On This Day

Famous Deaths on December 30

  • 274 St Felix I, dies and ends his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1218 Richard de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford, English politician (b. 1162)
  • 1460 Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, claimant to the English throne killed in Battle of Wakefield at 49 (b. 1411)
  • 1525 Jacob Fugger, German banker/merchant, dies at 66
  • 1572 Galeazzo Alessi, Italian architect (Palazza Marino, Milan), dies at 60
  • 1573 Giovanni Battista Giraldi, Italian writer (b. 1504)
  • 1591 Pope Innocent IX [Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti], 230th Catholic pope (1591), dies at 72
  • 1621 Saint Job of Maniava, Ukrainian Orthodox Saint (b. 1550)
  • 1640 John Francis Regis, French saint (b. 1597)
  • 1644 Jan Baptist van Helmont, Flemish chemist (b. 1577)
  • 1662 Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria and Regent of the Tyrol, dies at 34
  • 1691 Robert Boyle, Irish scientist (b. 1627)
  • 1769 Nicholas Taaffe, 6th Viscount Taaffe, Austrian soldier (b. 1685)
  • 1777 Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bayern (1745-77), dies at 50
  • 1788 Francesco Zuccarelli, Italian rococo painter and etcher, dies at 86
  • 1796 Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French composer, dies at 45
  • 1821 Angelo Maria Benincori, Italian composer, dies at 42
  • 1825 Peter Grønland, Danish composer, dies at 64
  • 1828 Waldemar Thrane, Norwegian composer, dies at 38
  • 1832 Abijah Hammond, owned large portion of Greenwich Village, dies
  • 1865 Henry Winter Davis, American politician and unionist, dies at 48
  • 1870 ... Prim, Spanish general, murdered
  • 1886 William Wing "Old Blizzards" Loring, American Major General (Confederate Army), dies at 68
  • 1893 Samuel White Baker, English explorer (Ceylon & Egypt), dies at 72
  • 1894 Amelia Jenks Bloomer, American reformer who campaigned for temperance and women’s rights, dies at 76
  • 1895 LP Hartley, British writer, dies

ExecutionJose Rizal

1896 Jose Protacio Rizal, Filipino nationalist and novelist ('Noli Me Tángere', 'El Filibusterismo') is executed by firing squad at 35

  • 1899 James Paget, English surgeon (disease of Paget), dies at 85
  • 1906 Angela Burdett-Coutts, English philanthropist extrordinaire and "the richest heiress in England", dies at 92
  • 1906 Josephine Butler, English feminist and social reformer (campaigned against human trafficking), dies at 78
  • 1908 Thomas-Alfred Bernier, Canadian lawyer, journalist and senator (b. 1844)
  • 1912 Alfred von Kiderlen-Wächter, German foreign minister, dies at 60
  • 1931 Tyrone Power Sr., British actor (The Big Trial, The Test of Donald Norton), dies at 62
  • 1940 Fritz Volbach, composer, dies at 79
  • 1941 El Lissitzky, Russian artist and architect (b. 1890)
  • 1942 Neville Henderson, British diplomat and Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Nazi Germany (1937-39), dies at 60
  • 1943 Hobart Bosworth, American actor (Woman of Affairs, Big Parade), dies at 76
  • 1944 Romain Roland, French writer/pacifist (Nobel 1915), dies at 78
  • 1946 Charles Wakefield Cadman, American composer (Shanewis (or The Robin Woman); The Sky Hawk), dies at 65
  • 1947 Han [Henricus Antonius] van Meegeren, Dutch painter and art forger (Vermeer), dies at 58
  • 1947 Alfred North Whitehead, British mathematician and philosopher (Adventures of Ideas), dies at 86
  • 1952 Ivan Olbracht, writer, dies
  • 1955 Rex Ingamells, Australian poet (b. 1913)
  • 1956 Ruth Draper, American actress and dramatist (The Italian Lesson), dies at 72
  • 1959 Maria Baers, Flemish social worker and founder of the Christian Workers' Women's Movement (KAV), dies at 76
  • 1961 Jacobus "Ko" van den Bosch, Dutch actor (Amsterdamned)/dir, dies at 53
  • 1964 Andrés Soriano, Spanish Filipino industrialist (San Miguel Brewery, Philippine Airlines), dies of pancreatic cancer at 66
  • 1966 Christian Herter, American Republican politician, 59th Governor of Massachusetts (1953-57) and US Secretary of State (1959-61), dies at 71
  • 1967 Bert Berns, American songwriter ("Twist And Shout"; "Piece Of My Heart"; "Hang On Sloopy") and producer ("Under The Boardwalk"; "Brown-Eyed Girl"), dies of heart failure at 38

