Famous Deaths on December 15

  • 1025 Basilius II, the Bulgarendoder, Byzantine emperor (976-1025), dies
  • 1072 Alp Arslan, Turkish sultan in Persia (b. 1029)
  • 1230 Ottokar I, king of Bohemia (1197-1230), dies
  • 1263 King Haakon IV of Norway (b. 1204)

Person of interestAfonso de Albuquerque

1515 Afonso de Albuquerque, Portuguese admiral, Duke of Goa and Viceroy of Portuguese India, dies at sea in sight of Goa at around 62

Admiral and Duke of Goa Afonso de Albuquerque
Admiral and Duke of Goa
Afonso de Albuquerque
  • 1576 Joachim Hopperus, [Hoppers], Frisian lawyer/politician, dies at 53
  • 1598 Philip van Marnix, Flemish ruler of St Aldegonde/poet, dies at 58
  • 1621 Charles d'albert duke of Luynes/PM of France, dies at 43
  • 1626 Adriaen de Vries, Dutch sculptor/painter, dies at about 70
  • 1673 Margaret Cavendish, English writer (b. 1623)

Person of interestJan Vermeer

1675 Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter (Love Letter), dies at 43

Painter Jan Vermeer
Painter
Jan Vermeer
  • 1683 Izaak Walton, English writer (b. 1593)
  • 1688 Gaspar Fagel, lawyer/Neth grand pensionary (1672-88), dies at 54
  • 1699 Henrik A van Reede tot Drakenstein, Dutch botanist, dies at about 63
  • 1712 Sidney 1st earl of Godolphine, English minister of Finance, dies at 67
  • 1715 George Hickes, English linguist (Old German Philology), dies at 73
  • 1753 Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, English architect, dies at 59
  • 1779 Manuel Jeronimo Romero de Avila, Spanish theorist and composer, dies at 62
  • 1792 Joseph Martin Kraus, composer, dies at 36

Person of interestAnthony Wayne

1796 Anthony Wayne, American military leader (Legion of the United States), dies of gout at 51

Military Leader Anthony Wayne
Military Leader
Anthony Wayne
  • 1816 Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz, composer, dies at 44
  • 1817 Maria Walewska [Leszczinska], lover of emperor Napoleon I, dies
  • 1822 Ferenc Verseghy, Hungarian poet and composer, dies at 65
  • 1826 William Browser, revolting slave, executed in NYC
  • 1831 Paul R Cantzlaar, gov of Saba/Curacao/Dutch-West Indies, dies at 60
  • 1839 Matthijs I van Bree, Flemish court-painter, dies at 66
  • 1855 Jacques Charles François Sturm, French mathematician (b. 1803)
  • 1861 Gualtiero Sanelli, composer, dies at 45
  • 1880 Carlo Boncompagni di Mombello, Italian minister of Justice, dies at 76
  • 1889 Ferdinand II A F A, King of Portugal, dies at 73

Person of interestSitting Bull

1890 Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa-Sioux chief who helped led his people to victory in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, killed by US Police aged 58 or 59

Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull
Lakota Sioux Chief
Sitting Bull
  • 1892 Charles Balmer, composer, dies at 75
  • 1896 John GR Acquoy, Dutch theologist/church historian, dies at 67
  • 1901 Elias Alvares Lobo, composer, dies at 67
  • 1909 Francisco Tarrega y Eixea, composer, dies at 57
  • 1934 Maggie L. Walker, African American teacher and businesswoman (1st female Bank President),dies at 69
  • 1939 Tom McKibbin, cricketer (5 Tests for Aust 1895-1898, 17 wkts), dies

Person of interestFats Waller

1943 Thomas W "Fats" Waller, jazz pianist (Hot Chocolate), dies at 39 in KC Missouri

Jazz Musician and Songwriter Fats Waller
Jazz Musician and Songwriter
Fats Waller

Person of interestGlenn Miller

1944 Glenn Miller, American bandleader and jazz composer (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood), dies in a suspected plane crash at 40

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 1946 Conrad Haebler, historian (Hundert Kalenderinkunabeln), dies at 89
  • 1946 Gordon Frederic Norton, composer, dies at 77
  • 1947 Arthur Machen, Welsh author (b. 1863)
  • 1950 Robert Muller-Hartmann, composer, dies at 66
  • 1950 Vallabhbhai Patel, Indian freedom fighter and statesman, dies at 75
  • 1951 Eric Drummond, British 1st Secretary-General of the League of Nations (1919-33), dies at 75
  • 1953 Kishio Hirao, composer, dies at 46
  • 1958 Wolfgang Pauli, Swiss-American theoretical physicist (Pauli inhibition, Nobel 1945), dies at 58
  • 1961 William "Dummy" Hoy, professional baseball player, dies at 99

Person of interestCharles Laughton

1962 Charles Laughton, English actor (Hunchback of Notre Dame), dies at 63

Person of interestWalt Disney

1966 Walt Disney, animator and producer (co-founder of Walt Disney Co), dies of lung cancer at 65

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney
  • 1968 Jess Willard, Heavyweight boxing champ (1915-19), dies at 86

