The People, Products and Brands We've Lost This Year


From Mildred Dresselhaus to Mary Tyler Moore, a sad look back at this year's losses.

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Chuck Barris, “The King of Daytime Television”

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Joseph W. Rogers, co-founder of Waffle House

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NEXT, Microsoft’s social network

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Mildred Dresselhaus, the Queen of Carbon

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Mary Tyler Moore

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It’s pretty early in the year and we’re already saying goodbye. At the end of 2016, Twitter announced it was shutting down its video service Vine -- devastating thousands with the news. YouTube personality and filmmaker Casey Neistat closed the gates of his social video app Beme too when he sold it to CNN in the fall of 2016.

Related: The 9 Things You Need to Let Go of For Success in 2017

On top of companies making their exits, we’ve seen some of our favorite and most inspirational leaders pass away. The Queen of Carbon, Mildred Dresselhaus, died in February this year, as well as iconic actress Mary Tyler Moore.

Here are some of the people, products and brands we’ve lost this year.

At 87, game show guru Chuck Barris, best known for creating The Dating Game, The Gong Show and The Newlywed Game, passed away on March 21, 2017.

His first show, The Dating Game, launched in 1965. Contestants on the show would ask questions of three people of the opposite sex who were hidden from the contestant’s sight. Then, the would contestant choose which person he or she would like to date based on those answers. At that point, all three of the hidden bachelors or bachelorettes would emerge.

Later, in 1976, Barris produced and hosted The Gong Show -- one of the world’s first TV talent shows. After much success with his game shows, Barris dubbed himself “The King of Daytime Television.”

At 97 years old, Joseph W. Rogers, one of the founders of restaurant chain Waffle House, passed away on March 3, 2017.

Rogers and his neighbor Tom Forkner co-founded Waffle House in 1955, opening the first location in an Atlanta suburb. Best known for its 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week service, the iconic chain with the yellow sign quickly picked up traction. By the 1970s, there were more than 400 restaurants nationwide, and today there are around 1,900.  

Whether you knew it existed or not, Microsoft will shut down its social network,, on March 15. The platform, which launched in May 2012, was a content-sharing website primarily used by students and young people.

Microsoft’s Fuse Labs, which spearheaded the project, wrote in a blog post: "In supporting you, Socl's unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love."

On Feb. 20, 2017, Mildred Dresselhaus, also known as the “Queen of Carbon,” passed away. A professor emerita at M.I.T., Dresselhaus was also the first female institute professor at the school and is best known for her breakthrough research of fundamental carbon properties.

Dresselhaus is also known for her efforts in promoting women in science. She won a number of awards for her work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science and the Vannevar Bush Award.

YouTube personality, filmmaker and entrepreneur Casey Neistat closed a deal with CNN late last year, selling his video app Beme. Following the acquisition, Beme officially shut down on Jan. 31. What made Beme different than other social video apps was its ability to record short clips simply by putting your phone to your chest.

With Neistat’s name attached to the app, it picked up some traction, although it was short-lived, having only launched in July 2015. And with competitors such as Snapchat and Instagram, the industry was a little too tough to crack.

Actress and cultural icon Mary Tyler Moore died on Jan. 25, 2017. She was best known for her roles in sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show, as well as Hollywood blockbusters such as Thoroughly Modern Millie and Ordinary People, the latter of which she was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Actress.”

She often played characters that pushed gender norms and served as an inspiration for women worldwide. At 80, Moore passed away from cardiac arrest caused by pneumonia. Many celebrities took to social media to express their grief over her death.

People were devastated when Twitter announced it was pulling the plug on its 6-second-looping video app Vine. The company announced the news in Oct. 2016, but it wasn’t until Jan. 17 that the app was officially taken down.

Initially launched in 2012, Vine had a good run. In fact, it even birthed some pretty hilarious Vine stars -- who today have found themselves distraught over the loss. The website is still up -- although just for archival purposes.

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