On This Day

Famous People Who Died in 1961

  • Jan 2 Bob Catterall, South African cricketer (1555 runs/24 Tests for South Africa 1922-31), dies at 60
  • Jan 4 Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (Academy Award, Going My Way), dies at 72

Person of interestErwin Schrödinger

Jan 4 Erwin Schrodinger, Austrian physicist and Nobel Laureate (wave mechanics), dies at 73

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Erwin Schrödinger
  • Jan 6 Regina Ullmann, Swiss poet and writer, dies at 76
  • Jan 7 Clarice Baright, 1st woman admitted to American Bar Association, dies at 74
  • Jan 8 Lynwood Thomas "Schoolboy" Rowe, American baseball pitcher (Detroit Tigers), dies at 50
  • Jan 9 Emily Greene Balch, American writer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (b. 1867)
  • Jan 10 Dashiell Hammett, American detective writer (Thin Man, Maltese Falcon), dies at 66
  • Jan 11 Elena Gerhardt, German mezzo-soprano singer (b. 1883)
  • Jan 14 Ernest Thesiger, English actor (Brass Monkey, Ghoul), dies at 81
  • Jan 14 Henry Geehl, English composer, dies at 79
  • Jan 15 Francesco Maria Saraceni, Italian composer, dies at 49
  • Jan 16 Janos Viski, Hungarian composer, dies at 54
  • Jan 21 John Joseph Becker, composer, dies a day before 75th birthday
  • Jan 24 Willem J M van Eysinga, people rights scholar, dies at 82

Person of interestAlfred Carlton Gilbert

Jan 24 Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American athlete, inventor, and businessman (invented the Erector Set), dies at 76


  • Jan 26 Morris Nichols, cricketer (41 wkts in 14 Tests for Eng 1930-39), dies
  • Jan 30 Maud Wagner, first known American tattoo artist and circus performer, dies at about 83
  • Feb 2 Adolf Vogl, composer, dies at 87
  • Feb 3 Anna May Wong, American actress, 1st Chinese American movie star (Gallery of Mme Lui-Tsang), dies at 56
  • Feb 3 Viscount Dunrossil, Gov-Gen of Australia (1959-61), dies at 67
  • Feb 4 Piet[er] L. Kramer, Influential Dutch architect (Amsterdam School), dies at 79
  • Feb 5 Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, British philanthropist, dies at 73
  • Feb 6 Archibald T Davison, American musicologist and composer, dies at 77
  • Feb 8 William Duncan, Scottish actor (Hopalong Rides Again, Thunder Trail), dies at 81
  • Feb 9 Grigory Levenfish, Russian International chess grandmaster, dies at 70
  • Feb 9 Oscar Egg, Swiss track and road bicycle racer (3 x world hour record), dies at 70
  • Feb 11 Eduard R Verkade, Dutch actor and director (Pygmalion), dies at 82
  • Feb 11 Patrice Lumumba, Congolese revolutionary, 1st prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, assassinated by the Belgian government at 34
  • Feb 11 Kate Carew [Mary Williams], American caricaturist, dies at 91
  • Feb 14 Wallis Clark, actress (Easy Money), dies at 78
  • Feb 15 Jack Whiting, American actor and singer (Marge & Gower Champion Show), dies at 59
  • Feb 15 Maribel Vinson, American figure skater (9 time US National Champion), dies at 49
  • Feb 17 Nita Naldi, actress (Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), dies of heart attack at 63
  • Feb 20 Otto Huiswoud, Suriname-born political activist and editor-in-chief (Negro Worker), dies at 67
  • Feb 20 Percy Aldridge Grainger, Australian/American composer/pianist, dies at 78

