Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in October 2012. (Cause of death cited for younger people if available.)
Robert F. Christy, 96. Former California Institute of Technology professor who helped design the trigger mechanism for the atomic bombs used in World War II. Oct. 3.
Keith Campbell, 58. Biologist who worked on cloning Dolly the sheep. Oct. 5.
Eric Lomax, 93. Former British prisoner of war whose moving tale of wartime torture and forgiveness was being turned into a film. Oct. 8.
Paddy Roy Bates, 91. He occupied an abandoned fort in the North Sea and declared it the sovereign Principality of Sealand — with himself as its prince. Oct. 9.
Sam M. Gibbons, 92. Former U.S. congressman who served 17 terms in Congress and rose to head the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Oct. 9.
Alex Karras, 77. Feared NFL defensive tackle who went into acting, playing the lovable dad in the 1980s sitcom “Webster” and the cowboy who punched out a horse in “Blazing Saddles.” Oct. 10.
Basil Plumley, 92. Veteran whose unit’s actions in Vietnam were turned into a book and then the movie, “We Were Soldiers.” Oct. 10.
Arlen Specter, 82. Outspoken ex-U.S. senator from Pennsylvania whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations. Oct. 14. Complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Norodom Sihanouk, 89. The revered former king who was a towering figure in Cambodian politics through a half-century of war, genocide and upheaval. Oct. 15.
Koji Wakamatsu, 76. Japanese director who ruthlessly challenged authority with the grotesque and sexual. Oct. 17. Traffic accident.
Sylvia Kristel, 60. Dutch actress and star of the hit 1970s erotic movie “Emmanuelle.” Oct. 17. Cancer.
E. Donnall Thomas, 92. Physician who pioneered bone marrow transplants and won the 1990 Nobel Prize in medicine. Oct. 20.
Paul Kurtz, 86. He founded an international center devoted to debunking psychics and UFO claims, promoting reason over what he viewed as myths. Oct. 20.
George McGovern, 90. Former U.S. senator and a Democrat who lost to President Richard Nixon in 1972 in a landslide. Oct. 21.
Yash Chopra, 80. Bollywood movie mogul whose classic love tales made him the Indian film industry’s “King of Romance.” Oct. 21. Dengue fever.
Antoni Dobrowolski, 108. Oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, he was a teacher who taught defiance of his native Poland’s Nazi occupiers. Oct. 21.
Russell Means, 72. Former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee and also appeared in Hollywood films. Oct. 22.
Eloy Gutierrez-Menoyo, 77. He went from commander fighting alongside Fidel Castro to a foe launching commando raids against Cuba before settling there as a pro-dialogue dissident. Oct. 26. Heart attack.
Letitia Baldrige, 86. The White House social secretary during the Kennedy administration, an authority on etiquette. Oct. 29.
Teri Shields, 79. She launched daughter Brooke’s on-camera career when she was a baby and managed the young star into her 20s, sometimes with controversy. Oct. 31.