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The lives we lost in 2019

The most notable deaths of 2019.
The death of Allan Gray, who was the founder of Allan Gray was a notable death of 2019, which shook the investment community. Image: Supplied

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, Vanguard Group founder John Bogle, auto visionary Lee Iacocca, corporate raider T. Boone Pickens and former French President Jacques Chirac were among newsmakers in finance, business and government who died in 2019.

The business world lost H. Ross Perot, a billionaire who twice ran for US president; David Koch, industrialist and libertarian who tried to reshape the US political landscape; Herb Kelleher, who co-founded trend-setter Southwest Airlines; and Mark Hurd, co-chief executive officer at Oracle Corp.

Financial leaders who died included Alice Rivlin, former vice chair of the Federal Reserve; Martin Feldstein, who ran the Council of Economic Advisors under President Ronald Reagan; and Walter Shipley, the banking executive who assembled the parts of what became JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Among deceased public sector figures were Yasuhiro Nakasone, the Japanese prime minister whose political career spanned seven decades; Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s ex-president who was imprisoned for espionage; John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who served 59 years in Congress fighting for carmakers; and Richard Lugar, a six-term Republican senator from Indiana who influenced foreign affairs.

Here are the year’s notable deaths, with each entry linked to a full obituary. A cause is provided when known.


Blake Nordstrom, 58. Led apparel chain Nordstrom Inc. with his brothers Peter and Erik, and since 2000 was the public face of the upscale retailer founded by his great-grandfather. Died Jan. 2 following chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma.

Herb Kelleher, 87. Lawyer with a Texas swagger who with Rollin King founded Southwest Airlines Co. and built it into the biggest discount carrier, setting the standard for budget air travel for more than three decades. Died Jan. 3.

Walter Shipley, 83. Former CEO who helped lead the serial mergers of three of the largest U.S. banks — Chemical, Manufacturers Hanover and Chase Manhattan — to create the biggest U.S. lender and predecessor of what is now JPMorgan Chase. Died Jan. 11 from cancer.

Carol Channing, 97. Raspy-voiced star of stage and film best known for her Tony award-winning performance in “Hello, Dolly!” on Broadway. Died Jan. 15 following two strokes in the previous year.

John Bogle, 89. Founder of Vanguard Group Inc. whose advocacy of low-cost index-based mutual funds turned the company into the largest US manager of stock and bond funds. Died Jan. 16 from cancer.

Henry Sy, 94. He became the richest person in the Philippines after turning a single shoe store into SM Investments Corp., which includes the nation’s largest retailer and shopping-mall operator along with a bank. Died Jan. 18.

Russell Baker, 93. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at the New York Times who specialized in political satire for three decades and whom Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called “the sanest observer of American life that we’ve had.” Died Jan. 21 of complications from a fall.

Al Dunlap, 81. Former CEO, known as “Chainsaw Al” for using drastic job cuts to boost the share price at Sunbeam Corp., a small appliance maker. Died Jan. 25.

Eka Tjipta Widjaja, 98. Indonesian billionaire who started out as a teenage trader in coconut and palm oil before founding Sinar Mas Group, a conglomerate involved in paper, pulp and financial serves. Died Jan. 26.


John Dingell, 92. Democratic congressman from Michigan whose 59-year tenure in Congress was the longest in history, earning him clout he used to champion U.S. carmakers. Died Feb 7.

Albert Finney, 82. Versatile British stage and film actor who earned five Academy award nominations for performances in movies such as “Erin Brockovich” and “Murder on the Orient Express.” Died Feb. 7.

Ron Miller, 85. Walt Disney’s son-in-law ran the entertainment giant from 1978 to 1984, when he was pushed out in a power struggle that eventually left Michael Eisner in charge. Died Feb. 9.

Gordon Banks, 81. England’s World Cup-winning soccer star made one of the most memorable saves in the sport’s history. Died Feb. 12.

Lyndon LaRouche, 96. Conspiracy theorist who led a fringe political group, ran for the U.S. presidency eight times and was imprisoned for tax fraud. Died Feb. 12.

Karl Lagerfeld, 85. Acclaimed fashion designer who was creative director at Chanel for 35 years and produced outfits for celebrities such as Princess Diana and Nicole Kidman. Died Feb. 19.

Nestor Espenilla, 60. Governor of the Philippine central bank who moved to tame inflation and strengthened the peso. Died Feb. 23 from cancer.

