Final Goodbye: Recalling Influential People Who Died in 2022

Photo collage above: Top row, from left, former Japanese Prime Minister

Shinzo Abe, singer Ronnie Spector, actor Sidney Poitier, Queen Elizabeth,

former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Soviet Union

President Mikhail Gorbachev. Bottom row, from left, actress Angela

Lansbury, singer Jerry Lee Lewis, Pakistani doctor who championed

women's health and rights Nafis Sadik, Soviet cosmonaut Valery Polyakov,

Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, revered Zen Buddhist

monk Thich Nhat Hanh and NBA star Bill Russell.

One would have to go back hundreds of years to find a monarch who reigned longer

than Queen Elizabeth II.

In her 70 years on the throne, she helped modernize the monarchy across decades of

enormous social change, royal marriages and births, and family scandals. For most

Britons, she was the only monarch they had ever known.

Her death in September was arguably the most high-profile death this year, prompting a

collective outpouring of grief and respect for her steady leadership as well as some

criticism of the monarchy's role in colonialism. She likely met more people than anyone

in history, and her image — on stamps, coins and bank notes — was among the most

reproduced in the world.

Other world leaders who died in 2022 include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev,

who died in August. His efforts to revitalize the Soviet Union led to the collapse of

communism there and the end of the Cold War. He eventually resigned after an

attempted coup, just as republics declared independence from the Soviet Union.

The year also saw the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who

was fatally shot during a campaign speech in July.

Other political figures who died this year include: former U.S. Secretary of State

Madeleine Albright, former Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble, former

Chinese President Jiang Zemin, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, former

 

Mexico President Luis Echeverria, former Peru President Francisco Morales Bermudez,

Cuban diplomat Ricardo Alarcón, former U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, former Angolan

President José Eduardo dos Santos, American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde

Bellecourt and former U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Among the entertainers who died this year was groundbreaking actor Sidney Poitier,

who played roles with such dignity that it helped change the way Black people are

portrayed on screen. Poitier, who died in January, became the first Black actor to win

the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1963 film "Lilies of the Field."

Others in the world of arts and entertainment who died in 2022 include: director Jean-

Luc Godard; filmmaker Ivan Reitman; visual artists Paula Rego and Carmen Herrera;

fashion designers Issey Miyake and Hanae Mori; fashion editor André Leon Talley;

country singers Loretta Lynn and Naomi Judd; rock star Meat Loaf; Fleetwood Mac

singer-songwriter Christine McVie; Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins; Depeche

Mode keyboardist Andy "Fletch" Fletcher; Bollywood singer and composer Bappi Lahiri;

singer-actors Olivia Newton-John and Irene Cara; "Sesame Street" actor Bob McGrath;

jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis; rappers Coolio and Takeoff; singers Ronnie Spector, Judith

Durham, Lata Mangeshkar and Gal Costa; and actors Angela Lansbury, Leslie Jordan,

Bob Saget, Tony Dow, Nichelle Nichols, Ray Liotta, Irene Papas, Sally Kellerman, Anne

Heche, Bernard Cribbins, Yvette Mimieux and June Brown.

Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2022.

January

Dan Reeves, 77. He won a Super Bowl as a player with the Dallas Cowboys but was

best known for a long coaching career that included four blowout losses in the title game

with the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. January 1.

Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed al-Luhaidan, 90. An influential Saudi cleric who

once served for years as head of the kingdom's Shariah courts and whose

ultraconservative views sparked outcry. January 5.

Peter Bogdanovich, 82. The ascot-wearing cinephile and director of 1970s black-and-

white classics such as "The Last Picture Show" and "Paper Moon." January 6.

Sidney Poitier, 94. He played roles of such dignity and intelligence that he

transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, becoming the first Black actor

to win an Oscar for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw.

January 6.

 

Marilyn Bergman, 93. The Oscar-winning lyricist who teamed with husband Alan

Bergman on "The Way We Were," "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" and

hundreds of other songs. January 8.

Bob Saget, 65. The actor-comedian known for his role as beloved single dad Danny

Tanner on the sitcom "Full House" and as the wisecracking host of "America's Funniest

Home Videos." January 9.

Dwayne Hickman, 87. The actor and network TV executive who despite numerous

achievements throughout his life would always be remembered fondly by a generation of

baby boomers for his role as Dobie Gillis. January 9.

Robert Durst, 78. The wealthy New York real estate heir and failed fugitive dogged for

decades with suspicion in the disappearance and deaths of those around him before he

was convicted last year of killing his best friend. January 10.

David Sassoli, 65. An Italian journalist who worked his way up in politics while

defending the downtrodden and oppressed to become president of the European

Union's parliament. January 11.

Clyde Bellecourt, 85. A leader in the Native American struggle for civil rights and a

founder of the American Indian Movement. January 11.

Ronnie Spector, 78. The cat-eyed, bee-hived rock 'n' roll siren who sang such 1960s

hits as "Be My Baby," "Baby I Love You" and "Walking in the Rain" as the leader of the

girl group the Ronettes. January 12.

Iraj Pezeshkzad, 94. An Iranian author whose bestselling comic novel, "My Uncle

Napoleon," lampooned Persian culture's self-aggrandizing and paranoid behavior as the

country entered the modern era. January 12.

Fred Parris, 85. The lead singer of the 1950s harmony group the Five Satins and

composer of the classic doo-wop ballad "In the Still of the Night." January 13.

Ralph Emery, 88. He became known as the dean of country music broadcasters over

more than a half century in both radio and television. January 15.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 76. The former president of Mali who took office in a

landmark election held after a destabilizing coup only to be ousted in another military

takeover nearly seven years later. January 16.

Charles McGee, 102. A Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over

three wars and later helped to bring attention to the Black pilots who battled racism at

home to fight for freedom abroad. January 16.

 

Birju Maharaj, 83. A legend of classical Indian dance and among the country's most

well-known performing artists. January 17.

Yvette Mimieux, 80. The blond and blue-eyed 1960s film star of "Where the Boys

Are," "The Time Machine" and "Light in the Piazza." January 17.

André Leon Talley, 73. A towering and highly visible figure of the fashion world who

made history as a rare Black editor in an overwhelmingly white industry. January 18.

Meat Loaf, 74. The rock superstar loved by millions for his "Bat Out of Hell" album

and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as "Paradise By the Dashboard Light,"

"Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)."

January 20.

Louie Anderson, 68. His four-decade career as a comedian and actor included his

unlikely, Emmy-winning performance as mom to twin adult sons in the TV series

"Baskets." January 21.

Thich Nhat Hanh, 95. The revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the

practice of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East. January

22.

Olavo de Carvalho, 74. A leading light of Brazil's conservative movement who stirred

passions among both devotees and detractors. January 24.

Fatma Girik, 79. A beloved Turkish screen actress of the 1960s and 1970s and one-

time district mayor. January 24.

Diego Verdaguer, 70. An Argentine singer-songwriter whose romantic hits such as

"Corazón de papel," "Yo te amo" and "Volveré" sold nearly 50 million copies. January

27.

