UPDATED: 6:28 p.m. EST, Dec. 9 —
The list of legends being taken from us during this calendar year keeps getting longer.
Most recently, rapper Juice WRLD, an upstart artist who rose to fame quickly, died the morning of Dec. 8 following a seizure at an airport in his hometown of Chicago.
While an official cause of death was not reported immediately, law enforcement has said that large quantities of prescription pills and marijuana were found in the luggage of him and his entourage. TMZ reported that Juice WRLD “was seen swallowing several Percocet pills in what people believed was an attempt to hide them” in an act that “might’ve contributed to his death in a possible OD.”
Juice WRLD’s sudden death came just about a month after Bernard Tyson, a respected leader in the healthcare field and the Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, died Nov. 10. He was just 60 years old. Tyson had a 30-year career with Kaiser and eventually rose through the ranks to become the CEO in 2013. During his time, the integrated health-care system and insurance company grew from 9 million members, with more than 174,000 employees, to more than 12 million members with an employee base of 218,000. Under his leadership, the country’s largest nonprofit health system became a leading advocate in the push to improve the delivery of benefits and care.
Prior to that, John Witherspoon was called home after his sudden death at his Los Angeles area home in late October. The celebrated actor and comedian’s death followed the high-profile passings of former Michigan Congressman John Conyers, who died Sunday, and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died Oct. 17.
The above names recently joined this running file that NewsOne.com keeps in an effort to pay homage to notable Black people who have died this year.
Scroll down to read more about other notable figures who we’ve lost in 2019.
1. Juice WRLD, rapper, 21Source:WENN
Juice WRLD, an upstart and popular rapper, died Dec. 8 after suffering a seizure in Chicago. He was just 21 years old.
Pictured: Juice WRLD performs live at Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, Leeds, Aug. 24, 2019.
2. Irving Burgie, singer songwriter, 95Source:Getty
Irving Burgie, a singer and songwriter who wrote “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” a song that Harry Belafonte popularized, died Nov. 29 at the age of 95.
Pictured: During 38th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony in New York City.
3. Edna Smith Primus, civil rights lawyer, 75
The Associated Press reported that Edna Smith Primus was “South Carolina civil rights lawyer who helped redefine free speech rights for attorneys.” She died Nov. 29 at the age of 75.
4. Rev. Clay Evans, civil rights leader in Chicago, 94
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Rev. Clay Evans was “a civil rights leader, influential evangelical broadcaster and gospel music icon” in Chicago. He died Nov. 27 at 94 years old.
5. Rev. George Clements, civil rights advocate in Chicago, 87
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Rev. George Clements was “a longtime civil rights advocate from Chicago’s South Side who was also known as the first Catholic priest to adopt a child, and later, three more.” He died Nov. 25 at the age of 87.
6. Barbara Hillary, nurse-turned historic explorer, 88
The New York Times reported that Barbara Hillary was “the first black woman on record to reach the North and South poles.” Hilklary did so after decades of working as a nurse. She was 88 years old when she died Nov. 23.
7. Harrison Dillard, 4-time Olympic champion,Source:Getty
Cleveland.com reported that Harrison Dillard “was the oldest living U.S. Olympic gold medal-winner” and “the only male runner in history to win Olympic gold in both a dash and the high hurdles.” He died Nov. 15 at the age of 96.
Pictured: Dillard jumps a hurdle during his training at the athletics event of the London 1948 Olympic Games.
8. Charles Rogers, former NFL football star, 38Source:Getty
Charles Rogers, a former wide receiver with the Detroit Lions who was also a star at Michigan State University, died Nov. 11 at the age of 38. He reportedly died from cancer.
9. Bernard J. Tyson, health care CEO, 60Source:Getty
Bernard J. Tyson, whose 30-year career with Kaiser Permanente led to him rising in the ranks to become the CEO in 2013, died Nov. 10 at the age of 60. During his time at Kaiser, the integrated health-care system and insurance company grew from 9 million members, with more than 174,000 employees, to more than 12 million members with an employee base of 218,000. Under his leadership, the country’s largest nonprofit health system became a leading advocate in the push to improve the delivery of benefits and care.
10. Ernest Gaines, writer, 86Source:Getty
Ernest Gaines, who wrote novels that dealt with racial issues and discrimination in his native Louisiana, died Nov. 5 at the age of 86.
