On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 8

  • 535 John [Mercurius], Italian Pope (533-35), dies
  • 685 Benedict II, Italian Pope (683-85), dies and is buried in St Peter's
  • 1192 Duke Ottokar IV of Styria (b. 1163)
  • 1278 Emperor Duanzong of China (b. 1268)
  • 1319 Haakon V, King of Norway (1299-1319), dies
  • 1473 John Stafford, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, English politician (b. 1420)
  • 1538 Edward Fox, English bishop
  • 1577 Viglius ab Aytta Zuichemus, lawyer/President (Raad van State), dies
  • 1672 Jean-Armand du Peyrer, Comte de Tréville and French Officer (b. 1598)
  • 1684 Henri Dumont, Dutch composer, dies at 73 or 74
  • 1725 John Lovewell, US indian fighter, dies in battle
  • 1766 Samuel Chandler, English non-conformist minister (b. 1693)
  • 1773 Ali Bey Al-Kabir, Egyptian Mameluk head, dies (b. 1728)
  • 1781 Richard Jago, English poet (b. 1715)
  • 1782 Marquis of Pombal, Prime Minister of Portugal (1756-1777), dies at 82
  • 1785 Pietro Longhi, Venetian painter, dies at 83
  • 1785 Étienne François, duc de Choiseul, French statesman, dies at 65
  • 1788 Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, Italian-born physician and naturalist (b. 1723)
  • 1794 Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry (identified oxygen and hydrogen), guillotined at 50
  • 1806 Robert Morris, English-born merchant and American Founding Father (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 72
  • 1809 Augustin Pajou, French sculptor (Bachante), dies at 78
  • 1818 Franz Ignaz Kaa, German composer, dies at 78

Kamehameha I

1819 Kamehameha I, King of Hawaii (1782-1819), dies at 81

  • 1822 John Stark, American military officer (Battle of Bennington), dies at 93
  • 1829 Mauro Giuliani, Italian musician and composer, dies at 47
  • 1837 Alexander Balashov, Russian general and statesman, dies at 66
  • 1842 Jules Dumont d'Urville, French explorer and naval officer, dies at 51
  • 1846 Giacomo Cordella, Italian composer, dies at 59
  • 1853 Joannes P Roothaan, 1st Dutch lt col-gen of Jesuits, dies at 67
  • 1864 James Samuel Wadsworth, gen-mjr (Union), dies in battle at 56
  • 1876 Truganini, last originating Tasmanian, dies
  • 1880 Gustave Flaubert, French novelist (Madame Bovary), dies at 58
  • 1885 Pavel Křížkovský, Czech choral composer and conductor (Sts. Cyril and Methodius), dies at 65
  • 1887 Alexander Ulyanov, brother of Lenin/hanged for assassination of tsar
  • 1891 Helena Blavatsky, Russian occultist, philosopher, and author (co-founded Theosophical Society), dies at 59
  • 1894 Clara Fey, German Roman Catholic Nun and the founder of the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus, dies at 79

Paul Gauguin

1903 Paul Gauguin [Eugene Henri], French painter who worked in French Polynesia, dies at 54

  • 1904 Eadweard Muybridge, English photographer, pioneer in study of motion, dies at 74
  • 1909 Friedrich von Holstein, German civil servant (head of the political department of the German Foreign Office), dies at 72
  • 1915 Henry McNeal Turner, 1 African American Methodist Bishop and 1st African American army chaplain, dies at 82
  • 1924 Lev Lunts, Russian writer (Outside the Law, City of Truth), dies at 23
  • 1925 Frank L. Gillespie, American founder of Supreme Life Insurance Company, dies at 48
  • 1930 (Ivar) Henning Mankell, Swedish pianist and composer, dies at 61
  • 1936 Oswald Spengler, German historian and philosopher (Underworld of Abendlandes), dies at 55
  • 1941 Heinrich Zöllner, German composer, dies at 86

Mordecai Anielewicz

1943 Mordecai Anielewicz, Jewish commander of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, suspected to have committed suicide at 24 rather than surrender to Nazi troops that had surrounded his command bunker

