Famous Deaths on 20th December

  • 217 Pope Zephyrinus, Bishop of Rome (199-217)
  • 860 King Ethelbald of Wessex
  • 910 Alfonso III the Great, King of Leon, Galicia and Asturias, dies
  • 1022 Elvira Mendes, wife of Alfonso V of Castile (b. 996)
  • 1073 Domingo, Spanish monastery founder/abbot/saint, dies
  • 1355 Stefanus IX Uros IV Dusan, king (1331-46)/Serbia (1346-55), dies
  • 1494 Matteo Maria Boiardo, Italian poet
  • 1524 Thomas Linacre, English scholar and physician
  • 1539 Johannes Lupi, Flemish composer
  • 1590 Ambroise Paré, French physician (b. 1510)
  • 1632 Nicolas Antoine, French cath pastor who converted to Judaism, executed
  • 1676 John Galle, Flemish engraver/printer, dies at 76
  • 1679 Johan Maurits, count of Nassau-Siegen, dies at 75
  • 1722 Kangxi Emperor of China (b. 1654)
  • 1723 Augustus Quirinus Rivinus (b. 1652)
  • 1740 Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, English military officer and statesman (b. 1675)
  • 1749 Pakubuwono II, susuhunan of Mataram Java, dies
  • 1768 Carlo Innocenzio Maria Frugoni, Italian poet (b. 1692)
  • 1783 Antonio Francisco Jawer Jose Soler, Sp composer (Fandango), dies at 54
  • 1793 Joseph Legros, composer, dies at 54
  • 1798 Cornelis Ploos van Amstel, Dutch engraver/art collector, dies at 72
  • 1799 David Traugott Nicolai, composer, dies at 66

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1812 Sacagawea, Shoshone interpreter for Lewis & Clark, dies

Interpreter and Guide Sacagawea
Interpreter and Guide
Sacagawea
  • 1815 Giovanni Meli, Sicilian poet (Buccolica), dies at 75
  • 1819 Louis-Luc Loiseau de Persuis, composer, dies at 50
  • 1821 Gian Francesco Fortunati, composer, dies at 75
  • 1856 Francesco Bentivegna, Italian revolutionary (b. 1820)
  • 1862 Robert Knox Scottish surgeon, anatomist and zoologist
  • 1875 Michail P Pogodin, Russian historian/writer (Povesti), dies at 75
  • 1876 Hannah Omish, at 12 is youngest ever hanged in US
  • 1903 Gavriil Musicescu, composer, dies at 56
  • 1909 Benjamin Ipavec, composer, dies at 79
  • 1916 Manuel Giro, composer, dies at 68
  • 1916 William Wallace Gilchrist, composer, dies at 70
  • 1917 Lucien Petit-Breton, Argentine-French cyclist (b. 1882)
  • 1921 Hans Hartwig von Beseler, German general (b. 1850)
  • 1929 Emile Loubet, French premier (1892)/president (1899-1906), dies at 90
  • 1935 Martin O'Meara, Australian soldier (b. 1882)
  • 1936 Baron De Borchgrave, Belgian ambassador, murdered in Madrid
  • 1937 Erich Ludendorff, German general (WW I), dies at 72
  • 1938 Annie Armstrong, American missionary leader (b. 1850)
  • 1939 Hans Langsdorff, German capt (Graaf Spee), commits suicide
  • 1941 Igor Severyanin, Russian poet (b. 1887)
  • 1942 Jean Gilbert, [Max Winterfield], German composer, dies at 63
  • 1944 Abbas Hilmi II, viceroy of Egypt (1892-1914), dies at 70
  • 1945 Charles Eady, cricketer (Tasmanian player for Aust 1896-1901), dies
  • 1948 C Aubrey Smith, actor (Prisoner of Zenda), dies at 85
  • 1948 Ladha Ramji, cricketer (bro of Amar Singh, Test Ind 1933-34), dies
  • 1953 Henry Horatio Dixon, Irish Biologist (cohesion-tension theory in plants), dies at 84
  • 1954 Emilis Melngailis, composer, dies at 80
  • 1954 James Hilton, English author (Lost Horizon), dies at 54
  • 1956 Ramon Carrillo, Argentine neuroscientist and Public Health minister (b. 1906)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1961 Moss Hart, American dramatist (You can't take it with you), dies at 57

Playwright Moss Hart
Playwright
Moss Hart
  • 1961 Earle Page, eleventh Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1880)
  • 1962 Erik William Gustav Leidzen, composer, dies at 68
  • 1962 Luis Abraham Delgadillo, composer, dies at 75
  • 1963 Paul Constantinescu, composer, dies at 54
  • 1965 Egon Freiherr von Eickstedt, German anthropologist, dies at 73
  • 1968 Max Brod, Czech-born Israeli composer, writer and biographer of Kafta, dies at 84

