From Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, to Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison, to iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe, there were a number of notable passings in 2019.
- JANUARY -
Jan 21: Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, 28, was killed when the plane he was flying in crashed into the Channel. His father, Horacio, would die a few months later.
Jan 28: Kim Bok-dong, 92, was a South Korean woman who was forced as a girl into a brothel and sexually enslaved by the Japanese military during World War II, becoming a vocal leader at rallies that were held every Wednesday in Seoul for nearly 30 years.
- FEBRUARY -
Feb 7: Veteran British actor Albert Finney, winner of three Golden Globes, passed away aged 82.
Feb 12: Gordon Banks, the World Cup-winning England goalkeeper who was also known for fabulous save against Pelé, died aged 81.
Feb 16: Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for his role as Adolf Hitler in Downfall (2004), died from cancer aged 77.
Feb 19: Haute couture legend Karl Lagerfeld, long-running artistic director of Chanel, died aged 85.
Feb 21: Stanley Donen, US director of such beloved Hollywood classic as Singin’ in the Rain (1952), was 94 when he died.
Feb 23: Model, presenter and sex-worker Natacha Jaitt, who had made explosive allegations on television regarding a paedophile ring, is found dead aged 41 at a club in Benavídez, Tigre.
Feb 28: André Previn, 89. the pianist, composer and conductor whose broad reach took in the worlds of Hollywood, jazz and classical music.
- MARCH -
Mar 2: Billionare tycoon Franco Macri, father of former president Mauricio Macri, passed away aged 89.
Mar 4: US actor Luke Perry died after a stroke aged 52.
Mar 4: Frontman of British rave band The Prodigy, Keith Flint, was found dead aged 49.
Mar 18: Osvaldo Raffo, 84, Argentina’s most famous forensic scientist, found dead in his San Martín home.
Mar 22: Influential singer, songwriter and producer Scott Walker, died aged 76.
- APRIL -
Apr 17: Ex-Peruvian president Alan García, 69, killed himself as the police were about to arrest him on bribery charges that he denied.
Apr 19: Ofelia Wilhelm, the mother of Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, dies aged 89.
Apr 29: Director John Singleton, 51, made one of Hollywood’s most memorable debuts with the Oscar-nominated Boyz N the Hood and continued over the following decades to probe the lives of black communities in his native Los Angeles and beyond.
- MAY -
May 12: Radical Civic Union (UCR) national deputy for La Rioja, Héctor Enrique Olivares, dies from wounds sustained in a shooting attack near Congress. His adviser, Miguel Marcelo Yadón, had been slain in the attack three days earlier.
May 13: Hollywood legend Doris Day died aged 97.
May 16: Ieoh Ming Pei, Chinese-American architect of iconic modern structures such as the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, was 102 years old when he passed away.
- JUNE -
Jun 1: Spanish footballer José Antonio Reyes, 35, was killed in a car crash.
Jun 6: Legendary New Orleans musician Dr John, died aged 77. He blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl.
Jun 17: Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, ousted in 2013 after one year of divisive rule, died in prison aged 67.
Jun 25: Argentine actress and ‘glamour model’ Isabel Sarli, known for breaking taboos in so-called ‘sexploitation films,’ dies aged 89 in the capital.
- JULY -
Jul 5: Journalist and author Andrew Graham-Yooll, known for his many years with the Buenos Aires Herald and for his reporting during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, passed away in London aged 75.
Jul 6: Brazilian musician and songwriter João Gilberto, a pioneer of bossa nova, died aged 88.
Jul 9: Former president Fernando De la Rúa died aged 81. He won over voters with his image as an honest statesman but later fled in a helicopter as Argentina plunged into its worst economic crisis.
Jul 22: Former Chinese premier Li Peng, a hardliner in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, died at 90.
Jul 25: The world’s oldest president, Tunisian Beji Caid Essebsi, died aged 92, just ahead of the end of his first mandate.
- AUGUST -
Aug 5: Author Toni Morrison, the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, died aged 88.
Aug 10: US financier Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was found dead in jail from an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on charges of trafficking girls for sex.
Aug 12: Argentine footballer José Luis ‘Tata’ Brown, most famously known for his goal in the 1986 World Cup final, passed away aged 62.
Aug 16: US actor Peter Fonda, best known for Easy Rider (1969), died from lung cancer aged 79.
Aug 23: Billionaire industrialist David H. Koch, 79, along his older brother Charles, was both celebrated and demonised for transforming US politics by pouring their riches into conservative causes.
- SEPTEMBER -
Sep 6: Zimbabwe’s autocratic leader Robert Mugabe, ousted by the military in 2017 after 37 years in power, died aged 95.
Sep 19: Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader to be toppled in the 2011 Arab Spring, died in exile in Saudi Arabia aged 83.
Sep 26: Jacques Chirac, French president from 1995 to 2007, died aged 86.
Sep 28: Mexican crooner José José, 71, moved audiences to tears with melancholic love ballads.
- OCTOBER -
Oct 15: Respected journalist Marcelo Zlotogwiazda died aged 61 from colon cancer.
Oct 15: Singer and composer Cacho Castaña, died in Palermo aged 77.
Oct 17: US Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings died at 68 and was the first African-American lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol building.
Oct 26: Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in his late 40s, blew himself up during a raid by US special forces in Syria.
- NOVEMBER -
Nov 2: Walter Mercado, 88, died of kidney failure. A television astrologer whose glamorous persona made him a star in Latin media, Mercado was iconic across the Spanish-speaking world.
Nov 24: Clive James, the Australian broadcaster, writer, critic and poet, died aged 80 after a long battle with leukaemia.
- DECEMBER -
Dec 8: Former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker passed away aged 92.
Dec 9: Marie Fredriksson, 61, lead singer of Roxette, died of a cerebral tumour.
Dec 23: Algeria’s military chief, General Ahmed Gaid Salah, died from a heart attack aged 79.