2016 was a terrible year on many, many fronts. Compounding those tragedies in which human beings played major contributing roles was the one over which we have no influence: death. It may be my imagination, but it seems to me that this was a year in which we said goodbye to an unusual number of giants who walked among us in fields as disparate as politics, sports and entertainment.
If I had to pick two that saddened me the most it would probably be the departure of Mohammad Ali and David Bowie. If you know anything about him beyond his public persona, you will know that Ali was a man of deep conviction, principle and integrity, qualities for which he paid a very heavy price. Bowie, of course, was a remarkably versatile artist whose career spanned several decades, and who seemed to have been taken from us far too soon, with work still undone.
As you will see in the following tributes, each of the many who died in 2016 lived fully during their time, exploiting their talents to the maximum, using their gifts to uplift all of us. Not a bad legacy, and one we would all do well to emulate in the time remaining to each of us.