On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 5

  • 200 Sun Ce, warlord of the Han Dynasty (b. 175)
  • 311 Galerius, Emperor of Rome (305-311) ended persecution of Christianity in the East, dies of disease
  • 984 Gerberga of Saxony, Queen of Western Francia
  • 1028 Alfonso V, King of Leon/Galicia (999-1028), dies in battle
  • 1061 Humbert of Silva Candida, French abbot and cardinal whose bull of excommunication began the Great Schism, dies (b. c. 1000)
  • 1194 Casimir II, the Just, grand duke of Poland (1177-94), dies. Born 1138
  • 1219 King Leo II of Armenia (b. 1150)
  • 1309 Charles II, the Lame, King of Naples (1285-1309), dies
  • 1316 Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, youngest daughter of King Edward I and Queen Eleanor of Castile, dies at 33
  • 1504 Anton of Burgundy, the Great Bastard, knight, dies at about 82
  • 1525 Frederick III [Frederick the Wise], Elector of Saxony (1486-25) who protected his subject Martin Luther, dies at 62
  • 1582 Charlotte de Bourbon, Princess of Orange, dies
  • 1586 Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland (b. 1529)
  • 1613 Johann Steuerlein, German composer, dies at 66
  • 1672 Samuel Cooper, English painter (b. 1609)
  • 1678 Anna M van Schurman, Dutch poet, spoke 10 languages, dies at about 70
  • 1702 Jacob Hintze, German composer, dies at 79
  • 1705 Leopold I, Emperor of Holy Roman Empire (1658-1704), dies at 64
  • 1766 Jean Astruc, French physician and scholar (b. 1684)
  • 1801 Philippe-Lambert-Joseph Spruyt, Flemish painter and engraver, dies at 74
  • 1808 Pierre Jean George Cabanis, French physiologist, dies at 50
  • 1811 Robert Mylne, Scottish architect (b. 1734)

Napoléon Bonaparte

1821 Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader and Emperor of the French (1804-14, 1815), dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena, officially from stomach cancer but rumours of arsenic poisoning persist

  • 1827 Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (1806-27), dies at 76
  • 1831 Friedrich Ludwig Seidel, composer, dies at 65
  • 1837 Niccolo Antonio Zingarelli, Italian composer (Andromeda), dies at 85
  • 1840 Gottlob Benedikt Bierey, German composer, dies at 67
  • 1840 Matthäus Fischer, German organist and composer, dies at 76
  • 1855 Sir Robert Inglis, Bt, English politician (b. 1786)
  • 1859 Peter G L Dirichlet, German mathematician, dies at 53
  • 1864 Alexander Hays, US Union-general-major, dies in battle at 44
  • 1864 John Marshall Jones, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in battle at 43
  • 1864 Leroy Augustus Stafford, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in battle at 42
  • 1885 Lauro Rossi, Italian composer (I falsi monetari), dies at 73
  • 1886 Joseph Albert, German photographer (Albertotype), dies at 61
  • 1892 Jan Nepomuk Škroup, Czech composer, dies at 80
  • 1892 August Wilhelm von Hofmann, German chemist (b. 1818)
  • 1896 Silas Adams, American lawyer and politician (b. 1839)
  • 1900 Ivan Aivazovsky, Russian painter (b. 1817)
  • 1901 Dinshaw Maneckji Petit, Parsi entrepreneur and founder of the first textile mills in India, dies at 77
  • 1902 Bret Harte, American author (Outcasts of Poker Flat), dies at 65
  • 1909 Pauline Staegeman, German feminist, dies
  • 1921 Alfred Hermann Fried, German pacifist (Nobel 1911-co-founder of the German peace movement), dies at 56
  • 1921 William Friese-Greene, British photographer and inventor (motion pictures), dies at 65
  • 1927 Charles Boissevain, Dutch editor of Amsterdam Algemeen Handelsblad (1885-1908), dies at 84
  • 1931 Glen Kidston, British aviator and racing driver (b. 1899)
  • 1941 Natalija Obrenović, Queen of Serbia (b. 1859)
  • 1942 Qemal Stafa, Albanian politician (b. 1920)
  • 1944 Bertha Benz [Cacilie Bertha Ringer], German inventor, automotive pioneer and wife of fellow automotive inventor Karl Benz, dies at 95
  • 1945 Peter Van Pels, Jewish Refugee (b. 1926)
  • 1945 Elsie Mitchell and five Sunday school students become the only people to die during World War II on US soil when they are killed by a Japanese fire balloon that lands in the forest of Gearhart Mountain, near Bly, Southern Oregon
  • 1947 Ty LaForest, Canadian baseball player, dies at 30
  • 1951 Eddie Dunn, comedian (Face to Face, Spin the Picture), dies at 54

