Wed. Feb 21st, 2024
Tina Turner performs in a concert in Cologne, Germany on Jan. 14, 2009

A look at the more than 100 influential figures who died last year

Associated Press – Yevgeny Prigozhin rose from being an ex-con and hot dog vendor to winning lucrative Kremlin contracts and heading a formidable mercenary army. But it all came to a sudden end when the private plane carrying him and others mysteriously exploded over Russia.

Prigozhin’s Aug. 23 death put an exclamation point on what had already been an eventful year for the brutal mercenary leader. His Wagner Group troops brought Russia a rare victory in its grinding war in Ukraine, capturing the city of Bakhmut. But internal friction with Russian military leaders later burst into the open, with Prigozhin briefly mounting an armed rebellion — the most severe challenge yet to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

The rebellion was called off and a deal was struck in less than 24 hours. However, just two months later, Prigozhin joined the list of those who have run afoul of the Kremlin and died unexpectedly.

He was just one of a number of noteworthy people who died in 2023.

The world also said goodbye to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who died Nov. 29. Serving under two presidents, Kissinger’s shadow loomed large in the foreign policy arena, prompting both admiration and criticism from around the globe. And he continued his involvement in global affairs even in his final months.

Another political figure who died this year was former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died Nov. 19. She was the closest adviser to her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, during his one term in the White House and then across four decades of global humanitarian work.

Others from the world of politics who died this year include: former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi; former U.S. senators Dianne Feinstein, James Buckley and James Abourezk; former British treasury chief Nigel Lawson; former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf; former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang; former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari; former New Mexico governor and American ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson; former New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver; and former Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

Among the entertainers who left the world this year was singer Tina Turner, who died May 24. Turner’s powerful voice and stage presence brought her fame across multiple decades, first with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, in the 1960’s and 70’s. But after leaving their marriage, she found fame again in the 1980’s with her hit “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

Others in the world of arts and entertainment who died this year include: actors Suzanne Somers, Matthew Perry, Raquel Welch, Richard Belzer, Chaim Topol, Jacklyn Zeman, Lance Reddick, Alan Arkin, Paul Reubens, David McCallum, Richard Roundtree and Tom Sizemore; musicians Jimmy Buffett, Sinéad O’Connor, Rita Lee Jones, Burt Bacharach, David Crosby, Fito Olivares, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Astrud Gilberto, Coco Lee and Tony Bennett; civil rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte; TV producer Norman Lear; author Cormac McCarthy; filmmaker William Friedkin; TV hosts Bob Barker and Jerry Springer; poet Louise Glück; guitarist Jeff Beck; fashion designer Mary Quant; wrestler The Iron Sheik; composer Kaija Saariaho; and “Sesame Street” co-creator Lloyd Morrisett.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Connect With Us

Stay Connected Everywhere With Us