On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 11

  • 1304 Maḥmūd Ghāzān, 7th Mongol Empire ruler in Iran, dies at 32
  • 1610 Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit missionary (China), dies at 57
  • 1621 Johann Arndt, German Lutheran theologian and author of books on devotional Christianity, dies at 65
  • 1631 Christoph Buel, German composer, dies at 57
  • 1672 Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline, Scottish peer, dies at 57
  • 1708 Jules Hardouin Mansart, French architect, dies at 62
  • 1723 Jean Galbert de Campistron, French dramatist, dies at 66
  • 1742 Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker & son of Antonius, dies at 70
  • 1777 George Pigot, Baron Pigot, British governor of Madras, dies at 58

Person of interestWilliam Pitt the Elder

1778 William Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister (Whig, 1756-61, 66-68) known as the `Great Commoner', dies at 69

British Prime Minister (The Great Commoner) William Pitt the Elder
British Prime Minister (The Great Commoner)
William Pitt the Elder
  • 1779 John Heart, American farmer (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at about 68

MurderSpencer Perceval

1812 Spencer Perceval, British statesman and Prime Minister (1809–1812), assassinated by John Bellingham at 49

British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval
British Prime Minister
Spencer Perceval
  • 1819 Kaspar Furstenau, German composer, dies at 47
  • 1845 Carl Filtsch, Transylvanian composer & pianist child prodigy, dies of tuberculosis at 14
  • 1848 Tom Cribb, English boxer, dies at 66
  • 1849 Otto Nicolai, German composer & conductor, dies at 38 of a stroke

  • 1849 Juliette Récamier, French socialite, dies at 71
  • 1857 Eugène François Vidocq, French criminal & police detective, dies at 81
  • 1871 John Herschel, English cataloguer of southern hemisphere stars, dies at 79
  • 1874 Franklin Buchanan, American first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, dies at 73
  • 1881 Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Journal Intime), dies at 59
  • 1887 Jean Baptiste Boussingault, French chemist, dies at 85
  • 1891 Edmond Becquerel, French physicist who studied the solar spectrum, magnetism, electricity and optics (photovoltaic effect), dies at 71
  • 1907 John Albert Delany, Australian composer, dies at 54
  • 1916 Karl Schwarzschild, German astronomer (Schwarzschild effect), dies at 42
  • 1916 Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), dies at 43
  • 1917 Otto Adolf Klauwell, German composer, dies at 66
  • 1920 William Dean Howells, American author (A Woman's Reason), dies at 83
  • 1924 Moses Walker, American baseball catcher (first African-American open about his heritage to play MLB; Toledo Blue Stockings), dies at 66
  • 1927 Henry Martyn Robert, American soldier & parliamentarian (Robert's Rules of Order), dies at 90
  • 1927 Juan Gris, Spanish cubist painter, dies at 40
  • 1929 Jozef Murgaš, Slovak inventor, dies at 65
  • 1934 Orest Khvolson, Russian physicist & honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1920), dies at 81
  • 1935 Edward Herbert Thompson, American archaeologist (Mayan civilization), dies at 78
  • 1937 Viliam Figuš-Bystrý, Slovak composer, dies at 62
  • 1937 Ellen Hansell, American tennis player (US National champion 1887), dies at 67

  • 1938 Arnold Sauwen, Flemish poet (Hours of Solitude), dies at 81
  • 1939 Yevgeny Miller [Eugen Ludwig Müller], Baltic German general and a leader of the anticommunist White Army during and after the Russian Civil War, executed at 71 after being kidnapped in Paris by Soviet intelligence and taken to Moscow where he was tortured and eventually shot
  • 1943 Szmul Zygielbojm, Jewish-Polish socialist politician (Bund) and activist, commits suicide to protest Allied indifference to the Holocaust during WWII at 48
  • 1944 Henk Hos, Dutch resistance fighter, executed at 37
  • 1944 Walter Oesau, German fighter pilot (WWII), dies at 30
  • 1947 Ture Rangström, Swedish composer, dies at 62
  • 1952 Giovanni Tebaldini, Italian composer, dies at 87
  • 1953 Jean Adair, Canadian actress, dies at 80
  • 1955 Gilbert Jessop, English cricket batsman (18 Tests; Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1898), dies at 80
  • 1956 Walter S Adams, American astronomer & director of Mount Wilson, dies at 79

