On This Day

Famous Deaths on January 4

  • 838 Babak, Persian social/religious reformer, martyred
  • 1248 Sancho II, King of Portugal (1223-47), dies at 41
  • 1316 Alauddin Khilji, Second sultan of the Khilji dynasty in Delhi (1296-1316), dies at 49 or 50
  • 1428 Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 'The Warlike' (b. 1370)
  • 1564 Hosokawa Ujitsuna, Japanese military commander (b. 1514)
  • 1584 Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter (Strasbourg astronomical clock), dies at 44
  • 1612 Henry L Spieghel, Dutch merchant/writer, dies at 62
  • 1678 Joan Maetsuyker, Dutch governor-general of Ceylon (1653-78), dies at 71
  • 1695 Duke of Luxembourg, Luxembourg/French marshal, dies
  • 1701 Ernst R Tarhemberg, Austrian field marshal, dies at 62
  • 1705 Madame d'Aulnoy [Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville], French writer who coined the term fairytales, dies (d. 1650)
  • 1707 Louis Willem I, Margrave of Baden-Baden, dies at 51
  • 1729 Joseph de Montesquiou earl d'Artagnan, French lt-general, dies at 77
  • 1729 Meir Bacharach, Hebrew poet, dies
  • 1745 Willem Ignatius Kerricx, Flemish architect, sculptor and painter, dies at 62
  • 1752 Gabriel Cramer, Swiss mathematician (paradox of Cramer), dies at 47
  • 1761 Stephen Hales, English physiologist, chemist and inventor (first person to measure blood pressure), dies at 83
  • 1765 Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder, Swiss composer, dies at 39
  • 1773 Anton Losenko, Russian painter (b. 1737)
  • 1778 Charles D J Eisen, French engraver/painter, dies at 57
  • 1782 Ange-Jacques Gabriel, French court architect (Palace de la Concorde), dies at 83
  • 1786 Mozes Mendelssohn, German Jewish enlightenment philosopher (Haksalah), dies at 56
  • 1793 Bengt Lidner, Swedish poet (Medea/Yttersa domen), dies at 35
  • 1804 Charlotte Lennox, English novelist (The Female Quixote), dies
  • 1809 Bartolomeo Giacometti, composer, dies at 67
  • 1825 Ferdinand I, King of Sicily/Naples (Ferdinand IV), dies at 73
  • 1831 Nikola P Neofit Rilski, Bulgaria abbot/poet, dies at 37
  • 1843 Petronella Moens, Frisian author and feminist, dies at 80
  • 1864 Mateo Ferrer, composer, dies at 75
  • 1874 Thomas Gregson, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1798)

