Ronald Reagan (search) changed history with his tough-minded stance on the Soviets and his insistence on the importance of tax cuts.
His influence rings throughout the White House, the Congress and the nation's state capitals, and seemed to sound even louder this election year.
Yasser Arafat (search) was a hero to the Palestinian people, bringing their cause to the world stage, but was a terrorist to many. It could be years before we learn whether his long-term influence will be for the good or ill.
They are two notables who died in 2004 who profoundly influenced world history.
Francis Crick helped alter the history of science as co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. The world of business lost cosmetics queen Estee Lauder and the men who built the Eckerd drugstore and cofounded H&R Block. Archibald Cox and Sam Dash, who died on the same day, helped steer the Watergate investigation. Tug McGraw taught baseball fans that "You gotta believe," while swim coach extraordinaire Doc Counsilman watched his athletes win medal after medal, including 26 Olympic golds.
Through her seminars and best-selling books, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross taught the medical profession — and all of us — to treat the dying with compassion and understanding.
In the arts, we lost Ray Charles, the giant of soul whose music touched our hearts even as our feet were pounding along with his rhythms. We said farewell to Marlon Brando, whose realistic, macho acting style redefined Hollywood stardom, and Fay Wray, who forever thrilled film fans as the girl who captivated King Kong.
Photographers Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson captured a world of humanity with their lenses. Robert Merrill thrilled opera lovers and baseball fans with his rich baritone. Czeslaw Milosz won a Nobel in literature for his poetry.
Christopher Reeve (search) made us gasp — and chuckle — as the movies' Superman, then showed real-life courage by fighting his paralyzing injury and lobbying for funds to do more for others like him. Bob Keeshan helped raise the Baby Boomers and generations to follow as television's Captain Kangaroo. Alistair Cooke and Julia Child were superstars of public television.
Here, a roll call of those we lost in 2004. (Cause of death of younger notables when available.)
Brian Gibson, 59. Director of acclaimed films including "What's Love Got To Do with It?" Jan. 4. Cancer.
James E. "Doc" Counsilman, 83. Innovative swim coach, led Indiana University to six NCAA championships and coached 48 Olympians including Mark Spitz. Jan. 4.
Michael Straight, 87. Former New Republic publisher; onetime spy recruit who helped unmask Anthony Blunt. Jan. 4.
John Toland, 91. Won 1971 Pulitzer for nonfiction for "The Rising Sun," on the Japanese empire during World War II. Jan. 4.
Tug McGraw, 59. Relief pitcher with Mets, Phillies; known for slogan "You Gotta Believe." Father of country music star Tim McGraw. Jan. 5. Brain cancer.
Norman Heatley, 92. British scientist whose work on penicillin production helped save countless lives. Jan. 5.
Francesco Scavullo, 82. Fashion photographer who made beautiful women even more so; shot Cosmopolitan covers for decades. Jan. 6.
Ingrid Thulin, 77. Swedish actress acclaimed for work with Ingmar Bergman ("Wild Strawberries," "Brink of Life"). Jan. 7.
Alfred Pugh, 108. Last known combat-wounded U.S. veteran of World War I. Jan. 7.
Thomas Kindness, 74. Six-term Ohio congressman. Jan. 8.
Philip Geyelin, 80. Pulitzer-winning journalist, credited with turning Washington Post editorial page against Vietnam War. Jan. 9.
Spalding Gray, 62. Actor-writer who laid bare his life in acclaimed monologues like "Swimming to Cambodia." Jan. 10. Apparent suicide.
Harold Shipman, 57. British doctor blamed for killing at least 215 elderly patients. Jan. 13. Hanged himself in prison.
David N. Henderson, 82. Eight-term North Carolina congressman; helped create Cape Lookout National Seashore. Jan. 13.
Uta Hagen, 84. Actress who dazzled Broadway audiences for more than 50 years, particularly as brutal Martha in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Jan. 14.
Ray Stark, 88. Hollywood power broker; produced "Funny Girl," "The Way We Were." Jan. 17.
