One would have to go back hundreds of years to find a monarch who reigned longer than Queen Elizabeth II.
In her 70 years on the throne, she helped modernize the monarchy across decades of enormous social change, royal marriages and births, and family scandals. For most Britons, she was the only monarch they had ever known.
Her death in September was arguably the most high-profile death this year, prompting a collective outpouring of grief and respect for her steady leadership as well as some criticism of the monarchy's role in colonialism. She likely met more people than anyone in history, and her image - on stamps, coins and bank notes - was among the most reproduced in the world.
Other world leaders who died in 2022 include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who died in August. His efforts to revitalize the Soviet Union led to the collapse of communism there and the end of the Cold War. He eventually resigned after an attempted coup, just as republics declared independence from the Soviet Union.
The year also saw the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot during a campaign speech in July.
Other political figures who died this year include: former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble, former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, former Mexico President Luis Echeverria, former Peru President Francisco Morales Bermudez, Cuban diplomat Ricardo Alarcón, former U.S. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt and former U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Among the entertainers who died this year was groundbreaking actor Sidney Poitier, who played roles with such dignity that it helped change the way Black people are portrayed on screen. Poitier, who died in January, became the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1963 film "Lilies of the Field."
Others in the world of arts and entertainment who died in 2022 include: director Jean-Luc Godard; filmmaker Ivan Reitman; visual artists Paula Rego and Carmen Herrera; fashion designers Issey Miyake and Hanae Mori; fashion editor André Leon Talley; country singers Loretta Lynn and Naomi Judd; rock star Meat Loaf; Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie; Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins; Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy "Fletch" Fletcher; Bollywood singer and composer Bappi Lahiri; singer-actors Olivia Newton-John and Irene Cara; "Sesame Street" actor Bob McGrath; jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis; rappers Coolio and Takeoff; singers Ronnie Spector, Judith Durham, Lata Mangeshkar and Gal Costa; and actors Angela Lansbury, Leslie Jordan, Bob Saget, Tony Dow, Kirstie Alley, Nichelle Nichols, Ray Liotta, Irene Papas, Sally Kellerman, Anne Heche, Bernard Cribbins, Yvette Mimieux and June Brown.
Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2022 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):
Sidney Poitier, 94. He played roles of such dignity and intelligence that he transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, becoming the first Black actor to win an Oscar for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw. Jan. 6.
Meat Loaf, 74. The rock superstar loved by millions for his "Bat Out of Hell" album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as "Paradise By the Dashboard Light," "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)." Jan. 20.
Lata Mangeshkar, 92. A legendary Indian singer with a prolific, groundbreaking catalog and a voice recognized by more than a billion people in South Asia. Feb. 6.
Betty Davis, 77. A bold and pioneering funk singer, model and songwriter of the 1960s and '70s who was credited with inspiring then-husband Miles Davis' landmark fusion of jazz and more contemporary sounds. Feb. 9.
Bappi Lahiri, 69. A popular Bollywood singer and composer who won millions of fans with his penchant for feet-tapping disco music in the 1980s and 1990s. Feb. 15.
Shane Warne, 52. He was regarded as one of the greatest players, most astute tacticians and ultimate competitors in the long history of cricket. March 4.
William Hurt, 71. His laconic charisma and self-assured subtlety as an actor made him one of the 1980s foremost leading men in movies such as "Broadcast News," "Body Heat" and "The Big Chill." March 13.
Brent Renaud, 50. An acclaimed filmmaker who traveled to some of the darkest and most dangerous corners of the world for documentaries that transported audiences to little-known places of suffering. March 13. Killed in Ukraine when Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle.
Madeleine Albright, 84. A child refugee from Nazi- and then Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe who rose to become the first female secretary of state and a mentor to many current and former American statesmen and women. March 23.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 75. The Russian nationalist leader was a senior lawmaker whose sulphurous rhetoric and antics alarmed the West but appealed to Russians' aggrievement and wounded pride. April 6.
Orrin G. Hatch, 88. The longest-serving Republican senator in history who was a fixture in Utah politics for more than four decades. April 23.
Shireen Abu Akleh, 51. A correspondent who became a household name synonymous with Al Jazeera's coverage of life under occupation during her more than two decades reporting in the Palestinian territories. May 11. Fatally shot during an Israeli raid in the West Bank.
Robert C. McFarlane, 84. The former White House national security adviser was a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an illegal arms-for-hostages deal known as the Iran-Contra affair. May 12.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 73. The United Arab Emirates' long-ailing ruler and president who oversaw much of the country's blistering economic growth and whose name was immortalized on the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. May 13.
Vangelis, 79. The Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy Award-winning score for the film "Chariots of Fire" and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series. May 17.
Ray Liotta, 67. The actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in "Goodfellas" and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams." May 26.
Andy "Fletch" Fletcher, 60. Keyboardist for British synth pop giants Depeche Mode for more than 40 years. May 26.
Valery Ryumin, 82. A veteran Russian cosmonaut who set space endurance records on Soviet missions, then returned to orbit after a long absence to fly on a U.S. space shuttle. June 6.
