We lost icons including Al Davis, Joe Frazier and Duke Snider in 2011. Here are some others, listed in the chronological order of their passing:

Notable Sports Deaths Of 2011 Slideshow


Cookie Gilchrist

In 1962, Gilchrist became the first AFL player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Gilchrist was also a civil right activist, who organized a boycott of the 1964 AFL All-Star Game scheduled for New Orleans after businesses in the city denied him and black teammates entry. The game was moved to Houston. Gilchrist died of throat cancer on Jan. 10. He was 75.


Jack Lalanne

Lalanne was the first national fitness celebrity who popularized his workouts and nutrition tips on TV and in a health club chain he founded. He died Jan. 23 from pneumonia. He was 96. -- Remember LaLanne's Motto: If Man Made It, Don’t Eat It


Chuck Tanner

Tanner played eight MLB seasons but is better known for his managerial success, including the 1979 World Series championship with the Pirates. He died Feb. 11 after a long illness. He was 82.


Dave Duerson

The two-time All-American safety from Notre Dame won Super Bowls with the Bears and Giants. He died Feb. 17 from a self-inflicted gunshot. He donated his brain for research, and results showed he had a condition associated with concussions. He was 50.


Ollie Matson

Matson was a Hall of Fame running back for four NFL teams. Matson also won silver and bronze medals in track at the 1952 Olympics. He died Feb. 19 from respiratory failure. He was 80.


Duke Snider

Snider was a Hall of Fame centerfielder for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. He had the last home run at Ebbets Field and the first base hit at Dodger Stadium. Snider, who hit 40 or more homers in five consecutive seasons, died Feb. 27 of an undisclosed illness. He was 84.


Rick Martin

Martin was a winger on the Sabres' legendary "French Connection" line with Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert. Martin, who scored 52 goals in consecutive seasons, died March 13 from a heart attack. He was 59.


Marty Marion

Marion was a shortstop who helped the Cardinals win three World Series including in 1944 when he was the National League MVP. He died March 15 from a heart attack. He was 94.


Drew Hill

Hill was a 12th-round pick who blossomed into a two-time Pro Bowl receiver during the heyday of the Oilers' run-and-shoot offense in the 80's. He died March 19 from a stroke. He was 54.


Grete Waitz

The Norwegian runner's success in the late 70's and early 80's in the New York City Marathon was a factor in the women's event becoming an Olympic sport. She died of cancer on April 19. She was 57.


Joe Perry

Perry, a fullback, was part of the 49ers' "Million Dollar Backfield," along with Hugh McElhenny, John Henry Johnson and Y.A. Tittle, all of whom are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Perry died April 25 from dementia that his wife attributed to his playing career. He was 84.


Jim Mandich

Mandich was the tight end of the Dolphins' undefeated 1972 team, but a younger generation of fans knew him for his signature "All right, Miami!" call as the team's radio commentator. He died April 26 from bile-duct cancer. He was 62.


Seve Ballesteros

The Spanish golfer won the British Open three times and the Masters twice. He died May 7 from brain cancer. He was 54. -- Mickelson Serves Up A Sweet Tribute To Seve At Masters Dinner


Robert (Tractor) Traylor

Traylor earned his Tractor nickname for being 6-8 and weighing more than 300 pounds. He was a college star at Michigan and played in the NBA for the Bucks, Cavaliers and Hornets before continuing his career overseas. He died May 11 from a heart attack in Puerto Rico. He was 34.


Ron Springs

Springs played fullback for eight seasons with the Cowboys and Buccaneers and is the father of longtime NFL cornerback Shawn Springs. He died May 12 from a heart attack. He had been in a coma since October 2007 when he had a heart attack while undergoing surgery to remove a cyst from his elbow. He was 54.


Derek Boogaard

The 6-7 winger was one of the NHL's most feared fighters in the past decade. He died May 13 from a drug and alcohol overdose. Tests on his brain showed he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition linked to repeated blows to the head. He was 28.


Harmon Killebrew

Killebrew earned a spot in the Hall of Fame with his power, which came despite being just 5-11. He hit 573 home runs, which is still the second highest total (behind Alex Rodriguez) for a right-handed batter in the American League. He died May 17 from esophageal cancer. He was 74.


Randy (Macho Man) Savage

Born Randy Poffo, Savage spent time in the minors for the Cardinals, Reds and White Sox before becoming a legendary pro wrestler and Slim Jim endorser. He died May 20 from a heart attack while driving. He was 58.


Paul Splittorff

Splitoroff spent his entire MLB career with the Royals, winning 166 games, and then served the team as a broadcaster. He died from oral cancer and melanoma on May 25. He was 64.


Margo Dydek

The 7-2 native of Poland is the WNBA's all-time leading shot blocker. She died May 27 after suffering a heart attack a week earlier while in the early stages of pregnancy. She was 37.


Andy Robustelli

Drafted by the Rams, Robustelli became a Hall of Fame defensive end for the Giants' glory teams of the late 50's and early 60's. He died May 31 after complications from surgery. He was 85.


Lorenzo Charles

Charles' last-second dunk to beat Houston in the 1983 NCAA title game capped N.C. State's amazing underdog run. He died June 27 when the tour bus he was driving crashed. He was 47.


Armen Gilliam

The Hammer was the inside force for UNLV's 1987 Final Four team and played 13 seasons in the NBA. He died July 5 after collapsing during a pick-up basketball game at a gym in suburban Pittsburgh. He was 47.


