Obituaries, 19th-26th of October 2012

Yash Chopra, George McGovern, Russell C Means, Fiorenzo Magni & William Walker have passed away. May their souls rest in peace

Yash Chopra: September 27th 1932 – October 21st 2012
Bollywood legend Yash Chopra has passed away this week at the age of 80. He died in Mumbai after being infected with dengue fever. Born in Lahore, British India (what is now Pakistan), Chopra initially considered a career in engineering before developing his love of filmmaking. A screenwriter, producer and director, he made his debut in 1959 with the movie "Dhool Ka Phool" and went on to produce such hits as "Deewar," "Chandni" and "Jab Tak Hai Jaan." Chopra is survived by his wife and two sons.

George McGovern: July 19th 1922 – October 21st 2012
The 1972 Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, George McGovern, passed away this week aged 90. Once described by Robert Kennedy as "the most decent man in the Senate," McGovern was born in South Dakota and graduated from Wesleyan College before being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his endeavors during World War Two. His full-time political career began in 1956 and four years later he was elected to the Senate. McGovern's presidential campaign was marred with errors from which he never recovered, eventually losing to Nixon, and it later transpired that McGovern was the victim of the Watergate scandal. His alcoholic daughter died in 1994 leading him to set up a foundation to help others with the disease. McGovern is survived by his three other daughters.

Russell C Means: November 10th 1939 - October 22nd 2012
Actor, activist and campaigner for the Native American Indians Russell C Means has passed away this week aged 72. He died on his ranch on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from cancer. He had chosen to opt for herbal medical treatments as opposed to mainstream ones. Born on the Pine Ridge Reserve he was moved with his family to San Francisco due to his father's work and his childhood like much of his later life was marred with trouble that would see him shot, stabbed and imprisoned. Denounced by many as a self-serving egoist and praised by others for his dedication to his people's rights, Means went on to star in many high profile movies such as "The Last of the Mohicans" and "Natural Born Killers" and he also wrote and recorded music. He is survived by his fifth wife and a number of both biological and adopted children.

Fiorenzo Magni: December 7th 1920 – October 19th 2012
Legendary cyclist Fiorenzo Magni has passed away due to an aneurysm at the age of 91. He was widely considered to be one of the godfathers of the modern professional sport, earning the nickname of the "Colossus of Monza" and once finished a race with two fractured bones. Magni was also the first to incorporate outside sponsors into the cycling world and after his retirement became a successful businessman. Born in Tuscany, Italy, Magni went on to win the Giro d'Italia on three occasions and later managed his nation's cycling team. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

William Walker: August 24th 1913 – October 21st 2012
William Walker, the oldest surviving pilot of the Battle of Britain passed away this week at the age of 99. His Spitfire fighter plane was shot down by the German air force over the English Channel and though he suffered a bullet to the leg and was the victim of hypothermia, within half a year Walker was back defending his skies. Born in London, he began his working life with a brewery, of which he went on to become chairman before volunteering to the war effort. He left the Royal Air Force at the war's end having been awarded the Air Efficiency Award and resumed his previous job. He was a regular figure at remembrance ceremonies, with a poem he wrote engraved in stone at a British memorial site. In 2011, his verses were published and the proceeds donated to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. He is survived by five of his seven children.

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