  • Feb 21 Blaise Cendrars [Frederic Sauser-Hall], Swiss poet, dies at 73
  • Feb 21 Frederick McKinley Jones, American inventor (developments in refrigeration), dies of lung cancer at 67
  • Feb 22 George de Cuevas, Chilean-born ballet impresario and choreographer (Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas), dies at 75 or 76
  • Feb 22 Nick LaRocca, American jazz coronetist and composer (Tiger Rag), dies at 71
  • Feb 23 Wilf Ferguson, West Indian cricket leg spinner (34 wickets for West Indies), dies at 43
  • Feb 26 Karl Albiker, German sculptor (Problem of the Plastic), dies at 83
  • Feb 26 Mohammed V, ibn Yusuf, sultan/King of Morocco, dies at 51
  • Feb 27 Platt Adams, American high jumper (Olympic gold 1912), dies at 75
  • Feb 28 Joris Vriamont, Flemish writer/music publisher, dies at 64
  • Mar 3 Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born left-handed pianist, dies at 72
  • Mar 6 George Formby, British singer and comedian, dies at 56
  • Mar 6 Kjeld Abell, Danish playwright and director (Tivoli), dies at 59
  • Mar 7 Englebert van Anderlecht, Belgian painter, dies at 42
  • Mar 7 Max Hymans, WW II resistance fighter/Head of Air France, dies at 60
  • Mar 8 Thomas Beecham, English conductor (Last Night of the Prom), dies at 81
  • Mar 12 Belinda Lee, English actress (Joseph & his Brethren), dies in car crash at 25
  • Mar 14 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), dies at 78
  • Mar 16 Chen Geng, Chinese military leader (b. 1903)
  • Mar 17 Susanna Salter, 1st US female mayor/temperance leader, dies at 101
  • Mar 19 Edric Cundell, composer, dies at 68
  • Mar 23 A C Russell, cricketer (10 Tests for England 910 runs), dies
  • Mar 23 James Edward Murray, (Sen-D-Montana) (1935-61), dies
  • Mar 23 Valentin Vasilyevich Bondarenko, cosmonaut, dies in accident at 24
  • Mar 27 Jack Kane, orchestra leader (Steve & Eydie, Andy Williams Show), dies at 37
  • Mar 30 P J Melotte, discovered Jupiter's 8th satellite Pasiphae, dies
  • Mar 31 Seerp Anema, Dutch poet and writer (Modern Art & Degenerating), dies at 85
  • Apr 2 August Defresne, Dutch playwright and director (Anno Christi 969), dies at 67
  • Apr 2 Wallingford Riegger, American composer (Bacchangle), dies at 75
  • Apr 4 Simion Stoilow, Romanian mathematician (b. 1873)
  • Apr 6 Jules Bordet, Belgian bacteriologist (syphillis, Nobel 1919), dies at 90
  • Apr 7 Jesús Guridi, Spanish composer, dies at 74
  • Apr 7 Marian Jordan, radio comedienne (Fibber McGee & Molly), dies at 62
  • Apr 7 Yusef Greiss, Egyptian composer, dies at 61
  • Apr 9 Zog I [Ahmed Zogu], King of Albania (1928-39), dies at 65
  • Apr 10 Irene Warfield, silent screen actress (Satan Sanderson), dies at 65
  • Apr 11 Francis de Bourguignon, Belgian composer, dies at 70
  • Apr 12 Nils-Eric Fougstedt, Finnish composer (Angoscia, Trittico sinfonico), dies at 50
  • Apr 12 Philippine "Pine" Belder [Mary de Klerk], actress, dies at 93
  • Apr 13 John A. Bennett, American convicted rapist, dies at 26
  • Apr 21 James Melton, opera tenor (Ford Festival), dies at 57
  • Apr 22 Maria Radulphus [Adrian Hermus], Curacao school inspector, dies at 91
  • Apr 24 Lee Moran, American actor (Circus Clown), dies of heart ailment at 72 (b. 1888)
  • Apr 25 Hans F Blunck, writer, dies
  • Apr 26 Gail Russell, American actress (The Uninvited, Moonrise, Unseen), dies from complications of alcohol abuse at 36
  • Apr 27 Roy Del Ruth, American director (About Face, Folies Bergere), dies at 67
  • Apr 29 Cisco Houston, American folk singer (b. 1918)
  • May 2 J C White, cricketer (49 wickets in 15 Tests for England 1921-31), dies
  • May 3 Maurice [Jean Jacques] Merleau-Ponty, French philosopher, dies at 53
  • May 4 Anita Stewart, dies of heart attack at 66
  • May 6 Lucian Blaga, Romanian philosopher and poet (Transcendental censor), dies at 65

