On This Day

Famous Deaths on July 31

  • 855 Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Muslim Jurisprudent (b. 780)
  • 1358 Etienne Marcel, French textile merchant/reformer/Boer leader, dies
  • 1396 William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1342)
  • 1508 Na'od, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1494)
  • 1556 Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest, theologian and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) religious order, dies in Rome at about 65
  • 1566 Bartholome de Casas, Spanish historian/bishop of Chiapa, dies at 92
  • 1638 Sybilla Schwarz, German baroque poet, dies at 17
  • 1648 Benedictus J van Haeften, poet (Regia thru Crucis), dies at about 60
  • 1653 Thomas Dudley, British colonial governor of Massachusetts, dies at 76
  • 1693 Willem Calf, Rotterdams still life painter, dies at 73
  • 1693 Willem Kalf, Dutch painter (still lifes), dies at 73
  • 1726 Nicolaus II Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1695)
  • 1750 John V, King of Portugal (1706-50), dies at 60
  • 1763 James Kent, Fredericksburgh NY, legal scholar (Columbia), dies
  • 1790 Johann Christian Frischmuth, German composer, dies at 48
  • 1795 Basílio da Gama, Portuguese poet (O Uraguai), dies at 54
  • 1805 Dheera Chinnamalai, Indian Polygar (governor) and freedom fighter, executed by the British at 49
  • 1849 Sándor Petőfi, Hungarian poet (A virágnak megtiltani nem lehet - You Cannot Forbid the Flower), and revolutionary, last seen alive at the Battle of Segesvár (Transylvania), presumed killed in action at 26
  • 1854 Samuel Wilson, American meat packer and possible namesake of Uncle Sam, dies at 87
  • 1864 Louis Christophe François Hachette, French publisher (Librairie Hachette), dies at 64
  • 1871 Phoebe Cary, American poet (Poems of Alice & Phoebe Cary), dies at 46

Franz Liszt

1886 Franz Liszt, Hungarian romantic composer and virtuoso pianist (Faust Symphony), dies of heart disease at 74

  • 1891 Jean-Baptist Capronnier, French-Belgian glass painter, dies at 77
  • 1895 Richard Morris Hunt, American architect and educator, dies at 67
  • 1911 Jack Edwards, cricketer (1888 Ashes tourist), dies
  • 1913 John Milne, British geologist (developed the first modern seismograph), dies of Bright's disease at 62
  • 1914 A J Jean Jaurès, French socialist (L'Humanité/Les Preuves), murdered=
  • 1917 Charlie Finlason, cricketer (South Africa's 1st Test), dies
  • 1917 Francis Ledwidge, Irish poet (b. 1881)
  • 1917 Hedd Wyn, Welsh poet (b. 1887)
  • 1919 Dick Barlow, English cricketer (591 runs/34 wickets/17 Tests for England), dies at 68
  • 1927 Walter Travis, Australian-American golfer, writer, course designer (US Amateur C'ship 1900-01, 03; British Amateur 1904), dies at 65
  • 1932 Francesco Paolo Neglia, Italian composer, dies at 58

