On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 14

  • 347 Pachomius, Egyptian monastery founder/abbot (Coenobieten), dies
  • 649 Theodore, Greek Pope (642-49) (excommunicated by Paul II), dies
  • 964 John XII [Octavianus], Pope (955-64), dies
  • 1470 Charles VIII of Sweden, King of Sweden (1448–57, 1464–65 and 1467-70) and Norway (1449–50), dies at 60
  • 1565 Nicolaus von Amsdorf, German reformation theologist, dies at 81
  • 1574 Guru Amar Das, third Sikh Guru, dies at 95
  • 1608 Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1543)

AssassinationHenry IV of France

1610 Henry IV, 1st Bourbon King of Navarra (1572-1610) and France (1589-1610), assassinated at 56

Louis XIII

1643 Louis XIII, King of France (1610-43), dies at 41

  • 1649 Friedrich Spanheim, Dutch theologian (b. 1600)
  • 1667 Georges de Scudéry, French writer and dramatist (L'Amour tyrannique), dies at 65
  • 1688 Antoine Furetière, French writer (b. 1619)
  • 1726 John B Wellekens, poet/painter (Wedding Guests), dies
  • 1726 Moshe Darshan, Rabbi/author (Torat Ahsam), dies
  • 1742 Dominique Marie Valet, French RC/old-catholic bishop, dies at 64
  • 1754 Pierre-Claude Nivelle de La Chaussée, French writer (L’École des Mères), dies at 62
  • 1761 Thomas Simpson, English mathematician (rule of Simpson), dies at 50
  • 1801 Johann Ernst Altenburg, composer, dies at 66
  • 1818 Matthew Lewis, English novelist (The Monk), dies at 42
  • 1820 Paul Friedrich Struck, composer, dies at 43
  • 1832 John van Speijk, Dutch heroic sailor, buried
  • 1833 Johann Wilhelm Cornelius von Konigslow, composer, dies at 88
  • 1847 Fanny Cacilia Mendelssohn Hensel, German composer, dies at 41
  • 1860 Ludwig Bechstein, German writer (b. 1801)
  • 1863 Emile Racine Gauthier Prudent, composer, dies at 46
  • 1864 William N Green Jr, Union brigadier general, dies
  • 1868 John Newton Brown, American publisher and Baptist teacher, dies at 64
  • 1870 Ramon Vilanova y Barrera, composer, dies at 69
  • 1873 Gideon Brecher, Austrian physician and writer (b. 1797)
  • 1877 John Roberts, Welsh composer, minister and poet, dies at 54
  • 1878 Ookubo Toshimichi, Japanese statesman, samurai, and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration (b. 1830)
  • 1887 Lysander Spooner, American philosopher (b. 1808)
  • 1887 William Burnham Woods, American politician, judge, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), dies at 62
  • 1889 Volney E. Howard, American politician, dies at 79
  • 1893 Earnest E Kummer, German mathematician (surface of Kummer), dies at 83
  • 1893 Johan T Buys, Dutch lawyer, dies at 65
  • 1904 Richard Hol, Dutch composer, organist and conductor, dies at 78
  • 1906 Carl Schurz, German revolutionary and statesman (b. 1829)
  • 1912 August Strindberg, Swedish writer (Deaddans), dies at 63
  • 1912 Frederik VIII C W K, King of Denmark (1906-12), dies at 68
  • 1918 James Gordon Bennett, Jr., American newspaper publisher (b. 1841)

Henry John Heinz

1919 Henry John Heinz, German-American entrepreneur who founded prepared-foods company (H.J. Heinz Company-57 varieties), dies at 74

