. 1918)

Sid Bernstein (see photos) was a music promoter best known for bringing the Beatles to American audiences. The Manhattan-born businessman was the brains behind their sold-out Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium concerts in the mid-1960s. He also represented other British acts such as the Rolling Stones and the Kinks in their U.S. appearances. He unsuccessfully tried to get the Beatles back together (how?) in 1976.

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Watch The Beatles' Shea Stadium videos

What was the British Invasion?

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AP Photo: Seth Wenig, File
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Marian McPartland

Died Aug. 20 (b. 1918)

Marian McPartland (see photos) was a British jazz pianist, composer, writer and NPR host. She began her career in Great Britain in World War II before bringing her music to the United States. She founded Halcyon Records in 1969 and began hosting "Piano Jazz" on NPR in 1979. The Grammy Awards gave her a lifetime achievement award in 2004, and she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2010, she was awarded one of Britain's highest honors.

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Watch an interview with her

She's in a famous 1958 photograph

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AP Photo: Lawrence Journal World: Mike Yoder
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Jim Brothers

Died Aug. 20 (b. 1941)

Jim Brothers (see photos) was a Kansas artist who specialized in bronze sculptures. His best-known pieces are a sculpture of Dwight Eisenhower in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, several pieces at the National D-Day Memorial and a monument honoring the Civilian Conservation Corps in Los Angeles. Famous people such as Steven Spielberg and the late "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz had his pieces in their collections.

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Cause of death

His final piece

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Getty Images: Vince Bucci
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Elmore Leonard

Died Aug. 20 (b. 1925)

Elmore Leonard (see photos) was a popular author from Detroit known for his prolific career as a crime writer. Several of his books became movies, including "Get Shorty" and "Out of Sight." The critically acclaimed cable series "Justified" is based on his short story "Fire in the Hole."

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Cause of death

His 10 rules of writing

Shop for his books

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FilmMagic: Michael Tran
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Lee Thompson Young

Died Aug. 19 (b. 1984)

Lee Thompson Young (see photos) was a former child actor who starred in the Disney series "The Famous Jett Jackson" and its movie spinoff. The South Carolina native also had roles in the movies "Friday Night Lights" and "Akeelah and the Bee." His most recent role was as Detective Barry Frost on the cable show "Rizzoli & Isles."

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Cause of death

"Rizzoli & Isles" tribute

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AP Photo: Charles Kelly
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Bert Lance

Died Aug. 15 (b. 1931)

Bert Lance (see photos) was a banker from Georgia who was also one of President Jimmy Carter's closest advisers. He served as the state's highway commissioner from 1971 to 1973 and was the president’s budget director until a finance scandal in 1977, which led to his resignation and bank fraud charges. He was acquitted in 1980 and went on to lead Georgia's Democratic Party and Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign.

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Carter responds to his death

Lance coined a popular saying

Road named after him

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COR: (c) John Springer Collection
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Jane Harvey

Died Aug. 15 (b. 1925)

Jane Harvey (see photos) was a jazz singer who performed with musicians such as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. She recorded "A Rainy Night in Rio" with another famous performer and was known for the songs "Close as Pages in a Book" and "A Hundred Dreams from Now."

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Cause of death

Watch her 1946 performance

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AP Photo: Francois Mori, File
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Jacque Verges

Died Aug. 15 (b. 1925)

Jacques Verges (see photos) was a French lawyer known for defending controversial clients. He earned the nickname the "Devil's advocate" for representing such criminals as Gestapo member Klaus Barbie and former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

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Cause of death

He defended an infamous terrorist

What did he say about his job?

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Getty Images: Xurxo Lobato
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Rosalia Mera

Died Aug. 15 (b. 1944)

Rosalia Mera (see photos) was Spain's richest woman (what was her net worth?). The former seamstress opened her first Zara clothing store in 1975, and the company went on to become one of the world's largest retail chains.   

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Cause of death

Her billionaire ex-husband

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Getty Images: Munawar Hosain
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Lisa Kelly

Died Aug. 14 (b. 1970)

Lisa Kelly (see photos) was an actress best known for playing Laurie Forman on the hit sitcom "That '70s Show." She had struggled with addiction since leaving the show in 2003 and had several run-ins with the law before her death.

