Notable June deaths

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In memoriam

Those we lost in June included civil rights activists, baseball and football greats, classic songwriters and a hero of World War II. Click through to read about these individuals and others who passed away during the month. See gallery

Clockwise from top left: Ann B. Davis, Tony Gwynn, Ruby Dee and former Sen. Howard Baker Jr.

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Ann B. Davis

May 5, 1926 – June 1, 2014


Comic actress Ann B. Davis (see more photos) is best remembered as Alice, the cheerful, wisecracking maid on the TV sitcom "The Brady Bunch," which ran on ABC from 1969 to 1974 and has lived on in syndication for decades since. Before that Davis played the role of Schultzy, the secretary to a playboy photographer on this show, which garnered her Emmy Awards in 1958 and 1959.


Bing: Watch scenes from "The Brady Bunch"

AP Photo: Mike Wintroath
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Yuri Kochiyama

May 19, 1921 – June 1, 2014


Civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama (see more photos) was a friend of this African American leader and was present at his assassination in 1965, when a famous Life magazine photograph captured her holding his head as he lay dying. Her political causes over the years included nuclear disarmament, independence for this island and reparations for these people.


Find: See the famous Life magazine photo (warning: graphic image)

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Alexander Shulgin

June 17, 1925 – June 2, 2014


Biochemist Alexander Shulgin (see more photos) concocted a relatively simple way to make the drug MDMA (what did it become better known as?), though he never intended for it to become the huge party drug that it did in the 1980s. He was a strong proponent of psychedelics for the transformative experiences they could provide but had little interest in their recreational use.


Find: Shulgin developed the first biodegradable pesticide for this company

Getty Images: Douglas Graham, Roll Call
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Chester Nez

Jan. 23, 1921 – June 4, 2014


Chester Nez was the last of the original 29 Navajo code talkers (see more photos), who used their native language to develop a military code that baffled the Japanese during World War II. The code, which was never cracked, remained secret until 1968. In 2001, this award was presented to Nez and the other creators of the code.


Bing: Hear the Navajo code

AP Photo: J Pat Carter
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Susan Spencer-Wendel

Dec. 28, 1966 – June 4, 2014


Susan Spencer-Wendel (see more photos), a former newspaper reporter (for what paper?) who was diagnosed with this incurable muscle-wasting disease, wrote a best-selling memoir (what was the title?) about the importance of living life to the fullest. She tapped out most of the book on a smartphone with one thumb.


Find: What famous athlete died of same disease?

AP Photo: Amy Sancetta
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Don Zimmer

Jan. 17, 1931 – June 4, 2014


Don Zimmer (see more photos) was a player, manager, coach and adviser who spent 66 years in Major League Baseball (see his baseball cards). He played for this team in its sole championship season but perhaps became best known as the right-hand man to this New York Yankees manager during a run of World Series titles in the 1990s.


Bing: Watch Zimmer, at age 72, get into an on-the-field brawl

AP Photo: Donna Terek, The Detroit News
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Don Davis

Oct. 25, 1938 – June 5, 2014


Grammy-winning producer Don Davis was a legend in this city, where he began as a recording-session guitarist and went on to become a studio owner and the CEO of one of the nation's biggest black-owned banks. He churned out a string of hits while producing for such artists as Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, The Dramatics, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.


Bing: Davis produced this 1977 megahit (listen to it)

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Johnny Leach

Nov. 20, 1922 – June 5, 2014


British table-tennis star Johnny Leach (see more photos) was a two-time world champion, in 1949 and 1951, and the United Kingdom's greatest ambassador of the sport at the peak of its popularity in his home country. He coached the U.K. national team for eight years, led the English Table Tennis Association for more than two decades and was a TV commentator for the sport.


Bing: Leach was named to this honor in 1966

AP Photo
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Karen DeCrow

Dec. 18, 1937 – June 6, 2014


Karen DeCrow (see more photos) was president of the National Organization for Women from 1974 to 1977, a period of major battles for women's rights. She led a campaign for this constitutional amendment and fought against sex discrimination in sports and education (what federal law helped her battle discrimination?).


Bing: DeCrow pressured this high-profile government agency to hire more women

AP Photo: Michael Mannion
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Alexander Imich

Feb. 4, 1903 – June 8, 2014


Alexander Imich (see more photos) was a psychic researcher who, at age 111, had been certified in April as the oldest man in the world. Imich made a career out of parapsychology (what it is), writing numerous articles for journals, starting the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center and editing the book "Incredible Tales of the Paranormal."