Person of interestJohn D. Rockefeller Jr

1960 John D. Rockefeller Jr., American financier & philanthropist, dies of pneumonia at 86

Financier and Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr
Financier and Philanthropist
John D. Rockefeller Jr
  • 1962 Hans Luther, German politician (Chancellor, 1925-6), dies at 83
  • 1963 Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist & Nobel laureate, dies at 74
  • 1965 Roger Vailland, French author, dies at 57
  • 1970 Johnny Hodges, American saxophonist, dies at 62
  • 1973 Grigory Kozintsev, Russian director, dies at 68
  • 1973 Lex Barker, American actor, dies at 53
  • 1975 Walter Kinsella, American actor (Martin Kane Private Eye), dies at 74
  • 1976 Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect (Finlandia House), dies at 78
  • 1976 Camille Schmit, Belgian composer, dies at 68
  • 1978 John Clinge Doorenbos, Dutch journalist & poet, dies at 93
  • 1979 Joan Chandler, American actress, dies at 55
  • 1979 Lester Raymond Flatt, American musician (Ballad of Jed Clampett), dies at 64

Person of interestBob Marley

1981 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician (One Love), dies of brain and lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • 1981 Hoyt J. Fuller, American editor (1st World magazine), dies at 57
  • 1981 Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist (Nobel 1969 - the study of the three-dimensional geometric structure of molecules), dies at 83
  • 1982 Leigh Snowden [Martha Lee Estes], American actress (All That Heaven Allows), dies of cancer at 51
  • 1982 Piet van Egmond, Dutch organist & conductor (Neth Chamber Orchestra), dies at 70
  • 1983 Zenna Henderson, American sci-fi author (Anything Box), dies at 65
  • 1985 Chester Gould, American cartoonist (Dick Tracy), dies at 84
  • 1985 Garmt Stuiveling, Dutch writer & poet (Ego & Echo), dies at 77
  • 1985 Jorja Curtright, American actor (Whistle Stop), dies of a heart attack at 89
  • 1986 Henry P. McIlhenny, American philanthropist, dies at 76
  • 1986 Fritz Pollard, American football player, dies at 92
  • 1987 James Jesus Angleton, American intelligence officer & head of counterintelligence for the CIA (1954-75), dies at 69

Person of interestKim Philby

1988 Kim Philby, British spy & Soviet mole who was a member of the "Cambridge Five", dies at 76

  • 1989 Jitka Snížková, Czech composer, music educator and musicologist, dies at 64
  • 1991 Ho Dam, North Korean foreign minister (1970-83), dies at 62
  • 1992 Carlos Herrera, American drink inventor (Margarita), dies at 90
  • 1992 Elizabeth McDonald, American inventor (Spic & Span), dies at 98
  • 1994 Alfred James Broomhall, British Protestant Christian medical missionary to China, dies at 82
  • 1994 Danny Overbea, American singer & guitarist (40 Cups of Coffee), dies at 68
  • 1994 Leonard Friedman, British-Lithuanian violinist (Scottish Baroque Ensemble), dies at 63
  • 1994 Lewis B Puller, American writer (Pulitzer 1992), commits suicide at 48
  • 1994 Timothy Carey, American actor (Paths of Glory, The Killing), dies of stroke at 65
  • 1995 David Avidan, Israeli poet, dies at 62
  • 1995 William John Phillips, British actor (Nothing but a Man, Z-Cars), dies at 80
  • 1995 Tibor Sarai, Hungarian composer, dies at 76
  • 1996 Bruce Boyce, Canadian-born American singer & teacher, dies at 85
  • 1996 Joan Thirkettle, British journalist, dies at 48
  • 1996 Malcolm MacEwen, Scottish conservationist & communist activist, dies at 84
  • 1996 Nnamdi Azikiwe, 1st President of Nigeria (1963-66), dies at 91
  • 1996 Walter Hyatt, American singer & songwriter (Uncle Walt's Band), dies at 46
  • 1996 Ademir de Menezes, Brazilian footballer (Brazil national team 1945-53), dies at 73
  • 1997 Brenda Carlin, American television producer & wife of comedian George Carlin, dies at 57

