On This Day

Famous Deaths on June 17

  • 656 Osman ibn Affan, 3rd kalief of Islam (644-56) murdered
  • 676 Adeodatus II/Deusdedit II, Italian Pope (672-76), dies
  • 811 Sakanoue no Tamuramar, Japanese shōgun under Emperor Kanmu, dies at 54
  • 1091 Dirk V, count of Holland (1061-91), dies
  • 1119 Boudouin VII with the Axe, earl of Flanders (1111-19), dies
  • 1463 Princess Catherine of Portugal, Portuguese princess of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon and writer, dies at 26
  • 1501 Jan I Olbracht, King of Poland, dies
  • 1565 Ashikaga Yoshiteru, Japanese 13th shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate (1546-65), dies at 29
  • 1631 Mumtaz Mahal, Empress consort of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal as her mausoleum and symbol of his undying love, dies during childbirth of her 14th child at 38
  • 1672 Orazio Benevoli, Franco-Italian composer, dies at 67
  • 1678 Giacomo Torelli, Italian stage designer, engineer and architect dies at 69
  • 1694 Philip Howard, English Roman Catholic Cardinal, dies at 64
  • 1696 John [Jan] III Sobieski, King of Poland (1674-96), Victor at Battle Vienna over Turks (1683) dies at 66
  • 1719 Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (co-founder of The Spectator), dies at 47
  • 1734 Duke of Berwick, French general strategist, dies in battle
  • 1734 Claude-Louis-Hector de Villars, Marshal of France, dies at 81
  • 1740 Sir William Wyndham, English politician (b. 1687)
  • 1762 Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, French tragic poet and playwright (Rhadamiste et Zénobie), dies at 88
  • 1775 Major John Pitcairn, British marine (killed in battle) (b. 1722)
  • 1775 Joseph Warren, American physician and soldier, dies at 34
  • 1797 Aga Mohammed Khan, cruel ruler of Persia, castrated & killed
  • 1813 Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham, English sailor and politician, dies at 86
  • 1815 Hammida, Algerian admiral, dies in battle
  • 1821 Martín Miguel de Güemes Argentine military leader (b. 1785)
  • 1839 Lord William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, British soldier and statesman (Governor-General of India, 1828-1835), dies at 64
  • 1854 (Gertrude) "Henriette" Sontag, later Countess Rossi, German operatic soprano (Carl Maria von Weber's "Euryanthe"), dies at 48
  • 1858 Rani Lakshmibai, queen of Jhansi in North India, one of the leading figures of the Indian rebellion of 1857 (b. 1828)
  • 1862 Charles Canning, English 1st viceroy of British-Indies, dies at 49
  • 1863 Isham W Garrott, US attorney/Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle
  • 1866 Lewis Cass, American military officer and politician (U.S. Senator-Michigan), dies at 83
  • 1876 Harriet Scott, American ex-slave, who with husband Dred Scott unsuccessfully sued for their freedom
  • 1885 Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, Prussian Generalfeldmarschall noted for his victories in the Franco-Prussian War, dies at 76
  • 1897 Sebastian Kneipp, Bavarian priest and naturopathist (known for "Kneipp Cure" form of hydrotherapy), dies at 76
  • 1898 Edward Burne-Jones, English Pre-Raphaelite painter and designer, dies at 64
  • 1906 Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player, dies at 33
  • 1906 William Dale, international legal consultant, dies
  • 1918 Derek Barber, CEO (Countryside Commission), dies
  • 1928 Ramon de Basterra, Spanish writer and diplomat (Virulo, mocedades), dies at 39
  • 1936 Henry B Walthall, American actor (The Birth of a Nation, Klondike), dies at 58
  • 1938 H V "Ranji" Hordern, cricketer (7 Tests for Australia 1910-12, dies
  • 1939 Eugene Weldman, the last person to be publicly guillotined in France, dies at 31. When asked if he had remorse for his victims he had killed, he replied, “Remorse, what for? I didn’t even know them”
  • 1939 Allen Sothoron, American baseball player, dies at 46
  • 1940 Arthur Harden, English biochemist (Nobel Prize 1929), dies at 74
  • 1941 Johan Wagenaar, Dutch composer (Cyrano de Bergerac), dies at 78
  • 1942 Charles Fitzpatrick, Canadian politician who was the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec and 5th Chief Justice of Canada, dies at 88
  • 1946 Joe Dawson, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1912), dies at 56