Find: Imich emigrated to the U.S. from this country in the 1950s

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Rik Mayall

March 7, 1958 – June 9, 2014


Rik Mayall (see more photos), a star of British alternative comedy in the 1980s, created and co-wrote an anarchic and often-surreal BBC sitcom that aired in the U.S. on MTV, PBS, Comedy Central and BBC America. (What was the name of the show?) He also appeared on this TV series and starred with Phoebe Cates in this 1991 film.


Bing: Watch scenes with Rik Mayall

AP Photo: Rusty Kennedy
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Bob Welch

Nov. 3, 1956 – June 10, 2014


Bob Welch received this award in 1990, when he won 27 games for the Oakland Athletics. No Major League Baseball pitcher has won more than 24 games in a season since. In a famous matchup, he struck out this New York Yankees superstar in a game-ending at-bat during the 1978 World Series (which team was Welch playing for then?).


Bing: See Bob Welch's baseball cards

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Ruby Dee

Oct. 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014


As an actress, Ruby Dee (see more photos) is perhaps best remembered for her roles in "A Raisin in the Sun," "Do the Right Thing" and "American Gangster," but she was just as prominent as a civil rights activist. Alongside her husband (find his name), she opposed the persecution of American communists (and suspected communists), the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and the U.S. war in Vietnam. She was a strong supporter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and raised money for this black revolutionary socialist organization.


Bing: Dee was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this film

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Jimmy Scott

July 17, 1925 – June 12, 2014


A recording company dispute stalled jazz singer Jimmy Scott's career for two decades, but he found success late in life with a Grammy-nominated album (find the album's name) in 1992 that gained him cultlike status in Europe and Asia. He went on to record with Lou Reed, Elton John, Sting and others. Scott was known for his signature high voice, caused by this syndrome, which had kept him from experiencing puberty and stunted his growth. He was 4 feet 11 until age 37, when he suddenly grew 8 more inches.


Bing: Hear the song Scott sang in the finale of TV's "Twin Peaks"

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Chuck Noll

Jan. 5, 1932 – June 13, 2014


When Chuck Noll (see more photos) became head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969, the team hadn't won a title in its nearly 40-year existence. But over the next decade, Noll led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles. (Where will the 2015 Super Bowl be played?) Noll was inducted into this in 1993.


Bing: Who was Noll's star quarterback in the 1970s?

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Casey Kasem

April 27, 1932 – June 15, 2014


Casey Kasem's "American Top 40," a weekly countdown show of hit songs, was a fixture on music radio for years, beginning in 1970. Outside radio, Kasem (what was his real name?) was the voice of Shaggy on the animated TV series "Scooby-Doo" (watch clips from the show). He also did TV commercials and appeared on shows such as this popular drama about three female crime fighters.


Find: Listen to the No. 1 song from Kasem's first show

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Tony Gwynn

May 9, 1960 – June 16, 2014


Baseball player Tony Gwynn (see more photos) played his entire 20-year career for the San Diego Padres (what was Gwynn's nickname?) en route to winning eight batting titles and posting a lifetime average of .338 (see his baseball cards). He became a good friend of this San Diego native, a superstar from an earlier era, and the two often talked about hitting. Gwynn was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 alongside this Baltimore Orioles icon.


Bing: Gwynn, who died of cancer, blamed his disease on this

AP Photo: Evan Caglage, The Dallas Morning News
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Stanley Marsh 3

Jan. 31, 1938 – June 17, 2014


Stanley Marsh 3 (see more photos), an heir to his family's oil and gas fortune and a quirky-yet-successful businessman in his own right, was best known for sponsoring the famous – some would say infamous – Cadillac Ranch art installation (above) just outside his hometown (what city is that?). Marsh's life had taken a dark turn recently: He was facing sexual molestation charges at the time of his death.


Bing: Cadillac Ranch was immortalized in this 1980 rock song

Corbis: JazzSign, Lebrecht Music & Arts
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Horace Silver

Sept. 2, 1928 – June 18, 2014


Horace Silver (see more photos) was an innovative jazz pianist, composer and bandleader best known for such works as "Song for My Father," which starts with a keyboard phrase that was later lifted by this band for the hit "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." Silver was a pioneer of a genre known as this and combined elements of bebop, blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues to create what became known as the "Blue Note Sound," named after his longtime record label.


