On This Day

Famous Deaths on February 1

  • 656 Sigebert III, King of Austrasia, dies at about 25
  • 1204 Alexius IV Angelus, Regent of Byzantium (1203-04), murdered at 21
  • 1248 Hendrik II, Duke of Brabant (1235-48), dies at 40
  • 1328 Charles IV, the Handsome, King of France (1322-28), dies at 33
  • 1502 Olivier de la Marche, Flemish soldier & poet, dies at 77
  • 1542 Girolamo Aleandro, Italian Catholic cardinal, dies at 61
  • 1563 Menas, Emperor of Ethiopia, dies of fever
  • 1590 Lawrence Humphrey, English clergyman & educator, dies at 63
  • 1691 Alexander VIII [Pietro Ottoboni], Italian Pope (1689-91), dies at 80
  • 1691 George Etherege, English stage writer (Love in a Tub), dies at 56
  • 1694 John L baron van Elderen, 63rd bishop of Liege (1688-94), dies at 73
  • 1705 Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, 1st Queen consort of Prussia (1701-05), dies at 36
  • 1718 Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, English politician, dies at 57
  • 1733 August II, the Strong, King of Poland (355 children), dies at 62
  • 1734 John Floyer, English physician & writer, dies at 84
  • 1743 Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni, Italian composer, dies at 85

  • 1747 Jacobus Capitein, Dutch Christian minister, dies at ~30
  • 1761 Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, French Jesuit prince & historian, dies at 78
  • 1768 Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet, British cavalry officer, dies at 82
  • 1793 William Wildman Shute Barrington, British statesman, dies at 76
  • 1795 Giacomo Insanguine, Italian organist & composer, dies at 66
  • 1818 Giuseppe Gazzaniga, Italian composer, dies at 74
  • 1824 Maria Theresia von Paradis, Austrian musician & composer, dies at 64
  • 1832 Ecco Epkema, Dutch classic linguist (Frisian, Old Frisian), dies at 71
  • 1832 Archibald Murphey, North Carolina politician, dies at 55
  • 1839 Giuseppe Valadier, Italian architect & archaeologist, dies at 76
  • 1850 Edward Baker Lincoln, son of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, dies at 3

Person of interestMary Shelley

1851 Mary Shelley, English novelist (Frankenstein), dies of a brain tumour at 53

Frankenstein Author Mary Shelley
Frankenstein Author
Mary Shelley
  • 1864 Louise Marie Thérèse of Artois, Duchess of Parma and Piacenza, dies at 44
  • 1869 Frederik Willem Conrad, Dutch hydraulic engineer & railway pioneer, dies at 68
  • 1871 Alexander Nikoleyevich Serov, Russian composer, dies at 51
  • 1873 Matthew Maury, American oceanographer, dies at 67
  • 1875 William Sterndale Bennett, English composer, dies at 58
  • 1877 Joseph-Leon Gatayes, French harpist, dies at 71
  • 1878 George Cruikshank, English caricaturist & illustrator (Grimm), dies at 85
  • 1883 Pavel Melnikov, Russian historian and author (In the Forests), dies at 64 [NS=Feb 13]

  • 1889 Joseph Gungl, Austrian composer, dies at 78
  • 1893 George Henry Sanderson, Mayor of San Francisco, dies at 70
  • 1897 Constantin von Ettingshausen, Austrian geologist, dies at 70
  • 1902 Salomon Jadassohn, German pianist & composer, dies at 70
  • 1903 George Gabriel Stokes, Irish physicist & mathematician (spectroscope), dies at 83
  • 1904 Peter Paul Maria Alberdingk Thijm, Dutch historian & writer, dies at 76
  • 1905 Oswald Aschenbach, German painter, dies at 77
  • 1908 Carlos I, King of Portugal (1889-1908), assassinated by Republican sympathisers at 44
  • 1910 Otto Julius Bierbaum, German writer (Irrgarten Der Liebe), dies at 44
  • 1916 Anton Simon, Russian composer, dies at 65
  • 1922 William Desmond Taylor [Deane-Tanner], Irish director & actor (The Awakening, Broken Coin), murdered at 49
  • 1928 Hughie Jennings, American Baseball Hall of Fame infielder (Baltimore Orioles) and manager (Detroit Tigers 1907-20), dies of meningitis at 58
  • 1929 August Halm, German composer, dies at 59
  • 1936 Georgios Kondylis, Prime Minister of Greece & general of the Greek army, dies at 56
  • 1937 Marguerite Audoux, French novelist, dies at 73
  • 1940 Philip Francis Nowlan, American sci-fi writer, creator of Buck Rogers character (b. 1888)
  • 1943 Foy Draper, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m relay 1936 WR 39.8s), dies in action as a USAF pilot at 31
  • 1944 Martin Lunssens, Belgian composer, dies at 72

