by Wilfred Okiche
From billionaire inventors, enduring movie stars to most wanted men, 2011 had its fair share of grim reaping. We recall some of the more famous – for those who touched our lives spectacularly – Jobs, Winehouse, Myers, Taylor, Whitfield – we say Rest in Peace.
Muammar Gaddafi – It wasn’t a great year for dictators and ruling despots thanks to the Arab Spring. But perhaps its highlight was the day one of the longest ruling was finally brought down in the now-famous battle for Tripoli after he was captured by fighters of the Libyan National Liberation Army. He was aged 69.
Osama bin Laden- We thought he was the man who could never die. But U.S President Barrack Obama scored what is considered in some quarters as his biggest political achievement when he ordered a top secret operation carried out by the U.S Navy SEALS and CIA operatives. The result was the shooting and killing of 54-year-old bin Laden who has been on the FBI’s most wanted lists since 1998.
Amy Winehouse – All her career, Winehouse battled alcohol and substance dependence. In July, she was found dead in her London home. In October, a coroner ruled that alcohol poisoning was the cause of death. The Rehab singer joined the infamous club of music acts who passed away at the age of 27. She warmed many hearts while she lived, and that’s what matters.
Heavy D – Born Dwight Arrington Myers, the rapper/producer passed away at the age of 44 after climbing a flight of stairs in his Los Angeles apartment. His last tweet was a positive one. It read ‘Be Inspired.
Andy Whitfield – The Welsh actor best known for his role as the Thracian slave Spartacus in season one of the 2010 hit television series ‘’Spartacus: Blood and Sand.’’ His new-found success was not to last though as he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a malignancy of the lymph nodes the same year. He died a year later at the age of 39.
Steve Jobs – He was perhaps the most important inventor of this generation. The creative genius behind the iPod, iPad, and iPhone, Jobs was also a successful businessman. He succumbed to pancreatic cancer in July at the age of 56. His sister Patty in an eulogy published by the New York Times revealed that his last words were ‘’Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow”.
Elizabeth Taylor – The much-married screen goddess enjoyed a career that spanned over forty years. She won two Academy Awards and played Cleopatra on screengt but perhaps was best known for her eight marriages to seven different husbands, (she married one twice). She devoted her later years to advocacy and humanitarian work and raised over $270millon for the HIV/AIDS cause.