On This Day

Famous Deaths on April 23

  • 34 Jesus Christ is crucified, according to Isaac Newton
  • 303 Saint George, Greek officer in the Roman army, beheaded. Patron saint of many lands including England
  • 725 Wihtred, King of Kent (c. 692-725)
  • 871 Ethelred I, King of Wessex and brother of Alfred the Great, dies aged around 24
  • 990 Ekkehart II [Palatinus], Swiss monk at the Abbey of Saint Gall known for his poetry, dies
  • 997 Vojtech "Adalbert" of Prague, 2nd bishop of Prague/apostle, dies at 40
  • 1014 Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, dies in battle at Clontarf
  • 1016 Æthelred II "the Unready", king of England (979-1016), dies
  • 1124 Alexander I, King of Scots (1107-24), dies at 47
  • 1151 Queen Adeliza of England, 2nd wife of Henry I (b. 1103)
  • 1217 King Inge II of Norway (b. 1185)
  • 1407 Olivier de Clisson, French soldier (b. 1326)
  • 1416 Blaise/Blasius of Parma, Italian astrologist, philosopher and algebra scholar, dies
  • 1605 Boris Godunov, chief adviser to Tsar Fyodor I and Tsar of Russia (1598-1605), dies after a lengthy illness and a stroke at approximately 20
  • 1611 Martin Ruland the Younger, German physician and alchemist, dies at 41

William Shakespeare

1616 William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright (b. 1564) (Julian calendar) dies aged 52

  • 1616 El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Peruvian writer (b. 1539)
  • 1625 Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, dies at 57
  • 1670 Loreto Vittori, Italian composer and mezzo-soprano singer, dies at 69
  • 1691 Jean-Henri D'Anglebert, French composer, harpsichordist and organist, dies at 62
  • 1695 Henry Vaughan, English poet (Silex Scintillans), dies at 72
  • 1702 Margaret Fell, English founder of the Religious Society of Friends known as the "mother of Quakerism," dies at about 87
  • 1728 Tomas de Torrejon y Velasco, Spanish composer based in Peru, dies at 83
  • 1732 Cajetan Kolberer, German composer, dies at 63
  • 1740 Thomas Tickell, English writer and poet, dies at 54
  • 1742 Mihael Omerza, Slovenian composer, dies at 62
  • 1762 Johann Samuel Endler, German composer, dies at 67
  • 1774 Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, German painter, dies at 61
  • 1781 James Abercrombie, British general (Commander-in-Chief of forces in North America during French and Indian wars) (b. 1706)
  • 1786 Alexander Cozens, English water colors painter, dies at about 68
  • 1792 Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, German theologian and adventurer, dies at 50
  • 1794 Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, French lawyer and statesman, executed at 72
  • 1812 Franz Sebastian Haindl, German composer and violinist, dies at 85
  • 1827 Johanna Cornelia Wattier-Ziesenis, Dutch actress (Phaedra, Lady Macbeth), dies at 65
  • 1839 Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, French explorer, dies at 70
  • 1847 Erik Gustaf Geijer, Swedish writer and composer, dies at 64

William Wordsworth

1850 William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet (The Prelude), dies at 80

  • 1853 Auguste Laurent, French chemist who laid the foundations of organic chemistry, dies of tuberculosis at 45
  • 1865 James Dearing, U.S. Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 24
  • 1878 Friedrich Preller the elder, German landscape painter, dies at 73
  • 1880 Raden Saleh [Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman], Indonesian romantic painter, dies at about 69
  • 1885 William Henry Holmes, English composer, dies at 73
  • 1889 Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly, French writer and critic, dies at 80
  • 1895 Carl Ludwig, German physiologist and physician (1884 Copley medal), dies at 78
  • 1897 Clement Harris, English composer, killed fighting in the Greco-Turkish war at 25
  • 1899 Dandridge McRae, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 69
  • 1905 Karel Komzák II, Bohemian-Viennese violinist, and composer of marches and dances (Bad’ner Mad’ln), dies when he falls under train at 54 [1]
  • 1905 Gédéon Ouimet, Quebec politician (b. 1823)
  • 1907 Alfred Packer, American prospector 'The Colorado Cannibal', dies at 65
  • 1915 Rupert Brooke, British WW I poet (Lithuania, The Soldier), dies at 27
  • 1926 Joseph Pennell, American artist and author, dies at 68
  • 1929 Rudolf W. Nilsen, Norwegian poet (Hverdagen), dies at 28

Tim Keefe

1933 Tim Keefe, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (Triple Crown 1888; MLB record 0.86 ERA, single season 1880; NY Giants), dies at 76

