On This Day

Famous Deaths on December 10

  • 949 Herman I, Duke of Swabia
  • 969 Nicephorus II Phocas, Byzantine Emperor (963-69), murdered in his sleep at about 57
  • 1198 Averroes, Arab physician and philosopher (b. 1126)
  • 1490 Antoine Haneron, Bourgundy diplomat, dies at about 90
  • 1508 René II, Duke of Lorraine, dies at 57
  • 1524 Henry van Zutphen, Dutch Augustine/Luthern minister, burned to death
  • 1572 Cornelis Musius, Dutch humanist/poet, murdered at 72
  • 1595 Reynier Cant, mayor of Amsterdam, dies at about 59
  • 1616 Diogo do Couto, Portuguese historian/archivist of Goa, dies at 74
  • 1618 Giulio Caccini, Italian composer buried at 67
  • 1626 Edmund Gunter, English mathematician (b. 1581)
  • 1638 Ivan [Dzivo F] Gundulic, Dalmatian writer (Osman), dies at 49
  • 1665 Tarquinio Mercula, composer, dies
  • 1736 António Manoel de Vilhena, Portuguese ruler of Malta (b. 1663)
  • 1749 Gabrielle Chôtelet [La belle Emilie], French writer (Voltaire), dies at 42
  • 1770 Theophil "Gottlieb" Muffat, German court organist/composer, dies at 80
  • 1805 Friedrich Franz Hurka, composer, dies at 43
  • 1808 James Sullivan, 7th Governor of Massachusetts (1807-08), dies at 64
  • 1826 Benedikt Emanuel Schack, Bohemian-born composer and singer amd friend of Mozart, dies at 68
  • 1831 Thomas Johann Seebeck, German physicist (Seebeck effect), dies at 61
  • 1833 Dieudonne-Pascal Pieltain, Belgian composer, dies at 79
  • 1850 François Sulpice Beudant, French mineralogist and geologist, dies at 63
  • 1864 Henry Schoolcraft, American geographer and geologist, dies at 71
  • 1865 Leopold I, King of Belgium (1831-65), dies at 74
  • 1875 Otogaki Rengetsu, zen nun/benefactress of Tessai, dies at about 84
  • 1877 Federico Ricci, Italian composer, dies at 68
  • 1877 Jared Kirtland, American physician, naturalist and reformed penitentiaries, dies at 84
  • 1878 Henry Wells, American businessman and founder (American Express Co & Wells Fargo & Co), dies at 72
  • 1888 Marià Obiols, Catalan composer, dies at 79
  • 1889 Ludwig Anzengruber, Austrian playwright, dies at 50
  • 1890 Ludolph Anne Jan Wilt Sloet van de Beele, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (1861-66), dies at 84

Alfred Nobel

1896 Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist who invented dynamite and founded the Nobel Prize ceremony on this date, dies at 63

  • 1904 James Cranston, English cricketer (scored 16 & 15 in Test for England), dies
  • 1909 Red Cloud, Sioux indian chief, dies
  • 1910 Pablo Hernandez Salces, Spanish composer, dies at 76
  • 1911 Joseph Dalton Hooker, British botanist and director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, dies at 94
  • 1920 Horace Elgin Dodge, American automobile manufacturing pioneer (co-founder of Dodge Brothers Company), dies at 52
  • 1921 Viktor Jacobi, composer, dies at 38
  • 1921 George Ashlin, Irish architect noted for his work on churches and cathedrals, dies at 84
  • 1926 Nikola Pašić, Kingdom of Serbia and Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes prime minister (b. 1845)
  • 1928 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect, designer, and illustrator, dies at 60
  • 1931 Max Elskamp, Belgian author and poet (Six Chansons), dies at 69
  • 1935 John H Aberson, 1st rector of Landbouw high school, dies at 78
  • 1936 Luigi Pirandello, Italian writer (Six Characters in Search of An Author-Nobel 1934), dies at 69
  • 1936 Bobby Abel, English cricketer (744 runs in 13 Tests for Eng 1888-1902), dies at 79
  • 1938 Mario Pilati, Italian composer, dies at 35
  • 1939 Wilhelm Grosz, Austrian composer, dies at 45
  • 1941 Colin Kelly, American B-17 Flying Fortress pilot and 1st US air hero during WW II, killed in action at 26 after ordering his crew to bail out shortly before his bomber exploded
  • 1944 John Brunt, English soldier and Victoria Cross holder, dies at 22
  • 1945 Theodor Dannecker, SS officer and an associate of Adolf Eichmann, dies at 32

Damon Runyon

1946 Damon Runyon, American journalist and writer (Guys & Dolls-based on his work), dies at 66

Walter Johnson

1946 Walter Johnson, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (3 x Triple Crown of Pitching; World Series 1924; AL MVP 1913, 24; Washington Senators), dies from a brain tumour at 59

