Remembering everyone we lost in 2022 and their legacies


Grace Huang

We have lost many in the past year, but their legacies and accomplishments continue to live on and be remembered.

For many, 2022 was a year of new beginnings, unexpected changes, and, sadly, losses. Barbara Walters will be remembered for laying the foundation for future female journalists as one of the first newswomen. Sacheen Littlefeather will be remembered for rejecting an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando to take a stance against the stereotypical and harmful depictions of Native Americans in the film industry. 

We cannot forget everyone we’ve lost in 2022 and the legacies they’ve left behind. Here are just a few notable people to remember:

Queen Elizabeth

Probably the most notable person we’ve lost in 2022 was Queen Elizabeth II who was queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 1952 until 2022. She reigned for 70 years and is the longest reigning monarch. 

Queen Elizabeth was extremely popular during her reign, known for her calm composure and dignity. She was a unifying figure that people could look up to.

“Because she was the queen for so long, people have looked up to her and she was liked and respected. She lived through some iconic events. If you ask the older generations, they would remember things such as her coronation being the first to be on TV,” said British student Lucy Taylor (‘23).

For bringing the monarchy to the public eye through the television, Queen Elizabeth is credited for modernizing the monarchy. Through her involvement in government and political affairs and with keeping up with her ceremonial duties, the former Queen has earned the respect of many people. 

“She was liked and respected by most people and will be remembered well as she was the Queen for so long. She was the longest reigning monarch in the UK, and I think that will stand out to people forever,” said Taylor.

Olivia Newton-John

For fans of the entertainment industry, the loss of Olivia Newton-John was a heartbreaking experience. The British-Australian singer and actress passed away at 73, but not without leaving a legacy of her own. 

Olivia Newton-John first rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s with her hit songs “I Honestly Love You” and “Physical”. She earned credit as a singer by winning a Grammy Award four times. She then became a popular actress by starring in the film Grease where she played main character Sandy Olsson. 

“I was very sad to hear about her death. She was one of the most caring people in music and in acting that I’ve ever known. The fact that she was in Grease, one of the best movies of all time shows her worth. She played Sandra, the most iconic goody-two-shoes person. Who could not love her and be saddened by her death?” said U.S. History teacher Thomas Dalldorf.

Not only was Olivia Newton-John one of the biggest Australian stars to ever have an international career, she was an advocate for breast cancer research after falling ill to cancer herself. Her work enabled many scientists to continue their studies on cancer and offered hope to those suffering from the disease.  

“Olivia Newton-John was not fake. She was so friendly, and a true person. She had a sparkling personality and her wholesomeness as a person will be remembered,” said Dalldorf.

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe was Japan’s longest serving prime minister and a leader in the global economy. Despite being a controversial figure, the work he’s done continues to be remembered. 

On July 8, while giving a campaign speech, Shinzo Abe was assassinated by being shot with a handmade gun. The unexpected murder was shocking news for many Japanese people who were not used to such gun violence. 

“It was quite shocking because a prime minister or a president being shot during a speech is not something that’s acceptable. Especially in Japan, you don’t really see such violence, so it was shocking,” said Japanese teacher Murphy.

Shinzo Abe may have left behind a controversial legacy, but the work and effort he has made has had an impact on Japan and the world. He left behind a range of accomplishments from strengthening Japan as well as making Japan a more open and accessible country globally. 

“I think that a lot of people do respect him. He was working internationally because he spoke English. He worked on the relations between Japan and the United States as well as with other Asian countries. He contributed to helping Japanese people and the world work together,” said Murphy.