Alixa Naff, 93 an early and pioneering historian who documented the lives of the first Arab-American immigrants a century ago, in Mitchellville, Maryland, after a brief illness.
-- Chen Xitong, 82, who as Beijing mayor backed the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square democratic movement but later expressed regret for the loss of life, in Beijing of cancer.
-- Frank Lautenberg, 89, a liberal Democrat who was the oldest person in the U.S. Senate and its last World War II veteran and left his mark on everyday lives of Americans by pushing for banning smoking on airliners and making 21 the legal drinking age in all states, in New York of complications from viral pneumonia.
Joey Covington, 67, a former Jefferson Airplane drummer who co-wrote several of the group's songs, in a car crash in Palm Springs, California.
-Esther Williams, 91, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1050s, in Los Angeles of apparent natural causes.
-- Tom Sharpoe, 85, who turned a razor-edged eye for absurdity on everything from the racism of apartheid to the squabbles of academia in a string of novels including the campus classic "Porthouse Blue," in Llafranc, Spain, of complications from diabetes.
-- Pierre Mauroy, 84, who as French prime minister in the early 1980s implemented radical social reforms that made life easier for French workers, in a Paris suburb. He had cancer.
-- Willi Sitte, 92, one of East Germany's most eminent artists and a key representative of Communism's preferred socialist realism painting style, in Germany after a long illness.
-- Yoram Kaniuyk, 83, a celebrated Israeli artist and a harsh critic of his homeland, in Israel after a long illness.
-- Bruno Bartoletti, 86, an orchestra conductor who was associated with the Lyric Opera of Chicago for half a century and who championed modern opera as well as classic works, in Florence, Italy after a long illness.
-- Iain Banks, 59, a Scottish writer who alternately wowed and disturbed readers with his dark jokes and narrative tricks, was an expert on Scotch whiskey and politically active, in Britain. He had cancer.
-- Robert W. Fogel, 86, a University of Chicago economist whose study of the economics of slavery sparked a furious debate in academia and later helped him garner a Nobel prize, in Chicago after a brief illness.
-- Evelyn Kozak, 113, the world's oldest Jewish person whose family fled Russia in the 1880s to escape anti-Semitism, in New York after suffering a heart attack.
-- Helen Bush Jenkins, 94, a pioneering photojournalist who made Life magazine when she snapped a photo of her child moments after birth, in Chicago after suffering a stroke.
-- Paul Soros, 87, a successful innovator in shipping, philanthropist and older brother of billionaire financier George Soros, in New York after a long bout with a host of illnesses.
-- Kenneth Wilson, 77, a physicist who earned a Nobel prize for pioneering work that changed the way physicists think about phase transition, in Saco, Maine, from complications of lymphoma.
-- Bob Meistrell, 84, who co-founded the Body Glove company and helped develop the first neoprene wet suit, in Catalina, California after suffering a heart attack.
-- Bernard "Bernie" Sahlins, 90, who co-founded Chicago's Second City theater and who nurtured the careers of many of the earliest stars on the American television comedy show "Saturday Night Live," in New York of apparent natural causes.
-- Michael Baigent, 65, a writer who gained attention for launching an unsuccessful lawsuit contending "The Da Vinci Code" stole ideas from his own book, in Brighton, England of a brain hemorrhage.
- Moshe Greeberg, a religious educator who survived a brutal Gulag in Siberia and secretly taught Judaism under an oppressive Soviet regime, in Israel. No cause of death was given.
-- Vince Flynn 47, a best-selling author who wrote the Mitch Rapp counterterrorist series and sold more than 15 million books in the U.S. alone, in St. Paul, Minnesota, after a two-year battle with prostate cancer.
-- Gyula Horn, 80, a former Hungarian prime minister who played a key role in bringing communism to an end in Eastern Europe, in Budapest. He had been hospitalized for several years for treatment of undisclosed illnesses.
-- James Gandolfini, 51, whose portrayal of an emotionally delicate crime boss was the brilliant center of one of American television's greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, in Rome of an apparent heart attack.
-- Slim Whitman, 90, a country singer with a high-pitch yodel who sold millions of records in the 1980s and 1990s through ever-present TV ads and whose song saved the world in the film comedy "Mars Attacks, in Miami of heart failure.
-- Bobby "Blue" Band, 83, a distinguished singer who blended Southern blues and soul in songs like "Turn on Your Love Light" and "Further On Up the Road," in Memphis, Tennessee. No cause of death was given.
-- James Martin, 79, a British philanthropist and computer guru who was one of the highest selling authors of books about computing. His body was found in waters near Agar Island, Bermuda.
-- Alan Myers, 58, the former longtime drummer with the band Devo, best known for "Whip It," in Los Angeles of brain cancer.
-- Marc Rich, 78, a Belgian-born wheeler-dealer who became the billionaire "King of Commodities," was indicated for fraud, racketeering and tax evasion and then was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office, in Lucerne, Switzerland of a stroke.
-- Milorad Miskovitch, 85, a Yugoslav-born dancer who became one of French ballet's leading male stars in the 1940s and 1050s, in Nice, France. No cause of death was given.
-- Bert Stern 83, a commercial photographer of celebrities and models and best known for his images of Marilyn Monroe several weeks before her death in what became known as "The Last Sitting," in New York. No cause of death was given.
- Margherita Hack 91, an astrophysicist who explained her research in plain language for the public and who championed civil rights in her native Italy, in Trieste. No cause of death was given.