On This Day

Famous Deaths on December 13

  • 838 Pippijn I, King of Aquitania, dies
  • 1048 Al-Biruni, Iranian mathematician, astronomer and polymath, dies at 74
  • 1124 Callistus/Callixtus II [Guido di Borgogna], Italian Pope (1119-24), dies
  • 1126 Henry IX, the Black, Duke of Bavaria (1120-26), dies
  • 1204 Maimonides [Moses Ben Maimon], Sephardic Jewish philosopher, astronomer and physician (Mishneh Torah), dies in Cairo at 69
  • 1250 Frederick II, German Emperor (1212-1250), dies at 55
  • 1404 Albert I, Duke of Bavaria and third son of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor, dies at 74

Donatello

1466 Donatello, Florentine artist and Renaissance sculptor, dies at around 80

  • 1516 Johannes Trithemius, German cryptographer, dies at 54
  • 1521 Manuel I, King of Portugal (1495-1521) during era of Portuguese exploration known as "Manuel The Fortunate", dies at 52
  • 1557 Niccolo Tartaglia, Italian mathematician, dies
  • 1565 Conrad Gessner, Swiss physician and naturalist, dies at 49

Selim II

1574 Selim II "the blonde", 11th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1566-74), dies of head injury after a fall at 50

  • 1603 François Viète, French mathematician dies in Paris (b. 1540)
  • 1621 Katarina Stenbock, Queen of Gustav I of Sweden (b. 1535)
  • 1622 Jan Campanus, composer, dies at 50
  • 1650 Phineas Fletcher, English poet, dies at 68
  • 1693 Dodoftei, Romanian metropolitan of Moldavia/writer (Saint Lives), dies
  • 1693 Willem Van de Velde, Dutch the Old, seascape painter, dies at about 82
  • 1716 Charles de La Fosse, French painter (b. 1640)
  • 1721 Alexander Selkirk, Scottish sailor and castaway, inspiration for Robinson Crusoe (b. 1676)
  • 1729 Anthony Collins, English philosopher (A discourse on free-thinking), dies at 53
  • 1738 Gotthard Wagner, German composer, dies at 59
  • 1769 Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet and novelist (Fables & Tales), dies at 54
  • 1774 Susanne K von Klettenberg, German friend of Goethes mother, dies at 50
  • 1783 Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin, Swedish astronomer (b. 1717)

Samuel Johnson

1784 Samuel Johnson, English scholar and lexicographer (A Dictionary of the English Language), dies at 75

  • 1793 Johann Joachim Christoph Bode, composer, dies at 63
  • 1812 Marianne Martinez, Austrian composer, dies at 68
  • 1814 Charles Joseph, 7th Prince of Ligne, Belgium fieldmarshal and author, dies at 79
  • 1835 John Storm, American Revolutionary soldier (b. 1760)
  • 1837 Herman of Alaska, Russian Orthodox hermit (b. 1756)
  • 1862 Conrad Feger Jackson, US Union brigadier general, dies in Battle of Fredericksburg at 49
  • 1862 Maxcy Gregg, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in Battle of Fredericksburg at 48
  • 1862 Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in Battle of Fredericksburg at 39
  • 1863 Friedrich Hebbel, writer, dies at 50
  • 1868 Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, German botanist and explorer, dies at 74
  • 1872 Helena Beeloo, a maid, murdered by Henry Jut at the Hague, Netherlands
  • 1872 W T van der Kouwen-ten Cate, murdered by Henry Jut at the Hague, Netherlands
  • 1881 August Senoa, Croatian writer (Kletva [The Curse]), dies at 43
  • 1883 Victor de Laprade, French poet and critic (b. 1812)
  • 1894 Sarah Parker Remond, African-American abolitionist, dies at 68
  • 1895 Ányos Jedlik, Hungarian physicist (b. 1800)
  • 1898 George Frederick Bristow, American composer (Rip Van Winkle), dies at 72
  • 1908 Augustus Le Plongeon, French-American photographer and antiquitarian, dies at 83
  • 1909 Innokenti Annenski, Russian poet and interpreter, dies of heart attack at 54
  • 1911 Reggie Duff, Australian cricket batsman (23 Tests; 104 on debut), dies of alcoholism at 33
  • 1915 Francis Cockrell, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 81
  • 1919 Amintore Galli, Italian composer, dies at 74
  • 1919 Woldemar Voigt, German physicist (b. 1850)
  • 1921 Frederick Martin, cricketer (14 wkts in 2 Tests for Eng 1890-92), dies
  • 1922 Hannes Hafstein, Icelandic politician and poet (b. 1861)

