On This Day

Famous Deaths on January 1

  • 379 Saint Basil the Great, bishop of Caesare & theologian (Moralia), dies at ~49
  • 404 Telemachus, Roman monk, dies trying to stop a gladitorial fight
  • 874 Hasan al-Askari, 11th Imam of Twelver Shia Islam, dies at 27
  • 898 Odo of France, Count of Paris (888-98), dies at ~39
  • 962 Baudouin III of Flanders, dies of smallpox
  • 1204 King Haakon III of Norway, dies in alleged poisoning
  • 1387 Charles, The Bad, King of Navarra (1349-87) dies by burning at 54

Person of interestLouis XII

1515 Louis XII, the Just, King of France (1498-1515), dies at 52

King of France Louis XII
King of France
Louis XII
  • 1517 Hermann Vischer, the Younger, German bronze merchant, dies at 31
  • 1554 Pedro de Valdivia, Spanish conquistador & first royal governor of Chile, dies at 56

Person of interestChristian III

1559 Christian III, King of Denmark (1534-59) and Norway (1537-59), dies at 55

King of Denmark and Norway Christian III
King of Denmark and Norway
Christian III
  • 1560 Guillaume du Bellay, Sieur de Langey, French soldier, dies at 52
  • 1617 Hendrick Goltzius, Dutch artist & engraver, dies at ~58
  • 1626 Cornelis Pieterse Hoft, Amsterdam merchant & regent, dies at 68
  • 1631 Thomas Hobson, the "Cambridge Carrier", eponym of Hobson's Choice, dies at 86
  • 1661 Pieter Claesz, Dutch still-life painter, dies at ~63

  • 1697 Filippo Baldinucci, Florentine biographer & art historian, dies at 71
  • 1701 Pietro Sanmartini, Italian composer, dies at 64
  • 1716 William Wycherley, English dramatist (The Country Wife), dies at 74
  • 1730 Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, English Tory statesman, dies at 82
  • 1730 Samuel Sewall, English-American judge & businessman, dies at 77
  • 1742 Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English statesman, dies at 55
  • 1748 Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician, dies at 80
  • 1753 Louis-Maurice de La Pierre, French composer, dies at 55
  • 1758 Johann Friedrich von Cronegk, German playwright (Codrus), dies at 26
  • 1759 Jacques-Joachim Trotti, Marquis de La Chétardie, French adventurer, dies at 54
  • 1766 James Francis Edward Stuart "The old Pretender", Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland after the death of his father James II, dies at 77
  • 1768 Jean-Laurent Krafft, French composer, dies at 73
  • 1777 Emanuele Barbella, Neapolitan composer, dies at 58
  • 1782 Johann Christian Bach (English Bach), German composer & 11th son of Johann Sebastian Bach, dies at 46
  • 1787 Arthur Middleton, American signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies at 44
  • 1789 Christleib Siegmund Binder, German composer, dies at 65
  • 1789 Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, English politician, dies at 72
  • 1793 Francesco Guardi, Italian painter, dies at 80
  • 1796 Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde, French mathematician, dies at 60
  • 1800 Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, French zoologist, dies at 83

