On This Day

Famous Deaths on March 8

  • 883 Albumasar [Ahmad Aboe M Gafar al-Balkhi], Arabic astronomer, dies
  • 1126 Urraca of Castile (b. 1082)
  • 1144 Celestine II [Guido], Italian Pope (1143-44), dies in battle
  • 1223 Wincenty Kadłubek, Polish chronicler (b. 1161)
  • 1403 Bajezid I Jildirim, 4th sultan of Turkey (1389-1403), dies at 42
  • 1466 Francesco Sforza, Italian condottiero and Duke of Milan (1401–1466), dies at 64
  • 1550 Juan de Dios, Port/Sp saint (Brothers of Mercy), dies at 55
  • 1616 Maria Anna of Bavaria, Empress consort of the Holy Roman Empire, dies at 41
  • 1638 Jacob C van Neck, admiral/mayor of Amsterdam, dies at about 73
  • 1640 Guillaume van Messaus, composer, dies at 50
  • 1641 Xu Xiake, Chinese adventurer (b. 1587)
  • 1661 Jules Mazarin, Italian cardinal/premier of France, dies at 58
  • 1674 Charles Sorel, sieur de Souvigny, French writer (b. 1597)
  • 1702 John de Baen, portrait painter/etcher, buried at 69

William III

1702 William III, William of Orange, King of England, Scotland and Ireland (1689-1702) and Stadtholder, dies of pneumonia at 51

  • 1709 William Cowper/Cooper, English anatomist, dies at about 62
  • 1716 Harald Vallerius, composer, dies at 69
  • 1720 Georg Bronner, German composer and organist, dies at 53
  • 1724 Enrico Giovanni Zuccalli, Swiss architect, dies at about 81
  • 1728 Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni, Italian literary and critic (Arcadia), dies at 64
  • 1731 Ferdinand Brokoff, Czech sculptor and carver of the Baroque era, dies at 42
  • 1734 Carolomannus Pachschmidt, Austrian composer, dies at 33
  • 1754 Don Jose de Carvajal bon Lancaster, Sp min of Foreign affairs, dies
  • 1757 Thomas Blackwell, Scottish classical scholar, dies at 55
  • 1771 Louis August le Clerc, French-born sculptor (b. 1688)
  • 1817 Wentworth Cheswell, American auditor, teacher, Revolutionary War messenger, 1st African American elected to public office, dies of typhus fever at 70
  • 1819 Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge, doctor, Massachusetts militia officer, member of the Massachusetts legislature (b. 1739)
  • 1828 Johann Anton Sulzer, Swiss writer and composer, dies at 75
  • 1844 Charles XIV [Jean Bernadotte], French-born King of Sweden & Norway (1818-44), Marshall of France, dies at 81
  • 1853 Edward John Dent, British clockmaker to Queen Victoria and commissioned to make Big Ben, London (completed after his death by his son Frederick Dent), dies at 62

Bill the Butcher

1855 William Poole, Infamous member of New York City's Bowery Boys gang, dies of a gunshot wound at 33

  • 1862 Adrien de La Fage, composer, dies at 56

Hector Berlioz

1869 Hector Berlioz, French composer (Symphony Fantastic), dies at 65

  • 1872 Cornelius Krieghoff, Dutch-Canadian painter, dies at 56

Millard Fillmore

1874 Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States (Whig: 1850-53), dies at 74

  • 1887 Pavel Annenkov, Russian literature historian/critic, dies at 73 (b. 1813)
  • 1887 Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (b. 1813)
  • 1887 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor (Eads Bridge-St Louis), dies at 66

John Ericsson

1889 John Ericsson, Swedish-American inventor (screw propeller, rotating turret), dies at 85

  • 1901 Karl Freiherr von Stumm-Halberg, German politician, dies at 64
  • 1901 Peter Benoit, Flemish composer/conductor (High Mass), dies at 66

Ferdinand von Zeppelin

1917 Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and inventor (rigid dirigibles) who founded the Zeppelin airship company, dies at 78

  • 1919 Auguste Tolbecque, composer, dies at 88
  • 1920 Rafael Obligado, Argentine writer (Santos Vega), dies at 69
  • 1920 Wilhelm Bousset, German theologist and historian, dies at 54
  • 1923 Krišjānis Barons, Latvian writer, dies at 87

William Howard Taft

1930 William Howard Taft, 27th US President (Republican: 1909-13) and Chief Justice, dies at 72

  • 1930 Edward Terry Sanford, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (b. 1865)
  • 1931 Clara Kathleen Rogers, composer, dies at 87
  • 1932 Jan de Louter, Dutch lawyer and tutor of Dutch Queen Wilhelmina, dies at 84
  • 1935 Ruan Lingyu [Fenggen], Chinese silent film actress (The Goddess), commits suicide at 24
  • 1937 Albert Verwey, Dutch poet/literature historian (Motion), dies at 71

