A summary of some people who died in 2015.
Here is a roll call of some of the notables in arts and entertainment, science, sports, politics and other fields who died in 2015. Cause of death is cited for younger people, if available.
King Abdullah, 90. The Saudi monarch was a powerful U.S. ally who fought against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom, including by nudging open greater opportunities for women. Jan. 23.
Tariq Aziz, 79. Debonair Iraqi diplomat who made his name by staunchly defending Saddam Hussein to the world during three wars and was later sentenced to death as part of the regime that killed hundreds of thousands of its own people. June 5.
Ernie Banks, 83. Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams. Jan. 23.
Most Read Stories
- Seattle’s income tax on the wealthy is illegal, judge rules
- Analysis: Five reasons the Seahawks waived Dwight Freeney WATCH
- 2 shot at Capitol Hill nightclub in Seattle
- 'I just can’t take these night games': Husky football fans tired of late games, with little notice
- Before losing cancer battle, Ben Cushing inspired Cougars, Huskies to band together
Chuck Bednarik, 89. Pro Football Hall of Famer and one of the last great NFL players who played both offense and defense. March 21.
Yogi Berra, 90. Hall of Fame catcher renowned for his dizzying malapropisms and his record 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees. Sept. 22.
Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, 46. The son of Vice President Joe Biden and two-time Delaware attorney general. May 30.
Elisabeth Bing, 100. Lamaze International co-founder who popularized what was known as natural childbirth and helped change how women and doctors approached the delivery room. May 15.
Best of 2015
In the news
What you read most in 2015: SIDS doctor, Ducks crash, #beenado
Top food stories: In-N-Out vs. CaliBurger, Chick-fil-A, Canlis, Shiro’s and more
Seattle Sketcher: Sketching the region's growing pains
Where in the world? The 2015 Seattle Times Geography Quiz
Julian Bond, 75. Civil-rights pioneer and longtime board chairman of the NAACP. Aug. 15.
Sarah Kemp Brady, 73. She became an activist for gun control after her husband was shot in the head in the assassination attempt on President Reagan. April 3.
Edward W. Brooke, 95. Former U.S. senator from Massachusetts who, as a liberal Republican, became the first black in U.S. history to win popular election to the Senate. Jan. 3.
Vincent Bugliosi, 80. Prosecutor who parlayed his handling of the Charles Manson trial into a career as a best-selling author. June 6.
Judy Carne, 76. A star of TV’s “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” she popularized the laugh line, “Sock it to Me,” on the hit comedy show. Sept. 3.
Jack Carter, 93. His brash, caustic comedy made him a star in early television and helped him sustain a career of more than a half-century in TV, nightclubs, movies and on stage. June 28.
Ahmad Chalabi, 71. Prominent Iraqi politician who helped convince the Bush administration to launch the 2003 invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein by providing false evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Nov. 3. Heart attack.
Ornette Coleman, 85. Jazz legend and the visionary saxophonist who pioneered “free jazz” and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. June 11.
Jackie Collins, 77. Best-selling author of dozens of novels including “Hollywood Wives” that dramatized the lifestyles of the rich and the treacherous. Sept. 19. Breast cancer.
Wes Craven, 76. Prolific writer-director who startled audiences with iconic suburban slashers like “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream.” Aug. 30.
Andrae Crouch, 72. Legendary gospel performer, songwriter and choir director whose work graced songs by Michael Jackson and Madonna and movies such as “The Lion King.” Jan. 8.
Mario Cuomo, 82. Son of Italian immigrants who became an eloquent spokesman for a generation of liberal Democrats during his three terms as governor of New York. Jan. 1.
Darryl Dawkins, 58. His board-shattering dunks earned him the moniker “Chocolate Thunder” and helped pave the way for breakaway rims. Aug. 27. Heart attack.
Fred DeLuca, 67. Co-founder of Subway, who turned a sandwich shop he started as a teenager into one of the world’s largest fast-food chains. Sept. 14.
Carl Djerassi, 91. Chemist widely considered the father of the birth-control pill. Jan. 30.
Donna Douglas, 82. She played the buxom tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit 1960s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Jan. 1. Pancreatic cancer.
Little Jimmy Dickens, 94. A diminutive singer-songwriter known as the oldest cast member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jan. 2.
Wayne W. Dyer, 75. He became the pied piper of the self-help movement with the 1976 publication of his runaway best-seller, “Your Erroneous Zones: Step-By-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life.” Aug. 30.