Leo Diegel

1951 Leo Diegel, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1928-29), dies of throat and lung cancer at 52

  • 1956 Karel Rudolph Gallas, Dutch lexicographer (French Dictionary), dies at 88
  • 1957 Mikhail Fabianovich Gnesin, Russian composer (Vrubel; The Youth Of Abraham), dies at 74
  • 1958 James Branch Cabell, American novelist and essayist (Restless Heads), dies at 79

Carlos Saavedra Lamas

1959 Carlos Saavedra Lamas, Argentine politician (Nobel Peace Prize 1936), dies at 80

  • 1960 Sulho Ranta, Finnish composer, dies at 58
  • 1962 Ernest Tyldesley, English cricketer (990 runs in 14 Tests for England), dies at 73
  • 1963 Heinrich Gebhard, German-born American composer, dies at 84
  • 1963 Jacobus JP Old, architect/co-founder (Stijl), dies at 73
  • 1968 Albert Van Dekker, American actor (Dr Cyclops, Beau Gesture), dies of accidental suffocation at 62
  • 1971 Harry Moorman, Dutch vice-admiral (KVP), dies at 71
  • 1971 Alice Tissot, French actress (Italian Straw Hat), dies of cancer at 81
  • 1971 Petro Scaglione, Italian procureur-general, killed by Mafia
  • 1971 Violet Jessop, Titanic survivor (b. 1887)
  • 1972 [Reverend] Gary Davis, American blues and folk guitarist (A Little More Faith), dies of a heart attack at 76
  • 1976 Thomas Burnett Swann, American sci-fi author (Day of Minotaur), dies at 47
  • 1977 Ludwig Erhard, German minister of Economic Affairs (CDU), dies at 80
  • 1977 Sam Lanin, American sweet jazz arranger and bandleader (Roseland Orchestra; The Ipana Troubadors), dies at 85
  • 1978 Alfred (Harold] Gilligan, English cricketer (4 Tests for England), dies at 81
  • 1979 Shirley O'Hara, actress (Wild Party), dies at 68
  • 1980 Edmond Vandercammen, French-Belgian painter and poet (Grand Combat), dies at 79
  • 1981 Bobby Sands, Irish IRA activist dies in the 66th day of his hunger strike at 26
  • 1982 Cal Tjader, American Latin jazz musician, dies at 56
  • 1983 John Williams, British actor (Family Affair, Dial M for Murder), dies at 80
  • 1983 Horst Schumann, Nazi physician, dies at 77
  • 1983 Olin Dutra, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1932, US Open 1934), dies at 82
  • 1985 Sir Donald Bailey, British civil engineer (b. 1901)
  • 1986 John William Haussermann Jr., American composer, dies at 76
  • 1986 Rui Coelho, Portuguese composer, dies at 94
  • 1988 George Rose, British actor and singer (Beacon Hill, Holocaust), dies at 68
  • 1988 Tamara Pos, Suriname/Dutch activist
  • 1988 Michael Shaara, American author (Killer angels), dies of a heart attack at 59
  • 1989 Frank Easton, cricket wicket-keeper (NSW 1933-39), dies
  • 1991 William De Acutis, American actor (9½ Weeks, Other People's Money), dies from a brain lymphoma at 33
  • 1992 Ben Frommer, Polish actor (Scarface, Battlestar Galactica), dies at 78
  • 1992 Richard "Dick" Yarmy, American actor (Get Smart, Arnie, Bone), dies of lung cancer at 58
  • 1992 Jean-Claude Pascal, French actor (Golden Salamander), dies at 64
  • 1992 Stefano d'Arrigo, Siciilian writer, dies at 72
  • 1993 Balak Brahmachari [Marxist Godman], Indies guru, dies at 73
  • 1993 Irving Howe, American writer and critic (Dissent), dies at 72
  • 1993 Lenore Kingston Jenson, dies of cancer at 79
  • 1993 Dermot Boyle, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, dies at 88
  • 1993 Dick Metz, American golfer (US Open 1938 runner-up; 10 PGA Tour titles), dies at 84
  • 1994 Hein Salomonson, architect, dies at about 83
  • 1994 Joe Layton, American director (Richard Pryor Live on Sunset Strip), dies at 63
  • 1995 Anthony Wagner, Officer of Arms at the College of Arms in London, dies at 86