Tristan O’Tierney, 35. Former engineer at Yahoo and Apple Inc. who co-founded Square Inc., a mobile payments company, with Twitter Inc.’s CEO Jack Dorsey. Died Feb. 23 of causes related to addiction.


Birch Bayh, 91. Democrat from Indiana who served three terms in the U.S. Senate and helped shepherd the ratification of two of the last three constitutional amendments. Died March 14 from pneumonia.

Alan Krueger, 58. Princeton University economist who served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and was a leading expert on the labor market. Found dead from suicide on March 16.

Natalia Fileva, 55. Co-owner of S7, Russia’s second-largest airline, and one of the country’s richest women. Died March 31 in a plane crash.


Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, 97. Democrat who spent 38 years in the U.S. Senate, where he worked to fight hunger and restrain government spending. Died April 6.

Cho Yang-ho, 70. Chairman of Hanjin Group, a South Korean conglomerate that controls Korean Air Lines Co. Died April 7.

Charles Van Doren, 93. Columbia University English instructor and son of a distinguished poet who confessed during a 1959 congressional hearing that he was fed the correct answers as a contestant on a rigged TV quiz show where he won about $128,000. Died April 9.

Alan Garcia, 69. Former president of Peru who killed himself on April 17 when police tried to arrest him in connection with a corruption scandal that engulfed officials across Latin America.

Ira Neimark, 97. Expanded, modernized and focused on high fashion at one of New York’s premier retailers as president of Bergdorf Goodman from 1975 to 1992. Died April 18.

Henry Bloch, 96. Co-founded H&R Block with his brother in 1955 and expanded it into the biggest U.S. tax preparer as its president and television pitchman. Died April 23.

Bart Chilton, 58. Ex-U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission official who called for tighter regulation of swaps and derivatives. Died April 27.

Richard Lugar, 87. Six-term Republican senator from Indiana whose foreign-affairs and farm-policy dealings with Democrats represented a bygone era of bipartisanship. Died April 28 of complications from a rare neurological disorder.


John Birkelund, 88. Led a 1980s revival at investment bank Dillon, Read & Co. by emphasizing venture capital, leveraged buyouts and merger advisory services to bolster profits at one of Wall Street’s oldest firms. Died May 10.

Yogesh C. Deveshwar, 72. Chairman of India’s ITC Ltd. who steered the cigarette maker’s pivot into consumer goods and built it into Asia’s most valuable tobacco company. Died May 11.

Doris Day, 97. Bubbly blonde actress and singer who starred in “Pillow Talk” and other romantic comedies in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and who later became an animal-welfare advocate. Died May 13 from pneumonia.

Alice Rivlin, 88. Founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and a relentless fighter for deficit reduction while vice chair of the Federal Reserve in the late 1990s. Died May 14 from cancer.

Bob Hawke, 89. Australia’s former prime minister who retooled the economy during the 1980s through financial deregulation and trade policies. Died May 16.

I.M. Pei, 102. Dominant architect who designed the Louvre’s crystal pyramid and the angular East Building of Washington’s National Gallery of Art. Died May 16.

Herman Wouk, 103. Pulitzer prize-winning author of popular novels such as “The Winds of War” and “The Caine Mutiny,” one of the first works of serious fiction to deal with the human consequences of World War II. Died May 17.

Niki Lauda, 70. Austrian race-car driver who survived a near-fatal crash to win three Formula 1 world championships and went on to found Lauda Air, which he sold to Austrian Airlines. Died May 20.

Zhang Shiping, 73. Chinese Communist Party member who became a billionaire after he took advantage of 1980s market reforms to create China Hongqiao Group Ltd., the world’s largest aluminum producer. Died May 23.

Claus von Bulow, 92. Danish-born socialite who avoided a 30-year prison sentence in the 1980s after he was retried and acquitted of attempting to murder his heiress wife, Martha “Sunny” von Bulow. Died May 25.

Prem Tinsulanonda, 98. One of Thailand’s most powerful figures over the past four decades, he was accused of masterminding a 2006 coup against former leader Thaksin Shinawatra. Died May 26 from heart failure.

Bart Starr, 85. Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Green Bay Packers when they dominated the National Football League in the 1960s, winning five championships. Died May 26.

Thad Cochran, 81. Seven-term Republican U.S. senator from Mississippi who was known as the “king” of earmarks, directing billions of dollars in pork-barrel projects in his home state. Died May 30.


