Famous Deaths on December 26

  • 418 Saint Zosimus, Roman Pope (417-418), dies
  • 1350 Jean de Marigny, French bishop
  • 1458 Arthur III, Duke of Brittany, dies at 65
  • 1476 Galeazzo Maria Sforza, duke of Milan, murdered

BaburBabur (1483-1530)

Timurid founder and 1st Emperor of the Mughal dynasty in the Indian Subcontinent (1526-30), dies at 47

  • 1574 Charles Guise, archbishop/cardinal of Reims, dies at 50
  • 1624 Simon Marius, astronomer, dies in Bavaria at 54
  • 1627 Gonzaga, Italian monarch of Mantua/Monferrato, dies
  • 1658 Simon Guillain, French sculptor (Castle of Blois/Sorbonne), dies at 78
  • 1676 Domenicus van Tol, Dutch painter, dies
  • 1679 John van de Cappelle, Amsterdam landscape painter, dies at 53
  • 1731 Antoine Houdar de la Motte, French writer (b. 1672)
  • 1736 Antonio Caldara, composer, dies
  • 1740 Mauritius Louis II earl of Nassau, lt-gen (12 children), dies
  • 1771 Claude Adrien Helvétius, French controversial philosopher (On the Mind), dies at 56
  • 1776 Johann Gottlieb Rall, Hessian colonel/mercenary, dies in battle in American Revolutionary War
  • 1780 John Fothergill, English physician, dies at 68
  • 1784 Otto Friedrich Müller, Danish Naturalist who was a pioneer in the study of microorganisms, dies at 54
  • 1784 Seth Warner, American revolutionary leader, dies at 41
  • 1786 Gasparo Gozzi, Italian critic and dramatist, dies at 73

John WilkesJohn Wilkes (1725-1797)

English radical, journalist (The North Briton) and politician, dies of marasmus at 72

  • 1827 Jan David Holland, composer, dies at 81
  • 1836 Hans Georg Nägeli, Swiss composer, dies at 63
  • 1837 Martinus van Marum, chemist/physicist (giant salamander), dies at 87
  • 1861 Philip St. George Cocke, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), commits suicide at 52
  • 1866 Samuel Ryan Curtis, Union general-major, dies at 49
  • 1869 Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille, French physician and physiologist (blood pressure), dies at 72
  • 1887 Jules Francois Blasini, Curacaos pianist and composer, dies at 40

Heinrich SchliemannHeinrich Schliemann (1822-1890)