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1968 John Steinbeck, author (Grapes of Wrath, Nobel Prize 1940, 1962), dies at 66

  • 1971 Roy O Disney, brother of Walt, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 78
  • 1973 Bobby Darin, singer (Mack the Knife), dies of heart failure at 37
  • 1973 Luis Carrero Blanco, PM of Spain (1973), assassinated by ETA
  • 1974 Andre Jolivet, French composer (L'eunuque), dies at 69
  • 1975 Vincent Lopez, orchestra leader (Welcome Aboard), dies at 76
  • 1975 William Lundigan, Syracuse NY, actor (Climax), dies at 61
  • 1976 Richard J Daley, (Mayor-D-Chicago), dies at 74
  • 1976 Walter Fitzgerald, actor (Adv of Sadie, Fallen Idol), dies at 80
  • 1981 Dimitris Rontiris, Greek actor and director (b. 1899)
  • 1982 Artur Rubinstein, pianist (My Young Years), dies in Geneva at 95
  • 1984 Gonzalo Márquez, Venezuelan baseball player (b. 1946)
  • 1986 Joe DeSa, American baseball player (b. 1959)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1988 Max Robinson, 1st African American network TV anchor (ABC), dies of AIDS at 49

1st African-American Network TV Anchor Max Robinson
1st African-American Network TV Anchor
Max Robinson
  • 1988 Alphonse Ouimet, Canadian television pioneer (b. 1908)
  • 1989 Audrey Christie, actress (Splendor in the Grass), dies at 77
  • 1991 Andries D Copier, Dutch glass designer (Guild glass), dies
  • 1991 Fop[pe] I Brouwer, biologist (Everything That Lives & Grows), dies
  • 1991 Helene Heigh, actress (Undercover Woman, Teen Age Thunder), dies at 86
  • 1991 Sam Rabin, speaker of house, dies at 88
  • 1991 Stephen Birnbaum, US tourism writer, dies at 54
  • 1991 Thomas Newman, actor/composer (Cape Fear), dies of heart attack at 60
  • 1991 Walter Chiari, actor (Girl Under Sheet), dies of heart attack at 67
  • 1991 Simone Beck, French chef (b. 1904)
  • 1991 Albert Van Vlierberghe, Belgian cyclist (b. 1942)
  • 1993 Moses Gunn, actor (Shaft), dies at 64
  • 1993 Sam Wanamaker, actor (Pvt Benjamin), dies from cancer at 74
  • 1993 W Edwards Deming, US economist (helped Japan after WW II), dies at 93
  • 1994 Dean Rusk, US Sect of State (1961-69), dies at 85
  • 1994 J C "Jody" Bateman, fiddler, dies at 75
  • 1995 John Henry Jacques, co-operative retailer, dies at 90
  • 1995 Madge Sinclair, actress (Star Trek IV, Conrack, Convoy), dies at 55
  • 1996 Amata Kabua, Pres of Marshall Islands (1979-96), dies
  • 1996 Carl Sagan, scientist (Contact), dies at 62
  • 1996 Roger Peacock), writer, dies at 76
  • 1997 Dawn Steel, filmmaker (When Harry Met Sally), dies at 51
  • 1997 Denise Levertov, poet, dies at 74
  • 1997 Vincent Ciccone, inventor (Blow-Pops candy), dies at 81
  • 1998 Irene Hervey, American actress (b. 1910)
  • 1998 Chester P. Lyons, Canadian naturalist and author (b. 1915)
  • 1999 Hank Snow, Canadian singer (b. 1914)
  • 1999 Riccardo Freda, Italian film director (b. 1909)
  • 2000 Mirza Ghulam Hafiz, Bangladesh statesman, politician, and philanthropist (b. 1920)
  • 2001 Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (b. 1912)
  • 2001 Léopold Sédar Senghor, first President of Senegal (b. 1906)
  • 2005 Maniam Moorthy, Malaysian climber
  • 2006 Shi Yuejun, Chinese serial killer
  • 2007 Nataline Sarkisyan, American medical patient (b. 1990)
  • 2009 Jack Hixon, English football talent scout (b. 1921)
  • 2009 Brittany Murphy, American actress (b. 1977)
  • 2009 Arnold Stang, American comic actor (b. 1918)
  • 2009 Mairoon Ali, Trinidadian comedienne and actress (b. 1954)
  • 2010 Brian Hanrahan, British journalist (b. 1949)
  • 2010 Steve Landesberg, American actor and comedian (b. 1945)
  • 2010 James R. Mann, American attorney and politician (b. 1920)
  • 2012 Jimmy McCracklin, American pianist, dies from diabetes and hypertension at 91
  • 2014 John Freeman, British politician (Labour)/ambassador/TV host, dies at 99
  • 2015 Patricia Elliott, American actress (Renee-Empire, One Life to Live), dies at 77