On This Day

Famous Deaths on April 21

  • 1073 Alexander II [Anselmo da Baggio], Pope (1061-73), dies
  • 1109 Anselmus, philosopher/archbishop of Canterbury, dies
  • 1142 Pierre Abélard, French writer (b. 1079)
  • 1329 Frederick IV, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1282)
  • 1509 Henry VII, 1st Tudor king of England (1485-1509), dies at 52, Henry VIII succeeds him aged 17
  • 1551 Oda Nobuhide, Japanese warlord (b. 1510)
  • 1552 Petrus Apianus [Peter Apian], German mathematician, astronomer and cartographer, dies at 57
  • 1574 Cosimo de Medici, Italian duke of Toscane, dies at about 54
  • 1652 Pietro Della Valle, Italian composer, dies at 66
  • 1696 Andres de Sola, Spanish composer, dies at 61

Person of interestJean Racine

1699 Jean Racine, French dramatist (Phèdre, Athalie), dies of liver cancer at 59

Dramatist and Playwright Jean Racine
Dramatist and Playwright
Jean Racine
  • 1701 Asano Naganori, Japanese warlord (daimyō), dies at 33
  • 1719 Philippe de la Hire, French mathematician and historian (b. 1640)
  • 1720 Antoine Hamilton, French writer (b. 1646)
  • 1722 Robert Beverley, Jr., historian of Colonial Virginia (b. 1673)
  • 1730 Jan Palfijn, Flemish physician/inventor (forceps), dies at 79

  • 1736 Frans Eugenius, duke/prince of Savoye, dies at 72
  • 1780 Ferdinand Zellbell the younger, Swedish composer and co-founder of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, dies at 60

BattleTiradentes

1792 Tiradentes, Brazilian revolutionary and independence fighter (Inconfidência Mineira) considered a national hero, hanged, drawn and quartered in Rio de Janeiro at 45

Brazilian Revolutionary Tiradentes
Brazilian Revolutionary
Tiradentes
  • 1793 John Michell, English seismologist (b. 1724)
  • 1815 Joseph Winston, U.S. Congressman from North Carolina (b. 1746)
  • 1821 Thursday October Christian, son of Fletcher Christian (leader of the historical mutiny on the Bounty), dies at 40
  • 1825 Johann Friedrich Pfaff, German mathemattician (b. 1765)
  • 1852 Ivan Nabokov, Russian general (b. 1787)
  • 1868 Henry James O'Farrell, Australian would-be assassin of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
  • 1871 Elisabeth Grube, writer, dies
  • 1878 Temistocle Solera, composer, dies at 62
  • 1898 Louis Théodore Gouvy, French-German composer, dies at 78
  • 1899 Heinrich Kiepert, German cartographer/geographer, dies at 80
  • 1900 Heinrich Vogl, composer, dies at 55

Person of interestMark Twain

1910 Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens], American author (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), dies at 74

Author Mark Twain
Author
Mark Twain

Person of interestThe Red Baron

1918 Manfred von Richthofen [The Red Baron], German World War I fighter ace, dies at 25 after his plane is shot down

World War I Fighter Ace The Red Baron
World War I Fighter Ace
The Red Baron
  • 1922 Alessandro Moreschi, Italian castrato (b. 1858)
  • 1924 Eleanora Duse, Italian actress (La Gioconda, La Locandiera), dies at 64
  • 1930 Alex Smith, Scottish-American golfer (US Open 1906, 10), dies at 56
  • 1930 Robert Bridges, English poet (Testament of beauty) and British Poet Laureate (1913-30), dies at 85

  • 1938 Muhammad Iqbal, British East Indies lawyer and Pakistan national hero, dies at 65
  • 1938 Allama Iqbal, Indian philosopher and poet, dies at 60
  • 1939 Herman Finck, British composer (In The Shadows), dies at 66
  • 1945 John Poston, British major/Montgomery's ADC, dies in battle at 25
  • 1946 Robert Graham, cricketer (3 wkts for South Africa in 2 Tests 1898-99), dies

BattleJohn Maynard Keynes

1946 John Maynard Keynes, English economist whose ideas changed the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, dies of a heart attack at 62

