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Yearender 2020: Influential global figures who passed away this year

New Delhi: In the year 2020 which was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, the world lost some of the most influential people. The list includes entertainers, athletes, politicians and pioneers who left their mark on this planet.

There is an element of subjectivity in selecting personalities for this list, but efforts were made to be objective. The figures on this list include Hosni Mubarak, Diego Maradona, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sean Connery, Javier Perez de Cuellar and several others.

First on the list is former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who reigned over the North African country for almost 30 years and stepped down from his post following a popular revolution in 2011. He died at 91. Mubarak served as Egypt’s fourth President starting in 1981 until his ouster in what came to be known as the Arab Spring revolution.

Legendary soccer player Diego Maradona, who began his professional career with Argentinos Juniors at the age of 16, went on to become one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football. Diego was considered the main player in taking Argentina to their second World Cup title in 1986. He passed away this year.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: US Supreme Court Justice who has been regarded as an iconic champion of women’s rights and history-making jurist passed away at the age of 87. Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the bench, developed a rock star status during her career and was dubbed the ‘Notorious RBG’.

 

Actor Sir Sean Connery, famed for his portrayal of James Bond passed away this year. He was 90. The Scottish-born actor was an audience favourite for more than 40 years and one of the screen’s most reliable and distinctive leading men. Even as he entered his seventh decade, Connery’s star power remained so strong that he was constantly in demand and handsomely remunerated.

Javier Perez de Cuellar was the fifth United Nations Secretary-General, who fostered dialogue and led the UN through a turbulent decade, passed away at the age of 100. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has praised the former UN chief as “an accomplished statesman, a committed diplomat and a personal inspiration who left a profound impact on the United Nations and our world.”

Lee Kun-Hee, the Chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. died at the age of 78. He was a visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business. The company is crucial to the economic well-being of South Korea, as its overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth of the country’s GDP.

Sultan Qaboos led Oman for 50 years and spearheaded the transformation of the country into a prosperous and stable country. Sultan is hailed for his commitment to spreading messages of peace, understanding and coexistence in the region and globally, earning the respect of his people and those in the region and beyond.

Others notable figures who died in 2020 include Li Zheng Sheng, Lee Teng-hui, Kobe Bryant, John Lewis, Kirk Douglas, Irrfan Khan, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Ivan Passer, Mary Higgins Clark and Qassim Suleimani. Several other eminent personalities could not be included here. Also, one must not forget that over 1.7 million people died due to Covid-19 which included the Chinese ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who was said to be first to report the novel coronavirus before its outbreak. (ANI)

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