On This Day

Famous Deaths on March 20

  • 687 St. Cuthbert, patron saint of Northumbria (b. c. 634).
  • 842 Alfonso II the Chaste, king of Asturia (791-842), dies
  • 1191 Clement III [Paolo Scolari], Pope (1187-91, 3rd crusades), dies
  • 1239 Hermann von Salza, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (c. 1179)
  • 1351 Mohammed ibn-Tughluq, sultan of Delhi India, dies
  • 1393 Johannes Nepomucenus [Jan Nepomucky], Czech saint, killed
  • 1501 Jean Carondelet, lawyer/chancellor of Burgundy (1480-96), dies at 72
  • 1531 Sicke Freerks/Frericx [Cutter], Dutch anabaptist, beheaded
  • 1549 Thomas Seymour of Sudely, English Lord Admiral, beheaded
  • 1586 Richard Maitland, Scottish statesman and historian (b. 1496)
  • 1617 Franciscus Aguilon, physicist/theologist/mathematician, dies at 50
  • 1619 Matthias II, Holy Roman Catholic emperor (1611-19), dies
  • 1646 Matthew Vossius, historian (Annales Holland Zelandiaeque), dies at 35
  • 1673 Augustyn Kordecki, Polish prior, dies at 69
  • 1703 Johann Kunckel/Kunkel, German alchemist/ambassador to Sweden, dies
  • 1730 Adrienne Lecouvreur, French actress (Comédie-Française) inspiration for 1849 drama "Adrienne Lecouvreur", dies at 37
  • 1732 Johann Ernst Hanxleden, German philologist (b. 1681)
  • 1746 Nicolas de Largillière, French painter (b. 1656)
  • 1751 Frederick Louis, English prince of Wales and son of George II, dies at 44
  • 1757 Johann Paul Kunzen, composer, dies at 60
  • 1767 Firmin Abauzit, French scholar and scientist, dies at 87
  • 1780 Sir Benjamin Truman - English brewer (b. 1699/1700)
  • 1793 William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, Scottish judge and politician (b. 1705)
  • 1804 Ignaz Malzat, composer, dies at 47
  • 1812 Jan Ladislav Dussek, Bohemian pianist/composer, dies at 52
  • 1816 Maria I of Portugal, Queen of Portugal and the Algarves, dies at 81
  • 1835 Louis-Leopold Robert, French painter (b. 1794)
  • 1848 Abraham des Amorie van der Hoeven, Dutch theologist/poet, dies at 27
  • 1855 Joseph Aspdin, English mason and inventor (b. 1788)
  • 1865 Keisuke Yamanami, Japanese samurai (b. 1833)
  • 1866 Rikard Nordraak, Norwegian composer, dies at 23
  • 1871 Antonio Buzzolla, composer, dies at 56
  • 1873 Adolphe Fétis, Belgian-French pianist and composer, dies at 52
  • 1874 Hans Christian Lumbye, Danish composer, dies at 63
  • 1875 John Mitchel, Irish nationalist (Jail Journal), dies at 59
  • 1878 Julius Robert von Mayer, German physician and physicist (first law of thermodynamics), dies at 63
  • 1890 Alexander F. Mozhaiski, Russian aviation pioneer, dies at 65
  • 1892 Arthur Goring Thomas, English composer, dies at 41
  • 1894 Lajos Kossuth, Governor-President of Hungary (1849), dies at 91
  • 1897 Apollon Maykov, Russian poet, dies at 76
  • 1899 Martha M Place, American murderer who becomes 1st woman to be executed in an electric chair, dies at 49
  • 1899 Franz Ritter von Hauer, Austrian geologist, dies at 77
  • 1910 Nadar [Félix Tournachon], French photographer and balloonist, took the first aerial photograph, dies at 89
  • 1910 James Hogan, Irish College Football Hall of Fame tackle (Yale), dies of Bright's disease at 37
  • 1911 Jean-Theodore Radoux, Belgian composer, dies at 75
  • 1913 Christian Barnekow, Danish composer, dies at 75
  • 1916 Ota Benga, Congolese pygmy (b. 1884)
  • 1918 Lewis A. Grant, American Civil War General (b. 1828)
  • 1920 Venustiano Carranza, president Mexico (1915-20), murdered at 60
  • 1925 George N Curzon, British Foreign minister (1919-22), dies at 66
  • 1929 Ferdinand Foch, French Allied military commander and marshal of France during WW I, dies at 77
  • 1931 Hermann Müller, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1876)
  • 1932 Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov, Russian biologist (artificial insemination of animals), dies at 61
  • 1933 Giuseppe [Joe] Zangara, electrocuted for assassination attempt on FDR
  • 1934 Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, Queen consort of William and Regent of the Netherlands, dies at 76
  • 1936 Durant Clifford Parkin, cricketer (Tests for South Africa 1891-92), dies