Howard Hesseman, 81. He played the radio disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the

sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" and the actor-turned-history teacher Charlie Moore on

"Head of the Class." January 29.

Cheslie Kryst, 30. The winner of the Miss USA pageant and a correspondent for the

entertainment news program "Extra." January 30.

February

 

Shintaro Ishihara, 89. A fiery nationalist politician remembered as Tokyo's gaffe-

prone governor who provoked a spat with China by calling for Japan's purchase of

disputed islands in the East China Seas. February 1.

Robin Herman, 70. A gender barrier-breaking reporter for The New York Times who

was the first female journalist to interview players in the locker room after an NHL

game. February 1.

Monica Vitti, 90. The versatile star of Michelangelo Antonioni's "L'Avventura" and

other Italian alienation films of the 1960s, and later a leading comic actress. February 2.

Ashley Bryan, 98. A prolific and prize-winning children's author and illustrator who

told stories of Black life, culture and folklore in such acclaimed works as "Freedom Over

Me," "Beautiful Blackbird" and "Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum." February 4.

Lata Mangeshkar, 92. A legendary Indian singer with a prolific, groundbreaking

catalog and a voice recognized by more than a billion people in South Asia. February 6.

Douglas Trumbull, 79. A visual effects master who showed movie audiences indelible

images of the future and of space in films such as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Close

Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Blade Runner." February 7.

Luc Montagnier, 89. A French researcher who won a Nobel Prize in 2008 for

discovering the HIV virus and more recently spread false claims about the coronavirus.

February 8.

Betty Davis, 77. A bold and pioneering funk singer, model and songwriter of the 1960s

and 1970s who was credited with inspiring then-husband Miles Davis' landmark fusion

of jazz and more contemporary sounds. February 9.

Ivan Reitman, 75. The influential filmmaker and producer behind many of the most

beloved comedies of the late 20th century, from "Animal House" to "Ghostbusters."

February 12.

Carmen Herrera, 106. A Cuban-born artist whose radiant color palette and geometric

paintings were overlooked for decades before the art world took notice. February 12.

P.J. O'Rourke, 74. The prolific author and satirist who refashioned the irreverence

and "Gonzo" journalism of the 1960s counterculture into a distinctive brand of

conservative and libertarian commentary. February 15.

Bappi Lahiri, 69. A popular Bollywood singer and composer who won millions of fans

with his penchant for feet-tapping disco music in the 1980s and 1990s. February 15.

 

Gail S. Halvorsen, 101. A U.S. military pilot known as the "Candy Bomber" for his

candy airdrops during the Berlin Airlift after World War II ended. February 16.

Jamal Edwards, 31. A British music entrepreneur who championed U.K. rap and

grime and helped launch the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and

Stormzy. February 20.

Dr. Paul Farmer, 62. A U.S. physician, humanitarian and author renowned for

providing health care to millions of impoverished people worldwide and who co-

founded the global nonprofit Partners in Health. February 21.

Mark Lanegan, 57. The singer whose raspy baritone and darkly poetic songwriting

made Screaming Trees an essential part of the early Seattle grunge scene and brought

him an acclaimed solo career. February 22.

Sally Kellerman, 84. The Oscar and Emmy-nominated actor who played Margaret

"Hot Lips" Houlihan in director Robert Altman's 1970 film "MASH." February 24.

John Landy, 91. An Australian runner who dueled with Roger Bannister to be the first

person to run a four-minute mile. February 24.

Shirley Hughes, 94. A British children's author and illustrator best known for her

popular "Alfie" series and classic picture book "Dogger." February 25.

March

Alan Ladd Jr., 84. The Oscar-winning producer and studio boss who as a 20th

Century Fox executive greenlit "Star Wars." March 2.

Autherine Lucy Foster, 92. The first Black student to enroll at the University of

Alabama. March 2.

Shane Warne, 52. He was regarded as one of the greatest players, most astute

tacticians and ultimate competitors in the long history of cricket. March 4.

Inge Deutschkron, 99. A Holocaust survivor who hid in Berlin during the Third Reich

to escape deportation to Nazi death camps and later wrote an autobiography. March 9.

Emilio Delgado, 81. The actor and singer who for 45 years was a warm and familiar

presence in children's lives and a rare Latino face on American television as fix-it shop

owner Luis on "Sesame Street." March 10.

 

Mario Terán, 80. The Bolivian soldier who pulled the trigger to execute famed

revolutionary guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara. March 10.

Traci Braxton, 50. A singer who was featured with her family in the reality television

series "Braxton Family Values." March 12.

William Hurt, 71. The Oscar winner’s laconic charisma and self-assured subtlety as an

actor made him one of the 1980s foremost leading men in movies such as "Broadcast

News," "Body Heat" and "The Big Chill." March 13.

Brent Renaud, 50. An acclaimed filmmaker who traveled to some of the darkest and

most dangerous corners of the world for documentaries that transported audiences to

little-known places of suffering. March 13.

Eugene Parker, 94. A physicist who theorized the existence of solar wind and became

the first person to witness the launch of a spacecraft bearing his name. March 15.

Lauro F. Cavazos Jr., 95. A Texas ranch foreman's son who rose to become the first

Latino to serve in a presidential Cabinet as U.S. Secretary of Education during the

administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. March 15.

Don Young, 88. The Alaska congressman was the longest-serving Republican in the

history of the U.S. House. March 18.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, 94. One of the most influential leaders in Israel's ultra-

Orthodox Jewish community. March 18.

Madeleine Albright, 84. A child refugee from Nazi- and then Soviet-dominated

Eastern Europe who rose to become the first female secretary of state and a mentor to

many current and former American statesmen and women. March 23.

Dagny Carlsson, 109. Dubbed the world's oldest blogger, who wrote about her life in

Sweden based on the attitude that you should never think you are too old to do what you

want to do. March 24.

Taylor Hawkins, 50. For 25 years, he was the drummer for Foo Fighters and best

friend of frontman Dave Grohl. March 25.

Noam Shalit, 68. The father of a captive Israeli soldier who battled for five years to

free his son from his Hamas captors. March 30.

 

Richard Howard, 92. A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet celebrated for his exuberant

monologues of historical figures and a prolific translator who helped introduce readers

to a wide range of French literature. March 31.

April

Estelle Harris, 93. She hollered her way into TV history as George Costanza's short-

fused mother on "Seinfeld" and voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the "Toy Story" franchise.

April 2.

June Brown, 95. She played the chain-smoking Cockney matriarch Dot Cotton on the

British soap opera "EastEnders" for 35 years. April 3.

Bobby Rydell, 79. A pompadoured heartthrob of early rock 'n roll who was a star of

radio, television and the movie musical "Bye Bye Birdie." April 5.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 75. The Russian nationalist leader was a senior lawmaker

whose sulphurous rhetoric and antics alarmed the West but appealed to Russians'

aggrievement and wounded pride. April 6.