Harry "The Cat" Brecheen, 89. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, won three games in 1946 World Series. Jan. 17.
Harry Claiborne, 86. Federal judge, was impeached and removed after conviction for filing false tax returns. Jan. 19.
Jerry Nachman, 57. Colorful journalist; editor of the New York Post, later vice president and host on MSNBC. Jan. 20. Cancer.
Bernard Punsly, 80. Last surviving member of the movies' "Dead End Kids." Jan. 20.
Ann Miller, 81. Fast-tapped her way to movie stardom in musicals like "On the Town," "Easter Parade" and "Kiss Me Kate"; dazzled Broadway in "Sugar Babies." Jan. 22.
Bob Keeshan, 76. Gently entertained generations of youngsters as TV's walrus-mustachioed Captain Kangaroo and became an outspoken opponent of violence in children's television. Jan. 23.
Helmut Newton, 83. Acclaimed fashion photographer who was a trailblazer in exploring power, gender roles and an icy sexuality in his pictures. Jan. 23.
Adella Wotherspoon, 100. Believed to be last survivor of 1904 sinking of the excursion ferry General Slocum that killed more than 1,000 in New York. Jan. 26.
Jack Paar, 85. Made the "The Tonight Show" the talk show everybody talked about, setting the stage for Johnny Carson and many others. Jan. 27.
Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, 80. NFL Hall of Famer; earned nickname for erratic running style. Jan. 28.
Former Navy Cmdr. Lloyd "Pete" Bucher, 76. Helped his USS Pueblo crew survive brutal captivity in North Korea, then faced criticism back home. Jan. 28.
Louie B. Nunn, 79. As Kentucky governor, oversaw revamping of mental-health system. Jan. 29.
Warren Zimmermann, 69. Last U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia before its breakup. Feb. 3.
Frances Partridge, 103. British diarist, part of the literary Bloomsbury Group. Feb. 5.
Retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, 91. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; headed Navy during Vietnam War. Feb. 5.
Jerome F. Lederer, 101. Aviation safety expert, aided in Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight, NASA missions. Feb. 6.
Jozef Lenart, 80. Former Czechoslovak prime minister; cleared of treason over role in 1968 Soviet-led invasion. Feb. 11.
Jose Lopez Portillo, 83. Governed Mexico from 1976 to 1982, through oil-driven boom to debt-induced bust. Feb. 17.
Frank del Olmo, 55. Pulitzer-winning Los Angeles Times journalist, voice for Hispanics. Feb. 19. Apparent heart attack.
Daniel J. Boorstin, 89. Former Librarian of Congress; million-selling historian, social critic. Feb. 28.
Fred Benninger, 86. Gambling executive; helped build some of Las Vegas' best-known properties. Feb. 29.
Marge Schott, 75. Tough-talking owner of Cincinnati Reds; repeatedly suspended for offensive remarks. March 2.
Mercedes McCambridge, 87. Oscar-winning actress; provided demon-possessed girl's voice in "The Exorcist." March 2.
Mike O'Callaghan, 74. Nevada governor in 1970s. March 5.
Paul Winfield, 62. Oscar-nominated actor ("Sounder") known for versatility on stage, screen. March 7.
Abul Abbas, 56. Palestinian who planned hijacking of the Achille Lauro passenger ship. March 8. Natural causes in U.S. custody.
Robert D. Orr, 86. Championed educational reform as Indiana governor in 1980s. March 10.
Sidney L. James, 97. Founding editor of Sports Illustrated. March 11.
William H. Pickering, 93. Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; oversaw launch of first U.S. satellite in 1958. March 15.
John "J.J." Jackson, 62. Helped usher in music video era as early MTV personality. March 17.
Former Queen Juliana, 94. Reigned 32 years as Dutch queen. March 20.
John C. West, 81. Former South Carolina governor; helped smooth racial tensions after patrolmen killed three black protesters. March 21.
Sheik Ahmed Yassin, around 70. Founder of Islamic militant group Hamas; killed by Israelis. March 22.