Person of interestPiet Mondrian

1944 Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter & theoretician (Composition in Blue), dies at 71

Abstract Painter Piet Mondrian
Abstract Painter
Piet Mondrian
  • 1945 Johan Huizinga, Dutch culture historian (Homo Ludens), dies at 72
  • 1946 Hans Bethge, German poet, dies at 70
  • 1949 Herbert Stothart, American composer, dies at 63
  • 1954 Julius P. Hoste, Belgium minister & daily newspaper publisher (Last News), dies at 69

Person of interestFriedrich Paulus

1957 Friedrich Paulus, German field marshal who commanded the 6th Army at Stalingrad and was the highest-ranking German officer to surrender, dies at 66

German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus
German Field Marshal
Friedrich Paulus
  • 1958 Clinton Davisson, American physicist (Nobel 1937- discovery of electron diffraction in the famous Davisson-Germer experiment), dies at 76
  • 1959 Madame Sul-Te-Wan [Nellie Crawford], American actress (The Birth of a Nation, Uncle Tom's Cabin), dies of a stroke at 85
  • 1959 William Hoppe, American carom billiards player (51 world titles 1906-52), dies at 71
  • 1963 Fleetwood Lindley, American man & last living person to see Abraham Lincoln's face, dies at 75
  • 1966 Hedda Hopper [Elda Furry], American gossip columnist, dies at 75
  • 1966 William Harrigan, American actor (Invisible Man, Girl in 419), dies at 71
  • 1966 Buster Keaton, American actor & comedian (Navigator, Steamboat Bill Jr, The General), dies at 70
  • 1967 Ernie Bromley, Australian cricket batsman (2 Tests; first Western Australian to play Test cricket for Australia), dies at 54
  • 1968 Lawson Little, American golfer (US Open 1940), dies at 57
  • 1970 Blaz Arnic, Slovenian composer, dies at 69
  • 1970 Alfréd Rényi, Hungarian mathematician, dies at 48
  • 1971 Jim Christy, South African cricket batsman (10 Tests; top score 103 1932; Transvaal, Queensland), dies at 66
  • 1974 Lynda Ann Healy, 1st Bundy murder victim, abducted in Seattle at 22
  • 1975 Richard Wattis, British actor (Hobson's Choice, Prince & Showgirl, The Man Who Knew Too Much), dies from a heart attack at 62
  • 1976 Edgar Pangborn, American author (Judgment of Eve, Davy), dies at 66
  • 1976 George Whipple, American scientist & Nobel Prize Laureate, dies at 97
  • 1976 Werner Heisenberg, German physicist who discovered the uncertainty principle (Nobel 1932), dies at 74
  • 1977 Edmond Hamilton, American sci-fi author (Danger Planet), dies at 72
  • 1979 Mort Marshall [Mortimer Haig Lichtenstein], American actor (Kiss Me Deadly, Dumplings), dies of coronary arrest at 60
  • 1980 Jack Bailey, American actor & TV host (Queen for a Day), dies at 72
  • 1980 Romolo Valli, Italian actor (Boom, La Viaccia), dies at 54
  • 1980 Gastone Nencini, Italian road cyclist (Giro d'Italia 1957, Tour de France 1960), dies at 49