  • 1923 Charles de Freycinet, French prime minister (b. 1828)
  • 1925 Henry Rider Haggard, British author (King Solomon's Mines, She, Dawn), dies at 68
  • 1930 Władysław Orkan [Franciszek Ksawery Smaciarz], Polish author (Nowele Zebrane), dies at 54
  • 1931 David Belasco, American theatrical producer (b. 1853)
  • 1931 Denys Finch Hatton, English big-game hunter, dies at 44
  • 1934 Lou Criger, American baseball player (b. 1872)
  • 1936 Edmund Allenby, Viscount Allenby, English Fieldmarshal, General in Egypt during WWI, dies at 74
  • 1936 Samuel Pierre l'Honoré Naber, Dutch rear-admiral and librarian, dies at 71
  • 1938 Jacobus C J "Jacques" Hermans, actor (Ghetto), dies at 81
  • 1940 Eddy [Charles E] du Platform, writer/poet, dies
  • 1940 Emma Goldman, American anarchist and author (Living My Life), dies at 70
  • 1940 Jacob van Gelderen, economist/sociologist/SDAP-2nd-Chamber, dies at 49
  • 1940 Menno ter Braak, Dutch writer (Forum, New Elite), suicide at 38
  • 1940 Edgar du Perron, Dutch author and poet (Land of Origin), dies at 40
  • 1940 Willem Johannes Leyds, Dutch-South Africa lawyer and diplomat (State Secretary of the South African Republic), dies at 81
  • 1943 Henri La Fontaine, Belgian international lawyer (Nobel 1913), dies at 89
  • 1945 Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies at 88
  • 1947 John Ray Sinnock, US chief engraver (1925-47), dies at 59
  • 1953 Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Japanese-American painter, etcher and lithographer, dies at 59
  • 1954 Heinz Guderian, German general during WWII, dies at 65
  • 1955 Betty Ann Davies, dies at 44
  • 1956 Robert Willem Pieter Peereboom, Dutch editor in chief (Haarlem Newspaper), dies at 64
  • 1957 Marie Vassilieff [Mariya Vassiliéva], Russian-French Left Bank artist, dies at 73
  • 1959 Sidney Bechet, American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, band leader, and composer ("Petite Fleur"), dies of lung cancer on his 62nd birthday
  • 1962 Florence Auer, American actress (b. 1880)
  • 1965 Frances Perkins, American politician and 1st woman to hold cabinet-level position (Labor 1933-45), dies at 83
  • 1966 Georgia BD Camp Johnson, American poet/playwright, dies at 88
  • 1966 Megan Lloyd George, English politician (1st female MP for Welsh - Carmarthen), dies at 64
  • 1968 Husband Edward Kimmel, commandant US Ocean fleet WW II, dies at 86
  • 1969 Enid Bennett, silent film actress (Skippy, Hairpins), dies at 75
  • 1969 Frederick Lane, Australian swimmer (b. 1888)
  • 1970 (Mary) "Billie" Burke, American radio, stage, silent and sound film actress (Zieigfield Follies; The Wizard of Oz; Merrily We Live), dies at 85
  • 1973 Jean Gebser, German-born author, linguist, and poet, dies at 67
  • 1975 Ernst Alexanderson, Swedish-American television pioneer (Alexanderson alternator), dies at 97
  • 1976 Keith Relf, British blues-rock singer and harmonica player (The Yardbirds - "For Your Love"; Renaissance, 1969-71), electrocuted while playing an improperly earthed electric guitar at 33
  • 1978 Bill Lear, American engineer, manufacturer and CEO (Lear Jet Corp), dies at 75
  • 1979 Paul van 't Veeer, Dutch journalist/writer (Vrije Volk), dies at 57
  • 1980 Hugh Griffith, Welsh actor (Ben-Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty, Oliver!), dies from a heart attack at 67
  • 1980 Wilhelm Weismann, German composer, dies at 79
  • 1982 Mariel-Henri Jaspar, Belgian minister who unsuccessfully attempted to establish a Belgian government in London during World War II, dies at 80
  • 1982 Hugh Beaumont, American actor (The Mole People, Leave it to Beaver), dies from a heart attack at 73
  • 1983 Miguel Alemán Valdés, Mexican attorney and President of Mexico (1946-52), dies at 80
  • 1983 Roger J. Traynor, American judge (b. 1900)
  • 1984 Walter Rauff, German colonel (b. 1906)
  • 1984 Elmer Riddle, American baseball pitcher (NL wins leader 1943; Cincinnati Reds), dies at 69
  • 1985 Mohammed Munir, Indonesian worker's union leader, executed
  • 1987 Rita Hayworth [Margarita Cansino], American actress (Gilda, Cover Girl, The Lady from Shanghai), dies of Alzheimer's disease at 68
  • 1988 Willem Drees, Dutch statesman of the Labour Party (PvdA) and Prime Minister of the Netherlands, dies at 101
  • 1989 Joe Primeau, Canadian NHL center (Toronto Maple Leafs), dies at 83
  • 1990 Andre Ameller, composer, dies at 78
  • 1991 Ast Fonteyne, Flemish lecture artist, dies
  • 1991 Herman Niels, Flemish radio director, dies

Jiang Qing

1991 Jiang Qing [Madame Mao], Chinese communist and wife of Mao Zedong, commits suicide at 77

  • 1991 John Edward Craven, dies
  • 1991 Shintaro Abe, minister of Exterior of Japan (1982-86), dies
  • 1991 Aladár Gerevich, Hungarian fencer (7 Olympic gold 1932, 36, 48, 52, 56, 60), dies at 81
  • 1992 Lyle Alzado, NFL defensive linesman (LA Raiders) and actor (Oceans of Fire, Hangfire), dies of cancer at 43
  • 1993 Patrick Haemers, Belgian criminal, commits suicide at 40
  • 1993 William Randolph Hearst, Jr., American newspaper magnate (Hearst Newspapers) and 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner, dies at 85
  • 1994 Leonard Teale, Australian actor/reciter (Homicide), dies
  • 1994 Dave Albritton, American high jumper (Olympic silver 1936), dies at 81
  • 1995 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher (Zen Buddhism), dies at 64
  • 1995 Christian B. Anfinsen, American biochemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1972 for ribonuclease,) dies at 79
  • 1996 Edward John Gurney, American politician, US senator (1969-74), dies at 82
  • 1996 Qazaleh Alizadeh, writer, dies at 48
  • 1996 Sritharan Jeganathan, cricketer, 1st Sri Lankan Test player to die
  • 1996 Vera Chapman, English writer and Tolkien Society founder, dies at 98
  • 1997 Harry Blackstone, Jr., American stage magician (Blackstone Book of Magic & Illusion), dies of cancer at 62
  • 1997 Princess Caradja-Kretzulesco, descendant of Dracula, dies at 76
  • 1997 Thelma Carpenter, American radio and jazz band singer (Coleman Hawkins; Count Basie) and stage and screen actress (Barefoot In The Park), dies of cardiac arrest at 76