German archaeologist who rediscovered Troy, dies of cholesteatoma at 86

  • 1893 Victor Schœlcher, French abolitionist writer, dies at 89
  • 1896 Emil du Bois-Reymond, German physiologist, co-discoverer of nerve action potential and founder of modern electrophysiology, dies at 78
  • 1899 Dwight Lyman Moody, American evangelist (Moody Church), dies at 62
  • 1909 Frederic Remington, American artist and sculptor of American West, dies at 48
  • 1916 Bernhard Scholz, composer, dies at 81
  • 1916 Frank Penn, cricketer (one Test for England v Australia 1880), dies
  • 1916 Willie Smith, Scottish golfer (US Open 1899), dies of pneumonia at 40
  • 1917 Judith Gautier, French poetess, novelist (Le Dragon Impérial) and daughter of Theophile Gautier, dies at 71
  • 1918 Bertram Luard-Selby, British organist and composer, dies at 65
  • 1923 Dietrich Eckart, German Nazi politician (b. 1868)
  • 1931 Melvil Dewey, American librarian and educator (created Dewey Decimal System for libraries), dies at 80
  • 1933 Anatoly Lunacharsky, Russian Marxist revolutionary, author and literary critic, dies at 58
  • 1937 Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet, dies of tuberculosis at 47
  • 1942 Chris 'Red' Cagle, College Football Hall of Fame halfback (All American 1927, 28, 29; Army; NFL: New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers), dies of a fractured skull from a fall at 37
  • 1942 Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, French resistance fighter and assassin of Admiral of the Fleet and Vichy Prime Minister François Darlan, executed by firing squad at 20
  • 1950 Emile Enthoven, Dutch composer and lawyer, dies at 47
  • 1950 James Stephens, Irish poet (Crock of Gold), dies at 68
  • 1952 Pietro Pancrazi, Italian critic (Pegaso), dies at 59
  • 1956 Holmes Herbert, British actor (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Kiss), dies at 74
  • 1957 Artur Malawski, Polish composer, dies at 53
  • 1957 Charles Pathé, French pioneer of film and record industries (Pathé Brothers, 1896), dies at 93
  • 1958 Harry Redman, American composer, writer, and artist, dies on 89th birthday
  • 1960 Eduard Ludwig, German architect (Hansa quarter, Berlin), dies at 54
  • 1960 Watsuji Tetsuro, Japanese philosopher (b. 1889)
  • 1961 Charlie Frank, cricketer (S Af Test centurion v Aust 1921-22), dies
  • 1963 "Gorgeous George" Wagner, wrestler, dies
  • 1965 Nico Donkersloot, Dutch literary and writer, dies at 63
  • 1966 Klaziena "Ina" Boudier-Bakker, Dutch playwright and author (Poverty), dies at 91
  • 1966 Noel Gallon, French composer, dies at 75
  • 1967 Sydney Barnes, English cricket fast bowler (27 Tests, 189 wickets, BB 9/103); Warwickshire CCC, Lancashire CCC, Staffordshire CCC), dies at 94
  • 1969 Johannes Gerard van Dillen, Dutch economic historian (Of Wealth & Oligarchists), dies at 86
  • 1969 Josef Hromádka, Czech theologist (Lenin prize 1957), dies at 80
  • 1969 Louise Lévêque de Vilmorin, French poet and author (History d'aimer), dies at 67
  • 1970 Lillian Board, British 400m athlete (Olympic silver 1968), dies at 22
  • 1971 Robert Lowery [Hank], American stage and screen actor (Batman and Robin (1949); Circus Boy - "Big Tim"; The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond), dies of heart failure at 58

Harry TrumanHarry Truman (1884-1972)

33rd US President (Democrat: 1945-53), dies in Kansas City Mo at 88

  • 1973 Harold B. Lee, American religious leader, Head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies at 74
  • 1973 Steven Geray, American actor (French Line), dies at 69
  • 1973 William Haines, American actor (Little Annie Rooney), dies of cancer at 73
  • 1974 Farid al-Atrash [El-Atrache], Syrian composer, musician, virtuoso oud player, and actor (Akher kedba), dies of heart disease at 59

Jack BennyJack Benny (1894-1974)

American comedian (The Jack Benny Program), dies of pancreatic cancer at 80

  • 1974 Knudåge Riisager, Danish composer (director of the Royal Danish Academy of Music 1956-67), dies at 77
  • 1974 Robert Levine Sanders, American composer, dies at 68
  • 1976 Philip Hart, American lawyer and politician (U.S. Senator (D) from Michigan, 1959-76), dies from cancer at 64
  • 1977 Howard Hawks, American director and producer (Rio Bravo, Scarface, The Big Sleep), dies at 81
  • 1977 Ivan Rezak, Czech composer, dies at 53
  • 1978 Fritz Büchtger, German composer, educator, and modern music proponent (Association for Contemporary Music; Studio for New Music), dies at 75
  • 1980 Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)
  • 1981 Amber Reeves, feminist writer (b. 1887)
  • 1981 Savithri, Indian actress (b. 1937)
  • 1983 Violet Carson, British actress (b. 1898)
  • 1984 Gösta Jonsson, Swedish saxophonist, accordion player and band leader, dies at 69
  • 1984 Tebbs Lloyd Johnson, English race walker (Olympic bronze 50k 1952; oldest Olympic medal-winning athlete; 48 years and 115 days), dies at 84
  • 1985 Dian Fossey, American zoologist (Gorillas in the Mist), murdered in Rwanda at 53
  • 1985 Harold P. Warren, American movie director (Manos: The Hands of Fate), dies at 62
  • 1985 Jackie Ormes, African-American cartoonist (Torchy Brown), dies at 74
  • 1986 Elsa Lanchester, actress (Bride of Frankenstein), dies at 84
  • 1986 Leslie Dwyer, English actor (Hi-de-Hi!), dies at 80
  • 1988 Cynthia Stone, American actress (That Wonderful Guy, Ad Libbers), dies at 62
  • 1988 Glenn McCarthy, American oil tycoon and businessman (b. 1907)
  • 1988 John Loder, actor (Sabotage, Java Head), dies at 90
  • 1988 Pablo Sorozábal, Spanish composer, dies at 91

