Famous Deaths on 31st December

MurderMurder of Interest

192 Commodus, Emperor of Rome (180-192), murdered at 31

Roman Emperor Commodus
Roman Emperor
Commodus
  • 335 St. Silvester I, Catholic Pope, dies in office
  • 406 Godagisel, King of the Vandals, dies in battle
  • 439 Melania the Younger, Roman monastery founder/saint, dies at about 56
  • 1164 Margrave Ottokar III of Styria (b. 1124)
  • 1194 Duke Leopold V of Austria (killed at a tournament) (b. 1157)
  • 1297 Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford, English soldier (b. 1249)
  • 1302 Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1238)
  • 1382 Daigaku, Zen teacher/46th head of Engakuji, dies in Kamakura Japan
  • 1384 John Wycliffe, English religious reformer/bible translator, dies
  • 1424 Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, English military leader
  • 1460 Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (executed) (b. 1443)
  • 1460 Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician (b. 1400)
  • 1510 Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1472)
  • 1535 William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland (b. 1465)
  • 1568 Shimazu Tadayoshi, Japanese warlord (b. 1493)
  • 1575 Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (b. 1502)
  • 1583 Thomas Erastus, Switz, theologist, dies
  • 1610 Ludolph van Ceulen, German mathematician (b. 1540)
  • 1616 Jacques Le Maire, pirate/explorer (Lemaire Strait), dies at 31
  • 1647 Giovanni Maria Trabaci, composer, dies
  • 1650 Dorgon, Chinese emperor (b. 1612)
  • 1652 Frances Cecil, 2nd wife of English earl of Shaftesbury, dies
  • 1673 Oliver St John, English statesman and judge
  • 1679 Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist and physicist (b. 1608)
  • 1691 Dudley North, English economist (b. 1641)
  • 1719 John Flamsteed, 1st Astronomer Royal, dies at 73
  • 1733 Hubert K Poot, Dutch poet (Akkerleven), dies at 44
  • 1742 Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine (b. 1661)
  • 1775 Richard Montgomery, General in Continental Army during American Revolutionary War, dies in attack on Quebec
  • 1799 Jean-François Marmontel, French historian and writer (b. 1723)
  • 1802 Francis Lewis, Welsh/US merchant/signer (Decl of Ind), dies at 89
  • 1802 Hugo Franz Karl Alexander von Kerpen, composer, dies at 53
  • 1809 Franz Ignaz Beck, composer, dies at 75
  • 1818 Jean-Pierre Duport, composer, dies at 77
  • 1848 Oliver Shaw, composer, dies at 69
  • 1859 Luigi Ricci, composer, dies at 54
  • 1862 James Edward Rains, lawyer/Confederate brig-gen, dies in Battle of Stone's River at 29
  • 1862 Joshua Woodrow Sill, US Union brig-general, dies in Battle of Stone's River at 31
  • 1872 Aleksis Kivi, [Stenvall], Finnish writer/poet (Kanervala), dies at 38
  • 1877 Alberto Mazzucato, composer, dies at 64
  • 1877 JD Gustave Courbet, French painter (Baigneuses), dies at 58
