On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 2

  • 373 Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria (b. 298)
  • 649 Maruta of Tagrit, theology/1st mafriaan Jakobitische church, dies
  • 907 Boris I, King of Bulgaria (852-889), saw Bulgaria converted to Christianity
  • 1230 William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny (b. 1197)
  • 1250 Toeransa, sultan of Egypt, murdered
  • 1300 Blanche of Artois, regent of Navarre (b. 1248)
  • 1450 William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English military leader (b. 1396)
  • 1459 Pierozzi Antoninus, Italian archbishop of Florence/saint, dies
  • 1488 Jacob van Horne, Burgundy statesman, dies
  • 1564 Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, Italian humanist (b. 1500)
  • 1567 Marin Drzic, Croatian playwright (Dundo Maroje), dies
  • 1627 Lodovico Grossi da Viadana, Italian composer (b. 1560)
  • 1667 George Wither, English writer (Abuses Stript and Whipt), dies at 78
  • 1669 Pieter Jansz Post, master builder (Waag, Gouda), dies at 61
  • 1683 Stjepan Gradić, Croatian philosopher and scientist (b. 1613)
  • 1685 Adriaen van Ostade, Dutch painter, buried
  • 1711 Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester, English statesman (b. 1641)
  • 1727 Paul Aler, French jesuit and poet (Gradus ad Parnassum), dies at 70
  • 1736 Albert Seba, Amsterdam pharmacist, dies at 71
  • 1799 Henri-Joseph Rigel, German composer, dies at 58
  • 1802 Herman Willem Daendels, Dutch statesman (b. 1762)
  • 1810 Henry Jerome de Salis, English churchman, dies at 69
  • 1818 Herman W Daendels, governor-gen of Guinea (1815-18), dies at 55
  • 1819 Mary Moser, English painter (Flowers Still Life), dies at 74
  • 1844 William Beckford, British writer (Epsiodes of Vathek), dies at 83
  • 1845 August Pauly, German writer (Real Encyclopedia), dies at 48
  • 1849 David H Chasse, baron/gen (fought Napoleon at Waterloo), dies at 84
  • 1857 Alfred de Musset, French poet (Lesson caprices Marianne), dies at 46
  • 1859 Eliza Courtney, English illegitimate daughter of Charles Grey and Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, dies at 67
  • 1864 Giacomo Meyerbeer, German opera composer (Gott und die Natur - God and Nature), dies at 72
  • 1892 Wilhelm Rust, German musicologist and composer, dies at 69
  • 1897 William Cleaver Francis Robinson, composer, dies at 63
  • 1898 Charles C. Walcutt, American general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, dies of an old war wound at 60
  • 1915 Clara Immerwahr, German chemist, first woman to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in Germany, dies at 44
  • 1918 Ernie Parker, Australian tennis player (Australasian C'ship 1913), dies in action WWI at 34
  • 1919 Gustav Landauer, German socialist, dies
  • 1927 Ernest Starling, British physiologist (Frank–Starling law of the heart), dies at 61
  • 1934 Sergey Lebedev, Russian chemist, inventor of first commercially viable, mass-produced polybutadiene synthetic rubber for tires, and synthetic motor oil for aircraft engines, dies at 59
  • 1937 Arthur Somervell, English composer, dies at 73

Martin Bormann

1945 Martin Bormann, German Nazi leader (Hitler's secretary, chief of the Party Chancellery), most likely commits suicide age 44 [remains identified in 1972]

  • 1945 Ludwig Stumpfegger, German SS doctor and Hitler's personal surgeon commits suicide at 34
  • 1947 William Moulton Marston, American psychologist (inventor of an early prototype of the lie detector) and writer (co-creator, Wonder Woman), dies at 53
  • 1947 Dorothea Binz, Nazi war criminal (b. 1920)
  • 1954 Pauline Manifarges, Dutch contralto singer, dies at 82
  • 1955 Tadeusz Jarecki, Polish composer and conductor, dies at 66

Joseph McCarthy

1957 Joseph McCarthy, American Senator (Rep - Wisconsin) who claimed communists infiltrated the US government, dies at 48

  • 1957 Tadeusz Zygfryd Kassern, Polish composer and cultural attache, dies at 53
  • 1958 Alfred Weber, German economist and sociologist, dies at 89
  • 1960 Caryl Chessman, rapist executed after 12 years of appeals at 39
  • 1961 J C White, English cricket spin bowler (15 Tests, 49 wickets; 10-76 Somerset v Worcestershire 1921), dies at 70
  • 1963 Jack Crawford, English cricket all-rounder (12 Tests; Surrey, South Australia, Otago), dies at 76
  • 1963 Tomás Vačkář , Czech composer, dies at 17
  • 1963 Van Wyck Brooks, American historian (Ordeal of Mark Twain), dies at 77

Nancy Astor

1964 Nancy Astor, American born British politician, 1st female MP in UK House of Commons, dies at 84

  • 1968 Donald L Hall, American airplane designer (Spirit of St Louis), dies at 69

