On This Day

Famous Deaths on August 31

  • 651 Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Irish bishop and missionary
  • 1056 Theodora, Byzantine Empress (b. 981)
  • 1057 Leofric, count of Mercia/husband of Lady Godiva, dies
  • 1158 Sancho III, King of Castile, dies
  • 1218 Al-Malik ab-Adil/Saphadin/Saif al-Din), brother of Saladin, dies
  • 1234 Emperor Go-Horikawa of Japan (b. 1212)
  • 1372 Ralph Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford, English soldier, dies at 70
  • 1422 Henry V, King of England (1413-22) and France (1416-19), dies at 36
  • 1590 Floris Thin, politician/land advocate of Utrecht, dies
  • 1604 Giovanale Ancina, Italian priest and composer, dies of purported poisoning at 58
  • 1616 Gemignano Capilupi, composer, dies at 43
  • 1631 Nicolaus Erich, composer, dies at 43
  • 1638 John Ward, composer, dies at 67
  • 1645 Francesco Bracciolini, Italian poet (b. 1566)
  • 1654 Ole Worm, Danish physician, dies at 66
  • 1667 Johann von Rist, German composer and poet known for his hymns, dies at 60

John Bunyan

1688 John Bunyan, English minister and author (The Pilgrim's Progress), dies at 59

  • 1730 Gottfried Finger, Czech composer (b. 1660?)
  • 1741 Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, German jurist, dies at 59
  • 1762 Emperor Momozono, 116th Emperor of Japan, dies at 21
  • 1772 William Borlase, English naturalist (b. 1695)
  • 1795 François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, dies at 68
  • 1796 John McKinly, American physician and President of Delaware, dies at 75
  • 1799 Nicolas-Henri Jardin, French architect (b. 1720)
  • 1805 Joseph Abaco, Italian composer, dies at 95

Arthur Phillip

1814 Arthur Phillip, British admiral, 1st Governor of New South Wales (1788-92), dies at 75

  • 1818 Arthur St. Clair, American soldier and politician (President of the Continental Congress, 1787), dies at 81
  • 1832 Jean Nicolas Auguste Kreutzer, French violinist and composer, dies at 53
  • 1862 George William Taylor, US Union brigadier general, dies in battle
  • 1862 Ignaz Assmayer, composer, dies at 72
  • 1864 Ferdinand Lassalle, French socialist and political activist (Allgemeiner), dies at 39
  • 1867 Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, French poet and translator (Les Fleurs du mal), dies at 46
  • 1869 Mary Ward, Irish scientist, first automobile accident victim (b. 1827)
  • 1873 Charles Ferdinand Pahud, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies (1856-61), dies at 70
  • 1875 Oskar Peschel, German geographer (Physicist Erdkunde), dies at 49
  • 1879 William Barber, 6th US chief engraver (1844-79), dies

