On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 9

  • 1079 Stanislaus, Polish bishop of Kraków, murdered at 48
  • 1280 Magnus VI Lagabuter, King of Norway (1263-80), dies at 42
  • 1315 Hugh V, Duke of Burgundy, dies at 21
  • 1443 Niccolo d'Albergati, Italian cardinal, dies at 70
  • 1446 Mary of Enghien, Queen of Naples, dies at 79
  • 1474 Peter van Hagenbach, Elzasser knight & land guardian, beheaded at 54
  • 1590 Karel "Cardinal" van Bourbon, archbishop of Rouen, dies at 66

William Bradford

1657 William Bradford, American governor (Plymouth Colony, Mass), dies at 57

  • 1667 Marie Louise de Gonzague-Nevers, French Queen of Poland (1645-48), dies at 55
  • 1688 Frederick William, Great Elector of Brandenburg, dies at 68
  • 1707 Dietrich Buxtehude, German organist & composer, dies at about 69
  • 1745 Tomaso Antonio Vitali, Italian composer & violinist, dies at 82
  • 1747 John Dalrymple, 2nd Earl of Stair, Scottish soldier & diplomat, dies at 73
  • 1760 Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf, Austrian-born German religious & social reformer, dies at 59
  • 1785 Franz Xaver Schnitzer, German composer, dies at 44
  • 1790 William Clingan, American delegate to the Continental Congress

Francis Hopkinson

1791 Francis Hopkinson, American author and composer (designed the first American flag), dies from an apoplectic seizure at 53

  • 1799 Claude-Bénigne Balbastre, French organist, harpsichordist, and composer, dies at 74
  • 1805 Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German poet & playwright, dies at 45

Benjamin Lincoln

1810 Benjamin Lincoln, American military officer (Battles of Saratoga, Charleston and Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War), dies at 77

