Max Robinson (May 1, 1939 – December 20, 1988) was a television journalist and was the Chicago based co-anchor of ABC News "World News Tonight" from 1978-1983 in the United States, and is best known for being the only (as of 2006) African American broadcast network news anchor in the United States. He was also a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. Robinson's ABC tenure was marked by conflicts between him and the management of ABC News over viewpoints and the portrayal of Black America in the news. In addition, he was known by his co-workers to show up late for work or sometimes not show up at all, along with his moods, and his use of alcohol escalated.
In addition, Robinson was known to fight racism at any turn and often felt unworthy of the admiration he received and was not pleased with what he had accomplished. He was often considered a mentor to young black broadcast journalists. Robinson found out he had AIDS while he was hospitalized for pneumonia in an Illinois hospital, but he kept it a secret.
In the fall of 1988, Robinson was in Washington to deliver a speech at Howard University's School of Journalism when he became increasingly ill. Robinson checked himself into Howard University Hospital, where he died of AIDS on December 20, 1988. Robinson never knew how he contracted the disease since he didn’t engage in high-risk behavior. Robinson was survived by-three ex-wives and four children.
Howard Rollins was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for his role on Another World. Rollins was also nominated for the 1981 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the motion picture, Ragtime. In 1984, he starred in director Norman Jewison's film, A Soldier's Story which led to his role as "Virgil Tibbs" on the In the Heat of the Night television series based on Jewison's acclaimed motion picture of the same name.
In 1993, Rollins spent about a month in jail for driving under the influence and reckless driving. Because of continued legal problems, Rollins was ultimately dropped from In the Heat of the Night and was replaced by Carl Weathers. Rollins was invited back as a guest star on several episodes in the seventh season, but further legal problems led to his being totally banned from the county where the series was filmed. During this time, Rollins changed his appearance and appeared on a talk show in feminine looking clothes. Rollins died in 1996 after complications from AIDS-related lymphoma and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in his native Baltimore. He had been diagnosed with the condition approximately six weeks earlier.
Theodore "Teddy" Wilson (pictured here bottom right mustache) was a character actor best known for his recurring role as Sweet Daddy Williams on the CBS sitcom Good Times from 1976 until 1979. Wilson also played the role of Al Dunbar in a popular two-part episode of the 1970s sitcom What's Happening!!. In the conclusion of the two-parter, Wilson's character gets arrested for bootlegging a Doobie Brothers concert. Wilson was married to actress Joan Pringle. He died from AIDS-related complications on July 21, 1991 at the age of 47 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Peter Hall (pictured bottom left) was an actor famous for his roles as Dr. Elvin Lincoln in Misfits of Science (1985), the 'monsters' in Prophecy (1979), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Predator (1987), and Predator 2 (1990.) He also had guest spots on shows like Night Court and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was frequently cast in monster roles due to his extremely tall stature-he stood 7' 2½" (2.20 m). His mother stood a top height of 6'2" and his father stood 6'6."
Larry Riley (pictured here) was an actor, best known to screen viewers for his role as C.J. Memphis in the movie "A Soldier's Story," and as Frank Williams in the prime-time soap opera Knots Landing. When Riley wasn't working as an actor, he was a respected craftsman who built Hollywood sets. He died of AIDS in 1992. He was forced to give up his role in "Knots Landing," because of his declining health due to the illness.
Willi Smith (February 29, 1948-April 17, 1987) was one of the most successful African-American fashion designers in fashion history. At its peak, his company WilliWear Ltd. sold $25 million worth of clothing a year. Although the company bared his name and he was the public figurehead, the majority of the revenue generated-went to white investors. Smith was also the brother of model Tookie Smith. Tookie had a long-term relationship with actor Robert DeNiro and is the mother of his twins. Willie designed the wedding dress worn by Mary Jane Watson when she married Peter Parker in the Spider-Man comic book and comic strip in 1987 and the suits for Edwin Schlossberg and his groomsmen when he married Caroline Kennedy in 1986. Smith also designed clothes for Spike Lee 's 1987 film School Daze. Smith died unexpectedly at the relatively young age of 39 after contracting pneumonia while on a trip to India, apparently as a result of AIDS. It is suspected that Smith, himself, didn't know he had the disease although those around him knew he was fragile in his last days.
Raymond St. Jacques (March 1, 1930 – August 27, 1990) was an African-American actor. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he was known for playing the roles of Coffin Ed in the 1970 blaxploitation classic Cotton Comes to Harlem, Rawhide and a two year stint as Judge Clayton C. Thomas on the well-forgotten Syndicated TV show Superior Court from 1988 to 1990. He died from AIDS related lymphoma in Los Angeles, California at age 60. He was the father of Sterling St. Jacques (who died in 1984 from AIDS). St. Jacques and actor Paul Winfield were common fixtures at gay clubs in the Castro district of San Francisco when they were in town in the 70’s and 80’s.
