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Year in Review: Newsmaker Farewells 2010

From Sen. Robert Byrd (pictured) to Merlin Olsen, remembering newsmakers, sports stars and other intriguing personalities who died in the past year.

Gies, the last survivor among the several people who hid Anne Frank and her family and who preserved the girl’s diary after she was discovered and taken to a concentration camp, died Jan. 11. She was 100. “I am not a hero,” Gies wrote in her memoir, “Anne Frank Remembered,” published in 1987. “I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.” Here, she is pictured in 1998. Steve North / AP
Murtha, a retired Marine Corps officer who became the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress and later an outspoken and influential critic of the Iraq War, died Feb. 8. He was 77. Murtha wielded considerable clout for two decades as the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending. He voted in 2002 to authorize President George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq, but his growing frustration over the administration's handling of the war prompted him in November 2005 to call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," he said. He is pictured here in May 2009. Douglas Graham / Roll Call Photos
The crab boat captain made famous on the Discovery Channel reality show “The Deadliest Catch” died Feb. 9 after suffering a stroke two weeks earlier. The raspy-voiced skipper, often filmed with a cigarette in hand, piloted his boat, the Cornelia Marie, for six seasons of the show, starting in 2004. With his sons Jake and Josh, an embedded film crew followed the boat as it plied the waters off Alaska, a trade that has left many sailors dead and injured, hence the title of the program. Harris himself came close to death in the fourth season when he suffered cracked or broken ribs when a storm tossed him out of bed and onto the sharp table corner. He left the Cornelia Marie for treatment and was recorded recuperating in Seattle, spitting up blood. It is not known if the injury contributed to his death. Getty Images
Haig, a four-star general who served as a top adviser to three presidents and had presidential ambitions of his own, died Feb. 20. He was 85. He never lived down his televised response to the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Hours after the shooting, the then-secretary of state went before the cameras intending, he said later, to reassure Americans that the White House was functioning. "As of now, I am in control here in the White House, pending the return of the vice president," Haig said. Some saw the comment as an inappropriate power grab in the absence of Vice President Bush, who was flying back to Washington from Texas. he is pictured here in 1974. David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images
Hall of Famer Olsen, who helped form one of the NFL’s greatest defensive lines before embarking on a successful career in television, died March 11 after a battle with cancer. He was 69. Olsen was a member of the Los Angeles Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” in the 1960s. He later starred on NFL broadcasts, commercials, and as Jonathan Garvey on the TV series “Little House on the Prairie.” As a broadcaster, he was well-spoken and smart. The son of a former school teacher, Olsen graduated summa cum laude at Utah State with a degree in economics and earned a master’s in economics in between his 15 NFL seasons. Focus On Sport / Getty Images
Kaczynski, the 60-year-old president of Poland, his wife and 94 others died April 10 when the plane they were traveling in crashed while on their way to a ceremony marking a massacre of Polish officers by the Soviet Union. Kaczynski, an academic who was active in the Solidarity movement before becoming a popular mayor of Warsaw, was elected president in 2005. Here, officiaks place a portrait of Kaczynski on the Polish embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, after his death. Sergei Chuzavkov / AP
Gates, the polarizing former Los Angeles police chief whose 14-year tenure ended amid widespread criticism over his department’s response to the city’s deadly 1992 riots, died April 16 after a short bout with cancer. He was 83. A tart-tongued career cop with a short fuse and a penchant for making controversial statements, Gates was a flashpoint for controversy long before the riots that broke out after four white police officers were acquitted of most charges in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. Rising through the ranks, Gates’ 43-year career with the LAPD began in 1949, not long after a two-year stint with the Navy during World War II. Prior to the King incident he mostly received high marks for his leadership. He was credited with developing the policing plan that brought off the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics with not so much as a traffic jam. He is pictured here in 1992. Douglas Burrows / Getty Images