Franz von Papen

1969 Franz von Papen, German diplomat and chancellor (1932), dies at 89

  • 1972 Hugo Hartung, writer, dies at 69

J. Edgar Hoover

1972 J. Edgar Hoover, first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1924-72) dies at 77

  • 1973 Alan Carney [David Boughal], American actor (Zombies on Broadway, Take it from Me), dies at 61
  • 1973 June Hutton [Cowan], American pop vocalist (The Pied Pipers, 1944-50; Afterglow), dies at 52
  • 1979 Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • 1980 Clarrie Grimmett, Australian cricket spin bowler (37 Tests; 216 wickets @ 24.21; ICC Cricket Hall of Fame), dies at 88
  • 1980 George Pál, Hungarian-born film director (b. 1908)
  • 1980 Alioune Diop, Senegalese writer & editor (Présence africaine), dies at 70
  • 1982 Helmut Dantine, Austrian-American actor (Shadow of the Cloak), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • 1982 Hugh Marlowe [Hipple], American actor (All About Eve, Ellery Queen), dies from a heart attack at 71
  • 1983 Marius F Duintjer, architect, dies
  • 1983 Norm Van Brocklin, American Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback (NFL MVP 1960; First-team All-Pro 1960; 9 × Pro Bowl; LA Rams, Philadelphia Eagles) and coach (Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons), dies from a heart attack at 57
  • 1984 Jack Barry, american game show emcee (Joker's Wild), dies of cardiac arrest at 66
  • 1984 Piet van Aken, Flemish writer (Klinkaart, Het begeren), dies at 64
  • 1985 Hal LeRoy [John LeRoy Schotte], American vaudeville, Broadway and film dancer (Ziegfeld's Follies of 1931), dies at 71 after surgery
  • 1985 Milton S Eisenhower, US diplomat, dies at 85
  • 1985 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader, dies at 75
  • 1985 Bridget D'Oyly Carte, British theater & hotel director, dies of lung cancer at 77
  • 1986 Henri Toivonen, Finnish rally driver (3 x World Rally C'ship round wins for Talbot, Opel, Porsche, Lancia), dies in a rally accident at 29
  • 1989 Giuseppe Siri, Italian Catholic Cardinal (b. 1906)
  • 1989 Veniamin Kaverin, Russian writer (b. 1902)
  • 1990 David Rappaport, 3'11' actor (Wizard, LA Law), shoots himself at 38
  • 1990 Oleg Anatolyevich Yakovlev, Russian cosmonaut, dies at 49
  • 1990 William Levi Dawson, American composer, choirmaster, and musicologist dies at 90
  • 1991 Hal Bell, dies at 65
  • 1991 Leib Lensky, dies at 82
  • 1991 Ronald McKie, Australian author (The Mango Tree), dies at 81
  • 1992 Joey Cuevas, American movie dancer, dies at 34
  • 1992 Lee Salk, Russian-American child psychologist and author, dies of cardiac arrest at 65
  • 1992 Margareth Wallmann, Austrian opera director, dies at 88
  • 1992 Philip Dunne, screenwriter, dies of cancer at 84
  • 1992 Wilbur Mills, American congressmen (Democrat-AZ: 1939-77), famous for his involvement in a sex scandal with Fanne Foxe, dies at 82
  • 1993 Julio Gallo, wine maker (Gallo), dies in a car accident at 82
  • 1993 Will Weng, Sunday Times crossword puzzle editor (1968-78), dies at 86
  • 1994 Louis Calaferte, writer (Requiem of the Innocents), dies at 65
  • 1994 Wilson Charles Geoffrey Baldwin, hero, dies at 75
  • 1995 Michael Hordern, British actor (Watership Down, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold), dies from kidney disease at 83
  • 1996 Arthur Leslie Noel Douglas Houghton, civil servant, dies at 97
  • 1996 Emile Habibi, Palestinian Israeli writer (The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist), dies at 73
  • 1996 Peter Swales, British soccer executive (Chairman Manchester City FC 1973-93; vice-president English FA), dies at 63
  • 1997 Paulo Freire, Brazilian educator and philosopher, dies at 75
  • 1997 Queen Mother Moore, African-American civil rights activist and humanitarian, dies at 98
  • 1998 Gene Raymond [Raymond Guion], American actor (Paris 7000, Love on a Bet, Fireside Theater), dies from pneumonia a 89
  • 1998 "hide" [Hideto Matsumoto], Japanese rock guitarist (X Japan; Zilch), hangs himself at 33
  • 1998 Justin Fashanu, English soccer forward (first openly gay pro footballer; first black footballer to command £1 million transfer fee), dies from suicide at 37
  • 1998 Kevin Lloyd, British actor (b. 1949)
  • 1999 Oliver Reed, English actor (b. 1938)
  • 2001 Ted Rogers, British comedian (b. 1935)
  • 2001 Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (Goodfellas), dies at 39
  • 2002 John Nathan-Turner, English television producer (b. 1947)
  • 2002 W. T. Tutte, English-born codebreaker (b. 1917)
  • 2003 George Wyle [Bernard Weissman], American composer ("The Ballad of Gilligan's Island"; "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"), and orchestra leader (Flip Wilson Show), dies at 87
  • 2005 Kenneth Bancroft Clark, American civil rights activist (Dark Ghetto) and first black president of the American Psychological Association, dies at 90
  • 2005 Wee Kim Wee, 4th President of Singapore (b. 1915)
  • 2006 Louis Rukeyser, American columnist (b. 1933)
  • 2007 Brad McGann, New Zealand film director and screenwriter (b. 1964)
  • 2008 Beverlee McKinsey, American actress (Iris-Another World, Guiding Light), dies at 72
  • 2009 Marilyn French, American author (The Women's Room), dies at 79
  • 2009 Jack Kemp, former United States Congressman and 1996 Vice Presidential Candidate (b. 1935)
  • 2010 Lynn Redgrave, British-American actress (Gods and Monsters, Georgy Girl), dies of cancer at 67

