Well, doggone it, there goes another perfectly good year, down the drain. When we could have used it to fix the economy, end world hunger, cure cancer and AIDS, advance the cause of women and children, begin the process of ending illiteracy around the world and landing on Mars, we wasted it on a stupid Presidential election.
So, scroll down and read. Just in the short description of who they were and what they did, you will learn a thing or two.
Ernest Borgnine, 95. Beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955. July 8.
Eugenio de Araujo Sales, 91. Rio de Janeiro's former archbishop who provided shelter to thousands opposed to the military regimes that once ruled Brazil, Argentina and Chile. July 9.
Stephen R. Covey, 79. Author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and three other books that have all sold more than a million copies. July 16. Complications from a bicycle accident.
Jon Lord, 71. British rocker and keyboardist whose driving tones helped turn Deep Purple and Whitesnake into two of the most popular hard rock acts in a generation. July 16.
Kitty Wells, 92. Singer whose hits such as "Making Believe" and "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" made her the first female superstar of country music. July 16.
William Raspberry, 76. He became the second black columnist to win a Pulitzer Prize for his widely read syndicated commentaries in The Washington Post. July 17.
Forrest McCartney, 81. Retired Air Force lieutenant general and former director of Kennedy Space Center who was crucial in getting NASA's shuttles flying again after the Challenger tragedy. July 17.
Sally Ride, 61. She blazed trails into orbit as the first American woman in space. July 23. Pancreatic cancer.
Sherman Hemsley, 74. Actor who made the irascible, bigoted George Jefferson of "The Jeffersons" one of TV's most memorable characters and a symbol for urban upward mobility. July 24.
John Keegan, 78. British academic whose studies of men at war are counted among the classic works of military history. Aug. 2.
Ignacy Skowron, 97. Last known Polish survivor of the opening battle of World War II. Aug. 5.
Bernard Lovell, 98. Pioneering British physicist and astronomer who developed one of the world's largest radio telescopes exploring particles in the universe. Aug. 6.
George Hickman, 88. One of the original Tuskegee airmen and a longtime usher at University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks games. Aug. 19.
Phyllis Diller, 95. Housewife-turned-humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, punctuating her jokes with her trademark cackle. Aug. 20.
Jerry Nelson, 78. Puppeteer behind a delightful menagerie of characters including Count von Count on "Sesame Street" and Gobo Fraggle on "Fraggle Rock." Aug. 23.
Neil Armstrong, 82. He became a global hero when as a steely-nerved astronaut he made "one giant leap for mankind" with a small step onto the moon. Aug. 25.
Juan Valdez, 74. Land grant activist who fired the first shot during a 1967 New Mexico courthouse raid that grabbed international attention and helped spark the Chicano Movement. Aug. 25.
Michael Clarke Duncan, 54. Hulking character actor whose dozens of films included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in "The Green Mile" and such other box office hits as "Armageddon," ''Planet of the Apes" and "Kung Fu Panda." Sept. 3. Heart attack.
Joe South, 72. Singer-songwriter who performed 1960s and '70s hits such as "Games People Play" and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and penned songs including "Down in the Boondocks" for other artists. Sept. 5.
Verghese Kurien, 90. Engineer known as "India's milkman" who helped revolutionize the country's dairy industry despite his own dislike for milk. Sept. 9.
Chris Stevens, 52. U.S. ambassador to Libya and a career diplomat. Sept. 11. Killed during an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
Peter Lougheed, 84. As Alberta's premier, he turned the province into an oil-powered modern giant and an equal player in Canada's confederation. Sept. 13.
Andy Williams, 84. Silky-voiced, clean-cut crooner whose hit recording "Moon River" and years of popular Christmas TV shows brought him fans the world over. Sept. 25.
Barry Commoner, 95. Scientist and activist who raised early concerns about the effects of radioactive fallout and was one of the pioneers of the environmental movement. Sept. 30.
Norodom Sihanouk, 89. The revered former king who was a towering figure in Cambodian politics through a half-century of war, genocide and upheaval. Oct. 15.
E. Donnall Thomas, 92. Physician who pioneered bone marrow transplants and won the 1990 Nobel Prize in medicine. Oct. 20.
George McGovern, 90. Former U.S. senator and a Democrat who lost to President Richard Nixon in 1972 in a landslide. Oct. 21.
Antoni Dobrowolski, 108. Oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, he was a teacher who taught defiance of his native Poland's Nazi occupiers. Oct. 21.
Russell Means, 72. Former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee and also appeared in Hollywood films. Oct. 22.
Milt Campbell, 78. First African-American to win the Olympic decathlon in 1956, he went on to play professional football and become a motivational speaker. Nov. 2.
Ewarda O'Bara, 59. Miami woman who spent 42 years in a coma. Nov. 21.
Larry Hagman, 81. Actor whose predatory oil baron J.R. Ewing on television's nighttime soap opera "Dallas" became a symbol for 1980s greed. Nov. 23.
Joseph E. Murray, 93. Doctor who performed the world's first successful kidney transplant and won a Nobel Prize. Nov. 26.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Cybernetic Atheist