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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Famous Faces Who Passed Away in January 2020

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Celebrity Deaths in January 2020

Here are some of the famous faces who passed away in January 2020.

David Stern

The NBA’s longest-serving commissioner, David Stern, passed away on Jan. 1 after suffering a brain hemorrhage in mid-December. He was 77 years old.

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Don Larsen

Ninety-year-old Don Larsen, a former New York Yankees pitcher who threw a perfect game during the 1956 World Series, died as a result of esophageal cancer on Jan. 1.

Harry Hains

Australian actor Harry Hains died at age 27 on Jan. 7 after struggling with “mental illness and addiction,” according to his mother. He was most famously known for his role in “American Horror Story.”

Neil Peart

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Legendary drummer and lyricist Neil Peart of the Canadian rock trio Rush died Jan. 7 in Santa Monica, California. He was 67 years old.

Stan Kirsch

“Highlander” actor Stan Kirsch died by apparent suicide in his Los Angeles home on Jan. 11. He was 51 years old.

Norma Michaels

Actress Norma Michaels, 95, passed away on Jan. 11. She appeared in many films and televisions shows over her 60-year career, including “King of Queens,” “Modern Family,” and “Hello, My Name Is Doris.”

Tyler Gwozdz

“Bachelorette” contestant Tyler Gwozdz died on Jan. 13 after a suspected overdose, according to E! News. The 29-year-old’s family has since begun raising money for a new foundation that will help people overcome addiction.

Rocky Johnson

Rocky “Soulman” Johnson, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler and the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, died on Jan. 15. He was 75 years old.

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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson ?

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Abram “Abe” Piasek

Abe Piasek, a Polish Holocaust survivor, died on Jan. 16 at the age of 91, according to WTVD. He spent his life speaking about the Holocaust at schools in his home state of North Carolina.

David Olney

Folk-rock singer-songwriter David Olney, 71, died in the middle of a Florida performance on Jan. 18. He reportedly apologized and then “fell silent and dropped his head,” according to NBC News.

Jimmy Heath

Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath died on Jan. 19 at 93 years old.

Terry Jones

A founding member of the Monty Python troupe, Terry Jones passed away on Jan. 21 after suffering from dementia. He was 77 years old.

Jim Lehrer

“PBS NewsHour” co-founder and host Jim Lehrer passed away on Jan. 23 in his sleep. He was 85.

Kobe Bryant

NBA legend Kobe Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on the flight also died.

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My Gigi

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Jack Burns

Iconic comedian Jack Burns, who appeared on “The Andy Griffith Show” and produced around two dozen episodes of “The Muppet Show,” died on Jan. 27, according to The New York Times. He was 86.

John “Johnny” Ray

NASCAR racer and trucking legend John “Johnny” Ray passed away on Jan. 27, according to NBC Sports. Shortly after 9/11, he famously attached an American flag to his big rig and drove around Talladega Superspeedway, which quickly became a tradition.

Mary Higgins Clark

Author Mary Higgins Clark, 92, passed away on Jan. 31 due to natural causes, according to her publisher. Known as the “Queen of Suspense,” she authored 56 books.

Author Mary Higgins Clark attends the Salvation Army’s Book Club Luncheon at Club 21 on April 4, 2012 in New York City. (Matthew Eisman / Getty Images)

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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