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Remembering the newsmakers we lost in 2019

A 9/11 first responder, a giant in the auto industry, and an unlikely popular third-party presidential candidate are among those we said farewell to in 2019.

They may not be the people who dominate your music playlists or the shows you binge-watch, but these individuals were major influences in politics, business and social causes. 

These are some of the newsmakers we lost in 2019.

Luis Alvarez, 53; Former New York City detective who became the face of the fight to extend health benefits for 9/11 first responders.

Credit: AP
In this undated file photo provided by the New York City Police Department, NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez poses for a photo. Alvarez, died on Saturday, June 29, after a three-year battle with cancer.

RELATED: Detective who fought for 9/11 victims remembered for his bravery

Michel Bacos, 94; French pilot of a hijacked airliner in 1976 who refused to leave the plane while Jewish and Israeli passengers remained on board.

Jacques Chirac, 86; Influential French president who sought unified Europe.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, 68; 13-term congressman from Baltimore. Son of sharecroppers advanced to become chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee.

Credit: AP
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

RELATED: Congress bids tearful farewell to 'sweet Elijah' Cummings

Rep. John Conyers, 90; Served in House of Representatives from 1965-2017, making him the longest-serving African-American in congressional history.

Rep. John Dingell, 92; His 59 years in the House was the longest run in history. 

Rep. Paul Findley, 98; Helped write the War Powers Act, which requires the president to give Congress 48 hours notice before sending troops into combat.

Richard Hatcher, 86: As mayor of Gary, Indiana, was one of the first black mayors of a big U.S. city.

Lee Iacocca, 94; Spent 32 years at Ford Motor Company, but best known for turning around Chrysler during 14-year tenure.

David Koch, 79; Right-wing billionaire who, along with brother Charles, poured billions into influencing American politics. Was 1980 Libertarian vice-presidential candidate. Philanthropist donated mightily to arts and culture.

James Leavelle, 99; Detective was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald and escorting him when Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald.

Credit: Bob Jackson
Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected assassin of JFK, shot to death at point-blank range by Jack Ruby in basement of Dallas police headquarters Nov. 24, 1963. Plainclothes officer to the left of him is Jim Leavelle in the white suit and Stetson.

Aleksei Leonov, 85; Russian cosmonaut was the first man to walk in space. Later revealed the walk nearly killed him because his suit bulked up, making it difficult to re-enter the spacecraft.

RELATED: First human to walk in space, Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, has died

Sen. Richard Lugar, 87; Spent 36 years in the Senate. Led effort to destroy nuclear weapons stockpiles around the world

Rosemary Mariner, 65; First woman to command a U.S. Navy air squadron.

Mohammed Morsi, 67; Egypt's first democratically-elected president. Was ousted by the military in Arab Spring in 2011.

Robert Mugabe, 95; First president of independent Zimbabwe with an appetite for power was forced out by his party and military in 2017.

H. Ross Perot, 89; Ran for president twice, but his 1992 run gained rarely-seen traction for a third-party candidate, winning 19 percent of the popular vote.

Credit: WFAA
H. Ross Perot died July 9 at the age of 89.

T. Boone Pickens, 91; Powerful, colorful entrepreneur and investor in the oil and gas industries was also an environmentalist.

John Paul Stevens, 99; Served 35 years as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

William Doyle Ruckelshaus, 87; Resigned as deputy attorney general rather than carry out President Richard Nixon’s order to fire the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

Cokie Roberts, 75; Political reporter for NPR then ABC News inspired generations of aspiring female journalists.

Paul Volcker, 92: Former Federal Reserve Chairman fought double-digit infation in the 1980s by raising interest rates to historic highs, triggering a recession.

Joseph Wilson, 69; American diplomat who challenged the claim by President George W. Bush that Iraq was building nuclear weapons. His then-wife Valerie Plame was subsequently outed as an undercover CIA agent.

Sources include The New York Times, Associated Press and Britannica..

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