Now, we’re learning who some of them were, what they did and what they were passionate about.
Those lost to the coronavirus include a former New York fire marshal who sprang into action on 9/11, a mother to six who was battling breast cancer, and four members of a New Jersey family.
Here are some of their stories.
A minor who lived in Lancaster, California died, Los Angeles County health officials announced on March 24.
The juvenile’s age was not released by officials but it’s believed to be the first death of a person younger than 18 in the United States.
A community leader
Detroit community leader Marlowe Stoudamire, 43, died March 24 after contracting the virus, his former employer, Henry Ford Health System, told CNN.
“An amazing man, husband, friend and one of the best dads that I have ever met lost his life to Covid-19 today,” Bob Riney, the president of healthcare operations and chief operating officer for Henry Ford Health System, said.
Stoudamire would “light up any room with his ideas and strategic thinking,” Riney said in a statement.
“He was tireless in his love and care for others. My wife and I are heartbroken for this devastating loss. We will continue the fight of this terrible pandemic in his honor,” a release from Henry Ford Health System says.
Stoudamire, a member of Omega Psi Phi, is survived by his wife, Valencia, and two young children, the release says.
A Tony award-winning playwright
Terrence McNally, an acclaimed playwright, died from coronavirus complications, his publicist Matt Polk said.
McNally, 81, was a four-time Tony award winner known for his musicals “Ragtime,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” and numerous other musicals, plays as well as film and television screenplays.
He died March 24 at a hospital in Sarasota, Florida. He was a lung cancer survivor with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Polk said.
Last year, McNally received a Tony Award for lifetime achievement in theater. Over his career, McNally was responsible for 25 Broadway productions, including “Anastasia,” “The Ritz,” and “The Full Monty.”
A retired New York fire marshal
And yet, after a career of service, Knox had more to give. He had been retired for two years on September 11, 2001, but he sprang into action that day to help his country and his community.
“He took his vehicle and all the gear that he still had remaining from his time with the FDNY and drove down to The Battery and made the trek from there all the way to Ground Zero,” his son, Zachary Knox, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “And he was there for several weeks afterward.”
Knox was still going to the gym as of a few weeks ago. “He was a very vibrant 84-year-old,” his son said. “I think people decades younger than him had trouble keeping up.”
Zachary wants his father to be remembered as someone who was “always very committed to being … just a man full of integrity.”
“He lived and died by his word,” Zachary said. “That’s the way he always was, and people loved him for it.”
Knox is survived by his wife, four children and six grandchildren.
A brother of Minnesota lieutenant governor
Ron Golden, a “tough-as-nails Marine who was a big teddy bear on the inside,” died after being diagnosed with the virus, according to his sister Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.
“Almost exactly two months after we buried our dad, my brother Ron passed away on Saturday. To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second Covid-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband,” Flanagan said in an Instagram post.
Just weeks before he was diagnosed with coronavirus, Golden was diagnosed with cancer, which compromised his immune system. He was put into a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator before he died of the virus, Flanagan said.
“THIS is why we must #StayHome,” she said. “If you feel fine, that’s great. But please consider the possibility that you’re carrying the virus and don’t know it, and then you walk past the next Ron, my big brother, in public.”
US Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, a former presidential candidate, said on Twitter her “heart goes out to my good friend Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and her family. The virus is affecting so many Americans and together we must work on getting the medical supplies and treatments to those who are sick.”
A 91-year-old who lived a ‘life of intellectual fascination’
When Bill Pike, 91, was admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago, his family thought he had pneumonia, his son Daniel Pike told CNN. A week later, the Connecticut man was sedated and on a ventilator.
“Nobody, nobody thought he had this,” Daniel Pike said.
“It was like a tapestry or quilt of our affections for him,” his wife, Cathie Pike, told CNN.
She described her late husband as “simply amazing,” and said he “led a life of intellectual fascination of the world.”
Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, Bill Pike was accepted into the US Naval Academy and served in the Korean War.
After returning home, he attended Harvard Business School and went on to have a 30-year career at J.P. Morgan & Co., where he served as chairman of credit policy.
Pike was an “old-school gentleman” with “incredible character,” said Rev. Peter Walsh of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, Connecticut, where the Pikes were members. He treated everyone the same, Walsh said, from the person who painted his house to the Connecticut governor, with whom he was friendly.
“We see joy in his 91 full years,” Cathie Pike said.
