There is a very common phrase that states: One person can change the world. Things that people have done throughout their lives are noticed especially after they pass away, and leave what they did during their time living with the rest of the world.
In the last decade, many actors and performers of the arts, as well as other iconic figures have died. Their passing has had incredible effects on society and fans of their work. Millions of supporters across the world who have enjoyed what these people did now have to comprehend that person is now deceased and won’t be contributing to society any longer.
“I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know Carrie Fisher,” math teacher Terry Schwartzkopf said. “Star Wars came out when I was a young boy, and I saw it in the local theater.”
Sometimes the way that ordinary people find out about them is memorable. Science teacher Caeli Loris found out about the pop idol Michael Jackson from her family and friends.
“My sister, one of her friends was obsessed with Michael Jackson so they would play his music in the car whenever they drove me,” Loris said. “My parents would [also] play Jackson 5.”
Loris isn’t the only one who had an experience with Michael Jackson. Junior Gage Bunker also had some encounters with the icon in his childhood.
“It was like Halloween or something and someone dressed up as Michael Jackson, and I’m like, ‘Oh who’s that?’,” Bunker said. “When I was little, my parents would play his music all the time, especially around Halloween they’d play ‘Thriller’ in the house.”
Michael Jackson wasn’t the only songwriting legend of his time. A man who went by the name of Prince during his career as a superstar also created childhood memories for, one of them being senior Hannah Bartos.
“I probably first heard of him when I was with my dad and when he would listen to music,” Bartos said. “I just kind of heard it and enjoyed it.”
It has to be asked, though: why are these people held in such high regard over others in the same time period, and do they deserve it?
“I think [Muhammad Ali] was the right person at the right time to not only advance African American rights but also speak on political issues such as Vietnam,” Principal Dr. Steve Poole said. “He changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali because of religious preference, so he was a lot more politically active than I think people give him credit for.”
In some situations, it really does depend on how a person’s life is viewed from all sides; whether it be their public or their private life. Not many people would say that these celebrities were perfect when they were alive.
“Carrie Fisher died on the airplane, but if articles that I read were correct, she also had a lot of illegal drugs in her system when it happened,” Schwartzkopf said. “A lot of these [celebrities] get this fame and this fortune, and they have lives that are lives that we can’t understand and they get hooked early and it’s a constant battle. So I think she deserves the recognition and acclaim to what she brought to cinema, for what she brought to the franchise, and for some of the things that she did, but a lot of these [celebrities] that are listed I don’t think should be on a pedestal in regards to how they lived their lives and the choices that they made.”
Although these celebrities are gone, their impact is still a critical part of how the world has progressed and been affected. These people have given something positive to the world in one way or another, and their passing should not be remembered with negativity at the fact that they’re gone, yet remember the person for who they were and how they made a positive change in the world.
- Frank Sinatra
- Gordie Howe
- Michael Jackson
- Muhammad Ali
- Whitney Houston
- Carrie Fisher
- Paul Walker
- Chester Bennington
- Nancy Reagan