• Notable deaths in December 2012


    Jack Brooks, 89. Longtime Texas congressman who was in the Dallas motorcade in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Dec. 4.

    Besse Cooper, 116. She had been listed as the world's oldest person. Dec. 4.

    Dave Brubeck, 91. Jazz composer and pianist whose pioneering style in pieces such as "Take Five" caught listeners' ears with exotic, challenging rhythms. Dec. 5.

    Ignatius Hazim, 92. Patriarch of a Damascus-based Eastern Orthodox Church. Dec. 5.

    Oscar Niemeyer, 104. Architect who recreated Brazil's sensuous curves in concrete and built the capital of Brasilia as a symbol of the nation's future. Dec. 5.

    Jenni Rivera, 43. California-born singer who became a superstar adored by millions in a male-dominated genre of Mexican-American music. Dec. 9. Plane crash.

    Mary Ann Darling Fischer, 79. She gave birth to the U.S.'s first known surviving quintuplets in 1963 in an event that brought intense media interest in her family life. Dec. 9.

    Norman Joseph Woodland, 91. He was the co-inventor of the bar code that labels nearly every product in stores and has boosted productivity in nearly every sector of commerce worldwide. Dec. 9.

    Galina Vishnevskaya, 86. A world-renowned Russian opera diva who with her husband defied the Soviet regime to give shelter to writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn and suffered exile from her homeland. Dec. 11.

    Ravi Shankar, 92. The sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career. Dec. 11.

    Joe L. Allbritton, 87. He became one of Washington's most influential men through a media conglomerate of newspapers and television stations and a financial empire that once included Riggs Bank. Dec. 12.

    Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, 84. He was the charismatic religious leader of Morocco's largest opposition movement and longtime opponent of two Moroccan kings. Dec. 13.

    Jack Hanlon, 96. He had roles in the 1926 silent classic "The General" and in two 1927 "Our Gang" comedies. Dec. 13.

    Maurice Herzog, 93. He became the first person to scale an 8,000-meter peak but lost all his fingers and toes to frostbite on the way down. Dec. 14.

    Richard Adams, 65. Same-sex marriage campaigner who helped begin the push for gay unions four decades before the issue reached the center of the national consciousness. Dec. 17.

    Charles Durning, 89. Twice nominated for an Oscar, he was dubbed the king of character actors. Dec. 24.

    Jack Klugman, 90. Actor who made an art of gruffness in 1970s and 80s TV in "The Odd Couple" and "Quincy, M.E." Dec. 24.

    Fontella Bass, 72. The St. Louis-born soul singer hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965. Dec. 26.

    Gerry Anderson, 83. He was a puppetry pioneer and creator of the British 1960s sci-fi hit "Thunderbirds" TV show. Dec. 26.

    H. Norman Schwarzkopf, 78. General who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991. Dec. 27.

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