Vincent Massey

1967 Vincent Massey, Canadian diplomat, 1st Canadian-born Governor General of Canada (1952-59), dies at 80

  • 1968 Trygve Lie, Norwegian politician and 1st Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946-52), dies at 72

Sonny Liston

1970 Sonny Liston, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1962-64), dies of lung congestion and heart failure at 40; foul play suspected

  • 1971 Dorothy Comingore [Linda Winters], American actress (Citizen Kane), dies after illness at 58
  • 1971 Jan Mul, Dutch composer, dies at 60
  • 1971 Melba Rae, American actress (Search for Tomorrow) (b. 1922)
  • 1973 Henri-Paul Busser, composer, dies at 101

Richard Rodgers

1979 Richard Rodgers, American composer, mostly for theater (Rodgers & Hart - "Pal Joey"; "Babes In Arms"; Rodgers & Hammerstein - "Oklahoma!"; "South Pacific"; "The King And I"; "The Sound Of Music") and 1st EGOT (Emmy; Grammy; Oscar; and Tony awards winner), dies at 77

  • 1981 Alfie Anido, Filipino actor (b. 1959)
  • 1984 Massa, oldest gorilla on record (b. 1930)
  • 1986 Jiri Jaroch, Czech composer, dies at 66
  • 1986 Era Bell Thompson, American journalist (b. 1905)
  • 1988 Yuli Daniel, Russian writer (b. 1925)
  • 1988 Isamu Noguchi, Japanese-American sculptor (1963 Fine Arts Medal, Noguchi table), dies at 84
  • 1989 Madoline Thomas, actress (Girl in the Canal), dies
  • 1989 Lenore Lemmon, girlfriend of "Superman" George Reeves (b. 1923)
  • 1989 Etienne Leroux, Afrikaans author (Een vir Azazel), dies at 67
  • 1992 Caesar [Caesar] Domela, painter/son of Ferdinand D Nieuwenhuis, dies
  • 1992 Ling-Ling, 1st panda China gave US, dies at 23
  • 1993 Mack David, US songwriter (Bachelor in Paradise), dies at 81
  • 1993 Irving Paul Lazar, American talent agent, dies of kidney failure at 86
  • 1993 Giuseppe Occhialini, Italian physicist (Contribution to the discovery of the pion or pi-meson decay), dies at 86
  • 1993 Arthur "Schneeze" Rollini, American big band jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 81
  • 1994 Lloyd James Austin, Australian linguist and literary scholar, dies at 79
  • 1995 Heiner Muller, dramatist, dies at 66
  • 1995 Roger W Suddards, solicitor, dies at 65
  • 1995 Doris Grau, American script supervisor, actress and voice artist (Point Blank, King Kong), dies from respiratory failure at 71
  • 1995 Clarence Satchell, American funk saxophonist (Ohio Players - "Fire";"Love Rollercoaster"), dies of a brain aneurysm at 55
  • 1996 (Marvin John) "Jack" Nance, American stage & screen actor (Eraserhead; Twin Peaks), dies at 53
  • 1996 Lew Ayres, American actor (All Quiet on Western Front; Holiday; Dr. Kildare (films); Johnny Belinda), dies at 88
  • 1996 Robert Grant Ferris, British politician, dies at 89
  • 1997 Shinichi Hoshi, Japanese novelist (b. 1926)
  • 1998 Johnny Moore, American singer (The Drifters) (b. 1934)
  • 1998 George Webb, British actor (Keeping Up Appearances), dies of natural causes at 86
  • 1999 Fritz Leonhardt, German structural engineer, dies at 90
  • 1999 Sarah Knauss, American, once considered the world's oldest living person (b. 1880)