  • 1995 Bernard Benjamin Gillis, judge, dies at 89
  • 1995 James Pack, naval officer museum curator, dies at 81
  • 1995 Lionel Alexander Bethune [Alastair] Pilkington, British engineer (float glass), dies at 75
  • 1995 Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian influential world chess champion, dies at 83
  • 1995 Thomas Eden Binkley, musician, dies at 63
  • 1996 Ai Qing, Chinese poet, dies at 86
  • 1996 Beryl Burton, cyclist, dies at 58
  • 1997 Tolia Nikiprowetzky, French composer, ethno-musicologist and broadcaster of Russian heritage, dies at 80
  • 1997 Walter Gotell, German actor (James Bond, From Russia With Love), dies at 73
  • 1998 Syd Lawrence, British bandleader (Syd Lawrence Orchestra), dies at 74
  • 2000 Gino Bartali, Italian cyclist (Tour de France 1938, 48; Giro d'Italia 1936-7, 46), dies of a heart attack at 85
  • 2001 Cliff Hillegass, American publisher (Cliffsnotes), dies at 83
  • 2002 Hugo Banzer, Bolivian dictator (b. 1926)
  • 2002 Paul Klipsch, American engineer, noted for his loudspeaker designs, dies at 98
  • 2002 George Sidney, American film director (b. 1916)
  • 2003 Walter Sisulu, South African activist (b. 1912)
  • 2003 David Lewin, American composer, dies at 69
  • 2004 Ritsuko Okazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter (Kanashii Jiyū / Koi ga, Kiete Yuku), dies at 44
  • 2004 José Maceda, Filipino composer, dies at 87
  • 2005 Ted Atkinson, American jockey (US Champion 1944, 46), dies of a stroke at 88
  • 2006 Naushad Ali, Indian composer, and Hindi film music director, dies at 86
  • 2006 Joep de Boer, Dutch naval officer and politician (CDA), dies at 81
  • 2007 Theodore Harold Maiman, American Inventor and engineer (created 1st working laser), dies at 79
  • 2008 Irv Robbins, Canadian-American entrepreneur (co-founded the Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor chain), dies at 90
  • 2008 Thomas Boggs, American rock drummer (Box Tops), dies at 63
  • 2008 Jerry Wallace, American country and pop singer ("Primrose Lane"; "If You Leave Me Tonight I'll Cry"), dies of heart failure at 79
  • 2010 Alfons Kontarsky, German concert pianist (best known for duo-piano performance with his brother, Aloys) dies at 77
  • 2011 Yosef Merimovich, Israeli football player and manager (b. 1924)
  • 2011 Claude Choules, last surviving World War I veteran (b. 1901)
  • 2011 Dana Wynter, German-English actress (Airport, Invasion of the Body Snatchers), dies at 79
  • 2012 "Sweet Joe" Russell, American a cappella singer (The Persuasions - "Slip Sliding Away"), dies at 72 [1]
  • 2012 Raman Surendranath, Indian cricket fast bowler (11 Tests, 26 wickets), dies at 75
  • 2013 Sarah Kirsch, German poet, dies at 78
  • 2015 Craig Gruber, American rock bassist (Rainbow), dies of cancer at 63
  • 2017 Adolph Kiefer, American swimmer (Olympic gold 100m backstroke 1936), dies at 98
  • 2018 Aaron D. Panken, American rabbi, dies in a plane crash at 53
  • 2018 Rosemarie Schruder, German writer, dies at 89
  • 2018 Stanley Falkow, American microbiologist (molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases), dies at 84
  • 2018 Ludwig Harig, German writer, dies at 90
  • 2018 Ermanno Olmi, Italian film director (The Tree of Wooden Clogs), dies at 86
  • 2020 Hillard "Sweet Pea" Atkinson, American R&B singer (Was (Not Was)) dies of a heart attack at 74 [1]
  • 2021 Del Crandall, American baseball catcher (11 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1957; 4 × Gold Glove Award; Boston/Milwaukee Braves) and manager (Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners), dies at 91
May 5 Highlights