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Gianni Versace

Age: 50
fashion designer

A designer to the stars, Versace brought vitality and art to an industry considered out of touch with the street. Though he started designing clothing in 1972 for other houses, it wasn't until 1989 that he began designing couture. In less than 10 years, Versace built an empire worth $807 million. He used celebrities, including Madonna, the Artist (formerly known as Prince), Jon Bon Jovi and Tina Turner, as models for both the runway and print ads. Versace was gunned down outside his Miami Beach home.

Born: 1946
Died: July 15, 1997

Townes Van Zandt 1997 DeathsGeorge A. Vicas