In the last week, many notable Americans have passed away. This week saw the loss of a former member of the House of Representatives, a number of well-known entertainers and the passing of several men who helped shape the sports world. These amazing people came from various walks of life, helping to shape American culture in some way. May they be put in memoriam forever.


Maurice D. Hinchey (1938-2017) was a politician who was well known for being a fierce environmental advocate. From 1975 until 1992 he represented the 101st district as a member of the New York State Assembly, where he served as chair of the body's Environmental Conservation Committee.

From 1993 until he retired in 2013 he served as a member of the House of Representatives from New York. While in Congress he opposed hydraulic fracking in Marcellus Shale and Arctic offshore oil drilling, while supporting things like the Clean Air Act. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Ambassador of the Netherlands for his efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries. Hinchey died on November 22 at age 79 from frontotemporal dementia.


Mel Tillis (1932-2017) was a country music singer and songwriter, whose was also well known for his sense of humor and lifelong stutter.

He started his career in the late 1950s, after spending four years in the Air Force and working a number of odd jobs. Tillis reached the height of his success in the 1970s with a bunch of Top 10 hits like “I Ain't Never”, “Good Woman Blues” and “Coca-Cola Cowboy.”

This culminated in 1976 when he was selected as the CMA's Entertainer of the Year.

In 2007, Tillis was made an official member of the Grand Ole Opry and elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In February 2012, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. According to his publicist Don Murray Grubbs, Tillis died on November 19 at age 85 due to suspected respiratory failure.

Della Reese (1931-2017) was a pop and jazz singer who transitioned into becoming a popular TV and movie actress.

Her music career started in the early 1950s and she became a star with her 1959 hit “Don't You Know”, which earned Reese her first Grammy nomination. Her second soon came for her 1960 album, “Della” and she would earn two more nominations in the 1990s for her gospel work.

In 1969, she launched her TV show “Della”, becoming the first black women to host her own syndicated talk show in America. In the 1970s, she got her first starring role in the TV sitcom “Chico and the Man.” Reese would appear in a number of other TV shows, as well as in movies like “Harlem Nights.” Her best-known role was playing Tess during the nine-year run (1994-2003) of “Touched By An Angel”, which earned her two Emmy and one Golden Globe nomination.

Reese died on November 19 at age 86.

Warren Moore (1939-2017) was a singer, songwriter and record producer. He was an original member of the Motown group “The Miracles”, serving as their bass singer. Moore co-wrote “The Track of My Tears” in 1965, for which he won the ASCAP Award of Merit. He also co-wrote other hit songs like “Ooo Baby Baby”, “My Girl Has Gone”, “Going to a Go-Go” and “Love Machine” among others.

He also helped write several hit songs with Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. In 2001, he was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and in 2012 was put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Moore died on November 19, his birthday, at age 78.

Pete Baldwin (1931-2017) was an actor, who eventually became known as a hit television director. He directed many episodes of “The Brady Bunch” and a few episodes of “The Partridge Family.” In 1988, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for his work on “The Wonder Years.” He also directed episodes of shows like “Needles and Pins”, “Foley Square”, “Family Ties” and “Evan Stevens.” Baldwin died on November 19 at age 86.

David Cassidy (1950-2017) was a musician and actor, who was a pop culture idol during the 1970s with his role as Keith Partridge in the TV show “The Partridge Family.” His music career also took off after hit singles like “I Think I Love You” and “Cherish”, which was followed by five solo albums. This led to a phenomenon dubbed “Cassidymania” as people flocked to see him during sold-out shows.

However, a 1974 London concert that left close to 800 people injured and one dead during a gate stampede caused him to soon stop acting and touring, as he decided to focus on recording and songwriting.

In 1978, he was nominated for an Emmy for his guest role in an episode of “Police Story”, which led to the unsuccessful TV series “David Cassidy - Man Undercover.”

Cassidy had guest roles and mostly small appearances over the years in TV shows and movies. He also played in Las Vegas and toured over the last few decades, becoming known for doing Q&A sessions with fans. However, Cassidy struggled with alcoholism over the years, being arrested several times for DUI. Cassidy died on November 21 at age 67 due to kidney failure.

Wayne Cochran (1939-2017) was a soul singer, who was sometimes called The White Knight of Soul.

He was also known for his eccentric outfits and white pompadour hairstyle. In the 1960s he formed his own soul revue called “Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders.” and from 1967-72, they released four albums.

Cochran is best known today for writing the song “Last Kiss”, which became a hit twice over when “J.Wilson and the Cavaliers” and later “Pearl Jam” covered the song. He retired from music to become an evangelist minister following his final 1972 album. Cochran died on November 21 at age 78.

Jon Hendricks (1921-2017) was a jazz singer and master of the art of vocalese, which he helped bring into the mainstream.

From 1957-1962, he was one-third of the vocalese trio “Lambert, Hendricks & Ross”, along with Dave Lambert and Annie Ross. They found early success with the 1958 album “Sing a Song of Basie” and won a Grammy for their 1961 album “High Flying.”

However, Ross left the group in 1962 and it disbanded two years later after being renamed with the addition of Yolande Bavan. Hendricks then went on to become a jazz critic for the San Fransico Chronicle. He also worked as a jazz history teacher at the University of California, Berkely and California State University at Sonoma. He would share a second Grammy in 1986 with Bobby McFerrin for “Another Night in Tunisia.” Hendricks died on November 22 at age 96.


Terry Glenn (1974-2017) was a wide receiver who starred at Ohio State and then spent 12 seasons in the NFL. He spent his first six seasons with the New England Patriots (1996-2001), where he made his only Pro Bowl appearance, helped win SuperBowl XXXVI and would be named to their All-1990s Team. Glenn was then traded to the Green Bay Packers, where he spent one season before being sent to the Dallas Cowboys.

He spent the last five seasons of his career (2003-07) with the team, with a right knee injury causing him to miss basically all of his last year in the league and leading to his retirement after Dallas released him.

He finished his career with 593 catches for 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns. Glenn died on November 20 at age 43 after he was tragically killed in a one-vehicle rollover accident that also left his fiancee slightly injured.

John Thierry (1971-2017) was a defensive end who spent nine seasons in the NFL (1994-2002). He was selected in the first round by the Chicago Bears out of Alcorn State. Following five seasons with the team, he was selected second by the Cleveland Browns in their 1999 expansion draft.

He spent one year with the Browns before spending two with the Green Bay Packers and his final year with the Atlanta Falcons.

In his career, he recorded 208 total tackles, 33.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions. Thierry died on November 24 at age 46 after suffering a heart attack.

Steve “Snapper” Jones (1942-2017) was an ABA and NBA basketball player and television analyst. He played professionally for several different teams from 1967-76 and was a three-time ABA All-Star. Jones started his broadcasting career soon after he retired, working for CBS, TNT, TBS and USA Network to cover NBA games from 1976 until 1991.

He then worked as an analyst on The NBA on NBC for 13 years, becoming known for his banter with Bill Walton and his coverage of basketball in the 1992 Olympic Games. He later worked for NBA TV before retiring from broadcasting. Jones died on November 25 at age 75 following a lengthy illness.