Samuel Gompers

1924 Samuel Gompers, American labor union leader (American Federation of Labor), dies at 74

  • 1929 Knut Algot Håkanson, Swedish composer, dies at 42
  • 1930 Fritz Pregl, Slovenian/Austrian chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1869)
  • 1931 Gustave le Bon, French psychologist (b. 1840)
  • 1932 Georgios Jakobides, Greek painter (b. 1853)
  • 1934 Thomas A. Watson, American assistant to Alexander Graham Bell (b. 1854)
  • 1935 John Nicolson, cricketer (South African lefty batsman 1926-27), dies
  • 1935 Victor Grignard, French chemist (Nobel 1912 - development of the Grignard reaction), dies at 64
  • 1940 Dusty Tapscott, cricket (bro of Doodles, 4&1 in only S Af Test), dies
  • 1940 George Macaulay, cricketer (took 24 wkts in 8 Tests, Eng 22-33), dies
  • 1940 Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval, French physicist and inventor of the moving-coil D'Arsonval galvanometer, dies at 89
  • 1940 George Regas, Greek actor (The Mark of Zorro), dies at 50
  • 1942 Eleanor Everest Freer, American composer, dies at 78
  • 1942 Wlodimir Ledochowski, Polish-Austrian director of the Society of Jesus (b. 1866)
  • 1944 Lupe Vélez, Mexican actress (Joe Palooka; Mexican Spitfire), intentionally overdoses on barbiturate Seconal at 34
  • 1944 Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-French abstract painter (Dreamy Inspiration), dies at 78
  • 1945 Robert van Genechten, Dutch Nazi (NSB), commits suicide
  • 1945 Elisabeth Volkenrath, supervisor at concentration camps (b. 1919)
  • 1947 Nicholas Roerich, Russian painter, dies at 73
  • 1950 Abraham Wald, Hungarian mathematician (field of statistical sequential analysis), dies at 48
  • 1951 Selim Palmgren, Finnish pianist and composer (Daniel Hjort), dies at 73
  • 1954 John Raymond Hubbell, American writer (b. 1879)
  • 1955 Egas Moniz, Portuguese psychiatrist and neurosurgeon (1949 Nobel laureate for developing Lobotomy procedure), dies at 81
  • 1958 Ahmed Mukhtar Baban, premier of Iraq, executed
  • 1958 Barhanuddin Bashajan, Iraqi minister of Foreign affairs, executed
  • 1958 Brand Dirck Ochse, Dutch filmmaker and co-founder (Polygoon), dies at 66
  • 1958 Rafiq Aref, Iraqi chief-staff Arabs Statenbond, executed
  • 1958 Tim Moore, American actor (Amos 'n' Andy), dies at 71

