2011: In memoriam
Some of the people we lost in 2011.
December 28th, 2011
05:49 AM ET

2011: In memoriam

As 2011 draws to a close, we’d like to look back at some of the notable people who died this year. These videos highlight their achievements and honor their legacies.

Screen siren – Elizabeth Taylor is remembered not only as a strikingly beautiful Academy Award-winning actress, but also as a compassionate and devoted advocate for HIV/AIDS research.

Soulful songbird – Amy Winehouse enchanted many of us with her sultry voice and modern style of music. The Grammy Award-winning singer had notoriously battled substance abuse issues for years.

The visionary – Pioneer, innovator, creative genius - these are words peers used to describe iconic Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. Many first got word of his passing on one of the devices he helped create and popularize.

Witty journalist – Legendary commentator Andy Rooney was known for his dry wit and profound intelligence to audiences all over the globe. Rooney’s last televised commentary aired on “60 Minutes” on October 2, 2011.  He died about one month after leaving the show at age 92.

More notable faces – CNN looks back at some of the notable people who died in 2011.

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Filed under: 2011 Year in Review • Amy Winehouse • Apple • Celebrity • Elizabeth Taylor • Gotta Watch • Movies • Music • Steve Jobs • Technology
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Mark

    What about Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of C and the Unix operating system? Without him there would be NO Windows, NO Unix, NO Programs, NO Generic-Text Languages, a large setback in computing, we would all read in binary, and we would not be reading the news on the internet because there probably wouldn't be an internet as we know it. Overall, I would say he was the biggest loss of the year 2011, and his work has the largest impact on all of us during our daily lives. RIP Dennis Ritchie.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • infonomics


      December 28, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Also forgot to mention, without him there would be NO Apple products. The language they use is Objective-C that is based off of his work.

      December 28, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Johanson

      someone would have made it if he didnt.

      December 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      @Mike Johanson

      When would they have done it? For all we know if we go with the "someone else would have" done it argument, it could have been another 20 years before there was a need to create C or Unix. That would set us back a good 20 years in computing.

      You then have to ask if that "someones" work would be as impressive and work as well as Dennis Ritchie's work. I mean, all of modern computing is based off of his work in C and Unix. He set the framework for EVERYTHING computer related that followed.

      Also, if you say "someone else would have done it" you could also assume someone else would have made the iPad, iPhone, iPod, and all of Apple Products (to include simply co-starting Apple) if Steve Jobs never lived and expect the products to be as good as the originals.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Saticon

    What about Sherwood Schwartz, the man who gave us hours of laughter and giggles with The Brady Buunch and Gilligan's Island, and who wrote for many of the popular stars for radio back in the day?

    December 28, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Saticon

    Sorry, Brady BUNCH. My "u" key sticks.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Big Brain

    Only 4 people died all year?

    December 28, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. forsingle

    Bigtalls.c0m..a nice club for tàll people to date. You need not to be beautiful or handsome,if you are over 5'8", as long as you are tàll, you are very popular here.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ching Chon Chow Wang Ding Chang Woo IV

    What about by our Beloved Leader who died just a week or two ago? He was an inspiration to my country and the whole world with his generosity and kindness.

    I'll never forget you Kim Jong somethingsomething.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tea4One

    Let's not forget Cheetah-he died yesterday

    December 28, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. I94

    Patrice O'Neal was notable on the fact that he had not one ounce of comedic value in his body. Comparing a so so comedian to a voice that soared is just silly.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Booo

      I disagree. He was very funny and was only beginning to get recognition. Let me guess. You don't own satellite radio service. Furthermore, you're probably a Dane Cook fan, right?

      December 28, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. ForReel


    December 28, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tammy

    Why is it that ppl say "lost" when talking about someone dying or dead? These ppls bodies were not lost, they were dead, they kicked the bucket, they checked out, they expired but they were not lost!

    December 28, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. fernace

    Hey to my blog buds The Real banasy & JIF! Hope y'all are having a wonderful Holiday Season! IMHO death should be celebrated like birth! We all must die, we know that & while it's sad to lose those we love, it is inevitable! No matter our religious beliefs (I for 1 believe in reincarnation), or lack thereof, death is a soothing human experience & rite of passage & each life should be celebrated no matter how short the duration! That's why death should be a time for rejoicing! We've had a chance to know & love a wonderful person as all pain ceases, the annoying aging process stops & whatever happens when the soul moves on is an adventure we wont experience until we step over to the Other Side! I find it extremely exciting! Once I get my 120 years in, I'll be ready for it, Lol! RIP to those who crossed over this year, I wish them peace!!

    December 28, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ fernace:
    Hello. We don't see you enough.
    Do you realize that, as I'm 116 years old, you left me only 4 years to live if I go by your ambition?

    December 28, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©


    You have wriiten everything I feel there is to say.

    Happy New Year!

    December 28, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Keith

    What about Al Gore, who did not invent the internet but did make up global warming? Huge oversight.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      What a tool.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • str8whtguy

      Uh, Gore's still alive, last time I checked...

      December 28, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • NoQuarter

      Gore's still breathing?! Thant's too bad.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Dunn It

      What about Ryan Dunn?

      December 28, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • WDinDallas

      That was good! I think it was his TV channel that died.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc In Mobile

      Keith = idiot

      December 28, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • usa john

      he didnt make up global warming, it was an issue for 25 yrs before he got into it

      December 28, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • bmxgraddad

      There once was a Garfield cartoon that had him looking one way in the first frame and the other way in the second frame and then, in the third frame, Garfleld said, boredom just as far as the eye can see. After reading posts here, one could replace boredom with morons.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. palintwit

    All that talent we lost in 2011. And yet the Palins are still wasting oxygen.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • NOT a Palin fan

      And so are you.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
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