Cornelius Vanderbilt

1877 Cornelius Vanderbilt, American shipping and railroad magnate (New York Central Railroad), dies at 82

  • 1880 Anselm Feuerbach, German painter, dies at 50
  • 1882 John William Draper, English scientist, photographer (b. 1811)
  • 1883 Nicolás Ledesma, Spanish organist and composer, dies at 91
  • 1883 Antoine Eugène Alfred Chanzy, French general (b. 1823)
  • 1885 Iosif Kotek, Russian composer and violinist, dies at 29
  • 1886 Ernest Panckoucke, French publisher (Horace), dies at 77
  • 1891 Joe Hunter, English cricket wicket-keeper (5 Tests, 11 dismissals; Yorkshire CCC), dies at 35
  • 1891 Antoine Labelle, Quebec catholic priest (b. 1833)
  • 1895 Manuel Pavía y Rodríguez de Alburquerque, Spanish general, dies at 66
  • 1896 Joseph Hubert Reinkens, German Old Catholic bishop (b. 1821)
  • 1898 Frantisek Pivoda, composer, dies at 73
  • 1903 Geo[rge J H] Poggenbeek, Dutch surrealist painter, dies at 49
  • 1903 W H M "Dicky" Richards, cricketer (score 4 & 0 in Test for S Af), dies
  • 1903 Gulstan Ropert, French Roman Catholic prelate, dies at 63
  • 1903 Topsy the elephant (b. circa 1875)
  • 1908 Antony Winkler Prins, writer (Groiller Encyclopaedia), dies at 70
  • 1910 Leon Delagrange, French aviation pioneer, dies
  • 1913 Alfred von Schlieffen, Prussian general-field marshal, dies at 79
  • 1914 Silas Weir Mitchell, American physician (discovered causalgia, erythromelalgia) and author (Roland Blake, Hugh Wynne), dies at 84
  • 1919 Georg von Hertling, Chancellor of Germany (1917-18), dies at 75
  • 1920 Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist (Episodios Nacionales), dies at 76
  • 1922 Eliza Ann Gardner, African-American abolitionist and religious leader, dies at 90
  • 1924 Alfred Grünfeld, Austrian pianist, composer (b. 1852)
  • 1926 Margherita of Savoy, Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy by marriage to Umberto I (1878-1900), dies at 74
  • 1931 Arthemus "Art" Acord, American silent film actor and rodeo champion (Arizona Kid, Hard Fists), commits suicide by poison at 40
  • 1933 Lucas Lindeboom, Dutch evangelist (Vredebond), dies at 87
  • 1940 Conrad Weiss, German writer and poet (Heart of Words), dies at 59
  • 1941 Henri Bergson, French philosopher (Le Rire, Nobel 1928), dies at 81
  • 1942 Leon Jessel, German composer (The Parade of the Tin Soldiers), dies at 70
  • 1943 Marina Raskova, Russian navigator, dies in airplane crash at 30
  • 1944 Henri "Hans" Flu, Indonesian/Dutch family doctor/antifascist, murder
  • 1944 Kaj Munk [Harald Leininger], anti-fascist writer (Kaj Munk), dies
  • 1947 Forrest Reid, Irish author/critic (Young Tom, Apostate), dies at 71
  • 1952 Constantl Permeke, Flemish painter (Boerin), dies at 65
  • 1953 Arthur Hoyt, American actor and director (Gold Dust Gertie, Goldie Get Along), dies at 79
  • 1953 Prince Yasuhito Chichibu, brother of Emperor Showa, dies at 50
  • 1955 Dominicus Johner, German composer, dies at 80
  • 1955 Francois Rasse, Belgian composer, dies at 81
  • 1955 Jan Derk Domela Nieuwenhuis Nyegaard, Dutch vicar (Young Flanders), dies at 84
  • 1955 G. G. van der Hoeven, Dutch editor-in-chief (NRC newspaper), dies at 82
  • 1956 Alexandr Tikhonovich Grechaninov, composer, dies at 91
  • 1957 Theodor Korner von Siegringen, 5th President of Austria (1951-57), dies at 84
  • 1958 John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, British civil servant, politician and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1943-45), dies at 75

Albert Camus

1960 Albert Camus, French author (Stranger), dies in an auto accident at 46

  • 1961 Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (Academy Award, Going My Way), dies at 72
  • 1962 Hans Lammers, German SS officer and Nazi politician, dies at 82
  • 1964 Ralph Dumke, American actor (Movieland Quiz), dies at 64

