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 shape American culture and life in some way.


Pete Domenici (1932-2017) was a politician from New Mexico. He served as Mayor of Albuquerque from 1967-1970. That year he lost the race to become Governor of the state to Democrat Bruce King. In 1972, he was elected as Senator, becoming the first Republican to be elected to the position in New Mexico in 38 years.

He served six terms as Senator from 1973 until he retired in 2009, the longest-serving senator in the history of the state.

Domenici served as Chair of the Senate Budget Committee from 1981-87 and later from 1995-2001. He was also Chair of the Senate Energy Commission from 2003-07. Domenici died on September 13 at age 85 due to complications from abdominal surgery.


Don Ohlmeyer (1945-2017) was a television producer and programmer. He started his career working for ABC Sports as one of the original producers of ESPN's “Monday Night Football.” Ohlmeyer also worked on the “Wide World of Sports” and produced three Olympics broadcasts.

He then moved on to NBC, serving as executive producer of their sports division from 1977-82. While there he served as executive producer of SuperBowl and World Series coverage, while also creating the sports anthology series “SportsWorld.” In 1982, he left NBC to form Ohlmeyer Communications Company, producing sports events, network specials and made for TV movies.

In 1993, he returned to NBC as president of its West Coast division, working until he retired in 1999. While there he coined the phrase “Must See TV” and also caused controversy with his removal of Norm Macdonald from SNL's Weekend Update segment. Ohlmeyer died on September 10 at age 72 from cancer.

Mark LaMura (1948-2017) was an actor best known for playing Mark Dalton on the soap opera “All My Children.” He played the role from 1977 to 1989, earning a Daytime Emmy nomination in 1988 for Outstanding Support Actor.

In the 1990s he made occasional guest appearances on the show as Dalton. He also played minor and one-off roles in movies and TV shows like “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The Sopranos” and “Gossip Girl.” LaMura died on September 12 at age 68 from lung cancer.

Frank Vincent (1937-2017) was an actor. He appeared most notably in several films directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese.

He played Slavy in “Raging Bull,” Billy Batts in “Goodfellas” and Frank Marino in “Casino.” He is also well known for playing Phil Leotardo in the HBO TV series“The Sopranos.” Gamers know him from voicing Salvatore Leone from “Grand Theft Auto III,” “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and “Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.” Vincent died on September 13 at age 80 from surgical complications during open heart surgery.

Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) was a prolific character actor whose career spanned almost 200 credits from 1954 until 2017. Stanton landed starring roles in two 1984 films; the Golden Globe-nominated “Paris, Texas” and cult classic “Repo Man.”

He also had memorable roles in other movies and TV shows like “Pretty in Pink”, “Wild at Heart”, “Alien”, “The Green Mile” and “Twin Peaks.”He even appeared as the title character in the film “Lucky”, which comes out on September 29.

Stanton died on September 15 at age 91 from natural causes.


Dan Currie (1935-2017) was a linebacker in the NFL who played nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers (1958-64) and the Los Angeles Rams (1965-66). Currie was selected with the third pick in the first round out of Michigan State. In his career he played in 118 games, recording 11 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries.

In 1960, he was selected to his only Pro Bowl and was a two-time NFL Champion (60, 61). He was named an AP First-Team All-Pro in 1962 and a Second-Team All-Pro in 1963. Currie died on September 12 at age 82.


Len Wein (1948-2017) was a comic book writer and editor. Wein started his career working for DC Comics in the early 1970s, where his most notable work was helping to create horror character Swamp Thing, the superhero Human Target, and supervillain Libra.

Wein soon moved to work for Marvel comics, where he co-created Wolverine during his run working on “The Incredible Hulk” in 1974. The following year he and Dave Cockrum revied the X-Men and reformed its membership. They created some X-Men characters like Storm, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Colossus.

At the end of the 1970s, Wein went back to working at DC, where he created Wayne Foundation executive Lucius Fox and helped co-create the superhero Gunfire. In the early 1990s, he left DC to serve as the editor-in-chief of Disney Comics and would later work on writing and story editing for some animated TV series. Wein died on September 10 at age 69.

Edith Windsor (1929-2017) was an LGBT rights activist who was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case “United States v.

Windsor.” In 2010, she sued the federal government because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) singled out legally married same-sex couples for differential treatment since she was barred from claiming a federal tax exemption for surviving spouses.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that restricting federal interpretation of marriage and spouse to apply to only opposite-sex unions under Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. As a result of the decision, same-sex couples were granted federal rights, tax benefits, and privileges.