Mimi Reinhard, 107. A secretary in Oskar Schindler's office who typed up the list of

Jews he saved from extermination by Nazi Germany. April 8.

Gilbert Gottfried, 67. The actor and legendary standup comic known for his raw,

scorched voice and crude jokes. April 12.

Letizia Battaglia, 87. An Italian photographer who documented the arrests of Mafia

bosses and the bodies of their victims. April 13.

Liz Sheridan, 93. She played doting mom to Jerry Seinfeld on his hit sitcom. April 15.

Rosario Ibarra, 95. Her long struggle to learn the fate of her disappeared son helped

develop Mexico's human rights movement and led her to become the country's first

female presidential candidate. April 16.

Harrison Birtwistle, 87. The creator of daringly experimental modern music who

was recognized as one of Britain's greatest contemporary composers. April 18.

Dede Robertson, 94. The wife of religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and a founding

board member of the Christian Broadcasting Network. April 19.

 

Romeo Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, 93. An award-winning Texas author who began

in the 1970s writing a series of novels that told the stories of people living in a fictional

county along the Texas-Mexico border. April 19.

Robert Morse, 90. An actor who won a Tony Award as a hilariously brash corporate

climber in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and a second one a

generation later as the brilliant, troubled Truman Capote in "Tru." April 20.

Orrin G. Hatch, 88. The longest-serving Republican senator in history who was a

fixture in Utah politics for more than four decades. April 23.

Dr. Morton Mower, 89. A former Maryland-based cardiologist who helped invent an

automatic implantable defibrillator that has helped countless heart patients live longer

and healthier. April 25.

Naomi Judd, 76. Her family harmonies with daughter Wynonna turned them into the

Grammy-winning country stars The Judds. April 30.

Ron Galella, 91. The photographer known for his visceral celebrity shots and his

dogged pursuit of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who sued him and won a restraining

order. April 30.

Ricardo Alarcón, 84. For years, he was the head of Cuba's parliament and one of the

country's most prominent diplomats. April 30.

May

Kathy Boudin, 78. A former Weather Underground radical who served more than two

decades behind bars for her role in a fatal 1981 armored truck robbery and spent the

latter part of her life helping people who had been imprisoned. May 1.

Meda Mladkova, 102. A Czech arts collector, patron and historian who was an

impassioned promoter of Frantisek Kupka and supported artists in communist

Czechoslovakia while she was in exile behind the Iron Curtain. May 3.

Norman Mineta, 90. He broke racial barriers for Asian Americans serving in high-

profile government posts and ordered commercial flights grounded after the 9/11 terror

attacks as the nation's federal transportation secretary. May 3.

Stanislav Shushkevich, 87. He steered Belarus to independence during the breakup

of the Soviet Union and served as its first leader. May 4.

 

Mickey Gilley, 86. A country singer whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the

1980 film "Urban Cowboy" and a nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots. May

7.

Ray Scott, 88. A consummate promoter who helped launch professional bass angling

and became a fishing buddy to presidents while popularizing the conservation practice

of catching and releasing fish. May 8.

Fred Ward, 79. A veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in

such films as "The Right Stuff," "The Player" and "Tremors." May 8.

Midge Decter, 94. A leading neoconservative writer and commentator who in blunt

and tenacious style helped lead the right's attack in the culture wars as she opposed the

rise of feminism, affirmative action and the gay rights movement. May 9.

Leonid Kravchuk, 88. He led Ukraine to independence amid the collapse of the

Soviet Union and served as its first president. May 10.

Bob Lanier, 73. The left-handed big man who muscled up beside the likes of Kareem

Abdul-Jabbar as one of the NBA's top players of the 1970s. May 10.

Shireen Abu Akleh, 51. A correspondent who became a household name synonymous

with Al Jazeera's coverage of life under occupation during her more than two decades

reporting in the Palestinian territories. May 11.

Randy Weaver, 74. The patriarch of a family that was involved in an 11-day Idaho

standoff with federal agents 30 years ago that left three people dead and helped spark

the growth of antigovernment extremists. May 11.

Robert C. McFarlane, 84. The former White House national security adviser was a

top aide to President Ronald Reagan who pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an

illegal arms-for-hostages deal known as the Iran-Contra affair. May 12.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 73. The United Arab Emirates' long-ailing

ruler and president who oversaw much of the country's blistering economic growth and

whose name was immortalized on the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. May 13.

Uri Savir, 69. A prominent Israeli peace negotiator and dogged believer in the need for

a settlement with the Palestinians. May 13.

Rosmarie Trapp, 93. Her Austrian family, the von Trapps, was made famous in the

musical and beloved movie "The Sound of Music." May 13.

 

Vangelis, 79. The Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy

Award-winning score for the film "Chariots of Fire" and music for dozens of other

movies, documentaries and TV series. May 17.

Ray Liotta, 67. The actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in "Goodfellas"

and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams." May 26.

Andy "Fletch" Fletcher, 60. Keyboardist for British synth pop giants Depeche Mode

for more than 40 years. May 26.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 94. A once-powerful Italian prelate who long served as the

Vatican's No. 2 official but whose legacy was tarnished by his support for the pedophile

founder of an influential religious order. May 27.

Ronnie Hawkins, 87. A brash rockabilly star from Arkansas who became a patron of

the Canadian music scene after moving north and recruiting a handful of local

musicians later known as the Band. May 29.

Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, 83. An elderly leader of the former Cali cartel that

smuggled vast amounts of cocaine from Colombia to the United States in the 1980s and

1990s. May 31. Died in a U.S. prison.

June

Ann Turner Cook, 95. Her cherubic baby face was known the world over as the

original Gerber baby. June 3.

George Lamming, 94. A giant of post-colonial literature whose novels, essays and

speeches influenced readers and peers in his native Barbados and around the world.

June 4.

Valery Ryumin, 82. A veteran Russian cosmonaut who set space endurance records

on Soviet missions, then returned to orbit after a long absence to fly on a U.S. space

shuttle. June 6.

Jim Seals, 80. He teamed with fellow musician "Dash" Crofts on such 1970s soft-rock

hits as "Summer Breeze," "Diamond Girl" and "We May Never Pass This Way Again."

June 6.

Paula Rego, 87. A Portuguese-British artist who created bold, visceral works inspired

by fairy tales, her homeland and her own life. June 8.

 

Song Hae, 95. A South Korean TV presenter who was beloved for decades as the warm-

humored emcee of a nationally televised singing contest. June 8.

Jean-Louis Trintignant, 91. A French film legend and amateur race car driver who

earned acclaim for his starring role in the Oscar-winning film "A Man and a Woman"

half a century ago and went on to portray the brutality of aging in his later years. June

17.

Mark Shields, 85. A political commentator and columnist who shared his insight into

American politics and wit on "PBS NewsHour" for decades. June 18.

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, 80. He was Denmark's foreign minister for more than 10

years from the early 1980s and was considered one of the Nordic region's key politicians

in the end phase of the Cold War. June 18.

Clela Rorex, 78. A former Colorado county clerk considered a pioneer in the gay rights

movement for being the first public official to issue a same-sex marriage license in 1975.