Anita Ekberg, 83. Swedish-born actress and sex-symbol of the 1950s and ‘60s who was immortalized bathing in the Trevi fountain in “La Dolce Vita.” Jan. 11.
Donald Featherstone, 79. Creator of the pink-plastic lawn flamingo, perhaps the ultimate example of American lawn kitsch. June 22.
Frankie Ford, 76. Rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues singer whose 1959 hit “Sea Cruise” brought him fame when he was 19. Sept. 28.
Frank Gifford, 84. Pro Football Hall of Famer who led the New York Giants to a league championship in 1956 and later teamed up with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith in the “Monday Night Football” booth. Aug. 9.
Lesley Gore, 68. She topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her epic song of teenage angst, “It’s My Party,” and followed it up with the hit “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” and the feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me.” Feb. 16. Lung cancer.
Guenter Grass, 87. Nobel-winning German writer who gave voice to the generation that came of age during the horrors of the Nazi era but later ran into controversy over his own World War II past and stance toward Israel. April 13.
Michael Graves, 80. Celebrated architect who created whimsical postmodern structures and later designed products for people with disabilities and household goods such as whistling Alessi teakettles and stainless steel colanders. March 12.
William Grier, 89. Psychiatrist who co-authored the groundbreaking 1968 book, “Black Rage,” which offered the first psychological examination of black life in the United States. Sept. 3.
James Horner, 61. Composer who won Oscars for accompanying movies’ biggest moments in film such as “Titanic” and “Braveheart.” June 22. Plane crash.
Satoru Iwata, 55. He led Japanese -video-game company Nintendo through years of growth with its Pokemon and Super Mario franchises. July 11. Bile-duct tumor.
Dean Jones, 84. His boyish good looks and all-American manner made him Disney’s favorite young actor for such lighthearted films as “That Darn Cat!” and “The Love Bug.” Aug. 31. Parkinson’s disease.
Howard Jones, 104. He pioneered in vitro fertilization in the United States. July 31.
Louis Jourdan, 93. Dashingly handsome Frenchman who starred in “Gigi,” “Can-Can,” “Three Coins in the Fountain” and other American movies. Feb. 14.
Kirk Kerkorian, 98. Billionaire eighth-grade dropout who built Las Vegas’ biggest hotels, tried to take over Chrysler and bought and sold MGM at a profit three times. June 15.
B.B. King, 89. His scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues. May 14.
Ben E. King, 76. Unforgettable lead singer for the Drifters and solo star whose plaintive baritone graced such pop and rhythm ‘n blues classics as “Stand by Me,” “There Goes My Baby” and “Spanish Harlem.” April 30.
Lee Kuan Yew, 91. Founder of modern Singapore who was both feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired for turning the city-state into one of the world’s richest nations while in power for 31 years. March 23.
Christopher Lee, 93. Actor who brought dramatic gravitas and aristocratic bearing to screen villains from Dracula to the wicked wizard Saruman in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. June 7.
Robert Loggia, 85. An actor known for gravelly voiced gangsters from “Scarface” to “The Sopranos” but who was most endearing as Tom Hanks’ kid-at-heart toy-company boss in “Big.” Dec. 4.
Patrick Macnee, 93. British-born actor best known as dapper secret agent John Steed in the long-running 1960s TV series “The Avengers.” June 25.
Moses Malone, 60. Three-time NBA MVP and one of basketball’s most ferocious rebounders. Sept. 13.
Rod McKuen, 81. Husky-voiced “King of Kitsch” whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and ‘70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history. Jan. 29.
Anne Meara, 85. Actress and comedian whose comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and TV. May 23.
Martin Milner, 83. His wholesome good looks helped make him the star of two hugely popular 1960s TV series, “Route 66” and “Adam-12.” Sept. 6.
Minnie Minoso, 90. He hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat when he became Major League Baseball’s first black player in Chicago in 1951. March 1.
Vincent Musetto, 74. Veteran newspaperman who wrote one of the industry’s most famous headlines: “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” June 9.
John Forbes Nash Jr., 86. Mathematical genius whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind.” May 23. Killed along with his wife, Alicia Nash, in a car crash.
Boris Nemtsov, 55. Charismatic Russian opposition leader, former deputy prime minister and a sharp critic of President Putin. Feb. 28. Fatally shot near the Kremlin.