  • 1948 Carlos Lopez Buchardo, Argentine composer, dies at 66
  • 1952 Leslie Banks, actor (Henry V, 21 Days, Eye Witness), dies at 61
  • 1952 Stafford Cripps, British Labour politician, dies at 62
  • 1956 Charles MacArthur, American playwright and screenwriter (The Scoundrel), dies at 60
  • 1961 James Melton, opera tenor (Ford Festival), dies at 57
  • 1962 Frederick Handley Page, designer of 1st big airplane (40 seats), dies
  • 1965 Edward Victor Appleton, English physicist (Nobel Prize 1947), dies at 72
  • 1967 Andre L Danjon, French astronomer, dies at 77
  • 1968 Toby Halicki, car-crash film producer 48, killed shooting stunt
  • 1968 Norman Demuth, British composer and musicologist specializing in French works, dies at 69
  • 1971 Edmund Lowe, American actor (Black Sheep, Good Sam, Dillinger, Hot Pepper), dies at 81

Person of interestFrançois Duvalier

1971 François Duvalier "Papa Doc", Dictator and President of Haiti (1957-71), dies of heart disease and diabetes at 64

Dictator and President of Haiti François Duvalier
Dictator and President of Haiti
François Duvalier
  • 1973 Ursula Jeans, British actress (Cavalcade, Over the Moon, I Lived With You), dies of cancer at 66
  • 1973 Arthur Fadden, 13th Prime Minister of Australia, dies at 79

Person of interestMerian C. Cooper

1973 Merian C. Cooper, American film director and producer (King Kong) and aviator (Kościuszko Squadron, Director-Pan American Airways), dies of cancer at 79

Film Director and Producer Merian C. Cooper
Film Director and Producer
Merian C. Cooper
  • 1974 Charles "Chic" Harley, American football player (b. 1895)
  • 1975 Jack Westrup, English composer, dies at 70
  • 1977 Milton "Gummo" Marx, American comic (Marx Brothers), dies at 84
  • 1978 Sandy Denny, country singer, dies at 37
  • 1980 Aleksandr Oparin, Russian biochemist (b. 1894)
  • 1980 Sohrab Sepehri, Persian poet and painter (b. 1928)
  • 1981 Harry Lee, cricketer (scored 18 & 1 in only Test for England), dies
  • 1981 Eddie Sauter, American musician (Sauter-Finegan Band, Sat Night Revue), dies at 66
  • 1982 Joe Sawyer, actor (Biff O'Hara-Adventures of Rin Tin Tin), dies at 80
  • 1985 Rudi Gernreich, US designer (miniskirt), dies at 62
  • 1985 Tancredo Neves, president-elect of Brazil, dies at 75
  • 1985 Foster Hewitt, Canadian radio broadcaster (Hockey Night in Canada), dies at 82
  • 1986 Salah Jaheen, Egyptian poet and cartoonist (b.1930)
  • 1987 Edith S Green, (Rep-D-Ore), dies at 77
  • 1988 I. A. L. Diamond, Hollywood screenwriter (1960 Acad Award-Apartment), dies at 67
  • 1989 James Kirkwood, American actor, author and playwright (A Chorus Line, P. S. Your Cat Is Dead!), dies of cancer at 64
  • 1989 Princess Deokhye of Korea, last princess of the Korean Empire, dies at 76
  • 1990 Johnny Beagley, winner of two 1942 World Series games, dies
  • 1990 Erté, French artist
  • 1991 Richard Bolling, American politician (Rep-D-Missouri 1949-83), dies at 74
  • 1991 Willi Boskovsky, Austrian conductor (new years concert), dies at 81
  • 1992 Robert Harris, American criminal and murderer, executed in a gas chamber at 39 in San Quentin State Prison, California
  • 1992 Vladimir K Romanov, Grand Duke/Rus pretender to the throne, dies at 74
  • 1993 Hal Schumacher, baseball pitcher, dies at 82
  • 1994 Clement Merk, animal trainer, dies at 93
  • 1995 Bob Wyatt, English cricketer (1927-37), dies at 93
  • 1995 Stafford Heginbotham, British toymaker (Tebro Toys) and Football Club Chairman, dies at 61
  • 1996 A H Kardar, cricketer (3 Tests for India & 23 for Pak 1946-58), dies
  • 1996 Dzhokhar Dudayev, separatist leader and President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (1991), dies at 52
  • 1996 Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, sportscaster, LV bookmaker (The NFL Today; fired for racist remarks), dies of a heart attack at 77
  • 1996 Robert Hersant, press baron, dies at 76
  • 1996 Rodney Meredith Thomas, English architect and painter, dies at 93
  • 1996 Zora Arkus-Duntov, engineer, dies at 86
  • 1997 Andres Rodriguez, Paraguayan president (1989-93), dies

