Notable Deaths in 2013 Include Nelson Mandela, Bobby ‘Blue Bland’ and Margaret Thatcher

Notable Deaths in 2013 Include Nelson Mandela, Bobby 'Blue Bland' and Margaret Thatcher
Notable Deaths in 2013 Include Nelson Mandela, Bobby ‘Blue Bland’ and Margaret Thatcher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We lost a lot of great people in 2013 and we still have another week and a half to go. Notable deaths of 2103 include anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who was laid to rest in his boyhood village of Qunu December 15, after passing away Dec. 5.  Actor Peter O’Toole, 81, star of “Lawrence of Arabia,” died Dec. 14.

Literary giant Chinua Achebe, best known for his 1958 novel Things Fall Apart and who launched the Heinemann African Writers series, died March 21, at age 82.

Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, 94, the man who invented the AK-47, died on December 23.

Blues legend Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, “one of the main creators of the modern soul-blues sound,” died on June 23 at age 83.

Joan Fontaine, 96,  Academy Award winning actress who appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion” and “Rebecca,” among others, died Dec. 15

Harold Camping, 92, the California pastor who predicted the end of the world on his ministry radio show and on billboards, then gave up when his date-specific prediction fizzled, died Dec. 15.

Glee” actor Cory Monteith, 31, who had struggled for years with substance abuse, died July 13 from an overdose of heroin and alcohol.

Willie Louis, 76, who went into hiding after testifying at the Emmett Till trial about hearing the lynching victim’s screams, died July 18.

Helen Thomas, 92, the irrepressible White House correspondent, who grilled nine presidents, died July 20.

One-time Chicago cop Dennis Farina, 69, best known for playing a TV cop on “Law & Order” died July 22.

Emile Griffith, 75, world boxing champion whose career was overshadowed by the fatal beating Bennie Paret during their 1962 title bout, died July 23.

Grammy Award-winning keyboardist and producer George Duke, 67, died August 5.

Influential novelist and critic Albert Murray, 97, who celebrated black culture, scorned black separatism and was once praised by Duke Ellington as the “unsquarest man I know,” died August 18.

Actor Lee Thompson Young, 29, who starred in “The Famous Jett Jackson” and was featured in the “Friday Night Lights” and the TV series “Rizzoli & Isles,” died of an apparent suicide August 19.

Acclaimed crime novelist Elmore Leonard, 87, whose best-sellers and the movies made from them chronicled the violent deaths of many bad guys, died on August 20 from stroke complications..

Demetrius Newton, 85, the attorney who represented Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died September 11. Newton became the first black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House. Sept. 11.

Evelyn Lowery, 88, a civil rights pioneer and women’s empowerment leader, died September 26. She leaves behind husband Rev. Joseph Lowery.

Tom Clancy, 66, best known for his high-tech, Cold War thrillers, such as “The Hunt for Red October” and “Patriot Games” died Oct. 1.

Fast & Furious‘ series star Paul Walker, 40, died in a fiery car crash in California November 30.

Televangelist Paul Crouch, who built the largest Christian TV network, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), died November 30.

Film critic Roger Ebert died at age 70. He was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Three-term (1978-1989) New York City mayor Ed Koch died at age 88. He took the city from a financial downturn to boom times.

Actor James Gandolfini died at age 51. He will best be remembers for his leading role in TV hit series The Sopranos.