  • 1945 Bernhard Rust, Nazi education minister (b. 1883)
  • 1947 Harry Gordon Selfridge, American-born department store founder (b. 1858)
  • 1948 Alfred Holy, Czech composer and harpist, dies at 81
  • 1948 U Saw, Burmese politician (b. 1900)
  • 1950 Franklin Dyall, British actor (Easy Virtue, Atlantic), dies at 80
  • 1950 Vital Brazil, Brazilian physician (b. 1865)
  • 1952 William Fox, Austrian-born film producer (b. 1879)
  • 1957 Johannes C B "Jan" Sluyters, Dutch painter, dies at 75
  • 1958 Nasni Matni, Lebanese journalist, murdered
  • 1958 Norman Bel Geddes, American theatrical designer (Rivals, Dead End), dies at 65
  • 1959 Renato Caccioppoli, Italian mathematician and pianist, takes his own life at 55
  • 1960 Hugo Alfvén, Swedish violinist, conductor, and composer (Midsommarvaka - Midsummer Vigil), dies at 88
  • 1960 J. H. C. Whitehead, British mathematician (one of the founders of homotopy theory), dies at 55
  • 1965 H T W Hardinge, cricketer (scored 25 & 5 in only Test for England), dies
  • 1967 Barbara Payton [Redfield], American actress known for her tumultuous private life (Dallas, Trapped, Bad Blonde), dies of heart and liver failure due to drug addiction at 39

