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, Polish-Canadian composer (Encounterpoint), educator, and ethno-musicologist, dies at 79
  • May 8 Margaret Lindsay, American actress (G Men, Lady Killer, Jezebel), dies at 70
  • May 8 Maurice Fernandes, West Indian cricket captain (WI in 1st Test win, 1930 v England), dies at 83
  • 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

Bob Marley

May 11 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician ("One Love"; "Three Little Birds"; "No Woman, No Cry"), dies of brain and lung cancer at 36

  • 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 stage and screen actor, singer, producer and host known as "The Toastmaster General", dies of a heart attack 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 R&B singer, songwriter ("Good Rockin' Tonight"), 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, American 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