List of Famous people who died in 1968
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. He was the son of early civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Sr..
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis Kennedy, also referred to by his initials RFK and occasionally by the nickname Bobby, was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 64th United States Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. Senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968. He was, like his brothers John and Edward, a prominent member of the Democratic Party and has come to be viewed by some historians as an icon of modern American liberalism.
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and hearing after a bout of illness at the age of nineteen months. She then communicated primarily using home signs until the age of seven when she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan, who taught her language, including reading and writing; Sullivan's first lessons involved spelling words on Keller's hand to show her the names of objects around her. She also learned how to speak and to understand other people's speech using the Tadoma method. After an education at both specialist and mainstream schools, she attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University and became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She worked for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) from 1924 until 1968, during which time she toured the United States and traveled to 39 countries around the globe advocating for those with vision loss.
Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku was a Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing. He was born towards the end of the Kingdom of Hawaii, just before the overthrow, living into statehood as a United States citizen. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming. Duke was also a Scottish Rite Freemason, a Shriner, a law enforcement officer, an actor, a beach volleyball player and a businessman.
Ellsworth Raymond "Bumpy" Johnson was an American drug trafficker in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.
Dame Annie Jean Macnamara, was an Australian medical doctor and scientist, best known for her contributions to children's health and welfare. She was honored as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.
Lev Davidovich Landau was a Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet Air Forces pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to journey into outer space, achieving a major milestone in the Space Race; his capsule, Vostok 1, completed one orbit of Earth on 12 April 1961. Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honour.
Soraya Tarzi, also known as Suraiya Shahzada Khanum, was the first Queen consort of Afghanistan in the early 20th century and the wife of King Amanullah Khan. Born in Syria, she was educated by her father, who was the Afghan leader and intellectual Sardar Mahmud Beg Tarzi. She belonged to the Mohammadzai Pashtun tribe, a sub-tribe of the Barakzai dynasty.
Arthur (Usher) Fellig, known by his pseudonym Weegee, was a photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography in New York City.
Robert Cletus Driscoll was an American child actor and artist, known for his film and TV performances from 1943 to 1960. He starred in some of the Walt Disney Studios' best known live-action pictures of that period, such as Song of the South (1946), So Dear to My Heart (1949), and Treasure Island (1950). Most notably, he served as the animation model and provided the voice for the title role in Peter Pan (1953). He received an Academy Juvenile Award for outstanding performance in two feature films released in 1949, for his roles in So Dear to My Heart and The Window.
Franklin Joseph Lymon was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, best known as the boy soprano lead singer of the New York City-based early rock and roll group The Teenagers. The group was composed of five boys, all in their early to mid-teens. The original lineup of the Teenagers, an integrated group, included three African-American members, Frankie Lymon, Jimmy Merchant, and Sherman Garnes; and two Puerto Rican members, Joe Negroni and Herman Santiago. The Teenagers' first single, 1956's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", was also their biggest hit. After Lymon went solo in mid-1957, both his career and that of the Teenagers fell into decline. He was found dead at the age of 25 on the floor of his grandmother's bathroom from a heroin overdose. His life was dramatized in the 1998 film Why Do Fools Fall In Love.
Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name "Father Louis". He was a member of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, near Bardstown, Kentucky, living there from 1941 to his death.
Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer-Churchill was a British journalist, writer and a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Preston from 1940 to 1945.
Deendayal Upadhyaya was an Indian politician and thinker of right-wing Hindutva ideology espoused by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and leader of the political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the forerunner of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was also known as Panditji for appearing in the civil services examination hall wearing the traditional Indian dhoti-kurta and cap.
Martin Melcher was an American film producer and husband of Doris Day.
Lurleen Brigham Burns Wallace
Lurleen Burns Wallace was the 46th Governor of Alabama for fifteen months from January 1967 until her death in May 1968. She was the first wife of Alabama Governor George Wallace, whom she succeeded as governor because the Alabama constitution forbade consecutive terms. She was Alabama's first female Governor and was the only female governor to hold the position until Kay Ivey became the second woman to succeed to the office in 2017. She is also the only female governor in U.S. history to have died in office. In 1973, she was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.
James Clark Jr. OBE was a British Formula One racing driver from Scotland, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965. A versatile driver, he competed in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965. He was particularly associated with the Lotus marque.
Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, was an Italian friar, priest, stigmatist and mystic, now venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide and Marston was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the development of penicillin.