It has been a gruelling week, as the nation witnessed the death of many notable Americans. This includes musicians, sports starts, and literary figures. Here is a look at some of these amazing people from various walks of life that helped shape the American culture.


Walter Becker (1950-2017) was a musician, songwriter, and record producer, He is best known for co-founding the jazz rock band “Steely Dan” with Donald Fagen in 1971. The duo produced classic songs like “Rikki Don't Lose That Number”, “Deacon Blues” and “Reelin' In the Years.” The band had a decade long run of commercial success before breaking up, after which Becker mostly focused on record producing.

In 1993, “Steely Dan” reformed and they would then make two more albums, 2000s “Two Against Nature” which won four Grammy awards.and 2003s “Everything Must Go.¨ In 2011, Becker and Fagen were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Becker died on September 3 at age 67.

David Hlubek (1951-2017) was the lead guitarist of and founding member of the hard rock band “Molly Hatchet” in 1971. He was also the group's original vocalist and the main songwriter for most of their work, including their 1979 hit song “Flirtin' With Disaster.” In 1987, he was replaced from the band due to his excessive drug problems. However, Hlubek did turn his life around, working with and supporting other bands, Hlubek died on September 3 at age 66 due to a heart attack.

Troy Gentry (1967-2017 ) was a country music singer that was part of the duo “Montgomery Gentry” that he founded in 1999 with Eddie Montgomery. The duo's 2005 song “Something to Be Proud Of”, which reached the number spot on country music charts. Other notable songs include, “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” and “My Town.” Gentry died on September 8 at age 50 in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey.

Don Williams (1939-2017) was also a country music singer.

His career started in the 1960s but he would major success after he went solo in 1971. His biggest hit was 1981s “I Believe in You”, which topped the country charts and was number 24 on the Hot 100 charts. He also had 16 other songs top the country charts, including “Tusla Time” and “You're My Best Friend.” In 2012, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Williams died on September 8 at age 78 following a short illness.


Bob Kehoe (1928-2017) was a soccer defender, who earned four caps playing for the US national team in 1965 as they failed to qualify for the World Cup. He then spent one season (1968) playing for the St.Louis Stars in the North American Soccer League (NASL).

From 1969-70, he coached the Stars, becoming the first US born coach in the NASL. In 1972, he coached the US national team. In 1989, he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Kehoe died on September 4 at age 89.

Gene Michael (1938-2017) was a baseball player, manager, and general manager. In 1959, he signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and made his major league debut in 1966.

He played nine seasons with the Pirates, Dodgers, Yankees, and Tigers before retiring in 1975.

He first served as general manager of the Yankees from 1980-81 and was also the team's manager from 1981-82, going 92-76. From 1986-87 he was the manager of the Chicago Cubs, going 114-124. In 1990, he started his second stint as GM of the Yankees before getting fired in 1995.

It was during this second stint that he helped built the late 1990s Yankees dynasty. He helped patiently restock the farm system by drafting or signing Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettite and Jorge Posada. Michael died on September 7 at age 79 from a heart attack.


John Ashbery (1927-2017) was a respected, controversial and award winning poet.

He published over twenty volumes of poetry, including his 1976 work “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror”, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He is regarded as one of the greatest American poets of the 20th century, having won basically every major award.

His work has been celebrated but also controversial as his style favored discussing the limits of language and the volatity of consciousness. In 2011, he was inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame. Ashberry died on September 3 at age 90.