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Cause of death

Watch her on "That '70s Show"

Get the latest news on her death

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Getty Images: Gary Connery Archive: Mark Sutton
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Olympic parachutist Mark Sutton

Died Aug. 14 (b. 1970 or 1971)

Mark Sutton (see photos) was a stuntman who became world famous in 2012 when he parachuted as James Bond along with another stuntman playing Queen Elizabeth II into the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

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Cause of death

Watch his Olympics stunt

Ceremony director pays tribute

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Reuters: The Baltimore Sun: Kenneth K. Lam
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Jack Germond

Died Aug. 14 (b. 1928)

Jack Germond (see photos) was a longtime political writer known for sparring with conservative host John McLaughlin on "The McLaughlin Group." As a reporter covering the 1972 presidential campaign, he became one of Timothy Crouse's "Boys on the Bus." According to his wife, he had recently finished his first novel.

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Cause of death

Watch the "Saturday Night Live" spoof

His bibliography

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WireImage: Bobby Bank
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Gia Allemand

Died Aug. 14 (b. 1983)

Gia Allemand (see photos) was a model known for her appearances on "The Bachelor" and "Bachelor Pad" reality shows. The "Bachelor" third-place finisher (on which season?) was dating an NBA player at the time of her death.

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Cause of death

Her mother speaks out

Her co-stars' reactions

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Rex Features: Dimitis Legakis
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Jon Brookes

Died Aug. 13 (b. 1968)

Jon Brookes (see photos) was a founding member and drummer for the British rock band The Charlatans. The band was known for such hits as 1990's "The Only One I Know" and 1992's "Weirdo."

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Cause of death

Watch their music videos

Bandmate's tribute

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AP Photo: David Goldman, File
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Shirley Herz

Died Aug. 11 (b. 1925)

Shirley Herz (see photos) was a longtime press agent from Philadelphia who represented clients as far ranging as Broadway and TV shows, nightclubs and the Moscow Circus. One of her first industry jobs was as Rosalind Russell's personal press representative in 1953; Herz started her own firm in 1971. She became the first member from the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers to receive a Tony Award (which one?) in 2009.

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Cause of death

Broadway's tribute

Who inspired her to get into the theater world?

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Reuters: Laszlo Balogh: File
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Laszlo Csatary

Died Aug. 11 (b. 1915)

Laszlo Csatary (see photos) was a former Hungarian police officer accused of running a Nazi internment camp during World War II. He was sentenced to death in absentia in Czechoslovakia in 1948 for his war crimes. Hungary had indicted him earlier this year on charges of abusing Jews and contributing to their deportation to death camps. His location was disclosed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2012.

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Cause of death

Wiesenthal Center responds

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Eydie Gorme

Died Aug. 10 (b. 1928)

Eydie Gorme (see photos) was a singer who gained fame in the 1960s with her hit song "Blame It on the Bossa Nova." She and her husband, Steve Lawrence, often performed together on the original "Tonight Show" in the 1950s and continued to work together the rest of her career. She became popular in Latin America with her Spanish-language hit, "Amor" in 1964.

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Cause of death

How did the couple describe their music?

Watch them perform

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AP Photo: Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner, File
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Jody Payne

Died Aug. 10 (b. 1936)

Jody Payne (see photos) was a guitarist who toured and played with Willie Nelson from 1973 until Payne's retirement in 2008. Before joining up with Nelson, he performed with bluegrass and country musicians such as Charlie Monroe and Merle Haggard.

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Cause of death

Watch him perform with Willie

Nelson's response

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Wikimedia Commons
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William P. Clark

Died Aug. 10 (b. 1931)

William P. Clark (see photos) was a former California state judge and close friend and adviser of President Ronald Reagan. The California native began working for Reagan during his 1966 gubernatorial campaign. He passed the bar exam despite never earning a college degree and went on to become deputy secretary of state and national security adviser. Time magazine named him the "second most powerful man in the White House" in 1983.

