Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Those we lost in '05

2005 saw some true giants in their fields pass. So here’s a melancholy farewell to some of our best & brightest.

Pope John Paul II-the most charismatic and accessible pope maybe ever led life on his own terms and devoted 60+ years to the Catholic church.

Richard Pryor-was recently voted by Comedy Central as the greatest comedian of all time. Arguably the most influential comic ever his caustic style paved the way for future greats like Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, and a whole host of others.

Johnny Carson-as host of the Tonight Show for over two decades he became a true American icon and one of the most beloved television personalities ever.

George Mikan-the first superstar big man in basketball led the Minneapolis Lakers to five championships and is regarded as the NBA’s first great center.

Max Schmelling-gained world wide fame as a pawn of Hitler’s Nazi party when he defeated Jo Louis in 1936. Louis would eventually regain his heavyweight title in 1938 on a first round knockout. After their legendary clashes the two warriors became fast friends until Louis’ death in 1981.

Rosa Parks-her act of defiance in 1955 sparked the civil rights revolution in America. Parks, an unknown seamstress, refused to give up her seat on the front of a Montgomery, Alabama bus for a white man. With this seemingly innocuous gesture Parks became one of the most important figures of 20th century America.

William Rehnquist-chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 to 2005 he served as one of the arbiters of conservative constitutional interpretation for decades. His 33 years of service on the Court is one of the longest tenures in history.

Others who passed in ’05-Peter Jennings, Terri Schiavo, Eddie Albert, William Mora, Hank Stramm, General William Westmoreland, Luther Vandross, Ossie Davis, Arthur Miller, Anne Bancroft, Johnnie Cochran, Hunter S. Thompson.