The TX. 10: Famous folks who died young

Thursday , November 09, 2017 - 12:45 AM

AP Photo/Joao Silva, File

FILE - In this Tuesday, January 14, 1997 file photo, Britain's Diana, Princess of Wales, talks to amputees at the Neves Bendinha Orthopedic Workshop in the outskirts of Luanda, Angola.

By SIENA CUMMINGS
TX. Correspondent

Many people in history have inspired, motivated and blessed the lives of others all across the globe. Unfortunately, some of those individuals who have positively impacted society have passed on too soon, dying before or at the age of 50.

However, that does not mean we may no longer experience their vision and gifts. Here are 10 people who have left their work, genius and dreams behind for others to enjoy and find inspiration from for generations to come.

1. James Dean. Only 24 years old, Dean died in a car crash while driving his Porsche 550 Spyder on a California highway on Sept.30, 1955. Dean really was America’s “Rebel Without A Cause,” always living fast and on the edge.

2. Elvis Presley. Crowned the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis died at 42 in his Graceland mansion on Aug. 6, 1977, after suffering a heart attack. However, no matter how many years go by, I “Can’t Help Falling in Love” with Elvis over and over again.

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3. Michael Jackson. A “thriller” of the music industry, Jackson unexpectedly passed away in his Los Angeles home on the morning of June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. Jackson suffered from cardiac arrest caused by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication.

4. Princess Diana. Described as England’s “candle in the wind,” Diana, Princess of Wales, 36, died in a traffic collision after being chased by paparazzi on Aug. 31, 1997. This year was the 20th anniversary of Diana’s passing.

5. John F. Kennedy. While riding in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated at the age of 46. Although only being president for two years, J.F.K. left behind a great legacy that continues to influence the American people today.

6. Judy Garland. On June 22, 1969, at the age of 47, Garland passed away in the United Kingdom from a barbiturate overdose. Attaining international stardom at the young age of 16, Judy Garland was one of America’s most beloved female performers, her most successful picture being “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

7. John Lennon. “Imagine” what music we would have if Beatle John Lennon had not been assassinated by Mark David Chapman at the age of 40 on the evening of Dec. 8, 1980. A voice of the people, Lennon’s songwriting and vocal skills will live on forever, especially for his remaining co-artists Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

8. Whitney Houston.  On Feb. 11, 2012, at 48 years old, singer Houston died of coronary artery disease, a fatal heart attack, drug abuse (particularly cocaine), and drowning in her hotel room’s bathtub. We will always love Whitney Houston for her spirit, incredible talent and ability to persuade us to “Dance with Somebody.”

9. Karen Carpenter. At 32 years old, Carpenter passed away in Downey, California, after years of suffering from anorexia nervosa. With a voice that cannot be replicated, Carpenter and her “Merry Christmas Darling” have remained an icon of the Christmas season, despite the song being 47 years old.

10. Steve McQueen. Fifty-year-old McQueen died from cardiac arrest Nov. 7, 1980, after 12 hours of surgery to remove numerous tumors located in his neck and abdomen. Most known for his lead role in “The Great Escape,” McQueen was a rebel of society, inspiring others to take chances and to live like there was no tomorrow.

— Siena Cummings, Rocky Mountain Junior High