Suicide and mental health
Chester Bennington, 41. Lead singer of Linkin Park
Chris Cornell, 52. lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave
The deaths of these two influential musicians further underscored the need for greater conversation about mental health and suicide. The popularity of their bands and their unique influence made their deaths especially poignant to t generation of younger music fans who had not lost their generation’s musical heroes before. Their deaths brought a new dialogue about the importance of mental health, especially for younger people, and more consideration to the importance of cultivating positive mental health attitudes and attention.
Aaron Hernandez former Tight End, New England Patriots
In what is becoming more than a trend in the discussion about the implications of repeated head injuries and its effects on professional football players, Arron Hernandez’s death was just another reminder of the significant mental health damage taking place in the name of professional sport. The former New England Patriots tight end jailed for killing his friend Odin Lloyd in 2013, committed suicide in his cell, and in his post mortem was said to have one of the severe instances of CTE ever seen in a man of his age. The results of Hernandez’s post mortem are hailed as evidence by some abut the inherent danger of football to the players and why at the professional level the game should be seriously curtailed.
Iconoclasts and Visionaries
Mary Tyler Moore – best known as the star of the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in which her portrayal of professional women helped to reshape the concepts of women on the small sdreen as well as the unique challenges to creating a gender inclusive workplace. Her image and her beret remained iconic for any young woman beginning her career and delving into a world of independence and self-discovery.
Norma McCorvey, Known best for her role in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade in which she was the eponymous Jane Roe. Though the court would end up find in her favor leading to the legalization of abortion, McCorvey would go on to be an outspoken opponent.
Peter Mansfield, As a physicist Mansfield won the Nobel Prize for helping to invent MRI scanners.
Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag that has become a widely recognized symbol of gay rights.
George Romero – Romero is probably best known as the father of the zombie genre as the creative mind behind the 1968 classic "Night of the Living Dead," and the development of the special effects techniques to make the zombies really really scary. Spawning many imitators, and remakes, we must remember the original social commentary that was present even in the original Night of the Living Dead. Romero’s work continuously challenged us a viewers to think critically about right and wrong and to be fearful of group think and mob mentality. He challenged us with heroes that were often people of color, folks from different social classes, and women, who acted selflessly and with true humanity even in the face of gruesome violence and ugliness. A true trend setter, in his first and most important film, Romero’s hero is an African American man who acts in the most heroic manner possible only to save as many people as possible only to have his sacrifice awarded by death due to racism and intolerance.
Marian Cleeves Diamond, a neuroscientist who was one of the first to show that the brain can improve with enrichment.
Dick Gregory, 84. The comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health. An icon in the Black Community, Gregory’s presence is felt well beyond the stage in writings, and commentaries that seek to explore the African-American identity as well as expose the unique terrors and cultural implications of racism in America.