Famous Deaths on May 12

  • 912 Leo VI Sophos, Byzantine Emperor (886-912) and writer (Problematica), dies at 45
  • 1003 Gerbert, French scholar, dies in Rome
  • 1003 Pope Sylvester/Silvester II, [Gerbert van Aurillac], 1st French Pope (999-1003), dies
  • 1012 Sergius IV, [Pietro Crescentii], Italian Pope (1009-12), dies
  • 1382 Johanna I, Queen of Naples/Provence, dies
  • 1465 Thomas Palaeologus, Despot of the Despotate of Morea
  • 1634 George Chapman, English dramatist/interpreter, dies
  • 1641 Thomas Wentworth, 1st earl of Strafford and Viceroy of Ireland, beheaded at 48
  • 1649 Isaac Doreslaer, English lawyer/diplomat, murdered
  • 1684 Edme Mariotte, French physicist and priest
  • 1699 Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (b. 1626)
  • 1708 Adolf Friedrich II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (b. 1658)
  • 1737 Cornelis van Alkemade, historian, dies at 83
  • 1748 Thomas Lowndes, English astronomer (b. 1692)
  • 1759 Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, French sculptor, dies at 58
  • 1784 Abraham Trembley, Swiss naturalist (first to study freshwater polyps or hydra), dies at 73

  • 1792 Charles Simon Favart, French dramatist, dies at 81
  • 1796 Johann Peter Uz, German poet (Theodicee), dies at 75
  • 1801 Nicholas Repnin, Russian statesman (b. 1734)
  • 1811 Louis-Charles-Joseph Rey, French classical cellist and composer, dies at 52
  • 1814 Robert Treat Paine, American judge (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 83
  • 1825 Elias Mann, American composer, dies at 75
  • 1825 Stanislao Mattei, composer, dies at 75
  • 1843 Johann Georg Lickl, Austrian composer, dies at 74
  • 1843 Charlotte von Kalb, German writer, dies at 81
  • 1845 August Wilhelm Schlegel, German poet, translator and critic, dies at 77
  • 1845 János Bacsanyi, Hungarian poet (b. 1763)
  • 1852 John Richardson, Canadian writer (War of 1812), dies at 55
  • 1856 Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, French mathematician (b. 1786)
  • 1860 Charles Barry, British architect, dies at 64
  • 1861 Christian Heinrich Hohmann, composer, dies at 50
  • 1864 Abner Monroe Perrin, Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle at 37

Person of interestJ.E.B. Stuart

1864 J.E.B. Stuart [James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart], Confederate General, dies at 31

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart
Confederate General
J.E.B. Stuart
  • 1867 Friedrich William Eduard Gerhard, German archaeologist (b. 1795)
  • 1871 Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber, French opera composer, dies at 89
  • 1871 John F W Herschel, British astronomer (Catalogue of Nebulae), dies
  • 1876 Henri-François-Alphonse Esquiros, French poet and writer (Evangile du peuple), dies at 63
  • 1876 Georgi Benkovski, Bulgarian revolutionary, brutally killed by the Turks (b. 1843)
  • 1878 Catherine Beecher, American educator (championed higher education for women), dies at 77
  • 1884 Bedrich Friedrich Smetana, Czech composer (2 Widows), dies at 60
  • 1896 Juan Morel Campos, composer, dies at 38

  • 1897 Ulrika "Minna" Cant-Johnstown, Finnish playwright, dies at 53
  • 1897 Willem Roelofs, Dutch painter and lithographer, dies at 75
  • 1906 Gabriel C. Wharton, American civil engineer and Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 81
  • 1907 J K Huysmans, writer, dies at 59
  • 1908 Melesio Morales, Mexican composer, dies at 69
  • 1916 James Connolly, Irish socialist (founder of the Irish Socialist Republican Party), dies at 47
  • 1918 Abel Hoadley, Australian confectioner (Violet Crumble), dies at 73
  • 1921 Emilia Pardo Bazan, Spanish writer (La sirena negra), dies
  • 1924 Charles Henri Marechal, composer, dies at 82
  • 1925 Alfred Milner, British governor (Cape Colony) and colonial administrator, dies at 71
  • 1925 Amy Lowell, American imagist poet (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) 1926, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 51
  • 1925 Arthur Napoleao dos Santos, Portugese composer, dies at 82
  • 1931 Eugene Ysaye, Belgian composer and violinist, dies at 72