  • 1997 Diosdado Macapagal, President of the Philippines (1961-65), dies at 86
  • 1998 Jean Francois Lyotard, French philosopher and sociologist (b. 1924)
  • 1998 Peter Lind Hayes, American comedian and singer (Peter Lind Hayes Show), dies at 82
  • 1999 Charles "Buddy" Rogers, American musician actor (An Innocent Affair, Wings), dies at 94
  • 2000 Neal Matthews, Jr., American singer (The Jordanaires), dies at 70
  • 2001 David Hollestelle, Dutch baritone (Great-Broadcast chorus), dies at 84

Person of interestNina Simone

2003 Nina Simone [Eunice Waymon], American singer and civil rights activist (I Loves You, Porgy), dies of breast cancer at 70

Singer and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone
Singer and Civil Rights Activist
Nina Simone
  • 2004 Mary McGrory, American journalist and columnist, dies at 85
  • 2004 Lorraine "Tui" St. George Tucker, American recorder player and composer (Catawba), dies at 79
  • 2005 Gerry Marshall, British racing driver (b. 1941)
  • 2006 T.K. Ramakrishnan, Indian politician (b. 1922)
  • 2006 Telê Santana, Brazilian football manager (b. 1931)
  • 2007 Lobby Loyde, Australian guitarist and songwriter (b. 1941)
  • 2007 Parry O'Brien, American shot putter (Olympic golds 1952, 1956, silver 1960), dies at 75
  • 2008 Al Wilson, American singer (Show and Tell, The Snake), dies of kidney failure at 68
  • 2009 Vivian Maier, American street photographer unknown until her death, dies at 83
  • 2010 Gustav Lorentzen, Norwegian singer-songwriter (b. 1947)
  • 2010 Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spanish sports administrator (President International Olympic Committee 1980-2001), dies of cardio-respiratory failure at 89
  • 2012 Charles Colson, Nixon adviser (Watergate), dies from a brain hemorrhage at 80
  • 2013 Leopold Engleitner, Austrian Holocaust survivor, dies at 107

Person of interestShakuntala Devi

2013 Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator known as the "Human Computer", stops calculating at 83 due to complications from severe respiratory problems

Writer and Mathematician Shakuntala Devi
Writer and Mathematician
Shakuntala Devi
  • 2013 Chrissy Amphlett, Australian singer- songwriter (Divinyls - "I Touch Myself"), dies of breast cancer at 53
  • 2014 George H. Heilmeier, American engineer (helped invent LCD displays), dies at 77

Person of interestPrince Rogers Nelson

2016 Prince [Rogers Nelson], American singer-songwriter and musician (1999, Purple Rain), dies at 57

  • 2016 Lonnie Mack, American rocker (Baby What's Wrong), dies at 74
  • 2016 Peter Ruckman, American Baptist minister and founder of Pensacola Bible Institute in Pensacola, dies at 94
  • 2017 Ugo Ehiogu, English soccer defender (4 caps; Aston Villa, Middlesborough), dies from cardiac arrest at 44
  • 2018 Nabi Tajima, Japanese supercentenarian and the last living person certified to have been born in the 19th century, dies at 117
  • 2018 Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Brazilian movie director (Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês, Vidas Secas), dies at 89
  • 2018 Verne Troyer, American actor (Mini-Me in Austin Powers movies), dies at 49
  • 2020 Teruyuki Okazaki, Japanese karate master (10th degree black belt Shotokan Karate; founder International Shotokan Karate Federation), dies from COVID-19 at 88
  • 2020 Milt Sunde, American NFL guard (Pro Bowl 1966; NFL Champion 1969; Minnesota Vikings), dies from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease at 78
April 21 Highlights