  • 1933 Blair Fairchild, American composer and diplomat, dies at 55
  • 1936 Teresa de la Parra, Venezuelan writer (Memorias de Mamá Blanca), dies at 46
  • 1945 Albrecht Haushofer, German geographer, writer and member of the German Resistance to Nazism, shot by Nazi SS troopers at 42
  • 1946 Jesús Castillo, Guatemalan composer (Quiché Vinak), dies at 68
  • 1951 Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, banker and 1925 Nobel Peace Prize winner, dies at 85
  • 1952 Elisabeth Schumann, German soprano, dies at 63
  • 1952 Minus van Looi [Benjamin van der Voort], Flemish writer, dies at 60
  • 1952 Julius Freed [Fried], American namesake and co-founder of Orange Julius fast food chain, dies at 64
  • 1955 Robert Herman Woltjer, Dutch Minister of Education, dies at 76
  • 1957 William Orlamond, Danish actor (Flesh and the Devil, The Wind), dies at 89
  • 1960 Cornelis Jan Bakkerr, Dutch/US nuclear physicist, dies
  • 1960 Toyohiko Kagawa, Japanese Christian social reformer & writer, dies at 71
  • 1965 Josephina J "Fien" de la Mar, Dutch actress (Pygmalion), dies at 67
  • 1969 Krzysztof Komeda, Polish jazz and film composer and pianist (Rosemary's Baby), dies of head injuries as the result of a fall at 37
  • 1970 Herb Shriner, American humorist & TV host (Herb Shriner Show), dies at 51
  • 1971 William Tubman, President of Liberia (1944-71), dies at 76
  • 1973 Otto Eissfeldt, German old testament scholar, dies at 85
  • 1974 Cy Williams, American MLB outfielder (4-time NL HR leader; Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies), dies at 86
  • 1975 R D Brinkmann, writer, dies
  • 1975 William Hartnell, English actor (first Doctor in Dr Who), dies at 67
  • 1976 James Flavin, American actor (King Kong, In Cold Blood, Man With a Camera), dies from a ruptured aorta at 69
  • 1976 Ronald Radd, British actor (King Lear, Up Jumped a Swagman), dies at 47
  • 1976 Shimen Ruskin, Polish actor (Beau Brummel, Having a Wonderful Time), dies at 69
  • 1976 Karl Schäfer, Austrian figure skater (Olympic gold 1932, 36), dies at 66
  • 1979 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • 1979 Doug Rauch, American rock and jazz-fusion bassist (Santana, 1972-74), dies of a heroin overdose at 28
  • 1981 Josep Pla, Spanish journalist & author, dies at 84
  • 1983 Selena Royale, American actress (Date With Judy, Robot Monster), dies at 78
  • 1983 Clarence "Buster" Crabbe, American swimmer (Olympic gold 1932) and actor (Tarzan the Fearless, Flash Gordon), dies of a heart attack at 75
  • 1984 Guus Oster, Dutch actor & director (Carrie), dies at 68
  • 1984 (William) "Red" Garland, American jazz pianist (Miles Davis Quintet), dies of a heart attack at 60
  • 1984 Juan Tizol, Puerto Rican jazz trombonist (Duke Ellington), and composer ("Caravan"; "Perdido"), dies at 84
  • 1985 Kent Smith, American actor (Peyton Place, Invaders), dies from heart disease at 78
  • 1985 Sam Ervin, American politician (U.S. Senator from North Carolina) and Watergate committee chairman, dies at 88
  • 1986 Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer ("Over the Rainbow"; "It's Only A Paper Moon"; "Stormy Weather"), dies of cancer at 81
  • 1986 Jim Laker, English cricket spin bowler (46 Tests; 193 wickets; world best 19-90 4th Test v Australia 1956), dies from complications of gall bladder surgery at 64
  • 1986 Otto Preminger, Austrian director and producer (Advise & Consent, Anatomy of Murder), dies at 79
  • 1988 Arthur Michael, Lord Ramsey/archbishop of Canterbury, dies
  • 1990 Albert Salmi, American character actor (Caddyshack; Daniel Boone; 79 Park Avenue), kills terminally ill wife & self at 62
  • 1990 Palmer Deane, actor (Still of the Night), dies
  • 1990 Paulette Goddard, American actress (Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Hazard), dies at 79
  • 1991 Peter Bailey, Graphic designer/calligrapher, dies
  • 1991 Johnny Thunders [Genzale], American punk rock guitarist (New York Dolls), dies from a combination of leukemia and drug abuse at 38
  • 1992 Deron Johnson, 1965 NL run leader, dies of cancer at 53
  • 1992 Satyajit Ray, Indian director (Distant Thunder, Agantuk), dies at 70
  • 1992 Victoria Kellem Lederman, model, dies of amyloidosis at 52
  • 1993 Bertus Aafjes, poet/writer (World is a Muze), dies at 78
  • 1993 Lalith Athulathmudali, Sri Lankan minister, murdered at 59
  • 1993 Daniel Jones, Welsh composer, dies at 80
  • 1994 Cassidy Clinton Cremer, author (John Cremer), murdered at 30
  • 1994 Cecile Dreesmann, Dutch textile artist & son of Anton Dreesmann, dies at 74
  • 1995 Howard Cosell, American sports journalist (Monday Night Football), dies at 77
  • 1995 John Stennis, American politician (Sen-D-MS), dies at 93
  • 1995 Lonesome Sundown [Cornelius Green III], American blues singer & guitarist, dies at 66
  • 1995 Robert Selby Taylor, Anglican bishop, dies at 86
  • 1996 P. L. Travers, Australian-English writer (Mary Poppins), dies at 96
  • 1996 Jean Victor Allard, Canadian army general, dies at 82
  • 1997 Dennis Compton, England cricket batsman & footballer (5,807 Test runs, Arsenal 1950 FA Cup), dies at 78
  • 1998 Konstantinos Karamanlis, Greek politician, President of Greece (1980-85), dies at 91

