cronkite.jpgOur favorite part of any award show is the memorial montage commemorating the lives of all those who passed away in the past year. While this year’s headlines were populated by the tragic deaths of celebrities and other bold-faced names — from Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett to Patrick Swayze and Senator Ted Kennedy — our industry lost quite a few of its prominent members in 2009 as well. Here, a look back at some of the media’s brightest stars we said goodbye to this year:

Former anchorman Walter Cronkite was perhaps the biggest name in the media world to pass away in 2009, and he was honored by a star-studded memorial in September.

A number of famous columnists also left us without their prolific narratives about politics, celebrities and the English language in 2009. Conservative columnist Robert Novak died in August from a brain tumor, Vanity Fair‘s Dominick Dunne passed away later that month after a battle with bladder cancer. The New York Times‘ “On Language” columnist, William Safire, died in September from pancreatic cancer. Another columnist who we had the pleasure of working with last year, men’s wear expert Stan Gellers, died suddenly last winter, just a few months after the publication he had contributed to for more than 50 years, DNR, folded.

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