Howie Morenz

1937 Howie Morenz, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center (Montreal Canadiens, 3-time Stanley Cup winner), dies of a heart attack at 34

  • 1941 José Serrano Simeón, Spanish composer, dies at 67
  • 1941 Sherwood Anderson, American author & publisher (Winesburg Ohio), dies at 64
  • 1945 H J Jamin, Dutch resistance fighter, dies in Buchenwald
  • 1945 Jan Beekes, resistance fighter, executed at 26
  • 1946 Frederick Lanchester, English Engineer who built the first British petrol automobile (1896), dies at 77
  • 1948 Emily Bissell, American welfare worker and founder of Christmas Seals, dies at 86
  • 1950 Jaroslav Kocian, composer, dies at 67
  • 1951 Honeymoon Killers, dies in electric chair
  • 1951 John Winter Thompson, composer, dies at 83
  • 1955 Clémentine, Princess of Belgium, wife of Prince Napoleon Bonaparte V, dies at 82
  • 1957 Othmar Schoeck, composer, dies at 70
  • 1958 Josephina "Frieda" Herberich, German actress (Salontiroler), dies at 85
  • 1959 Abdel Wahab Shawwaf, Iraqi colonel/putschist, murdered
  • 1961 Thomas Beecham, English conductor (co-founded and led London Philharmonic, 1932-39; Royal Philharmonic, 1946-60), dies of heart failure at 81
  • 1963 John Hartley, cricketer (bowl avg 115 in 2 Tests for Eng 1906), dies
  • 1965 Esther Howard, actress (Detour), dies of heart attack at 72
  • 1965 Tadd Dameron, American jazz pianist, composer ("If You Could See Me Now"; "Lady Bird"), arranger (Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine) and band leader, dies of cancer at 48
  • 1967 John F Bothwell, actor (Freckles-Our Gang), dies at 46
  • 1967 Herman "Ivory" Chittison, American jazz pianist (Harlem Rhythm Makers), dies at 58
  • 1971 Harold Lloyd sr, American silent film actor, comedian, and director (Why Worry, Safety Last!), dies of cancer at 77
  • 1972 Erich von dem Bach, Nazi official (b. 1899)
  • 1973 [John] Gordon Leggat, New Zealand cricketer (open batsman in 9 Tests 1953-56), dies at 46
  • 1973 Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, American rocker (Grateful Dead) dies at 27
  • 1974 Christian van Geel, Dutch poet/sculptor (Spinroc), dies at 56
  • 1974 Willem "Wim" Sonneveld, Dutch singer considered one of the 'Great Three' of Dutch cabaret (My Fair Lady), dies from a heart attack at 56
  • 1975 George Stevens, American director (Swing Time, Gunga Din), dies at 70
  • 1976 Alfons Rebane, Estonian military commander (b. 1908)
  • 1977 Henry Hull, American actor (Werewolf of London, Boys Town), dies at 86
  • 1983 William T Walton, English composer (Belhazzar's feast), dies at 80
  • 1985 Edward Andrews, American actor (Tea & Sympathy, Glass Bottom Boat), dies of a heart attack at 70
  • 1985 Thomas Creighton, US heart patient (3 implants in 46 hrs), dies at 33
  • 1986 Hubert Fichte, German writer, dies of an AIDS related illness at 50
  • 1988 Lala Abdul Rashid, Pakistani field hockey goalkeeper (Olympic gold 1960), dies at 65
  • 1988 Werner Hartmann, German physicist (b. 1912)
  • 1988 Henryk Szeryng, Polish-born violinist (b. 1918)
  • 1988 Amar Singh Chamkila [Dhanni Ram], Punjabi folk singer "The Elvis of Punjab" killed by unknown gunmen as he arrived for concert at age 26 [1]
  • 1988 Ken Colyer, British New Orleans jazz devotee trumpeter, cornetist, and bandleader, dies at 79
  • 1989 Stuart Hamblen, American singer and composer (This Ole House), dies at 80
  • 1992 George "Red" Callender, American jazz and session string bass and tuba player, dies of thyroid cancer at 76
  • 1993 Billy Eckstine, American jazz singer (Tenderly, A Fool in Love), dies at 78 of a stroke
  • 1993 Johan Bodegraven, radio host (Purses Open, Dikes Closed), dies at 78
  • 1993 Joop Scheltens, TV host/director (Explore Your Place), dies at 69
  • 1993 Wells Root, American screenwriter (Prisoner of Zenda), dies at 92
  • 1993 Don Barksdale, American basketball forward (Olympic gold 1948, NBA All Star 1953), dies of throat cancer at 69
  • 1994 John Ewart, Sydney Australia, dies of cancer at 55
  • 1994 Joop C Swart, publisher/founder (World Press Photo), dies at 69
  • 1994 Knut Haukelid, Norway/US resistance fighter (Rjukan 1943), dies at 82
  • 1995 Ota Adler, Czech-British fur trader and founder (Jewish Aid Trust), dies at 83
  • 1995 Paul Horgan, American novelist (Mountain Standard Time), dies at 91
  • 1995 Ingo Schwichtenberg, German drummer, commits suicide at 29
  • 1996 Alison McCartney, pathologist/Breast Cancer campaigner, dies at 45
  • 1996 Jack Churchill, British Army commando, dies at 89
  • 1996 Paul Harrhy, actor and opera singer (Intelligence Park), dies at 38
  • 1997 Alexander Salkind, producer (Superman), dies at 75
  • 1997 Raymond Edwards, American doo-wop bass (The Silhouettes - "Get A Job"), dies of cancer at 72
  • 1999 Mary Margaret "Peggy" Cass, American actress, comedian, game show panelist and announcer (To Tell The Truth), dies at 74

