On This Day

Famous Deaths on August 11

  • 480 BC Leonidas, King of Sparta (b. circa 540 BC)
  • 353 Magnentius, Roman usurper (b. 303)
  • 449 Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople
  • 897 Wilfred the Hairy, Count of Barcelona
  • 1171 Louis I, Earl of Wage/Rieneck, dies
  • 1180 Guillaume de/Willem van Sens, Fren master builder (Canterbury), dies
  • 1183 Christian I, archbishop of Mainz, dies
  • 1204 King Guttorm of Norway (b. 1199)
  • 1253 Saint Clare of Assisi, Italian follower of Francis of Assisi and founder of the Order of Poor Ladies (the Poor Clares), dies at 59
  • 1394 Jan III, mister of Polanen, dies
  • 1456 Janos Hunyadi, Hungarian general strategist, dies at about 49
  • 1464 Nicholas van Cusa, philosopher/bishop of Brixen, dies
  • 1490 French van Brederode, leader of Hoeksen, dies at about 25
  • 1494 Hans Memling [John Memlinc], Flemish painter (Passietaferelen), dies
  • 1519 Johann Tetzel, Dominican monk, dies at about 79
  • 1522 Martin Siebenborger, mayor of Vienna, beheaded
  • 1563 Bartolomé de Escobedo, Spanish composer (b. circa 1500)
  • 1578 Pedro Nunes [Nonius], Port mathematician/astronomer (nonius), dies
  • 1589 Maarten Schenck van Nideggen, lt col (80 year war), dies at about 49
  • 1596 Hamnet Shakespeare, son of William Shakespeare (b. 1585)
  • 1614 Lavinia Fontana, Italian painter, dies at 61
  • 1656 Prince Ottavio Piccolomini, Italian nobleman, Duke of Amalfi, and field marshal of the Holy Roman Empire, dies at 56
  • 1729 Nicola Francesco Haym, Italian composer, dies at 51
  • 1757 José Pradas Gallén, Spanish composer, dies at 67
  • 1774 Tiphaigne de la Roche, French writer (b. 1722)
  • 1778 Augustus Montague Toplady, English hymn writer (Rock of Ages), dies at 37
  • 1794 Jakob Friedrich Kleinknecht, German composer, dies at 72
  • 1813 Henry James Pye, English poet, British Poet Laureate (1790-1813), dies at 68
  • 1820 János Lavotta, Hungarian violinist and composer, dies at 56
  • 1844 Jernej Kopitar, Slovene philologist and linguist (Slavic Grammatica), dies at 63
  • 1851 Lorenz Oken, German naturalist, dies at 72
  • 1852 Nicolaas Plomp, Dutch architect (Strugle), dies at 70
  • 1854 Macedonio Melloni, Italian physicist (radiant light), dies at 56
  • 1860 James Wilson, politician
  • 1868 Thaddeus Stevens, US Radical Republican congressional leader (Rep-R), dies at 76
  • 1868 Halfdan Kjerulf, Norwegian composer (Brudefaerden i Hardanger), dies at 52
  • 1872 Lowell Mason, US organist/composer (Zebulo), dies at 80
  • 1886 Lydia Koidula, Estonian poet (b. 1843)
  • 1890 John Henry Newman, English cardinal, dies at 89
  • 1892 Enrico Betti, Italian mathematician (b. 1813)
  • 1901 Francesco Crispi, Italian statesman, dies at 82
  • 1903 Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Puerto Rican educator and nationalist (b. 1839)
  • 1908 Khudiram Bose, Indian freedom fighter (b. 1889)

Andrew Carnegie

1919 Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American industrialist, steel tycoon, philanthropist and one of the richest Americans ever, dies of bronchial pneumonia at 83

  • 1935 William Watson, British poet (Purple East), dies at 77
  • 1936 Blas Infante, Spanish writer and politician (b. 1885)
  • 1937 Bakr Sidqi, general/dictator of Iraq, dies