Person of interestDonald Wills Douglas

1981 Donald Wills Douglas, American aircraft industrialist (McDonnell Douglas) & aviation pioneer (Douglas DC-3), dies at 88

Aviation Pioneer Donald Wills Douglas
Aviation Pioneer
Donald Wills Douglas
  • 1981 Ernst Pepping, German composer, dies at 79
  • 1981 Nils Geirr Tveitt, Norwegian composer, dies at 72
  • 1981 Wanda Hendrix, American actress (Sierra, Ride the Pink Horse), dies at 52
  • 1986 Alva Myrdal, Swedish Nobel peace prize winner (1982), dies at 84
  • 1986 Dick James, Beatles' music publisher (1962-70), dies at 58
  • 1987 Ernest "Ern" Westmore, American 3rd generation make-up artist (Westmore family) & actor, dies from a heart attack at 82
  • 1987 Alessandro Blasetti, Italian film director, dies at 86
  • 1987 Sala Burton, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1983-87), dies of cancer at 61

  • 1988 Heather O'Rourke, American child actress (Poltergeist), dies of intestinal ailment at 12
  • 1988 Reinder Zwolsman, Dutch businessman, dies at 75
  • 1988 Marcel Bozzuffi, French actor (The French Connection), dies at 59
  • 1989 Elaine de Kooning, American artist, dies at 70
  • 1991 Carol Dempster, American film actress (Sally of Sawdust, America), dies at 89
  • 1991 Jimmy MacDonald, Scottish-American voice actor (Mickey Mouse), dies at 84
  • 1991 Phil Watson, Canadian NHL right wing (Stanley Cup 1940 [NYR], 1944 [Montreal Canadiens]) & coach (NY Rangers), dies at 76
  • 1992 George Berkeley, American actor (Life Stinks, Capts & Kings), dies at 70
  • 1992 Irving Kaufman, American federal judge (Rosenberg Case), dies at 81
  • 1994 Fouad Fram al-Boustani, Lebanese historian (Rawaeaa), dies at 88
  • 1994 Olan Soule, American actor (My 3 Sons, Captain Midnight, Arnie), dies of lung cancer at 83
  • 1995 Michael Cesar, American man & self-proclaimed 'Pope of Pot', dies of liver cancer at 52
  • 1996 Clive Burton, British neuropathologist, dies at 54
  • 1997 Herb Caen, American columnist (SF Chronicle), dies of lung cancer, at 80
  • 1997 Mitchell Goodman, American writer, dies at 71
  • 1997 Peter Morris, British historian of France, dies at 50
  • 1997 Thelma Moss, American actress & psychologist, dies at 78
  • 1997 Marjorie Reynolds [Goodspeed], American actress & dancer (Holiday Inn, Life of Riley), dies from congestive heart disease at 79
  • 1997 Ed Danowski, American football quarterback & halfback (NFL Championship 1934, 38; New York Giants; Pro Bowl 1938), dies at 85
  • 1999 Paul Mellon, American philanthropist (Washington National Gallery of Art), dies at 91
  • 1999 Barış Manço, Turkish singer, composer, television producer and celebrity, dies at 56
  • 2000 Dick Rathmann, American auto racer (first Indy pole-sitter to complete no laps), dies at 74
  • 2001 André D'Allemagne, Quebec teacher, political observer and essayist, dies at 71
  • 2002 Hildegard Knef, German actress, singer, and writer (Touch of Class, Mozambique), dies at 76
  • 2002 Irish McCalla, American actress & artist (Sheena Queen of Jungle), dies of a brain tumor and stroke complications at 73
  • 2003 Michael P. Anderson, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 43
  • 2003 David Brown, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 46
  • 2003 Kalpana Chawla, American astronaut (STS 87) and the first woman of Indian descent to go to space, dies in Space Shuttle Columbia disaster at 40
  • 2003 Laurel Clark, American astronaut and member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 41
  • 2003 Rick D. Husband, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 45

