Deaths in History on December 31

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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 1907 Jules de Trooz, Belgium PM, dies at 63
  • 1910 John Moisant, American aviator (b. 1868)
  • 1910 Arch Hoxsey, American aviator (b. 1884)
  • 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
  • 1945 Donald Douglas II, dies at 40
  • 1947 Franz X Ritter von Epp, German General (SW Africa), dies at 79
  • 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
  • 1964 Ólafur Thors, Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1892)
  • 1966 Pieter C A Geyl, historian (History of Dutch Race), dies
  • 1968 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • 1971 Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (b. 1919)
  • 1977 Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)

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
  • 1985 Sam Spiegel, Academy Award winning producer (Betrayal), dies at 84
  • 1987 [Gordon] Randall [P D] Garrett, author (Lord Darcy), dies at 60
  • 1990 Dalton Cathey, dies of AIDS at 44
  • 1990 Vasily Grigoryevich Lazarev, cosmonaut (Soyuz 12, 18A), dies at 62
  • 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, President 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 Thomas J Watson Jr, CEO (IBM), dies of a stroke at 79
  • 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 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 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)
  • 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)
  • 2007 Michael Goldberg, American painter (b. 1924)
  • 2007 Milton L. Klein, Canadian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2007 Ettore Sottsass, Italian architect and designer (b. 1917)
  • 2008 Donald E. Westlake, American author (b. 1933)