Famous Deaths on December 17

  • 535 Emperor Ankan of Japan (b. 466)
  • 695 Begga, ancestress of the Carolingians/saint, dies [or 693]
  • 1187 Gregory VIII, [Alberto de Morra], Italian Pope (1187), dies
  • 1195 Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut (b. 1150)
  • 1213 Jean de Matha, French saint, dies at 53
  • 1273 Rumi, Persian poet, scholar and mystic dies aged 65 or 66
  • 1471 Isabella of Portugal, duchess of Burgundy, dies
  • 1562 Adrian Willaert, Flemish singer/bandmaster/composer, dies at about 82
  • 1651 Wolfgang Schonsleder, composer, dies at 81
  • 1663 Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba (b. 1583)
  • 1679 Don Juan, ruler of Spain, dies
  • 1711 Arnold Moonen, vicar/literature (Defeated German Spraekkunst), dies
  • 1721 Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, English statesman (b. 1640)
  • 1751 Kilian I von Dientzenhofer, Czech master builder, dies at 62
  • 1811 John Antes, American composer and missionary , dies at 71
  • 1811 Louis-Abet Deffroy de Reigny, composer, dies at 54
  • 1829 Bernard Jumentier, composer, dies at 80

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1830 Simón Bolívar, South American revolutionary and president (Colombia), dies at 47 in Santa Marta, Colombia

Military and Political Leader Simón Bolívar
Military and Political Leader
Simón Bolívar
  • 1833 Kaspar Hauser, German son of grand duke Karel of Bathe, murdered at 21
  • 1847 Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, second wife of Napoleon (b. 1791)
  • 1860 Désirée Clary, Queen of Sweden and Norway (b. 1777)
  • 1870 Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante, composer, dies at 75
  • 1881 Lewis H Morgan, US ethnologist (Iroquois-indians), dies at 62
  • 1891 Msiri, ruler of the Garanganze Kingdom, Congo (Katanga), dies in battle against Belgian funded expedition
  • 1891 Omer Bodson, Belgian captain, dies in battle against Msiri, ruler of Garanganze Kingdom in the Congo
  • 1893 Levinus T Keuchenius, Dutch min of Colonies (1888-90), dies at 71
  • 1899 Frederick "Freddy" Roberts, son of British field marshal, dies in battle

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1907 William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Irish-Scottish mathematical physicist (Kelvin Scale) and engineer (transatlantic telegraph), dies of a chill at 83

