The beginning of a new year necessarily means the end of one as well and a good time to take a look at the year we’ve just ended to pay our respects to the ones we’ve lost. As with every year, we’ve lost quite a few notable characters in 2009. We’re not even going to mention the celebrities (MJ, Farah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, Walter Cronkite, etc.), but here’s a quick look back at some of the memorable business mavericks who inspired us, achieved great things, and will be remembered.
Senator Edward Kennedy
Liberal lion, last remaining Kennedy brother, American patriarch. He spearheaded legislation to raise the minimum wage and played a key role in the birth of the Small Business Innovation Research Program.
Sol Price was the father of warehouse marketing. From PriceSmart, Inc. to today’s Costco, warehouse shopping is a trend that has since grown to characterize the American shopper.
His familiar voice is unmistakable. From Oxiclean to Mighty Putty and even discount health plans, Billy Mays was the undisputed king of direct-response advertising.
Whether you make fun of larpers who fling of lighting bolts or you’re a full-fledged DM, Dungeons & Dragons is way of life for many. When Co-Creator Dave Arneson came up with the concept in 1974 (which has since spawned video games, books, and movies), his basic goal was just to encourage people to enjoy themselves and have fun.
He was considered rock royalty and indeed paved the way for rock-n-roll, but at his core, Les Paul was a Midwestern jazz man, an inventor, and an artist who just loved to play.
For more, check out the Los Angeles Times Notable Deaths of 2009.