June 19.

Józef Walaszczyk, 102. A member of the Polish resistance who rescued dozens of

Jews during the Nazi German occupation of Poland during World War II. June 20.

Tony Siragusa, 55. The charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most

celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens. June 22.

Leonardo Del Vecchio, 87. He founded eyewear empire Luxottica in a trailer and

turned an everyday object into a global fashion item, becoming one of Italy's richest men

in the process. June 27.

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, 62. A prominent member of Israel's ultra-Orthodox

community who founded a volunteer paramedic service before his reputation came

crashing down in a series of sexual abuse allegations. June 29.

Hershel W. "Woody" Williams, 98. The last remaining Medal of Honor recipient

from World War II, whose heroics under fire over several crucial hours at the Battle of

Iwo Jima made him a legend in his native West Virginia. June 29.

Sonny Barger, 83. The leather-clad fixture of 1960s counterculture and figurehead of

the Hells Angels motorcycle club who was at the notorious Rolling Stones concert at

Altamont Speedway. June 29.

July

 

Bradford Freeman, 97. The last survivor of the famed Army unit featured in the

World War II oral history book and miniseries "Band of Brothers." July 3.

James Caan, 82. The curly-haired tough guy known to movie fans as the hotheaded

Sonny Corleone of "The Godfather" and to television audiences as both the dying

football player in the classic weeper "Brian's Song" and the casino boss in "Las Vegas."

July 6.

Shinzo Abe, 67. Japan's longest serving prime minister, he was also perhaps the most

polarizing, complex politician in recent Japanese history. July 8.

José Eduardo dos Santos, 79. He was once one of Africa's longest-serving rulers who

during almost four decades as president of Angola fought the continent's longest civil

war and turned his country into a major oil producer, as well as one of the world's

poorest and most corrupt nations. July 8.

Tony Sirico, 79. He played the impeccably groomed mobster Paulie Walnuts in "The

Sopranos" and brought his tough-guy swagger to films including "Goodfellas." July 8.

Larry Storch, 99. The rubber-faced comic whose long career in theater, movies and

television was capped by his "F Troop" role as zany Corporal Agarn in the 1960s spoof of

Western frontier TV shows. July 8.

Luis Echeverria, 100. A former Mexican president who tried to cast himself as a

progressive world leader but was blamed for some of Mexico's worst political killings of

the 20th century. July 8.

Ann Shulgin, 91. Together with her late husband Alexander Shulgin, she pioneered the

use of psychedelic drugs in psychotherapy and co-wrote two seminal books on the

subject. July 9.

Ivana Trump, 73. A skier-turned-businesswoman who formed half of a publicity

power couple in the 1980s as the first wife of former President Donald Trump and

mother of his oldest children. July 14.

Eugenio Scalfari, 98. He helped revolutionize Italian journalism with the creation of

La Repubblica, a liberal daily that boldly challenged Italy's traditional newspapers. July

14.

Francisco Morales Bermudez, 100. The former president was an army general

credited with paving the way for Peru's return to civilian government — but also

convicted abroad of involvement in dirty war crimes. July 14.

 

William "Poogie" Hart, 77. A founder of the Grammy-winning trio the Delfonics who

helped write and sang a soft lead tenor on such classic "Sound of Philadelphia" ballads

as "La-La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)." July 14.

Taurean Blacque, 82. An Emmy-nominated actor who was known for his role as a

detective on the 1980s NBC drama series "Hill Street Blues." July 21.

Stuart Woods, 84. An author of more than 90 novels, many featuring the character of

lawyer-investigator Stone Barrington. July 22.

Tim Giago, 88. The founder of the first independently owned Native American

newspaper in the United States. July 24.

Diana Kennedy, 99. A tart-tongued British food writer devoted to Mexican cuisine.

July 24.

Paul Sorvino, 83. An imposing actor who specialized in playing crooks and cops like

Paulie Cicero in "Goodfellas" and the NYPD sergeant Phil Cerreta on "Law & Order."

July 25.

David Trimble, 77. A former Northern Ireland first minister who won the Nobel Peace

Prize for playing a key role in helping end Northern Ireland's decades of violence. July

25.

James Lovelock, 103. The British environmental scientist whose influential Gaia

theory sees the Earth as a living organism gravely imperiled by human activity. July 26.

Tony Dow, 77. As Wally Cleaver on the sitcom "Leave It to Beaver," he helped create

the popular and lasting image of the American teenager of the 1950s and 1960s. July 27.

Bernard Cribbins, 93. A beloved British entertainer whose seven-decade career

ranged from the bawdy "Carry On" comedies to children's television and "Doctor Who."

July 27.

Nichelle Nichols, 89. She broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood as

communications officer Lieutenant Uhura on the original "Star Trek" television series.

July 30.

Pat Carroll, 95. A comedic television mainstay for decades, Emmy-winner for

"Caesar's Hour" and the voice of Ursula in "The Little Mermaid." July 30.

 

Bill Russell, 88. The NBA great who anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11

championships in 13 years — the last two as the first Black head coach in any major U.S.

sport — and marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. July 31.

Ayman al-Zawahri, 71. An Egyptian surgeon who became a mastermind of jihad

against the West and who took over as al-Qaida leader after Osama bin Laden's death in

a U.S. raid. July 31.

Fidel Valdez Ramos, 94. The former Philippine president was a U.S.-trained ex-

general who saw action in the Korean and Vietnam wars and played a key role in a 1986

pro-democracy uprising that ousted a dictator. July 31.

August

Vin Scully, 94. A Hall of Fame broadcaster who called thousands of Major League

Baseball games involving the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers during his 67 years in

the booth. August 2.

Roy Hackett, 93. The British civil rights campaigner was a leader of a bus boycott that

played a key role in ending legal racial discrimination in the U.K. August 3.

Albert Woodfox, 75. A former inmate who spent decades in isolation at a Louisiana

prison and then became an advocate for prison reforms after his release. August 4.

Issey Miyake, 84. He built one of Japan's biggest fashion brands and was known for

his boldly sculpted pleated pieces, as well as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' black

turtlenecks. August 5.

Judith Durham, 79. Australia's folk music icon who achieved global fame as the lead

singer of The Seekers. August 5.

Bert Fields, 93. For decades, he was the go-to lawyer for Hollywood A-listers,

including Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, George Lucas and the Beatles, and a character

as colorful as many of his clients. August 7.

Olivia Newton-John, 73. The Grammy-winning superstar who reigned on pop,

country, adult contemporary and dance charts with such hits as "Physical" and "You're

the One That I Want" and won countless hearts as everyone's favorite Sandy in the

blockbuster film version of "Grease." August 8.

Lamont Dozier, 81. He was the middle name of the celebrated Holland-Dozier-

Holland team that wrote and produced "You Can't Hurry Love," "Heat Wave" and

dozens of other hits and helped make Motown an essential record company of the 1960s

and beyond. August 8.