Doug HarveyDoug Harvey (1924-1989)

Canadian ice hockey defence player ('100 Greatest NHL Players), dies of cirrhosis of the liver at 65

  • 1989 Lennox R. F. Berkeley, British composer and pedagogue (Castaway), dies at 86
  • 1989 Peggy Thorpe-Bates, actress (Alcatraz Island), dies
  • 1990 Nancy Cruznan, accident victim/right-to-die case, dies at 33
  • 1991 Sam Cresson, dies at 73
  • 1992 Bert Voeten, Dutch journalist and poet (Antipodes), dies at 74
  • 1992 Constance Carpenter, actress (2 Worlds), dies of stroke at 87
  • 1992 John G Kemeny, US computer pioneer (BASIC), dies
  • 1992 Nikita Magaloff, Russian/Swiss pianist, dies at 80
  • 1993 Jeff Morrow [Leslie Irving Morrow], American actor (Robe, Union Pacific, Temperatures Rising), dies at 86

Allie ReynoldsAllie Reynolds (1919-1994)

American MLB pitcher, 1942-54, 6X All-Star, 1952 AL ERA leader (Cleveland Indians, NY Yankees), dies from complications of lymphoma and diabetes at 77

  • 1994 Asta ER Elstak, Suriname/Neth welfare worker, dies at 74
  • 1994 Johannes J "Joop" Klant, Neth/South African economist/author, dies
  • 1994 Karl Schiller, German economist and politician (Minister of Economics), dies at 83
  • 1994 Robert Emhardt, American actor (Another World, Underworld USA, Mooncussers), dies at 80
  • 1994 Sylvia Koscina, Croatian/Italian actress (Hercules), dies at 61
  • 1997 Cornelius Castoriadis, Greek philosopher and economist, dies at 75
  • 1997 John Hinde, photographer/circus promoter, dies at 81
  • 1997 John Whitley, British air-marshal, dies at 92
  • 1999 Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and soul musician ("Freddie's Dead"; "Superfly"), dies from complications of type 2 diabetes at 57
  • 1999 Shankar Dayal Sharma, Indian politician and 9th President of India (1992-97), dies at 81
  • 2000 Jack Jacob, British senior master (British Supreme Court), dies at 92
  • 2000 Jason Robards, American actor (A Thousand Clowns, Any Wednesday), dies at 78
  • 2000 Leo Gordon, American actor (Maverick, Circus Boy, Enos, Winds of War), dies of cardiac failure at 78
  • 2000 Paul Kont, Austrian composer, dies at 80
  • 2001 Nigel Hawthorne, English actor (Tartuffe, Pope John Paul II), dies at 72
  • 2002 Armand Zildjian, American cymbal manufacturer (b. 1921)
  • 2002 Herb Ritts, American fashion photographer, dies at 50
  • 2004 Aki Sirkesalo, Finnish musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1962)
  • 2004 Jonathan Drummond-Webb, South African pediatric heart surgeon (b. 1959)
  • 2004 Marianne Heiberg, Norwegian mediator (b. 1945)
  • 2004 Mieszko Talarczyk, Lead singer/Guitarist of grindcore band, Nasum, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1974)

Reggie WhiteReggie White (1961-2004)

American NFL defensive end (Green Bay Packers - Super Bowl 31), dies of cardiac arrhythmia at 43