Leonard Nimoy, 83. Actor loved by generations of “Star Trek” fans as Mr. Spock, the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer. Feb. 27.
Maureen O’Hara, 95. Flame-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from the grim “How Green Was My Valley” to the uplifting “Miracle on 34th Street” and bantered unforgettably with John Wayne in several films. Oct. 24.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, 61. Kilt-wearing trash-talker who headlined the first WrestleMania and later found movie stardom. July 31.
Paul Prudhomme, 75. Cajun who popularized spicy Louisiana cuisine and became one of the first American restaurant chefs to achieve worldwide fame. Oct. 8.
Maya Plissetskaya, 89. She was regarded as one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century, her career at the Bolshoi Theater spanning more than 35 years. May 2. Heart attack.
Jean Ritchie, 92. Kentucky-born folk singer who brought the centuries-old ballads she grew up with to a wide audience from the 1950s onward. June 1.
Oliver Sacks, 82. His books, including “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat,” probed distant ranges of human experience by compassionately portraying people with severe and sometimes bizarre neurological conditions. Aug. 30.
Arnold Scaasi, 85. Designer whose bright, flamboyant creations adorned first ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Laura Bush and film stars from Elizabeth Taylor to Barbra Streisand. Aug. 4.
Helmut Schmidt, 96. Former chancellor who guided West Germany through economic turbulence and Cold War tension in the 1970s and early 1980s. Nov. 10.
Rev. Robert H. Schuller, 88. California televangelist and author who beamed his upbeat messages on faith and redemption to millions of followers from his landmark Crystal Cathedral only to see his empire crumble in his waning years. April 2.
Omar Sharif, 83. Egyptian-born actor with the dark, soulful eyes who soared to international stardom in movie epics, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago.” July 10. Heart attack.
Burt Shavitz, 80. Reclusive beekeeper who co-founded Burt’s Bees, and whose face and wild beard appeared on labels for the natural cosmetics. July 5.
Bob Simon, 73. Longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent who covered riots, Academy Award-nominated movies and wars and was held captive for more than a month in Iraq two decades ago. Feb. 11. Car crash.
Percy Sledge, 74. He recorded the classic 1966 soul ballad “When a Man Loves a Woman.” April 14.
Ken Stabler, 69. He led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory and was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1974. July 8. Complications from colon cancer.
Dean Smith, 83. Coaching innovator who won two national championships at North Carolina, an Olympic gold medal in 1976 and induction into basketball’s Hall of Fame more than a decade before he left the bench. Feb. 7.
Blaze Starr, 83. “Knockout” burlesque icon and stripper who drew tourists to post-World War II Baltimore, lent glamour to New Orleans and became known far and wide for her affair with a colorful midcentury Louisiana governor. June 15.
Jerry Tarkanian, 84. Hall of Fame coach who built a basketball dynasty at UNLV but was defined more by his decades-long battle with the NCAA. Feb. 11.
Fred Thompson, 73. Former U.S. senator was a folksy Tennessee lawyer whose career led him from politics to Hollywood and back again. Nov. 1.
Douglas Tompkins, 72. The U.S. co-founder of The North Face and Esprit clothing companies. Dec. 8. Severe hypothermia in a kayaking accident
Allen Toussaint, 77. Legendary New Orleans musician and composer who penned such classics as “Working in a Coal Mine” and “Lady Marmalade.” Nov. 10. Heart attack.
Dick Van Patten, 86. Genial, round-faced comic actor who premiered on Broadway as a child, starred on television in its infancy and then, in middle age, found lasting fame as the patriarch on TV’s “Eight is Enough.” June 23. Complications from diabetes.
Scott Weiland, 48. The former frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. Dec. 3.
Chuck Williams, 100. He founded the Williams-Sonoma empire and ushered in an era of aspirational culinary retailing. Dec. 5.
Jim Wright, 92. Longtime Texas Democrat who became the first U.S. House speaker in the nation’s history to be driven out of office in midterm. May 6.
Phil Woods, 83. Leading alto saxophonist in mainstream jazz for more than 60 years whose piercing solos could also be heard on hit records by Billy Joel and Paul Simon. Sept. 29.
William Zinsser, 92. Teacher, author, journalist and essayist whose million-selling book “On Writing Well” championed the craft of nonfiction and inspired professionals and amateurs to express themselves more concisely and vividly. May 12.