 

Raymond Briggs, 88. A British children's author and illustrator whose creations

include "The Snowman" and "Fungus the Bogeyman." August 9.

Hanae Mori, 96. A designer known for her elegant signature butterfly motifs,

numerous cinema fashions and the wedding gown of Japan's empress. August 11.

Jean-Jacques Sempé, 89. A French cartoonist whose simple line drawings tinted

with humor graced the covers of The New Yorker magazine and granted him

international acclaim. August 11.

Wolfgang Petersen, 81. The German filmmaker whose World War II submarine epic

"Das Boot" propelled him into a blockbuster Hollywood career that included the films

"In the Line of Fire," "Air Force One" and "The Perfect Storm." August 12.

Anne Heche, 53. The Emmy-winning film and television actor whose dramatic

Hollywood rise in the 1990s and accomplished career contrasted with personal chapters

of turmoil. August 14.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, 62. A veteran stock market investor and Indian billionaire

nicknamed India's own Warren Buffett. August 14.

Dr. Nafis Sadik, 92. A Pakistani doctor who championed women's health and rights

and spearheaded the breakthrough action plan adopted by 179 countries at the 1994

United Nations population conference. August 14.

Svika Pick, 72. A pillar of Israel's music industry who gained international attention

after his song won the Eurovision Song Contest. August 14.

Jerry Allison, 82. An architect of rock drumming who played and co-wrote songs with

childhood friend Buddy Holly and whose future wife inspired the classic "Peggy Sue."

August 22.

Len Dawson, 87. The Hall of Fame quarterback whose unmistakable swagger in

helping the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title earned him the nickname

"Lenny the Cool." August 24.

Kazuo Inamori, 90. He was the founder of Japanese ceramics and electronics maker

Kyocera who also became a philanthropist singing the virtues of fairness and hard work.

August 24.

Bob LuPone, 76. As an actor, he earned a Tony Award nomination in the original run

of "A Chorus Line" and played Tony Soprano's family physician, and also helped found

and lead the influential off-Broadway theater company MCC Theater for nearly 40

years. August 27.

 

Charlbi Dean, 32. The South African actor and model who had a breakout role in

"Triangle of Sadness," which won this year's top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

August 29.

Mikhail Gorbachev, 91. The last leader of the Soviet Union, he set out to revitalize it

but ended up unleashing forces that led to the collapse of communism, the breakup of

the state and the end of the Cold War. August 30.

September

Barbara Ehrenreich, 81. The author, activist and self-described "myth buster" who in

such notable works as "Nickel and Dimed" and "Bait and Switch" challenged

conventional thinking about class, religion and the very idea of an American dream.

September 1.

Moon Landrieu, 92. A former New Orleans mayor whose early, lonely stand against

segregationists in the Louisiana legislature launched a political career at the forefront of

sweeping changes on race. September 5.

Bernard Shaw, 82. CNN's chief anchor for two decades and a pioneering Black

broadcast journalist best remembered for calmly reporting the beginning of the Gulf

War in 1991 as missiles flew around him in Baghdad. September 7.

Marsha Hunt, 104. One of the last surviving actors from Hollywood's so-called Golden

Age of the 1930s and 1940s who worked with performers ranging from Laurence Olivier

to Andy Griffith in a career disrupted for a time by the McCarthy-era blacklist.

September 7.

Lance Mackey, 52. The four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner was one of

mushing's most colorful and accomplished champions but also suffered from health and

drug issues. September 7.

Queen Elizabeth II, 96. Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability

across much of a turbulent century. September 8.

Ramsey Lewis, 87. A renowned jazz pianist whose music entertained fans over a more

than 60-year career that began with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and made him one of the

country's most successful jazz musicians. September 12.

Jean-Luc Godard, 91. The iconic "enfant terrible" of the French New Wave who

revolutionized popular cinema in 1960 with his first feature, "Breathless," and stood for

years among the film world's most influential directors. September 13.

 

Ken Starr, 76. A former federal appellate judge and a prominent attorney whose

criminal investigation of Bill Clinton led to the president's impeachment and put Starr

at the center of one of the country's most polarizing debates of the 1990s. September 13.

Irene Papas, 93. The Greek actor and recording artist renowned for her dramatic

performances and austere beauty that earned her prominent roles in Hollywood movies,

as well as in French and Italian cinema over six decades. September 14.

Henry Silva, 95. A prolific character actor best known for playing villains and tough

guys in "The Manchurian Candidate," "Ocean's Eleven" and other films. September 14.

Dave Foreman, 74. A self-proclaimed eco-warrior who was a prominent member of

the radical environmentalism movement and a co-founder of Earth First! September 19.

Sylvia Wu, 106. Her famed Southern California restaurant drew Hollywood's biggest

stars for four decades. September 19.

Dr. Valery Polyakov, 80. The Soviet cosmonaut who set the record for the longest

single stay in space. September 19.

Louise Fletcher, 88. A late-blooming star whose riveting performance as the cruel

and calculating Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" set a new standard

for screen villains and won her an Academy Award. September 23.

Pharoah Sanders, 81. The influential tenor saxophonist revered in the jazz world for

the spirituality of his work. September 24.

Meredith Tax, 80. A prominent activist and writer of second-wave feminism who

challenged herself, her peers and the world at large to rethink long-held ideas about

gender, race and class. September 25.

Youssef al-Qaradawi, 96. An Egyptian cleric who was seen as the spiritual leader of

the Muslim Brotherhood and became the Islamist "voice of revolution" during the

popular uprisings around the Arab world more than a decade ago. September 26.

Coolio, 59. The rapper was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits

including "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage." September 28.

Kevin Locke, 68. An acclaimed Native American flute player, hoop dancer, cultural

ambassador and educator. September 30.

October

 

Antonio Inoki, 79. A popular Japanese professional wrestler and lawmaker who faced

boxing great Muhammad Ali in a mixed martial arts match in 1976. October 1.

Sacheen Littlefeather, 75. The actor and activist who declined Marlon Brando's 1973

Academy Award for "The Godfather" on his behalf in an indelible protest of Hollywood's

portrayal of Native Americans. October 2.

Jerzy Urban, 89. A spokesman for Poland's communist-era government in the 1980s

who masterminded state propaganda and censorship for the regime in the final years

before its collapse. October 3.

Charles Fuller, 83. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of the searing and

acclaimed "A Soldier's Play" who often explored and exposed how social institutions can

perpetuate racism. October 3.

Loretta Lynn, 90. The Kentucky coal miner's daughter whose frank songs about life

and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of

country music. October 4.

Judy Tenuta, 72. A brash standup who cheekily styled herself as the "Love Goddess"

and toured with George Carlin as she built her career in the 1980s golden age of comedy.

October 6.

Jody Miller, 80. Her hit "Queen of the House" won the 1966 Grammy Award for best

country performance by a woman. October 6.

Toshi Ichiyanagi, 89. An avant-garde pianist and composer who studied with John

Cage and went on to lead Japan's advances in experimental modern music. October 7.