Joshua Eilberg, 83. Six-term Pennsylvania congressman; on House Judiciary Committee during Nixon impeachment hearings. March 24.
J. Edward Roush, 83. Indiana congressman for 16 years; beaten by Dan Quayle in 1976. March 26.
Jan Berry, 62. Half of surf music duo Jan & Dean ("Dead Man's Curve"). March 26.
Sir Peter Ustinov, 82. Won two Oscars for an acting career that ranged from the evil emperor Nero in "Quo Vadis" to Agatha Christie detective Hercule Poirot. March 28.
Alistair Cooke, 95. Urbane host of television's "Masterpiece Theatre"; interpreter of U.S. culture for decades on BBC's "Letter from America." March 30.
Carrie Snodgress, 57. Oscar-nominated actress ("Diary of a Mad Housewife"). April 1. Heart failure.
Fred Olivi, 82. Copiloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. April 8.
Phil Sokolof, 82. Nebraska multimillionaire, used wealth to press for better nutrition. April 15.
Jim Cantalupo, 60. McDonald's CEO, helped engineer turnaround by focusing on service, healthier food. April 19. Apparent heart attack.
Frank Morrison, 98. Governor of Nebraska during tumultuous '60s. April 19.
John Maynard Smith, 84. Leading British evolutionary biologist. April 19.
Norris McWhirter, 78. Co-founder of Guinness Book of Records. April 19.
Mary McGrory, 85. Washington Post columnist; won Pulitzer for Watergate writings. April 21.
Pat Tillman, 27. NFL player who traded in multimillion-dollar contract to serve as Army Ranger in Afghanistan. April 22. Killed in action.
Estee Lauder, 97. Built multimillion-dollar cosmetics empire. April 24.
Hubert Selby Jr., 75. Wrote acclaimed 1964 novel "Last Exit to Brooklyn." April 26.
Gaetano Badalamenti, 80. Once described as "boss of all bosses" of the Sicilian Mafia. 80. April 29.
Marvin Runyon, 79. Postmaster general in the 1990s; stressed customer service, tight budgeting. May 3.
Darrell Johnson, 75. Managed Boston Red Sox to the 1975 World Series. May 3.
Retired Gen. Robert F. Seedlock, 91. Led arduous construction of the Burma Road during World War II. May 5.
Elizabeth Ann Swift Cronin, 63. One of those held hostage at U.S. Embassy in Iran. May 7.
Alan King, 76. Witty comedian, known for tirades against everyday suburban life. May 9.
Akhmad Kadyrov, 52. Kremlin-backed leader of Russia's troubled Chechnya province. May 9. Assassinated in bombing.
Paul F. Wehrle, 82. Disease expert; helped battle smallpox, polio. May 11.
Col. Robert Morgan, 85. Commander of famed Memphis Belle B-17 bomber during World War II. May 15.
Tony Randall, 84. Comic actor; the fastidious Felix Unger in "The Odd Couple" and fussbudget pal in several Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies. May 17.
Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, 97. In 1938 she discovered a live coelacanth, a prehistoric fish thought to be extinct. May 17.
Arnold Beckman, 104. Prolific inventor of scientific instruments; philanthropist. May 18.
Elvin Ray Jones, 76. Renowned jazz drummer; in John Coltrane's quartet. May 18.
Jack Eckerd, 91. Formed drugstore empire that bears his name; philanthropist. May 19.
Samuel Johnson, 76. Built family's SC Johnson wax company into consumer products giant. May 22.
David Dellinger, 88. Peace activist; one of Chicago Seven tried for protests during 1968 Democratic National Convention. May 25.
Roger W. Straus Jr., 87. Co-founded publishing house Farrar, Straus & Giroux. May 25.
Sam Dash, 79. Attorney whose questions during Senate Watergate hearings made him a household name. May 29.
Archibald Cox, 92. The special prosecutor fired by President Nixon for refusing to curtail his Watergate investigation in the "Saturday Night Massacre." May 29.
Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan, 114. Puerto Rican woman recognized as world's oldest living person. May 29.
Alberta Martin, 97. One of the last widows of a Civil War veteran; belle of Confederate history buffs. May 31.
William Manchester, 82. Historian who brought a novelist's flair to biographies of such giants as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy. June 1.
Dr. Charles Kelman, 74. Developed outpatient cataract operation that has helped millions. June 1.
Frances Shand Kydd, 67. Princess Diana's mother. June 3.
Ronald Reagan, 93. The cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was "morning again in America." June 5.
James M. Roche, 97. As General Motors CEO, helped promote equal opportunity. June 6.
Ray Charles, 73. Transcendent talent who erased musical boundaries with hits such as "What'd I Say," "Georgia on My Mind" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." June 10.
Robert Teeter, 65. Influential Republican pollster; worked in several presidential races. June 13.
Al Lapin Jr., 76. Co-founded International House of Pancakes in 1958. June 16.
Clayton Kirkpatrick, 89. Oversaw vast changes as editor of Chicago Tribune. June 19.
Mattie Stepanek, 13. Child poet whose inspirational verse made him a best-selling writer ("Heartsongs") and a prominent voice for muscular dystrophy sufferers. June 22.
Bob Bemer, 84. Computer pioneer; published early warnings of the Y2K problem. June 22.
Marlon Brando, 80. Revolutionized American acting with "A Streetcar Named Desire"; created the iconic character of Vito Corleone in "The Godfather." July 1.
Isabel Sanford, 86. "Weezie" on "The Jeffersons." July 9.
Laurance Rockefeller, 94. Conservationist, philanthropist; one of six children of John D. Rockefeller Jr. July 11.
Carlos Kleiber, 74. Celebrated German-born conductor. July 13
Charles W. Sweeney, 84. Piloted the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. July 15.
George Busbee, 76. Georgia governor in 1975-83, campaigned as "a workhorse, not a showhorse." July 16.
Robert Smylie, 89. Three-term Idaho governor; got sales tax passed. July 17.
David A. Wallace, 87. Urban planner, revived Baltimore's Inner Harbor. July 19.
Anne McGill Gorsuch Burford, 62. Reagan's Environmental Protection Agency chief; quit under fire from environmentalists. July 18.
Richard Bloch, 78. Co-founded H&R Block, world's largest tax preparer. July 21.
Ed Lewis, 86. Won Nobel in 1995 for studies into how genes regulate body development. July 21.
Illinois Jacquet, 81. Saxophonist who played with nearly every jazz luminary of his time. July 22.
Wilton Mkwayi, 81. Apartheid foe, imprisoned alongside former South African President Nelson Mandela. July 23.
Fred LaRue, 75. Special assistant to John Mitchell, Nixon's attorney general; served a prison term for Watergate. July 24.
Francis Crick, 88. Nobel Prize-winning scientist who with James Watson discovered the structure of DNA. July 28.
Alexandra Scott, 8. Cancer patient who started Alex's Lemonade Stand charity. Aug. 1.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, 95. Acclaimed French photographer whose pictures defined the mid-20th century and inspired generations to follow. Aug. 3. Rick James, 56. Funk legend known for 1981 hit "Super Freak." Aug. 6.
"Red" Adair, 89. Celebrated oil field firefighter, inspired John Wayne film "Hellfighters." Aug. 7.
Fay Wray, 96. The damsel held atop the Empire State Building by the ape in "King Kong." Aug. 8.
Julia Child, 91. Brought the intricacies of French cuisine to Americans through her television series and books. Aug. 13.
Czeslaw Milosz, 93. Polish poet and Nobel laureate known for his intellectual and emotional works about some of the worst cruelties of the 20th century. Aug. 14.
William D. Ford, 77. Fifteen-term Michigan congressman; helped to expand educational opportunities. Aug. 14.
Paul Ngei, 81. Hero of Kenya's independence movement revolt against British colonial rule. Aug. 15.
