On This Day

Famous Deaths on December 21

  • 72 Thomas the Apostle dies in Mylapore, India (according to tradition)
  • 1295 Margaret of Provence, wife of Louis IX of France. dies at about 74
  • 1308 Henry I, the Child, 1st landgrave of Hessen (1256-1308), dies at 64
  • 1375 Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian poet (Vita di Dante), dies at 62
  • 1504 Bertold von Henneberg-Römhild, German archbishop and elector (b. 1442)
  • 1549 Marguerite of Navarre, Queen of Navarre, wife of Henry II of Navarre, dies at 57
  • 1579 Vicente Masip, Spanish painter
  • 1597 Saint Peter Canisius, Dutch Jesuit Catholic priest, dies at 76
  • 1674 Rutger van Haersolte, viceroy of Overijsselse, dies at about 66
  • 1734 Philipp Hyacinth Lobkowitz, composer, dies at 54
  • 1736 Alessandro Galilei, Italian architect (Cappella Corsini), dies at 45
  • 1755 Caspar Ruetz, German composer, dies at 47
  • 1807 John Newton, English cleric and hymnist, died at 82
  • 1820 Charles-Francois Dumonchau, French pianist and composer, dies at 45
  • 1824 James Parkinson, English physician (First description of Parkinson's disease) and political activist, dies at 69
  • 1859 Nicolaas Christiaan Kist, Dutch Reformed theologian and church historian, dies at 66
  • 1864 William Henry Fry, American composer, dies at 51
  • 1864 Archduke Louis of Austria, 14th child of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II and Feldmarschal-Leutnant of Austrian Imperial Army, dies at 80
  • 1872 Ambrose R. Wright, American Civil War General, dies at 46
  • 1873 Francis Garnier, French explorer, dies at 34
  • 1889 J. B. Lightfoot, English theologist and bishop of Durham, dies at 61
  • 1889 Friedrich August Quenstedt, German geologist and paleontologist, dies at 80
  • 1890 Niels Wilhelm Gade, Danish violinist, organist, composer, and conductor, dies at 73
  • 1900 Roger Wolcott, American political figure, 39th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1847)
  • 1906 Adalbert von Goldschmidt, Austrian composer, dies at 58
  • 1907 Oskar Lassar, German dermatologist (public baths), dies at 58
  • 1914 Arthur Jones, England cricket all-rounder and captain (12 Tests, 3 wickets, 15 catches; Nottinghamshire CCC), dies from tuberculosis at 42
  • 1920 Claude Tozer, cricketer (dashing NSW batsman, shot to death
  • 1921 P B S Pinchback, major Reconstruction politician, dies at 84
  • 1927 Jack Saunders, cricketer (79 wickets-14 Tests for Aust 1902-08), dies
  • 1928 Harry Butt, cricketer (England wicket-keeper v South Africa 1895-96), dies
  • 1928 Luigi Cadorna, Italian fieldmarshal (WW I, Caporetto), dies at 78
  • 1933 Knud J. V. Rasmussen, Danish Pole explorer (Thule), dies at 54
  • 1935 Kurt Tucholsky, German journalist/writer (Panter, Tiger & Co), dies at 45
  • 1937 Ted Healy [Ernest Lee Nash], American actor and comedian (Mad Love, San Francisco, Soup to Nuts), dies from acute toxic nephritis at 41
  • 1938 Helen Miller Shepard, American philanthropist who established Hall of Fame, dies at 70
  • 1940 Hal Kemp American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and sweet jazz bandleader, dies as a result of a car accident at 36
  • 1941 Peetie Wheatstraw [William Bunch], American blues singer, songwriter, and piano player, dies on his 39th birthday when the car in which he was a passenger met a freight train
  • 1942 Leendert Round, Dutch sculptor (Giraffen, Blijdorp), dies at 63

George S. Patton

1945 George S. Patton, American WWII general (Sicily, Italy and Normandy) known as "Old Blood & Guts", dies of congestive heart failure at 60

