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Mother Teresa


26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997 (Aged 87)

Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic missionary who founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, which was dedicated to helping the poor.

She is considered one of the 20th Century’s greatest humanitarians.

After spending her childhood in Macedonia, she moved to Ireland at the age of 18, and then onto Calcutta (now Kolkatta), India, where she lived for the majority of her life.

In 1950, Teresa founded her organization, which by 2010, had over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries.

The Order manages homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis.

In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

She was also severely criticized in some quarters, particularly Christopher Hitchens, for the poor quality of the conditions in her facilities, given the millions she had raised in donations.

After suffering from declining health and heart problems, Teresa died in 1997 at the age of 87. She was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by Pope Francis in 2016.

For many, Mother Teresa is seen as one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century.

Jimmy Stewart


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20 May 1908 – 2 July 1997 (Aged 89)

Stewart was an American actor who has gone in film history as among the most popular stars of all time. Among his most-loved films is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life and Rear Window.

During World War II, Stewart took a break from acting to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps (later the US Air Force), also going on to serve in the Vietnam War.

He rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve.

Stewart received numerous awards during his film career and military service and was awarded the United States Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, upon his military retirement.

In 1985, Stewart was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who simultaneously advanced Stewart to the rank of Major General on the U.S. Air Force Retired list.

In 1985, he was also given an Honorary Academy Award by Cary Grant, in recognition of his life’s acting work.

Stewart’s final acting role was in providing the voice of Wylie Burp in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West in 1991.

Stewart was renowned for being an upstanding and honorable person, both on and off-screen.

He was devastated by the loss of his wife Gloria in 1994, with the couple having been married since 1949.

At the age of 89, Stewart died from heart-related problems. He is fondly remembered as one of Hollywood’s real-life gentlemen.

Diana Spencer

(Princess of Wales)

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1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997 (Aged 36)

Diana was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. She was known for championing humanitarian causes, such as ending landmines and helping to make the lives of people with AIDS better.

Before her death, she was one of the most famous women in the world.

Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, were killed in a car crash in Paris, on the morning of August 31, 1997.

A huge number of people lined the streets of London for her funeral in London on September 6th.

Elton John released a remake of his song, “Candle in the Wind”, with the proceeds from the song going towards Diana’s charities.

It topped music charts around the world and is the best-selling single in Billboard’s history.

Following an investigation into the fatal crash, a 1999 report determined that the driver was at fault for driving at high speed while under the influence of alcohol and anti-depressant drugs.

Jacques Cousteau


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11 June 1910 – 25 June 1997 (Aged 87)

Cousteau was a French undersea explorer and filmmaker, who also co-invented the aqua-lung diving device.

During World War II, Cousteau and his family took refuge in the small French town of Megève, near the Swiss border. 

He went on to join the French Resistance movement, documenting Italian troop movements.

Cousteau was recognized for his work after the war when he was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

In 1950, Cousteau leased what was once a British minesweeper and converted it into an oceanographic research vessel, which he named Calypso.

Throughout his life, Cousteau explored the underwater world, while also producing more than 120 television documentaries, more than 50 books, and establishing an environmental protection foundation.

Cousteau died at his home in Paris, aged 87 from a heart attack.

Deng Xiaoping

(Chinese Leader)

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22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997 (Aged 92)

Xiaoping was an important Chinese revolutionary and politician, who was the de facto leader of China from 1978 until 1989.

Following the death of Chairman Mao, Xiaoping led his country away from many communist policies and introduced numerous far-reaching market-economy reforms.

In 1978 and 1985, he was named the Time Person of the Year.

He is widely credited with turning China into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and for raising the standard of living for millions.

However, Deng was also was roundly criticized for ordering a forceful crackdown on protestors in Tiananmen Square during protests in 1989.

Reports of civilian deaths vary from between 300 to 10,000.

Deng died suffering from Parkinson’s disease at the age of 92.

Robert Mitchum


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6 August 1917 – 1 July 1997 (Aged 79)

Mitchum was a renowned American leading actor, best known for his tough-guy screen roles.

From his early teens, Mitchum spent time riding the rails, living as a vagrant, before eventually moving to California and getting his first credited film role in 1943.

He went on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest male stars. Among his most acclaimed films are Out of the Past, Night of the Hunter, Ryan’s Daughter, and the mini-series The Winds of War.

In recognition of his life’s work, Mitchum was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globe Awards in 1992.

He has regularly been voted among the greatest screen legends of all time.

Mitchum was a heavy smoker during his life and died from lung cancer just shy of his 80th birthday, leaving his wife of 57 years, Dorothy, and three children behind.

Biggie Smalls


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21 May 1972 – 9 March 1997 (Aged 24)

Biggie Smalls was a hugely successful east coast American rapper, who was born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn, New York.

Biggie rose to fame following the release of his debut album Ready to Die in 1994. He was also a major figure in the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop feud of the 1990s.

Biggie was gunned down while stopped at traffic lights in Los Angeles following the Soul Train Music Awards at the age of only 24.

His murder has never been solved.

Biggie is widely recognized as one of the greatest rappers of all time.

Ben Hogan


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13 August 1912 – 25 July 1997 (Aged 84)

Hogan was an American professional golfer who is generally considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and one of the finest ball strikers to ever play the game.

The holder of nine career major championships, which ties him with Gary Player for fourth in the all-time list, while he is one of only five golfers to have won all four major championships.

In February 1949, Hogan and his wife Valerie survived a head-on collision with a bus, which left Hogan in a hospital for two months with a double fractured pelvis, fractured collarbone, ankle fracture, and near-fatal blood clots.

Hogan went on to achieve one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history, limping to 12 more PGA Tour wins, including six majors, before he retired.

In 1951, Hogan entered just five events, but incredibly, won the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the World Championship of Golf, while he finished second and fourth in his other two starts.

As a sign of the esteem in which he was held, Hogan received a ticker-tape parade in New York City after winning the British Open in 1953, the only time he played the event.

He died in Texas at the age of 84.