Nikki Finke, 68. The veteran reporter who became one of Hollywood's top journalists

as founder of the entertainment trade website Deadline.com and whose sharp-tongued

tenacity made her the most-feared columnist in show business. October 9.

Anita Kerr, 94. A Grammy-winning singer and composer whose vocal group the Anita

Kerr Singers provided the lush backdrop to the Nashville Sound. October 10.

Angela Lansbury, 96. The scene-stealing British actor who kicked up her heels in the

Broadway musicals "Mame" and "Gypsy" and solved endless murders as crime novelist

Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series "Murder, She Wrote." October 11.

James A. McDivitt, 93. He commanded the Apollo 9 mission testing the first

complete set of equipment to go to the moon. October 13.

 

Robbie Coltrane, 72. The baby-faced comedian and character actor whose hundreds

of roles included a crime-solving psychologist on the TV series "Cracker" and the gentle

half-giant Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" movies. October 14.

Benjamin R. Civiletti, 87. A former U.S. attorney general who investigated President

Jimmy Carter's brother while in the administration and who later became one of the

nation's most expensive private attorneys. October 16.

Joanna Simon, 85. An acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Emmy-winning TV correspondent

and one of the three singing Simon sisters who include pop star Carly. October 19.

Lucy Simon, 82. The composer who received a Tony nomination in 1991 for her work

on the long-running Broadway musical "The Secret Garden." October 20.

Zilli Schmidt, 98. A survivor of the Auschwitz, Lety and Ravensbrueck concentration

camps who became a vocal advocate for the recognition of the Nazi genocide of Sinti and

Roma. October 21.

Dietrich Mateschitz, 78. The Austrian billionaire was the co-founder of energy drink

company Red Bull and founder and owner of the Red Bull Formula One racing team.

October 22.

Ash Carter, 68. A former defense secretary who opened combat jobs to women and

ended a ban on transgender people serving in the military. October 24.

Leslie Jordan, 67. The Emmy-winning actor whose wry Southern drawl and versatility

made him a comedy and drama standout on TV series including "Will & Grace" and

"American Horror Story." October 24.

Julie Powell, 49. A food writer who became an internet darling after blogging for a

year about making every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking,"

leading to a book deal and a film adaptation. October 26.

Jerry Lee Lewis, 87. The untamable rock 'n' roll pioneer whose outrageous talent,

energy and ego collided on such definitive records as "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole

Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and sustained a career otherwise upended by personal scandal.

October 28.

The Reverend Calvin O. Butts III, 73. He fought poverty and racism and skillfully

navigated New York's power structure as pastor of Harlem's historic Abyssinian Baptist

Church. October 28.

November

 

Takeoff, 28. A rapper best known for his work with the Grammy-nominated trio

Migos. November 1.

George Booth, 96. A prize-winning cartoonist for The New Yorker who with manic

affection captured the timeless comedy of dogs and cats and the human beings somehow

in charge of their well-being. November 1.

Ibrahim Munir, 85. The former acting leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

November 4.

Aaron Carter, 34. The singer-rapper who began performing as a child and had hit

albums starting in his teen years. November 5.

Archbishop Chrysostomos II, 81. The outspoken leader of Cyprus' Greek Orthodox

Christian Church whose forays into the country's complex politics and finances fired up

supporters and detractors alike. November 7.

Leslie Phillips, 98. The British actor best known for his roles in the bawdy "Carry On"

comedies and as the voice of the Sorting Hat in the "Harry Potter" movies. November 7.

Jeff Cook, 73. The guitarist who co-founded the country group Alabama and steered

them up the charts with such hits as "Song of the South" and "Dixieland Delight."

November 8.

Gal Costa, 77. The singer was an icon in the Tropicalia and Brazilian popular music

movements and enjoyed a nearly six-decade career. November 9.

Paul Schrade, 97. A labor union leader who was shot in the head during the

assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and spent decades convinced that Sirhan Sirhan

wasn't the killer. November 9.

Kevin Conroy, 66. The prolific voice actor whose gravelly delivery on "Batman: The

Animated Series" was for many Batman fans the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader.

November 10.

Gallagher, 76. The long-haired, smash-'em-up comedian who left a trail of laughter,

anger and shattered watermelons over a decadeslong career. November. 11.

John Aniston, 89. The Emmy-winning star of the daytime soap opera "Days of Our

Lives" and father of actress Jennifer Aniston. November 11.

 

Robert Clary, 96. A French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World

War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the improbable 1960s sitcom "Hogan's

Heroes." November 16.

Carol Leigh, 71. A San Francisco activist who is credited with coining the term "sex

work" and who sought for decades to improve conditions for prostitutes and others in

the adult entertainment business. November 16.

Jason David Frank, 49. He played the Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver on the

1990s children's series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." November 19.

Hebe de Bonafini, 93. She became a human rights campaigner when her two sons

were arrested and disappeared under Argentina's military dictatorship. November 20.

Wilko Johnson, 75. The guitarist with British blues-rock band Dr. Feelgood who had

an unexpected career renaissance after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

November 21.

Pablo Milanes, 79. The Latin Grammy-winning balladeer who helped found Cuba's

"nueva trova" movement and toured the world as a cultural ambassador for Fidel

Castro's revolution. November 22.

Irene Cara, 63. The Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy-winning singer-actor

who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie "Fame" and then belted out

the era-defining hit "Flashdance … What a Feeling" from 1983's "Flashdance."

November 25.

Doddie Weir, 52. A former Scotland rugby player whose diagnosis with Lou Gehrig's

disease led to a widely praised campaign for more research into ALS. November 26.

Freddie Roman, 85. The comedian was a former dean of The Friars Club and a staple

of the Catskills comedy scene. November 26.

Jiang Zemin, 96. He led China out of isolation after the army crushed the Tiananmen

Square pro-democracy protests in 1989 and supported economic reforms that led to a

decade of explosive growth. November 30.

Christine McVie, 79. The British-born Fleetwood Mac vocalist, songwriter and

keyboard player whose cool, soulful contralto helped define such classics as "You Make

Loving Fun," "Everywhere" and "Don't Stop." November 30.

December

 

Gaylord Perry, 84. The Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner

was a master of the spitball who wrote a book about using pitch. December 1.

Julia Reichert, 76. The Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker behind "American

Factory" — often called the "godmother of American independent documentaries" —

whose films explored themes of race, class and gender, often in the Midwest. December

1.

Bob McGrath, 90. An actor, musician and children's author widely known for his

portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children's show "Sesame Street."

December 4.

Kirstie Alley, 71. A two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit "Cheers"

and in the “Look Who’s Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American

comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Dec. 5.

Angelo Badalamenti, 85. The composer best known for creating otherworldly scores

for many David Lynch productions, from “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks” to

“Mulholland Drive.” Dec. 11.

Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, 96. She was the so-called last Hawaiian

princess whose lineage included the royal family that once ruled the islands and an Irish

businessman who became one of Hawaii’s largest landowners. Dec. 11.