Joe DiMaggio

1999 Joe DiMaggio, American Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder (13 × MLB All-Star; 9 x World Series; 3 x AL MVP; MLB record 56-game hitting streak; NY Yankees), dies of lung cancer at 84

  • 1999 Adolfo Bioy Casares, Argentinean writer (b.1914)
  • 1999 Hans Eklund, Swedish composer, dies at 71
  • 2001 Edward Winter, American actor (b. 1937)
  • 2003 Adam Faith, English singer and actor (b. 1940)
  • 2003 Karen Morley, American actress (b. 1909)
  • 2004 Robert Pastorelli, American actor (b. 1954)
  • 2004 Abu Abbas [Muhammad Zaidan], Palestinian founder of the Palestine Liberation Front, dies in American custody of allegedly natural causes at 55
  • 2004 Frank Mooney, New Zealand cricket wicketkeeper (13 Tests, 30 dismissals; Wellington), dies at 82
  • 2005 Aslan Maskhadov, Chechen leader (b. 1951)
  • 2005 César Lattes, Brazilian physicist (b. 1924)
  • 2006 Brian Barratt-Boyes, New Zealand heart surgeon (b. 1924)
  • 2007 John Inman, English actor (Mr. Humphries-Are You Being Served?), dies at 71
  • 2007 Viky Vanita, Greek actress (b. 1948)
  • 2007 John Vukovich, American baseball player and coach.. (b. 1947)
  • 2008 Carol Barnes, former ITV news presenter (b. 1944)
  • 2009 Zbigniew Religa, Minister of Health of the Republic of Poland (b. 1938)
  • 2009 Ali Bongo [William Oliver Wallace], British comedy musician and magician (President of The Magic Circle - Shriek of Araby), dies at 79
  • 2011 Mike Starr (musician), American Musician (b. 1966)
  • 2012 Leslie Cochran, American peace activist and police critic, dies from head trauma at 60
  • 2014 William Guarnere, American WWII veteran, dies at 90
  • 2015 Lew Soloff, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat and Tears), dies at 71
  • 2017 Lou Duva, American boxing trainer, dies at 94
  • 2018 Kate Wilhelm, American fiction author (Hugo Award: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang), dies of respiratory failure at 89
  • 2018 Sir Wilson Harris, Guyanese author (Palace of the Peacock, Jonestown, The Ghost of Memory), dies of natural causes at 96
  • 2018 Togo West Jr., American attorney and public official (3rd Secretary of Veterans Affairs 1998-2000), dies of a heart attack at 75
  • 2018 Milko Kelemen, Croat composer (Archetypon), dies at 93
  • 2019 Michael Gielen, Austrian conductor (Frankfurt Opera, 1967-87); Cincinnati Symphony, 1980-86); Southwest German Radio Symphony, 1986-99), and composer, dies at 91

Max Von Sydow

2020 Max Von Sydow, Swedish actor (The Seventh Seal, Exorcist, Game of Thrones), dies at 90

  • 2021 Norm Sherry, American baseball catcher (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets) and manager (California Angels), dies at 89
  • 2021 Rhéal Cormier, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (St. Louis Cardinals; Philadelphia Phillies; Boston Red Sox), dies of pancreatic cancer at 53 [1]
  • 2021 Norton Juster, American architect and children's author (The Phantom Tollbooth; The Dot and The Line), dies at 91 [1]
  • 2021 Fergal McCann, Irish Gaelic football coach and trainer (All-Ireland Championship 2005, 08; Tyrone), dies from cancer at 47
  • 2021 Julien-François Zbinden, Swiss jazz pianist, and jazz and classical composer (Monophrases), dies at 103
  • 2021 Trevor Peacock, British stage and screen actor (The Vicar of Dibley - "Jim Trott"), screenwriter, and songwriter ("Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter"), dies at 89
March 8 Highlights