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In 2021, we lost some incredible innovators and entrepreneurs. Some were well-known and had fortunes in the billions. In contrast, others were less known but still had a significant impact on society. The pioneers and inventors that passed away came from all walks of life. They worked in diverse industries such as hospitality, medicine, cybersecurity, and fast food. Let us remember some of those we lost in 2021 and what they brought to society.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson passed away at the beginning of 2021 at age 87. He is known for being a casino magnate and pioneering the idea of a mega-resort hotel. Sheldon Adelson was also a major financier of landmark Las Vegas hotels such as the Venetian, and he died being one of the richest self-made men in history.

Dr. Bernard Lown, the inventor of the direct current defibrillator, passed away at the ripe old age of 99. His invention of the direct current defibrillator helped save countless lives. It also helped pave the way for more technologically advanced defibrillators to be invented later. Not only was Dr. Lown an inventor, but he was a major advocate of world peace and a healthy diet and exercise for good health. May he rest in peace.

John McAfee died in the summer of 2021 at the age of 75. He is best known for developing an antivirus software called McAfee VirusScan that he named after himself. His product quickly dominated the antivirus market as he was one of the first to develop antivirus software for computers. Today, McAfee is still a leading antivirus software that is used by millions around the world.

McDonald’s happy meals have been enjoyed by millions of kids around the globe thanks to its invention by Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño in the 1970s. She passed away at age 87 in 2021. The Guatemalan native saw that the regular portions at McDonald’s were too large for kids to enjoy, so she created a smaller-sized portion for kids. Originally called the Ronald Menu after the McDonald’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, Mcdonald’s later changed the name to the present Happy Meal menu in 1979.

The founder of the famous Sudoku puzzles enjoyed by many worldwide passed away at the age of 69 in 2021. Maki Kaji created Soduku in 1984 when he saw a logic puzzle called Number Place. Kaji had nicknamed the puzzle Soduku, which has stuck ever since.