20 Notable Figures Who Passed Away in 2012

As a new year begins, the world looks back at the notable people who passed away in 2012. Here are 20 people whose accomplishments and personalities will be missed in 2013.

1. Neil Armstrong


Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, by becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

2. Ray Bradbury


Bradbury was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

3. Dick Clark


The legendary TV personality graced many popular shows, including American Bandstand, $25,000 Pyramid and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes and later his annual New Year’ Eve special.

4. Don Cornelius


Cornelius created and hosted Soul Train, which spent more than 30 years on the air.

5. Mike Wallace


The 60 Minutes correspondent's 40+ year career garnered 21 Emmys.

6. Nora Ephron


The director and screenwriter was perhaps best known for When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail

7. Senator George McGovern


One of the leading liberal and progressive American political figures of the later 20th century, McGovern ran for president in 1972.

8. Sun Myung Moon


Moon founded the Unification Church.

9. Sally Ride


Ride, who joined NASA in 1978, was the first American woman in space.

10. Whitney Houston


The world famous multi-Grammy award singer sold over 100 million records.

11. Gore Vidal


The author and playwright wrote and published more than 200 essays and 24 novels throughout his career, and was famous for his frequent talk-show appearances and witty political criticisms.

12. Ravi Shankar


The musician and composer was best known for popularizing the sitar and Indian classical music in Western culture.

13. Russell Means


The Native American political activist was an early leader of the American Indian Movement, and lost the Libertarian nomination for president to Ron Paul.

14. Dr. Joseph Murray


The pioneer in organ transplants, who won the Nobel Prize in 1990, was the first to transplant a kidney to non-identical siblings.

15. Marvin Miller


The head of the Major League baseball union led the effort to establish free agency and changed the salary structure for major league professional athletes.

16. Dr. William F. House


The ear specialist and advocate for the hearing impaired invented the cochlear implant.

17. Senator Daniel K. Inouye 


The second-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor for combat duty during World War II.

18. Robert Bork


The constitutional law expert, a critical and leading voice in the conservative movement, was nominated for the Supreme Court.

19. General  H. Norman Schwarzkopf


The four star general was the commander of 1991's Operation Desert Storm.

20. Donna Summer


The "Queen of Disco," her music helped define an era.

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