11. John Conyers, longtime Michigan Congressman, 90Source:Getty
John Conyers, the legendary Democratic Congressman from Michigan who served more than a half-century on Capitol Hill to become the longest-serving Black U.S. Representative in history, died Oct. 27 at 90 years old.
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
12. Willie Brown, Hall of Fame NFL player, 78Source:Getty
NFL Hall of Famer and legendary Oakland Raiders cornerback Willie Brown died Oct. 22 at the age of 78.
Piuctured: October 1, 1972 Oakland, CA – Oakland Raider DB Willie Brown heads to recover a fumble by San Diego Charger QB John Hadl. (By Ron Riesterer / Oakland Tribune) (Digital First Media Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images) color image,photography,horizontal,usa,sport,california,1970-1979,archival,american football – sport,recovery,fumble,los angeles chargers
13. Elijah Cummings, Congressman from Maryland, 68Source:Getty
Elijah Cummings, the Congressman from Maryland and one of the main Democrats leading the charge to impeach President Donald Trump, died Oct. 17 at the age of 68.
14. Jessye Norman, soprano opera singer, 74Source:Getty
Jessye Norman, the pioneering Black soprano opera singer, died Sept. 30 at the age of 74.
15. Robert Mugabe, former Zimbabwe president, 95Source:Getty
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe dies Sept. 5 in Singapore. He was 95 years old.
16. LaShawn Daniels, Grammy-winning songwriter, 41
Grammy-winning LaShawn Daniels, who often appeared on the reality show “Tamar & Vince,” died Sept. 3.
17. Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker, world champion boxer, 55Source:Getty
Pernell Whitaker died after being hit by a car in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Sunday, July 14. He was 55 years old.
18. Phil Freelon, architect, 66Source:Getty
Phil Freelon, architect and co-designer of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, died July 9 after years of battling ALS.
19. Bushwick Bill, rapper, 52Source:Getty
Bushwick Bill died June 9 at the age of 52. The pioneering rapper and member of The Geto Boys had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
20. Dr. Patricia Bath, pioneering ophthalmologist, 76Source:Getty
“Patricia Bath, a pioneering ophthalmologist who became the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent after she invented a more precise treatment for cataracts, died May 30 at a hospital in San Francisco,” the Washington Post reported. “She was 76.”
21. John Singleton, filmmaker, 51Source:Getty
Oscar-nominated movie director John Singleton died April 29. He was taken off of life support following complications from a stroke.
22. Nipsey Hussle, rapper, 33Source:Getty
Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed on the afternoon of March 31 outside of a clothing store he owned in Los Angeles. He was only 33-years-old.
23. Andre Williams, R&B legend, dies at 82
R&B singer-producer Andre Williams died Monday, March 18, according to his record label.
24. Frank Robinson, baseball legend, 83Source:Getty
Frank Robinson, professional baseball’s first Black manager and Hall of Famer, died Feb. 7 at the age of 83.
Pictured: Frank Robinson, Manager of the Washington Nationals, is happy about the team’s performance in a game against the Chicago Cubs. The visiting Nationals defeated the Cubs 4-3 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Photo by Ed Wolfstein /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
25. Kristoff St. John, actor, 52Source:Getty
Kristoff St. John, who starred in the popular soap opera “Young & the Restless” as Neil Winters, died Feb. 3 at the age of 52.
Pictured: LOS ANGELES – JUNE 20: Kristoff St. John plays Neil Winters on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS. (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)
26. Dr. Frank James, Former SWAC commissioner, NCAA president
Dr. James Frank, the former commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the first black president of the NCAA, died Jan. 26. He was
27. Kevin Barnett, Comedian, 32Source:Getty
Kevin Barnett, actor and comedian, died Jan. 22.
Pictured: BROOKLYN, NY – MAY 31: Comedian Kevin Barnett performs onstage at the Vulture Festival Presents: Comedy Night at The Bell House on May 31, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for New York Magazine)
28. John Lyle, Tuskegee Airman, 98
“World War II African-American fighter pilot John Lyle, a Tuskegee Airman, is dead at age 98,” the Associated Press reported. Lyle died Jan. 7 after a battle with prostate cancer.
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