Person of interestJózef Piłsudski

1935 Józef Piłsudski, Father of the Second Polish Republic who served as its Chief of State (1918-22), Marshall of Poland and later its de facto leader (1926-35), dies at 67

Statesman and First Marshall Józef Piłsudski
Statesman and First Marshall
Józef Piłsudski
  • 1941 Ruth Stonehouse, silent film actress and director, dies at 48
  • 1943 Albert Stoessel, American composer, dies at 48
  • 1944 Arthur T Quiller-Couch [Q], British author/critic, dies at 80
  • 1948 Isidor Achron, composer, dies at 55
  • 1951 Oscar DePriest, (Rep-D-Ill), dies at 80
  • 1956 Hendrik P Marchant, Dutch minister of Education, dies at 87
  • 1956 Louis Calhern, American actor (Julius Caesar, Blackboard Jungle), dies at 61
  • 1956 Vladimír Ambros, Czech composer, dies at 65
  • 1957 Erich von Stroheim, Austrian film director and actor (Sunset Boulevard, Blind Husbands, La Grande Illusion), dies at 71
  • 1957 Alfonso de Portago, Spanish bobsledder and race car driver (b. 1928)
  • 1960 Cecil Armstrong Gibbs, English composer, dies at 70
  • 1960 Prince Aly Khan [Ali Salman Aga Khan], Pakistani socialite, jockey, political ambassador and husband to Rita Hayworth, dies from injuries sustained in a car accident at 48
  • 1962 Dick Calkins, co-author (Buck Rogers), dies at 67
  • 1963 Stanislaw Wiechowicz, composer, dies at 69
  • 1963 Robert Kerr, Canadian runner (1908 Olympics), dies at 80
  • 1965 Roger Vailland, French playwright (La Truite), dies at 57
  • 1966 Felix Martin Julius Steiner, German Heer and Waffen-SS officer (b. 1896)
  • 1967 Julius Kalas, Czech composer, dies at 64
  • 1967 John Masefield, British writer and poet (Salt-Water Ballads), Poet Laureate (1930-67), dies at 88