T. S. Eliot

1965 T. S. Eliot, American-born British poet (The Waste Land) and Nobel laureate (1948), dies in London at 76

  • 1966 Marcel Tabuteau, French-American oboist (Philadelphia Orch 1915-54), dies at 78
  • 1967 Donald Campbell, English boat and land racer (world land and water records 1964; only person to complete in same year), dies in record attempt at 45
  • 1968 Joseph Pholien, Belgian PM (1950-52) communist fighter, dies at 83
  • 1969 Paul Chambers, American jazz bassist (Miles Davis Quintet, 1955-63; Wynton Kelly Trio, 1963-68), dies of tuberculosis at 33
  • 1969 Montague Fawcett Phillips, British composer, dies at 83
  • 1969 Daisy and Violet Hilton, British conjoined twins, die at 60
  • 1969 Julian Myrick, American tennis promoter (West Side Tennis Club & Forest Hills Stadium), dies at 88
  • 1970 Jean-Étienne Valluy, French general (b. 1899)
  • 1971 Arthur Ford, American clairaudient (b. 1896)
  • 1972 Carl-Olof Anderberg, Swedish composer, dies at 57
  • 1974 Karel Janeček, Czech composer, dies at 70
  • 1975 Carlo Levi, Italian writer (Parole Sono Pietre), dies at 72
  • 1976 Jan B Cammans, Flemish actor (Brothers Karamazov), dies at 84
  • 1978 Willem Bruynzeel, Dutch timber/lumber/wood manufacturer, dies at 76
  • 1981 Ruth Lowe, Canadian pianist and composer (I'll Never Smile Again), dies at 66
  • 1985 Brian Gwynne Horrocks, English Army Lt-General, author (A Full Life; Corps Commander), and film consultant (A Bridge Too Far), dies at 89
  • 1985 Lovro von Matačić, Croatian conductor and composer (Bruckner Medal), dies at 86
  • 1986 Christopher Isherwood, English novelist (Lions & Shadows), dies at 81
  • 1986 Phil Lynott, Irish rock musician (Thin Lizzy), dies of an overdose at 36 [1]
  • 1987 Frederik van Heek, Dutch sociologist, dies at 79
  • 1987 Jack Martin, cricketer (Eng pace bowler, 1-111 & 0-18 in Test), dies
  • 1987 Peggy Bacon, American author and illustrator (Off With Their Heads), dies at 91
  • 1988 Lily Laskine, French harpist, dies at 94
  • 1990 Alberto Lleras Camargo, president of Colombia (1945-46, 58-62), dies
  • 1990 Robert F Adams, American sci-fi author (Castaways in Time), dies at 57
  • 1990 Harold Edgerton, American electrical engineer (b. 1903)
  • 1990 Sir Henry Bolte, Premier of Victoria 1955-1972 (b. 1908)
  • 1991 Berry Kroeger, actor (Demon Seed), dies of kidney failure at 78
  • 1991 Harry Krimer, French actor (Napoleon, Les vagabonds magnifiques, La course du flambeau), committed suicide at 94
  • 1991 Leo Wright, American jazz saxophone and flute player (Dizzy Gillespie;; Blues Shout; I Left My Heart In San Francisco), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • 1991 Poon Lim, Chinese sailor who survived 133 days adrift at sea, dies at 72
  • 1991 Richard Maibaum, American screenwriter (Goldfinger), dies at 81
  • 1992 Earl Colbert, entertainer, dies
  • 1992 William Walker, stuntman/actor (Our Man Flint), dies at 74
  • 1993 Daniel H Craven, South African rugby coach, dies
  • 1993 Joe Keenan, actor (Conviction of Kitty Dodd), dies of cancer at 69
  • 1993 Charles Bridgford, Australian politician
  • 1994 Jim Booth, New Zealand producer (Heavenly Creatures), dies at 48
  • 1994 Michiel P "Michael" Gorsira, Gov of Curacao (1951-67), dies at 80
  • 1994 R. D. Burman, Indian film score composer (1942: A Love Story), dies at 54
  • 1995 Dorothy Granger, American actress (Hog Wild, Dentist), dies at about 80
  • 1995 Eduardo Mata, Mexican conductor (Improvisaciones), dies in air crash at 52
  • 1995 Leonard Hirsch, British violinist and conductor (BBC Empire Orchestra), dies at 92
  • 1995 Robert Clifford Latham, pepys Scholar, dies at 82
  • 1995 Sol Tax, American anthropologist (founded the journal Current Anthropology), dies at 87
  • 1995 Brooks Stevens, American automotive designer (1949 Hydra-Glide Harley; 1963 Jeep Wagoneer), dies at 84
  • 1996 Ramon Vinay, Chilean operatic tenor, dies at 83
  • 1997 Harry B Helmsley, American billionaire real estate developer (purchased Empire State Building, 1961), dies at 87
  • 1998 John Gary [Strader], American singer (Cold), dies of cancer at 65
  • 1998 Mae Questel, American actress (b. 1908)
  • 1999 Iron Eyes Cody [Espera Oscar de Corti], Italian-American actor (Keep America Beautiful, Black Gold, Ernest Goes to Camp), dies at 91
  • 1999 Maqsood Ahmed, Pakistani cricketer (Pakistani batsman in 16 Tests 1952-56), dies at 73
  • 2000 Tom Fears, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end and coach (NFL champion 1951; First-team All-Pro, NFL receiving yards leader 1950; LA Rams), dies at 77
  • 2001 Les Brown, American big band leader (His Band of Renown - "Sentimental Journey"), dies at 88
  • 2003 Sabine Ulibarri, Mexican American writer (b. 1919)
  • 2003 Yfrah Neaman, Lebanese-born violinist (b. 1923)
  • 2003 Conrad Hall, Tahitian-American cinematographer, dies at 76
