Famous Deaths in December 1980

  • Dec 1 Sam Levene, American Broadway actor (Purple Heart, Designing Women), dies at 75
  • Dec 2 Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • Dec 3 Oswald Mosley, British politician and founder of British Union of Fascists, dies at 84
  • Dec 4 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-born American sprinter (Olympic gold 1932), dies shot during an armed robbery, at 69
  • Dec 4 Francisco Sá Carneiro, 109th Prime Minister of Portugal, dies at 46
  • Dec 7 Darby Crash, American Punk rocker (Germs), dies of an overdose at 22

Person of interestJohn Lennon

Dec 8 John Lennon, British musician, pop star and member of The Beatles (Imagine), shot and killed in NY by Mark David Chapman at 40

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • Dec 12 Jean Lesage, politician, premier of Quebec (b. 1912)
  • Dec 13 Harm van Riel, Dutch Liberal Party politician, dies at 73
  • Dec 14 Elston Howard, MVP catcher (NY Yankees), dies at 59
  • Dec 15 Rudolph Cleveringa, Dutch anti-nazi lawyer and professor of Law at Leiden University, dies at 86

Person of interestColonel Sanders

Dec 16 Colonel Harland Sanders, American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dies at 90

Businessman and Restaurateur Colonel Sanders
Businessman and Restaurateur
Colonel Sanders
  • Dec 16 Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  • Dec 18 Alexei N Kosygin, Soviet PM (1964-80), suffers heart attack at 76
  • Dec 21 Marc Connelly, playwright (One Minute Please), dies at 90
  • Dec 24 Alec Lafayette Chew Wilder, composer, dies at 73

Person of interestKarl Dönitz

Dec 24 Karl Dönitz, German admiral and last leader of Nazi Germany, dies of heart attack at 89

Naval commander and Nazi leader Karl Dönitz
Naval commander and Nazi leader
Karl Dönitz
  • Dec 24 Siggie Nordstrom, model, actress, entertainer, socialite and lead singer of The Nordstrom Sisters (b. 1893)
  • Dec 25 Fred Emney, British actor (Let the People Sing, Adventures of a Private Eye, Lilac Domino), dies at 80
  • Dec 25 Louis Neefs, Belgian singer, dies at 43
  • Dec 26 Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)
  • Dec 28 Amir Elahi, cricketer, 1st Pakistani Test cricketer to die
  • Dec 28 Jersey calf, lived 222 days with an artificial heart
  • Dec 29 Roy Engle, American writer and actor (The Man from Planet X, The Wild Wild West, My Favorite Martian), dies from meningitis at 67
  • Dec 29 Tim Hardin, American singer (Bird on a Wire), dies of a drug overdose at 39
  • Dec 29 Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer (b. 1899)
  • Dec 31 Arthur Wellard, cricketer (2 Tests for England, legendary 6-hitter), dies

Person of interestMarshall McLuhan

Dec 31 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian cultural philosopher, dies at 69

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan
  • Dec 31 Raoul Walsh, US director (High Sierra), dies at about 88