Maxwell Perkins

1947 Maxwell Perkins, American editor and publisher for Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, dies at 62

  • 1950 Syed Wazir Ali, Indian cricket batsman (7 Tests; Southern Punjab; Muslims), dies from appendicitis at 46
  • 1951 Carl Vogler, Swiss composer, dies at 77
  • 1951 Vin Coutie, Australian rules footballer, dies at 69
  • 1952 Alberto Williams, Argentine pianist and composer (Etrerno Reposo), dies at 89
  • 1952 Jack Parsons, American rocket scientist and Thelemite occultist, dies at 37
  • 1953 Walter Niemann, German composer, dies at 76
  • 1954 Donato "Danny" Cedrone, American guitarist and bandleader (The Esquires; Bill Haley & His Comets - "Rock Around The Clock"), died of broken neck suffered falling down a staircase at 33
  • 1956 Paul Rostock, German doctor (b. 1892)
  • 1956 Bob Sweikert, American racing driver (b. 1926)
  • 1957 D Richardson, writer, dies at 84
  • 1957 Esme Percy, British actor (Murder!, Pygmalion, Old Spanish Custom), dies at 69
  • 1957 Dorothy M. Richardson, English novelist (Pilgrimage), dies at 84
  • 1959 Abdul Mouse, Indonesian nationalist foreman/author, dies at about 68
  • 1960 Pierre Reverdy, French poet (Nord-Sud), dies at 70
  • 1961 Jeff Chandler [Ira Grossel], American actor (Broken Arrow), dies as a result of medical malpractice at 42
  • 1963 John Cowper Powys, British writer and critic (Wood & Stone, Wolf Solent), dies at 90
  • 1963 Alain F B Alanbrooke, 1st viscount of Brookeborough, dies at 79
  • 1963 John Whiting, British actor, dramatist and critic (PT Raiders, The Devils, The Good Companions), dies of cancer at 45
  • 1965 Arnold Meijer, Dutch leader of fascist Dutch National & Black Front, dies at 60
  • 1968 José Nasazzi, Uruguayan footballer (Uruguay national team captain for FIFA 1930), dies at 67
  • 1970 Matthew Henderson, New Zealand cricket fast bowler (1 Test; New Zealand's first-ever Test match 1930), dies at 74
  • 1971 C Christopher Morris, cricketer (brilliant batsman for Philadelphia), dies
  • 1973 Luis Van Rooten, Mexican-born, American actor, author and translator (One Man's Family), dies at 66
  • 1974 Pamela Britton, actress (Blondie, My Favorite Martian), dies at 50
  • 1974 Yadavendra Singh, cricketer (Yuvraj of Patiala, Test for India), dies
  • 1975 Sid Gordon, American baseball player, dies at 57
  • 1978 Cully Richards, actor (Don't Call Me Charlie), dies at 68
  • 1979 Lou Frizzell, American character actor (Summer of '42; Bonanza - "Dusty Rhodes"), dies at 59
  • 1979 Duffy Lewis, American baseball left fielder (World Series 1912, 15, 16; Boston Red Sox), dies at 91
  • 1981 Richard O'Connor, British general (b. 1889)
  • 1981 Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane) (b. 1889)
  • 1981 Yitzhak Zuckerman [Itzhak Zuckerman], Jewish resistance hero in World War II and one of the few survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, dies at 65
  • 1983 Eelco van Kleffens, Dutch diplomat and politician (Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1939-46; UN Representative, 1946-56), dies at 88
  • 1983 Peter Mennin [Mennini], American composer (Moby Dick; The Cycle), and educator (Juilliard, 1962-83), dies of cancer at 60
  • 1984 Chet Allen, American child actor (Amahl and the Night Visitors), intentionally overdoses at 45
  • 1984 Swale, Kentucky Derby winner, collapses & dies
  • 1984 Klavdiya Shulzhenko, Soviet jazz and pop singer ("Let's Smoke"), dies at 78
  • 1985 Piet De Somer, Belgian rector of University of Louvain, dies at 67
  • 1986 Jozef Keuleers, Belgian worker's union leader, dies at 75
  • 1986 Kate Smith, American singer ("God Bless America"), dies at 78
  • 1987 Dick Howser, American baseball shortstop (MLB All Star All-Star 1961, 61²; KC A's) and manager (World Series 1977, 78 NY Yankees; KC Royals 1985), dies of brain cancer at 51
  • 1988 Elizabeth Lane, 1st female British supreme court justice, dies at 82
  • 1989 John Matuszak, American NFL defensive end, 1973-82 (Oakland Raiders and 3 other teams), and actor (Caveman; The Goonies), dies of an accidental propoxyphene overdose at 38
  • 1989 Stanley David Griggs, American astronaut (STS 51-D), dies in plane crash at 59 (b. 1939)
  • 1990 Dick Elffers, graphic artist, dies
  • 1990 Palmira Henry, fashion designer, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 44
  • 1991 Leo Koury, American murderer (FBI Most Wanted List - never caught), dies under an assumed name in hospital at 56
  • 1992 Dewey Balfa, American Cajun fiddler and singer, dies at 65
  • 1992 Frederick Exley, novelist (Fan's Note), dies at 63
  • 1993 Angus Suttie, English potter and teacher of art ceramics, dies of AIDS at 46
  • 1993 French of Nouhuys, civil servant in Indonesia, dies at 88
  • 1994 Joeri Nagibin, Russian screenwriter (Babje Karstvo), dies at 74
  • 1995 Claire Sterling, journalist, dies at 75
  • 1996 Thomas Kuhn, American philosopher of science (paradigm shift), dies at 73
  • 2000 Ismail Mahomed, South African and Namibian Chief Justice, 1st permanent black judge on South African Supreme Court, dies at 68
  • 2001 Donald J. Cram, American biochemist (development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity - Nobel 1987), dies at 82
  • 2002 Willie Davenport, American bobsledder and track athlete (Olympic gold 110m hurdles 1968), dies from a heart attack at 59
  • 2002 Fritz Walter, German footballer (1. FC Kaiserslautern) and captain of West Germany, dies at 81
  • 2002 Francisco Escudero, Basque composer, dies at 89
  • 2002 J. Carter Brown, American art director (Washington National Gallery), dies at 67
  • 2004 Gerry McNeil, Canadian ice hockey player, dies at 78
  • 2004 Jackie Paris, American jazz singer and guitarist ("Skylark"), dies at 79
  • 2005 Sam Loeb, comic book writer (b. 1988)
  • 2005 Karl Mueller, American bassist (Soul Asylum - "Runaway Train"), dies of complications from esophageal cancer at 41
  • 2005 Ronald Winans, American gospel singer (Winans), dies at 48
  • 2005 Henryk Majewski, Polish big band jazz trumpeter (Old Timers), dies at 69
  • 2006 Julian Slade, English popular composer (Salad Days), dies at 76
  • 2006 Cláudio Besserman Vianna, aka "Bussunda", Brazilian comedian (b. 1962)
  • 2006 Arthur Franz, American actor (The Caine Mutiny, Invaders From Mars, Young Lions), dies from emphysema and heart disease at 86
  • 2007 Gianfranco Ferrè, Italian fashion designer (b. 1944)
  • 2007 Serena Wilson, American belly dancer (b. 1933)
  • 2008 Tsutomu Miyazaki, Japanese serial killer (b. 1962)
  • 2008 Cyd Charisse [Tula Finklea], American dancer and actress (Singin' in the Rain), dies at 86
  • 2009 Darrell Powers, American World War II veteran of the United States 101st Airborne Division. (b. 1923)
  • 2009 Ralf Dahrendorf, German-born sociologist and politician (b. 1929)
  • 2010 Andy Ripley, English rugby union #8 (24 caps; British Lions 1974), dies from prostate cancer at 62
  • 2010 K. S. Rajah, Singaporean jurist (b. 1930)