Samaranch, a reserved but shrewd dealmaker whose 21-year term as president of the International Olympic Committee was marked by both the unprecedented growth of the games and its biggest ethics scandal, died April 21. He was 89. Samaranch, a courtly former diplomat, led the IOC from 1980 to 2001 and was considered one of the defining IOC presidents for firmly establishing the Olympics as a world force. As a youth, Samaranch competed in field hockey, boxing and soccer. He became an IOC member in 1966 and was vice president from 1974-78. The Samaranch era was perhaps the most eventful in IOC history, spanning political boycotts, the end of amateurism and the advent of professionalism, the scourge of doping, and the Salt Lake corruption crisis. He is pictured in October 2009. Charles Dharapak / AFP/Getty Images
Wooden, who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA and became one of the most revered coaches ever, died June 4. He was 99. With his signature rolled-up game program in hand, Wooden led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships, including an unmatched streak of seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. Over 27 years, the Indiana-born Wooden won 620 games, including 88 straight during one historic stretch, and coached many of the game’s greatest players such as Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Ho / Reuters
Bol, a 7-foot-7 shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and later dedicated himself to humanitarian work in Africa, died June 19. He was 47. Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble. Bol, born the son of a tribal chief, played in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami, averaging 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks for his career. At the time of his entry into the NBA, he was the tallest player in its history. He led the league in blocks in 1985-86 with Washington (5.0 per game) and in 1988-89 with Golden State (4.3 a game). After the NBA, Bol worked closely as an advisory board member of Sudan Sunrise, which promotes reconciliation in Sudan. B Bennett / Getty Images
Shain, the nurse in the iconic "kissing sailor" photograph, the Times Square clinch marking the end of World War II, died June 20 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 91. Shain was a nurse at Doctor's Hospital in New York City, standing in a crowded Times Square on Aug. 14, 1945, when a sailor grabbed and kissed her. Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life magazine, the photo came to symbolize the unbridled joy of the Allies' victory over Japan. Eisenstaedt identified Shain as the nurse in the picture in 1980. The fame the photo conferred on its subject altered the course of her life. She was invited to lay wreaths, ride in parades and take part in other memorial events, Reuters reported. She is pictured here in 2005. Mario Tama / Getty Images
Byrd, a son of West Virginia coal country who used his mastery of Senate rules and a taste for hardball tactics to become a passionate and often feared advocate for his state and the Senate, died June 28. He was 92. The Democrat's 51 years in the Senate made him the longest serving senator in history. A one-time segregationist and opponent of civil rights legislation, Byrd evolved into a liberal hero as one of the earliest and most vocal foes of the Iraq war and a supporter of the rights of gays to serve in the military. He was the acknowledged Senate Renaissance man, who could recite poetry by memory for hours and yet be ruthless in advancing his legislative agenda — which often involved corralling federal dollars for his perpetually struggling state. Byrd was the Senate's majority leader for six of the 51 years he served there and he was third in the line of succession to the presidency. he is pictured here in 2008. Win McNamee / Getty Images
Steinbrenner, who both inspired and terrorized the New York Yankees in more than three decades as owner, died July 13. He was 80. Once reviled by fans for his overbearing nature, Steinbrenner mellowed in his final decade and became beloved by employees and rivals alike for his success. The Yankees were 11 years removed from their last championship when Steinbrenner, then an obscure son of an Ohio shipbuilder, headed a group that bought the team for about $8.7 million. In nearly 38 years as owner, Steinbrenner whipped the moribund club into a $1.6 billion colossus that became the model of a modern franchise. Under his often brutal but always colorful reign, the Yankees won seven World Series championships, 11 American League pennants and 16 AL East titles.” In this February 1988 photo Steinbrenner is flanked by manager Billy Martin, left, and vice president and general manager Lou Piniella. Bill Cooke / AP
Houk, who guided the powerhouse New York Yankees of the early 1960s to two World Series championships, died on July 21. He was 90. Houk also skippered the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox in a managerial career that spanned three decades. Born in Kansas, the son of a farmer, he was a star athlete in high school and was signed by the Yankees as a catcher in 1939. Houk spent parts of eight seasons as a backup catcher for New York, appearing in just 91 games. Former Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek, who played for Houk in the minors and majors with New York, said Houk learned a lot about handling a pitching staff from working with Hall of Famer catchers Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey in the bullpen. Houk had displayed courage as an armored corps officer in World War II, and on returning to baseball he became known as “the Major,” a tribute to his commanding presence. He is pictured here in 1961. Diamond Images / Diamond Images/Getty Images
