Bob Stewart (August 27, 1920 – May 4, 2012), born Isidore L. Steinberg, was an American television game show producer. Stewart is known for creating popular game shows, including To Tell the Truth, Password and The Price Is Right.
Michael Burks ( July 30, 1957 – May 6, 2012) was an American electric blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his tracks “I Smell Smoke” and “Hard Come, Easy Go.”
Maurice Bernard Sendak ( June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012) was an American writer and illustrator of children’s literature. He was best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963.
Vidal Sassoon ( January 17, 1928 – May 9, 2012) was a British hairdresser credited with creating a simple geometric, “Bauhaus-inspired” hair style, also called the wedge bob. His “wash and wear” philosophy liberated women from the “tyranny of the salon” and “revolutionised the art of hairstyling.”
Evelyn Bryan Johnson (November 4, 1909 – May 10, 2012), nicknamed “Mama Bird,” was the female pilot with the most flying hours in the world. She was a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol and a founding member of the Morristown, Tenn., Civil Air Patrol squadron.
Sam J. Porcello (c. 1936 – May 12, 2012) was an American food scientist who worked at Nabisco for 34 years and was the inventor of the white Oreo cookie creme-filling. His work earned him the nickname “Mr. Oreo.”
Alan Gordon Thorne (March 1, 1939 – May 21, 2012) was an Australian-born academic who was extensively involved with various anthropological events and is considered an authority on interpretations of aboriginal Australian origins and the human genome. Thorne posited significant arguments that have contradicted traditionally accepted theories explaining the early dispersion of human beings.
Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson (March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012) was an American guitarist, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. Watson won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson’s flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded. He performed with his son Merle for more than 15 years until Merle’s death in 1985.
Orlando Vernada Woolridge (December 16, 1959 – May 31, 2012) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association from 1981 to 1994. He was best known for his scoring, especially electrifying slam dunks.
Special thanks to Wikipedia.org. Several of the above obituaries have been edited from the ongoing Wikipedia project found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/deaths_ in_2012.