Charles E. Hires

1937 Charles E. Hires, American pharmacist, inventor and manufacturer of the Hires Root Beer beverage, dies at 85

  • 1940 Whitey Krakow [or Krakower], American gangster and hitman (Murder Inc), murdered by "Bugsy" Siegel
  • 1942 Francis Younghusband, British journalist and explorer (1904 British expedition to Tibet), dies at 79
  • 1943 Hedley Verity, English cricket spin bowler (40 Tests, 144 wickets @ 24.37), dies in POW camp in Italy at 38
  • 1944 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer, poet and pioneering aviator (The Little Prince), dies during a reconnaissance mission at 44
  • 1948 Maria "Marie" Hens, Flemish actress (Female Revue), dies at 70
  • 1951 J of Oudshoorn [John K Feylbrief], writer (Maze of Sentences), dies
  • 1952 N B F "Tufty" Mann, cricketer (South African slow lefty 1947-51), dies
  • 1953 Robert A. Taft, American politician (U.S. Senator from Ohio), dies at 63
  • 1954 Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (b. 1923)
  • 1958 Eino Kaila, Finnish psychologist and philosopher, dies at 67
  • 1960 Karl Hasse, German composer, dies at 77
  • 1961 Jesse Harper, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Notre Dame 57–17–7), dies at 77
  • 1964 Jim Reeves, American country singer ("He'll Have To Go"; "Distant Drums"), and actor (Kimberley Jim), dies in airplane crash at 39
  • 1965 James Rennie, Canadian actor (Lash, Little Damozel), dies at 75
  • 1966 Alex von Falkenhausen, German general (China, WW II), dies at 87
  • 1967 Marios Varvoglis, Greek composer (Behind the Barbed Wire Fence), dies at 81
  • 1967 Richard Kuhn, Austrian-German biochemist (Nobel 1938-work on carotenoids and vitamins), dies at 66
  • 1967 Margaret Kennedy, English novelist (The Constant Nymph), dies at 71
  • 1968 Gertrude Short, actress (Stella Dallas, Blonde Venus), dies at 66
  • 1970 Walter Briggs Jr, American sports executive (owner Detroit Tigers 1952-56), dies at 58
  • 1970 Booker Ervin [Booker Telleferro Ervin II], American saxophonist (Charles Mingus), dies of kidney disease at 39
  • 1970 Jimmy Conzelman, American Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, coach, team owner (Chicago Cardinals), dies at 72
  • 1972 Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian premier/sect-gen (NATO, 1957-61), dies at 73
  • 1972 Rollie Hemsley, American baseball catcher (5-time MLB All Star), dies of a heart attack at 65
  • 1977 Stacy Moskowitz, shot to death by Son of Sam, at 20
  • 1978 Carleton Percy Hobbs, actor (I Claudius, Dark Places), dies at 80
  • 1978 Enoch Light, American orchestra leader (Gulf Road Show with Bob Smith), dies at 70
  • 1979 Beatrix Lehmann, British actress (Candles at Nine, Staircase), dies at 76
  • 1980 Bobby Van [Stein], American stage and screen musical singer and actor (The Affairs of Dobie Gillis; Small Town Girl), dies of brain cancer at 49
  • 1980 Mohd. Rafi, Indian playback singer (b. 1924)
  • 1981 Gen Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama, dies in plane crash
  • 1984 Bill Raisch, American one armed actor (The Fugitive, Spartacus, Sweet Smell of Success), dies from lung cancer at 79
  • 1984 Paul Le Flem, French composer and music critic, dies at 103
  • 1985 Eugene Carson Blake, US Secretary-General of World Council of Churches (1966-72), dies at 78
  • 1985 Murray Chapple, New Zealand cricketer (NZ Test batsman through the 1950's), dies at 55
  • 1986 Teddy Wilson, American jazz pianist and arranger (Billie Holiday; Benny Goodman), dies of stomach cancer at 73 [1]
  • 1986 Chiune Sugihara, Japanese diplomat (b. 1900)
  • 1988 Trinidad Silva, American character actor (Hill St Blues -"Jesus Martinez"), killed in a car accident with a drunk driver at 38
  • 1988 André Navarra, French concert cellist (Jolivet's Cello Concerto), and educator (Paris Conservatoire, 1947-88), dies at 76
  • 1990 Fernando Sancho, dies after operation for malignant tumor at 72
  • 1990 Albert Leduc, Canadian ice hockey player, dies at 87
  • 1992 G Harold Carswell, supreme court justice candidate 1970, dies at 72
  • 1992 Joseph L George, dies of cancer at 65
  • 1992 Ralph Strait, dies of heart attack at 56
  • 1992 Sjoerd de Free, reporter (Radio Herrijzend Netherland), dies
  • 1993 Elmar Klos, director (Obzalovany, Obchod na Korze), dies at 83