Osama bin Laden

2011 Osama bin Laden, Islamic militant and founder of al-Qaeda, shot and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by navy seals during Operation Neptune Spear at 54

  • 2012 Junior Seau, American Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker (12 x Pro Bowl; 6 × First-team All-Pro; NFL Defensive Player of the Year 1992; SD Chargers), commits suicide at 43
  • 2012 Zvi Zeitlin, Russian-American classical violinist and music professor (Eastman School, 1967-2012), dies at 90
  • 2013 Jeff Hanneman, American haevy metal guitarist (Slayer), dies from liver failure at 49
  • 2014 Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., American actor, dies at 95
  • 2014 Jessica Cleaves, American soul singer and songwriter (The Friends of Distinction - "Grazing In The Grass"; Earth, Wind & Fire; Parliament Funkadelic), dies of complications from a stroke at 65
  • 2015 Ruth Rendell, English thriller writer (Inspector Wexford novels), dies at 85
  • 2015 Maya Plisetskaya, Russian prima ballerina (Bolshoi Ballet), dies at 89
  • 2015 Guy Carawan, American folk singer and folklorist (We Shall Overcome) dies at 87
  • 2015 Ma Shui-long, Taiwanese classical composer (The Peacock Flies Southeast), dies at 75
  • 2016 Afeni Shakur, mother of Tupac Shakur, Black Panther Party member, dies at 69
  • 2017 Leo Thorsness, American Vietnam War pilot (Medal of Honor), dies at 85
  • 2017 Vincent Baggetta, American actor (Lou-Chicago Story), dies at 72
  • 2017 (Mary) Norma Procter, British contralto singer, dies of Parkinson's Disease at 89
  • 2017 Grigori Zhislin, Russian concert violinist, and viola player, dies at 71
  • 2017 Abelardo Castillo, Argentine writer and novelist, dies at 82
  • 2018 Gord Brown, Canadian politician (MP, 2004–2018), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • 2018 Tony Cucchiara, Italian folk singer and songwriter ("Cain and Abel"), dies at 80
  • 2018 Paul Dick, Canadian politician, dies at 77 of a heart attack
  • 2018 Dick Edell, American lacrosse coach (Maryland Terrapins), dies at 74 of pneumonia
  • 2018 Herman Krebbers, Dutch violinist, concert master, and music teacher, dies at 94
  • 2018 Katherine O'Regan, New Zealand politician (MP for Waipa, 1984–1996; list MP, 1996–1999), dies of cancer at 71
  • 2018 Kottayam Pushpanath, Indian author, dies at 80
  • 2018 Harald Range, German jurist (Attorney General, 2011–2015), dies at 70
  • 2018 James Thorp, American electrical engineer, dies at 81
  • 2018 Bill Torrey, Canadian ice hockey executive (New York Islanders, Florida Panthers), dies at 83
  • 2018 Wolfgang Völz, German actor, dies at 87
  • 2018 Chris Walsh, American politician (Massachusetts House of Representatives, 2010–2018), dies of lymphoma at 66
  • 2018 Wang Danfeng, Chinese actress, dies at 93
  • 2018 Cliff Watson, English rugby league front rower (30 Tests GB, 4 England; St Helens 373 games, Cronulla-Sutherland), dies of cancer at 78
  • 2018 Sir Keith Williamson, British air force commander (Chief of the Air Staff, 1982–1985), dies at 90
  • 2019 Red Kelly, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center, coach; politician (Toronto Maple Leafs), dies at 91
  • 2021 Bobby Unser, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1968, 1975, 1981; USAC C'ship 1968, 1974), dies at 87
  • 2021 Jacques d'Amboise, American ballet dancer, and choreographer (NYC Ballet Company, 1949-84), actor (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers), and educator (founded National Dance Institute, 1976), dies from stroke complications at 86 [1]
May 2 Highlights