Person of interestGary Cooper

May 13 Gary Cooper, 2 time Acad award winning actor (High Noon), dies at 60

  • May 16 George A. Malcolm, American jurist (17th Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court) and educator, dies at 79
  • May 17 Frans van Cauwelaert, Flemish minister/mayor of Antwerp, dies at 81
  • May 17 Henri Gagnon, composer, dies at 74
  • May 18 Henry O'Neill, American actor (Lady Killer, Nothing But Trouble), dies

  • May 19 Joe Howard, singer (Gay Nineties Revue), dies at 94
  • May 20 Josef "Pips" Priller, German fighter ace (b. 1915)
  • May 22 Joan Davis, American actress (I Married Joan), dies of heart attack at 53
  • May 29 Uuno Klami, Finnish composer (Psalmus; Kalevala Suite), dies of a heart attack while sailing at 60
  • May 30 Rafael Trujillo [Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina], Dominican politician, soldier and dictator of the Dominican Republic (1930-61), assassinated at 69
  • May 31 Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)
  • Jun 2 George S. Kaufman, American playwright (This is Show Business), dies at 72
  • Jun 2 Peter H "Paul" Huf, actor and director (Dutch Comedy), dies at 70

Person of interestCarl Jung

Jun 6 Carl Jung, Swiss Psychiatrist (founded analytic psychology), dies at 85

Psychiatrist Carl Jung
Psychiatrist
Carl Jung
  • Jun 7 Robert Griffith, producer of Pajama Game, dies
  • Jun 9 Camille Guérin, French scientist (b. 1872)
  • Jun 13 Ben A. Jones, American horse trainer (US Champion trainer by earnings 1941, 43, 44, 52; Kentucky Derby x 6 including Citation, Whirlaway), dies at 78
  • Jun 15 Giulio Cabianca, Italian racing driver (b. 1923)
  • Jun 16 O C Scott, cricketer (WI leg-spinner in 8 Tests), dies
  • Jun 16 Marcel Junod, Swiss physician (b. 1904)
  • Jun 17 Jeff Chandler [Ira Grossel], American actor (Broken Arrow), dies as a result of medical malpractice at 42
  • Jun 18 Eddie Gaedel, American baseball pinch-hitter (shortest player in MLB history 3' 7"; St. Louis Browns), dies after mugging at 36
  • Jun 22 Betty Elder, actress (Annie Get Your Gun), dies
  • Jun 22 Queen Maria of Yugoslavia [Maria of Romania], Queen consort of Yugoslavia (1922-34), dies at 61
  • Jun 23 Franz de Backer, Flemish writer (Rubens' Daughter), dies at 70
  • Jun 25 Miriam (Ma) Ferguson, US politician, 1st US elected women governor, Governor of Texas (1925-27, 1933-35), dies at 86
  • Jun 25 John Alexander Douglas McCurdy, Canadian aviator, dies at 74
  • Jun 26 Kenneth F. Fearing, American poet (Afternoon of a pawnbroker), dies at 58
  • Jun 27 Paul Guilfoyle, American actor and director (White Heat, Cyrano de Bergerac), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • Jun 27 Harry Hooton, Australian poet, dies of cancer at 52
  • Jun 30 Lee de Forest, American inventor (Electron Tube), dies at 87
  • Jul 1 Louis-Ferdinand Céline, French writer (Die Nacht), dies at 67

Person of interestErnest Hemingway

Jul 2 Ernest Hemingway, American author and Nobel laureate (The Old Man and the Sea), dies from suicide at 61

  • Jul 4 William Franklin "Frank" Smith, American actor (Cowboy & Bandit, Scarlet Car, Frontier Days), dies of lung cancer at 83
  • Jul 6 Cuno Amiet, Swiss painter and illustrator, dies at 93

