On This Day

Famous People Who Died in May 1981

  • May 1 Clarence A Bacote, historian/political scientist, dies at 75
  • May 5 Bobby Sands, Irish IRA activist dies in the 66th day of his hunger strike at 26
  • May 7 Mieczyslaw Kolinski, composer, dies at 79
  • May 8 Margaret Lindsay, actress (G Men, Lady Killer, Jezebel), dies at 70
  • May 8 Maurice Fernandes, cricket captain (WI in 1st Test win, 1930 v Eng), dies
  • May 9 Nip Pellew, Australian cricketer (10 Tests 484 runs at 37), dies at 87
  • May 9 Nelson Algren, American novelist (Man with the Golden Arm), dies at 72

Person of interestBob Marley

May 11 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician (One Love), dies of brain and lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • May 11 Hoyt J. Fuller, American editor (1st World magazine), dies at 57
  • May 11 Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist (Nobel 1969 - the study of the three-dimensional geometric structure of molecules), dies at 83
  • May 12 Benjamin Sheares, President of Singapore (1971-81), dies at 73
  • May 13 Carl Weinrich, American organist and composer, dies at 76
  • May 16 Ernie Freeman, American musician (Raunchy), pianist and arranger, dies at 58
  • May 17 Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, 1st US woman free balloon pilot, dies
  • May 17 Hugo Friedhofer, American composer, dies at 80
  • May 18 Arthur O'Connell, American actor (Mr Peepers, Second Hundred Years), dies at 73

  • May 18 William Saroyan, American novelist & stagewriter (Time of your life), dies at 72
  • May 21 Yuki Shimoda, actor (Farewell to Manzanar), dies
  • May 21 Patsy O'Hara, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 21 Raymond Mccreesh, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 23 George Jessel, American toastmaster general and entertainer (Diary of Young Comic), dies at 83
  • May 23 Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (The Blaze of Noon), dies at 70
  • May 23 David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • May 24 Jack Warner [Waters], British actor (Dixon of Dock Green, Christmas Carol), dies from pneumonia at 85
  • May 25 Rosa Ponselle[Ponzillo], American soprano opera diva ("Casta Diva"; La Forza del Destino - "Leonora"; Metropolitan Opera, 1918-37), dies at 84
  • May 25 Roy Brown, American boxer/rocker, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 25 Fredric Warburg, British publisher (Animal Farm) and author, dies at 82
  • May 28 Mary Lou Williams, US jazz pianist and composer (Zodiac Suite), dies at 71
  • May 28 Stefan WyszyƄski, Polish Cardinal, dies at 79
  • May 30 Ziaur Rahmen, President of Bangladesh, is assassinated
  • May 30 Don Ashby, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1955)
  • May 31 Giuseppe Pella, 31st Prime Minister of Italy, dies at 79