In Memoriam: Notable Deaths In 2018


NewsOne gallery of the notable individuals we lost in 2018.

In Memoriam: Notable Deaths In 2018  was originally published on newsone.com

1. Willie McCovey, 80

The Hall of Fame first baseman who spent 19 of his 22 major-league seasons with the Giants passed away due to ongoing health issues on October 31, 2018. He was 80 years old.

2. Ntozake Shange, 70

The legendary playwright and poet, who is most known for “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf,” passed away on October 27, 2018. She was 70 years old.

3. George Taliaferro, 91

George Taliaferro, who in 1949 became the first African-American player to be drafted by an NFL team, died Oct. 8 night at the age of 91, according to ESPN.

4. Otis Rush, 84

Otis Rush, 84

Blues guitarist Otis Rush died Sept. 29. Pictured: Rush performs onstage at the Petrillo Band Shell in Chicago on June 8, 1985. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

5. George Walker, 96

George Walker, 96

George Walker, the first Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American composer composer, died Aug. 23 at the age of 96. Pictured: Walker at rehearsal with the Juilliard Orchestra Dec. 6, 2007. (Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

6. Kofi Annan, 80

Kofi Annan, 80

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan died at age 80 on August 17.

7. Aretha Franklin, 76

Aretha Franklin, 76

The legendary singer died at her home in Detroit on Aug. 16.

8. Ron Dellums, 83

Former Oakland Mayor from 2007 to 2011 Ron Dellums has passed away at 82 years old. Dellums advocated on behalf of poor, Black and LGBT communities.

9. Angela Bowen, 82

The dance teacher and gay activist died July 12.

10. Joe Jackson, 89

Joe Jackson, 89

Joe Jackson, patriarch of music’s famed Jackson family, reportedly died June 27. He was 89.

11. XXXTentacion, 20

XXXTentacion, 20

Rapper XXXTentacion died June 18, 2018. He was 20 years old.

12. Neal Boyd, 42

Neal Boyd, 42

Neal E. Boyd, a pop opera singer and former winner of “America’s Got Talent” Season 3, reportedly died June 10. He was 42 years old.

13. Dorothy Cotton, 88

Dorothy Cotton, 88

Dorothy Cotton, who was a leader in the civil rights era, has reportedly died at the age of 88.

14. Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, 74

Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, 74

Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, a founding member of the Last Poets who was also known as the “Godfather of Rap,” died June 4. He was 74. Here he is photographed during an interview at Celluloid Records in London in 1984.

15. Dovey Johnson Roundtree, 104

Dovey Johnson Roundtree, “a pioneer of the civil rights movement who shattered color and gender barriers in the military, in transportation, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church,” died May 22, according to the Charlotte Observer. She was 104.

16. Velvalea Rodgers ‘Vel’ Phillips, 94

Vel Phillips, a civil rights leader and activist who was also the first Black judge in Wisconsin, first woman judge in that same state and a former secretary of state, among holding other elected positions, has died. She was 94.

17. Doris Ward, 86

Doris Ward, 86

The “fierce advocate for racial and economic equality who became the first African American president of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors” died April 14 in San Francisco, SFGate reported.

18. Yvonne Staples, 80

Yvonne Staples, 80

Staples, pictured second from right, a singer in her family group The Staples Singers, reportedly died April 10.

19. Cecil Taylor, 89

Cecil Taylor, 89

The “pianist who challenged the jazz tradition that produced him and became one of the most bracing, rhapsodic, abstract and original improvisers of his time” died April 5, the New York Times reported.

20. Donald McKayle, 87

Donald McKayle, 87

Donald McKayle, “a modern dancer and choreographer who brought the black experience in America to the Broadway stage in musicals such as ‘Raisin’ and ‘Sophisticated Ladies,’” died April 6, according to the Associated Press.

21. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 81

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 81

Former wife of Nelson Mandela and iconic South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at 81 years old on April 2, 2018. She was known as the “Mother of the Nation.” Her PA‚ Zodwa Zwane‚ said in a statement, “It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg‚ South Africa on Monday April 2‚ 2018.” No word on what she passed away of but she was suffering with a long illness, according to reports.

22. Linda Brown, 76

Linda Brown, 76

Linda Brown, who was an elementary school student at the center of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that ended school segregation in the United States, has reportedly died.

23. Les Payne, 76

Pioneering Black journalist Les Payne died March 20 at his home in Harlem, according to the New York Newsday, his longtime employer. He was 76.

24. Floyd J. Carter, Sr., 95

Floyd J. Carter, Sr., 95

Tuskegee Airman Colonel Floyd J. Carter Sr. and longtime New York Police Department officer died March 8, 2018. He was 95.

25. Ensa Cosby, 44

Ensa Cosby, daughter of Bill Cosby, died from renal disease in Massachusetts on Feb. 23. She was 44.

26. Lerone Bennett Jr., 89

Lerone Bennett Jr., 89

Lerone Bennett Jr. passed away on February 14. He was 89 years old. He was a scholar, author, social historian and activist. His best-known works include “Before the Mayflower” (1962) and “Forced into Glory” (2000). In addition, he was the longtime editor for Ebony and Jet, inspiring generations of Black journalists. Rest in peace.

APR 23 1968; Bennett, Lerone Jr. – Violence is peripheral.; He said the recent President’s Advisory Commission Report on Civil Disorders had received ‘no response from the White House or Congress, or by and large from the American public’.; (Photo By Cloyd Teter/The Denver Post via Getty Images) vertical,arts culture and entertainment,usa,archival,president,violence,1960-1969

27. Reg E. Cathey

Reg E. Cathey

The actor who gained widespread fame from his supporting role on the award-winning cable TV drama “The Wire” before moving on to “House of Cards” has reportedly died at the age of 59.

28. Lovebug Starski, 57

Lovebug Starski, 57

The legendary, pioneering DJ reportedly died in Las Vegas on Feb. 8. While he wasn’t as popular as his better-known contemporaries, such as Grandmaster Flash, he was just as influential, if not more, in shaping the sound of what would become hip-hop music in the 1970s. The Notorious B.I.G. famously dropped Starski’s name on his debut single, “Juicy.” May he rest in peace.

29. Olivia Cole, 75

Olivia Cole, 75

Cole, a veteran actress who was best known for her breakout role in the “Roots” TV series, died at her home in San Miguel Allende, Mexico at the age of 75 on January 19. She received an Emmy for her performance on the hit miniseries based on Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

30. Wyatt Tee Walker, 88

Wyatt Tee Walker, 88

Walker, (C) in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961, with Martin Luther King, Jr. (R), and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (L), died Tuesday, December 23. King’s former chief of staff, Walker was at an assisted-living facility near his home in Chester, Virginia.

31. Jesse ‘Smiley’ Rutland

Jesse ‘Smiley’ Rutland

Rutland, a co-creator of the Harlem Shake, was found shot dead in his Brooklyn home on Sunday, December 10. He was a member of the Crazy Boyz Dance Crew whose early 2000s upper-body-gyrating routine captured the attention of Sean Combs, who made it world famous.

32. Hugh Masekela, 78

Hugh Masekela, 78

Masekela, known as the father of South African jazz and who collaborated with artists such as Harry Belafonte, died Tuesday, January 23 in Johannesburg after a protracted battle with prostate cancer. His music served as the background for the anti-apartheid movement.

33. Edwin Hawkins, 74

Edwin Hawkins, 74

Edwin Hawkins, known for gospel crossover hit “Oh Happy Day” in 1969, died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer Monday, January 15, in Pleasanton, Calif., east of San Francisco.