Lee Shin Cheng, 80. Billionaire who founded Malaysia’s IOI Group, the nation’s second-largest palm-oil producer by market value. Died June 1.

John Neff, 87. His eye for what he called “bargain basement” stocks made the Vanguard Group’s Windsor Fund one of the most consistent, durable stars of the mutual-fund industry. Died June 4.

Herbert Sandler, 87. Banker who with his wife, Marion, earned billions from lending during the real estate boom and helped popularize an adjustable-rate mortgage blamed in part for the ensuing crash in 2008. Died June 5.

Martin Feldstein, 79. While chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, he successfully persuaded President Ronald Reagan to cut budget deficits by breaking his campaign promise not to raise taxes. Died June 11.

Pat Bowlen, 75. Owner of the NFL’s Denver Broncos team that won three Super Bowls under his stewardship. Died June 13.

Franco Zeffirelli, 96. Italian director of movies, plays and operas known for his extravagant productions. Died June 15.

Gloria Vanderbilt, 95. A descendant of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, she pioneered designer jeans for women in the 1970s and turned the humble denim pant into a fashion phenomenon. Died June 17.

Mohamed Mursi, 67. Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian president collapsed and died on June 17 while on trial for espionage six years after he was ousted in a military takeover.

Judith Krantz, 91. Author of best-selling novels such as “Scruples” and “Princess Daisy” that sold more than 100 million copies, making her one of the most commercially successful female novelists. Died June 22.


Bob Collymore, 61. CEO at Safaricom Plc, a telecom in Kenya whose mobile phone payments platform allowed millions of people who were excluded from the nation’s banking system to purchase goods and services. Died July 1 from leukemia.

Lee Iacocca, 94. Hailed as a visionary auto executive, he helped produce the Mustang at Ford Motor Co. in 1964 and then saved floundering Chrysler Corp. after securing $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees. Died July 2 of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Robert Bernhard, 91. The last partner at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. who was a direct descendant of the firm’s founding family. Died July 4.

Christopher Cline, 60. Billionaire coal tycoon best known for founding Foresight Energy LP, which revived Illinois’s mining industry. Died July 4 in a helicopter crash.

Joao Gilberto, 88. One of the most significant figures in Brazilian music, he masterfully blended samba and jazz to help create the bossa nova sound that would become synonymous with Rio de Janeiro. Died July 6.

Alex Navab, 53. Dealmaker at KKR & Co. where he was head of private equity in the Americas before leaving in 2017 to start his own firm. Died July 7.

H. Ross Perot, 89. Texan who became a billionaire by founding and selling computer companies and later mounted unsuccessful bids for president in 1992 and 1996. Died July 9 from leukemia.

Fernando de la Rua, 81. Former president of Argentina who after two years in office fled in a helicopter from the roof of his palace in December 2001 when the nation’s economic collapse led to riots in the streets. Died July 9 from multiple organ failure.

John Paul Stevens, 99. Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by a Republican, he became a leading liberal voice on presidential powers, the death penalty and individual rights. Died July 16 of complications from a stroke.

Russell E. Hogg, 91. Ran Mastercard from 1980 to 1988, introducing the company’s gold card and pushing expansion into China. Died July 16.

Yukiya Amano, 72. The Japanese diplomat led the International Atomic Energy Agency for a decade, handling the investigation of Iran’s secret nuclear work and the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima meltdowns. Died July 18.

César Pelli, 92. Distinguished Argentinian-born U.S. architect who designed some of the world’s most famous skyscrapers such as the Petronas Towers in Malaysia and the World Financial Center in New York. Died July 19.

Robert M. Morgenthau, 99. New York’s longest-serving district attorney was a tireless prosecutor of crimes in executive suites and violence on city streets for 35 years. Died July 21.

Li Peng, 90. Former Chinese premier who declared martial law before the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy student demonstrators in 1989 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square where thousand died. Died July 22.

Beji Caid Essebsi 92. He became Tunisia’s first freely elected president after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings after campaigning on the promise to unite the fractured North African nation. Died July 25.

Hal Prince, 91. Broadway impresario who won a record 21 Tony awards from producing or directing hit musicals such as “West Side Story,” “Cabaret” and “The Phantom of the Opera” during a six-decade career. Died July 31.


D.A. Pennebaker, 94. Documentary filmmaker best known for making “Don’t Look Back,” which captured Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour in England. Died Aug. 1.

