On This Day

Famous People Who Died in December 2020

  • Dec 1 Maria Itkina, Russian athlete (9 sprint world records, 60m-400m), dies at 88
  • Dec 1 Arnie Robinson Jr., American athlete (Olympic gold long jump 1976; bronze 1972), dies from a brain tumor at 72
  • Dec 1 Denis Menke, American baseball infielder (MLB All Star 1969, 70; Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds), dies at 80
  • Dec 2 Rafer Johnson, American decathlete (Olympic gold 1960), dies from stroke complications at 86
  • Dec 2 Pat Patterson, Canadian pro wrestler (WWE Hall of Fame; creator Royal Rumble), dies from cancer at 79
  • Dec 2 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, French politician, President of France (1974-81), dies of COVID-19 at 94
  • Dec 2 Pamela Tiffin, American actress (One, Two, Three; Viva Max!), dies at 78 [1]
  • Dec 3 Alison Lurie, American novelist (Pulitzer Prize - Foreign Affairs), dies at 94 [1]
  • Dec 3 Bill Fitsell, Canadian journalist, writer and historian (International Hockey Hall of Fame curator, historian 1969-2005), dies at 97
  • Dec 3 Noah Creshevsky, American electroacoustic composer, dies of cancer at 75
  • Dec 4 David L. Lander, American actor (Laverne & Shirley - "Squiggy"), dies of multiple sclerosis at 73 [1]
  • Dec 4 Bassam Sabam, Lebanese violinist, oud, and nay player (New York Arabic Orchestra; Silk Road Ensemble), dies of Covid-19 complications at 62 [1]
  • Dec 5 Peter Alliss, English golfer (Ryder Cup 1957 GB winners) and author, course designer and television presenter, commentator (BBC, ESPN, ABC Sports), dies at 89
  • Dec 5 Viktor Ponedelnik, Russian soccer striker (29 caps Soviet Union; FC SKA Rostov-on-Don), dies at 83
  • Dec 5 Wojciech Zabłocki, Polish fencer (4 x World C'ship gold team; Olympic silver team sabre 1956, 60; bronze 1964), dies at 89
  • Dec 6 Paul Sarbanes, American politician (Senator-D-MD, 1977-2007, sponsored Sarbanes–Oxley Act), dies at 87

  • Dec 6 Tabaré Vázquez, Uruguayan politician and physician, President of Uruguay (2005-10, 2015-20), dies at 80 [1]
  • Dec 6 Neil Armstrong, Canadian ice hockey linesman (1,744 NHL games; Hockey Hall of Fame), dies at 87
  • Dec 6 Dennis Ralston, American tennis player (4 x Grand Slam doubles champion; Wimbledon singles 1966 runner-up), dies from cancer at 78
  • Dec 6 Jack Scarbath, American College Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Uni of Maryland; Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers), dies at 90
  • Dec 6 Petras Bingelis, Lithuania conductor, founder and artistic director (Kaunas State Choir, 1969-2020), dies of Covid-19 at 77
  • Dec 7 Doug Scott, English mountaineer (first ascent of south-west face of Mount Everest), dies at 79 [1]
  • Dec 7 Chuck Yeager, American test pilot who was the 1st man to break the sound barrier, dies at 97 [1] [2]
  • Dec 7 Dick Allen, American baseball infielder (7 × MLB All-Star; NL Rookie of the Year 1964, Philadelphia Phillies; AL MVP 1972, Chicago WS), dies at 78 [1]
  • Dec 7 Fred Akers, American football coach (University of Wyoming; University of Texas, Austin; Purdue; career college record 108–75–3), dies at 82
  • Dec 8 Alejandro Sabella, Argentine soccer midfielder (8 caps; River Plate, Sheffield United, Estudiantes) and manager (Argentina 2011-14), dies from heart disease at 66
  • Dec 8 Harold Budd, American avant-garde ambient pianist and composer (The Pavilion of Dreams), dies of Covid-19 at 84 [1]
  • Dec 9 Ray Perkins, American football coach (New York Giants, University of Alabama, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arkansas State University), dies from heart disease at 79
  • Dec 9 Paolo Rossi, Italian soccer striker (48 caps; FIFA World Cup 1982 [Golden Boot, Golden Ball]; L.R. Vicenza, Juventus), dies at 64
  • Dec 9 Gordon Forbes, South African tennis player and author (French Open mixed doubles [Darlene Hard] 1955), dies from COVID-19 at 86
  • Dec 9 Ray Hunter, Northern Irish cricket all-rounder (28 international matches) and rugby union centre (10 Tests; British & Irish Lions 1962; Portadown RFC), dies at 82
  • Dec 9 Alex Olmedo, American/Peruvian tennis player (Australian C'ships, Wimbledon 1959), dies from brain cancer at 84
  • Dec 10 Barbara Windsor, British actress and Dame (Carry On films, EastEnders). dies at 83
  • Dec 12 Charley Pride, American country singer (Sweet Country), dies of Covid-19 complications at 86 [1]
  • Dec 12 John le Carré [pen name for David Cornwell], English novelist (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold), dies at 89
  • Dec 12 Motjeka Madisha, South African soccer defender (13 caps; Mamelodi Sundowns), dies in car accident at 25