Bing: Listen to Silver's "Song for My Father"

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Gerry Goffin

Feb. 11, 1939 – June 19, 2014


Songwriter Gerry Goffin (see more photos) collaborated with his then-wife, Carole King (see photos), on some of the biggest pop-rock hits of the 1960s. Together they wrote such classics as this one for Aretha Franklin, "The Loco-Motion" for Little Eva (listen to the song), "One Fine Day" for the Chiffons (hear the song), "Pleasant Valley Sunday" for the Monkees (listen to it) and "Don't Bring Me Down" for the Animals (hear it).


Bing: Hear the first Goffin-King hit, recorded by the Shirelles

REX Features
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Felix Dennis

May 27, 1947 – June 22, 2014


Felix Dennis (see more photos) was a wildly successful and free-spending British publishing magnate whose empire once included this magazine in addition to Blender, Men's Fitness and The Week. Dennis claimed to have spent $100 million on mistresses and illegal drugs. He also was a prolific poet, publishing more than 1,500 poems in eight volumes.


Bing: Author Tom Wolfe compared Dennis' poetry to this writer's

 


 

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Steve Rossi

May 25, 1932 – June 22, 2014


Steve Rossi (see more photos) was one-half of Allen and Rossi, one of the most successful comedy duos of the 1960s. Rossi and partner Marty Allen were regular guests on TV variety shows and at major nightclubs throughout most of the decade. In 1964, they twice shared the bill with this legendary musical group on "The Ed Sullivan Show."


Find: Rossi was discovered by this Hollywood sex symbol

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Teenie Hodges

Nov. 16, 1946 – June 22, 2014


Mabon "Teenie" Hodges (see more photos) was a rhythm and lead guitarist but was best known for his songwriting, particularly "Take Me to the River" (listen to the Talking Heads' version), "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" and "Love and Happiness," all co-written with this soul superstar.


Find: Hodges was this rapper's uncle

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Eli Wallach

Dec. 7, 1915 – June 24, 2014


Eli Wallach (see more photos) was one of the most recognizable character actors in movies over six decades, perhaps best remembered for his role as the villain in this 1966 Sergio Leone spaghetti Western co-starring Clint Eastwood. Wallach's other notable film roles included "The Magnificient Seven," "Lord Jim," "Cinderella Liberty," "How to Steal a Million" and "The Misfits" (who starred in "The Misfits"?). He also had a long career on stage and on TV.


Find: Wallach's final role was in this 2010 film

AP: Wade Payne
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Howard Baker Jr.

Nov. 15, 1925 – June 26, 2014


Howard Baker Jr. (see more photos) was a moderate Republican from this state who served 18 years in the U.S. Senate and rose to the post of majority leader. He was a White House chief of staff for this president and a U.S. ambassador to this country during the adminstration of George W. Bush.


Find: What famous question did Baker ask at the 1973 Watergate hearings?

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Mary Rodgers

Jan. 11, 1931 – June 26, 2014


Mary Rodgers (see more photos), the daughter of this Broadway icon, wrote songs and children's books and may be best remembered as the composer of "Once Upon a Mattress," a 1959 musical that made a star of this entertainment legend.


Find: Rodgers' most popular book (what was the title?) became a 1976 film

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Bobby Womack

March 4, 1944 − June 27, 2014


Soul and R&B singer Bobby Womack (see more photos) was a music legend who influenced artists from the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder to Damon Albarn. As a performer, Womack's greatest commercial success came in the 1970s, but he was just as notable for his songs, which were recorded by the likes of Wilson Pickett and Janis Joplin, often with more success than he had. Womack had battled years of drug addiction and numerous health problems and was in the early stages this disease at the time of his death.


Bing: Hear Womack sing his hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now"

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Meshach Taylor

April 11, 1947 – June 28, 2014

 

Actor Meshach Taylor (see more photos) is best known for his role on the hit TV sitcom "Designing Women" from 1986 to 1993. He received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Anthony Bouvier, an ex-con who worked as an assistant for four formidable Southern interior designers. Taylor also starred in this hit comedy alongside Harry Anderson, and in "Buffalo Bill" and "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide."

Bing: Watch scenes from "Designing Women"

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Paul Mazursky

April 25, 1930 – June 30, 2014


Writer-director Paul Mazursky (see more photos) was nominated for four screenwriting Academy Awards – for "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "An Unmarried Woman," "Enemies, A Love Story" and this one, which won a best actor Oscar for Art Carney – and nominated once as producer for this 1978 comedy-drama starring Jill Clayburgh.


Bing: In recent years Mazursky had acted on this HBO show

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