In photos: Pioneers we lost in 2019
Go deeper: Here are the some of the most notable from AP's "final goodbye" tribute to the leading luminaries we lost in 2019.
Frank Robinson: The first African American manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to be named MVP in the National League and the American League.
Valery Bykovsky: The pioneering Soviet-era cosmonaut flew to space three times. His first launch was in 1963.
Peter Mayhew: He graced "Star Wars" fans as tall, furry, and lovable Chewbacca from "A New Hope" to 2015's "The Force Awakens."
I.M. Pei: The architect who adorned the Louvre with its iconic giant glass pyramid and designed the bold, geometric Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Murray Gell-Mann: The Nobel Prize-winning physicist helped discover subatomic particles and developed the strangeness theory and eightfold way theory.
Patricia Bath: A pioneering inventor and ophthalmologist. She was the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent and the first African American to finish an ophthalmology residency.
"Sexism, racism, and relative poverty were the obstacles which I faced as a young girl growing up in Harlem. There were no women physicians I knew of and surgery was a male-dominated profession..."— Bath, in a Q&A session with the National Institutes of Health
Lee Iacocca: The auto executive behind Ford's Mustang the only executive in modern times to run two of the Big Three automakers..
Pernell Whitaker: A four-division boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist regarded as "one of the greatest defensive fighters ever," per AP.
John Paul Stevens: Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court "who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court’s leading liberal" after being nominated as a Republican, per AP.
Edith Irby Jones: A physician, the first woman president of the National Medical Association, and the first African American student to enroll at an all-white medical school in the South, per AP.
"But I was gonna be a different kind of doctor. I was gonna be a doctor in which money wasn’t gonna to make any difference with me — that I was gonna particular see that those who did not have money — those who were less fortunate —would get the kind of care that they needed ..."— Jones in a 2006 interview at the University of Arkansas.
Chris Kraft: Founder of NASA’s mission control and American aerospace engineer.
Harold Prince: A Broadway director and producer who changed 20th century theater with "The Phantom of the Opera," "Cabaret," "Company" and "Sweeney Todd." He who won 21 Tony Awards.
Toni Morrison: A legendary American author who unblinkingly examined and exhumed America's relationship with race.
Phyllis Newman: The first woman to host “The Tonight Show” and a Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran, who won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
Alexei Leonov: The Soviet cosmonaut who became the first person to perform a spacewalk.
Elijah E. Cummings: A sharecropper's son and civil rights champion, Cummings served in Congress for 23 years. He was head of the House Judiciary Committee and one of President Trump's strongest critics.
Sadako Ogata: Former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and former President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and one of the first Japanese to hold a top job at an international organization, per AP.