Frank Sinatra

1998 Frank Sinatra, American singer ("My Way") and actor ("Guys and Dolls"), dies at 82

  • 1998 Marjory Stoneman Douglas, American conservationist (b. 1890)
  • 2000 Obuchi Keizo, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1937)
  • 2001 Gil Langley, Australian cricketer (Australian wicket-keeper 1951-56), dies at 81
  • 2003 Wendy Hiller, English actress (Major Barbara, David Copperfield), dies at 90
  • 2003 Robert Stack, American actor (The Untouchables, Unsolved Mysteries, Written on the Wind), dies of a heart attack at 84
  • 2003 William Jackson [Pepper LaBeija], American drag queen and fashion designer, dies of a heart attack at 54
  • 2004 Anna Lee [Joan Boniface Winnifrith], British actress (General Hospital, How Green Was My Valley), dies of pneumonia at 91
  • 2006 Lewis "Lew" Anderson, American actor and musician (The Howdy Doody Show), dies of prostate cancer at 84
  • 2006 Stanley Kunitz, American poet (b. 1905)
  • 2006 Eva Norvind, Norwegian-Mexican actress, dies from drowning at 62
  • 2006 James Botten, South African cricketer (all-rounder in 1965 South African series v England), dies at 67
  • 2007 Mary Goldsmith, American ceramist (b. 1908)
  • 2007 Ülo Jõgi, Estonian freedom fighter (b. 1921)
  • 2007 Jean Saubert, American alpine ski racer (Olympic giant slalom silver, slalom bronze 1964), dies of breast cancer at 65
  • 2009 Bob Rosburg, American golfer, broadcaster (PGA Championship 1959), dies of head injuries from a fall at 82
  • 2010 Goh Keng Swee, former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore (b. 1918)
  • 2012 Derek Hammond-Stroud, English operatic baritone, dies at 86
  • 2014 Stephen Sutton, English cancer blogger (Stephen's Story), dies at 19

B.B. King

2015 [Riley B.] B.B. King, American blues guitarist and singer (The Thrill is Gone), dies at 89

  • 2017 Brad Grey, American film and TV producer (Sopranos), Chairman of Paramount Pictures, dies of cancer at 59
  • 2017 Powers Boothe, American Actor (Sin City, Deadwood), dies at 68
  • 2017 Frank Brian, American basketball guard (NBA All Star 1951, 52; Fort Wayne Pistons), dies at 94
  • 2017 Elske ter Veld, Dutch politician (State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment), dies at 72
  • 2018 Doug Ford, American golfer (PGA Championship 1955, US Masters 1957), dies at 95
  • 2018 Tom Wolfe, American journalist and author (The Right Stuff), dies at 88
  • 2019 (Thomas) "Tim" Conway, American Emmy Award-winning comic actor and screenwriter (McHale's Navy; The Carol Burnett Show, 1975-78; The Apple Dumpling Gang), dies from complications of normal pressure hydrocephalus at 85
  • 2019 Grumpy Cat [Tardar Sauce], American cat internet celebrity, dies following complications from urinary tract infection at 7
  • 2020 Pepper Rodgers, American football coach (University of Kansas, UCLA, Georgia Tech; USFL: Memphis Showboats), dies at 88
  • 2020 Bob Watson, American baseball utility (MLB All Star 1973, 75; Houston Astros) and sports executive (GM NY Yankees, World Series 1996), dies from kidney disease at 74
  • 2020 Phyllis George, American beauty queen (Miss America, 1971), sportscaster (CBS, 1974-85), and First Lady of Kentucky, 1979-83, dies of a blood disorder at 70
  • 2020 (Guillermo) "Jorge" Santana, Mexican rock guitarist (Malo- "Suavecito"), dies at 68
  • 2021 Ester Mägi, Estonian composer 'First Lady of Estonian music', dies at 99
  • 2021 Torkild Brakstad, Norwegian soccer defender (3 caps; Molde) and coach (Molde, Tromsø, Rosenborg), dies at 75
  • 2021 Olga Domuladzhanova, Russian boxer (World amateur heavyweight gold 2001), dies from COVID-19 at 52
May 14 Highlights