Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2021

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FILE – Atlanta Braves’ Hank Aaron holds aloft the ball he hit for his 715th career home in Atlanta. Aaron, who endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth but went on to break the career home run record in the pre-steroids era, died early Jan. 22, 2021. He was 86. (AP Photo, File)

NATIONAL (AP) — They both carved out sterling reputations as military and political leaders over years of public service. But both also saw their legacies tarnished by their actions in the long, bloody war in Iraq. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are among the many noteworthy people who died in 2021.

Also among those who died this year was a man who for years held the title of baseball’s home run king. Hank Aaron, who died in January, endured racist threats on his path to breaking Babe Ruth’s record and is still considered one of the game’s greatest players.

The following is a slideshow celebrating the lives of those greats we lost in 2021:

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