Mike Leach, 61. The gruff, pioneering and unfiltered college football coach who helped

revolutionize the game with the Air Raid offense. Dec. 12.

Stephen “tWitch” Boss, 40. The longtime and beloved dancing DJ on “The Ellen

DeGeneres Show” and a former contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Dec. 13.

Shirley Eikhard, 67. The singer-songwriter who supplied songs for Cher, Emmylou

Harris, Anne Murray, Chet Atkins and found lasting fame penning Bonnie Raitt‘s

Grammy-winning 1991 hit “Something to Talk About.” Dec. 15.

Franco Harris, 72. The Hall of Fame running back whose heads-up thinking authored

the “Immaculate Reception,” considered the most iconic play in NFL history. Dec. 20.

Thom Bell, 79. The Grammy-winning producer, writer and arranger who helped

perfect the “Sound of Philadelphia” of the 1970s with the inventive, orchestral settings of

such hits as the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around” and the Stylistics’ “Betcha by Golly, Wow.”

Dec. 22.

 

Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley, 31. The reggae musician and Bob Marley’s grandson

followed in his family’s musical footsteps, taking the stage with his family’s band, Ziggy

Marley and the Melody Makers. Dec. 26.

Pelé, 82. The Brazilian king of soccer who won a record three World Cups and became

one of the most commanding sports figures of the last century — as soccer's most

prolific scorer with Brazilian club Santos and the Brazil national team. Dec. 29.

Vivienne Westwood, 81. The influential fashion designer who played a key role in the

punk movement became an outspoken advocate of fighting global warming, warning of

planetary doom if climate change was not controlled. Dec. 29.

Barbara Walters, 93. An intrepid interviewer, anchor and program host, she led the

way as the first woman to become a TV news superstar. Dec. 30.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 95. A German theologian who tried to reawaken

Christianity in a secularized Europe and who will be remembered as the first pontiff in

600 years to resign. Benedict announced in 2013 that he no longer had the strength to

run the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church. Dec. 31.

 

Source: Voice of America

World Welcomes 2023, Leaves Stormy Year Behind

The world welcomed the new year with a packed party in Times Square and fireworks soaring above European capitals, while hoping for an end to the war in Ukraine and a return to post-COVID normality in Asia.

 

It was a year marked by the conflict in Ukraine, economic stresses and the effects of global warming. But it was also a year that saw a dramatic soccer World Cup, rapid technological change, and efforts to meet climate challenges.

After 2023 descended upon Asia, Africa and Europe, New York rang in the new year in typical style as thousands corralled themselves into pens under pouring rain in Times Square, waiting hours for the ball to drop. A 12-foot (3.7-meter) geodesic sphere made of Waterford crystal triangles slid down a pole atop a 25-story building to mark the calendar change.

 

Meanwhile, millions watched the accompanying musical acts and countdown on television from dry and warm living rooms around the world.

Tommy Onolfo, 40, a mechanic from nearby Nassau County, said he wore a diaper during his drenched, 14-hour wait in Times Square, as security measures require spectators to deprive themselves of all comforts to maintain a front-row view.

 

“I’m a lifeguard in the summer so I’m not afraid of water at all,” Onolfo said. “I have my bathroom thing down to a science. I haven’t had to use the diaper yet. It’s just in case.”

 

Earlier, across the Atlantic, the London Eye turned blue and yellow in solidarity with Ukraine as fireworks saw in midnight in the British capital.

 

The celebration, which London’s mayor had branded the biggest in Europe, also referenced Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, the red and white of England’s soccer team, and the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ Pride event, which had its 50-year anniversary in 2022.

For Ukraine, there seemed to be no end in sight to the fighting that began when Russia invaded in February.

 

Numerous blasts were heard in Kyiv and in other places around Ukraine and air raid sirens wailed across the country in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

 

On Saturday, Russia fired a barrage of cruise missiles that Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman described as “Terror on New Year’s Eve.”

 

Evening curfews remained in place nationwide, making the celebration of the beginning of 2023 impossible in many public spaces. Several regional governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to break restrictions.

In Kyiv, though, people gathered near the city’s central Christmas tree as midnight approached.

 

“We are not giving up. They couldn’t ruin our celebrations,” said 36-year-old Yaryna, who was celebrating with her husband, tinsel and fairy lights wrapped around her.

 

In a video message to mark the New Year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Time Magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year, said: “I want to wish all of us one thing – victory.”

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin devoted his New Year’s address to rallying the Russian people behind his troops.

 

Festivities in Moscow were muted, without the usual fireworks on Red Square.

 

“One should not pretend that nothing is happening – our people are dying (in Ukraine),” said 68-year-old Yelena Popova. “A holiday is being celebrated, but there must be limits.” Many Muscovites said they hoped for peace in 2023.

 

Elsewhere in Europe, fireworks exploded over the Parthenon in Athens, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where crowds gathered on the Champs-Elysees avenue to watch the French capital’s first New Year fireworks since 2019.

 

But, like many places, the Czech capital Prague was feeling the pinch economically and so did not hold a fireworks display.

 

“Holding celebrations did not seem appropriate,” said city hall spokesman Vit Hofman.

Earlier, Australia kicked off the celebrations with its first restriction-free New Year’s Eve after two years of COVID disruptions. Sydney welcomed the New Year with a typically dazzling fireworks display, which for the first time featured a rainbow waterfall off the Harbour Bridge.

 

In China, rigorous COVID restrictions were lifted only in December as the government abruptly reversed its “zero-COVID” policy, a switch that has led to soaring infections and meant some people were in no mood to celebrate.

 

While China’s official death toll is barely ticking higher, UK-based health data firm Airfinity estimated last week that around 9,000 people in the country are probably dying each day from COVID.

 

“This virus should just go and die, cannot believe this year I cannot even find a healthy friend that can go out with me,” wrote one social media user based in eastern Shandong province.

 

But in the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began three years ago, thousands of people gathered to despite a heavy security presence.

 

Barricades were erected and hundreds of police officers stood guard. Loudspeakers blasted out a message on a loop advising people not to gather. But the large crowds of revelers took no notice.

 

In Shanghai, many thronged the historic riverside walkway, the Bund.

 

“We’ve all traveled in from Chengdu to celebrate in Shanghai,” said Da Dai, a 28-year-old digital media executive who was visiting with two friends. “We’ve already had COVID, so now feel it’s safe to enjoy ourselves.”

 

Source: Voice of America

CGTN: New journey of the new era: China charts course for modernization

BEIJING, Dec. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — For more than a century, China has tirelessly pursued modernization — from “Revitalize China” to the “four modernizations” goal launched after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, referring to agriculture, industry, defense and science.

Now modernization is no longer simply a dream for the Chinese people. In 2022, China’s leadership unveiled its blueprint for building a modern socialist China in all respects featuring a unique Chinese path.

“An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, sounding a clarion call of the times for us forging ahead on a new journey,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his New Year address on Saturday.

Toward Chinese modernization

In October, Chinese modernization, a key term defining China’s journey to rejuvenation, was for the first time written into a report to the National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Chinese modernization has elements that are universal to all modernization processes but is characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context.