  • Dec 12 Ann Reinking, American dancer and actress (All the Jazz, Micki & Maude), dies at 71 [1]
  • Dec 12 Jack Steinberger, American physicist (1988 Nobel Prize for Physics - Neutrinos), dies at 99 [1]
  • Dec 13 Otto Barić, Croatian soccer manager (Croatia, Austria, Wacker Innsbruck, SK Rapid, SV Salzburg), dies from COVID-19 at 87
  • Dec 13 Jimmy Collins, American basketball shooting guard (Chicago Bulls) and coach (University of Illinois, Chicago 1996-2010), dies from heart surgery complications at 74
  • Dec 13 Pierre Lacroix, Canadian NHL executive (Quebec Nordiques; Stanley Cup 1996, 2001 Colorado Avalanche), dies from COVID-19 complications at 72
  • Dec 14 Gérard Houllier OBE, French soccer manager (Paris Saint-Germain, Lens, Liverpool, Olympique Lyonnais, Aston Villa, France), dies after heart operation at 73
  • Dec 14 Eric Freeman OAM, Australian cricket fast bowler (11 Tests, 34 wickets, 2 x 50s; South Australia), dies from a heart attack at 76
  • Dec 14 Günter Sawitzki, German soccer goalkeeper (10 caps West Germany; VfB Stuttgart), dies at 88
  • Dec 14 Jeannie Morris, American sports journalist and author (Chicago Daily News, WMAQ; 'Brian Piccolo: A Short Season', 2014 Ring Lardner Award), dies from appendix cancer at 85
  • Dec 15 Jean-Pierre Lux, French rugby union centre (42 caps; US Tyrosse, US Dax) and administrator (President European Rugby Cup 1999-2014), dies at 74
  • Dec 16 Kálmán Sóvári, Hungarian soccer defender (17 caps; Újpesti Dózsa, VM Egyetértés), dies at 79
  • Dec 17 Pelle Svensson, Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler (World C'ship gold 100kg 1970, 71; Olympic silver 97kg 1964), dies from cancer at 77
  • Dec 18 Tim Severin, British author and explorer who replicated historic voyages, dies at 80
  • Dec 19 Maria Piątkowskacka, Polish athlete (WR 4 x 100m relay 1964), dies at 89
  • Dec 20 Dietrich Weise, German soccer forward (Eintracht Frankfurt, FSV Mainz) and manager (FC Kaiserslautern, E Frankfurt, F Düsseldorf, Egypt, Liechtenstein), dies at 86
  • Dec 20 Fanny Waterman, English concert pianist & teacher (Leeds International Piano Competition), dies at 100 [1]
  • Dec 21 K. T. Oslin, American country singer (80's Ladies), dies at 78 [1]
  • Dec 21 Kevin Greene, American Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker (5 x Pro Bowl; First-team All-Pro 1989, 94, 96; LA Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers), dies at 58
  • Dec 23 Leslie West [Weinstein], American rock guitarist (Mountain - "Mississippi Queen"; "Theme for an Imaginary Western"), dies of cardiac arrest at 75 [1]
  • Dec 24 Ivry Gitlis, Israeli classical violin virtuoso, dies at 98
  • Dec 25 Tony Rice, American bluegrass guitarist (J.D. Crowe and the New South), dies at 69 [1]
  • Dec 25 Ivan Bohdan, Ukrainian Greco-Roman wrestler (Olympic gold Soviet Union heavyweight 1960; World C'ship gold 1958, 61), dies at 92
  • Dec 25 Robin Jackman, English cricket seam bowler (4 Tests, 14 wickets; 15 ODIs; Surrey), dies from COVID-19 at 75
  • Dec 25 K. C. Jones, American Basketball Hall of Fame point guard (Olympic gold 1956; NBA C'ship 1959–66, Boston Celtics) and coach (NBA C'ship 1984, 86; Boston Celtics), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 88
  • Dec 26 Phil Niekro, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (famed knuckleballer; no-hitter 1973; 5 x MLB All Star; 5 x Gold Glove; Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves), dies of cancer at 81 [1]
  • Dec 26 Jim McLean, Scottish soccer forward (Hamilton Academical, Clyde, Dundee) and manager (Dundee United 1971-93), dies from dementia at 83
  • Dec 27 José Luiz Carbone, Brazilian soccer midfielder (6 caps; São Paulo, Internacional, Botafogo) and coach (Fluminense, Guarani), dies from liver cancer at 74
  • Dec 27 Loyd Phillips, American College Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman (University of Arkansas; Chicago Bears), dies from a stroke at 75
  • Dec 28 Armando Manzanero, Mexican composer and singer (It’s Impossible, Adoro), dies at 86 [1]
  • Dec 29 John F Reid, New Zealand cricket batsman (19 Tests, 1296 runs @ 46.28, 6 x 100s), dies at 64
  • Dec 29 Claude Bolling, French jazz and classical cross-over pianist and composer (Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio), dies at 90 [1] [2]
  • Dec 29 Phyllis McGuire, American pop vocalist (McGuire Sisters - "Sincerely"; "Sugartime"), dies at 89
  • Dec 29 John Paul Jr., American auto racer (IMSA GT C'ship 1982; 24 Hours of Daytona 1982, 92; 12 Hours of Sebring 1982), dies from Huntington's disease at 60
  • Dec 30 Dawn Wells, American actress (Gilligan's Island -"Mary Ann"), dies of Covid-19 complications at 82
  • Dec 30 Samuel Little, American serial killer (who confessed to 93 murders), dies at 80 [1]
  • Dec 31 Tommy Docherty, Scottish soccer midfielder (25 caps; Preston North End) and manager (Chelsea, QPR, Scotland, Manchester United), dies at 92
  • Dec 31 Joan Micklin Silver, American film director (Hester Street; Crossing Delancey), dies at 85
  • Dec 31 Richard Thornburgh, 76th United States Attorney General (1988-91) and 41st Governor of Pennsylvania (dealt with Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown), dies at 88 [1]