From entertainers to business moguls and models, the world lost a number of standout figures in 2010. News of their deaths sent shockwaves throughout the public, as fans mourned their losses. Here, the AFRO remembers some of the nation’s most recognized faces and the memories they inspired.

Dorothy Height, 98

Thousands poured into the Washington National Cathedral on April 29 to honor Dorothy Height’s legacy as a pioneering civil rights leader and educator. Height served as a past president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and was president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, which she led for 40 years. At her funeral, President Barack Obama wept openly and said, “Dr. Dorothy Height deserves a place in this pantheon. She, too, deserves a place in our history books. She, too, deserves a place of honor in America’s memory.”

Vonetta McGee, 65

Vonetta McGee, a leading actress in popular 1970s films {Blacula} and {Shaft} died at a hospital in Berkeley, Calif., on July 9 after suffering a heart attack and spending two days on life support.

Raymond Haysbert, 90

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., the pioneering community leader and business giant behind Parks Sausage, died May 24 at Baltimore’s Union Memorial Hospital of congestive heart failure, according to reports. Haysbert was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, amid abject poverty. After working for a coal company, he joined the Army Air Corps and was a fighter pilot with the celebrated Tuskegee Airmen. By the early ‘50s, Haysbert was working as a business teacher in his home state. In 1952, he’d settled in Baltimore to join the burgeoning Parks Sausage company, a career move that would transform his social and economic status. Seventeen years later the company went public, and by the end of the decade, Haysbert was named executive vice president. Under his leadership, Parks Sausage became a Fortune 500 company and grossed nearly $30 million in the ‘80s, a record-breaking number for Black-owned businesses at the time.

Eunice W. Johnson, 93

Eunice W. Johnson, creator of the Ebony Fashion Fair tour, died Jan. 3 at her Chicago home. She was one of the first entrepreneurs to create and market cosmetics for women of color. She married John H. Johnson, founder of the EBONY and Jet empire and was responsible for naming the popular EBONY brand.

Albertina Walker, 81

Often dubbed the “Queen of Gospel,” vocalist Albertina Walker, who spent six decades inspiring future gospel artists and inspiring legions of fans with songs like “Please Be Patient with Me,” “Lord Keep Me Day By Day” and “Walk Around Heaven,” died Oct. 8.

Walker was born in Chicago and began singing at the West Point Baptist Church. Throughout her teen years she performed with various groups and was influenced by celebrated gospel artist Mahalia Jackson, with whom she later toured. Walker founded The Caravans and recorded over 60 albums. She was nominated for 10 Grammy Awards – winning one – and received three Stellar Awards for her gospel music contributions.

John H. Murphy, 94

John H. Murphy III, who was remembered as a steady hand that guided the Afro-American Newspapers through the turbulent waters of civil rights history and a perilous industry, died Oct.16. Murphy began his service to the AFRO in 1937 and served in a variety of positions until he retired in November 1986, after 49 years of service. He started as the office manager of the Washington AFRO, took over as president in 1961 and became chief executive officer in 1967. He was at the helm as president and/or chairman of the board for 25 years.

Gary Coleman, 42

Former “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman died May 28 after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage. Known for his “What’chu talkin’ ‘bout Willis” catch phrase, Coleman was hospitalized May 26 after injuring his head in a fall at his home near Salt Lake City. The fall resulted in a brain hemorrhage.

Born in Zion, Ill., Coleman was recognized as one of entertainment’s brightest stars during his childhood appearance on “Diff’rent Strokes.” Despite his promising career, Coleman struggled to gain notoriety after the show ended and faced a number of health complications stemming from an autoimmune kidney disease.

Walter Hawkins, 61

Walter Hawkins’ career spanned more than 30 years and he released more than 14 albums since 1975 as a solo artist and with his family ensemble. In July, after battling pancreatic cancer, Hawkins died.

Some of the singer’s most memorable songs include “Thank You,” “Holy One” and “Going Up Yonder,” many which became popular Sunday selections in Black churches around the country. The songs also helped Hawkins earn an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Trailblazer Award from publishing company BMI.

In addition to his work as an artist, Hawkins was the pastor and founder of the Love Center Church in his hometown Oakland, Calif.

Teena Marie, 54

On Dec. 26, music lovers learned that Teena Marie – popular for hits like “Square Biz” and “Lovergirl” had suffered a grand mal seizure and died at 54. Born Mary Christine Brockert in California, the “Ivory Queen of Soul” was recognized for her singing, songwriting, guitar and piano playing talents. She worked closely with mentor Rick James and was nominated for four Grammy Awards throughout her career. In 2009, Marie was featured on an episode of TV One’s “Unsung” series, which chronicles celebrity musicians who, despite their talents, never reached the upper echelons of superstardom.

Ron Walters, 72

For more than four decades, Dr. Ronald Walters served the African-American community, the United States and the world as a consultant, teacher, writer, mentor and friend. His service came to a close Sept. 10, when he lost a battle with cancer at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md.

Walters made his mark as a dedicated scholar, authoring and co-authoring more than 10 books and hundreds of academic articles and commentaries. He was awarded the Ralph Bunche Prize for his book Black Presidential Politics in America.

He was also a political consultant, serving as policy adviser to former congressmen William Gray and Charles Diggs. He worked with a number of organizations and served as director of public policy for the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns.

Teddy Pendergrass, 59

Noted for his soulful voice and sex symbol status, Teddy Pendergrass rose to the height of fame during the ‘70s and ‘80s with hits like “Turn Off the Lights” and “Love T.K.O.” He began his music career as the lead singer for the group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and launched his self-titled solo album in 1977. Tragedy struck the crooner in 1982 after an automobile accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, but Pendergrass continued to record music and eventually returned to the stage in 1985 for a Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.

In 1998 Pendergrass founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Manute B