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


Mark White (1940-2017) was a lawyer and politician, who was the last Democratic Governor of Texas. From 1973-77 he served as the 74th Secretary of State of Texas. He then resigned to focus on running for attorney general, winning the election. White served as the 47th Attorney General of Texas from 1979-83. He then ran for governor, defeating incumbent Bill Clements.

White served as the 43rd Governor of Texas from 1983-87.

During his tenure as governor, he sought to diversify the state's economy and improve education. He also appointed the first Hispanic women to serve as a judge of a district court in the state. He lost reelection in 1986 and the Democratic nomination in 1990. White died on August 5 at age 77 from a heart attack.


Chuck Loeb (1955-2017) was a jazz musician who was a member of Stan Gretz's group, Steps Ahead, Metro, The Fantasy Band, and Fourplay during his career. In 1989, he began his solo career as an artist, making 21 studio albums between 1989 and 2016. The title song of his 1996 album “The Music Inside” was his first solo commercial success, reaching the top spot of jazz charts.

He has also been nominated for three Grammys. Loeb died on July 31 at age 61 from cancer.

Daniel Licht (1957-2017) was a soundtrack composer and musician for a number of movies, TV shows, and video games. Some of the notable 40 plus films he was the composer for include “Children of the Corn”, “Hellraiser: Bloodline” and “Cabin by the Lake.” He was best known for being the composer for the TV show “Dexter.” In gaming, he was the composer for the “Dishonored” series as well as “Silent Hill: Downpour” and “Silent Hill: Book of Memories.” Licht died on August 2 at age 60 from sarcoma cancer.

Ty Hardin (1930-2017) was a TV and film actor. He was best known for his role as Bronco Layne starring in the TV series “Bronco” and also playing him in “Sugarfoot.“ Hardin also starred as Moss Andrews in the short lived TV show “Riptide.” In film, he was best known for his roles in “Battle of the Bulge”, “PT 109”, “Palm Springs Weekend” among others.

Hardin died on August 3 at age 87.


Dave Grayson (1939-2017) was a defensive back who played in the AFL and the NFL. He spent his first four seasons (1961-64) with the Kansas City Chiefs before ending his career playing for the Oakland Raiders from 1965-70. During his ten-year career, Grayson made the Pro Bowl six times and was an AP 1st Team All-Pro four times.

He had 48 career interceptions, is the AFL's all-time career interception leader with 47 and had five career defensives touchdowns. He was also a two-time AFL Champion and was selected to the AFL All-Time Team in 1970. Grayson died on July 29 at age 79.

John Reaves (1950-2017) was an NFL and USFL quarterback. During three-year run in college with the Florida Gators, he finished as the NCAA's career leader in passing yards (7,581) and SEC leader in passing touchdowns (56).

In 1985, he would be inducted into the team's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Reaves was drafted in the 1st round in 1972 by the Eagles, but had a journeyman career, playing for five teams from 1972-81 and 1987. From 1983-85 he played in the USFL for the Tampa Bay Bandits, throwing for the second most passing yards (10,011) in USFL history. Reaves died on August 1 at age 67.

Ara Parseghian (1923-2017) was a football player and college head coach. His football career was cut short in the second game of his second season with the Cleveland Browns due to a serious hip injury in 1949. He was then an assistant at Miami of Ohio for one season before taking over as head coach after Woody Hayes went to Ohio State.

In five seasons as head coach, he went 37-6-1, winning two MAC conference championships.

He then went to coach Northwestern, going 36-35-1 in eight seasons with the team, leaving the school after his contract was not renewed over disputes with the athletic director. Parseghian then took the job he is best known for, becoming the head coach at Notre Dame and helping turn around the program after a decade of irrelevance.

In eleven seasons at Notre Dame, he went 95-17-4. In his first year, he won the AFCA Coach of the Year award and the team was recognized as national champions by the NFF by being awarded the MacArthur Trophy. In 1966 and 1973, the team was named the official national champions of college football by the AP. After he retired he worked as an analyst covering college football for ABC and later CBS from 1975 to 1988. Parseghian died on August 2 at age 94.