John Mackey

Mackey was a Hall of Fame tight end who redefined the position and helped the Colts win Super Bowl V. After his playing career, Mackey was the first president of the NFL Players Association and fought for more favorable benefits and free agency eligibility. He died July 6 after suffering from dementia for many years. He was 69.


Dick Williams

Williams was a Hall of Fame manager who guided six teams. He won the World Series with the A's in 1972 and 1973, and took the Padres to their first World Series in 1984. He died July 7 from an aneurysm. He was 82.


Jeret Peterson

Peterson, a freestyle skier who won the silver medal in aerials at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, died July 25 from a self-inflicted gunshot. He was 29. -- Me And Speedy: A Personal Reflection On The Late Olympic Skier Jeret Peterson


Hideki Irabu

Irabu was a Japanese pitching sensation whose struggles after joining the Yankees in 1997 prompted a legendary rant from George Steinbrenner. He died July 27 after apparently hanging himself. He was 42.


Bubba Smith

The No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft -- the first time the NFL and AFL held a common draft -- Smith played defensive end for nine seasons. Also a star in commercials for Miller Lite and in the "Police Academy" movie franchise, Smith died August 3 from an overdose of diet pills and heart disease. He was 66.


Rick Rypien

Rypien spent parts of six seasons in the Canucks organization. A cousin of Super Bowl MVP quarterback Mark Rypien, he died August 15 in a suicide. He was 27.


Pete Pihos

Pihos was a Hall of Fame receiver who helped the Eagles win two NFL championships in the 40's. He died August 16 from Alzheimer's disease. He was 87.


Mike Flanagan

Flanagan won the 1979 American League Cy Young award with the Orioles and later served the team as a general manager and broadcaster. He died August 24 from a self-inflicted shot to the head. He was 59.


Wade Belak

Belak played forward and defense for five NHL teams but his calling card was the physical game. He died August 31 from an apparent suicide. He was 35.


Lee Roy Selmon

Selmon was a defensive end who helped Oklahoma win two national championships. After being the first overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft, Selmon had a Hall of Fame career with the Buccaneers. As athletic director at South Florida, he launched the football program. He died Sept. 4 after suffering a stroke. He was 56. -- Friends And Fans Remember The Greatest Buc Of All


Brad McCrimmon

A defenseman on Calgary's 1989 Stanley Cup championship team, McCrimmon went on to become one of the NHL's best assistant coaches. He died as head coach of the Lokomotiv club in Russia on Sept. 7 when the team plane crashed. He was 52. -- Brad McCrimmon Made The Best Even Better


Pavol Demitra

Demitra played in three NHL All-Star Games during his 16 seasons in the league, mostly with the Blues. A Slovak, Demitra was the leading scorer at the 2010 Olympics. He was on Lokomotiv team plane crashed that crashed Sept. 7. Other former NHL players killed in the crash included Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins and Josef Vasicek. Demitra was 36.


Dave Gavitt

Gavitt was the founder and first commissioner of the Big East after a successful coaching career that featured his taking Providence to the 1973 Final Four. He died Sept. 16 from heart failure. He was 73.


Orlando Brown

Although he played 13 seasons as a tackle with the Browns and Ravens, the man nicknamed Zeus might be better remembered for the eye injury he sustained courtesy of referee Jeff Triplette. A ball bearing, used to weigh down the penalty flags, hit Brown in the eye when Triplette threw it. Brown died Sept. 23 from complications of diabetes. He was 40.


Al Davis

The Raiders owner was a maverick, a pioneer and an innovator. The team won three Super Bowls with Davis, who died Oct. 8 from heart failure. He was 82. -- The Immortal Words Of Al Davis


Dan Wheldon

Wheldon, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, died Oct. 16 when he was involved in a 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was 33. -- Dan Wheldon Spent Final Night Getting His And Hers Tattoos With Wife Susie


Bob Forsch

Forsch, the only Cardinals pitcher with two no-hitters, helped the team win the 1982 World Series. He died of an aneurysm on Nov. 3. He was 61.


Joe Frazier

Frazier, a former world heavyweight champion whose trilogy against Muhammad Ali ranks among the all-time classics, died Nov. 7 of liver cancer. Also an Olympic gold medalist, Frazier was 67.


Ed Macauley

Macauley, a Hall of Fame forward/center, helped the Hawks win the only NBA title in franchise history in 1958. Macauley, who was traded from Boston in a deal that brought Bill Russell to the Celtics, died Nov. 8. He was 83.


Kurt Budke

Budke was the Oklahoma State women's basketball coach who took his team to the NCAA tournament three times since being hired in 2005. He died Nov. 17 in a plane crash while on a recruiting trip. He was 50.


Walt Hazzard

Hazzard was a 6-2 guard who helped UCLA win the NCAA title in 1964 when he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. He played 11 seasons in the NBA and coached the Bruins for four years in the mid-80's. He died Nov. 18 after complications from heart surgery. He was 69.


Chester McGlockton

A four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle in his 12 NFL seasons, McGlockton was a Stanford defensive assistant coach the past two years. He died Nov. 30. The cause of death has not been determined. He was 42.



The captain of Brazil's 1982 World Cup soccer team died Dec. 4 from an intestinal infection. He was 57.


Johnny Wilson

Wilson won four Stanley Cups as a winger with the Red Wings, a team that he and his brother, Larry, each later coached. Wilson's nephew, Ron Wilson, is currently the coach of the Maple Leafs. Johnny Wilson died Dec. 27. He was 82.

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