As in years past, here is a short list of diverse people who died in 2015. Their lives reveal how miscellaneous and diverse…how dark and amazing the human condition is.
King Abdullah (August, 1924 – January, 2015): arguably the world’s most powerful hereditary monarch: a troubling U.S. ally who utilized Islam to maintain near-absolute power over Saudi Arabia.
Carl Djerassi (October 29, 1923 – January, 2015): An Austrian-born Bulgarian-American bio chemist institutional in the development of the modern birth control pill (among other breakthroughs).
Leonard Nimoy (March, 1931 – February, 2015): an actor famous for presenting a compelling fantasy of alien intellect and spiritual excellence.
Terry Pratchett (April, 1948 – March, 2015): a fantasy author, humorist, and humanist.
Lee Kuan Yew (September 1923 – March, 2015): the architect of the meteoric rise of the city-state of Singapore.
Chinua Achebe (November, 1930 – March, 2013: a giant of contemporary African literature.
Helmut Schmidt (December, 1918 – November, 2015): the West German Chancellor who guided the nation through the 1970s (and the cold depths of the Cold War).
Gunter Grass (October 1927 – April, 2015): a great German prose stylist who looked deep into the darkness of life with his unflinching surreal literature of World War II Germany.
Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey (July, 1914 – August, 2015): a heroic physician and bureaucrat who stood up to the pharmaceutical industry to prevent the thalidomide crisis from being far worse. She subsequently worked to craft and institute intelligent drug regulations.
Ellsworth Kelly (May, 1923 – December, 2015): a minimalist artist fascinated with color. His hard edged 3 dimensional paintings blurred the lines between painting, sculpture, and pure concept.