Murder of InterestMary Ann Nichols

1888 Mary Ann Nichols, English prostitute and 1st victim of Jack the Ripper, found stabbed to death in London at 42

  • 1902 Mathilde Wesendonk, German author/poetess, dies at 73
  • 1910 Emīls Dārziņš, Latvian composer, dies at 34
  • 1918 Joe English, Irish/Flemish signaler (WWI), dies at 36
  • 1920 Wilhelm Wundt, German physiologist, psychologist and philosopher, dies at 88
  • 1923 Gerrit Kalff, Dutch professor (history of Dutch writers), dies at 67
  • 1931 Marcel Planiol, French private law scholar, dies
  • 1934 Jan Schaper, Dutch publicist and politician (SDAP), dies
  • 1935 Abraham Isaac Kook, rabbi/author (Hokhmat Ha-kodesh), dies
  • 1940 Johanna "Annie" Bakker, revue-artists/singer/actress, dies at 58
  • 1940 George Gauthier, French Canadian Roman Catholic Bishop of Montreal and rector of the Université de Montréal, dies at 68
  • 1941 Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (The Train of Life), committed suicide at 48
  • 1942 Von Bismarck, German major general, (Africa Corps), dies in battle
  • 1946 Paul August von Klenau, Danish opera composer, and conductor, dies at 63
  • 1946 Harley Granville-Barker, English dramatist, producer (The Voysey Inheritance) and critic, dies at 68
  • 1948 Andrei A Zjdanov, Rus politician (against kosmopolitism), dies at 52
  • 1948 Billy Laughlin, American child actor (Froggy- Our Gang), dies in a car accident at 16
  • 1949 Andre Debierne, French chemist/physicist (actinium), dies
  • 1949 Paul Hoffer, German composer, dies at 53
  • 1952 Henri Bourassa, French Canadian political leader (b. 1868)
  • 1959 Charles Delaney, American actor (Air Police, Lonesome Trail), dies at 67
  • 1963 Georges Braque, French cubist painter and sculptor (My bicycle) who helped develop Cubism with Pablo Picasso, dies at 81
  • 1964 Carole Coleman, singer (Make Mine Music), dies at 42
  • 1966 Kasimir Edschmid, German writer, dies at 75
  • 1967 Ilja G Ehrenburg, Russian poet/writer (9th wave), dies at 76
  • 1967 Michael Fitzmaurice, American radio actor (Superman, Reported Missing, 14 Hours), dies of lymphoma at 59
  • 1968 Dennis O'Keefe, American actor (Suspicion), dies of lung cancer at 60
  • 1968 George P Gooch, English historian/House of Commons leader, dies
  • 1969 Ottmar Gerster, German composer (rector of the Liszt Music Academy in Weimar), dies at 72

Rocky Marciano

1969 Rocky Marciano, American boxer (undefeated world heavyweight champion 1952-56), dies in a plane crash at 45

John Ford

1973 John Ford, American director (Stagecoach, The Searchers), dies at 78

  • 1973 Raymond Keane, American actor (Midnight Sun, Love Eagle), dies at 66
  • 1973 Stan Worthington, English cricket pace bowler (9 Tests 1930-36), dies
  • 1974 William Pershing Benedict, American pilot
  • 1974 Norman Kirk, New Zealand prime minister (b. 1923
  • 1975 Pierre Blaise, French actor (Lacombe Lucien), dies at 24
  • 1976 Kornelis H Miskotte, theologist (If the Gods Keep Silent), dies at 81
  • 1978 John Wrathall, President of Rhodesia (b. 1913)
  • 1979 E J "Tiger" Smith, England cricket wicket-keeper, umpire (11 Tests), dies at 93
  • 1979 Sally Rand, American burlesque dancer, vedette and actress known for her ostrich feather fan and balloon bubble dances, dies at 75
  • 1981 Joseph H Hirschhorn, US art collector/founder H Museum, dies at 82
  • 1985 Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Australian virologist (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for tissue grafting), dies at 85
  • 1986 Henry Moore, English artist and sculptor (known for Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae), dies at 88
  • 1986 Urho Kekkonen, 8th President of Finland (1956-81), dies at 85
  • 1986 Goffredo Parise, Italian writer (Il padrone), dies at 56
  • 1990 Johnny Lindsay, cricketer (South African wicket-keeper 1947), dies
  • 1990 Nat (Sweetwater) Clifton, NY Knick, dies at 65 of a heart attack
  • 1991 Leigh Watson, US aviation pioneer/air force general, dies at 93
  • 1991 Gerry Davis, British screenwriter (Dr Who), dies at 61
  • 1994 Artur Balsam, Polish-American pianist, dies at 88
  • 1994 Barbara Avedon, American scriptwriter (Bewitched), dies at 69
  • 1994 Norman "Doc" Jones, bassist, dies at 68
  • 1995 Beant Singh, Prime Minister of Punjab province of India, assassinated at 73
  • 1995 David Farrar, English actor (Beat Girl, I Accuse, Watusi), dies at 87
  • 1995 David Richard Holloway, literary Editor, dies at 71
  • 1995 Hajime Miterai, industrialist, dies at 56
  • 1995 Horst Janssen, German graphic artist and printmaker, dies at 65
  • 1995 John Erik Jonsson, American businessman and Mayor of Dallas, dies at 93
  • 1996 David Scott, British priest, Chaplain to the Queen, dies at 72
  • 1996 Harald Penrose, British test pilot, dies at 92
  • 1996 Milt Larkin, American jazz trumpeter and band leader, dies at 85
  • 1996 David Pollock, Viscount Hanworth, British barrister, dies at 80