Harry Vardon

1937 Harry Vardon, Jersey golfer (6 time British Open champion, US Open 1900), dies of lung cancer at 66

  • 1939 Percy Dean, British naval lieutenant and politician who received the Victoria Cross for saving men during the raid of Zeebrugge, dies at 61
  • 1940 Alfred Ploetz, German physician, biologist, and eugenicist (b. 1860)
  • 1941 D A van den Bosch, anti-nazi clergyman (Amersfoort Camp), dies
  • 1942 Theodoro Valcarcel, composer, dies at 41
  • 1942 Vasily Kalafati, Russian composer (Cygany), dies in the siege of Leningrad during World War II at 73
  • 1944 Felix Woyrsch, German composer, dies at 83
  • 1947 Sigurd Wallén, Swedish actor and film director (Ebberöds bank, Med folket för fosterlandet), dies at 62
  • 1950 Walter Eucken, German economist, dies at 59
  • 1951 Kathleen Lockhart Manning, American composer, dies at 60
  • 1953 Graciliano Ramos, Brazilian author (Vidas Secas), dies at 60
  • 1956 Wilhelm Miklas, Austrian politician and 3rd President of Austria (1928-38), dies at 83
  • 1962 C. Wright Mills, American sociologist and writer (The Power Elite), dies at 45

A. E. Douglass

1962 A. E. Douglass, American astronomer and inventor of dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) dies at 94