  • 1948 Seishiro Itagaki, Japanese General/min of War, hanged
  • 1955 Dorothy Bernard, actress (Margaret-Life With Father), dies at 65
  • 1956 Lewis M Terman, psychologist (Genetic studies of genius), dies at 79
  • 1957 Eric Coates, English viola palyer and composer, dies at 71
  • 1957 Tony Lewis, British rock singer-songwriter and bass player (The Outfield - "Your Love") (d. 2020)
  • 1958 H. B. Warner, British actor (Sunset Boulevard, The King of Kings), dies at 83
  • 1958 Lion Feuchtwanger, philosopher/writer (Der falsche Nero), dies at 74
  • 1959 Rosanjin, Japanese calligrapher, restaurateur and ceramicist (b. 1883)
  • 1963 Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricket batsman (61 Tests, 5,410 runs @ 56.94, 15 x 100s; leading 1st-class run-scorer [61,760] and century-maker [199]; Surry), dies at 81
  • 1964 Carl Van Vechten, American writer famous for the controversial novel "Nigger Heaven", dies at 84
  • 1964 Algernon Kingscote, English tennis player (Australasian C'ship 1919), dies at 76
  • 1965 Claude Champagne, Canadian composer, dies at 74
  • 1967 Louis Washkansky, 18 days after 1st heart transplant, dies at 55
  • 1967 Stuart "Stu" Erwin, American actor (The Stu Erwin Show), dies of heart attack at 64
  • 1972 Horace Mann Bond, president of Lincoln University (Pa), dies at 70
  • 1974 Richard Long, American actor (Prof-Nanny and the Professor), dies at 47
  • 1974 James Henry Govier, British artist (b. 1910)
  • 1976 Edward Bartlett, cricketer (WI Test batsman in 5 Tests 1928-31), dies
  • 1979 Mac Anderson, New Zealand cricketer (Test for NZ 1946, scored five & one), dies at 60