President Xi has underscored the unique features of Chinese modernization: the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.

China is working to achieve modernization for more than 1.4 billion people, a number larger than the combined population of all developed countries in the world today.

With the steady growth of its own economy, China champions common prosperity to ensure that everyone receives a fair share of its economic success and to reduce inequality. According to the Blue Book of Common Prosperity, China’s index of common prosperity increased by 79.3 percent from 24.67 in 2013 to 44.23 in 2020.

While continuing to consolidate the material foundation for modernization and improve the material conditions for people’s well-being, China is striving to develop advanced socialist culture, foster strong ideals and convictions, and carry forward China’s cultural heritage. China now has 43 items on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the highest number in the world.

Guided by the new development philosophy featuring innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, China in 2022 continued to be a leading growth engine for the world economy. The International Monetary Fund forecast that China’s economy would grow at 3.2 percent in 2022, aligning with the global projected pace.

As the Chinese leadership has pledged many times, the country has stayed committed to peaceful development. The Global Security Initiative launched in April is one example. It has already gained appreciation and support from over 70 countries.

With solid steps

The CPC aims to realize socialist modernization from 2020 through 2035, and build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful from 2035 through the middle of this century.

The path to achieving the goals is already taking shape. With its people-centered philosophy of development, the country has built the world’s largest education, social security and healthcare systems.

Xi has called innovation the heart of China’s modernization drive. China’s pursuit of independence in scientific innovation is reflected in its various achievements, including the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, space exploration including lunar and Mars probes and the construction of China’s own space station, and the deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe. The country has also developed its own high-speed railway technologies, 5G communication technologies and artificial intelligence.

In the Global Innovation Index 2022 provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UN specialized agency, China’s rank has risen to 11th among the 132 economies surveyed.

Guided by Xi’s vision of “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets,” China’s modernization drive also emphasizes harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. The country has cut its carbon emission intensity by 34.4 percent over the past 10 years, and pledged to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Moreover, China reiterates that it will advance a broader agenda of opening up across more areas and with greater depth, follow the Chinese path to modernization, and share the nation’s development opportunities with the world. In the first 11 months of 2022, China’s trade in goods expanded 8.6 percent year on year to 38.34 trillion yuan ($5.5 trillion), according to the General Administration of Customs.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-12-31/New-journey-of-the-new-era-China-charts-course-for-modernization-1gcNT6SNh1C/index.html

CGTN: Xi Jinping salutes ordinary people’s extraordinary efforts in New Year Address

BEIJING, Dec. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — From medical professionals to delivery men and women, from community workers to next-door neighbors, ordinary Chinese people are doing their best and lending a hand to help others cope with the latest waves of COVID-19 infections in the country.

With extraordinary efforts, China has prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges in fighting the pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday while delivering his 2023 New Year Address.

Officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, have bravely stuck to their posts through it all, Xi said.

“It has not been an easy journey for anyone,” he said, calling for an extra effort from the people to pull through.

People first, life first

In 2022, China continued to optimize its COVID response in light of the evolving situation. Based on the mutation of the virus, the popularization of vaccination and the accumulation of experience in prevention and control, the National Health Commission said in December that the country’s epidemic prevention and control has entered a new stage.

Shifting from infection prevention to medical treatment, China has rolled out a host of measures to boost access to medical treatment and drugs, improve health services for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, speed up vaccination, and beef up health infrastructure in rural areas.

Seventy percent of those aged over 60 had received a booster dose of vaccines as of December 13, up from less than 53 percent among the age group of the population by March 24, according to data from the State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism Against COVID-19.

In addition, the relaxation of the response policy in 2022 comes after China has effectively responded to five global COVID waves and avoided widespread infections with the original strain and the Delta variant, which are relatively more pathogenic than the other variants.

“Since COVID-19 struck, we have put the people first and put life first all along,” Xi said during his New Year Address.

“Following a science-based and targeted approach, we have adapted our COVID response in light of the evolving situation to protect the life and health of the people to the greatest extent possible,” he added.

China has kept its severe COVID-19 cases and death rates among the lowest in the world. The average life expectancy of the Chinese has continued to rise amid the pandemic, from 77.93 years in 2020 to 78.2 years in 2021.

Light right in front

Starting January 8, China will downgrade management of the disease from Class A to Class B in accordance with the country’s law on prevention and treatment of infectious disease, in a major shift of its epidemic response policies. The country will also scrap quarantine measures for inbound travelers from the day.

Following the announcement of the latest adjustments, searches and bookings for international flights and hotels rocketed on multiple Chinese online travel agencies, with some numbers hitting three-year highs, indicating that normal life is picking up.

Another sign that experts believe bodes the revival of the country’s consumption market in 2023, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas nationwide have reopened and reported burgeoning visits.

“Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us,” Xi said during Saturday’s address to ring in the new year.

“Let’s make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory.”

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-12-31/Xi-China-s-COVID-response-protects-lives-to-greatest-extent-possible-1gdrOETi4Bq/index.html

Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzIjM-0f6M0

CGTN: China will continue to contribute to global peace and development in connected world

BEIJING, Dec. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Noting China is a country closely linked with the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that he has not only hosted old and new friends in Beijing, but also traveled abroad to communicate China’s propositions to the world over the past year in his 2023 New Year address on Saturday.

The past year has witnessed a friends-gathering Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Spring, bilateral meetings between Xi and foreign leaders of more than 40 countries, and three overseas trips made by Xi before and after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October.

Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, became the first foreign leader to visit China since the conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress. Since then, Xi has held dozens of bilateral meetings with foreign leaders including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was the first leader of a major Western country to visit China after the milestone CPC meeting.

The visits were widely acknowledged to create peaks for head-of-state diplomacy in 2022.

In the past year, China has continued to play its role as a responsible major country in the international arena by enhancing relations with other major countries.

From two phone calls to a face-to-face meeting in Bali between Xi and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, both leaders agreed to take concrete actions to put China-U.S. relations back on track with steady development.

Besides two personal meetings in Beijing in February and in Samarkand in September, the virtual meeting between Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin yesterday showed both countries will continue to strengthen strategic coordination and uphold international justice.

With Xi’s attendance at the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, China-Arab states relations also ushered in a new era of all-round and in-depth development.

In the past year, China has also continued to offer its solutions with Chinese wisdom to tackle common challenges confronting the international community.

Xi proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at the Boao Forum for Asia in April 2022 to work with other countries to promote security for all, after putting forward the Global Development Index (GDI) at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021.

To date, more than 70 countries have expressed support for the GSI, and more than 100 countries and a number of international organizations, including the UN, have committed support to the GDI and nearly 70 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI.

Noting that changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace and the world is not yet a tranquil place, Xi said in the New Year address that China cherishes peace and development and values friends and partners as always.

“We stand firm on the right side of history and on the side of human civilization and progress. We work hard to contribute China’s wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development for all humanity,” he said.

Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6qVJKA3ClA