  • 1816 Francois Alexander Sallantin, French composer, dies at 60
  • 1817 Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist (uranium), dies at 73
  • 1818 Fedele Fenaroli, Italian composer, dies at 87
  • 1850 Raphael G. Kiesewetter, Austria musicologist (Arab Music), dies at 76
  • 1853 Gregory Blaxland, Australian explorer, dies of suicide at 74
  • 1862 Mikhail Ostrogradsky, Russian physicist & mathematician, dies at 60
  • 1869 Martin W. Bates, American politician, dies at 82
  • 1881 Louis Auguste Blanqui, French political activist, dies at 75
  • 1887 Johan Hendrik Koelman, Dutch portrait painter, dies at 66
  • 1892 Roswell B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago, dies at 86
  • 1894 Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, German physicist, dies at 36
  • 1896 Alfred Ely Beach, American inventor, dies at 69
  • 1901 Ignatius Donnelly, American politician & writer, dies at 69
  • 1905 Mabel Cahill, Irish tennis player (US National C'ship 1891-92), dies at 41
  • 1906 Joseph Miroslav Weber, Czech composer, dies at 51
  • 1906 Sir Hugh Nelson, Australian politician (Premier of Queensland (b. 1835)
  • 1907 Cyrill Kistler, German composer, dies at 58
  • 1910 Harriet Powers, African-American slave & quilt maker (Bible Quilt 1886), dies at 72
  • 1918 William Wilfred Campbell, Canadian poet (Beyond the Hills of Dream, Ian of the Orcades), dies of pneumonia at 57
  • 1919 Mikhail Drozdovsky, Russian general, dies at 39
  • 1920 Paul Adam, French writer (L'enfant d'Austerlitz), dies at 57
  • 1923 Willie Keeler, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (highest career AB-per-strikeout ratio in MLB history), dies of tuberculosis at 50
  • 1931 Martinus Beijerinck, Dutch microbiologist & botanist (1st to coin the name virus), dies at 79
  • 1932 C. P. Scott, British journalist, publisher and politician, dies at 85
  • 1934 Jakob Wassermann, German writer, dies at 60
  • 1940 Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao, Indian writer & essayist, dies at 74
  • 1942 Jaroslav Ježek, Czechoslovakian composer, dies at 35
  • 1943 Andrew Summers Rowan, American military officer who gave "a message to Garcia", dies at 5
  • 1944 Charles Turner, Australian cricket fast bowler (17 Tests; 101 wickets @ 16.53; fastest to 50 Test wickets), dies at 81
  • 1944 Edwin Lutyens, English architect (Viceroy's House, New Delhi), dies at 74
  • 1945 Vit Nejedly, Czech composer, dies at the front during WWII at 33
  • 1948 Hermann Zilcher, German pianist and composer (Dr Eisenbart, Die Liebesmesse), dies at 66
  • 1948 Willem Landré, Dutch composer, dies at 73
  • 1949 William H. Lewis, American College football center and coach (first African-American selected as an All-American; Harvard), dies of heart failure at 80

Person of interestHank Williams

1953 Hank Williams, American country singer (Cold Cold Heart), dies at 29

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Hank Williams
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Hank Williams
  • 1953 Ludomir Różycki, Polish composer and conductor (Meduza, Eros i Psyche), dies at 69
  • 1954 Duff Cooper, British diplomat & writer, dies at 63
  • 1957 Seán South and Fergal O'Hanlon are killed in the Brookeborough Raid
  • 1958 David Broekman, Dutch musician (Think Fast), dies at 55
  • 1958 Edward Weston, American photographer, dies at 71
  • 1960 Margaret Sullavan, American actress (Three Comrades), dies of barbiturate overdose at 50
  • 1962 Diego Martínez Barrio, Spanish president (1939), dies at 76
  • 1964 Alf Hall, South African cricket fast bowler (7 Tests, 40 wickets), dies at 67
  • 1964 Otto Olsson, Swedish composer, dies at 84
  • 1964 Rika Hopper, Dutch actress (Comedia, Anastasia), dies at ~86
  • 1964 Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon, dies at 73
  • 1965 Juan Bautista Plaza, Venezuelan composer, dies at 66
  • 1966 Vincent Auriol, President of France (1947-53), dies at 82
  • 1967 Maurice Leyland, English cricket batsman (41 Tests, 2764 runs @ 46.06; Yorkshire 1920-46, 1,000+ runs in 17 consecutive seasons), dies at 66
  • 1967 Moon Mullican, American hillbilly pianist (7 Nights of Rock), dies at 58
  • 1968 Andy Oberlander, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback and coach (National C'ship 1954), dies at 62
  • 1969 Barton Maclane, American actor (The Quarterback, I Dream of Jeannie), dies of cancer at 66
  • 1969 Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver pole vault & bronze javelin 1906; bronze pole vault 1908; popularized bowling in Sweden), dies at 87
  • 1971 Amphilochius of Pochayiv [Yakov Varnavovich Golovatyuk], Ukrainian Orthodox Christian saint, dies at 76
  • 1972 Jane Morgan, American singer & actress (Mrs Margaret Davis-Our Miss Brooks), dies at 91

