Notable deaths of 2022, public figures and celebrities who left us

Elizabeth Smith

There is at least one trifecta of famous and illustrious people who have died that gives the measure of how during this 2022, another very important piece of the twentieth century is gone forever. Queen Elizabeth, Michael Gorbachev, and Jiang Zemin are among the notable deaths of 2022.

Notable deaths of 2022, some of the famous people who died the past year

Here is a list of some of the public figures, politicians, and celebrities of the international scene, who died the past year.

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament

It was announced in the middle of the night in a tweet by his spokesman that David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, had died.

He was 65 years old and in hospital since late December 2021. He had been ill for some time and had led the European Parliament since 2019.

Betty Davis, the “queen of funk”

Betty Davis, often renamed “queen of funk”, left us at the age of 77 on February 9, 2022. A musician and model, she had been the second wife of Miles Davis.

A friend of Jimi Hendrix, she was the partner of Eric Clapton and Robert Palmer. Her songs are beloved by soul and funk music fans.

The first female U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright

Albright died of cancer at the age of 84. She served as U.S. ambassador to the UN and was the first woman to lead U.S. diplomacy, also becoming the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government history during Bill Clinton’s second term in the White House.

Albright was not in line for the U.S. presidency because she was born in Czechoslovakia. Of Jewish descent, she fled her homeland after its annexation by Hitler’s Third Reich. On February 23, within hours from the invasion of Ukraine, she signed her last editorial in the New York Times. It was titled “Putin is making a historic mistake.” 

American actor William Hurt

William Hurt was nearly 72 and died on March 13 after a long battle with cancer in his home in Portland, Oregon.

The American actor, an icon of the 1980s and 1990s, had won among the many successes an Academy Award for the drama film “The Kiss of the Spider Woman”.

Former Japanese premier Shinzo Abe killed in Nara

Not a death from illness or old age, former premier of Japan Shinzo Abe was killed during a public speech in Nara, Japan, on July 8. He was 67 years old. Abe was hit by gunshots, at least two, during an election rally.

The attack left Japan in shock over the assassination of the former prime minister. He was one of the country’s most influential post war leaders.

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John

On August 8, singer and actress Olivia Newton-John, famous for being the co-protagonist of the legendary “Grease” with John Travolta, left us at the age of 73.

She died at her California ranch surrounded by the affection of family and friends. She had been battling breast cancer for more than 30 years.

Mikhail Gorbachev, last secretary of the Soviet Communist Party

Mikhail Gorbachev died at 91 years old. He was the last secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

Gorbachev was the man to whom the West owes the end of the Cold War, disarmament, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany and also the return of democracy in Eastern Europe.

Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland died on September 8, 2022 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

With her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth was the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She celebrated her Platinum Jubilee only a few months earlier. Queen Elizabeth was 96 years old. Her son Charles is the new King, with the name Charles III.

Actress Angela Lansbury, the legendary Jessica Fletcher

Murder, She Wrote,” this was the original title of the TV series “the Murder Lady” that made actress Angela Lansbury, the character of the legendary Jessica Fletcher, so popular all around the world. 

She died on October 11, 2022, just a few days before her 97th birthday.

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin

The former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin died on November 30, 2022. 

He was 96 years old and took power in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, rebuilding relations with the U.S. and the Western world.

Brazilian football legend Pelé

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, died on December 29 in São Paulo, aged 82. A year ago the champion had undergone a delicate colon operation, due to cancer, and later found problems with his kidneys and heart.

Born in 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Brazil, he quickly became world famous for his incredible talent. Many were his records: he scored more than 1,200 goals and won three World Cups, playing four in total.

British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood died at the age of 81 in Clapham, South London, on December 29. Among the most important names in contemporary fashion, she expressed the styles of youth culture by revolutionizing and changing the punk aesthetic.

In addition, she was among the first personalities in the fashion world to support the environmentalist cause.

Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 a.m. in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.” The announcement of the death of Joseph Ratzinger was made by the director of the Holy See’s Press Office on December 31, 2022.

Ratzinger was the first Pope Emeritus in history, since Pope Francis succeeded him in 2013. Often challenged for his rigidity but appreciated for his incredible culture, he was considered one of Europe’s leading intellectuals in the field of theology.

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