Diana Spencer

1997 Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, dies in car crash in Paris at 36

  • 1997 Dodi Fayed, Egyptian businessman, died in a car crash in Paris with Princess Diana at 42
  • 1999 Marguerite Chapman, American actress (The Seven Year Itch, Spy Smasher, Flight to Mars), dies at 81
  • 2000 Patricia Owens, Canadian actress (b. 1925)
  • 2002 Lionel Hampton, American Jazz vibraphone player, pianist, drummer, and actor, dies from congestive heart failure at 94
  • 2002 George Porter, British chemist (Nobel Prize, 1967), dies at 81
  • 2003 Jaap Geraedts, Dutch composer, dies at 79
  • 2004 Carl Wayne, English singer and actor (The Move), dies at 61
  • 2005 Michael Sheard, British actor (b. 1940)
  • 2005 Joseph Rotblat, Polish-British physicist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1908)
  • 2006 Tom Delaney, British racing driver (b. 1911)
  • 2006 Derrick Wayne Frazier, American convicted murderer (b. 1977)
  • 2006 Mohamed Abdelwahab, Egyptian footballer (b. 1983)
  • 2007 Gay Brewer, American golfer (US Masters 1967), dies of lung cancer at 75
  • 2007 Karloff Lagarde, Mexican professional wrestler, dies at 79
  • 2008 Jerry Reed, American country music singer ("When You're Hot, You're Hot") and actor (Bat 21; Smokey & the Bandit), dies of complications from emphysema at 71
  • 2008 Ike Pappas, American news correspondent (b. 1933)
  • 2009 Eraño Manalo, Filipino religious figure (b. 1925)
  • 2009 Maria de Lourdes Martins, Portuguese pianist and composer, dies at 83
  • 2010 Laurent Fignon, French cyclist (1983 & 1984 Tour de France), dies of cancer at 50
  • 2011 Wade Belak, Canadian NHL defenseman, 1996-2011 (Toronto Maple Leafs and four other teams), dies at 35
  • 2011 Valery Rozhdestvensky, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 23), dies at 72
  • 2011 Peter Twiss, British test pilot (breaking the World Air Speed Record and being the first person to exceed 1,000 mph in flight), dies at 90
  • 2012 Max Bygraves [Walter William Bygraves], British actor (Charley Moon, Spare the Rod, Tom Brown's School Days), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 89
  • 2012 Sergey Sokolov, Soviet marshal and Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union (1984-87), dies at 101
  • 2013 David Frost, British broadcaster, dies from a heart attack at 74
  • 2014 Jimi Jamison, American rocker (Survivor), dies of a heart attack at 63
  • 2015 Colin Hope, British Industrialist (Turner and Newall), dies at 83
  • 2016 Jacques Leduc, Belgian composer, dies at 84
  • 2017 Richard Anderson, American actor (Oscar Goldman- The 6 Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman television series), dies at 91
  • 2017 Edward du Cann, British politician and Chairman of the Conservative Party (1965-67), dies at 93
  • 2019 Wim Statius Muller, Curaçaoa conductor, pianist, and composer, dies at 89
  • 2020 Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, 13th President of India (2012-17), dies at 84
  • 2020 John Thompson, American Basketball Hall of Fame center, coach and broadcaster (NBA C'ship 1965, 66, Boston Celtics; coach NCAA C'ship 1984, Georgetown), dies at 78
  • 2020 Nina Bocharova, Soviet-Ukrainian gymnast (Olympic gold balance beam, team 1952), dies at 95

Tom Seaver

2020 Tom Seaver, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (NY Mets; NL Cy Young Award 1969, 73, 75; 12 x MLB All Star), dies of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19 at 75 [1]

  • 2021 Francesco Morini, Italian soccer defender (11 caps; Sampdoria, Juventus), dies at 77
  • 2021 Michael Constantine [Ioannides], American actor (Room 222 - "Mr. Kaufman"; Don't Drink The Water; My Big Fat Greek Wedding), dies at 94
August 31 Highlights