Mark Shields, 85. A political commentator and columnist who shared his insight into American politics and wit on "PBS NewsHour" for decades. June 18.
James Caan, 82. The curly-haired tough guy known to movie fans as the hotheaded Sonny Corleone of "The Godfather" and to television audiences as both the dying football player in the classic weeper "Brian's Song" and the casino boss in "Las Vegas." July 6.
Shinzo Abe, 67. Japan's longest serving prime minister, he was also perhaps the most polarizing, complex politician in recent Japanese history. July 8. Fatally shot during a campaign speech.
Ivana Trump, 73. A skier-turned-businesswoman who formed half of a publicity power couple in the 1980s as the first wife of former President Donald Trump and mother of his oldest children. July 14. Injuries suffered in an accident.
David Trimble, 77. A former Northern Ireland first minister who won the Nobel Peace Prize for playing a key role in helping end Northern Ireland's decades of violence. July 25.
Ayman al-Zawahri, 71. An Egyptian surgeon who became a mastermind of jihad against the West and who took over as al-Qaida leader after Osama bin Laden's death in a U.S. raid. July 31. Killed by a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan.
Fidel Valdez Ramos, 94. The former Philippine president was a U.S.-trained ex-general who saw action in the Korean and Vietnam wars and played a key role in a 1986 pro-democracy uprising that ousted a dictator. July 31.
Issey Miyake, 84. He built one of Japan's biggest fashion brands and was known for his boldly sculpted pleated pieces as well as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' black turtlenecks. Aug. 5.
Olivia Newton-John, 73. The Grammy-winning superstar who reigned on pop, country, adult contemporary and dance charts with such hits as "Physical" and "You're the One That I Want" and won countless hearts as everyone's favorite Sandy in the blockbuster film version of "Grease." Aug. 8.
Anne Heche, 53. The Emmy-winning film and television actor whose dramatic Hollywood rise in the 1990s and accomplished career contrasted with personal chapters of turmoil. Aug. 14. Injuries suffered in a car crash.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, 62. A veteran stock market investor and Indian billionaire nicknamed India's own Warren Buffett. Aug. 14.
Dr. Nafis Sadik, 92. A Pakistani doctor who championed women's health and rights and spearheaded the breakthrough action plan adopted by 179 countries at the 1994 United Nations population conference. Aug. 14.
Mikhail Gorbachev, 91. The last leader of the Soviet Union, he set out to revitalize it but ended up unleashing forces that led to the collapse of communism, the breakup of the state and the end of the Cold War. Aug. 30.
Bernard Shaw, 82. CNN's chief anchor for two decades and a pioneering Black broadcast journalist best remembered for calmly reporting the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 as missiles flew around him in Baghdad. Sept. 7.
Queen Elizabeth II, 96. Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century. Sept. 8.
Jean-Luc Godard, 91. The iconic "enfant terrible" of the French New Wave who revolutionized popular cinema in 1960 with his first feature, "Breathless," and stood for years among the film world's most influential directors. Sept. 13.
Ken Starr, 76. A former federal appellate judge and a prominent attorney whose criminal investigation of Bill Clinton led to the president's impeachment and put Starr at the center of one of the country's most polarizing debates of the 1990s. Sept. 13.
Coolio, 59. The rapper was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits including "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage." Sept. 28.
Sacheen Littlefeather, 75. The actor and activist who declined Marlon Brando's 1973 Academy Award for "The Godfather" on his behalf in an indelible protest of Hollywood's portrayal of Native Americans. Oct. 2.
Robbie Coltrane, 72. The baby-faced comedian and character actor whose hundreds of roles included a crime-solving psychologist on the TV series "Cracker" and the gentle half-giant Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" movies. Oct. 14.
Ash Carter, 68. A former defense secretary who opened combat jobs to women and ended a ban on transgender people serving in the military. Oct. 24.
Jerry Lee Lewis, 87. The untamable rock 'n' roll pioneer whose outrageous talent, energy and ego collided on such definitive records as "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and sustained a career otherwise upended by personal scandal. Oct. 28.
Takeoff, 28. A rapper best known for his work with the Grammy-nominated trio Migos. Nov. 1. Killed in a shooting.
George Booth, 96. A prize-winning cartoonist for The New Yorker who with manic affection captured the timeless comedy of dogs and cats and the human beings somehow in charge of their well being. Nov. 1.
Jiang Zemin, 96. He led China out of isolation after the army crushed the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in 1989 and supported economic reforms that led to a decade of explosive growth. Nov. 30.
Christine McVie, 79. The British-born Fleetwood Mac vocalist, songwriter and keyboard player whose cool, soulful contralto helped define such classics as "You Make Loving Fun," "Everywhere" and "Don't Stop." Nov. 30.
Kirstie Alley, 71. A two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit "Cheers" and in the "Look Who's Talking" films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Dec. 5.
Angelo Badalamenti, 85. The composer best known for creating otherworldly scores for many David Lynch productions, from "Blue Velvet" and "Twin Peaks" to "Mulholland Drive." Dec. 11.
From The Associated Press
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