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Celebrating and Remembering Those We Lost

Celebrating and Remembering Those We Lost

December 31, 2021

As a new year begins, it’s normal to look back at the previous one. It can be comforting to celebrate and remember those who passed away, whether we knew them personally or they inspired us from afar. 

This list represents a few of the public personalities we lost in 2021. In addition to materials linked below, you can find pictures, articles and websites about these people and others by using Biography. Access is free through your Library account.


Beverly Cleary – Loved by children around the world, Beverly Cleary’s books including Ramona the Pest, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Henry Huggins, gave kids plenty of funny, feisty, and fearless adventures!

Anne Rice – Her gothic novels such as Interview with a Vampire, published in 1976, spurred a modern era of vampire stories inspiring books, movies and TV including Twilight, True Blood, and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.



Ed Asner – Fans of the Kansas City native may know him for very different roles. Older audiences will remember him as the gruff yet loveable Lou Grant on the hit 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show while younger fans know him as the cranky yet caring Mr. Frederickson in Disney Pixar’s Up.

Cicely Tyson – Her roles of resilient Black women including Jane Pittman, Coretta Scott King, and Harriet Tubman, brought positive portrayals of African American figures to the stage and screen. Her memoir, Just as I Am, recounts her troubled childhood and a career that spanned 60 years.


Political Figures:

Bob Dole – Before Bob Dole became a senator and presidential hopeful, he faced and conquered tremendous challenges growing up in Kansas during the dust bowl and serving in World War II. His memoir, A Soldier’s Story, tells his legendary story of the courage, sacrifice, and faith that helped him survive life-threatening injuries in the war.

Prince Phillip –Prince Philip became perhaps the most famous consort of all time when he married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947. His life and history are a fascinating tale of power, duty, and fidelity. Prince Philip Revealed by Ingrid Seward chronicles the many aspects of Philip’s personal and public life. 
For a more provocative look, the Netflix series The Crown follows the politics and romance of the royal family through the second half of the 20th century.


Sports Figures:

Marty Schottenheimer – As the former coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Schottenheimer had a record-breaking number of wins, but also a heartbreaking number of losses, especially in the playoffs. Yet his love for football and for coaching his players elevated him to an exceptional level. His legacy may not have been to win a Super Bowl, but his approach to the game and to life made him an inspirational figure for many.

John Madden – One of the most recent deaths of 2021, Madden was a Super Bowl-winning coach, legendary broadcaster, and video game icon. In John Madden’s Heroes of Football, he shares his knowledge and love of American football.

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