  • 2004 John Toland, American political writer (Rising Sun, Pulitzer 1971), dies at 91
  • 2004 Joan Aiken, English writer of children's books (The Whispering Mountain), dies at 79
  • 2004 Jake Hess, American singer (b. 1927)
  • 2004 Jeff Nuttall, English writer (b. 1933)
  • 2004 Brian Gibson (director), English film director (b. 1944)
  • 2005 Alton Tobey, American artist, dies at 90
  • 2005 Robert Heilbroner, American economist (b. 1919)
  • 2005 Frank Harary, American mathematician (b. 1921)
  • 2005 Bud Poile, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1924)
  • 2005 Guy Davenport, American author, artist, and scholar (b. 1927)
  • 2005 Humphrey Carpenter, English author (b. 1946)
  • 2005 Robert Christiani, West Indian cricketer (brother of Cyril WI batsman in 22 Tests), dies at 84
  • 2006 Irving Layton, Canadian poet (b. 1912)
  • 2006 Robert Howard White, Mayor of Papatoetoe, New Zealand (b. 1914)
  • 2006 Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai (b. 1946)
  • 2007 Marais Viljoen, former State President of South Africa (b. 1915)
  • 2007 Sir Lewis Hodges, British Air Chief Marshal (b. 1918)
  • 2007 Steve Krantz, American film and TV producer (Fritz the Cat) (b. 1923)
  • 2007 Osman Waqialla, Sudanese artist and calligrapher (b. 1925)
  • 2007 Gren, Welsh newspaper cartoonist (b. 1934)
  • 2007 Sandro Salvadore, Italian footballer (b. 1939)
  • 2007 Jan Schröder, Dutch cyclist (b. 1941)
  • 2007 Gáspár Nagy, Hungarian poet and writer (b. 1949)
  • 2007 Ben Gannon, Australian theatre film and television producer (b. 1952)
  • 2007 Helen Hill, American independent filmmaker (b. 1970)
  • 2008 Mort Garson, Canadian-American composer ("Our Day Will Come") and Moog synthesizer pioneer, dies of renal failure at 83
  • 2008 Joyce Carlson, American artist (b. 1923)
  • 2008 Xavier Chamorro Cardenal, Nicaraguan print editor (b. 1932)
  • 2008 Jimmy Nah, Singapore celebrity (b. 1968)
  • 2009 Giselle Salandy, Trinidad & Tobago female boxer (b. 1987)
  • 2010 Johan Ferrier, Surinamian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2010 Sandro, Argentine songwriter (b. 1945)
  • 2010 Casey Johnson, American heiress and socialite (b. 1979)
  • 2010 Rory Markas, American sportscaster (b. 1955)
  • 2010 Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Japanese Businessman, and Survivor of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings (b. 1916)
  • 2010 Donal Donnelly, Irish actor (The Godfather: Part III, Dead), dies of cancer at 78
  • 2011 Mick Karn, Cypriot-born British musician (Japan) (b. 1958)
  • 2011 Dick King-Smith English Author (b. 1922)
  • 2011 Coen Moulijn, Dutch footballer (b. 1937)
  • 2011 Gerry Rafferty, Scottish guitarist and vocalist (Baker Street), dies at 63
  • 2012 Eve Arnold, American photojournalist, dies at 99
  • 2012 Ruben Ayala, American politician (California State Senator 1974-1998), dies of natural cause at 89
  • 2012 James Crow, American geneticist, dies at 95
  • 2012 Harry Fowler, British actor (Great: Isambard Kingdom Brunel), dies at 85
  • 2012 Gatewood Galbraith [Louis], lawyer, American political activist, iconic Kentucky political figure, dies from pneumonia at 64
  • 2012 Rod Robbie, Canadian architect and planner (Roger's Centre/Sky Dome, Toronto), dies at 83
  • 2013 Sammy Johns, American country artist, dies at 66
  • 2013 Derek Kevan, English footballer, dies at 77
  • 2013 Tony Lip [Frank Anthony Vallelonga], American author and actor (Sopranos, Donnie Brasco, Good Fellas), dies at 82
  • 2013 Yevgeny Pepelyaev, Soviet fighter pilot, dies at 94
  • 2015 Stuart Scott, American sports journalist (ESPN), dies of cancer at 49
  • 2015 Barbara Tizard, British educator and author, dies at 88
  • 2016 Robert Stigwood, Australian-born British-resident music entrepreneur and film producer (Saturday Night Fever, Grease), dies at 81
  • 2016 Michel Galabru, French actor (Judge & the Assassin), dies at 93
  • 2017 Georges Prêtre, French classical and opera conductor known for interpretation of Poulenc, dies at 92
  • 2017 Milt Schmidt, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center (Stanley Cup 1939, 41; Boston Bruins) and coach/GM (Stanley Cup 1970, 72; Boston Bruins), dies from a stroke at 98
  • 2017 Douglas Wass, British civil servant (Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, 1974-83), dies at 93
  • 2017 Vlastimir Trajković, Serbian avant-garde composer, and educator, dies at 79
  • 2018 Ray Thomas, English rock vocalist and flautist (Moody Blues-Legend Of A Mind), dies at 76
  • 2019 John Burningham, English author and illustrator of children's books (Mr Grumpy's Outing), dies at 82
  • 2020 Herbert Binkert, German soccer striker (12 caps Saarland; FC Saarbrücken), dies at 96
  • 2020 Walter Ormeño, Peruvian soccer goalkeeper (Peru 1949-57; Boca Juniors, Rosario Central), dies at 93
January 4 Highlights