Marc Connelly

1980 Marc Connelly, American playwright (One Minute Please), dies at 90

  • 1983 Rod Cameron [Nathan Roderick Cox], Canadian actor (City Detective, State Trooper, Trigger Trail), dies of cancer at 73
  • 1983 Paul de Man, Belgian literary critic, dies at 64
  • 1984 Judith Raskin, American soprano (Susanna-Le Nozze di Figaro), dies at 56
  • 1985 Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese film actor (Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo), dies of a heart attack at 80
  • 1986 Willy Coppens, Belgian WW I fighter ace, dies at 94
  • 1987 Robert Paige, American actor, TV newscaster and political correspondent (Son of Dracula, Pardon My Sarong, Colgate Comedy Hour), dies 77
  • 1987 John Spence, founding No Doubt member (b. 1969)
  • 1988 Bob Steele [Robert Adrian Bradbury], American actor (Monogram, Supreme, Tiffany), dies of Emphysema at 60
  • 1988 Nikolaas Tinbergen, Dutch-British biologist and zoologist (Nobel 1973), dies at 81
  • 1989 Ján Cikker, Slovak composer, dies at 78
  • 1990 Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, American aeronautical engineer (Lockheed Skunk Works; b. 1910)
  • 1992 Albert King [Nelson], American blues guitarist and singer (BB King & Friends, Blues Alive), dies of a heart attack at 69
  • 1992 Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian/US violist (Beethoven, Bach), dies at 87
  • 1992 Stella Adler, American actress (Love on Toast), dies at 90
  • 1992 Sybil Andrews, English-Canadian painter, dies at 94
  • 1993 Philip Christison, British general (Rangoon), dies at 100
  • 1994 Shauna McDonald Brown, British TV producer, dies at 37
  • 1995 Robert Francis Vere Heuston, professor of law, dies at 72
  • 1995 Trenchard Cox, British museum director, dies at 90
  • 1996 Margaret E Rey, author of children's books, dies at 90
  • 1996 Olga Maria Nicolis di Robilant, patron of the arts, dies at 96
  • 1996 Barry Gray [Bernard Yaroslaw], American radio personality and interviewer (started call-in radio), dies at 80
  • 1997 Bruce Woodcock, English boxer, European Heavyweight Champion, dies at 76
  • 1997 Juzo Itami, film director/actor (Lord Jim, Yuuguremade), dies at 64
  • 1997 Michael Lyne, air-marshal, dies at 78
  • 1997 Harold Roxbee Cox, Baron Kings Norton, British aeronautical engineer, dies at 95
  • 1997 Amie Comeaux, American country music singer, dies at 21
  • 1998 Roger Avon, British actor (Doctor Who, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.), dies at 84
  • 1998 Karl Denver [Angus McKenzie], Scottish pop singer ("Never Say Goodbye"; "Wimoweh"), dies of a brain tumor at 67
  • 1998 Ernst Gunther Schenck, German doctor who joined the Sturmabteilung in 1933 {b. 1904)
  • 1999 John Arnatt, British actor (A Challenge for Robin Hood, Circumstantial Evidence), dies at 82
  • 2000 Edward Miller, British historian and Master (Fitzwilliam College Cambridge), dies at 85
  • 2001 Dick Schaap, American Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, journalist, and author (Bo Knows Bo: Instant Replay), dies from complications during hip replacement surgery at 67
  • 2003 Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Spanish playboy and businessman (b. 1924)
  • 2003 M. J. Gopalan, Indian cricketer (1 Test India v England 1933-34), dies at 94
  • 2004 Autar Singh Paintal, Indian medical scientist, dies at 79
  • 2005 Elrod Hendricks, American baseball player and coach (b. 1940)
  • 2005 Myron Healey, American actor (The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp), dies of ill health at 82
  • 2006 Scobie Breasley, Australian jockey (b. 1914)
  • 2006 Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan (b. 1940)
  • 2006 Sydney Wooderson, English athlete dubbed "The Mighty Atom" (world record 1937), dies at 92
  • 2007 Ken Hendricks, American businessman (b. 1941)
  • 2010 Enzo Bearzot, Italian football player and manager (b. 1927)
  • 2010 David Hennessy [Lord Windlesham], British politician (C) (Leader of the House of Lords 1973-4) and TV executive, dies at 78
  • 2012 Lee Dorman, American rock bassist (Iron Butterfly; Captain Beyond), dies at 70
  • 2013 Eli Beeding, American Air Force Captain and rocket test pilot, dies at 85
  • 2013 Lars Edlund, Swedish composer, dies at 91
  • 2013 Bronzell Miller, American WLAF linebacker (Amsterdam Admirals), dies at 42
  • 2013 David Coleman, British sports commentator (worked for the BBC for 46 years), dies at 87
  • 2014 Sonia d’Artois, British Canadian WWII resistance agent, dies at 90
  • 2014 Billie Whitelaw, British actress (Omen, Adding Machine), dies at 82
  • 2014 Udo Jürgens [Bockelmann], Austrian-Swiss pop singer-songwriter (Eurovision Song Contest, 1966), dies of heart failure at 80
  • 2016 Weston Noble, American music educator and conductor (Luther College, 1948-2005), dies at 94
  • 2017 Bruce McCandless II, American aviator, electrical engineer and astronaut who made the 1st untethered space walk (STS 41B, STS-31), dies at 80
  • 2017 Richard "Dick" Enberg, American sportscaster (NBC, CBS, ESPN), dies of a heart attack at 82
  • 2017 Wolfgang Ludewig, German composer, dies at 91
  • 2017 Roswell Rudd ,American free-jazz trombonist (Archie Shepp), and avant-garde composer (New York Art Quartet), dies of prostate cancer at 82
  • 2019 Martin Peters, English soccer midfielder (67 caps; West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 76
  • 2019 Sam Strahan, New Zealand rugby union lock (17 caps; Manawatū), dies at 74
  • 2020 K. T. Oslin, American country singer (80's Ladies), dies at 78 [1]
  • 2020 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
December 21 Highlights