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Cause of death

He was a proponent of Reagan's diplomatic philosophy

His unusual Washington, D.C., hobby

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Handout photo
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Larry W. Stephens

Died Aug. 9 (b. 1941 or 1942)

Larry W. Stephens (see photo) was a longtime Associated Press communications chief known for his technological expertise. The Missouri native served in the Air Force as a communications specialist before beginning his career with the news organization in 1968. He became a prolific woodworker after his retirement in 2002.

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Cause of death

His birthplace

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AP Pile photo
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Johnny Logan

Died Aug. 9 (b. 1927)

Johnny Logan (see photos) was a former Major League Baseball All-Star shortstop who played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He became a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers after his career ended in 1964 and continued to live in the city after his retirement, even running for sheriff. His Miller Park Walk of Fame plaque was unveiled shortly before he died.

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His career stats

Bob Uecker's tribute

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AP Photo: Joe Major, File
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William Lynch

Died Aug. 9 (b. 1941)

William Lynch (see photos) was a political organizer who ran David Dinkins' successful campaign to become New York City's first black mayor in 1989. He began his career in Harlem before moving on to future Gov. David Paterson's state Senate race in 1985. He became Dinkins' deputy mayor for intergovernmental affairs during his tenure. He was instrumental in Nelson Mandela's visit to the city in 1990. As a political consultant, he advised presidential candidates Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale and later became deputy campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry's presidential run in 2004.

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Cause of death

Politicians respond

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AP Photo: Chris Pizzello, File
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Karen Black

Died Aug. 8 (b. 1939)

Karen Black (see photos) was known for her role in the 1970 film "Five Easy Pieces," which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. She played a prostitute in "Easy Rider" the previous year and was nominated for a Grammy for her work in the movie "Nashville" in 1975. She continued to get bit parts in TV series later in her career, but is perhaps more well known for appearing in cult-horror movies such as Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses."

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Cause of death

He wrote a play in 2007

Watch a 2009 interview

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AP Photo: HarperCollins
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Barbara Mertz

Died Aug. 8 (b. 1927)

Barbara Mertz (see photos) was a prolific mystery writer who published most of her novels under two pen names: Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels. Her most popular character was Victorian archaeologist Amelia Peabody. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago when she was 23 but never worked in her chosen field of Egyptology and went on to write more than 60 books.

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Her first published novel

Her literary award

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'Cowboy' Jack Clement

Died Aug. 8 (b. 1931)

"Cowboy" Jack Clement (see photos) was a country-music songwriter and producer known for his work with such musicians as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and even U2. He discovered singer Charley Pride while working at the famous Sun Records studio and was instrumental in helping the singer break the country-music color barrier. He was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year.

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Cause of death

Watch him perform "A Girl I Used to Know"

His 2007 documentary

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ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images
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Marilyn King

Died Aug. 8 (b. 1931)

Marilyn King (see photos) was a singer, songwriter and actress who spent much of her career singing with her sisters. The family even had its own short-lived TV variety show in the late 1960s. Her acting roles included stints on the TV series "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and on stage in "Guys and Dolls."

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Cause of death

Watch "King Family Show" videos

Her musical great-nephews

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AP Photo: Charles Sykes, File
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Margaret Pellegrini

Died Aug. 7 (b. 1923)

Margaret Pellegrini (see photos) was famous for being one of the original Munchkins in the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz." She spent her adult life traveling and speaking about her role in the film and the lessons she thought the film taught.

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Cause of death

How many original Munchkins are left?

Watch Munchkins videos

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AP Photo: Joe Marquette
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Sean Sasser

Died Aug. 7 (b. 1968)

Sean Sasser (see photos) was a pastry chef and AIDS activist who made headlines when he exchanged vows with fellow HIV-positive AIDS activist Pedro Zamora on the MTV reality show "The Real World" in 1994. Sasser continued his work after Zamora’s death later that year, and he married earlier this year.

