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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Bench

In Memoriam

This past year has been one of the most challenging years in a very long time. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has already taken too many lives. Many amazing celebrities and influencers that have had profound impacts on our lives were lost, due to COVID and other reasons, in 2020 and deserve to be honored.

Alex Trebek has filled our living rooms with his Jeopardy! hosting for years. Unfortunately, in early November of 2020, he lost his long battle with cancer. He was the Jeopardy! host for 37 seasons and proved to be very philanthropic during his time as a celebrity. He formed the Trebek Family Foundation which donated to many worthy causes. He is most known for his charity with pancreatic cancer, which is the type of cancer that took his life. Just after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he donated a large amount of money to pancreatic cancer research and he moved the crowd at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's (PanCAN) PurpleStride Los Angeles walk. He was an amazing show host and person, and may he rest in peace.

Chadwick Boseman was an amazing actor and influencer. He was incredible as the Black Panther, and touched the lives of so many kids around the world as the first black superhero in a Marvel film. Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years prior to his death in late August of 2020, but he kept his illness a secret to the public, continuing to work and act, while receiving treatment and fighting cancer. Once Boseman learned of his diagnosis, he too donated his money to cancer foundations and patients. He also did amazing things for the African American community. His movie 42 helped demonstrate the racism that has rooted back hundreds of years, acting as a push for change. He donated $10,000 of his own money to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to pay for children to see Black Panther for free. Chadwick Boseman has only been remembered as a kind and honest soul who touched the lives of so many people around the world. He was an amazing person and he passed too soon, rest in peace.

Another life was tragically lost to cancer. Someone who touched this country in countless ways and changed life for so many women and minorities. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second female supreme court justice in history. She fought for women's rights and civil rights, and never backed down from a challenge. She co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU and scrapped the male-only admission policy at the Virginia Military Institute. Ruth Bader Ginsburg had also passed away from pancreatic cancer. However, she still managed to do amazing things and change the world.

Kobe Bryant was an incredible basketball player and father. He was a five time NBA champion, two times finals MVP, one time NBA MVP, 18 time NBA all star and two times Olympic gold medalist. Kobe was a big supporter of the Make-A-Wish foundation, and had spent twenty years supporting and donating to kids in need. He also often hosted basketball camps for kids that couldn’t afford other ones. Kobe did amazing things for the basketball community. Tragically, he died in a helicopter crash with his 13 year old daughter Gianna. Rest in peace.

This last one goes out to all the front line workers trying to make the world a COVID-19 free place. Each and every one of them risk their lives daily to help save the lives of millions. No one could ask more of them. Without them, who knows what the state of this pandemic would be like. First responders, educators, manufacturers, postal service workers, public transit workers and more are all doing everything they can to help people around the world stay safe and healthy. Thank you to those that have passed and those that are still going. Keep making the world a better place.


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