  • 1993 Paul Henry, US Republicans Congressional leader, dies at 51
  • 1993 George Keyt, Sri Lankan painter, dies at 92
  • 1993 Rob Jones "The Bass Thing" English musician (The Wonder Stuff), dies at 29
  • 1993 Baudouin I, King of Belgium (1951-93), dies from heart issues at 62
  • 1994 Anne Shelton, British singer (Glenn Miller Band), dies at 66
  • 1994 Caitlin Thomas, dies
  • 1994 G de Ru, chairman of Dutch Reformed Synode, dies
  • 1994 Pieter C Buitendijk, co-founder (Free Netherlands), dies at 92
  • 1995 Genevieve Tobin Keighley, actress (Zaza, Great Gambini), dies at 83
  • 1996 Joan Warburton, Scottish painter, dies at 76
  • 1996 Michael Jinks, child care pioneer, dies at 59
  • 1996 Seagram Miller, American rapper (b. 1970)
  • 1997 Edith Fore, pitchwoman (I've fallen and I can't get up!), dies at 81
  • 1997 Ulrich Ernst Simon, German-Jewish Anglican theologian, dies at 63
  • 1998 Serge Golovine, French ballet choreographer (Death of Narcissus), dies at 73
  • 1998 Barbara Giuranna, Italian pianist and composer, dies at 98
  • 2000 Hendrik Christoffel Van de Hulst, Dutch astronomer (correctly predicted the existence of the 21 cm hyper-fine line of neutral atomic hydrogen in interstellar space), dies at 81
  • 2001 Poul Anderson, American science-fiction and fantasy author, winner of 7 Hugo and 3 Nebula Awards (The Sharing of Flesh; Mirkheim; After Doomsday), dies of prostate cancer at 74
  • 2001 Francisco da Costa Gomes, President of Portugal’s ruling military junta (1974-76), dies at 87
  • 2001 Friedrich Franz, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (b. 1910)
  • 2002 Jerome Beatty Jr., American author of children's literature (Matthew and Maria Looney books), dies at 85
  • 2003 Guido Crepax, Italian comics artist (b. 1933)
  • 2003 John Aston Sr., English soccer striker (17 caps; Manchester United 253 games), dies at 81
  • 2004 Virginia Grey, American actress, dies at 87
  • 2004 Laura Betti, Italian actress (b. 1927)
  • 2005 Wim Duisenberg, Dutch banker (b. 1935)
  • 2005 Les Braid, British bassist (Swinging Blue Jeans - "Hippie-Hippie Shake), dies of lung cancer at 67
  • 2006 Paul Eells, American sportscaster ("Voice of the Razorbacks"), dies at 70
  • 2009 Sir Bobby Robson, English soccer forward, coach (20 caps; England manager 1982-90), dies of lung cancer at 76
  • 2009 Harry Alan Towers, English film producer and screenwriter (b. 1920)
  • 2010 Mitch Miller, American oboist and recording producer (Sing Along with Mitch), dies at 99
  • 2012 Gore Vidal, American author (Myra Breckinridge; Lincoln), dies from pneumonia at 86
  • 2012 Bobby Edwards [Moncrief], American country singer-songwriter ("You're The Reason"), dies at 86
  • 2013 Michael Ansara, American actor (Broken Arrow, Centennial), dies at 91
  • 2015 Roddy Piper, Canadian professional wrestler, dies at 61
  • 2015 Gerald S O'Loughlin, American actor and director (Storefront Lawyer, Rookies, Wheels), dies at 93
  • 2015 Billy Pierce, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star x 7; World Series 1945; AL wins leader 1957; MLB ERA leader 1955; AL strikeout leader; 1953; Chicago WS), dies from gallbladder cancer at 88
  • 2016 Seymour Papert, South African mathematician, dies at 88
  • 2016 Chiyonofuji Mitsugu, Japanese sumo wrestler (31 tournament c'ships; Kyushu Tournament 1981-88), dies from pancreatic cancer at 61
  • 2017 Jeanne Moreau, French actress (Going Places, Jules & Jim), dies at 89
  • 2018 Tony Bullimore, British yachtsman (1997 solo around-the-world yacht race, dramatic rescue), dies of cancer at 79 [1]
  • 2019 V. G. Siddhartha, Indian coffee entrepreneur (Café Coffee Day), found dead at 60
  • 2019 Gordon Brand Jnr., Scottish golfer (8 x European Tour wins; Ryder Cup 1987, 89), dies from a heart attack at 60
  • 2020 Stephen Tataw, Cameroonian soccer right-back (63 caps; captain Cameroon national team FIFA World Cup 1990, 94), dies at 57
  • 2020 Alan Parker, English director (Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express), dies at 76 [1]
  • 2021 Terry Cooper, English soccer defender (20 caps; Leeds, Middlesborough) and manager (Bristol City, Birmingham City), dies at 77
  • 2021 Alvin Ing, American stage and screen singer and actor (Flower Drum Song), dies of Covid-19 complications at 89
July 31 Highlights