  • 1963 Karl Otten, German Expressionist writer, dies at 73

Brendan Behan

1964 Brendan Behan, Irish author and poet (Borstal Boy, The Hostage), dies at 41

  • 1964 Jean Rogister, Belgian virtuoso violist and composer, dies at 84
  • 1967 A J F Moody, 1st US Army General to die in Vietnam
  • 1968 Carl T Dreyer, Danish director (Passion of Jeanne d'Arc), dies
  • 1969 Henri Longchambon, French politician, dies at 72
  • 1970 Manolis Chiotis, Greek bouzouki virtuoso and songwriter (b. 1920)
  • 1972 Aad de Haas, Dutch religious painter, graphic artist and cartoonist, dies at 51
  • 1972 Jan Engelman, Dutch poet and art critic (At the Front), dies at 71
  • 1972 Marilyn Maxwell, American actress and entertainer (Champion, The Lemon Drop Kid, East of Sumatra), dies of a heart attack at 50
  • 1974 Chet Huntley, American newscaster (NBC Huntley-Brinkley Report), dies at 62
  • 1974 [Lavinia] Marian Fleming Poe, African American advocate in Virginia, dies at 83
  • 1976 Michael Goodliffe, British actor (A Night to Remember, Cromwell, 5th Day of Peace), commits suicide at 61
  • 1979 Mino Pecorelli, Italian journalist, shot dead in Rome at 50
  • 1982 Hendrik L van Beek, Dutch vice-admiral, dies at 52
  • 1983 Ivan Vinogradov, Russian mathematician (analytic number theory), dies at 91
  • 1987 Norman Harris, guitarist (O'Jays), dies at 39 of heart failure
  • 1988 Gil Evans, Canadian-American jazz pianist, composer and arranger (Miles Davis; Absolute Beginners, Out of the Cool), dies at 75
  • 1989 Alan Gifford [John Lennox], American actor (Time Lock, 2001: A Space Odyssey), dies at 78
  • 1989 Archie Bleyer, American orchestra leader (Arthur Godfrey), dies at 79
  • 1990 Jannetje Visser-Roosendaal, Dutch writer, dies at 90
  • 1990 Jev Jasjin, Russian soccer goalie, dies at 60
  • 1990 Lev Yashin, Soviet footballer (b. 1929)
  • 1990 Maurice Cloche, French film director and screenwriter, dies at 82
  • 1991 Conor Clapton, Eric Clapton's son, falls to his death out of 53rd floor window at 5
  • 1992 Avonne Taylor, actress (My Best Girl, Honor Among Lovers), dies at 93
  • 1992 Frank Westbrook, dancer/choreographer, dies at 82
  • 1992 Georges Delerue, French film composer (Sword of Gideon, A Little Romance), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • 1992 Lina Bo Bardi, Italian born Brazilian modernist architect (SESC Pompéia Factory), dies at 77
  • 1993 Claudia Yeltsin, mother of Russian president Yeltsin, dies at 85
  • 1993 Jonathan Ball, English youngster, killed by IRA at 3
  • 1994 Lewis Grizzard, American humorist (b. 1946)
  • 1994 Don Goddard, American news anchor (ABC Evening News, 1958-59), dies at 89
  • 1995 Merv Harvey, Australian cricketer (scored 12 & 31 in Test Aus v Eng 46-47), dies at 76
  • 1995 Rachida Hammadi, Algerian TV journalist, murdered at 32
  • 1995 Sidney Kingsley, US playwright (Pulitzer prize 1934), dies at 88
  • 1995 James Kilfedder, Northern Ireland unionist politician, dies at 66
  • 1995 John Minton [Big John Studd], American pro wrestler (Royal Rumble 1989), dies from liver cancer and Hodgkin's disease at 47
  • 1996 Alan Ridout, English composer, dies at 61
  • 1996 Claude Bourdet, French human rights activist and journalist, dies at 86
  • 1996 Victor Zorza, journalist/Russian specialist, dies at 71
  • 1997 Carlo Fassi, figure skating coach (Fleming, Hamill), dies at 67
  • 1997 Grace Hefner, mother of Hugh Hefner (Playboy), dies at 101
  • 1997 Tony Zale, American boxer (World Middleweight Champion 1940-47, 48), dies at 83
  • 1998 George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician
  • 1999 Patrick Heron, British abstract painter, dies at 79
  • 2000 Gene Eugene, Canadian actor and singer (b. 1961)
  • 2000 Vivian Fine, American composer (Women in the Garden), dies after a car accident at 86
  • 2001 Luis Alvarado, Puerto Rican baseball player (b. 1949)
  • 2003 Sailor Art Thomas, American professional wrestler (b. 1924)
  • 2004 Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands (1948-80), dies at 94
  • 2004 Pierre Sévigny, Canadian military officer and politician, dies at 86
  • 2005 Armand Lohikoski, Finnish film director (b. 1912)
  • 2007 Gilbert E. Patterson, presiding bishop of COGIC (b. 1939)
  • 2007 Hawa Yakubu, Ghanaian politician (b. 1948)
  • 2007 Taha Yassin Ramadan, Iraqi politician (b. 1938)
  • 2007 Raynald Fréchette, Quebec politician and judge, dies at 73
  • 2008 Eric Ashton, English rugby league footballer (b. 1935)
  • 2008 Shoban Babu, Indian actor (b. 1937)
  • 2008 Brian Wilde, English actor (b. 1921)
  • 2008 Klaus Dinger, German Musician (Neu!, Kraftwerk), dies of heart failure at 61
  • 2009 Mel Brown, American/Canadian Blues Guitarist (b. 1939)
  • 2010 Liz Carpenter, American feminist writer (b. 1920)
  • 2010 Stewart Udall, American politician, environmentalist (b. 1920)
  • 2010 Girija Prasad Koirala, Nepalese politician (b. 1925)
  • 2011 Johnny Pearson, British Composer (b. 1925)
  • 2012 Jim Stynes, Irish Australian rules footballer, dies from cancer at 45
  • 2012 Mel Parnell, American MLB pitcher (Boston Red Sox, 1947-56), coach, and broadcaster, dies from cancer at 89
  • 2013 James Herbert, British horror writer, dies at 69
  • 2014 Hilderaldo Bellini, Brazilian soccer defender (51 caps; Vasco da Gama, São Paulo), dies from complications from a heart attack at 83
  • 2015 Robert Kastenmeier, American politician (Rep-D-WI, 1959-91), dies at 91
  • 2015 Gregory Walcott, American actor (Plan 9 from Outer Space, 87th Precinct), dies at 87
  • 2015 Jim Berry, American cartoonist (Berry's World), dies at 83
  • 2015 A.J. Pero, American drummer (Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It"), dies of a heart attack at 55
  • 2015 Perro Aguayo, Jr., Mexican wrestler (CMLL), dies of cardiac arrest in the ring at 35
  • 2015 Eva Burrows, Austrian Salvation Army officer, 13th General of The Salvation Army, dies at 85
  • 2016 Anker Jørgensen, Danish politician, Prime Minister of Denmark (1972-3, 75-82), dies at 93
  • 2016 Peter Williams, British organist and musicologist, dies at 78
  • 2017 David Rockefeller, American CEO (Chase Manhattan Bank) and philanthropist, dies at 101
  • 2017 George Weinberg, American psychotherapist (coined "homophobia"), dies at 87
  • 2017 Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Filipino Senator, lawmaker and women's rights activist who led the drafting of the international women’s bill of rights, dies of colon cancer at 87
  • 2018 Bobby Mitchell, American golfer (US Masters runner-up 1972), dies of a heart attack at 75
  • 2018 Ariel Bybee, American mezzo-soprano (Morman Tabernacle Choir; Metropolitan Opera, 1977-95), dies at 75
  • 2018 Katie Boyle [Lady Sander Saunders], Italian born British actress and broadcaster (Eurovision), dies at 91
  • 2019 Randy Jackson, American baseball third baseman (MLB All Star 1954,55; Chicago Cubs), dies of pneumonia at 93

Kenny Rogers

2020 Kenny Rogers, American singer-songwriter (The Gambler, Through the Years) and entrepreneur (Kenny Rogers Roasters), dies of natural causes at 81

  • 2020 Borislav Stanković, Serbian Basketball Hall of Fame administrator (International Basketball Federation secretary general 1976-2002), dies at 94
  • 2021 Peter Lorimer, Scottish soccer midfielder (21 caps; Leeds United 526 games), dies at 74
March 20 Highlights