Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, 43, was found dead inside his Oceanside, Calif., home in May, after police responded to a call about a gunshot. Police said he died of a "self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.”
Singing legend Etta James, whose voice lit up such hits as "The Wallflower," "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and the wedding favorite "At Last," died in January from complications from leukemia. She was 73.
Joe Paterno, whose career as the most successful coach in college football history ended abruptly amid allegations that he failed to respond to a sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant, died in January after battling lung cancer. He was 85.
Don Cornelius, the 75-year-old founder and former host of the "Soul Train" television show, was found dead in February. Police said his death came from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
Singer Whitney Houston was found dead in February in a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel room. She was 48. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled that her death was an accidental drowning after she was discovered face down in a bath tub.
Singer Davy Jones, who won over millions of fans on the 1960s television series "The Monkees," died in February after suffering a heart attack. He was 66.
Andrew Breitbart, the 43-year-old conservative blogger and journalist whose posting of a sexually explicit photo of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner led to the congressman's downfall, died of heart failure in March.
Thomas Kinkade, one of the most popular artists in the U.S., died at his California home in April at age 54. A medical examiner in Santa Clara County, Calif., ruled that his death was from an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium.
Veteran journalist Mike Wallace died in April at a care facility in New Canaan, Conn. He was 93. No cause of death was reported
Dick Clark, the creator and longtime host of television’s "American Bandstand," died in April after suffering a heart attack. He was 82.
Adam "MCA" Yauch, one of the founding members of the rap band the Beastie Boys, died in May after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 47.
Maurice Sendak, acclaimed author of the classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are," died in May of complications from a stroke. He was 83.
Donna Summer, known as the "Queen of Disco" whose recording hits included "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls" and "She Works Hard for the Money," died in May after a battle with cancer. She was 63.
Robin Gibb, one of three brothers who made up the iconic 70s singing group the Bee Gees, died in May at age 62, after a long battle with cancer.
Richard Dawson, the former host of the television game show "Family Feud," died in June of complications due to esophageal cancer. He was 79.
Ray Bradbury was an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer. He was best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. He passed away in June at the age of 91.
Rodney King was the victim of a police beating in Los Angeles in 1991. Acquittal of the officers involved triggered riots in 1992. King died of an accidental drowining in June.
Nora Ephron was a novelist, filmmaker and screenwriter. She passed away in June.
Andy Griffith was an actor, director and producer. He died in July.
Stephen R. Covey was a motivational speaker who wrote "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." He passed away in July.
Sally Ride was a former NASA astronaut and was the first American woman to fly in space. She passed away in July.
Sherman Hemsley was an actor, best known for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons." He died in July .
Gore Vidal was a writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He passed away in July of complications from pneumonia.
Marvin Hamlisch was a composer and conductor. He was one of only eleven EGOTs -- those who have been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He was also one of only two people to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize. He died in August.
British director Tony Scott, best known for the films "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died in August from injuries suffered from an apparent jump from a Los Angeles bridge. He was 68.
Comedian Phyllis Diller, known for her self-deprecating humor, died in August. Diller was 95.
Neil Armstrong, the American space legend who made "one giant leap for mankind" when he became the first man to walk on the moon, died in August. He was 82.
Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1999 film "The Green Mile," died in September at age 54.
American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died in a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. He was 52.
Singer and Emmy-winning TV host Andy Williams passed away in September.
Film and television actor Ernest Borgnine, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a lovelorn butcher in 1955's "Marty," and was heralded for his role in the 1960s sitcom "McHale's Navy," died of kidney failure in September. He was 95.
Arlen Specter served for 30 years as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvannia. He died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in October.
George McGovern was a U.S. representative and senator. He was also the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election. He passed away in October.
David Copley was the former owner and publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was also a noted philanthropist. He died in November from an apparent heart attack while driving his Aston Martin in La Jolla.
Actor Larry Hagman, who created one of television's iconic villains with the treacherous J.R. Ewing of "Dallas," died in November at a Dallas hospital of complications from cancer, according to a family statement. He was 81.
Hector "Macho" Camacho was a Puerto Rican professional boxer. He died in November after he was shot in Puerto Rico.