Four members of one family
“It’s absolutely surreal,” Elizabeth Fusco told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “They were the roots of our lives … It’s like the second we start to grieve about one, the phone rings and there’s another person gone, taken from us forever.”
Days later, on Wednesday, Elizabeth’s brother Carmine Fusco died, just hours before their mother and the family matriarch, 73-year-old Grace Fusco, died, too.
And another brother, Vincent Fusco Jr., passed away on Thursday.
Elizabeth was on the phone Wednesday for her mother’s final moments. While on a call with the hospital, she heard her mother coding in the background, she said, and doctors’ frantic attempts to save her.
“I listened to those doctors and those machines code my mother on the phone when she passed,” Elizabeth said. “I’ll never get over that.”
Grace Fusco had 11 children and 27 grandchildren.
Three other relatives are hospitalized in New Jersey, and 19 other family members have been tested and are waiting on the results, according to Roseann Paradiso Fodera, Grace’s cousin and an attorney representing the family. Children, parents and grandchildren have been quarantined.
“This is an unbearable tragedy for the family,” Paradiso Fodera said.
A single mother and breast cancer survivor
Sundee Rutter, a 42-year-old mother of six, died on March 16 in Everett, Washington, after contracting the coronavirus, her older sister Shawnna Olsen told CNN.
“My sister was amazing,” Olsen said. “She was the first to lend a helping hand to anyone.”
Rutter had been battling breast cancer and was in remission when she fell ill, Olsen said. She was taken to Providence Hospital in Everett, where she died.
Olsen called her baby sister a “hero” who always put her children — ages 13 to 24 — first. Rutter had been a single mother since the death of her husband in 2012, Olsen said.
Per his “mother’s wishes,” Rutter’s oldest son will become the legal guardian of his younger siblings, Olsen told CNN.
“They are well loved by family, community and complete strangers,” Olsen said of the children.
A retired New York Times reporter and editor
Alan Finder, a longtime reporter and editor at The New York Times, died March 24, the newspaper’s executive editor Dean Baquet said.
Finder, 72, had retired but started working last month on the Times’ international desk, filling in for a few days, a spokesperson for the newspaper said.
“Alan Finder, a longtime and beloved colleague at The New York Times, died this morning after testing positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago,” Baquet said in a statement.
“He was one of Metro’s stars in the 1980s and 1990s, a big writer in a big, hugely competitive era for New York City news,” Baquet added. “Alan was also a generous and patient colleague. He touched many of our lives at The Times and will be missed.”
An NBC News staffer
Edgeworth recently worked in the equipment room, Lack said, but before that, he spent most of his 25 years at NBC News as an audio technician.
“Many of you were fortunate enough to work with Larry over the years,” Lack said, “so you know that he was the guy you wanted by your side no matter where you were.”
That sentiment was echoed by Roxanne Garcia, CNN’s senior director of newsgathering, who worked with Edgeworth for 17 years at NBC.
“He was a really big man with a really big heart,” Garcia said, adding, “He had a great laugh and a great smile.”
Edgeworth spent countless months covering stories far from home, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Garcia said.
“He always made you feel like there was someone there who cared about you,” she said, “and there was someone who cared about the story we were telling.”
Edgeworth leaves behind a wife and two sons, Lack’s memo said.
A retired magician
Richard Curren, a father of two, fell ill last week and died just a few days later.
He had been living at an assisted living facility in Florida with his wife of more than five decades.
Their son, Eric Curren, told CNN that the couple met in Chicago. They raised their family there before retiring to Florida about a decade ago.
Curren had worked in sales until he decided he wanted to be a professional magician, his son said. Sheila was his assistant.
He was also passionate about water sports and competitive swimming.
His family said he was hospitalized with respiratory issues considered routine, but he died this week. Doctors told the family his death was due to complications from coronavirus.
“I think the family is in shock because he always pulled through,” the Curren’s daughter, Tracie Curren, told WPLG.
As a magician, Curren loved sharing magic tricks with children.
“No matter how many joint replacement surgeries he endured, he still couldn’t resist a chance to get down on the carpet to play with a toddler,” his son wrote on Facebook.
CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia, Rebekah Riess, Faith Karimi, Amanda Lee, Paul P. Murphy, Frank Pallotta, Hollie Silverman, Pierre Meilhan, Madeline Holcombe and Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.