Grandma Moses

1961 Anna Mary "Grandma" Moses, American painter, dies at 101

  • 1962 Harry Barris, American popular singer (b. 1905)
  • 1963 Hubert ME Pierlot, Belgian advocate/premier (1939-45), dies at 79
  • 1963 Stan Jones, American songwriter, composer and actor (Rio Grande, The Sheriff of Cochise), dies of cancer at 49
  • 1965 Robert Frederick Sink, United States Army Officer (WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War), dies at 60
  • 1966 Charles Watts, actor (Lone Ranger & Lost City of Gold), dies of cancer
  • 1968 Siegfried Reda, German church musician and composer, dies at 52
  • 1969 Raymond A Spruance, U.S. Navy admiral (Battle of Midway), dies at 83
  • 1969 Spencer Williams, American director, writer and actor (The Amos 'n' Andy Show), dies at 76
  • 1971 Max Mell, Austria artillery officer and literary (Donauweibchen), dies at 88
  • 1973 Henry Green, English author (b. 1905)
  • 1974 Rufus "Rufe" Davis, American actor (Cocoanut Grove, Trail Blazers, Gangs of Sonora), dies at 66
  • 1974 Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Turkish writer and translator, dies at 85
  • 1974 John G. Bennett, British scientist and author, dies at 77
  • 1975 Cyril Delevanti, British actor (Soylent Green, The Night of the Iguana), dies at 88
  • 1975 Hendrik Johan Kruls, Dutch general and chief military authority (1944-46), dies at 73
  • 1976 Eduard Claudius, writer, dies
  • 1979 Jon Hall, American actor (Ramar of the Jungle), dies at 64
  • 1980 Harm van Riel, Dutch Liberal Party politician, dies at 73
  • 1981 Cornelius Cardew, British composer (Scratch Orchestra), dies in a hit and run accident at 45
  • 1981 Pigmeat [Dewey] Markham, American comedian (Here Comes da Judge-Laugh In), dies at 75
  • 1982 Jack Badcock, Australian cricketer (7 Tests, 1 century but inconsistent), dies at 68
  • 1983 Leora Dana, American actress (3:10 to Yuma, Pollyanna), dies at 60
  • 1983 Mary Renault [Challans], British author (King Must Die, Funeral games), dies at 78
  • 1983 Alexander Schmemann, Orthodox Christian priest and theologian (b. 1921)
  • 1983 Nichita Stanescu, Romanian poet (b. 1933
  • 1986 Heather Angel, British-American actress (Night in Montmartre; The Informer; The Last of the Mohicans; Lifeboat), dies of cancer at 77

