Final jeopardy

Remembering the most significant figures that were lost in the last year

Throughout the year 2020, life has been riddled with the effects of the coronavirus. With all the focus on the pandemic, it is good to take some time to think about the prominent icons that the world has lost this year. Here are some of those people:


Chadwick Boseman

Born in 1976, Chadwick Boseman was known for his portrayal of historic figures such as baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the movie “42” and singer James Brown in the film “Get On Up”. However, Boseman truly made cinema history with role as T’Challa in the movie “Black Panther,” the first African lead superhero in the Marvel franchise. Fans all over the world were inspired by the heroism of the Black Panther and awed by the fantastical world of Wakanda. Boseman passed away from colon cancer in August 2020.


Alex Trebek

One of the most famous game show hosts of all time, Alex Trebek was renowned for his remarkable career as the host of the trivia show “Jeopardy!”. Trebek began hosting “America’s Favorite Quiz Show” in 1984 and announced that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March of 2019. He is known across the nation and is an icon to people of all ages. His last pre-recorded episode will air on Christmas Day of this year. Other famous game show hosts that have died this year include Regis Philbin of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” fame.


Kobe Bryant

In January of this year, Kobe Bryant’s death came as tragic news that shocked the nation and basketball fans alike. The five-time NBA champion was killed when the helicopter he was a passenger in crashed after losing communications. Kobe was known for being one of the best NBA players of all time, currently holding the title of the fourth-most scoring player in NBA history, surpassed only by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, and LeBron James. Tragically, Kobe’s daughter Gianna Bryant was also lost in the accident.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was known as the second woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court in United States History. She was also a profound and monumental leader in the fields of civil rights and gender equality, and earned herself the nickname of “The Notorious R.B.G.” Ginsburg, who went to Harvard Law School at a time when it was dominated by men, overcame much adversity in her education and career progression until she became a Supreme Court Justice. As a justice, one of Ginsburg’s most significant successes was her work to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which worked to secure equal pay for all employees of equal qualification and experience. Justice Ginsburg passed away this September from pancreatic cancer.


Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen was the lead guitarist of the band Van Halen, along with his brother Alex on drums. Known for being one of the best guitarists of all time, Van Halen performed complex guitar solos, and was especially known for his performance in songs like “Eruption”, “Jump”, “Hot for Teacher”, “Runnin’ With the Devil”, and “Dance the Night Away”. Van Halen was also the guitarist who performed in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Certainly, he will be remembered for his exciting stage performances and iconic guitar sounds and style. Van Halen passed away from throat cancer this October.


Sean Connery

Sir Sean Connery passed away recently in October in the Bahamas. He was best known for being the first actor to ever portray James Bond in the early 007 films, such as “Dr. No”, “From Russia with Love”, and “Goldfinger”. He was also known for his role as Indiana Jones’s father in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, as well as his movie “The Hunt for Red October”. Connery also won an Oscar for his part in the movie “The Untouchables”, and was knighted in 2000 for his work in the film industry.


John Lewis

John Lewis was a political activist and U.S. Representative who worked with historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis was most known for his role in the Selma to Montgomery march, in which he protested against barriers to African American voting. During this march, the protesters were violently assaulted, initiating a widespread push for African American voting rights. The movement resulted in the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Lewis passed away from pancreatic cancer in July.