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 (Declaration of Independence), 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, Welsh poet and nationalist, 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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1994 Woody Strode, African American football player and actor (Posse, Cotton Club, Vigilante, Scream), dies of lung cancer at 80

Actor and Sportsman Woody Strode
Actor and Sportsman
Woody Strode
  • 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
  • 2015 Beth Howland, American actress (Vera - Alice, Company), dies at 74