Year in review: Paul Walker and six other inspirational people who died too soon

The death of "Fast and Furious" actor Paul Walker last week was sad on many levels. To some he was the good-looking star of a movie franchise; to others he personified the world of fast cars and glamorous women. Some critics found fault with him and the driver of the red Porsche in which they crashed, suggesting the men were selfish thrill-seekers. But Walker was also giving back to the world. The day he died, he was wrapping up a charity event supporting his Reach Out Worldwide organization. Proceeds were going to families affected by the typhoon in the Philippines and a tornado in Indiana, organizers said. So others may have had this thought: What an especially pointless loss. To his many fans and others, his death resonated, perhaps because we applaud those who try to make a difference. We often feel better when we ourselves lend a hand, and it certainly seems right that those who have much remember to give to those who have less. And, of course, it's even harder to process when the person dies young. So who else did we lose this year? What other young people, perhaps less-known names in the news, tried to make a difference but were stopped too soon? -- Sara Lessley
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