Famous Deaths on May 31

  • 455 Petronius Maximus, senator/Emperor of Rome, lynched
  • 1091 Hendrik van Verdun, bishop of Luik (1075-91), dies
  • 1198 Moses ben Solomon Ha-Cohen, rabbi of Mainz, dies
  • 1246 Isabella of Angouleme, queen of John of England
  • 1349 Thomas Wake, English politician (b. 1297)
  • 1408 Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Japanese shogun, dies at 49
  • 1410 King Martin I of Aragon (b. 1356)
  • 1495 Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV of England and Richard III of England, dies at 80
  • 1504 Engelbert II, earl of Nassau-Dillenburg-Dietz, dies
  • 1551 Aristotele "Basiano" da Sangallo, Italian set designer, dies
  • 1558 Philip Hoby, English politician (b. 1505)
  • 1567 Pereguin de la Grange, French minister/martyr of Reform, dies
  • 1567 Guido de Bres, Belgian theologian (b. 1522)
  • 1594 Tintoretto, Italian Mannerist painter and notable exponent of the Renaissance school, dies at 75
  • 1620 Willem Louis, earl of Nassau-Dillenburg, dies at 59
  • 1665 Pieter J Saenredam, Dutch architectural painter, dies at 67
  • 1680 Joachim Neander, German clergyman (b. 1650)
  • 1696 Heinrich Schwemmer, German composer, dies at 75
  • 1740 Frederick-William I, King of Prussia (1713-1740), dies at 51
  • 1747 Andrei Osterman, Russian statesman (b. 1686)
  • 1799 Pierre Lemonnier, French astronomer (b. 1715)
  • 1809 Ferdinand von Schill, Prussian officer/rebel, dies in battle at 33
  • 1809 Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer (Jahreszeiten), dies at 77
  • 1809 Jean Lannes, French marshal (b. 1769)
  • 1831 Samuel Bentham, British mechanical engineer (b. 1757)
  • 1832 Évariste Galois, French mathematician (Group theory), dies at 20

Person of interestJoseph Grimaldi

1837 Joseph Grimaldi, English pantomimist and the "greatest clown in history", dies at 57

Greatest Clown in History Joseph Grimaldi
Greatest Clown in History
Joseph Grimaldi
  • 1846 Philip Marheineke, German clergyman (b. 1780)
  • 1847 Thomas Chalmers, Scottish minister and 1st moderator (Free Church of Scotland 1843-47), dies at 67
  • 1848 Eugénie de Guérin, French writer (b. 1805)
  • 1849 Leonard PJ du Bus de Gisignies, gov-gen of Neth-Indies, dies at 69
  • 1854 Vatroslav Lisinski, composer, dies at 34
  • 1860 Peter Vivian Daniel, American jurist, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1841-60), dies at 76
  • 1862 Robert Hopkins Hatton, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in battle at 35
  • 1880 Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, French chemist and inventor of margarine, dies at 62
  • 1900 James Loudon, Dutch politician, Governor-General of Dutch East Indies (1872-75), dies at 75
  • 1900 John Power, Irish baronet and whiskey manufacturer (Powers Whiskey), dies in battle
  • 1906 Hermann Schell, German theologist (Gott und Geist), dies at 56
  • 1906 King Alfonso XIII, assassinated in Madrid
  • 1906 Victoria von Battenberg, assassinated in Madrid
  • 1908 C L "Boy" Johnson, cricketer (Test for South Africa 1895-96), dies
  • 1908 Louis-Honoré Fréchette, French Canadian poet (b. 1839)

Person of interestElizabeth Blackwell

1910 Elizabeth Blackwell, English-American physician who was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, dies at 89

  • 1916 Rear Admiral Sir Horace Lambert Alexander Hood, dies in Battle of Jutland
  • 1928 Ludwig Enneccerus, German leader, dies at 85
  • 1928 Manuel de Oliveira Lima, Brazilian historian, dies at 60
  • 1931 Felix-Raymond-Marie Rouleau, French Canadian cardinal, archbishop of Quebec (b. 1866)
  • 1947 Adrienne Ames, actress (Black Sheep, 24 Hours), dies at 39
  • 1947 Henri Casadesus, French violist/composer (viola d'amour), dies at 67
  • 1948 Jose Vianna da Motta, Portuguese composer, dies at 80
  • 1952 Walter Schellenberg, German lawyer/headed spy (Venlo), dies

  • 1955 Bill Vukovich, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1953-4), dies in crash in Indianapolis 500 at 36
  • 1955 Raoul Gunsbourg, composer, dies at 95
  • 1957 Leopold Staff, Polish poet (b. 1878)
  • 1960 Willem Elsschot [Alfons Josephus de Ridder], Flemish writer (Kas), dies at 78
  • 1960 Walther Funk, German economist and Nazi politician, dies at 69
  • 1961 Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)
  • 1962 Eduardo Toldra, composer, dies at 67
  • 1962 Henry F. Ashurst, American Democratic politician (U.S. Senator from Arizona), dies at 87
  • 1963 Carel C. van Essen, Dutch archaeologist (Art of Ancient Rome), dies at 63
  • 1967 Billy Strayhorn, American composer, pianist and arranger (b. 1915)