Mathematical Physicist and Engineer William Thomson
Mathematical Physicist and Engineer
William Thomson
  • 1913 Stefano Gobatti, composer, dies at 61
  • 1917 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1st qualified woman physician in Britain, first woman mayor (Aldeburgh), dies at 81
  • 1917 Frank Gotch, American professional wrestler (b. 1878)
  • 1925 A N "Monkey" Hornby, cricketer (England capt at Oval 1882), dies
  • 1926 Alexandr Dmitriyevich Kastal'sky, composer, dies at 70
  • 1930 Peter Warlock [Philip Heseltine], British composer, dies of a probable suicide at 36
  • 1933 Hans Vaihinger, German philosopher (Side-Studies), dies at 81
  • 1933 Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama, dies at 57
  • 1937 Gerard Vissering, banker/president of Dutch Bank, dies at 72
  • 1940 Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician (b. 1860)
  • 1944 Pieter A. Roodenburgh, student and resistance fighter, dies at 26
  • 1946 Constance [Clara] Garnett, Russian-English translator, dies at 84
  • 1948 Edgar Istel, German composer, dies at 68
  • 1949 David Stanley Smith, composer, dies at 72
  • 1956 Eddie Acuff, actor (Guns of Pecos), dies at 48
  • 1957 Dorothy Sayers, [Atherton Fleming], author (Whose body), dies at 64
  • 1961 Marion Perkins, sculptor (Man of Sorrow), dies at 53
  • 1962 Thomas Mitchell, US, actor (Outlaw), dies of cancer at 70
  • 1964 Victor Franz Hess, Austrian-born physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1883)
  • 1965 Tito [Raffaele A] Schipa, Italian tenor/composer (Rondine), dies at 76
  • 1966 Gustaf Paulson, composer, dies at 68
  • 1967 Harold Holt, Australian premier (1966-67), drowns at 59
  • 1967 [Francis] Barry Byrne, Chicago Ill, architect, dies at 83
  • 1967 Jack Perrin, American actor (b. 1896)
  • 1969 Arturo da Costa e Silva, President of Brazil (1967-69), dies at 67
  • 1972 Erwin Dressel, composer, dies at 63
  • 1973 Charles G Abbot, US astronomer (Sun Constant), dies at 101
  • 1973 Patrick Hadley, composer, dies at 74
  • 1975 Frank Sully, actor (Parachute Nurse, Inside the Law), dies at 67
  • 1975 Noble Sissle, jazz musician, dies at 86
  • 1975 [Theodore Roosevelt] Hound Dog Taylor, American Chicago blues guitarist and singer, dies of lung cancer at 60
  • 1978 Don Ellis, American jazz band leader (b. 1934)
  • 1982 Leonid B Kogan, Russian violist, dies at 58
  • 1982 Philipp Jarnach, composer, dies at 90
  • 1982 Homer S. Ferguson, American politician (b. 1889)
  • 1983 Erik Christensen, NHL player
  • 1985 Otto Gotsche, writer, dies
  • 1986 Ron Kass, record co pres (MGM), dies at 52 of cancer
  • 1987 Bernard Cardinal Alfrink, archbishop of Utrecht Neth, dies at 87
  • 1987 Marguerite Yourcenard, author (Memoirs of Hadrien), dies at 84
  • 1987 Marguerite Yourcenar, Belgian novelist (b. 1903)
  • 1990 Don Draper, actor (Pepper Agent 00X), dies of AIDS at 61
  • 1990 Mieke Verstraete, Belgian/Neth actress (Pleasant Settled), dies at 79
  • 1991 John Blatnik, (Rep-Minnesota, 1947-75), dies at 80
  • 1992 Dana Andrews, American actor (Battle of the Bulge, Laura), dies of pneumonia at 83
  • 1993 Janet Margolin, US actress (Annie Hall), dies of ovarian cancer at 50
  • 1994 Jan Wiegel, director/producer (Uninhabitable Country), dies at 64
  • 1995 Lila Clark Knapp, publisher, dies at 63
  • 1996 Elizabeth Hill, teacher of Salvonic languages, dies at 96
  • 1996 Francesco Siciliani, opera administrator, dies at 85
  • 1996 Irving Caesar, songwriter, dies at 101
  • 1996 Michael Saunders, barrister, dies at 22
  • 1996 Ruby Murray, singer, dies at 61
  • 1996 Stanko Todorov, Bulgarian communist politician, Prime Minister of Bulgaria (1971-81), dies at 76
  • 1997 Reginald Victor Jones, scientist, dies at 86
  • 1999 Grover Washington, Jr., American saxophonist (b. 1943)
  • 1999 Rex Allen, American actor, singer and songwriter (b. 1920)
  • 2002 James Hazeldine, English actor (b. 1947)
  • 2003 Brian Lee, father of Wikipedia user, James Lee (b. 1948)
  • 2003 Ed Devereaux, Australian actor (b. 1925)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2003 Otto Graham, NFL Quarterback, dies of a heart aneurysm at 82

NFL Quarterback Otto Graham
NFL Quarterback
Otto Graham
  • 2004 Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (b. 1931)
  • 2004 Dick Heckstall-Smith, English jazz-blues saxophonist, dies at 70
  • 2005 Jack Anderson, American journalist (b. 1922)
  • 2005 Marc Favreau, French Canadian humourist (Sol) (b. 1929)
  • 2006 Larry Sherry, American baseball player (b. 1935)
  • 2008 Dave Smith, American baseball player (b. 1955)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2008 Sammy Baugh, American football player, dies at 94

American Football Player and Coach Sammy Baugh
American Football Player and Coach
Sammy Baugh
  • 2008 Freddy Breck, German schlager singer, composer, record producer and news anchor (b. 1942)
  • 2009 Chris Henry, American football player (b. 1983)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2009 Jennifer Jones [Phyllis Isley], American actress (Farewell to Arms), dies of natural causes at 90

  • 2009 Dan O'Bannon, Screenwriter, after a short illness (b.1943)
  • 2010 Captain Beefheart, American musician (b. 1941)
  • 2010 Walt Dropo, American baseball player (b. 1923)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2011 Kim Jong-il, supreme leader of North Korea (DPRK) 1994-2011, dies of a suspected heart attack at 70

Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-il
Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea
Kim Jong-il
  • 2011 Cesária Évora "the Barefoot Diva", Cape Verdean morna singer, dies at 70
  • 2012 Daniel K. Inouye, American politician, dies from respiratory complications at 88
  • 2014 Fritz Rudolf Fries, German writer and informant, dies at 79
  • 2016 Henry Heimlich, American surgeon and inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, dies at 96