Rodney King

2012 Rodney King, African American motorist beaten by LA cop, dies in an accidental drowning at 47

  • 2014 Patsy Byrne, English actress, dies at 80
  • 2015 Suleyman Demirel, Turkish leader, President (1993-2000) and Prime Minister, dies at 90
  • 2015 Ron Clarke AO, MBE, Australian athlete (17 x WRs, 5,000m, 10,000m, 20,000m; 2, 3, 6, 10 miles) and politician (mayor Gold Coast), dies from kidney failure at 78
  • 2015 John David Crow, American College Football Hall of Fame back and tight end (Heisman Trophy 1957, Texas A & M; Pro Bowl 1959, 60, 62, 65; St. Louis Cardinals), dies at 79
  • 2016 Prince Be [Attrell Cordes], American rapper (PM Dawn), dies from diabetes complications at 46
  • 2019 Gloria Vanderbilt, American fashion designer, artist, heiress and socialite, dies at 95
  • 2019 Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian politician, President of Egypt (2012-13), leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, dies at 67
  • 2020 Willie Thorne, English snooker player (1985 Classic), dies of leukaemia at 66
  • 2020 Paulinho Paiakan, Brazilian indigenous chief (led Kayapó people against Belo Monte dam), dies of COVID-19 at about 65
  • 2020 Bill Groman, American football wide receiver (All-AFL 1960; AFL C'ship 1960, 61, 64, 65; Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills), dies at 83
  • 2020 György Kárpáti, Hungarian water polo player (Olympic gold 1952, 56, 64), dies at 84
  • 2020 Jerry Sturm, American football tackle (AFL All-Star 1964, 66; Denver Broncos, NO Saints), dies from dementia at 83
  • 2020 Robert Buchanan, British archaeologist and founder of Bath University, dies at 90
  • 2021 Kenneth Kaunda, 1st President of Zambia (1964-91), dies at 97
June 17 Highlights