Notable deaths of 2011
These people who died in 2011 left their mark on the world. The deaths of Osama bin Laden and Moammar Gadhafi are included in our top nation/world stories of 2011 list.
Hugh L. Carey, 92
"The days of wine and roses are over," Hugh Carey famously declared in 1975, as he began the first of two terms as New York's 51st governor. A liberal Democrat and former seven-term congressman from Brooklyn, Carey set his sights on curing deficits created by freewheeling spending under his predecessor, Nelson A. Rockefeller. Carey was credited with helping save New York City from bankruptcy by enlisting fiscal experts and securing federal loan guarantees. A father of 14, Carey died at his Shelter Island home.
Duke Snider, 84
"The Duke of Flatbush" was not quite at the level of his counterparts as New York centerfielders of the '50s -- Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. But he was a Hall of Famer and a popular Dodger who finished a close second to teammate Roy Campanella in the 1955 MVP vote, the year Brooklyn won its lone World Series. In his next-to-last season, Snider returned from Los Angeles to play for the Mets, batting .243 with 14 home runs while playing home games at the Polo Grounds, former home of the Dodgers' archrival Giants.
Czech President Vaclav Havel, 75
First president of the Czech Republic
Havel, who died in his sleep Dec. 18 in Prague at the age of 75 after a long illness, was a symbol for opposing totalitarian regimes in the former Soviet bloc and helped lead the nation to democracy after the Velvet Revolution that overthrew communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
Read the full story: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel mourned
Amy Winehouse, 27
The Grammy-winning singer built her own style of music mixing contemporary, hip-hop swagger with jazz and '60s soul on her instant-classic "Back to Black" album. Winehouse even wove her own personal troubles into her music, immortalizing her struggles with drugs and alcohol in her hit "Rehab." Her death, from alcohol poisoning, came while she worked on her third album, with some of the tracks ending up on the recent posthumous album, "Lioness."
Read the full story: Singer Amy Winehouse found dead at 27
James Arness, 88
The "Gunsmoke" star died June 3 of natural causes. He was 88.
Read the full story: James Arness, 'Gunsmoke' star, dies at 88
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, 83
A pathologist sometimes known as Dr. Death, Kevorkian argued for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they die. Beginning in 1990, his "suicide machine" reportedly ended the lives of 130 terminally ill patients. He served eight years in prison on a 10-to-25-year sentence for second-degree murder. He was released in 2007 after assuring authorities he would never assist another suicide. Kevorkian's crusade is credited with helping spur the growth of more sympathetic hospice care.
Read the full story: Lawyer: Jack Kevorkian dead at age 83
Joe Frazier, 67
It is impossible to separate Frazier's legacy from that of rival Muhammad Ali, an association that both elevated and diminished "Smokin' Joe." Frazier, a 1964 Olympic gold medalist, was the choice of the establishment in 1971 when he met Ali, a mouthy rebel who reveled in taunting him, in the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Garden. Frazier won, but he lost two subsequent fights against Ali, culminating in the 1975 "Thrilla in Manila." Neither man ever was the same after that brutal epic.
Read the full story: Boxing great Joe Frazier dies at 67 of cancer
Betty Ford, 93
The outspoken and popular wife of President Gerald R. Ford (he served from 1974 to 1977), she was known for taking public stands on controversial subjects, such as premarital sex. She also publicly supported the failed Equal Rights Amendment. Early in her husband's term, she inspired American women with her courage in dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. After her husband left the White House, Ford publicly acknowledged her dependency on pills and alcohol. In 1982, her victory over addiction led her to co-found the nonprofit Betty Ford Center, near Palm Springs, Calif.
Read the full story: Former first lady Betty Ford, 93, dies
Geraldine Ferraro, 75
She was the first woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket when she was selected as Walter Mondale's running mate in 1984. A former Queens criminal prosecutor, Ferraro had represented Queens' Ninth Congressional District beginning in 1978. After the Democrats lost to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Ferraro ran twice, unsuccessfully, in Democratic senatorial primaries. She served as ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission and co-hosted CNN's "Crossfire."
Read the full story: Geraldine Ferraro, VP hopeful, dies at 75
Elizabeth Taylor, 79
A star from Hollywood's Golden Age, she made her screen debut at age 10. By 12, the wide-eyed, strikingly beautiful Taylor was a box-office sensation, playing opposite a horse in the children's classic "National Velvet." Unlike many a child star, however, the London-born Taylor didn't fade but instead excelled in serious grown-up roles in 1950s film classics with James Dean and Montgomery Clift. She won Oscars for "Butterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff?" Her eight marriages included two to Richard Burton, a frequent co-star. She was one of the first celebrities to publicly crusade for people with AIDS.
Read the full story: Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79
Kim Jong Il, 69
North Korean supreme leader, 1994-2011
North Korea's mercurial and enigmatic longtime leader died Dec. 19 of an apparent heart attack. He was 69.
Read the full story: North Korea's Kim Jong Il dead at 69
Steve Jobs, 56
He was the personal computer visionary who helped change the way we listen to music and generally go about our lives. In 1976, he founded Apple with Steve Wozniak, introducing first the Apple II, then Macintosh computers. He left Apple nine years later but returned in 1996 to become the product team leader and public face of the company. The products he dreamed up and introduced to a technology-hungry public -- including iTunes, the iPod, the iPhone and iPad -- turned Apple into the tech giant of today. Jobs, who stepped down in August, died of complications related to pancreatic cancer.
Read the full story: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies at 56