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Roy Orbison


23 April 1936 – 6 December 1988 (Aged 52)

Orbison was a gifted American singer-songwriter, famous for hits such as ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, Only the Lonely, and ‘You Got It’. 

He was known for his signature look of dark sunglasses and black clothing.

In the early 1960s, Orbison had many big chart hits which made him a huge star.

However, in 1966 Orbison experienced the tragedy of his wife being killed in a motorcycle accident, and his oldest two sons died in a house fire two years later.

In the aftermath of these events and the rise of the Rock counterculture, Orbison lost his way and stopped recording altogether by the mid 1970s.

Orbison would see a revival in his career in the 1980s, touring with the Eagles, a Grammy-winning duet with Emmylou Harris, a Van Halen cover of ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, and his song ‘In Dreams’ featuring in the film Blue Velvet.

In 1987, Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A year later, Orbison co-founded rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, along with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne.

Orbison’s life was cut short in December of that year after he suffered a heart attack at the age of 52.

He is widely recognized as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.

Frederick Douglass Patterson


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10 October 1901 – 26 April 1988 (Aged 86)

Patterson was an American educator who, having been orphaned at the age of 2, went on to become president of Tuskegee University, and founded the United Negro College Fund, which administers 10,000 scholarships every year.

The George Washington Carver Foundation was also founded by Patterson.

His beliefs in education being the key to equality of opportunity saw him help countless African-American, disadvantaged and minority kids to a better life.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan awarded Patterson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Enzo Ferrari

(Racing Driver/Entrepreneur)

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18 February 1898 – 14 August 1988 (Aged 90)

Ferrari was an Italian racing driver and entrepreneur, responsible for founding the Ferrari racing team and the automobile company.

Ferrari was a race-car driver with Alfa Romeo and continued to work with them after his racing career finished in 1932.

He designed and built his first car for Alfa Romeo in 1937, before forming his own company in 1939.

For the remainder of his life, Ferrari’s racing team was among the most successful in Formula 1, while their sports cars built a reputation for speed and luxury.

Kenneth Williams


The Kenneth Williams Diaries / FlickrCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

22 February 1926 – 15 April 1988 (Aged 62)

Williams was an English actor and entertainer, best known for appearing in nearly all of the 31 iconic Carry On films.

During World War II, Williams served with the Royal Engineers after turning 18.

He turned to comedy and gained fame featuring in Hancock’s Half Hour, before going on to star on British television.

Williams, who had suffered from depression during his life, died from an overdose at the age of 62.

Seán MacBride

(Irish Nationalist/Politician)

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26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988 (Aged 83)

MacBride was an Irish nationalist and politician, who was the IRA’s chief of staff by the age of 24.

In 1937, he became a barrister, before venturing into Irish politics in the 1940s and serving as a member of parliament in Dáil Éireann until 1958.

In 1961, MacBride was a founding member of Amnesty International, serving as its international chairman until 1974.

MacBride also served as the United Nations assistant secretary-general and president of the UN General Assembly.

Widely recognized for his human rights work and fighting injustice, MacBride was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974.

He died just shy of his 84th birthday and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.