Person of interestTerry Sawchuk

1970 Terry Sawchuk, NHL goaltender, dies from injuries suffered during an off-ice scuffle with a teammate at 40

NHL Legend Terry Sawchuk
NHL Legend
Terry Sawchuk
  • 1971 Dainty Ironmonger, cricketer (74 wkts in 14 Tests after age 46), dies
  • 1971 Massimo Campigli, Italian painter and illustrator, dies at 75
  • 1972 Walter Freeman, American physician (developer and practitioner of psychiatric surgery transorbital lobotomy), dies
  • 1973 Albert Egges van Giffen, Dutch archaeologist, dies at 89
  • 1974 Adelle Davis, US nutrionalist (Let's stay healthy), dies at 70
  • 1976 Jacques Monod, French biochemist, dies
  • 1976 Martha Mitchell wife of former Att Gen John Mitchell, dies in NY at 57
  • 1977 William Castle, American film director (b. 1914)
  • 1978 József Bozsik, Hungarian footballer (b. 1925)
  • 1979 Nigel Howard, cricketer (England captain 1951-52 tour of India), dies

Person of interestJack Dempsey

1983 Jack Dempsey, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1919-26), dies of heart failure at 86

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Dempsey
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jack Dempsey
  • 1986 James Rainwater, American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1917)
  • 1986 Jane Frank, American artist, dies at 67
  • 1987 Dorothy Patrick, actress (Torch Song, New Orleans, High Wall), dies
  • 1989 C L R James, cricket writer (distinguished Trinidadian), dies
  • 1989 Charles A Hufnagel, doc (artificial heart valve pioneer), dies at 72
  • 1989 Terry Drinkwater, CBS news correspondent, dies at 53 of cancer
  • 1991 Angus Wilson, [Johnstone-W], British writer (Wrong Set), dies
  • 1991 H N "Swanie" Swanson, literary agent, dies at 91 of a stroke
  • 1992 Lutz Stavenhagen, top aid to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, dies at 52
  • 1993 John Granger, actor (Advise & Consent), dies at 69
  • 1993 Spuds Mackenzie, American advertisement dog
  • 1994 Doug Freeman, cricketer (2 Tests of leg-spin for NZ 1933), dies
  • 1994 Emmanuel "Manny" Klein, American jazz trumpeter, dies at 86
  • 1994 Herva Nelli, Italian-born American soprano, dies at 85
  • 1994 Sidney Gilliat, British screenwriter/director, dies at 86
  • 1995 Pavel Sivic, Slovenian composer, dies at 87
  • 1996 Colin Morris, playwright/documentary filmmaker, dies at 80
  • 1996 Elsbeary Hobbs, American rocker (Drifters), dies at 59
  • 1996 Paul Peter Piech, artist, dies at 76
  • 1996 Peter Gordon Dorrell, archaeologist/photographer, dies at 68
  • 1996 Timothy Francis Leary, Harvard prof/LSD guru, dues of cancer at 75
  • 1997 Rosie Will Monroe, WW II icon (Rosie the riveter), dies at 76
  • 1997 James Bennett Griffin, American archaeologist (b. 1905)
  • 1997 Anton Zischka, Austrian writer (Lebendiges Europa), dies at 92
  • 1998 Stanislaw Wislocki, Polish conductor of classical music, dies at 76
  • 1998 Charles Van Acker, Belgian racing driver (b. 1912)
  • 1998 Aart Verstegen, Dutch ballet dancer and choreographer (Jolly Joker's Last Joke), dies at 77
  • 2000 Tito Puente, American bandleader (Dance Mania), dies at 77
  • 2000 Johnnie Taylor, American singer (b. 1938)
  • 2001 Arlene Francis, American television personality (d. 1907)
  • 2002 Eric Boyland, English biochemist (cancer research), dies at 97
  • 2004 Robert Quine, American guitarist, dies at 61
  • 2004 Étienne Roda-Gil, French songwriter and screenwriter, dies at 62
  • 2006 Ryan Bennett, broadcast commentator (b. 1970)
  • 2006 Miguel Berrocal, sculptor (b. 1933)
  • 2006 Raymond Davis Jr., American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1914)
  • 2006 Lula Mae Hardaway, American songwriter, mother of singer Stevie Wonder (b. 1930)
  • 2009 Millvina Dean, last living survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster died. (b. 1912)
  • 2009 George Tiller, American abortion doctor (b. 1941)
  • 2009 Danny La Rue, British entertainer (b. 1927)
  • 2010 Louise Bourgeois, French-born American sculpter (b. 1911)
  • 2010 Brian Duffy, British photographer and film producer (b. 1933)
  • 2010 William A. Fraker, American cinematographer (b. 1923)
  • 2010 Rubén Juárez, Argentine bandoneonist (b. 1947)
  • 2010 Benjamin Lees, American composer (b. 1924)
  • 2010 Merata Mita, New Zealander filmmaker (b. 1942)

Person of interestChris Haney

2010 Chris Haney, Canadian journalist who created the board game "Trivial Pursuit", dies at 59

Co-creator of Trivial Pursuit Chris Haney
Co-creator of Trivial Pursuit
Chris Haney
  • 2013 Tim Samaras, American tornado chaser, dies from tornado injuries at 55
  • 2013 Jean Stapleton, American actress (Damn Yankees, Klute, All in the Family), dies at 90
  • 2013 Marta Romero, Puerto Rican actress & singer (La Divina Infiel, The Shadow of the Bat), dies at 85
  • 2014 Martha Hyer, American actress (Day of the Wolves, Night of the Grizzly), dies at 89