Elmer Rice

1967 Elmer Rice, American playwright (Pulitzer-Street Scene) and novelist, dies at 74

  • 1967 Laverne Andrews, American singer (The Andrews Sisters - "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"), dies at 55
  • 1969 Remington Kellogg, American naturalist and director (U.S. National Museum), dies at 76
  • 1974 Graham Bond, British R&B musician, dies jumping under a train at 36
  • 1975 Avery Brundage, American businessman (5th President International Olympic Committee 1952-72), dies at 87
  • 1976 Ulrike Meinhof, lead Germany Red Army Faction, dies
  • 1976 Fred McLeod, Scottish golfer (US Open 1908), dies at 94
  • 1979 Talcott Parsons, American sociologist, dies at 76
  • 1981 Margaret Lindsay, actress (G Men, Lady Killer, Jezebel), dies at 70
  • 1981 Maurice Fernandes, cricket captain (WI in 1st Test win, 1930 v Eng), dies
  • 1982 Gilles Villeneuve, Canadian auto racer (World F1 runner-up 1979; Ferrari), dies in a practice accident prior to Belgian GP, at 32
  • 1982 Neil Bogart, American record executive (b. 1943)
  • 1982 Al Leader, Canadian-American Hockey Hall of Fame player, referee and administrator (Western Hockey League), dies at 78
  • 1983 John Fante, Italian-American author and screenwriter (Wait Until Spring, Bandini, Ask the Dust, Full of Life), dies at 74
  • 1984 Gino Bianco, Brazilian racing driver (b. 1916)
  • 1985 Adolphus "Dolph" Sweet, American actor (Gimme a Break, Which Way is Up), dies of cancer at 64
  • 1985 Redmond "Edmond" O'Brien, American actor (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sam Benedict, Johnny Midnight), dies of Alzheimer's at 69
  • 1985 Karl Marx, German composer and conductor, dies at 87
  • 1987 Pam Ewing, (Victoria Principal) character on Dallas, is killed off
  • 1987 Doris Stokes, British psychic medium (b. 1920)
  • 1988 Robert A Heinlein, sci-fi writer (Friday), dies of heart failure at 80
  • 1990 Tomas O'Fiach [Tomas Seamus Fee], Irish cardinal-archbishop, dies
  • 1990 Luigi Nono, Italian avant-garde composer (Intolleranza), dies at 66
  • 1991 Jean Langlais, French organist, and composer (Missa Salve Regina), dies at 84
  • 1991 Lloyd Ford, stuntman, dies at 79
  • 1991 Ronnie Brody, British actor (Superman 3, What's Up Nurse, Ritz), dies at 72
  • 1992 Addeke H Boerma, Dutch economist and general manager (FAO), dies at 80
  • 1992 Brian Moore, writer (Catholics), dies of heart failure at 59
  • 1992 Gul Mahomed, Pakistani cricketer (8 Tests for India & one for Pakistan), dies at 70
  • 1992 Margaretha D Ferguson-Wigerink, Dutch author (Fear on Java), dies at 71
  • 1992 Richard Derr, actor (When Worlds Collide), dies at 74 of cancer
  • 1992 Sergey Vladimirovich Obraztsov, Soviet puppet master, dies at 90
  • 1993 Kees Deenik, Dutch singer, bandleader, and broadcaster, dies at 78-ish
  • 1993 Avram Davidson, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Peregrine: Primus, Rork!), dies at 70
  • 1994 Cobina W "Coby" Molenaar, peace activist, dies at 88
  • 1994 George Peppard, American actor (Breakfast at Tiffany's, Banacek, A-Team, Blue Max), dies at 65
  • 1994 Rupert Haselden, journalist and screenwriter, dies at 36
  • 1994 Steven Keats, American actor (Death Wish), dies of apparent suicide at 48
  • 1995 Carroll Best, American bluegrass banjo player, and educator, shot to death by his brother at 64
  • 1995 Jerry Zipkin, socialite, dies at 80
  • 1995 Prem Bhatia, journalist, dies at 83
  • 1995 Teresa Teng [Li-chun], Taiwanese pop singer("Aijin"; "The Power Of Love"; "Airport"), and actress, dies from a severe asthma attack at 42
  • 1996 Jane Cowan, British cello teacher (International Cello Centre), dies at 80
  • 1996 Luis Miguel Domiguin, bullfighter, dies at 69
  • 1996 Serge Chermayeff, Russian-British architect and designer, dies at 95
  • 1996 Garth Williams, American illustrator (Charlotte's Web), dies at 84
  • 1997 Kai-Uwe Von Hassel, German President of Bundestag (CDU 1969-72), dies
  • 1998 Bebe Rebozo, American banker and Watergate figure (b. 1912)
  • 1999 Dirk Bogarde [Derek van den Bogaerde] British writer and actor (Death in Venice, Servant), dies at 78
  • 1999 Ed Gilbert, American actor (The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries), dies at 67
  • 1999 Dana Plato, American actress (Kimberly-Diff'rent Strokes), dies at 34
  • 2000 Guadalupe "Pita" Amor, Mexican poet (b. 1918)
  • 2000 Alexander Chislenko, Russian-American transhumanist (b. 1959)
  • 2000 Henry Nicols, American AIDS activist, dies as the result of a car accident at 26
  • 2000 Karl-Rudi Griesbach, German composer, dies at 83
  • 2004 John Peel, British politician (C), dies at 91
  • 2005 Nicolás Vuyovich, Argentine racing driver, dies at 23
  • 2006 Iain Macmillan, Abbey Road photographer (b. 1938)
  • 2006 Viola Mae Wilkerson, American pop singer ("Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now"), dies of cancer at 69
  • 2008 Eddy Arnold, American country music singer ("Make The World Go Away"; "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye"), dies at 89
  • 2008 François Sterchele, Belgian football player (b. 1982)
  • 2009 Dom DiMaggio, American baseball outfielder, 1940-53 (Boston Red Sox), co-founder of New England Patriots, dies at 92
  • 2009 Bud Shrake, American writer (b. 1931)
  • 2011 Lionel Rose, Australian boxer (1st Indigenous Australian to win a world title), dies at 62
  • 2011 Cornell Dupree, American jazz and R&B session guitarist (Atlantic Records - Aretha Franklin), dies of emphysema at 68
  • 2012 Maurice Sendak, American author and illustrator, dies at 83
  • 2012 Nicholas Katzenbach, American Attorney General, dies at 90
  • 2013 Brian Forbes, English director and actor, dies at 86
  • 2013 Jeanne Cooper, American actress (Kay-The Young & Restless), dies at 84
  • 2013 Taylor Mead, American writer, actor and performer (Factory, Taylor Mead's Ass), dies at 88
  • 2014 Roger L. Easton, American scientist, inventor and designer of GPS, dies at 93
  • 2015 Jaime León, Colombian pianist, composer, and conductor Filarmónica de Bogota, 1971-78), dies at 93
  • 2015 (Antoni) "Ton" Hartsuiker, Dutch pianist, composer, broadcaster, and educator, dies at 81
  • 2016 William Schallert, American character actor (Patty Duke Show- "Martin"; Get Smart - "The Admiral"), dies at 93
  • 2016 John Bradshaw, American theologian, dies at 82
  • 2017 Robert Gutter, American conductor and teacher (founded International Institute for Conductors, 1996), dies at 78
  • 2018 George Deukmejian, American politician, 35th Governor of California (1983-91), dies at 89
  • 2018 Ernest Medina, American soldier and commanding officer of the unit responsible for the My Lai Massacre of 16 March 1968, dies at 81
  • 2018 James Scott, American boxer and felon, dies at 71
  • 2018 Mahmoud Hammoud, Lebanese politician and diplomat, dies at 82 or 83
  • 2018 Anne V. Coates, British film editor (1962 Oscar, Lawrence of Arabia), dies at 92
  • 2020 Roy Horn [Uwe Ludwig Horn], German-American Las Vegas entertainer (Siegfried & Roy), dies of COVID-19 at 75
  • 2021 Bo, Obama family's Portuguese water dog and "First Dog" of the White House, dies of cancer
  • 2021 Helmut Jahn, German-American architect who designed the O'Hare United Airlines Terminal and the Thompson Center in Chicago and One Liberty Place in Philadelphia, killed when struck by cars while bicycling at 80 [1] [2]
  • 2021 Georgi Dimitrov, Bulgarian soccer centre-back (77 caps; CSKA Sofia, Saint-Étienne), dies from cancer at 62
  • 2021 Curtis Fuller, American jazz trombonist (Yusef Lateef; John Coltrane; Farmer/Golson Jazztet), dies at 88
May 8 Highlights