black celebrity deaths of 2019

14 Notable Black Celebrity Deaths in 2019!!!

Black celebrity deaths this year have trail-blazed paths for many to follow. Leaving a legacy behind that will be enjoyed and talked about for years to come, this list includes sports stars, actors, writers and civil rights leaders, among others.

Black Celebrity Deaths This Year Include Actors and Singers; Sports Stars and Authors; Politicians and an Architect

While they have all broken ground in the black community, their works have benefitted every race. Take a moment to honor these outstanding citizens of life.

Willie Brown

black celebrity deaths
12/02/1940 – 10/21/2019
  • born Willie Ferdie Brown in Yazoo City, Mississippi
  • groundbreaking professional Hall of Fame football player (Cornerback, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders), football coach for Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and Executive
  • notable: 3x Superbowl Champion, 4x Probowl Champion, 2x First Team All-Pro, 2x Second team All-Pro, AFL Champion, 5x AFL All-Star, 3x First team All-AFL, 3x Second Team All-AFL, AFL All-Time Team, NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team, NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • 78 years old at the time of death in Tracy California
  • cause of death: lengthy battle with cancer

Dianne Carroll

black celebrity deaths
07/17/1935 – 10/04/2019
  • born: Carol Diann Johnson in the Bronx, New York City, New York
  • groundbreaking Actress, Singer, Model, Activist
  • notable works: Carmen Jones, Porgy and Bess, Julia, Dynasty, Claudine. First African American to win a Tony Award, for her role in the Broadway musical, No Strings. First African American to star in her own t.v. series, Julia.
  • 84 years old at time of death in Los Angeles California
  • cause of death: breast cancer

John Conyers

black celebrity deaths
05/16/1929 – 10/27/2019
  • born John James Conyers, Jr. in Highland Park, Michigan
  • career Politician of the Democratic Party, Michigan Congressman, Korean War Veteran, Civil-Rights Activist
  • notable works: U.S. Representative for Michigan, served in Congress for more than 50 years and was the longest serving African American. Co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • 90 years old at time of death in Detroit, Michigan
  • cause of death: at his home of natural causes

Rep. Elijah Cummings

black celebrity deaths
01/18/1951 – 10/17/2019
  • born Elijah Eugene Cummings in Baltimore, Maryland
  • American Politician and Civil Rights Advocate
  • notable works: served in the United States House of Representatives for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District; first African American lawmaker to achieve the honor of lying in state at the nation’s Capitol.
  • 68 years old at time of death in Baltimore, Maryland
  • cause of death: complications concerning longstanding health challenges at Johns Hopkins Hospital (though not listed as cause of death, Rep. Cummings lived with a rare form of cancer for 25 years)

Phil Freelon

03/26/1953 – 07/09/2019
  • born Philip Goodwin Freelon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Award-Winning Architech
  • notable works: leading the design team of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History. Designer of civic and cultural projects, including museums, parks, schools, libraries and building across the United States celebrating black culture. Founder of the Freelon Group
  • 66 years old at time of death in Durham, North Carolina
  • caused of death: amyotrohic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Ernest Gaines

01/15/1933 – 11/05/2019
  • born Ernest James Gaines in Oscar, Louisiana
  • American Author (whose works have been taught in college classrooms and translated into many languages, and some made into movies), college professor
  • notable works: A Lesson Before Dying, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, A Gathering of Old Men
  • 86 years old at time of death in Oscar, Louisiana
  • cause of death: at his home of natural causes

Nipsey Hussle

black celebrity deaths
08/15/1985 – 03/31/2019
  • born Ermias Joseph Asghedom in Los Angeles, California
  • rapper, Entrepreneur, community activist
  • notable works: Mix tapes, Bullets Ain’t Got No Name, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues, Crenshaw, Victory Lap. Also known for opening The Marathon Clothing Store
  • 33 at the time of his death in Los Angeles, California
  • cause of death: gunshot wounds

Toni Morrison

black celebrity deaths
02/18/1931 – 08/05/2019
  • born: Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain Ohio
  • novelist, essayist, book editor and college professor
  • notable works: Beloved, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, The Bluest Eye
  • 88 years old at time of death at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York City, New York
  • cause of death: complications from pneumonia

Jessye Norman

black celebrity deaths
09/15/1945 – 09/30/2019
  • born in Augusta, Georgia
  • American Opera Singer and Recitalist, Dramatic Soprano
  • notable works: Served on the boards of directors for Carnegie Hall, New York’s Public Library and Botanical Gardens. Also City-Meals-on-Wheels in New York City, Dance Theatre of Harlem, National Music Foundation, and Elton John AIDS Foundation. Board Member and National spokesperson for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, and spokesperson for Partnership for the Homeless. Norman served on the Board of Trustees of Paine College and the Augusta Opera Association. In 2003, Norman partnered with the Rachel Longstreet Foundation and opened the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free performing arts after-school program for economically disadvantaged students in Augusta, Georgia.
  • 74 years old at time of death in Manhattan, New York
  • cause of death: multiple organ failure and septic shock at Mount Sinai–St. Luke’s Hospital secondary to complications from a spinal-cord injury she suffered in 2015.

Frank Robinson

08/31/1935 – 02/07/2019
  • born in Beaumont, Texas
  • Professional baseball player, Manager, Coach. Played Outfielder for 5 teams, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and the Cleveland Indians. Had his #20 Retired for 3 teams, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Cleveland. 14x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion, Triple Crown, Hall of Fame, among other awards
  • notable works: only player to be named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of both the National League and the American League
  • 83 years old at time of death in Los Angeles, California
  • cause of death: bone cancer

John Singleton

black celebrity deaths
01/06/1968 – 04/28/2019
  • born John Daniel Singleton in Los Angeles, California
  • Film Director, Screenwriter, Producer and Actor
  • notable works: Boyz in the Hood, Hustle and Flow, Poetic Justice, Baby Boy, Higher Learning, Rosewood, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Michael Jackson music video, Remember the Time
  • 51 years old at time of death in his home in Los Angeles, California
  • cause of death: acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, hypertension

Kristoff St. John

07/15/1966 – 02/03/2019
  • a/k/a Christoff St. John, born in New York City, New York
  • actor, animal rights advocate
  • notable works: Roots: The Next Generation, The Young and the Restless
  • 52 at time of death in Los Angeles, California
  • cause of death: accidental, hypertrophic heart failure

Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker, Sr.

black celebrity deaths
01/02/1964 – 07/14/2019
  • born in Norfolk, Virginia
  • professional boxer, boxing trainer
  • notable works: 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Winner, Undisputed Lightweight Boxing Champion, Inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame
  • 55 years old at the time of death in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • cause of death: while crossing the street at an intersection, struck and killed by a vehicle

John Witherspoon

  • born John Weatherspoon in Detroit Michigan
  • actor, comedian
  • notable works: Friday series, Boomerang, The Five Heartbeats
  • 77 years old at time of death in his home in Sherman Oaks California
  • cause of death: heart attack

Resting in Power, these notable black celebrities will be missed.

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