  • Jul 6 Enrique Larreta [E Rodriguez Maza], Argentine diplomat and writer, dies at 86
  • Jul 6 Scott LaFaro, American jazz bassist (Bill Evans Trio), dies in a car accident at 25
  • Jul 6 Woodall Rodgers, American politician (b. 1890)
  • Jul 8 Julián Bautista, Spanish composer, dies at 60
  • Jul 9 Alan Marshal, Australian actor (Lydia, Irene, Exile Express), dies from a heart attack at 52
  • Jul 12 Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author (b. 1879)
  • Jul 15 John E. Brownlee, Canadian politician (b. 1884)
  • Jul 16 [Louise] Sophie M E de Vries, actress (English Prof), dies at 88

Person of interestTy Cobb

Jul 17 Ty Cobb, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (AL MVP 1911; Triple Crown 1909; 12 × AL batting champion; Detroit Tigers) and manager (Detroit Tigers 1921-26), dies of cancer at 74

MLB Legend Ty Cobb
MLB Legend
Ty Cobb
  • Jul 18 Kit Guard, Danish actor (El Diablo Rides, Kid Courageous), dies of cancer at 67
  • Jul 23 Esther Dale, actress (Birdie-Ma & Pa Kettle), dies after surgery at 75
  • Jul 27 Theodore Chanler, American composer, dies at 59
  • Jul 31 Jesse Harper, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Notre Dame 57–17–7), dies at 77
  • Aug 2 Giovanni Battista Angioletti, Italian author (Il giorno del giudizio), dies at 64
  • Aug 5 Eva JC Beck, actress (Elckerlyc, Resurrection), dies at 63
  • Aug 5 Sidney Holland, Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1949-57), dies at 67
  • Aug 6 Jozef E Van Roey, Flemish cardinal/archbishop of Mechelen, dies at 87
  • Aug 7 Frank Buchman, American theologist (Moral Re-Armament), dies at 83
  • Aug 8 Charlie Gemora, actor (who portrayed King Kong), dies at 58
  • Aug 8 Franc N D Buchman, US theology (Moral Rearms), dies at 83
  • Aug 8 Méi Lánfāng, Chinese opera performer (b. 1894)
  • Aug 9 Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Army general (WWII) and head of CIA (1950-52), dies at 75
  • Aug 11 Antanas Škėma, Lithuanian writer actor and director (b. 1910)
  • Aug 13 Adeline De Walt Reynolds, actress (Son of Dracula), dies at 78
  • Aug 14 Clarke Ashton Smith, sci-fi author (Lost Worlds), dies at 68
  • Aug 14 Guido Alberto Fano, Italian composer and pianist, dies at 86
  • Aug 14 Henri-Edouard-Prosper Breuil, priest/archaeologist, dies
  • Aug 15 Willie Macfarlane, Scottish golfer (US Open 1925), dies at 72
  • Aug 16 Maulvi Abdul Haq, Pakistani scholar, Father of Modern Urdu, dies at 91
  • Aug 17 Carlos Leon Salzedo, French born American composer and harpist, dies at 76