James Earl Ray

1998 James Earl Ray, American assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., dies while still under detention of complications related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C at 70

  • 1999 Tullio Pandolfini, Italian water polo (Olympic gold 1948), dies at 84
  • 1999 Melba Liston, American jazz trombonist, arranger, and composer, dies at 73
  • 2002 Manfred Bieler, German writer (The Rabbit is Me), dies at 67
  • 2003 James H. Critchfield, American C.I.A. officer, dies at 86
  • 2003 Fernand Fonssagrives, French photographer, dies at 92
  • 2005 Robert Farnon, Canadian classical and light music composer and conductor dies at 87
  • 2005 Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, Australian politician, Premier of Queensland (1968-87), dies at 94
  • 2005 Al Grassby, Australian immigration minister, dies at 78
  • 2005 Sir John Mills, British actor (Ryan's Daughter, Big Sleep, King Rat, War & Peace), dies from a chest infection at 97
  • 2005 Romano Scarpa, Italian-born comic artist, dies at 77
  • 2005 Earl Wilson, American baseball pitcher (no-hitter 1962; AL wins leader 1967 Boston Red Sox), dies from a heart attack at 70
  • 2006 Johnnie Checketts, New Zealand fighter pilot, dies at 94
  • 2006 Susan Browning, American actress (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman - "Pat"), dies at 65
  • 2007 Paul Erdman, Canadian-born American economist & author, dies at 74
  • 2007 David Halberstam, American journalist, historian and author (Pulitzer 1964), dies at 73

Boris Yeltsin

2007 Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician & 1st President of Russian Federation (1991-99), dies of congestive heart failure at 76

  • 2008 William H. Stewart, 10th US Surgeon General (1965-69), dies at 86
  • 2010 Norman Wright, American doo-wop tenor vocalist (Del-Vikings - “Come Go With Me”), dies at 72
  • 2011 Geoffrey Russell, 4th Baron Ampthill, dies at 89
  • 2011 John Sullivan, British comedy writer, dies at 64
  • 2011 Tom King, American rock guitarist, songwriter, guitarist, and arranger (The Outsiders - "Time Won't Let Me"), dies of congestive heart failure at 68
  • 2011 Max van der Stoel, Dutch politician & Minister of Foreign Affairs (PvdA), dies at 86
  • 2011 Peter Lieberson, American composer, dies of cancer at 64
  • 2012 Chris Ethridge, American country rock bass guitarist (International Submarine Band; The Flying Burrito Brothers), dies from pancreatic cancer at 65
  • 2012 LeRoy T. Walker, American sports executive (first black president US Olympic Committee 1992-96), dies at 93
  • 2012 Tommy Marth, American rock saxophone player (the Killers, 2008-2010), dies of self-inflicted gunshot at 33
  • 2013 Robert W. Edgar, American businessman and politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th district), dies from a heart attack at 69
  • 2014 Volker Wangenheim, German conductor & composer (Sinfonia Notturna), dies at 85
  • 2014 Benjamín Brea, Spanish-Venezuelan jazz saxophonist, arranger and teacher, dies of stomach cancer at 67
  • 2014 Patric Standford, British composer (Taikayoku; Christus Requiem), dies at 75
  • 2015 Sawyer Sweeten, American actor (Everyone Loves Raymond), commits suicide at 19
  • 2016 Banharn Silpa-archa, Prime Minister of Thailand (1995-96), dies at 83
  • 2017 Kenny Sears, American NBA player (NY Knicks), dies at 83
  • 2018 Sachio Kinugasa, Japanese baseman nicknamed Tetsujin, meaning "Iron Man", dies of colon cancer at 71
  • 2020 Bernardino Lombao, Spanish handballer (Atlético de Madrid 1967-69), coach (Nat basketball teams) and TV presenter (De Olimpia a Los Ángeles, Objetivo 92), dies at 81
  • 2020 Norbert Blüm, German politician, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, dies at 84
  • 2021 Bill Whittington, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1979), dies in a plane crash at 71
  • 2021 Charlie Black, American country music songwriter (Anne Murray - "Shadows in the Moonlight"; K.T. Oslin - "Come Next Monday"), dies at 71
April 23 Highlights