16 Icons Who Passed Away in 2020

In a year heart-wrenchingly challenging for the entire global community as the pandemic spread around the entire world, life and death became a harrowing part of daily life in 2020. The devastation was accentuated by the loss of some of the most notable figures — from a variety of causes — who graced everything the big screen and basketball courts and who made their mark in fields ranging from politics and justice to the restaurant and music scenes.

Take a look at some of the greatest losses of 2020:

Kobe Bryant (August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020)

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Kobe (R) and Gianna Bryant, November 2019

The tragic death of basketball great Kobe Bryant at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash, which also took the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, sent shockwaves not just through the sports community, but the entire globe. Joining the NBA straight from high school, he immediately made a name for himself, becoming the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19 in 1998. By 2008, he was named Most Valuable Player, and Bryant also brought home two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. With five NBA titles during his time as a Los Angeles Laker, he retired in 2016. Bryant also turned a poem he wrote in 2015 called “Dear Basketball” into an animated project, which won the Oscar for best animated short film in 2018.

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