Mourning those who passed away in 2020


Chadwick Boseman at Diego Comic Con. He played many major film roles, including the role of T’Challa from Black Panther and Jackie Robinson from 42. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons/Wikimedia Commons

Vivian Chiang, Staff Writer

2020 is a year mired in conflict from the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential election, and numerous other events that have transpired. Still, the wheel of time turns at the same pace, and there are many we had to say goodbye to this year.
One of the most shocking deaths this year was the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. The well-loved NBA basketball player was involved in an accidental helicopter crash on his way to Thousand Oaks, California. His legacy is a complicated one, but the nation mourned his tragic end. His daughter was a budding star herself, and her death shocked many people.
“Kobe Bryant was a basketball player but also a role model to many athletes around the world,” junior Lily Hughes said. “He was still actively playing and was well respected on the court.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, admired by many for her position as a feminist icon. She died from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. As an associate justice, she transformed the roles of men and women in society, advocating extensively for women’s rights. Her passing was felt by many throughout the country.
“RBG’s passing has probably had the biggest impact on our society, considering the impact she had and the progress she made in ensuring women’s rights in America,” junior Connor McCreesh said. “Her legacy cannot be understated, for she was a true American icon.”
For many fans of hard rock and 80s music, pioneer guitar player Eddie Van Halen’s death was felt acutely. Hailed as a virtuoso of rock guitar, his band Van Halen was one of the most popular rock acts of all time. He died after losing his battle with cancer. For some, this truly marks the end of an era.
One of the more outstanding deaths this year was the murder of George Floyd in police custody, becoming a symbol and rallying point for Black Lives Matter protestors. These protests continued even through pandemic conditions, garnering support and visibility on an international scale. His words, “I can’t breathe,” became the rallying cry for protestors.
“George Floyd has completely changed society with the entire BLM movement, and so many people are fighting for equality,” freshman Artemis Levy Collins said.
Alex Trebek, the popular Jeopardy host, passed away from pancreatic cancer at 80 years old. He had hosted the show for a record 37 years, making him a household name and familiar face to many. Many cannot imagine the show without him, as his consistent presence has become part of the show itself.
“I’ve watched Jeopardy almost every weeknight for many years now, and Trebek brought such an intellect to American television and culture,” McCreesh said, “[It] was always entertaining to see him joke and get snarky with guests.”
Often his counterpart in Saturday Night Live skits, actor Sean Connery also passed away this year. Best known for his role as the original James Bond, the actor had a long and illustrious career, starring in many movies in and out of Hollywood. He died in his sleep at 90 years old.
The news of actor Chadwick Boseman’s death was shocking to the nation. He portrayed superhero King T’Challa, the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and groundbreaking figures such as Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown. His family were at his side when he passed away from Stage Four colon cancer.
“I grew up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Black Panther is by far one of the best Marvel movies,” McCreesh said. “That was not just an entertaining film, but an important film for on screen representation: the first superhero movie with an almost all-black cast. Boseman was also perfect for the role: people failed to appreciate what an amazing actor he was during his time.”