Edith Wharton

1937 Edith Wharton [-Jones], US Pulitzer prize-winning author (House of Mirth), dies at 75

  • 1939 Jean Bugatti, Italian automobile designer (b. 1909)
  • 1940 Alfred Zamara Austrian harpist, composer, and teacher, dies at 77
  • 1942 Richard Heinrich Stein, German composer, and music theorist (La musica moderna), dies at 60
  • 1949 Karl Weigl, Austrian-American pianist, composer, and educator, dies of bone marrow cancer at 68
  • 1951 Ebbe Hamerik, Danish composer, dies at 52
  • 1952 Riccardo Martin, American tenor and composer, dies at 77
  • 1953 Ludwig Strauss, German-Israeli writer (Heimliche Gegenwart), dies at 60
  • 1953 Tazio Nuvolari, Italian auto racer (72 x major race wins; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1933; European Championship 1932), dies from a stroke at 60
  • 1954 Santo Trafficante, Sr., Sicilian-American mobster, dies at 68

Jackson Pollock

1956 Jackson Pollock, abstract artist, dies in auto accident (East Hampton)

  • 1961 Antanas Škėma, Lithuanian writer actor and director (b. 1910)
  • 1965 Bill Woodfull, Australian cricketer (35 Tests for Australia), dies at 67
  • 1965 Ethel Larcombe, British tennis player (Wimbledon 1912), dies at 86
  • 1966 Frank Nelson, English politician and civil servant (head of the Special Operations Executive, 1940-42), dies at 83
  • 1968 Lucien Cerfaux, Belgian New Testament scholar, dies at 85
  • 1972 Max Theiler, South African-American virologist who developed vaccine for Yellow Fever (Nobel Prize 1951), dies at 73
  • 1972 Rose Schneiderman, American socialist, feminist, trade union leader and secretary of labor for New York State (1937-44), dies at 90
  • 1973 Peggy Castle, American actress (Lily Merrill-Lawman), dies of cirrhosis at 46
  • 1974 Jack Hill, Australian cricketer (3 Tests for Australia 1953-55, 8 wickets), dies at 51
  • 1974 Vicente Emilio Sojo, Venezuelan composer, dies at 86
  • 1975 Anthony C McAuliffe, US gen/commandant 101st div (Nuts!), dies at 77
  • 1975 Howard Wendell, American actor (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Murder Your Wife), dies at 67
  • 1977 John Howard Lawson, American scriptwriter and playwright (Blockade, Algiers, Sahara), dies at 82
  • 1980 Paul Robert, French lexicographer and publisher (b. 1910)
  • 1980 Willi Forst, Austrian actor and director (Bel Amis, Operette, Vienna Blood), dies at 77
  • 1982 Tom Drake [Alfred Sinclair Alderdice], American actor (Meet Me In St. Louis; Warlock), dies of lung cancer at 63
  • 1984 Alfred A Knopf, American publisher (1966 Alexander Hamilton Medal), dies at 91
  • 1984 Percy Mayfield, American singer (Hit the Road Jack), dies at 63
  • 1984 Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian-German chess player, dies at 67
  • 1987 Clara Peller, commercial spokesperson (Wendy's), dies at 86
  • 1988 Jean-Pierre Ponnele, opera director (Carmina Burana), dies at 56
  • 1988 Pauline Lafont, daughter of Bernadette, dies in hiking accident at 25
  • 1988 Anne Ramsey, American actress (Throw Mama from the Train), dies of cancer at 59
  • 1989 John Meillon, Australian actor (Wild Duck, Crocodile Dundee), dies of cirrhosis at 55
  • 1991 Jef Contryn, Flemish pioneer puppet theatre, dies at 89
  • 1991 J. D. McDuffie, American NASCAR driver (b. 1939)
  • 1991 Helmut Walcha, a blind German organist (church music), dies at 83
  • 1994 Dorothy Grenfell Williams, radio producer and broadcaster, dies at 60
  • 1994 Gordon Cullen, architect, dies at 80
  • 1994 Mark "Red" Mitchell, American actor (JFK; 8 Seconds; Want to Live), dies when his car is struck by a train at 33