Melvin Lindsey (1955-1992) was an African American radio and television personality in the Washington, D.C. area widely known for originating the "Quiet Storm" late-night music programming format. Lindsey began his broadcast career as an intern at Howard University radio station WHUR-FM. In 1976, he brought "The Quiet Storm" to the station's late-night lineup, titled after a romantic hit single by tenor crooner Smokey Robinson. The show's soulfully melodic, moody musical fare made it a phenomenal success, and "The Quiet Storm" spawned scores of imitations in stations across the country serving a black, adult, urban demographic. Lindsey's show also gave rise to a category of music of the same name. After a nine-year run on WHUR, Lindsey took his format to another local radio station, WKYS-FM, for five more years and later hosted Screen Scene (with Angela Stribbling/Suzette Charles) for Black Entertainment Television (BET). Lindsey also worked for Washington, D.C. television stations WTTG-TV and WFTY-TV and for WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Maryland. Melvin Lindsey died of AIDS in 1992, but the Quiet Storm format he originated remains a staple in radio programming today, three decades after its inception.
Ray also studied dance at the Julia Richman High School, where he would audition for Fame choreographer Louis Falco. Much like his Fame character, Ray had little professional training, but a raw talent that won him his role for the film.
Despite being a hit as a film, the 1982 television spin off of Fame only lasted one year on NBC before being cancelled. The show was later syndicated by MGM Television from 1983 to 1987. Ray also appeared in the films Out Of Sync (1995) which was directed by his Fame co-star Debbie Allen and the 1996 Whoopi Goldberg comedy Eddie.
Ray died from complications of a stroke on November 14, 2003 in Manhattan, New York. He was HIV positive at the time of his death.
Jermaine Stewart (September 7, 1957 – March 17, 1997) was an American pop singer, best known for his Billboard hits, "The Word Is Out" from his 1984 debut album of the same name, and "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" in 1986, from the album Frantic Romantic.
Born in Columbus, Ohio to parents Ethel M. Stewart and Eugene Stewart, Jermaine always enjoyed dancing and in school would often give dance lessons to other children for $1 a lesson. In 1972, the Stewart family moved to Chicago, Illinois where he took his first steps toward a career in entertainment. This was followed by stints on both American Bandstand and later Soul Train as a dancer.
In 1992, Jermaine teamed up with Chicago producer Jesse Saunders for his last recorded work, an album for Reprise Records. Entitled Set Me Free, the album marked a return to the dance funk style of Say It Again. The title track was released as a single in the U.S., but found little success. The album remains unreleased.
After a long battle, Jermaine Stewart died in 1997 of liver cancer caused by AIDS.
His hit "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" referred to the AIDS scare of the 1980s. In 2003, the song placed #76 in VH1's 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders. In 2005, a compilation CD celebrating Jermaine's underrated contribution to '80s R&B, including several of his hits and a few previously unreleased tracks, was released by BGF Records, an Ohio record label run by Jermaine's brother.
Eazy-E's style was marked by his youthful, high-pitched voice and his lyrics focusing on the elements of urban street life such as guns, drugs, relations between residents and the police, and deviant sexual activity.
"First i'd like ta say..Props to my nigga Pete Reynolds yo real hommie from the crib...I may not seem like a guy you would pick to preach a sermon. But I feel it is now time to testify because I do have folks who care about me hearing all kinds of stuff about what's up. Yeah, I was a brother on the streets of Compton doing a lot of things most people look down on -- but it did pay off. Then we started rapping about real stuff that shook up the LAPD and the FBI. But we got our message across big time, and everyone in America started paying attention to the boys in the 'hood. Soon our anger and hope got everyone riled up. There were great rewards for me personally, like fancy cars, gorgeous women and good living. Like real non-stop excitement. I'm not religious, but wrong or right, that's me. I'm not saying this because I'm looking for a soft cushion wherever I'm heading, I just feel that I've got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what's real when it comes to AIDS. Like the others before me, I would like to turn my own problem into something good that will reach out to all my homeboys and their kin. Because I want to save their asses before it's too late.
"I'm not looking to blame anyone except myself. I have learned in the last week that this thing is real, and it doesn't discriminate. It affects everyone. My girl Tomika and I have been together for four years and we recently got married. She's good, she's kind and a wonderful mother. We have a little boy who's a year old. Before Tomika I had other women. I have seven children by six different mothers. Maybe success was too good to me. I love all my kids and always took care of them. Now I'm in the biggest fight of my life, and it ain't easy. But I want to say much love to those who have been down with me. And thanks for your support. Just remember: It's YOUR real time and YOUR real life."
On March 26, 1995, ten days after being admitted into the hospital, Eric "Eazy-E" Wright died, at the age of 31. Among his survivors were his wife, Tomica Woods-Wright, whom he married just days before, and seven children -- one with Woods-Wright, and six others from previous relationships. 
Some believe that before his death, Eazy had made amends with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre (although others believe that only D.J. Yella saw Eazy while he was in the hospital). Dre believes that their history together overshadowed the feud. Four years later, Dr. Dre publicly discussed the death of Eazy in the song "What's The Difference" from Chronic 2001 with his lyrics, "Eazy, I'm still wit' you. Fuck the beef, nigga I miss you. And, that's just bein real with you." Ice Cube later paid tribute to him on the song "Growin Up", off his comeback album Laugh Now, Cry Later.
Wright's body was laid to rest at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.
TV appearances for Mr. Seales include three 1982 episodes of Hill Street Blues, one episode of Wiseguy, one Growing Pains episode, and the TV sitcom Amen as Lorenzo Hollingsworth during the 1986-1987 season. He also had a role in the mini-series Beulah Land.
Seales is most famous for his role on Silver Spoons. He played Dexter Stuffins, business manager and family friend of the Strattons, starting in Season 2. He also did some artwork as a painter. He died in Brooklyn, New York of AIDS.