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Among Those We Lost in 2019: 39 Less-Known Names

Including a socialite who was convicted but later acquitted of trying to kill his wealthy wife
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2019 6:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Being reminded that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Luke Perry, US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Karl Lagerfeld, Nipsey Hussle, Ross Perot, Toni Morrison, and Doris Day died in 2019 will likely come as no great shock. But the AP's roll call of some of the people who shuffled off this mortal coil in 2019 include figures who aren't necessarily household names but still have a unique place in history. Here are 39 such figures, with date of death cited:

  1. Jakiw Palij, 95. A former Nazi concentration camp guard who spent decades leading an unassuming life in New York City until his past was revealed. Jan. 9.
  2. John C. Bogle, 89. He simplified investing for the masses by launching the first index mutual fund and founded Vanguard Group. Jan. 16.
  3. Antonio Mendez, 78. A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six US diplomats from Iran in 1980 and was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film Argo. Jan. 19.
  4. Harris Wofford, 92. A former US senator from Pennsylvania and longtime civil rights activist who helped persuade John F. Kennedy to make a crucial phone call to the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960 presidential campaign. Jan. 21.
  5. Frank Robinson, 83. The Hall of Famer was the first black manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. Feb. 7.
  6. Gordon Banks, 81. The World Cup-winning England goalkeeper who was also known for blocking a header from Pele that many consider the greatest save in soccer history. Feb. 12.
  7. Betty Ballantine, 99. She was half of a groundbreaking husband-and-wife publishing team that helped invent the modern paperback and vastly expand the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as The Hobbit and Fahrenheit 451. Feb. 12.

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