The 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers. He died aged 41 in a January helicopter crash.
Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said
He was the Mideast’s longest-ruling monarch who seized power in Oman in a 1970 palace coup and pulled his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between adversaries Iran and the U.S. The 79-year-old sultan died in January.
Katherine G. Johnson
A mathematician who calculated rocket trajectories and Earth orbits for NASA’s early space missions and was later portrayed in the 2016 hit film “Hidden Figures,” about pioneering black female aerospace workers. She died in February aged 101.
NASA via AP
The Egyptian leader who was the autocratic face of stability in the Middle East for nearly 30 years before being forced from power in an Arab Spring uprising. He was 91 when he died in February.
Javier Perez de Cuellar
The two-term United Nations secretary-general who brokered a historic cease-fire between Iran and Iraq in 1988 and who in later life came out of retirement to help reestablish democracy in his Peruvian homeland. He died at the age of 100 in March.
The Grammy-winning balladeer who spanned jazz, folk, country and pop with such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream” and embraced his persona as “The Gambler” on records and TV. He was 81 when he passed in March.
A veteran character actor in Bollywood movies and one of India’s best-known exports to Hollywood. The 54-year-old actor died in April.
An icon of the civil rights movement whose bloody beating by Alabama state troopers in 1965 helped galvanize opposition to racial segregation and who went on to a long and celebrated career in Congress. He died aged 80 in July.
He played black American icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown with searing intensity before inspiring audiences worldwide as the regal Black Panther in Marvel’s blockbuster movie franchise. He died at 43 in August after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The U.S. Supreme Court justice developed a cultlike following over her more than 27 years on the bench, especially among young women who appreciated her lifelong, fierce defense of women’s rights. Aged 87, she died in September.
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah
The ruler of Kuwait who drew on his decades as the oil-rich nation’s top diplomat to push for closer ties with Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War and solutions to other regional crises. He died in September aged 91.
The Armenian-Turkish Daily Sabah columnist and ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy. He died in October aged 51 after being diagnosed with gastric cancer.
The former Turkish prime minister and a veteran politician, who made his mark in Turkish politics in the 1980s and 1990s, died at the age of 73 in October after a long battle with lung cancer.
Sir Sean Connery
The charismatic Scottish actor who rose to international superstardom as the suave secret agent James Bond and then abandoned the role to carve out an Oscar-winning career in other rugged roles. He died in October at the age of 90.
Gli, the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque's favorite feline resident, died in early November at the age of 16.
A veteran peace negotiator and prominent international spokesperson for the Palestinians for more than three decades. He died in November aged 65 after being infected with the coronavirus.
Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
As Bahrain’s prince, he was one of the world’s longest-serving prime ministers and led his island nation’s government for decades. He was 84 when he died in November.
Syria’s longtime foreign minister, he was a career diplomat who became one of the country’s most prominent faces to the outside world during the uprising against the regime of Bashar Assad. He died in November at the age of 79.
The Argentine football great who scored the “Hand of God” goal in 1986 and led his country to that year’s World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. He died at 60 from a heart attack in November.
The British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of archvillain Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. He passed in late November at the age of 85.