  • 1822 Charles Duquesnoy, French composer, dies at 62
  • 1850 Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, French physicist & chemist, dies at 71
  • 1853 Johann Philipp Samuel Schmidt, German composer, dies at 73
  • 1861 Peter Ernst von Lasaulx, German philologist & politician, dies at 55
  • 1864 John Sedgwick, American Major General (Union Army), is shot in battle after claiming "they couldn't hit an elephant at this distance" at 50
  • 1864 Thomas D. Doubleday, American bookstore owner & Union Army officer, dies in an accident at 48
  • 1880 Johann Hermann Berens, German composer, dies at 54
  • 1884 Hermanus Willem Witteveen, Dutch theologist, dies at 69
  • 1889 William S. Harney, American general, dies at 88
  • 1905 Ernst Pauer, Austrian composer & pianist, dies at 78
  • 1914 C. W. Post, American food manufacturer of breakfast cereals, commits suicide at 59
  • 1915 François Faber, Luxembourgian cyclist (Tour de France 1909), dies of gunshot wounds at 28
  • 1915 Anthony Wilding, New Zealand tennis player (Wimbledon 1910-13), dies on the Western Front at 31
  • 1918 George Coşbuc, Romanian poet, dies at 51
  • 1919 James Reese Europe, American ragtime and early jazz arranger, composer, and bandleader in New York, and with the military in France during WWI, dies of a stab wound (received during an argument with one of his drummers), at 38
  • 1919 Ludwig Bösendorfer, Austrian piano builder, dies at 84
  • 1926 J. M. Dent, British publisher, dies at 77
  • 1927 Tommy Routledge, South African cricketer (4 Tests for South Africa 1892-96), dies at 60
  • 1928 Constantin Dimitrescu, Romanian composer (Dans ţănănesc), dies at 81
  • 1931 A[lbert] A[braham] Michelson, American physicist (1907 Nobel), dies at 78
  • 1933 John Arthur Jarvis, English swimmer (Olympic gold 1,000m, 4,000m, water polo 1900), dies at 61
  • 1936 François Conrad Schlumberger, French physicist, dies at 57
  • 1937 Walter Mittelholzer, Swiss aviation pioneer (Swiss Air), dies in crash at 43
  • 1938 Thomas B. Thrige, Danish industrialist, dies at 72
  • 1942 Graham McNamee, American early sportscaster (1st Rose Bowl), dies at 53
  • 1944 Ethel Smyth, English composer, dies at 86
  • 1945 Clem Hill, Australian cricketer (49 Tests for Australia 1896-1912), dies
  • 1949 Louis II [Louis Honoré Charles Antoine Grimaldi], Prince of Monaco, dies at 78
  • 1950 Esteban Terradas i Illa, Catalan mathematician, scientist and engineer, dies at 66
  • 1951 Marie Ault, British actress, dies at 80
  • 1952 Canada Lee [Leonard Canegata], African-American actor (Lost Boundaries), dies of a heart attack at 45
  • 1955 Kate Booth, English Salvationist & evangelist, dies at 97
  • 1957 Ernest de Silva, Sri Lankan business magnate & philanthropist, dies at 69
  • 1957 Ezio Pinza, Italian American operatic bass singer (South Pacific, NY Met Opera), dies at 64
  • 1957 Heinrich Campendonk, German painter & wood carver, dies at 67
  • 1958 Bill Goodwin, American television announcer (Burns & Allen), dies at 47
  • 1965 Leopold Figl, Austrian politician (13th Chancellor of Austria), dies at 62
  • 1966 Alfred Mendelsohn, Romanian composer, and conductor (Romanian National Opera, 1944-63), and teacher, dies at 56
  • 1966 Wilhelmus Marinus Bekkers, Dutch Roman Catholic bishop of Hertogenbosch, dies at 58
  • 1967 Elmar Berkovich, Hungarian-Dutch industrial designer (Eindhoven theater), dies at 69
  • 1967 Philippa Schuyler, African-American child prodigy & composer, dies at 35
  • 1968 Finlay Currie, Scottish actor (Quo Vadis, Avengers), dies at 90
  • 1968 Harold Gray, American comic strip artist (Little Orphan Annie), dies at 74
  • 1968 Marion Lorne, American actress (Aunt Clara-Bewitched), dies at 81
  • 1968 Phil Arnold, American actor (Errand Boy, Stud Lonigan, Damn Yankees), dies from a heart attack at 58
  • 1968 Mercedes de Acosta, American poet, playwright, costume designer, and socialite, dies at 75
  • 1970 Percy Brier, Australian composer, dies at 84
  • 1970 Walter P. Reuther, American worker's union leader & president of the CIO, dies in a plane crash at 62
  • 1970 Andrew Watson Myles, Canadian politician, dies at 86
  • 1974 Lyubomir Pipkov, Bulgarian composer, dies at 69
  • 1975 Philip Dorn, Dutch actor (Enemy Agent, I Remember Mama), dies of a heart attack at 73
  • 1976 Raymond Chevreuille, Belgian composer, dies at 74
  • 1976 Valentino Bucchi, Italian composer, dies at 59
  • 1976 Jens Bjørneboe, Norwegian poet & writer (Dikt, Jonas), dies at 55
  • 1977 James Jones, American novelist (Bad Blood, From Here to Eternity), dies at 55
  • 1977 Walter Kraft, German organist & composer, dies at 71

AssassinationAldo Moro

1978 Aldo Moro, Five times Prime Minister of Italy, assassinated by the Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization Red Brigades at 61

Cyrus Eaton

1979 Cyrus Eaton, Canadian-American financier, industrialist and steel magnate, dies at 95

  • 1979 Lan Adomian, Russian-born American composer, dies at 73
  • 1981 Nip Pellew, Australian cricketer (10 Tests 484 runs at 37), dies at 87
  • 1981 Nelson Algren, American novelist (Man with the Golden Arm), dies at 72
  • 1985 Reginald Dixon, British theatre organist, dies at 80
  • 1986 Dirk de Vroome, Dutch campaigner & Limbourg activist, dies at 60
  • 1986 Herschel Bernardi, American actor (Arnie, Voice of Charlie the Tuna, Front), dies of a heart attack at 62

