On This Day

Famous Deaths on March 31

  • 1074 Regency Yorimichi Fujiwara of Japan (b. 992)
  • 1340 Ivan I of Moscow, Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of Vladimir (b. 1288)
  • 1389 Everhard Tserclaes, sheriff of Brussels, murdered

Francis I of France

1547 King Francis I of France (1515-47), dies complaining about the weight of the crown at 52

  • 1567 Philip, the Generous, count of Hessen, dies at 62
  • 1578 Juan de Escobedo, sec of Spanish land guardian Don Juan, murdered
  • 1621 Philip III, King of Spain & Portugal (1598-1621), dies at 42
  • 1631 John Donne, Metaphysical poet, dies (birth date unknown)
  • 1671 Anne Hyde, wife of James II of England (b. 1637)
  • 1703 Johann Christoph Bach, German composer, dies at 60
  • 1722 Campegius Vitringa, Dutch theologist/exegete, dies at 62
  • 1723 Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, British Governor of New York and New Jersey, dies at 61

Isaac Newton

1727 Isaac Newton, English physicist and astronomer (Principia), dies in London at 84

  • 1741 Pieter Burman the Elder, Dutch classical scholar, dies at 72
  • 1797 Betty Washington, younger sister of George Washington, dies at 63
  • 1837 John Constable, English landscape painter (Hay Wain), dies at 60
  • 1869 Allan Kardec, French author and founder of Spiritism, dies at 64
  • 1876 Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, American singer, known as "The Black Swan", who performed at Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria, dies at about 57 [birthdate uncertain]
  • 1877 Antoine Cournot, French philosopher and mathematician (rule of Cournot), dies at 75
  • 1880 Henryk Wieniawski, Polish violinist and composer (Souv de Moscou), dies at 44
  • 1881 Gaetano Gaspari, composer, dies at 73
  • 1884 Jan T Beelen, Neth/Belgian catholic bible expert, dies at 77
  • 1885 Franz W Abbot, German composer/choir conductor, dies at 65
  • 1885 Philipp Fahrbach the Elder, Austrian composer, dies at 69
  • 1886 Giovanni Rossi, composer, dies at 57
  • 1892 Adolf Rzepko, Polish composer, dies at 66
  • 1898 Edward Noyes Westcott, US attorney/writer (David Harum), dies
  • 1900 Frank Milligan, cricketer (Mafeking 2 Tests Eng v South Africa 1898-99), dies
  • 1901 John Stainer, English composer (The Crucifixion), dies at 60
  • 1903 Ebenezer Butterick, American inventor (tissue paper dress pattern), dies at 76

J. P. Morgan

1913 J. P. Morgan, Sr. [John Pierpont], American financier and banker (General Electric, US Steel Corporation, AT&T), dies in his sleep at 75

  • 1914 Christian Morgenstern, German poet (Ich und die Welt), dies at 42
  • 1915 Wyndham Halswelle, Scottish athlete (Olympic gold 1908), dies at 32
  • 1928 Gustave Ador, Swiss politician and 36th President of the Swiss Confederation (1919), dies at 82
  • 1928 Medardo Rosso, Italian sculptor (portraits), dies at 69
  • 1931 Knute Rockne, American College Football Hall of Fame receiver, coach, (Notre Dame, 13 National titles), dies in a plane crash at 43
  • 1931 Hermann Kutter, Swiss Protestant theologian (founder of Christian Socialism in Switzerland), dies at 67
  • 1934 Franz Ehrle, German Jesuit, head of Vatican library, dies at 88
  • 1938 Willem Kloos, Dutch poet and critic (New Guide), dies at 78
  • 1944 Mineichi Koga, admiral of Japanese fleet, dies