Schorr, a veteran reporter and commentator whose hard-hitting reporting for CBS got him on President Richard Nixon's notorious "enemies list" in the 1970s, died July 23. He was 93. Schorr's career of more than six decades spanned the spectrum of journalism -- beginning in print, then moving to television where he spent 23 years with CBS News and ending with NPR. He also wrote several books, including his memoir, "Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism." Schorr, who was born in New York City, worked well into his 90s, giving commentaries on NPR. Pondering the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, he cited the online contacts between the suspect, Maj. Nidal Hasan, and a radical cleric. He asked, "Does the Internet merit some of the responsibility for helping the violence-prone to fester there in communion with the machine?" Schorr is pictured during the Watergate hearings. Gjon Mili / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, died August 9 in a plane crash in southwest Alaska that killed four other people, including one of his former congressional aides. He was 86. A decorated World War II pilot who survived a deadly 1978 plane crash that killed his wife, Stevens was the longest-serving Republican senator in history and became the patron saint of Alaska politics as he brought billions of federal dollars home. One failed effort, the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," became part of his legacy, as did corruption convictions that helped foil his 2008 campaign after 40 years in office. The case was later tossed out. (The late Strom Thurmond was in the Senate longer than Stevens, but he spent a decade there as a Democrat before switching to the Republican Party.) Scott J. Ferrell / Congressional Quarterly/Getty Im
Rostenkowski, who as Congress' chief tax-writer was one of most powerful U.S. politicians in the 1980s and early 1990s until brought down by a corruption conviction and a 17-month prison sentence, died August 11. He was 82. As chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee for 13 years starting in 1981, the Illinois Democrat had a hand in some of the most important legislation of that period. But a federal grand jury indicted him on felony corruption charges in 1994, and he eventually pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Among the charges against him were trading in stamps purchased for official business in return for money, keeping "ghost" employees on his payroll and buying gifts like expensive chairs for friends with House funds. Scott J. Ferrell / Congressional Quarterly/Getty Im
Newman, who brought literacy, wit and energy to NBC newscasts for more than three decades, and battled linguistic pretense and clutter in his best sellers "Strictly Speaking" and "A Civil Tongue," died August 13. He was 91. At NBC from 1952 until his retirement in 1984, Newman did political reporting, foreign reporting, anchoring of news specials, "Meet the Press," "Today," "Nightly News," midday news and a variety of radio spots. He announced the death of President Kennedy on radio, and anchored on TV when President Reagan was shot. After retiring, the New York City-born Newman enjoyed being on "Saturday Night Live" skits and in several situation comedies, where, he said, "I've always had the demanding job of playing myself." In one SNL sketch, he manned a suicide hot line and repeatedly corrected the desperate caller's grammar.) Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Thomson, the man immortalized with his "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 1951, died August 16. He was 86. He was a good player, but by no means a Hall of Famer. Yet on that October afternoon, with one swing, Thomson transformed a pennant race for one season into a baseball moment for the ages. He hit perhaps the sport's most famous home run, connecting off Ralph Branca for a three-run drive in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the decisive Game 3 of their National League playoff. A three-time All-Star as an infielder and outfielder, Thomson hit .270 with 264 career home runs and 1,026 RBIs from 1946-60 with several teams. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he came to the United States in 1926 when he was 3 years old and the family settled in Staten Island, N.Y., where he played high school and semipro ball. B Bennett / Getty Images