Toni Morrison, 88. First black woman to win a Nobel Prize in literature, she wrote novels including “Beloved” depicting the struggles of black Americans living in a white society rife with racial discrimination. Died Aug. 5 of complications from pneumonia.

Jeffrey Tarrant, 63. Influential hedge fund investor whose firm, Protege Partners, bet Warren Buffett in 2008 that the asset class would outperform the S&P 500 Index over a 10-year period. Died Aug. 5 from a brain tumor.

Manuel Medina-Mora, 68. Former co-president at Citigroup Inc. who helped oversee the development of the bank’s Latin American operations. Died Aug. 7 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Fabrizio Saccomanni, 76. Chairman of UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest bank, and a former senior Bank of Italy official. Died Aug. 8 from cardiac arrest.

Jeffrey Epstein, 66. Disgraced financier accused of molesting teenage girls and sex trafficking was found dead from apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell awaiting trial on Aug. 10.

Peter Fonda, 79. Oscar-nominated actor who became a counterculture star with the release of “Easy Rider” in 1969. Died Aug. 16 from lung cancer.

Elisio Alexandre Soares dos Santos, 84. Oversaw the international expansion of Portuguese food retailer Jaeronimo Martins and became a billionaire. Died Aug. 16 from cancer.

Lars Larsen, 71. Founded retail furniture chain Jysk and was one of Denmark’s wealthiest people. Died Aug. 19 from cancer.

David Koch, 79. Billionaire industrialist and libertarian who with his brother Charles used their fortune to transform American politics while also donating more than $1 billion to philanthropic causes. Died Aug. 23 from prostate cancer.

Mark Schoenebaum, 46. Star biotechnology analyst at Evercore ISI who spent two decades on Wall Street. Died Aug. 24.

Ferdinand Piech, 82. Porsche family scion who built Volkswagen AG into a global powerhouse, only to exit abruptly before the German carmaker skidded into a diesel-cheating scandal four years ago. Died Aug. 25.

Dawda Jawara, 95. President of Gambia for more than two decades after its independence from Britain in 1965. Died Aug. 27.

Hans Rausing, 93. Swedish billionaire oversaw the growth of Tetra Pak Group into the world’s largest food-packaging company. Died Aug. 30.

Valerie Harper, 80. Actress whose work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” earned a spinoff program for her character, the outspoken New Yorker Rhoda Morgenstern. Died Aug. 30 from cancer.


Robert Mugabe, 95. He ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years and plunged the southern African nation into political and economic chaos as he violently clung to power. Died Sept. 6.

Robert Frank, 94. Swiss-born photographer who captured the loneliness and heartache of life in the U.S. in his 1958 book “The Americans.” Died Sept. 9.

B.J. Habibie, 83. He became Indonesia’s president after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998 and stabilized the nation’s economy during the tumultuous Asian financial crisis. Died Sept. 11.

T. Boone Pickens, 91. Onetime Texas oil wildcatter turned corporate raider who became a billionaire energy investor and television pitchman for wind and natural-gas power. Died Sept. 11.

Cokie Roberts, 75. Prominent Washington journalist known for her political reporting and commentaries during a long career at NPR and ABC News. Died Sept. 17 from breast cancer.

David Jones, 88. Along with partner Wendell Cherry, he created the Humana chain of for-profit hospitals before pushing into health insurance in the 1990s. Died Sept. 18 of complications from multiple myeloma.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, 83. Autocratic Tunisian leader whose ouster in 2011 was the first of a wave of anti-government uprisings known as the Arab Spring. Died Sept. 19.

Barron Hilton, 91. The son of Conrad Hilton expanded his father’s hotel empire and helped found the American Football League as the original owner of the San Diego Chargers. Died Sept. 19.

Justin Mamis, 90. Chart-immersed market technician who shared his observations about stock trends via newsletters and books such as “How to Buy” and “When to Sell.” Died Sept. 22.

Jacques Chirac, 86. As president of France from 1995 to 2007, he led his country into Europe’s common currency and spearheaded international opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Died Sept. 26.


Lazaro Brandao, 93. Led Brazil’s Banco Bradesco SA, one of the largest lenders in Latin America, for almost two decades. Died Oct. 16.

Elijah Cummings. 68. Democratic congressman from Maryland who was chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a fierce critic of President Donald Trump. Died Oct. 17.