Hans Fischer

1945 Hans Fischer, German organic chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1930), commits suicide at 63

  • 1945 Maurice Rose, 1st US general in Nazi Germany, killed in action at 45
  • 1945 Maurice Donnay, French playwright (Lovers), dies at 85
  • 1948 Egon Kisch, Austrian-Czech writer and journalist (Raging Reporter), dies at 62
  • 1951 Ralph Forbes [Taylor], British screen and stage actor (Romeo and Juliet; Piccadilly Jim; Daniel Boone), dies at 46
  • 1952 Wallace H. White, Jr., American politician (Senate Majority Leader), dies at 74
  • 1956 Ralph DePalma, Italian-American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1915; American AAA National Dirt Track C'ship 1908-11), dies of cancer at 73
  • 1957 Gene Lockhart, American actor (Going My Way), dies at 65
  • 1959 Peter Suhrkamp, German publisher (Suhrkamp Verlag), dies at 68
  • 1961 Seerp Anema, Dutch poet and writer (Modern Art & Degenerating), dies at 85
  • 1967 Don Alvarado [Jose Page], American actor (Captain Thunder, Morning Glory, Big Steal), dies from cancer at 66
  • 1967 Hieronim Feicht, composer, dies at 72
  • 1968 Grover Lowdermilk, American baseball player (b. 1885)
  • 1970 Semjon Timoshenko, Russ marshal/inspector-general (WWII), dies at 75
  • 1971 Liselotte Liselot Beekmeyer, Dutch actress (Child Crying), dies at 31
  • 1971 Alfred Desenclos, French composer, mostly of liturgical works (Messe de Requiem), and teacher, dies at 59
  • 1972 Meena Kumari, Indian film actress (Parineeta), dies at 38
  • 1973 Kurt Thomas, German composer, dies at 68
  • 1974 Andrea Checci, actress (2 Women, Assassin, Black Sunday), dies at 57
  • 1976 Paul Strand, American photographer (b. 1890)
  • 1978 Astrid Allwyn, actress (Love Affair, Girl for Calgary), dies at 68
  • 1978 Charles Herbert Best, American-Canadian physiologist/co-discoverer (Insulin), dies at 79

Jesse Owens

1980 Jesse Owens, American athlete (4 Olympic gold 1936), dies of lung cancer at 66

  • 1980 Vladimír Holan, Czech poet, dies at 74
  • 1981 Enid Bagnold, British novelist (Chalk Garden, 1956 Award of Merit), dies at 91
  • 1982 Fritz Eberhard, West German lawyer and resistor (Law), dies at 85
  • 1983 Stephen Murray, English actor (Guilty, Silent Dust, Master Spy), dies at 70
  • 1983 Christina Stead, Australian writer (b. 1902)
  • 1984 Ronald Clark O'Bryan, American murderer, dies of lethal injection at 39
  • 1986 Jerry Paris, American director (Happy Days) and actor (The Dick Van Dyke Show- Jerry), dies at 60
  • 1986 O'Kelly Isley, American singer (Isley Brothers), dies of heart attack at 48
  • 1988 Talib Rasul Hakim, composer, dies at 48
  • 1988 William McMahon, 20th Prime Minister of Australia (Liberal: 1971-72), dies in his sleep at 80
  • 1990 Lillian "Miss" Miller, audience member (Merv Griffin, Tonight), dies
  • 1990 John Hawkes, Australian tennis player (Australasian C'ship singles, doubles, mixed doubles 1926), dies at 90
  • 1991 John Carter, American jazz clarinetist (Roots & Folklore), dies at 61
  • 1993 Brandon Lee, American actor (The Crow) and son of Bruce Lee, dies in an on-set firearms accident at 28
  • 1993 Jose Maria Lemus, president of El Salvador (1956-60), dies
  • 1993 Mitchell Parish, American lyricist, dies at 92
  • 1993 Chichay [Amparo Robles Custodio], Filipino comedienne and actress (Bilangguang puso, Ngitngit ng pitong whistle bomb), dies at 75
  • 1994 Léon Degrelle, Belgian Walloon-Spanish facisct Rexist Party leader, and Nazi collaborator, dies of a heart attack at 87
  • 1995 Carl Story, American bluegrass musician (Rambling Mountaineers), dies at 78
  • 1995 Selena [Quintanilla-Pérez], Mexican-American singer-songwriter known as the Queen of Tejano music (Grammy-1994), killed by a fan at 23
  • 1996 Dante Giacosa, engineer/designer, dies at 91
  • 1996 Dario Bellezza, Italian poet, dies of AIDS at 51
  • 1996 Jeffrey Lee Pierce, American singer and songwriter (The Gun Club), dies at 37
  • 1996 Julius Young, fast food entrepreneur, dies at 73
  • 1997 Edwin Alberian, TV celebrity (Clarabell), dies at 76
  • 1997 Laxmishankar Pathak, food retailer, dies at 62
  • 1997 Arthur Cunningham, American composer, dies at 68
  • 1998 Bella Abzug "Battling Bella", American politician, feminist and activist (Rep-D-NY, 1970-74), dies at 77
  • 1998 Tim Flock, American auto racer (Winston Cup 1952, 55), dies of liver and throat cancer at 73
  • 1999 Yuri Knorozov, Russian linguist (b. 1922)
  • 2001 Clifford Shull, American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1915)
  • 2002 Barry Took, British comedian (b. 1928)
  • 2003 H.S.M. Coxeter, English-born geometer (b. 1907)
  • 2003 Tommy Seebach, Danish musician and singer (Sir Henry and his Butlers), dies at 53
  • 2003 Anne Gwynne [Marguerite Gwynne Trice], American model and actress (Ride 'em Cowboy, House of Frankenstein), dies following a stroke at 84
  • 2003 George Conner, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle / linebacker (Pro Bowl 1950–53; First-team All-Pro 1950–53, 55; Chicago Bears), dies at 78
  • 2003 Emmanuel Ghent, Canadian-American electronic music composer (Phosphones), dies at 77
  • 2005 Stanley J. Korsmeyer, American oncologist (b. 1951)
  • 2005 Frank Perdue, American poultry farmer (b. 1920)
  • 2005 Terri Schiavo, American figure in right to die case (b. 1963)
  • 2005 Justiniano Montano, Filipino politician, dies at 99
  • 2006 Jackie McLean, American jazz saxophonist (b. 1931 or 1932)
  • 2007 Paul Watzlawick, Communications & Constructivism Theorist (b. 1921)
  • 2008 Jules Dassin, American film director (The Naked City; Night And The City; Rififi), blacklisted during McCarthy era, dies at 96
  • 2008 Bill Keightley, American college basketball equipment manager known as "Mr. Wildcat" (University of Kentucky, 1962-2008) dies at 81
  • 2008 William L. Dickinson, American politician (Rep-R-AL, 1965-93), dies at 82
  • 2009 Jarl Alfredius, Swedish news anchor (b. 1943)
  • 2009 Raúl Alfonsín, President of Argentina (1983-89), dies of lung cancer at 82
  • 2010 Shirley Mills, American actress (b. 1926)
  • 2011 Mel McDaniel, American country singer ("Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On") dies of lung cancer at 68
  • 2014 Charles Keating, American district attorney (Los Angeles California), dies at 90
  • 2016 Zaha Hadid, British architect (London Aquatic Centre), dies at 65
  • 2016 Ronnie Corbett, British comedian (The Two Ronnies), dies at 85