Person of interestNelly Sachs

1970 leonie "Nelly" Sachs, German/Swedish poet (Nobel 1966), dies at 78

  • 1970 Wladyslaw Anders, Polish general (WW I, WW II), dies at 78
  • 1971 Johnny Taylor, Australian cricketer (20 Tests 1920-26, 997 runs), dies at 75
  • 1971 Heinie Manush, American baseball player (b. 1901)
  • 1971 Tor Johnson [Tore Johansson], Swedish wrestler and actor (Bride of the Monster), dies at 67
  • 1973 Frances Marion, screenwriter (Pollyanna, Camille), dies at 85
  • 1973 Art Pollard, American racecar driver (b. 1927)
  • 1976 Rudolf Kempe, German conductor (Tonhalle Orch 1965-72), dies at 65
  • 1977 Luc van Brabant, Flemish writer and erotic poet, dies at 67
  • 1980 Lillian Roth [Rutstein], American singer and actress (Animal Crackers, Alice Sweet Alice), dies at 69
  • 1981 Benjamin Sheares, President of Singapore (1971-81), dies at 73
  • 1982 Humphrey Searle, writer (20th Century counterpoint), dies at 66
  • 1984 Doris May, actress (Peck's Bad Boy), dies at 81 of heart failure
  • 1985 Jean Debuffet, French painter and sculptor (Landscape with 2 Personages), dies at 83
  • 1986 Elisabeth Bergner, dies at 85
  • 1986 Lee Bonnell, American actor, dies at 67
  • 1987 Victor Feldman, British jazz pianist and drummer, dies at 53 of a heart attack
  • 1988 Paul Osborn, American playwright (Mornings at 7), dies at 86
  • 1989 Joe Valdez Caballero, creator of hard taco, shell, dies at 81
  • 1989 Marcelle de Manziarly, French pianist and composer, dies at 89
  • 1992 Joe Burke, president (KC Royals), dies at 68, dies
  • 1992 Robert Reed, American actor (Mike-Brady Bunch, Nurse), dies of AIDs at 59
  • 1992 Lenny Montana, American actor (b. 1926)
  • 1994 Alfred Lane Beit, connoisseur, dies at 91
  • 1994 David Brooks, psychologist, dies at 91
  • 1994 Helen Lee Mai, Hong Kong actress, dies at 63
  • 1994 John Smith, British Labour Party chairman (1992-94), dies at 55
  • 1994 Xenophon Balaskas, South Africa cricketer (9 Tests for South Africa, 22 wkts), dies at 83
  • 1994 Erik Erikson, American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst who coined the phrase "identity crisis", dies at 91
  • 1995 Arthur Lubin, American film director and producer (Francis The Talking Mule, Mr Ed), dies at 95
  • 1995 Giorgio Belladonna, Italian bridge champion, dies of lung cancer at 71
  • 1995 Reza Abdoh, theatre Director, dies at 32
  • 1995 Marcel Rubin, Austrian composer, dies at 89
  • 1996 Hubert William Dean, air armaments specialist, dies at 84
  • 1996 Robert Edwin Hall, mountaineer/businessman, dies at 35
  • 1998 Hermann Lenz, German writer Swabian Chronicles), dies at 75
  • 1999 Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia 1993-1999 (b. 1910)

  • 1999 Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist and illustrator (The New Yorker), dies at 84
  • 1999 Penny Santon [Pierina Burlando], American actress (Fletch, Roll Out, Matt Houston), dies at 82
  • 2000 Adam Petty, American race car driver (b. 1980)
  • 2001 Perry Como, American singer (b. 1912)
  • 2001 Alexei Tupolev, Russian aircraft designer (b. 1925)
  • 2001 Didi [Waldyr Pereira], Brazilian footballer, dies at 72
  • 2002 Erich Kulas, ECW Wrestler (Mass Transit)
  • 2003 Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
  • 2003 Michael Richardson, British investment banker and advisor to Margaret Thatcher known as "Mr Privatisation", dies at 78
  • 2004 John LaPorta, American musician and composer, dies at 84
  • 2005 Martin Lings, English Islamic scholar (b. 1909)
  • 2005 Monica Zetterlund, Swedish singer and actress, dies at 67
  • 2006 Gillespie V. Montgomery, former U.S. representative from Mississippi (b. 1920)
  • 2007 Mullah Dadullah Akhund, Taliban military leader (b. 1966?)
  • 2007 Teddy Infuhr, American former child actor (The Bishop's Wife, They Live By Night), dies at 70
  • 2008 Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
  • 2008 Irena Sendler, Polish social worker, WWII heroine (b. 1910)
  • 2009 Antonio Vega, Spanish pop singer-songwriter (b. 1957)
  • 2011 Harry Danielsen, Norwegian educator and politician, dies at 74
  • 2014 H. R. Giger, Swiss Oscar-winning surrealist artist, dies from injuries from a fall at 74
  • 2014 Cornell Borchers, German actress (The Big Lift, Floodtide, Istanbul), dies at 89
  • 2015 Ruth Mompati, South African politician and Secretary of Nelson Mandela, dies at 89
  • 2016 Julius La Rosa, American singer (fired by Arthur Godfrey on the air), dies at 86
  • 2016 Delbert L. Latta, American politician (Rep-R-OH, 1959-89 ), dies at 96
  • 2017 Mauno Koivisto, President of Finland (1982-94), dies at 93
  • 2018 Chuck Knox, American NFL coach (Rams, Bills, Seahawks), dies of dementia at 86