Sorensen, an aide and speechwriter and alter ego to President John F. Kennedy credited with writing Kennedy’s “ask what you can do for your country” inauguration speech, died October 31. He was 82. Of the courtiers to Camelot's king, special counsel Sorensen ranked just below Kennedy's brother Bobby. He was a key confidant to a president whose term was marked by Cold War struggles, growing civil rights strife and the beginnings of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam. Of the many speeches Sorensen helped compose, Kennedy's inaugural address shone brightest, building to the unforgettable exhortation: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Paul Schutzer / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Anderson, who directed the Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine to back-to-back championships and won another in Detroit, died November 4. He was 76. Anderson's teams in Cincinnati -- featuring Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose -- won crowns in 1975 and 1976 and rank among the most powerful of all time. Led by Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell, Anderson won with the Tigers in 1984. With the 1984 victory, Anderson was the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues. Ever talkative and known for a self-deprecating demeanor, Anderson was equally popular among players, fans and media. Anderson got his nickname in the minor leagues because of his spirited play. He made it to the majors for only one season, batting .218 for the Phillies in 1959. He is pictured here in 1993. John Iacono / Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Meredith, one of the most recognizable figures of the early Dallas Cowboys and an original member of ABC's "Monday Night Football" broadcast team, died Dec. 5. He was 72. Meredith played for the Cowboys from 1960-1968, becoming the starting quarterback in 1965. While he never led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, Meredith was one of the franchise's first stars. Over his nine-year career, Meredith threw for 17,199 yards and 111 touchdowns. He retired unexpectedly before the 1969 season. Just two years laterl, Meredith joined Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell in the broadcast booth as part of the "Monday Night Football" crew. He quickly became one of the most popular broadcasters in sports because of his folksy sayings and country humor. Meredith's signature call was singing the Willie Nelson song "Turn Out the Lights" when it appeared a game's outcome had been determined. George Gojkovich / Getty Images
Edwards, a forceful political wife who became a bestselling author writing about her battle with cancer but whose marriage to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards unraveled because of his infidelity, died Dec. 7. She was 61. Edwards was a Navy brat born in Jacksonville, Fla., and her experience attending school in Japan and living on military bases helped make her comfortable introducing herself to roomfuls of strangers. She and John Edwards met in law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and married the weekend after they took the bar exam. He gave her an $11 wedding ring and borrowed money from his parents to pay for a brief honeymoon. She wrote two best-selling books, "Resilience" and "Saving Graces," about her long battle with cancer and the scandal surrounding her husband. Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images
Holbrooke, a veteran U.S. diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, died Dec. 13. He was 69. Holbrooke, whose forceful style earned him nicknames such as "The Bulldozer" or "Raging Bull," served under every Democratic president from John F. Kennedy to Obama in a lengthy career that began with a foreign service posting in Vietnam and included time as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam. His sizable ego, tenacity and willingness to push hard for diplomatic results won him both admiration and animosity. Born in New York City, Holbrooke had an interest in public service from his early years. He was good friends in high school with a son of Dean Rusk and he grew close to the family of the man who would become a secretary of state for presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Win Mcnamee / Getty Images
Blessed with a right arm that earned the Iowa farmboy the nickname "Rapid Robert" and made him one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, Feller, who left baseball in the prime of his career to fight for his country, died Dec. 15. He was 92. Feller, who won 266 games in 18 seasons -- all with the Cleveland Indians -- was part of a vaunted Indians' rotation in the 1940s and '50s with fellow Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Early Wynn. He finished with 2,581 career strikeouts, led the American League in strikeouts seven times, pitched three no-hitters and recorded a jaw-dropping 12 one-hitters. Feller's win total remains a Cleveland team record, one that seems almost untouchable in today's free-agent era. His numbers would no doubt have been even greater had his career not been interrupted by World War II. The first pitcher to win 20 games before he was 21, Feller was enshrined in Cooperstown in 1962, his first year of eligibility. e led the AL in victories six times and is still the Indians' career leader in shutouts (46), innings pitched (3,827), walks (1,764), complete games (279), wins and strikeouts. AP