  • 1972 Maurice A Chevalier, French actor & singer (Can Can, Gigi), dies at 83
  • 1975 Arthur Pierson, Norwegian-born American actor & director (Hat Check Girl), dies at 73
  • 1975 Ken Loeffler, American College and Basketball Hall of Fame coach (National Invitation Tournament 1952; NCAA Basketball Tournament 1954, La Salle Explorers), dies from a heart attack at 72
  • 1980 Frank Wykoff, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1928, 32, 36), dies at 70
  • 1980 Pietro Nenni, Italian politician (Socialists), dies at 88
  • 1981 Hephzibah Menuhin, American-Australian concert pianist, dies at 60
  • 1981 Ceferino Garcia, Filipino boxer (World Middleweight champion 1939-40), dies at 74
  • 1981 Mauri Rose, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1941, 47-48), dies at 74
  • 1982 Paul Belmondo, French sculptor (Bathing Woman, Orleans), dies at 83
  • 1982 Victor Buono, American actor & comic (Mr Schubert-Man from Atlantis), dies at 43
  • 1982 Margot Grahame [Margaret Clark], British actress (The Three Musketeers, Criminal Lawyer), dies from chronic bronchitis at 70
  • 1984 Alexis Korner, British blues musician (Blues Inc-Bootleg Him), dies at 55
  • 1984 Ken Sitzberger, American diver & broadcaster (Olympic gold 3m springboard 1964), dies of a brain hemorrhage at 38
  • 1985 Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo), dies at 85
  • 1986 Bruce Norris, American Hockey Hall of Fame executive (owner Detroit Red Wings 1952-82), dies at 61
  • 1986 Marty Friedman, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard & coach (tied World C'ship series, New York Whirlwinds 1921), dies at 96
  • 1987 Gustav Knuth, German actor (Sissi, Freddy Unter Fremden), dies at 85
  • 1988 Leo Steiner, American restaurateur (Carnegie Deli), dies at 48
  • 1988 Marcel Hillaire, German actor (Take the Money and Run, Seven Thieves), dies from surgery complications at 79
  • 1990 Charles Boost, Dutch film critic, dies at 82
  • 1990 Joe Hardstaff Jr., English cricket batsman (23 Tests, 1,636 runs @ 46.74), dies at 78
  • 1990 Suzuki Sochu, Japanese-born Zen teacher, dies at 80
  • 1990 James W. Wood, American astronaut (Dynasoar), dies at 65
  • 1991 Charles B. Timmer, Dutch writer (Russia Black on White), dies at 83
  • 1991 Yvonne Waegemans, Flemish author (Gnome Patjoepelke), dies at 81
  • 1992 Constantin Poustochkine, Dutch jazz musician & critic, dies at 81
  • 1992 Ginette Leclerc, French actress (Baker's Wife), dies at 79

Person of interestGrace Hopper

1992 Grace Hopper, American computer scientist & US Navy admiral who invented the first compiler for a universal computer programming language and is credited with coining the phrase 'debugging’, dies at 85

Computer Scientist and Admiral Grace Hopper
Computer Scientist and Admiral
Grace Hopper
  • 1992 M. J. Frankovich, American football player & film producer (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), dies at 82
  • 1993 June Clayworth, American actress (Bodyguard, Criminal Court), dies of lymphoma at 87

  • 1993 Phyllis Hill, American dancer & actress (Singing in the Dark), dies of lung cancer at 72