Peter Cushing

1994 Peter Cushing, actor (Star Wars, Dr Who), dies of cancer at 81

  • 1995 Douglas John Gorman, businessman, dies at 58
  • 1995 Herbert Whitton John Sumsion, organist/composer, dies at 96
  • 1995 Kenneth Lo, cookery writer and restaurateur, dies at 81
  • 1995 Phil Harris [Wonga Philip], American actor and singer (Anything Goes, Robin Hood), dies of heart failure at 91
  • 1995 Wilbur Stark, tV/film producer, dies at 83
  • 1995 Alonzo Church, American Mathematician whose work provided foundation for computer science, dies at 92
  • 1996 Mel Taylor, drummer, dies at 63
  • 1996 Sigmund Koch, psychologist/philosopher, dies at 79
  • 1996 Rafael Kubelik, Czech conductor (Cornelia Farooli), dies at 82
  • 1998 Benjamin "Benny" Waters, American jazz saxophonist and clarinetist, dies at 96
  • 2000 Jean Papineau-Couture, Canadian composer, dies at 83
  • 2001 Percy Stallard, English racing cyclist (b. 1909)
  • 2002 Galen Rowell, American photographer and mountain climber (b. 1940)
  • 2003 Diana Mitford, English biographer, famous beauty, wife of Oswald Mosley and one of the Mitford sisters, dies at 93
  • 2003 Armand Borel, Swiss mathematician (b. 1923)
  • 2005 James Booth [David Geeves], British actor and screenwriter (Zulu, Keeping Mum), dies at 77
  • 2006 Mike Douglas, American talk show host (The Mike Douglas Show), dies at 86
  • 2007 Franz Antel, Austrian filmmaker (Der Bockerer), dies at 94
  • 2008 Sir William "Bill" Cotton, British television producer and executive (Noel Gay TV), dies at 80
  • 2008 George Furth, American actor and director (Tammy, Good Guys, Dumplings), dies at 75
  • 2008 Günther Schifter, Austrian music journalist and radio host, dies at 84
  • 2008 Don Helms, American steel guitarist (Hank Williams's Drifting Cowboys), dies at 81
  • 2009 Eunice Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy and founder (Special Olympics), dies at 88
  • 2010 Markus Liebherr, German born Swiss owner of Southampton Football Club (b. 1948)
  • 2010 Geoffrey Johnson Smith, Scottish Conservative politician (1959-2001), dies at 86
  • 2010 Dan Rostenkowski, American politician (Rep-D-Il, 1959-94), convicted of mail fraud, dies at 82
  • 2011 Jani Lane [John Oswald], American heavy metal rock songwriter, and singer (Warrant - "Cherry Pie"), dies of acute alcohol poisoning at 47
  • 2012 Sid Waddell, English darts commentator (the 'Voice of Darts'; Granada, BBC, Sky Sports), dies from bowel cancer at 72
  • 2012 Carlo Curley, American classical concert organist dies at 59
  • 2013 Lamberto Puggelli, Italian stage and opera director (Spoleto Festival), dies at 75

Robin Williams

2014 Robin Williams, American actor and comedian (Mork & Mindy, Good Will Hunting), commits suicide by hanging himself at 63

  • 2015 Serge Collot, French violist (Paris Opera, 1957-86; Le Trio à Cordes Français, 1960-92), and music educator (Conservatoire de Paris, 1969-89), dies at 91
  • 2016 Hanif Mohammad, Pakistani Cricket Batsman (55 Tests; longest Test innings in history at 16 hours, 337 v WI 1958; 12 x 100), dies at 81

V. S. Naipaul

2018 V. S. Naipaul, Trinidadian-British writer (Middle Passage), dies at 85

  • 2020 Trinidad "Trini" Lopez, American singer and guitarist ("If I Had A Hammer"; "Lemon Tree"), and actor (The Dirty Dozen) dies of COVID-19 at 83
  • 2020 Sumner Redstone, American media mogul (ViacomCBS), dies at 97
  • 2020 Gordon J. Brand, English golfer (British Open 1986 runner-up), dies at 65
  • 2021 Dick Huddart, English rugby league second rower (16 Tests Great Britain; St. Helens, St. George), dies at 85
August 11 Highlights