Mark Hurd, 62. Tech executive led NCR and HP before joining Oracle, where as co-CEO with Safra Catz he focused on the software company’s sales, marketing and investor relations. Died Oct. 18 while on medical leave.

Robert Evans, 89. Led Paramount Pictures from 1966 to 1974, producing hits that helped revive the studio including Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” and Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown,” among the best American movies ever made. Died Oct. 26.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 48. Head of the terrorist group Islamic State who was killed during an American military raid in Syria. Died Oct. 26 from suicide during the raid.

John Conyers Jr., 90. Democrat known for his work on civil rights, who was serving a 26th term in the U.S. House when he resigned after allegations that he sexually harassed employees. Died Oct. 27.


John Gokongwei Jr., 93. Philippine billionaire who built a business empire involved in banking, retail and aviation. Died Nov. 9.

Bernard J. Tyson, 60. CEO of non-profit health care provider Kaiser Permanente since 2013, he boosted the group’s revenue and increased membership in its insurance plans. Died Nov. 10.

Allan Gray, 81. Billionaire founded Allan Gray Investment Counsel in Cape Town in 1973 and served as CEO for 15 years before starting Orbis Group in 1989. Died Nov. 10 from a heart attack.

Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., 53. Son of Philippine billionaire Lucio Tan and president of PAL Holdings, the parent of Philippine Airlines Inc. Died Nov. 11 from a brain injury.

Frank Biondi Jr. , 74. Entertainment executive who led Universal Studios, Viacom and HBO during his career. Died Nov. 25 from bladder cancer.

William Ruckelshaus, 87. First head of the Environmental Protection Agency who later became a heroic figure for resisting President Richard Nixon’s attempts to cover up the Watergate scandal. Died Nov. 27.

Yasuhiro Nakasone, 101. Japanese prime minister from 1982 to 1987, he raised his nation’s profile on the world stage and worked to soothe relations with the U.S. during trade disputes. Died Nov. 29.


Marvin Goodfriend, 69. Top U.S. monetary economist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business whose nomination by President Trump to serve as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board stalled in the Senate. Died Dec. 5.

Donald Marron, 85. Led Paine Webber Inc. for 20 years until the retail brokerage’s $16 billion sale to UBS AG in 2000. Died Dec. 6 from a heart attack.

Charles W. Brady, 84. He transformed the investment unit of a regional Atlanta-based bank into the global asset management firm Invesco Ltd. and was its chairman emeritus when he died on Dec. 7.

Paul Volcker, 92. Former Federal Reserve chairman who controlled U.S. inflation in the 1980s and three decades later led President Barack Obama’s bid to rein in the investment risk-taking of commercial banks. Died Dec. 8.

Kim Woo-choong, 82. Disgraced founder of the now-collapsed Daewoo business group whose rise and fall symbolized South Korea’s economic growth in the 1970s. Died Dec. 9 from pneumonia.

Felix Rohatyn, 91. A pioneer in the mergers-and-acquisitions boom that began in the 1960s as managing director of Lazard Freres & Co., who steered New York City from bankruptcy in the 1970s and remained an unelected guardian of its finances for almost two decades. Died Dec. 14.

Koo Cha-kyung, 94. The former chairman of LG Group helped the cosmetics business co-founded by his father grow into one of South Korea’s biggest conglomerates. Died Dec. 14.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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Jeffrey Epstein ….”apparent suicide”?

Apparently assisted by Clinton count+1

It seems as if nobody escapes the Grim Reaper?
Only two things in life are certain. Death and taxes.:)

And our own Johnny Clegg too.

Look after your body as if you are going to live for 100 years.Look after you soul as if you are going to live for another second.

….a sniper from the USA? 😉

In my military days, I can recall my shooting was very far off the mark 🙁
But happily my G5 battery commander told us every shot landing within 1km is considered to be “on target” 🙂

(…I can’t hit a body from long distance….hence we rather remove a grid square off the map)

u must have been in Potch , me too – what a dump but what came after i would like to forget- 3 months in 3 months out etc etc

@geranium. You hit the mark spot on 🙂 Potch is the “home” of SA’ (field) Artillery. Served during 1988-89…in the final days of the Angola war. Not the cleanest of bases & general discipline a bit lacking.
Half year stint at Intelligence School training as well (Kimberley)….differs like chalk & cheese: base was clean, everyone highly motivated…almost like a special forces base.

Agree, the “camps” was a drag on civilian life’s commitments.

End of comments.





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