Person of interestCesar Romero

1994 Cesar Romero, American actor (Batman, Ocean's 11), dies at 86

  • 1994 Werner Schwab, Austrian playwright (Female Presidents) & artist, dies at 35
  • 1995 Eugene Wigner, Hungarian-American physicist (Nobel prize for physics-1963), dies at 92
  • 1995 Frederick "Fred" West, British contractor & serial killer (12 charges of murder), commits suicide in his prison cell at 53
  • 1995 Jess Stacy, American jazz pianist (Great Gatsby), dies at 90
  • 1995 Ted Hawkins, American singer & guitarist (The Next Hundred Years), dies of a stroke at 58
  • 1996 Arleigh Burke, American admiral, dies at 94
  • 1996 Arthur Rudolph, German rocket engineer, dies at 89
  • 1996 Hamish Imlach, Scottish folk singer, dies at 55
  • 1996 Orapin Chaiyakan, first Thai woman elected to the Parliament of Thailand, dies at 91
  • 1997 Graham Kersey, English cricket wicket-keeper, dies in car crash at 25
  • 1997 Joan Rice, British actress (His Majesty O'Keefe, The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men), dies at 66
  • 1997 John Burgess, English rugby coach & administrator (England coach 1971-75; RFU President 1987-88), dies at 71
  • 1997 Townes Van Zandt, American singer-songwriter, dies at 52
  • 1997 Hagood Hardy, Canadian composer & musician, dies at 59
  • 1997 James B. Pritchard, American theologist & archaeologist, dies at 87

Person of interestHelen Wills Moody

1998 Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (19 Grand Slam titles), dies of natural causes at 92

Tennis Player Helen Wills Moody
Tennis Player
Helen Wills Moody
  • 1998 Åke Seyffarth, Swedish speed skater (Olympic gold 10,000m 1948; WR 3,000 & 5,000m), dies at 78
  • 2000 Colin Vaughan, Australian political journalist, dies at 68
  • 2001 Ray Walston, American actor (My Favorite Martian, Damn Yankees), dies at 86
  • 2002 Julia Phillips, American film producer, dies at 57
  • 2003 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, dies at 87
  • 2003 F. William Free, American advertising executive (I'm Cheryl – Fly Me.), dies at 74
  • 2003 Cyril Shaps, British actor, producer and voice artist (The Pianist), dies at 79
  • 2004 Harold Henning, South African golfer (2 PGA Tour titles; 3 senior PGA titles; World Cup 1965), dies at 69

Person of interestShirley Chisholm

2005 Shirley Chisholm, 1st African American Congresswoman (Rep-D-NY) & presidential candidate, dies of a stroke at 80

1st Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
1st Black Congresswoman
Shirley Chisholm
  • 2005 Hugh Lawson, 6th Baron Burnham, British newspaperman, dies at 73
  • 2005 Eugene J. Martin, American painter & artist, dies at 66
  • 2005 Bob Matsui, American politician, dies at 63

