In the last week, many notable Americans have passed away. This week saw the loss of two important politicians, a Native American actor and two football head coaches. These amazing people came from various walks of life, helping to shape American culture in some way. May they be put in memoriam forever. Reports by the New York Times and ESPN relayed facts used in this article.


John B. Anderson (1922-2017) was a congressman and one-time presidential candidate. In 1943, Anderson enlisted in the Army, serving as a staff sergeant in the U.S.

Field Artillery in Europe and earning four service stars. From 1952-55, he worked in the United States Foreign Service in Germany after having worked as a lawyer.

Soon after this, he ran for public office and was elected to be the State's Attorney in Winnebago County, Illinois in 1956. After one term, he then ran for the open seat in Illinois's 16th district in the House of Representatives, winning the election. He ended up serving in Congress from 1961 until 1981. Anderson was initially one of the most conservative members in the House but his views, especially on social issues, moderated during the 1960s. In 1969, he became Chairman of the House Republican Conference, a position he would hold until 1979.

In 1980, Anderson ented the Republican presidential primaries and was a contender in the early primaries. However, he eventually lost momentum and dropped out to run an independent campaign for president since he was more popular across the country with a range of voters. Anderson was getting solid support but it slowly faded in October and he ended up receiving 6.6 percent of the popular vote.

In 1992, he helped to found FairVote, an organization that advocated for electoral reform. He served as chair of the group from 1996 until 2008 and was a member of the board until 2014. He also served as the president of the World Federalist Association and was the first executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

Anderson died on December 3 at age 95 of natural causes.

Ernest Finney Jr. (1931-2017) was a lawyer, judge and civil rights activist. In 1961, shortly after he started practicing full-time as a lawyer he represented the Friendship 9 in what became known as the "Jail, Not Bail" case. The group of junior college students had been arrested for trying to desegregate McCrory's lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Nine of the ten arrested chose to go to jail instead of being freed on bail, which sparked the strategy that was used elsewhere.

In 1963, he served as chairman of the South Carolina Commission on Civil Rights. He served in the state's House of Representatives from 1973-76. During that time he was one of the founders of the Legislative Black Caucus and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. In 1976, he was elected as the first African-American Circuit Court judge in South Carolina.

From 1985 until 1994, he served as an Associate Justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court. He then became the Chief Justice of the state's Supreme Court, the first since the Reconstruction Era, serving until his retirement in 2000.

Finney died on December 3 at age 86, with the “New York Times” reporting that his death was confirmed by his daughter.


Steve Reevis (1962-2017) was an actor and member of the Blackfoot Native American tribe. He had a non-speaking role in the Acamdey Award-winning movie “Dances with Wolves.” and played Chato in “Geronimo: An American Legend.”

Reevis would soon act in his best known supporting roles as Yellow Wolf in “Last of the Dogmen” and as Shep Proudfoot in “Fargo.” He also is known for his roles as Two Stone in “The Missing” and Baby Face Bob in the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” Reevis died on December 7 at age 55 at a hospital in Missoula, Montana.


Ron Meyer (1941-2017) was a college and NFL football coach. He spent six seasons as an assistant at Purdue before becoming a scout for the Dallas Cowboys for three seasons, being a part of the team that won Super Bowl VI. From 1973-75 he was the head coach at UNLV, where he went 27-8 and was named NCAA Division II Coach of the Year. Meyer then became head coach at SMU from 1976-81, going 34-32-1.

In his final season, the team was Southwest Conference (SWC) Champions and he was named SWC Coach of the Year.

He then coached the New England Patriots from 1982-84, going 18-15 and making the playoffs once. Meyer's first season was a strike year and he was fired halfway through the 1984 season despite a 5-3 record due to the team-wide alienation of his players. He then coached the Indianapolis Colts from 1986-91, going 36-35 before being fired during the 1991 season. In 1987, the one year they made the playoffs, Meyer was named UPI NFL Coach of the Year.

Meyer later worked as an NFL analyst for CNN and The Score but would return to coaching in 2001 in the XFL. He coached the Chicago Enforcers to a 5-5 record during the league's only season before it folded.

On December 4, Meyer suffered an aortic aneurysm while playing golf and died the following day. He was 76 years old.

Harold “Tubby” Raymond (1926-2017) was a college football and baseball coach. From 1952-54, he served as the manager for the University of Maine's baseball team, posting a 36-21-1 record. At the same time, he was also the line coach for their football team. He then moved to the University of Delaware, serving as the backfield coach from 1954-65.

From 1956-64 he was also the manager of their baseball team, posting a 178-81-3 record and making it to the NCAA Regional three times.

In 1966, he became the head coach of Delaware's football team and would hold this position until he retired following the 2001 season with a career record of 300-119-3. In this time his teams won three Middle Atlantic Conference titles, five Yankee Conference titles, and one A-10 Conference title. They also won the NCAA Division II National Championship three times. In 2003, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Raymond died on December 8 at age 91.