On This Day

Famous Deaths on April 27

  • 630 King Ardashir III of Persia, Sasanian shah of Iran, dies at 9
  • 1076 Willem, bishop of Utrecht (1054-76), murderer of earl Floris I, dies
  • 1404 Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1363-1404), dies at 62

Ferdinand Magellan

1521 Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese explorer, killed by Filipino natives at 50 while on voyage to circumnavigate the world

  • 1599 Maeda Toshiie, Japanese general, dies at 61
  • 1605 Leo XI, Italian Pope (1605), dies at 69
  • 1613 Robert Abercromby, Scottish Jesuit missionary, dies at 77
  • 1625 Mori Terumoto, Japanese warrior, dies at 72
  • 1656 Gerard van Honthorst, Dutch painter, dies at 65
  • 1656 Jan van Goyen, Dutch landscape painter, dies at 60
  • 1682 Theodorus III, Tsar of Russia (1676-82), dies at 21
  • 1694 Johan Georg IV, Elector of Saxony (1691-94), dies at 25
  • 1695 Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexican philosopher & poet, and nun, dies at 44

John Trenchard

1695 John Trenchard, English radical Whig politician and statesman, dies at 46

  • 1702 Jean Bart, French naval commander (Escape out of Plymouth), dies at 51
  • 1758 Jan Francisci, Slovak composer, dies at 66
  • 1764 Jaime de Casellas, Spanish composer, dies at 73
  • 1782 William Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot, British politician, dies at 72
  • 1794 William Jones, British orientalist & jurist, dies at 47
  • 1813 Zebulon Pike, American brigadier general & explorer (Pike's Peak), dies in battle at 34
  • 1871 Sigismond Fortune Francois Thalberg, Austrian composer, dies at 59
  • 1872 Ion Heliade-Radulescu, Romanian politician & author, dies at 70
  • 1873 William Charles Macready, British actor, manager, and diarist, dies at 80
  • 1881 Ludwig von Benedek, Austrian general, dies at 76

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist & philosopher (Concord Hymn), dies of pneumonia at 78

  • 1886 Henry Hobson Richardson, Romanesque revival architect, dies of Bright's disease at 47
  • 1893 John Murray Corse, American general (Union), dies on his 58th birthday
  • 1893 John Ballance, 14th Prime Minister of New Zealand & the founder of the Liberal Party, dies of intestinal disease after a major surgical operation at 54
  • 1896 Henry Parkes, Australian politician (longest non-consecutive Premier of the Colony of New South Wales), dies at 80
  • 1901 Richard Redhead, English composer, dies at 81
  • 1902 Julius Sterling Morton, American politician (3rd U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) & founder of Arbor Day, dies at 70
  • 1915 Alexander Scriabin, Russian composer (Prometheus) & pianist, dies at 43
  • 1915 John Labatt, Canadian brewer & businessman (Labatt Brewing Company), dies at 76
  • 1932 Hart Crane, American poet (The Bridge), commits suicide at 32 by jumping overboard into the Gulf of Mexico
  • 1936 Frederik August Stoett, Dutch linguist (Dutch Proverbs), dies at 72
  • 1936 Karl Pearson, British statistician (leading founder of the modern field of statistics), dies at 79
  • 1938 Edmond Rubbens, Belgian minister to Colonies, dies at 44
  • 1941 Penelope Delta, Greek author, dies at 67
  • 1950 Adam Tadeusz Wieniawski, Polish composer, dies at 70
  • 1950 Karl Straube, German organist & conductor, dies at 77
  • 1950 Hobart Cavanaugh, American actor (Border Town, Black Angel), dies at 63
  • 1951 Philip Hands, South African cricketer (7 Tests for South Africa), dies at 61
  • 1952 Guido Castelnuovo, Italian mathematician, dies at 86
  • 1954 Torsten Ralf, Swedish operatic tenor (Daphne - "Apollo"), dies at 53
  • 1959 Gordon Armstrong, American inventor of the baby incubator, dies at 69
  • 1961 Roy Del Ruth, American director (About Face, Folies Bergere), dies at 67
  • 1962 A. K. Fazlul Huq, Bengali statesman, dies at 88
  • 1964 Georg Britting, German poet, dies at 73
  • 1965 Alan Bunce, American radio & television actor (Homicidal, Ethel & Albert), dies at 64
  • 1965 Edward R. Murrow, American newscaster (Person to Person), dies at 57
  • 1969 Dino Terranova, American actor (Young Dillinger), dies at 65
  • 1969 René Barrientos, President of Bolivia, dies at 49
  • 1970 Arthur Shields, Irish actor (River, Enchanted Island), dies at 73