  • 2003 Willie McCool, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 41
  • 2003 Ilan Ramon, Israeli astronaut & member of STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 48
  • 2003 Mongo Santamaria, Cuban percussionist & band leader, dies at 85
  • 2003 David M. Brown, U.S. Navy Captain & NASA astronaut, dies at 46
  • 2004 May O'Donnell, American modern dancer & choreographer, dies at 97
  • 2005 John Vernon [Adolphus Agopsowicz], Canadian actor (Animal House, Chained Heat, Dirty Harry), dies at 72
  • 2005 George Douglass Milne, British peer, soldier and artist, dies at 95
  • 2006 Dick Bass, American NFL running back (Pro Bowl 1962, 63, 66; LA Rams), dies at 68
  • 2006 Bryce Harland, New Zealand diplomat, dies at 74
  • 2007 Gian Carlo Menotti, Italian-born composer, dies at 95
  • 2007 Seri Wangnaitham, Thai dance choreographer, dies at 70
  • 2007 Ahmad Abu Laban, Danish Muslim leader, dies at 60
  • 2007 Whitney Balliett, American jazz critic, dies of cancer at 80
  • 2008 Shell Kepler [Michelle Alaine Kepler], American actress (General Hospital), dies from renal failure at 49
  • 2010 Jack Brisco, American pro wrestler (NWA World Heavyweight Champion 1973–75), dies from complications of open heart surgery at 68
  • 2012 Gerlando Alberti, Sicilian Mafioso, dies from cancer at 88
  • 2012 Don Cornelius, American television host, commits suicide by gunshot at 75
  • 2012 Angelo Dundee, American boxing trainer & cornerman (Muhammad Ali 1960–81 & 15 other world boxing champions), dies at 90
  • 2012 Wislawa Szymborska, Polish poet & Nobel Laureate, dies at 88
  • 2012 Ton de Kruyf, Dutch composer, dies at 74
  • 2012 Charlie Spoonhour, American basketball coach (Southwest Missouri State, Saint Louis, UNLV), dies at 72
  • 2013 Paul Holmes, New Zealand radio and TV broadcaster, dies from prostate cancer and heart problems at 62

Person of interestEd Koch

2013 Ed Koch, American congressman and New York City Mayor (1977-89), dies of heart failure at 88

Congressman and NYC Mayor Ed Koch
Congressman and NYC Mayor
Ed Koch
  • 2013 Vladimir Yengibaryan, Armenian boxer (Olympic gold light welterweight 1956), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 80
  • 2013 Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe, Norwegian musicologist, educator, and composer, dies at 86

Person of interestMaximilian Schell

2014 Maximilian Schell, Swiss-Austrian actor (Judgment at Nuremberg, The Pedestrian), dies at 83

  • 2014 Luis Aragonés, Spanish soccer forward (11 caps; Atlético Madrid) and manager (Spain 2004-08; Atlético Madrid, Barcelona), dies from leukemia at 75
  • 2015 Beryl Platt, Baroness Platt of Writtle, British engineer, politician and CEO of the Equal Opportunities Commission, dies at 91
  • 2015 Monty Oum, American animator (RWBY), dies of an allergic reaction at 33
  • 2016 Israr Ali, Pakistan cricket all-rounder (4 Tests; member of Pakistan's first Test team that played against India 1952–53), dies of pneumonia at 88
  • 2017 Desmond Carrington, British radio host (The Music Goes Round), dies at 90
  • 2017 Étienne Tshisekedi, Congolese opposition leader, dies at 84
  • 2018 Dennis Edwards, American lead singer of The Temptations (Papa was a Rollin' Stone), dies following a stroke at 74
  • 2018 Alan Stout, American composer, dies at 85
  • 2018 Patricia Lindop, British radiobiologist & physician, dies at 87
  • 2019 Wade Wilson, American NFL quarterback (Super Bowl 1995, Dallas Cowboys; Pro Bowl 1988, Minnesota Vikings), dies of complications from Type 1 Diabetes at 60
  • 2020 Peter Serkin, American pianist (Tashi), dies at 72
February 1 Highlights