Imre Kertész

2016 Imre Kertész, Hungarian writer (Nobel Laureate 2002) and concentration camp survivor, dies at 86

  • 2016 Hans-Dietrich Genscher, German Minister of Foreign Affairs (FDP), worked to re-unify Germany, dies at 89
  • 2016 Douglas Wilmer, British actor (Sherlock Holmes, Octopussy, El Cid), dies of pneumonia at 96
  • 2017 Gilbert Baker, American gay activist, designed the rainbow flag, dies at 65
  • 2017 James Rosenquist, American pop artist, dies at 83
  • 2017 Rubén Amaro, Sr., Mexican baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies), dies at 81
  • 2018 Frank Aendenboom, Flemish actor (Lion of Flanders), dies at 76
  • 2019 Nipsey Hussle [Ermias Asghedom], American rapper and activist, shot and killed at 33
  • 2020 Pape Diouf, Senegalese journalist and football agent (president Olympique de Marseille 2005-09; first black president in Europe's top 6 leagues), dies from COVID-19 at 68
  • 2020 Tony Adams, radio and television broadcaster (WCAX-TV Sports Director 1954-89; Vermont sports figure), dies at 95
  • 2020 Jeff Grosso, American skateboarder (host Youtube’s 'Vans Loveletters to Skateboarding'), dies at 51
  • 2020 Richard Friedman, American psychoanalyst who proved sexual orientation biological, dies at 79
  • 2020 Wallace Roney, American post-bop jazz trumpeter, dies of Covid-19 complications at 59 [1]
  • 2020 Zoltán Peskó, Hungarian opera conductor and composer, dies at 83
  • 2020 Cristina [Monet Zilkha], American dance-pop singer songwriter (Sleep It Off), dies at 64
  • 2021 Ron Greene, American college basketball coach (Uni of New Orleans, Mississippi State, Murray State, Indiana State), dies at 82
  • 2021 Ken Reitz, American baseball third baseman (MLB All Star 1980; Gold Glove Award 1975; St. Louis Cardinals), dies at 69
March 31 Highlights