  • 1949 Duncan Stewart, 2nd British Governor of Sarawak (1949), dies at 45 after being fatally stabbed in the streets of Sibu by pro-Indonesian Malay student Rosli Dhoby
  • 1951 Algernon Blackwood, English novelist (The Willows), dies at 82
  • 1953 Abdullah Yusuf Ali, British-Indian Islamic scholar and translator (translated Qu'ran into English), dies at 81
  • 1957 Maurice McLoughlin, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1912-13), dies at 67
  • 1958 Juliane Gabriels, Flemish physician (Artus Quellin), dies at 72
  • 1958 Adolfo Camarillo, American horse breeder (b.1864)
  • 1959 Charles Jones, West Indian cricket batsman (4 Tests), dies at 57
  • 1959 Henri Vidal, French actor (Fabiola), dies of a heart attack at 40
  • 1965 Henry (Dixon) Cowell, US pianist/composer (Aeolian Harp), dies at 68
  • 1966 Boris Koutzen, Russian violinist, composer & educator, dies at 65
  • 1967 Brasílio Itiberê da Cunha Luz, Brazilian composer, dies at 71
  • 1967 Carl Cunningham, American drummer (The Bar-kays - "Soul Finger"), killed in Otis Redding plane crash in Lake Monona, Wisconsin crash at 19
  • 1967 Jimmy King, American guitarist (The Bar-kays - "Soul Finger"), dies in Otis Redding plane crash in Lake Monona, Wisconsin crash at 18

Otis Redding

1967 Otis Redding, American soul singer-songwriter ("(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"; "Respect"), dies in a plane crash in Lake Monona, Wisconsin at 26

  • 1967 Phalin Jones, American soul and R&B saxophonist (The Bar-kays - "Soul Finger"), dies in Otis Redding plane crash in Lake Monona, Wisconsin at 19
  • 1967 Ron Caldwell, American soul and R&B keyboardist (The Bar-kays - "Soul Finger"), dies in Otis Redding plane crash in Lake Monona, Wisconsin at 18
  • 1968 Karl Barth, Swiss theologist/minister (Kirchliche Dogma), dies at 82
  • 1968 Patsy Moran, actress (Children of the Wild), dies at 65

Thomas Merton

1968 Thomas Merton, French-American Catholic writer and Trappist monk (7 Story Mountain), accidentally electrocuted by an electric fan at 53

  • 1968 George Forrest, Northern Irish politician, dies at 47
  • 1969 Franco Capuana, composer, dies at 75
  • 1969 Leigh Harline, American composer and conductor, dies at 62
  • 1971 Jo [Jozef Maria Laurens Theo] Cals, Prime Minister of Netherlands (1965-66) and Minister of Education, Arts and Sciences, dies at 57
  • 1972 Mark van Doren, American poet and author (Happy Critic, Transients), dies at 78
  • 1973 Earle Foxe, actor (Dance Fools Dance), dies at 81
  • 1974 Paul Richards, American actor (Dr Thompson-Breaking Point), dies of cancer at 50
  • 1977 Adolph Rupp, American basketball coach (b. 1901)
  • 1978 Ed Wood, American filmmaker and director (Plan 9 from Outer Space), dies of heart failure at 54
  • 1978 Miura Isshu, Zen teacher, Hakuin Rinzai line, dies at 75
  • 1979 Ann Dvorak [McKim], American actress (G Men, Life of Her Own, Scarface), dies at 67
  • 1979 Fulton J Sheen, bishop (Life is Worth Living), dies at 84
  • 1981 John Kieran, American columnist and author (Natural History of NYC), dies at 89
  • 1982 Freeman "Amos" Gosden, US radio actor (Amos 'n' Andy), dies at 83
  • 1982 Roy Webb, American film score composer (films of Val Lewton), dies at 94
  • 1982 Freeman Gosden, American writer and actor (The Amos 'n' Andy Show, Calvin and the Colonel), dies at 83
  • 1983 Dorothy Cummings, actress (Dancing Mothers), dies at 84
  • 1983 Patrick O'Moore, actor (Jungle Gents), dies at 74
  • 1986 Kate Wolf, folksinger (Back Roads), dies of leukemia at 44
  • 1986 Susan Cabot, American actress (Sorority Girl, Carnival Rock), is killed by her son following a psychotic episode at 59
  • 1987 Jascha Heifetz, Russian violinist, dies at 86
  • 1988 Dick Clair, American comedian (Clair & McMahon, Facts of Life), dies of AIDS
  • 1988 Richard Castellano, American actor (The Godfather, Lovers & Other Stranger), dies at 55
  • 1990 Armand Hammer, CEO (Occidental Petroleum), dies at 92
  • 1991 Headman Tshabalala, South African singer (Ladysmith Black Mambazo), shot and killed at 44
  • 1991 Berenice Abbott, US photographer, dies at 93
  • 1991 Greta Kempton, American artist (b. 1901)
  • 1992 Carlomagno Andrade, Equadorian general, dies
  • 1992 Dan Maskell, English tennis commentator (b. 1908)
  • 1992 Bernard Reichel, Swiss composer, dies at 91
  • 1993 Maroun Bagdadi, Lebanese film director (Little Wars, Veiled Man), dies in an accident at 43
  • 1993 Alice Tully, American singer and patroness (Carnegie Hall), dies at 91
  • 1994 George G F van Renesse, concert pianist/music director, dies at 85
  • 1994 Keith Joseph, British MP (C), dies
  • 1994 Ruth Evelyn Mansfield, doctor, dies at 92
  • 1994 Alexander Wilson, Canadian athlete (b. 1905)
  • 1994 Robert Blum, Swiss composer, dies at 94
  • 1995 Darren Robinson, singer, dies at 28
  • 1995 Gillian Rose, philosopher/writer, dies at 48
  • 1995 John Francis Boyd, journalist, dies at 85
  • 1995 Mary Madge Lascelles, literary critic/poet, dies at 95
  • 1995 Phillip Piratin, communist, dies at 88
  • 1996 Faron Young, American country singer ("Hello Walls"; "It's Four in the Morning"), and actor (Hidden Guns; Daniel Boone, Trailblazer), commits suicide at 64
  • 1996 John Duffey, bluegrass guitarist, dobro, and mandolin player (Country Gentlemen), dies of a heart attack at 62
  • 1997 Jake Carey, American actor (Rock Rock Rock!, Go, Johnny, Go!), dies at 71
  • 1999 Lex Goudsmit, Dutch actor (Fiddler on the Roof, Thomas en Senior op het spoor van Brute Berend), dies at 86
  • 1999 Rick Danko, Canadian bassist and singer (The Band - Stagefright), dies of heart failure at 55
  • 1999 Shirley Hemphill, American actress (b. 1947)