  • 1882 Leon Michel Gambetta, French attorney/premier (1881-82), dies at 44
  • 1888 Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (b. 1808)
  • 1889 Ion Creanga, Romanian (fairy tales) author, dies at 52
  • 1890 Pancha Carrasco, Costa Rican war heroine (b. 1826)
  • 1893 Jacob G de Scheffer, Dutch vicar/theologist, dies at 74
  • 1894 Thomas J Stieltjes, mathematician (Stieltjes-integral), dies at 38
  • 1896 Leland Hone, cricketer (scored 7 & 6 in only England Test 1879), dies
  • 1907 Jules de Trooz, Belgium PM, dies at 63
  • 1910 John Moisant, American aviator (b. 1868)
  • 1910 Arch Hoxsey, American aviator (b. 1884)
  • 1916 Ernst Rudorff, composer, dies at 76
  • 1920 Albert Roelofs, Dutch painter/etcher, dies at 43
  • 1921 Boies Penrose, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (b. 1860)
  • 1936 Miguel de Unamuno Jugo, Span philosopher/poet (Cancionero), dies at 72
  • 1936 William FA Ellison, Irish clergyman/astronomer, dies at 72
  • 1938 Richard N Roland Holst, Dutch artist/painter, dies at 70
  • 1941 Sigwart Aspestrand, composer, dies at 85
  • 1945 Donald Douglas II, dies at 40
  • 1946 Frits [Frederik H] Tartaud, Dutch actor, dies at 89
  • 1947 Franz X Ritter von Epp, German General (SW Africa), dies at 79
  • 1948 Malcolm Campbell, English race driver, dies at 63
  • 1950 Charles Koechlin, French composer (Jungle Book), dies at 83
  • 1950 Karl Renner, Austrian Chancellor/pres (1918-20, 45-50), dies at 80
  • 1951 Maxim M Litvinov, [Meyer H Wallach], Russian diplomat, dies at 75
  • 1951 Philipp A Kohnstamm, Dutch philosopher/physicist, dies at 76
  • 1953 Albert Plesman, Dutch aviation pioneer/founder (KLM), dies at 64
  • 1954 Peter Van Anrooy, conductor/composer (Piet Hein Rhapsodie), dies at 75
  • 1958 Gustav Hermann Unger, composer, dies at 72
  • 1960 Germaine Loosveldt, Flemish actress (Trees die Upright), dies at 69
  • 1960 Semyon Semyonovich Bogatiryov, composer, dies at 70
  • 1964 Ólafur Thors, Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1892)
  • 1964 Bobby Byrne, baseball player (b. 1884)
  • 1966 Chief Nipo Strongheart, Native American actor (Pony Soldier), dies at 75
  • 1966 Pieter C A Geyl, historian (History of Dutch Race), dies
  • 1967 Arthur Mailey, cricketer (10-66 & Aust v Gloucestershire 1921), dies
  • 1968 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • 1968 George Louis Francis Lewis, composer, dies at 16
  • 1968 Sabin V Dragoi, composer, dies at 74
  • 1969 Salvatore Baccaloni, opera singer/actor (Full of Life), dies at 69
  • 1970 Cyril M Scott, English composer/author (Alchemist), dies at 91
  • 1971 Peter Deuel, actor (Gidget, Love on a Rooftop), commits suicide at 31
  • 1971 Pete Duel American actor (b. 1940)
  • 1971 Marin Sais, American actress (b. 1890)
  • 1971 Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (b. 1919)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1972 Roberto Clemente, slugger (Pitts Pirate), dies in a plane crash at 38