  • Aug 18 Learned Hand, Chief judge of US court of Appeals, dies at 89
  • Aug 18 Leonhard Frank, writer, dies at 78
  • Aug 20 Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Canadian-American Arctic explorer and ethnologist, dies at 82
  • Aug 20 Percy Williams Bridgman, American physicist (Nobel 1946 - physics of high pressure), dies at 79
  • Aug 23 Beals Wright, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1905; doubles 1904-06), dies at 81
  • Aug 28 Thomas Connolly, 1st baseball umpire elected to hall of fame, dies
  • Aug 30 Charles Coburn, American actor (Around the World in 80 Days, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), dies at 84
  • Sep 1 Eero Saarinen, Finnish-American architect (Dulles Airport), dies at 51
  • Sep 1 William S Foster, chairman (US Communist Party, 1945-57), dies at 80
  • Sep 2 Greet Koeman, Dutch opera soprano, dies at 54
  • Sep 3 Robert E. Gross, American businessman (b. 1897)
  • Sep 5 Ernest Bock, cricketer (Test for South Africa, 1935), dies
  • Sep 7 Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy, Dutch lawyer and Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1940-45), dies at 76
  • Sep 10 Leo Carrillo, American actor (American Empire, Cisco Kid), dies at 80
  • Sep 10 Wolfgang von Trips, German racing driver, dies at 33
  • Sep 12 Carl Hermann, German physicist, dies at 63
  • Sep 16 A P F Chapman, cricketer (26 Tests for England), dies
  • Sep 16 Yme Schuitmaker, Dutch potato farmer/dramatist, dies
  • Sep 17 Adnan Menderes, Prime Minister of Turkey (1950-60), dies at 62
  • Sep 18 Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish public servant, 2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-61) and posthumous Nobel Peace Prize winner (1961), dies in an air crash over Congo at 56
  • Sep 19 Helen Kimble, fictional wife of Dr Richard Kimble (The Fugitive)
  • Sep 19 Pieter Tesch, mine engineer/geology (Pedestal of Netherlands), dies
  • Sep 21 Earle Dickson, American inventor (Band-Aid), dies at 68
  • Sep 21 Maurice Delage, French composer, dies at 81
  • Sep 22 Marion Davies, actress (Not So Dumb, 5 & 10), dies of cancer at 64
  • Sep 23 Billy House, American actor (Imitation of Life, Bedlam, Egg & I), dies at 71
  • Sep 23 Elmer R Diktonius, Finnish musicologist/author (Stenkol), dies at 65
  • Sep 24 Sumner Welles, American diplomat (Good Neighbor Policy), dies at 68
  • Sep 25 Frank Fay, American vaudeville comedian and actor (God's Gift to Women), dies at 69
  • Sep 26 Eily Malyon, actress (Jane Eyre, I Married a Witch), dies at 81

  • Sep 26 Juanita Hansen, actress (Fast Company), dies of heart ailment at 67
  • Sep 26 Charles Erwin Wilson, American engineer (President and CEO of General Motors) and politician (United States Secretary of Defense 1953-57), dies at 71
  • Sep 27 Hilda Doolittle, American poetess (Bid Me to Live), dies at 75
  • Sep 28 Michael Shepley, British actor (Squibs, Dick & the Duchess), dies at 54
  • Sep 29 Reinhard Herbig, German archaeologist, dies at 63
  • Sep 30 Onésime Gagnon, French Canadian politician, lieutenant-governor of Québec (b. 1888)
  • Oct 1 Donald Cook, American actor (Too Young To Go Steady), dies at 60
  • Oct 2 Reggie Spooner, English cricket batsman (10 Tests; dual cricket/rugby union international), dies at 80
  • Oct 4 Max Weber, Polish-Russian-American painter, dies at 80
  • Oct 4 Benjamin (Fedchenkov), Bishop of the Russian Church and Orthodox missionary, dies at 81
  • Oct 5 Don Barbour, American singer (The Four Freshmen), dies at 34
  • Oct 11 Leonard "Chico" Marx, comedian (Marx Brothers), dies at 74
  • Oct 12 Eugene Bullard, 1st African-American military pilot, flew for France in World War I as part of the French Foreign Legion, dies of stomach cancer at 66
  • Oct 13 Maya Deren (born Eleanora Derenkowskaia) American filmmaker dies of a brain hemorrhage aged 44
  • Oct 13 Zoltan Korda, Hungarian-British film director (Jungle Book, 4 Feathers), dies at 66
  • Oct 14 Paul Ramadier, French politician (b. 1888)
  • Oct 14 Harriet Shaw Weaver, English political activist (b. 1876)
  • Oct 18 Tsuru Aoki, Japanese-born American actress (b. 1892)
  • Oct 19 Benjamin Merkelbach, Dutch architect and city builder of Amsterdam, dies at 60