  • 2004 Sigurd Køhn, Norwegian jazz musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1959)
  • 2004 Simon Atlee, British fashion photographer, drowned by tsunami in Thailand at 33
  • 2004 Sir Angus Ogilvy, British businessman and husband of Princess Alexandra of Kent, dies at 76
  • 2004 Troy Broadbridge, Australian rules footballer, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1980)
  • 2005 Bill DeArango, American jazz guitarist (Charlie Ventura; Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis; "Slam" Stewart), dies at 85
  • 2005 Erich Topp, German submarine commander (b. 1914)
  • 2005 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman (b. 1937)
  • 2005 Muriel Costa-Greenspon, American mezzo-soprano (b. 1937)
  • 2005 Vincent Schiavelli, American actor, dies of cancer at 57
  • 2006 Enrique Antonio "Tony" Silvester, Panamanian-American R&B singer-songwriter (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays the Fool"), dies at 65

Gerald FordGerald Ford (1913-2006)

38th US President (R: 1974-77) and 41st US Vice President (R: 1973-74), dies at 93

  • 2006 Ivar Formo, Norwegian skier (b. 1951)
  • 2007 Andrew Grima, Italian-born British jeweller known for his modern designs, dies at 86
  • 2007 Joe Dolan, Irish singer and entertainer (b. 1943)
  • 2007 John A. Garraty, American biographer (b. 1920)
  • 2007 Stu Nahan, American Sportscaster (b. 1926)
  • 2008 Gösta Krantz, Swedish actor (b. 1925)
  • 2009 Felix Wurman, American cellist and composer, dies of Cancer at 51
  • 2010 Edward Bhengu, South African activist (b. 1934)
  • 2010 Teena Marie, American singer and composer (b. 1956)
  • 2011 Sam Rivers, American jazz musician (exponent of free jazz), dies of pneumonia at 88
  • 2012 Fontella Bass, American R&B and soul singer and songwriter (Rescue Me), dies from a heart attack at 72
  • 2012 Gerry Anderson, English writer/producer/director, dies from Alzheimer's disease at 83
  • 2013 Paul Blair, American baseball outfielder (MLB All-Star 1969, 73; World Series 1966, 70, 77-78; Gold Glove Award 1967, 69–75; Baltimore Orioles), dies from a heart attack at 69
  • 2014 Leo Tindemans, Belgian statesman, Prime Minister of Belgium (1974-78), dies at 92
  • 2016 George S. Irving [Shelasky], American broadway singer and actor (Dumplings), dies at 94
  • 2018 Sono Osato, American Japanese ballet dancer and actress, dies at 99
  • 2018 Theodore Antoniou, Greek conductor and composer (Paean, Celebration), dies at 83
  • 2018 Wendy Beckett, South African British nun and TV art critic, dies at 88
  • 2019 Eigil Nielsen, Danish soccer midfielder (10 caps; Basel), dies at 71
  • 2019 Elbert Dubenion, American football wide receiver and running back (AFL All Star 1964; Buffalo Bills), dies from complications related to Parkinson's disease at 86
  • 2019 Jerry Herman, American musical theater composer (Hello, Dolly!; Mame; La Cage aux Folles), dies at 88
  • 2020 Jim McLean, Scottish soccer forward (Hamilton Academical, Clyde, Dundee) and manager (Dundee United 1971-93), dies from dementia at 83

Phil NiekroPhil Niekro (1939-2020)

American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (knuckleballer; no-hitter 1973; 5 x MLB All Star; 5 x Gold Glove; Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves), dies of cancer at 81 [1]

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu (1931-2021)

Anglican Archbishop of South Africa and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, dies at 90

  • 2021 Dorval Rodrigues, Brazilian soccer right winger (13 caps; Santos FC, SE Palmeiras), dies at 86
  • 2021 Edward O. Wilson, American sociobiologist (world’s leading authority on ants), dies at 92
  • 2021 Karolos Papoulias, President of Greece (2005-15), dies at 92
  • 2021 Sarah Weddington, American attorney (represented "Jane Roe" in Roe v. Wade before US States Supreme Court), dies at 76
  • 2022 Sergey Dmitriyev, Russian soccer striker (6 caps USSR; Zenit Saint Petersburg, CSKA Moscow), dies at 58
  • 2022 Tom Danby, English dual-code international wing: rugby union (1 cap; Harlequin RFC) and rugby league (3 caps England, 3 caps GB; Salford RLFC), dies at 96
December 26 Highlights