Franjo Tuđman

1999 Franjo Tuđman, Croatian politician and President of Croatia (1990-1999), dies of stomach cancer at 77

  • 2000 Marie Windsor [Emily Marie Bertelson], American actress (The Bounty Hunter, Double Deal), dies of congestive heart failure at 80
  • 2001 Ashok Kumar [Dadamoni, Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguly], Indian actor (Mahal, Afsana), dies from chronic asthma at 90
  • 2002 Andres Küng, Swedish-Estonian politician and journalist, dies at 57
  • 2003 Sean McClory, Irish actor (The Californians, My Chauffeur), dies at 79
  • 2003 John Watts, British army and Chief of Defense (Omani Armed Forces), dies at 73

Eugene McCarthy

2005 Eugene McCarthy, American politician (Sen-D-Minn) and presidential candidate, dies of parkinsons at 89

Richard Pryor

2005 Richard Pryor, American Emmy and 5X Grammy Award-winning comedian (Live on the Sunset Strip), actor (Silver Streak; Stir Crazy), and screenwriter (Blazing Saddles), dies of a heart attack at 65

  • 2006 Jack Williamson, American sci-fi author (Cometeers), dies at 98
  • 2007 Aqsa Parvez, Canadian victim of an honor crime (b. 1991)
  • 2007 Robert Moevs, American composer, dies at 87
  • 2008 Didith Reyes, Filipino singer (b. 1948)
  • 2008 Henning Christiansen, Danish experimental composer, dies at 76
  • 2008 Dorothy Porter, Australian poet (The Monkey's Mask), librettist, (The Eternity Man), and lyricist (The Fiery Maze), dies of breast cancer at 54
  • 2010 John Bennett Fenn, American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1917)
  • 2010 J. Michael Hagopian, Turkish-born American documentarian (b. 1913)
  • 2010 MacKenzie Miller, American horse trainer and breeder (b. 1921)
  • 2010 Jacques Swaters, Belgian racing driver, dies at 84
  • 2012 Iajuddin Ahmed, Bangladeshi President, dies from heart surgery complications at 81
  • 2013 Jim Hall, American jazz guitarist and composer, dies at 83
  • 2013 Rossana Podestà, Italian actress, dies at 79
  • 2014 Ziad Abu Ein, Palestinian government minister, killed in confrontation with Israeli troops at protest on West Bank
  • 2014 Catherine Hughes [Pestell], British principal (Somerville College Oxford), dies at 81

Dolph Schayes

2015 Dolph Schayes, American basketball Hall of Famer (Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers, 1948-63) and coach (76ers, 1963-66; Buffalo Braves, 1970-72), dies of cancer at 87

  • 2016 A. A. [Adrian Anthony] Gill, British critic (The Sunday Times), dies of cancer at 62
  • 2017 Zarley Zalapski, Canadian NHL defenseman, 1987-2000 (Pittsburgh Penguins; Calgary Flames, and 3 other teams), dies of a viral infection at 49
  • 2019 Jim Smith, English soccer midfielder and manager (Birmingham City, QPR, Portsmouth, Derby County), dies at 79
  • 2019 Jean Pagé, Canadian sports journalist (host: 'La Soirée du hockey' and '110%'), dies from prostate cancer at 73
  • 2020 Barbara Windsor, British actress and Dame (Carry On films, EastEnders). dies at 83
December 10 Highlights