Kwame Nkrumah

1972 Kwame Nkrumah, 1st Prime Minister of Ghana (1957-60) and 1st President of Ghana (1960-66), dies at 62

  • 1972 Phil King, English musician (Blue Oyster Cult), shot in head at 24 while gambling
  • 1973 Jim Sims, English cricket spin bowler (4 Tests, 11 wickets; Middlesex), dies at 69
  • 1973 Carlos Menditeguy, Argentine racing driver, dies at 57
  • 1975 Nicholas Soussanin, Russian-American actor (Last Command, Captain Fury), dies at 86
  • 1977 Stanley Adams, American actor (Star Trek, Breakfast at Tiffany's), commits suicide at 61
  • 1978 Mohammed Daoud Khan, Afghan politician, murdered at 68
  • 1978 John Doeg, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1930), dies at 69
  • 1982 Tom Tully, American actor (Line-up, Shane), dies at 85
  • 1984 Piet Kraak, Dutch soccer player, dies at 63
  • 1988 David Scarboro, British actor, dies at 20
  • 1989 Kōnosuke Matsushita, Japanese industrialist (founded Panasonic), dies at 94
  • 1991 Marcus Heeresma, Dutch author (Anna, Son of a Whore), dies at 55
  • 1992 Olivier Messiaen, French composer (L'Ame en Bourgeon; St Francois d'Assise), dies at 83
  • 1993 Hans Sahl, German-American anti-Nazi Jewish writer (Tie Exil im Exil), dies at 90
  • 1994 Jerome Lejeune, French physiologist, dies at 67
  • 1994 John Preston, American writer (Gay House, Big Gay Book), dies at 48
  • 1994 Lynne Frederick, English actress (Trail of Pink Panther), dies at 39
  • 1995 Willem Frederik Hermans, Dutch writer, dies at 73
  • 1996 Joan Sterndale-Bennett, British actress (Brighton Rock, Those Fantastic Flying Fools), dies at 82
  • 1996 William Egan Colby, C.I.A. director, dies at 76
  • 1997 Paul Lambert, American character actor (Executive Suite, Spartacus), dies at 74
  • 1998 Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born American writer & mystic, dies at 72
  • 1998 John Bassett, Canadian publisher & media baron, dies at 47
  • 1998 Dominique Aury, French novelist, dies at 90
  • 1998 Godfrey Kenton, English actor (The Tempest, Well's Theater), dies at 96
  • 1999 Al Hirt, American trumpeter (Greatest Horn in the World), dies of liver failure at 76
  • 1999 Cyril Washbrook, English cricketer (stalwart Lancs & England opener), dies at 84
  • 2000 Vicki Sue Robinson, American stage and screen actress, and pop singer ("Turn the Beat Around"), dies of cancer at 45
  • 2002 George Alec Effinger, American author, dies at 55
  • 2002 Ruth Handler, American toy manufacturer (invented the Barbie doll), dies of cancer at 85
  • 2002 Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, Dutch-Swiss industrialist, dies at 81
  • 2003 Piet Roozenburg, Dutch World champion checker player (1948, 51, 52, 55), dies at 78
  • 2005 Red Horner, Canadian hockey player (Toronto Maple Leafs), dies at 95
  • 2006 Julia Thorne, American writer & ex-wife of John Kerry, dies at 61
  • 2007 Mstislav Rostropovich, Russian cellist and conductor, dies at 80
  • 2009 Frankie Manning, American dancer, instructor, choreographer, and one of the founding fathers of Lindy Hop, dies at 94
  • 2009 Feroz Khan, Indian actor, producer and director (known as Clint Eastwood of Bollywood), dies at 69
  • 2009 Woo Seung-yeon, South Korean actress & model, dies at 25
  • 2010 Morris Pert, Scottish session jazz-rock drummer, percussionist, pianist, and contemporary classical composer (Ankh; Auroura), dies at 62
  • 2011 Marian Mercer, American actress & singer (Dean Martin Show), dies at 75
  • 2012 Bill Skowron, American MLB player, dies from lung cancer at 81
  • 2015 Suzanne Crough, American child actress (The Partridge Family), dies at 52
  • 2015 Gene Fullmer, American boxer (world middleweight champion), dies at 83
  • 2017 Vinod Khanna, Indian Bollywood actor (Mera Gaon Mera Desh), dies at 70
  • 2017 Julius Youngner, American virologist, helped develop Salk polio vaccine, dies at 96
  • 2018 Paul Junger Witt, American TV and film producer (Brian's Song; Soap; The Golden Girls; Dead Poets Society), dies of cancer at 77
  • 2020 Robert Herbin, French soccer defender (23 caps; Saint-Étienne) and manager (Saint-Étienne, Lyon, Strasbourg), dies at 81
  • 2020 Marty Smith, American motocross racer (AMA 125cc 1974, 75; AMA 500cc 1977), dies in a dune buggy accident at 63
  • 2020 Lynn Harrell, American cellist, dies at 76
April 27 Highlights