  • 2000 Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter (Casablanca), dies at 91
  • 2000 Lionel Hebert, American golfer (PGA Championship 1957), dies at 72
  • 2002 Mary Brian, American actress (b. 1906)
  • 2002 Mary Wesley, English novelist (b. 1912)
  • 2003 David Bale, South African-born activist (b. 1941)
  • 2003 John Gregory Dunne, American writer, dies of heart attack at 71
  • 2003 Anita Mui, Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress, "Madonna of the East", dies of cancer at 40
  • 2004 Artie Shaw [Arthur Arshawsky], American bandleader, jazz clarinetist and actor (Begin the Beguine), dies at 94
  • 2005 Rona Jaffe, American novelist (Mazes & Monsters), dies at 74
  • 2006 Terry Peck, Falkland Islander (b. 1938) who acted as a scout for 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment in the Falklands War
  • 2006 Michel Plasse, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1948)
  • 2008 Dick Green, Canadian actor
  • 2008 Derek Wadsworth, British jazz composer and arranger, dies at 69
  • 2009 Rowland S. Howard, Australian guitarist (The Birthday Party) (b. 1959)
  • 2009 Abdurrahman Wahid, 4th President of Indonesia, dies at 69
  • 2010 Bobby Farrell, Aruban singer (Boney M) (b. 1949)
  • 2010 Per Oscarsson, Swedish actor (b. 1927)
  • 2010 Roger Milliken, American millionaire (CEO of Milliken & Company), dies at 95
  • 2011 Eva Zeisel, Hungarian-born ceramic designer, dies at 105
  • 2011 Mirko Tremaglia, fiercely nationalist Italian politician, dies at 85
  • 2011 Robert Horton, British businessman and CEO (BP), dies at 72
  • 2012 Rita Levi-Montalcini, Italian neurologist (Nobel 1986), dies at 103
  • 2014 Erik Hansen, Danish canoeist (Olympic gold K-1 1000m 1960; World C'ship gold 1963), dies at 74
  • 2014 Yolande Donlan, British-American actress (Jigsaw, Expresso Bongo, Penny Princess), dies at 94

Luise Rainer

2014 Luise Rainer, German-American actress and 1st actor to win multiple Academy Awards (The Great Ziegfeld 1936, The Good Earth 1937), dies at 104

  • 2014 Patrick Gowers, British choral and film score composer (Viri Galilaei; Hamlet; Smiley's People), dies at 78
  • 2014 Deborah Bone, English mental health nurse who was the inspiration for the song Disco 2000 by Jarvis Cocker, dies of multiple myeloma cancer at 51
  • 2015 Doug Atkins, NFL hall of famer (Browns, Bears, Saints), dies at 85
  • 2015 Howard Edward Davis Jr., boxer (Olympic silver 1976), dies at 59
  • 2015 Donald Barron, Scottish accountant and CEO (Midland Bank), dies at 94
  • 2018 Mrinal Sen, Bengali film director (In Search of Famine), dies at 95
  • 2018 Larry Austin, American classical and electronic composer and educator, dies at 88
  • 2019 Johnny Ward, English rugby league hooker (4 Tests Great Britain, 3 England; Castleford 262 games), dies at 78

Dawn Wells

2020 Dawn Wells, American actress (Gilligan's Island -"Mary Ann"), dies of COVID-19 complications at 82 [1]

  • 2020 Samuel Little, American serial killer (who confessed to 93 murders), dies at 80 [1]
December 30 Highlights