Sune Bergstroem, 88. Swedish scientist, shared 1982 Nobel in medicine. Aug. 15.
Hiram L. Fong, 97. First Asian-American elected to Senate, representing Hawaii for three terms. Aug. 18.
Elmer Bernstein, 82. Oscar-winning composer, scored such classics as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Great Escape." Aug. 18.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, 78. Psychiatrist who revolutionized the way the world looks at the terminally ill with "On Death and Dying." Aug. 24.
Laura Branigan, 47. Grammy-nominated singer; had 1982 platinum hit "Gloria." Aug. 26. Brain aneurysm.
Fred L. Whipple, 97. Harvard astronomer who proposed the "dirty snowball" theory that revolutionized the study of comets. Aug. 30.
Herbert H. Haft, 84. Multimillionaire retailer; offered goods from books to prescription drugs at a discount. Sept. 1.
Kirk Fordice, 70. Hard-nosed businessman who in 1992 became Mississippi's first Republican governor in more than 100 years. Sept. 7.
Richard G. Butler, 86. Notorious white supremacist; dubbed "elder statesman of American hate." Sept. 8.
Brock Adams, 77. Transportation secretary under President Carter; represented Washington state in House, Senate. Sept. 10.
Fred Ebb, about 76. Wrote lyrics for "Chicago" and "Cabaret" as well as "New York, New York." Sept. 11.
James David Barber, 74. Political scientist, wrote influential book "The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House." Sept. 12.
Reynaldo Garza, 89. First Hispanic federal judge, appointed in 1961. Sept. 14.
Johnny Ramone, 55. Co-founded supremely influential punk band "The Ramones." Sept. 15. Prostate cancer.
Marvin Mitchelson, 76. Hollywood divorce lawyer, pioneered the "palimony" concept. Sept. 18.
Russ Meyer, 82. Producer-director who helped spawn the "skin flick" — and later gained a measure of critical respect — for such films as "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Sept. 18.
Eddie Adams, 71. Photojournalist who took the Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photo of a guerrilla being executed in a Saigon street. Sept. 19.
Francoise Sagan, 69. French author, famous in her teens for the best-selling "Bonjour Tristesse." Sept. 24.
Marvin Davis, 79. Billionaire oilman, philanthropist and, in the 1980s, owner of 20th Century Fox. Sept. 25.
Geoffrey Beene, 77. Designer whose classic styles put him at the forefront of American fashion. Sept. 28.
Richard Avedon, 81. Redefined fashion photography as an art form while achieving acclaim through his stark portraits of the powerful. Oct. 1.
Janet Leigh, 77. Wholesome beauty whose shocking murder in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Psycho" is a landmark of film. Oct. 3.
Gordon Cooper, 77. Youngest of the original seven Mercury astronauts; achieved many key firsts including first astronaut in space for 24 hours. Oct. 4.
Rodney Dangerfield, 82. The bug-eyed comic whose self-deprecating "I don't get no respect" brought him stardom in clubs, television and movies. Oct. 5.
Maurice Wilkins, 88. British scientist who shared the 1962 Nobel for groundbreaking work on DNA. Oct. 5.
Johnny Kelley, 97. The heart and soul of the Boston Marathon, running it a record 61 times, winning twice. Oct. 6.
Jacques Derrida, 74. World-renowned thinker who founded the school of literary analysis known as deconstructionism. Oct. 8.
Maxime A. Faget, 83. NASA engineer who designed the original spacecraft for Project Mercury. Oct. 9.
Christopher Reeve, 52. "Superman" actor who became the nation's most recognizable spokesman for spinal cord research after a paralyzing accident. Oct. 10.
Ken Caminiti, 41. Baseball MVP in 1996; stirred controversy by admitting to steroid use. Oct. 10 Accidental drug overdose.
Martin M. Kaplan, 89. Secretary-general of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash conferences on disarmament. Oct. 16.
Pierre Salinger, 79. JFK's press secretary; later top correspondent for ABC News. Oct. 16.
