In the last week, many notable Americans have passed away. This will cover a few of these amazing people from various walks of life that helped to shape American culture in some way.


Powers Boothe (1948-2017) was a film and television actor who got his start on Broadway and did voice acting for several video games. Boothe had his first major breakthrough in 1980, when he played Jim Jones in the TV movie "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones." For this role he would win the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special.

He would appear in movies such as "Red Dawn," "Tombstone," "Nixon," and "Sin City," among others. On TV, he had roles in "Deadwood," 24," Attila," "Nashville," and many more. Boothe died in his sleep on May 14 at age 68 from natural causes.

Chris Cornell (1964-2017) was a musician, singer, and songwriter. In the early 1980s, he was a member of the cover band The Shemps, whose members would go on to form the band Soundgarden. Cornell was the lead vocalist of the band from 1984 until they broke up in 1997. During the 1990s they gained massive popularity, with their 1994 album "Superunknown" debuting at number one. This album also launched arguably their most recognizable hit, "Black Hole Sun."

After the band broke up, Cornell embarked on a solo career until he became the lead vocalist of Audioslave in 2001.

The band's three albums all found major success. However, Cornell left the band in 2007 to continue his solo career. In 2010, Soundgarden got back together and Cornell was a member until his death. This January, Audioslave had their first reunion concert in 12 years at the Prophets of Rage's Anti-Inaugural Ball. Cornell was tragically found dead on May 18 at age 52 after he committed suicide by hanging.


Frank Brian (1923-2017) was a professional basketball player. He played his first three seasons with the Anderson Packers, the first two of which were in the NBL. He then spent a year with the Tri-Cities Blackhawks before spending his last five seasons with the Fort Wayne Pistons. Brian was a 2-Time NBL and 2-Time NBA All-Star.

He also made the All-NBA Second Team twice. Interestingly enough, he was the last surviving player from the first NBA All-Star game in 1951. Brian died on May 17 at age 94.

Wayne Walker (1936-2017) was an NFL football player. He played 15 seasons as a linebacker and kicker for the Detroit Lions. During his career, Walker made the Pro Bowl three times and made one AP All-Pro First Team. He also set a Lions record at the time of his retirement with 200 games played. After he retired, Walker worked as a CBS broadcaster on NFL games for 11 years. He also was the sports director for San Francisco's KPIX-TV for 20 years. Walker died on May 19 at age 80 from complications due to Parkinson's disease.


Roger Ailes (1940-2017) was a television executive and media consultant. Ailes rose to fame as the executive producer of "The Mike Douglas" show in the 1960s. It was there that he would meet one of the show's guests, Richard Nixon, who would hire Ailes to work on his presidential campaign as the Executive Producer for TV. Later, Ailes would work with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush on their successful presidential campaigns.

In 1993, he got back into TV by becoming the president of CNBC and creating the channel that would eventually become MSNBC. In 1996, Ailes started the job he is best known for by becoming the founding CEO of Fox News. In 2005, he was named the chairman of Fox Television Stations Group.

Last July, former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes. Two weeks after this, Ailes resigned from his post at Fox News. Ailes died on May 18 from a subdural hematoma at age 77, one week after falling and hitting his head.

Rich Buckler (1949-2017) was a comic book artist. Starting in the mid-1970s up until 1990, he drew almost every major character working at Marvel and DC. His best-known work was on Marvel's Fantastic Four comics. He worked on various editions from 1974 until 1989. Buckler was also the co-creator of Marvel's "Deathlok"and DC's "All-Star Squadron." He was also the author of two books in the late 1980s and became an Inkwell Ambassador in 2015. Buckler died on May 19 at age 68 from cancer.