Bruce "Utah" Duncan Phillips (May 15, 1935 – May 23, 2008) was a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action, self-identifying as an anarchist. He often promoted the Industrial Workers of the World in his music, actions, and words.
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008) was a Soviet and Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his writings he helped to make the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best-known works. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 and returned to Russia in 1994.
Bo Diddley (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), is the stage name for Ellas Otha Bates, an American rock and roll vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and inventor. He was known as "The Originator" because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock & roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton. He introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard-edged guitar sound on a wide-ranging catalog of songs.
Claude Piron (26 February 1931 – 22 January 2008), a linguist and psychologist, was a translator for the United Nations from 1956 to 1961. After leaving the UN, he worked the world over for the World Health Organization. He was a prolific author of Esperanto works. He spoke Esperanto from childhood and used it in Japan, the People's Republic of China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, in Africa and Latin America, and in nearly all the countries of Europe.
Forrest J Ackerman (November 24, 1916 – December 4, 2008) was an American collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and a science fiction fan. He was, for over seven decades, one of science fiction's staunchest spokesmen and promoters. Ackerman was a Los Angeles, California-based magazine editor, science fiction writer and literary agent, a founder of science fiction fandom and possibly the world's most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia.
Ernest Gary Gygax was an American writer and game designer, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson. Gygax is generally acknowledged as the father of role-playing games.
Henri Chopin (June 18, 1922 – January 3, 2008) was an avant-garde poet and musician. Henri Chopin was a little-known but key figure of the French avant-garde during the second half of the 20th century. Known primarily as a concrete and sound poet, he created a large body of pioneering recordings using early tape recorders, studio technologies and the sounds of the manipulated human voice.
Joseph Weizenbaum (Berlin, January 8, 1923 – March 5, 2008) was a German-American author and professor emeritus of computer science at MIT. Born in Berlin, Germany to Jewish parents, he escaped Nazi Germany in 1935, emigrating with his family to the United States. He started studying mathematics in 1941 in the US, but his studies were interrupted by the war, during which he served in the military.
John Howard Rutsey (May 14, 1953 – May 11, 2008) from Ontario, Canada was a former drummer, most recognized for being a co-founding member of Rush along with Alex Lifeson and Jeff Jones (who was replaced by Geddy Lee).
John Michael Crichton (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author, producer, director, screenwriter, and medical school graduate, best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction, and thriller genres. His books have sold over 150 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted into films. In 1994, Crichton became the only creative artist ever to have works simultaneously charting at #1 in television, film, and book sales.
Ronald John Garan, Jr. is a NASA astronaut. He graduated Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. After receiving a bachelors degree in Business Economics from State University of New York, College at Oneonta in 1982, he joined the Air Force, becoming a Second Lieutenant in 1984. He became an F-16 pilot, and flew missions in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1994 he obtained a Masters of Aeronautical Science, and in 1996 a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.