Paul H. Nitze, 97. Arms control adviser who served under eight presidents and helped frame the Cold War policy of containment. Oct. 19.
Robert Merrill, 87. Metropolitan Opera superstar equally at home singing the national anthem at Yankee Stadium. Oct. 23.
Vaughn Meader, 68. Gained instant fame satirizing John F. Kennedy in the multimillion-selling album "The First Family"; his star plummeted after the assassination. Oct. 29.
Edward Oliver Leblanc, 81. Former Dominica premier; helped the Caribbean island in its transition to independence. Oct. 29.
Theo van Gogh, 47. Outspoken Dutch filmmaker; great-grandnephew of Vincent. Nov. 2. Murdered, apparently by Islamic radicals.
Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, 86. Longtime ruler of United Arab Emirates; built it into a high-tech crossroads. Nov. 2.
Howard Keel, 85. Broad-shouldered baritone in glittery MGM musicals ("Kiss Me Kate," "Annie Get Your Gun"); later on "Dallas." Nov. 7.
Yasser Arafat, 75. Palestinian guerrilla leader turned Nobel Peace Prize winner, but also reviled as a sponsor of terrorism. Nov. 11.
O.D.B., 35. The rapper (real name: Russell Jones) whose unique rhymes, wild lifestyle made him one of the most vivid characters in hip-hop. Nov. 13.
Thomas M. Foglietta, 75. Six-term Philadelphia congressman, ambassador to Italy. Nov. 13.
Elmer L. Andersen, 95. Liberal Republican who as governor of Minnesota pressed for human rights. Nov. 15.
Reed Irvine, 82. Founder of the conservative watchdog group Accuracy in Media. Nov. 16.
Bobby Frank Cherry, 74. Ex-Klansman convicted in 1963 Birmingham, Ala., church bombing that killed four black girls. Nov. 18.
Cy Coleman, 75. Composer of Broadway musicals ("Sweet Charity," "City of Angels"); pop songs ("The Best Is Yet to Come"). Nov. 18.
Sir John Vane, 77. Shared 1982 Nobel in medicine for work discovering how aspirin works. Nov. 19.
Fred Hale Sr., 113. Documented as the world's oldest man. Nov. 19.
Ancel Keys, 100. Scientist who invented the K rations eaten by soldiers in World War II and helped show how fat is linked to heart attacks. Nov. 20.
Joseph John Sisco, 85. Diplomat whose State Department career spanned five presidential administrations; involved in Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy. Nov. 23.
Arthur Hailey, 84. Best-selling author whose novel "Airport" inspired a run of big disaster movies. Nov. 24.
Philippe de Broca, 71. French director whose 1960s films "The Man from Rio" and "King of Hearts" brought him wide renown. Nov. 26.
The Rev. Billy James Hargis, 79. Leading radio, television evangelist, anti-communist crusader. Nov. 27.
Prince Bernhard, 93. German-born father of the Netherlands' Queen Beatrix who earned the respect of the Dutch during the Nazi occupation. Dec. 1.
Dame Alicia Markova, 94. One of the 20th century's greatest ballerinas and a co-founder of the English National Ballet. Dec. 2.
Josef Schwammberger, 92. Sadistic Nazi labor-camp commander; hid for 40 years in Argentina before his capture. Dec. 3.
Jay Van Andel, 80. Billionaire co-founder of Amway Corp., which sells household products through independent, mom-and-pop distributors. Dec. 7.
"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, 38. Acclaimed guitarist with Grammy-nominated heavy-metal band Pantera and more recently Damageplan. Dec. 8. Shot to death during a performance.
Reggie White, 43. NFL defensive great for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. Dec. 26. Respiratory ailment suspected in death.
Susan Sontag, 71. National Book Award-winning author, essayist and activist. Dec. 28.
Jerry Orbach, 69. Star of stage, screen and television, most notably for role as world-weary cop on "Law & Order." Dec. 28. Died of prostate cancer.
Artie Shaw, 94. Swing-era bandleader famous for recording of "Begin the Beguine." Dec. 30.