by Rachel Ogbu
Kicking off our annual review on YNaija – #2012Review – we look at 10 of the biggest global icons who passed this year.
From music legend Whitney Houston to the first man to land on the moon, Neil Armstrong, 2012 was the year we lost some of the world’s greatest.
Here is a list of 10 notable foreign deaths from the most recent:
November 26: Joseph Murray, 93, American doctor and Nobel laureate (1990), performed first kidney transplantation died after having a hemorrhagic stroke.
August 25: Neil Armstrong, who made the “giant leap for mankind” as the first human to set foot on the moon, died aged 82.
July 24: Sherman Hemsley, the bantamweight comic actor who portrayed the scrappy, nouveau riche George Jefferson on the hit CBS sitcom “The Jeffersons,” died at his home in El Paso. He was 74.
July 23: Sally Ride, a physicist who became the first American woman to fly in space, died at her home in San Diego. She was 61.
July 17: Rodney G. King, whose 1991 videotaped beating by the Los Angeles police became a symbol of the nation’s continuing racial tensions and subsequently led to a week of deadly race riots after the officers were acquitted, was found dead in a swimming pool at the home he shared with his fiancée in Rialto, Calif. He was 47.
May 23: Hal Jackson was a veteran broadcaster who broke down racial barriers, becoming one of the first black disc jockeys to reach a large white audience and an omnipresent voice on New York City radio for more than 50 years. He died in Manhattan. He was 96.
May 17: Donna Summer, the Grammy-winning singer who helped define the disco era with such hits as “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls” died after reportedly battling cancer. She was 63.
April 5: Ferdinand A. Porsche designed the original Porsche 911, the snazzy, powerful sports car that became the lasting signature of the German automobile company founded by his grandfather and later run by his father. He died in Salzburg, Austria, at 76.
February 11: Whitney Houston, 48-year-old singer and multi Grammy-winning artist ironically died on the eve of the musical award show that had meant so much to her over the years. Her unexpected death caused an avalanche of tributes in the press and social media from friends, family, co-workers and fans.
January 20: Etta James, two weeks after the “At Last” singer’s doctor announced she was terminally ill, the 73-year-old jazz and R&B legend passed away in a Riverside, Calif., hospital due to complications from leukaemia. She is survived by her husband, Artis Mills, and sons Donto and Sametto, both musicians.