  • 2005 Hugh Davies, English composer, dies at 61
  • 2006 Harry Magdoff, American magazine editor, dies at 92
  • 2006 Hugh McLaughlin, Irish publisher & inventor, dies at 77
  • 2006 Dawn Lake, Australian TV comedienne, dies at 78
  • 2006 Bryan Harvey, American musician (House of Freaks), dies at 49
  • 2006 Paul Lindblad, American baseball pitcher (World Series champion 1973-74, 78; Kansas City Athletics, Oakland Athletics), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 64
  • 2007 A. I. Bezzerides, American novelist & screenwriter, dies at 98
  • 2007 Tillie Olsen, American writer, dies at 94
  • 2007 Leon Davidson, American scientist known for studying UFOs, dies at 84
  • 2007 Julius Hegyi, American conductor, dies at 83
  • 2007 Roland Levinsky, South African medical scientist, dies at 63
  • 2007 Leonard Fraser, Australian serial killer, dies of heart attack at 55
  • 2007 Del Reeves, American country singer, dies at 74
  • 2007 Tad Jones, American jazz music historian, dies at 54
  • 2008 Salvatore Bonanno, American mafioso & son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, dies of a heart attack at 75
  • 2008 Peter Caffrey, Irish actor, dies at 58
  • 2008 Pratap Chandra Chunder, Indian union minister, dies at 88
  • 2008 Harold Corsini, American photographer, dies from a stroke at 88
  • 2009 Claiborne Pell, American senator, dies at 90
  • 2009 Nizar Rayan, Hamas leader, killed in an airstrike at 49
  • 2009 Edmund Purdom, British actor (The Egyptian, Asissi Underground, Pieces), dies at 84
  • 2011 Marin Constantin, Romanian composer & conductor, dies at 85
  • 2011 Reynaldo Dagsa, Filipino politician, assassinated at 35
  • 2011 Billy Joe Patton, American golfer (Masters 1954 3rd; Walker Cup captain 1969), dies at 88
  • 2011 Charles Fambrough, American jazz bassist (Jazz Messengers), dies at 60
  • 2012 Elizabeth Brumfiel, American feminist archaeologist, dies of cancer at 66
  • 2012 Bob Anderson, English fencer & film fight choreographer (Lord of the Rings, Die Another Day), dies at 90
  • 2012 Kiro Gligorov, 1st President of the Republic of Macedonia (1991-99), dies at 94
  • 2012 Hermann Guggiari, Paraguayan engineer & sculptor, dies at 88
  • 2012 Ed Jenkins, American Congressman (Democratic-Georgia), dies at 78

  • 2012 Yafa Yarkoni, Israeli Singer, dies after years of Alzheimer's disease at 86
  • 2012 Carlos Soria, Argentine lawyer & politician, dies from gunshot to the head at 62
  • 2012 Marcelle Narbonne, French super-centenarian & oldest person in Europe, dies at 113
  • 2012 Fred Milano, American doo-wop singer, member of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, dies from lung cancer at 72
  • 2012 Nay Win Maung, Burmese physician & pro-democracy activist, dies from a heart attack at 50
  • 2012 Tommy Mont, American NFL quarterback & coach (Washington Redskins; DePauw University), dies of heart failure at 89

Person of interestPatti Page

2013 Patti Page [Clara Ann Fowler], American pop singer, dies at 85

Singer Patti Page
Singer
Patti Page
  • 2013 Christopher Martin-Jenkins, British cricket journalist & broadcaster (President MCC; BBC Radio), dies of cancer at 67
  • 2014 Juanita Moore, American actress (Imitation Of Life), dies at 99
  • 2015 Mario Cuomo, American Democratic Party politician and the 52nd Governor of New York (1983-95), dies of a heart condition at 82
  • 2015 Boris Morukov, Russian cosmonaut, dies at 64
  • 2015 Ninón Sevilla, Cuban-Mexican actress (Aventurera, Víctimas del Pecado), dies at 85
  • 2015 Donna Douglas, American actress (Elly May Clampett-The Beverly Hillbillies), dies of pancreatic cancer at 82
  • 2015 Omar Karami, Lebanese Prime Minister (1992-94, 2004-05), dies at 80
  • 2015 Jeff Golub, American jazz guitarist (Avenue Blue, Rod Stewart), dies of a rare brain disease at 59
  • 2016 Fazu Aliyeva, Russian poet, novelist and journalist who helped develop Dagestani in Russian literature, dies from heart failure at 83
  • 2016 Michael G. Oxley, American politician (Rep-R-OH, 1981-2007), dies at 71
  • 2016 Dale Bumpers, American politician (Sen-D Arkansas, 1975-99), dies at 90
  • 2016 Vilmos Zsigmond, Hungarian-born American cinematographer (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), dies at 85
January 1 Highlights