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Cause of death

See photos of Sean and Pedro

Watch "Real World: San Francisco" videos

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AP Photo: Eliza Wiley
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Stan Lynde

Died Aug. 6 (b. 1931)

Stan Lynde (see photos) was a cartoonist, author and creator of the "Rick O'Shay" comic strip, which ran for 20 years beginning in 1958. He was born and raised on a ranch in Billings, Mont. He became a Western writer after retiring from comic strips, writing several novels featuring the character Merlin Fanshaw. He and his wife had returned from Ecuador to his native Montana shortly before his death.

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Cause of death

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George Duke

Died Aug. 5 (b. 1946)

George Duke (see photos) was a Grammy-winning jazz keyboardist and producer who worked with a diverse group of musicians such as Frank Zappa, Michael Jackson and Miles Davis. He began playing piano at 4 years old and honed his skills at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His résumé also included Soul Train Music Awards musical director and movie and television soundtracks. He released a musical tribute to his late wife shortly before his death.

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Cause of death

Which Grammys did he win?

Watch his music videos

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AP Photo: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Eric Schmadel
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Logan Stevenson

Died Aug. 5 (b. 2010)

Logan Stevenson (see photos) was a 2-year-old Jeannette, Pa., boy who served as his parents' best man at their wedding the weekend before he died. His parents changed their original 2014 wedding date once they learned their young son — who had Fanconi anemia — did not have long to live. 

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Cause of death

Watch a news story on the family

His mother's Facebook announcement

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AP Photo: Martin Cleaver: Pool: File
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John 'Sandy' Woodward

Died Aug. 4 (b. 1932)

Adm. John "Sandy" Woodward (see photos) was a British admiral who led the Royal Navy task force during the Falklands War. The Cornwall native joined the navy at 13 and was sent to the Falkland Islands by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after Argentina seized the territory in 1982. His controversial sinking of an Argentine warship led to Britain's victory after 74 days. He later became a knight and wrote a memoir about the conflict. 

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Cause of death

David Cameron's statement

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AP Photo: File
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Art Donovan

Died Aug. 4 (b. 1925)

Art Donovan (see photos) was a former pro football defensive lineman who made a living telling his stories about his playing days in the 1950s. He spent most of his career with the Baltimore Colts and was part of what many football fans call "The Greatest Game Ever Played" in 1958. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.

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Ravens owner's statement

Watch his Johnny Carson interview

His referee dad

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AP Photo: Evan Agostini, File
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John Palmer

Died Aug. 3 (b. 1935)

John Palmer (see photos) was a longtime NBC News correspondent who worked for the network from 1962 to 1990 and again from 1994 to 2002. He began his career in Atlanta in 1960 and worked in Beirut in the 1970s. One of his biggest stories came in 1980, when he broke the news of President Carter's failed attempt to rescue American hostages from Iran. He was news anchor for the "Today" show from 1982 to 1989 and hosted the show "Instant Recall" before returning to NBC in 1994 as a correspondent until his retirement in 2002.

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Cause of death

Watch his reports

Praise from colleagues

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AP Photo: John Rooney, File
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Dick Kazmaier

Died Aug. 1 (b. 1930)

Dick Kazmaier (see photos) was a former college football player who was the last from the Ivy League to win the Heisman Trophy. He played halfback for Princeton University and won the Heisman as a senior in 1951. He skipped a career in the NFL, choosing to attend Harvard and join the Navy. He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and was instrumental in implementing Title IX legislation in 1972. He served as president of the National Football Foundation from 1974 to 1984 and was chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness under two presidents. Princeton retired his jersey number in 2008. 

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Cause of death

Heisman Trophy winners list

Another football award

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AP Photo: Arizona State University
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Wilford 'Whizzer' White

Died Aug. 1 (b. 1928)

Wilford "Whizzer" White (see photos) was known for being one of Arizona State University's best running backs of all time and for having a famous son named Danny White. The Arizona native became the first Sun Devil to be named an All-American, and his jersey number was the first to be retired by the team. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1951 and played two seasons in the NFL before quitting because of injury. His son went on to become a star quarterback for the Sun Devils and eventually the Dallas Cowboys two decades later.

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Cause of death

Hall of Fame honor

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