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QotD: Celebrity Death

Question: What celebrity death most impacted your life?

My Answer: Today's question courtesy of Hunter S. Thompson, who shot himself Sunday night. I've been around 26 years, so I've not seen many high-profile assassinations in the US (i.e. Malcolm X, JFK, etc.), but that didn't stop me from becoming obsessed with one: JFK's murder. I wrote a 300-page discussion on JFK's murder, have seen the Costner movie upwards of 50 times, and would have published a book had there not already been 5,000 JFK books out there.

Of the "modern-day" celebrity deaths, I'm actually going to rank Arthur Ashe's near the top of my list. His death at the hands of AIDS changed my views on a lot of things. Dr. Seuss's death was also important as I wrote a junior paper on his work. We had to write a thesis paper on any "American author," so figuring I'd take an easy way out and choose a gimmick author, I found so much beyond simple children's books that I ended up writing 50 pages to the required 10. He died in 1991 and the paper was written in 1994, so his death didn't affect me until years after his death.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

9 Responses to "QotD: Celebrity Death"

  1. I wouldn't say that a famous person's death has ever really affected me. Sure, I am saddened by the loss and if, in the case of an artist, that you'll never see any more work from them.

    The only death that has affected me didn't involve celebrities, the Challenger expolsion on January 28, 1986. I was only 11 at the time, but it had a profound affect on me. I remember everything that happened that day after a teacher quickly entered my classroom, told my math teacher about it and then told us- "Challenger has exploded."

  2. I wasn't the biggest fan, but I think the death of Kurt Kobain had a pretty significant effect on our generation. Kobain was someone in our somewhat age range, who sang to us and was on TV and magazines.

  3. Whoops, that should be Cobain, sorry.

  4. As just a part of living in Dallas I pass on that street where Kennedy was shot about once every couple of months. The first time it happened I was like "This place looks familiar" and then I saw the white picket fence and realized what had happened there immediately.

    Interesting place.

  5. People that impact your life

    Erik asks What celebrity death most impacted your life?.

    Mine was most likely in-memoriam: fred-rogers/Fred Rogers/default.

  6. Douglas Adams. His works had a significant impact on my life.

  7. Add Layne Staley of Alice in Chains to the list. He isn't as well known as Cobain (nor as well liked) but he definitely made a difference in the music world of the early ninties.

  8. Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash. It always struck me that there was something special about them that kept them from being on the same plane as your average "celebrities"

  9. Chris Acland, former drummer for Lush, who killed himself a few years back. I'd met him, he was a really quiet, nice guy.