Baseball Player Roberto Clemente
Baseball Player
Roberto Clemente
  • 1975 Donal Michalsky, composer, dies at 47
  • 1977 Nora Marlowe, actress (Sara-Gov & JJ), dies at 62
  • 1977 Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)
  • 1980 Arthur Wellard, cricketer (2 Tests for England, legendary 6-hitter), dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1980 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian cultural philosopher, dies at 69

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan
  • 1980 Raoul Walsh, US director (High Sierra), dies at about 88
  • 1981 Frantisek Chaun, composer, dies at 60
  • 1983 Bill Hunt, cricketer (Test for Aust, out 0, took 0-25 & 0-14), dies
  • 1983 Frank Link, actor (Burns & Schreiber Comedy Show), dies at 46
  • 1985 Alexander Matheson, cricketer (2 wickets/2 Tests for NZ 1930-31), dies
  • 1985 Rick Nelson, singer/actor (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), dies at 45
  • 1985 Sam Spiegel, Academy Award winning producer (Betrayal), dies at 84
  • 1986 Lester Albert Trimble, composer, dies at 63
  • 1986 Lloyd Haynes, actor (Pete Dixon-Room 222), dies at 54
  • 1987 [Gordon] Randall [P D] Garrett, author (Lord Darcy), dies at 60
  • 1990 Dalton Cathey, dies of AIDS at 44
  • 1990 George Allen, US football coach (LA Rams, Wash Redskins), dies
  • 1990 Vasily Grigoryevich Lazarev, cosmonaut (Soyuz 12, 18A), dies at 62
  • 1993 Arthur Dreifuss, director/producer (Murder in Amsterdam), dies at 85
  • 1993 Lambert Fokkema, founder Dutch Export Combination, dies at 80
  • 1993 Thomas J Watson Jr, president of IBM (1956-71)/diplomat, dies at 79
  • 1993 Zviad Gamsachurdia, pres of Georgia SSR (1991-1993), suicide at 54
  • 1993 Brandon Teena, Transsexual, murdered (b. 1972)
  • 1994 BAM "Bob" Schreiner, airline owner (S Aviation Group), dies at 79
  • 1994 Harri Webb, poet, dies at 74
  • 1994 Leigh Bowery, designer, dies at 33
  • 1994 Leo Fuchs, Polish/US Yiddish actor (Story of Ruth), dies at 83
  • 1994 Thomas J Watson Jr, CEO (IBM), dies of a stroke at 79
  • 1994 Woodrow "Woody" Strode, US rugby player and African American cowboy actor (Oil), dies at 80
  • 1995 Calvin/Hobbes, (comic strip), dies
  • 1995 John Powell, campaigner, dies at 75
  • 1996 61 law enforcement officers, killed by felons in US this year
  • 1996 Ann Susan Hills, freelance journalist, dies at 55
  • 1996 David Sinclair, actor (Love & Hate), dies at 62
  • 1996 Frederico Davia, opera singer, dies at 63
  • 1996 Michael Roberts, historian, dies at 88
  • 1996 Phillip Edmund Clinton Manson-Bahr, tropical mediciner, dies at 85
  • 1997 76 law enforcement officers, killed by felons in US this year
  • 1997 Dominique de Menil, arts patron/human rights advocate, dies at 89
  • 1997 Floyd Cramer, pianist (Nashville Sound), dies of cancer at 64
  • 1997 Lillian Billie Dove Bohney, actress, dies at 96
  • 1997 Michael Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, dies in ski accident at 39
  • 1999 Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)
  • 2000 Alan Cranston, American politician (b. 1914)
  • 2000 José Greco, Italian-born American flamenco dancer and choreographer (b. 1918)
  • 2001 Eileen Heckart, American actress (b. 1919)
  • 2002 Kevin MacMichael, American guitarist (Cutting Crew) (b. 1951)
  • 2003 Arthur R. von Hippel German-born physicist (b. 1898)
  • 2004 Gerard Debreu, French-born economist, Bank of Sweden Prize laureate (b. 1921)
  • 2005 Phillip Whitehead, British politician (b. 1937)
  • 2005 Enrico di Giuseppe, American tenor (b. 1932)
  • 2006 George Sisler, Jr., baseball executive (b. 1917)
  • 2007 Tommy Dickson, British footballer (b. 1929)
  • 2007 Tony Elliott, American football player (b. 1959)
  • 2007 Michael Goldberg, American painter (b. 1924)
  • 2007 Bill Idelson, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 2007 Kathryn Ish, American actress (b. 1936)
  • 2007 Milton L. Klein, Canadian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2007 Markku Peltola, Finnish actor and musician (b. 1956)
  • 2007 Ettore Sottsass, Italian architect and designer (b. 1917)
  • 2008 Donald E. Westlake, American author (b. 1933)
  • 2011 Omus Hirshbein, classical music impresario and music director, dies at 77
  • 2013 James Avery, American actor, dies from complications from surgery at 68
  • 2015 Wayne Rogers, American actor (M*A*S*H, House Calls), dies at 82
  • 2015 Natalie Cole, American vocalist (Pink Cadillac, Miss You Like Crazy), dies at 65