  • 2000 Paula Wessely, Austrian actress, dies at 93

Person of interestDouglas Adams

2001 Douglas Adams, English author (Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy), dies of myocardial infarction and a fatal cardiac arrhythmia at 49

  • 2001 Klaus Schlesinger, German writer, dies at 64
  • 2002 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-American mafioso & crime boss of the Bonanno crime family, dies of heart failure at 97
  • 2002 Renaude Lapointe, French-Canadian journalist & senator, dies at 90
  • 2003 Noel Redding, English bassist (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), dies at 57
  • 2003 Ernie Toshack, Australian cricket fast bowler (12 Tests, 47 wickets), dies at 88
  • 2004 John C. Whitehead, American singer (McFadden & Whitehead), dies at 92
  • 2004 Mick Doyle, Irish rugby union footballer & coach, dies at 64
  • 2005 Michalis Genitsaris, Greek rebetiko singer & composer, dies at 88

Person of interestFloyd Patterson

2006 Floyd Patterson, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1956-59, 1960-62, Olympic gold 1952), dies of prostate cancer at 71

Boxing Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxing Champion
Floyd Patterson
  • 2006 Frankie Thomas, American actor & author (Tom Corbett Space Cadet), dies of a stroke at 85
  • 2006 Yossi Banai, Israeli singer, dies at 74
  • 2007 Malietoa Tanumafili II, Sovereign Ruler of Samoa, dies at 94
  • 2007 Bernard Gordon, American writer & producer (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), dies at 88
  • 2008 Dottie Rambo, American gospel singer, dies at 74
  • 2008 John Rutsey, Canadian drummer (Rush), dies at 55
  • 2008 Bruno Neves, Portuguese cyclist, dies in competition at 26
  • 2011 [Eugene Edward] Snooky Young, American jazz trumpeter who mastered the plunger mute, dies at 92
  • 2012 Dorothea Hochleitner, Austrian giant slalom (Olympic bronze 1956), dies at 86
  • 2013 Jack Butler, American football player, dies from complications from staph infection at 85
  • 2013 Oliver "Ollie" Mitchell, American musician & bandleader (The Wrecking Crew), dies of cancer at 86
  • 2014 Ed Gagliardi, American bass guitarist, dies from cancer at 62
  • 2014 Reg Gasnier, Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame centre and captain (36 Tests; 3 World Cup; St. George), dies at 74
  • 2016 Jim Pothecary, South African cricket medium pace bowler (3 Tests, 9 wickets; Western Province), dies at 82
  • 2017 Yale Lary, American NFL safety Hall of Famer (Detroit Lions), dies at 86
  • 2018 Josh Greenfeld, American author & screenwriter (A Child Called Noah), dies at 90
  • 2018 Scott Hutchinson, Scottish musician (Frightened Rabbit), found dead after a suffering from mental illness at 36
  • 2019 Harold Lederman, American boxing judge & analyst (HBO), dies of cancer at 79

Person of interestJerry Stiller

2020 Jerry Stiller, American comedian (Frank Constanza-Seinfeld, Stiller & Meara), dies of natural causes at 92

Comedian Jerry Stiller
Comedian
Jerry Stiller
  • 2020 Francisco Aguilar, Spanish soccer forward (3 caps; Real Madrid), dies at 71
  • 2020 John "Moon" Martin, American rockabilly singer-songwriter and guitarist (Bad Case Of Loving You), dies at 74
May 11 Highlights