  • 1968 Antonio J. Barrette, French Canadian politician, premier of Quebec, dies at 69
  • 1971 Paul Pierre Lévy, French mathematician (b. 1886)
  • 1972 Edward Earle, Canadian actor (Charlie Chan-Meeting at Midnight), dies at 90
  • 1972 Herbert Eimert, German composer (Glockenspiel), dies at 75
  • 1973 Orest Alexandrovich Evlahkov, composer, dies at 61
  • 1974 Erich Walter Sternberg, composer, dies at 83
  • 1974 Anatole Litvak, Russian-born American film director, writer and producer (Mayerling, Anastasia, The Snake Pit), dies at 72
  • 1975 Mukhtar Ashrafi, Soviet-Uzbek composer, dies at 63
  • 1977 Wilfred Kitching, the 7th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1893)
  • 1978 Chill Wills, American actor (Frontier Circus, Rounders), dies at 75
  • 1979 Bern Hoffman, actor (Major Dell Conway), dies at 66
  • 1980 Rudolph Cleveringa, Dutch anti-nazi lawyer and professor of Law at Leiden University, dies at 86
  • 1984 Jan Peerce, [Perelmuth], operatic tenor, dies at 80 following a stroke
  • 1984 Lennard Pearce, British actor (Only Fools and Horses....), dies of a heart attack at 69
  • 1984 Frank Spedding, Canadian Chemist whose uranium extraction process helped make possible the first atomic bomb, dies at 82
  • 1986 Serge Lifar, Russian-French dancer, choreographer (Paris Opera Ballet), dies at 81
  • 1987 Septima Poinsette Clark, American educator and civil rights activist, dies at 89
  • 1989 Arnold Moss, American actor (Loves of Carmen, Kim, Quebec, Viva Zapata), dies at 79
  • 1989 Edward Underdown, British actor (Beat the Devil, Thunderball), dies at 81
  • 1990 Betty Warren actress (Passport to Pimlico), dies
  • 1990 Jean Paige, actress (Capt Blood, Black Beauty), dies
  • 1991 Horatio Luro, American horse trainer (Decidedly, Northern Dancer), dies at 90
  • 1991 Ray Smith, British actor (And Then You Die), dies at 55
  • 1994 Hans de Jong, musician and conductor (Amsterdams Vrouwenkoor), dies at 86
  • 1994 Harry Tobias, songwriter, dies at 99
  • 1994 Henry Phelps Brown, British historian and economist, dies at 88
  • 1994 Mollie Doreen Phillips, British figure skater (Eur-bronze-33), dies at 87
  • 1995 James Geoffrey Cutcliffe Hepburn, tap-dancer/socialist, dies at 88
  • 1995 Manuel Gutierrez Mellado, PM of Defense of Spain (1977-81), dies at 83
  • 1996 Gerald Moverley, first Bishop of the Diocese of Hallam in Yorkshire, dies at 74
  • 1996 Guiseppe Dossetti, politician/priest, dies at 83
  • 1997 Pananayiotis Taki Vatikiotis, middle east scholar, dies at 69
  • 1998 Jan Meyerowitz, German-American composer, dies at 85
  • 2001 Russ Haas, American professional wrestler, dies of heart attack at 27
  • 2001 Rufus Thomas [Mr. Swing], American musician (Do the Funky Chicken), dies at 84
  • 2003 George Fisher, American political cartoonist (b. 1923)
  • 2003 Keith Magnuson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1947)
  • 2004 Pauline Gore, mother of Al Gore (b. 1912)
  • 2005 Heinrich Gross, Austrian physician (b. 1914)
  • 2005 Stan Leonard, Canadian golfer (b. 1915)
  • 2005 William Proxmire, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (b. 1915)
  • 2005 Darrell Russell, American football player (b. 1976)
  • 2006 Clay Regazzoni, Swiss Formula One driver, dies at 67
  • 2006 Henny Alma [Hendrika den Broek], Dutch actress (Soldier of Orange), dies at 83
  • 2007 John Berg (actor), American actor (b. 1949)
  • 2007 Julia Carson, U.S. Congresswoman from Indiana (b. 1938)
  • 2008 León Febres Cordero, Ecuador's former President (b. 1931)
  • 2009 Oral Roberts, American television evangelist and author (b. 1918)
  • 2010 Blake Edwards, American writer and director (10, SOB, Breakfast at Tiffany's), dies at 88
  • 2010 Bob Feller, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (AL Triple Crown 1940), dies of leukemia at 92
  • 2010 Eugene Victor Wolfenstein, American political scientist (b. 1940)
  • 2011 Andy Carey, third baseman for 1950s New York Yankees, dies at 80

Person of interestChristopher Hitchens

2011 Christopher Hitchens, English author and journalist (Vanity Fair, New Statesman) dies of oesophageal cancer aged 62

Author, Journalist and Orator Christopher Hitchens
Author, Journalist and Orator
Christopher Hitchens

Person of interestJoan Fontaine

2013 Joan Fontaine, British-American actress, dies of natural causes at 96

Actress Joan Fontaine
Actress
Joan Fontaine
  • 2013 Harold Camping, American evangelist and founder of Family Radio, dies at 92
  • 2015 Ken Pogue, Canadian actor (Adderly, Katts and Dog), dies of cancer at 81
  • 2017 Don Hogan Charles, American photographer and first African-American photographer hired by The New York Times, dies at 79
  • 2017 Heinz Wolff, German-born British scientist and TV/ radio presenter (BBC series "The Great Egg Race"), dies from heart failure at 89