Alice Marble

1990 Alice Marble, American tennis player (US Open 1936, 1938-40), dies of pernicious anaemia at 77

  • 1991 Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues, French writer (La marge), dies at 82
  • 1992 Bernard Drukker, Dutch pianist/orchestra leader (duivelswiel), dies
  • 1992 K.C. Irving, Canadian industrialist (b. 1899)
  • 1992 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (Pan Am Airways), dies at 93
  • 1992 Robert Shone, British economist and director-general (NEDC), dies at 86
  • 1993 Charles JB Jonckheere, Flemish poet/writer: Ogentroost, dies at 87
  • 1994 Antoine Pinay, Prime Minister of France (1952-53), dies
  • 1994 Herman W "Fritz" Liebert, US librarian/Yale-curator, dies at 83
  • 1994 Norman Beaton, Guyanese actor (Eureka, Black Joy, Mighty Quinn), dies at 60
  • 1995 Evangeline Bruce, American society hostess and writer, dies at 81
  • 1995 Nancy LaMott, American singer, dies of cancer at 43
  • 1996 Cao Yu, Chinese dramatist (Peking Man), dies at 86
  • 1996 Charles Edwin Molnar, computer pioneer, dies at 61
  • 1996 Edward Blishen, English author (The God Beneath the Sea), dies at 76
  • 1996 Mae Barnes, singer, dies at 89
  • 1997 Alexander Oppenheim, mathematician, dies at 94
  • 1997 Martin Carter, Guyanese poet and political activist, dies at 70
  • 1997 Rafael Jose Fernandez de la Calzada y Ferrer, restaurateur, dies at 83
  • 1997 Harry Glaß, German ski jumper (Olympic bronze 1956), dies at 67
  • 1998 Richard Thomas, British admiral (Royal Navy) and NATO representative, dies at 66
  • 1999 Allen Breed, American inventor of the first automotive airbag sensor, dies of a heart attack while suffering from lung cancer, at 72
  • 2001 Chuck Schuldiner, American musician (Death) (b. 1967)
  • 2002 Zal Yanovsky, Canadian rock guitarist (Lovin' Spoonful - "Do You Believe in Magic?"), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • 2003 William V. Roth, Jr., U.S. Senator (b. 1921)
  • 2004 Andre Rodgers, Bahamian baseball shortstop (first Bahamian to play in MLB; NY/SF Giants; Chicago Cubs), dies at 70
  • 2004 David Wheeler, English computer scientist (b. 1927)
  • 2005 Timothy Jordan II, American musician (The All American Rejects, Jonezetta) (b. 1981)
  • 2005 Stanley Tookie Williams, co-founder of the Crips and convicted murderer (b. 1953)
  • 2006 Lamar Hunt, American sports executive and NFL owner (KC Chiefs), dies at 74
  • 2006 Henry Beachell, American plant breeder, dies at 100
  • 2006 Keith Larsen, American actor (Hunter, Brave Eagle), dies at 82
  • 2006 Homesick James [Williamson], American blues slide guitarist and singer (Elmore James band, 1955-62), dies at 96 [or 101, or 92 - date of birth disputed]
  • 2007 Floyd Red Crow Westerman, American actor (b. 1936)
  • 2007 Mark Partridge, Rhodesian politician
  • 2008 Horst Tappert, German director, actor and former SS member (Derrick), dies of diabetes at 85
  • 2008 John Drake, New Zealand rugby union footballer (b. 1959)
  • 2008 Kathy Staff [Minnie Higginbottom], British actress (Mary Reilly, Last of the Summer Wine, Open All Hours), dies from a brain tumour at 80
  • 2009 Aubrey Bowman, British pianist, composer, and conductor (Workman's Music Association), dies from injuries after being struck by a car at 91
  • 2010 Richard Holbrooke, American diplomat (b. 1941)
  • 2010 Enrique Morente, Spanish flamenco singer (b. 1942)
  • 2010 Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme, British keyboardist and vocalist (Barclay James Harvest), commits suicide at 63
  • 2011 Russell Hoban, American author (creator of 'Frances' series), dies at 86
  • 2011 Park Tae-joon, South Korean general and founder of steel giant Posco, dies at 84
  • 2012 Otto Ketting, Dutch trumpeter and composer (Passacaglia), dies at 77
  • 2014 Raoul Cita, R&B pianist and songwriter (Harptones), dies at 86
  • 2016 Alan Thicke, Canadian actor, singer-songwriter (Thicke of the Night, Growing Pains), dies at 69
  • 2016 Thomas Schelling, American economist, (Nobel Prize 2005 - game-theory analysis), dies at 95
  • 2017 Tommy Nobis, American football linebacker (Atlanta Falcons), dies at 74
  • 2017 Bette Howland [Lee Sotonoff], American writer and literary critic (Blue in Chicago, The iron year), dies from multiple sclerosis and dementia at 80
  • 2017 Warrel Dane, American singer (Nevermore), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • 2018 Nancy Wilson, American jazz vocalist (Feel Like Making Love), dies at 81
  • 2019 Carl Scheer, American basketball executive (general manager Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets; inventor NBA Slam Dunk Contest), dies from complications of dementia at 82
  • 2019 Yasuhiro Takai, Japanese baseball first baseman, designated hitter and broadcaster (NPB record 27 career pinch-hit home runs; Hankyu Braves), dies of kidney failure at 74
  • 2019 Richard G Hatcher, American attorney and politician (Mayor of Gary, Indiana, 1968-88), dies at 88
  • 2019 Emil Richards [Radocchia], American session and touring vibraphonist and percussionist [George Shearing; Frank Sinatra; Lalo Schifrin; Frank Zappa; George Harrison; Harry Partch; Shadowfax), dies at 87
  • 2020 Otto Barić, Croatian soccer manager (Croatia, Austria, Wacker Innsbruck, SK Rapid, SV Salzburg), dies from COVID-19 at 87
  • 2020 Jimmy Collins, American basketball shooting guard (Chicago Bulls) and coach (University of Illinois, Chicago 1996-2010), dies from heart surgery complications at 74
  • 2020 Pierre Lacroix, Canadian NHL executive (Quebec Nordiques; Stanley Cup 1996, 2001 Colorado Avalanche), dies from COVID-19 complications at 72
December 13 Highlights