Tenzing Norgay

1986 Tenzing Norgay, Tibetan climber who was the 1st to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953 with Edmund Hillary, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 71

  • 1987 Obafemi Awolowo, Nigerian statesman & nationalist, dies at 78
  • 1989 Keith Whitley, American country music singer ("Don't Close Your Eyes"), dies of alcohol poisoning at 33
  • 1990 Pauline Frederick, American journalist & author, dies at 84
  • 1990 Patrick Piggott, British pianist, composer, and musicologist (The Life & Music of John Field; The Innocent Diversion - Music in the Life and Writings of Jane Austen), dies at 74
  • 1991 James L. Reinsch, American broadcasting executive & presidential media adviser (Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy) who also advised Winston Churchill on his 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech, dies at 82
  • 1991 Rudolf Serkin, Bohemian-American pianist (Marlboro School of Music), dies at 88
  • 1992 Mike Tyrell, British air acrobat, dies in an accident at 45
  • 1993 Freya Stark, English author, dies at 61
  • 1993 Mary Duncan Sanford, American actress, dies at 98
  • 1993 Penelope Gilliatt, British author, dies at 61
  • 1994 Elias Motsoaledi, South African freedom fighter & anti-apartheid activist, dies at 69
  • 1995 Abha Gandhi, servant to Gandhi, dies at 68
  • 1995 Charles Montgomery Monteith, Irish publisher, dies at 74
  • 1995 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist & clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), dies at 82
  • 1995 Percy Mansell, South African cricketer (355 runs in 13 Tests for South Africa), dies at 75
  • 1997 Willy Hess, Swiss musicologist, composer and famous Beethoven scholar, dies at 90
  • 1997 Marco Ferreri, Italian film director, dies at 68
  • 1997 Bob Devaney, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (National C'ship, University of Nebraska 1970, 71; University of Wyoming; career record 136–30–7), dies at 82
  • 1998 Alice Faye [Leppert], American actress & singer (Hello Frisco, Hello; Fallen Angel; Stowaway), dies of stomach cancer at 83
  • 1999 Ivan M. Niven, Canadian-American mathematician, dies at 83
  • 2001 James E. Myers, American songwriter (Rock Around the Clock) & producer, dies at 81
  • 2001 William T. Stearn, British botanist, dies at 90
  • 2002 Dan Devine, American football coach, dies at 77
  • 2002 Leon Stein, American composer, dies at 81
  • 2003 Russell B. Long, American politician (Sen-D-LA, 1948-86), dies at 84
  • 2004 Akhmad Kadyrov, 1st President of Chechnya, dies at 52
  • 2004 Alan King [Irwin Kniberg], American comedian & actor (Anderson Tapes, Memories of Me), dies at 76
  • 2005 Nasrat Parsa, Afghani singer, dies at 36
  • 2007 Dwight Wilson, second-to-last Canadian WWI veteran, dies at 106
  • 2007 Jacob Gilboa, Israeli composer, dies at 87
  • 2008 Jack Gibson, Australian rugby league footballer & coach, dies at 79
  • 2008 Nuala O'Faolain, Irish journalist, dies at 68
  • 2009 Chuck Daly, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (2-time NBA champion Detroit Pistons), dies of pancreatic cancer at 78
  • 2009 Turner Stephen Bruton, American country songwriter and musician (Crazy Heart), dies of throat cancer at 59
  • 2010 Lena Horne, American singer & actress (Cabin in the Sky), dies at 92
  • 2010 Otakar Motejl, Czechoslvakian politician, dies at 77
  • 2011 Wouter Weylandt, Belgian cyclist, dies at 26

Vidal Sassoon

2012 Vidal Sassoon, British-American hair stylist & CEO of Vidal Sasson, dies from leukemia at 84

  • 2013 Andrew Simpson, British sailor, dies after a yacht capsize at 36
  • 2013 Alfredo Landa, Spanish actor (The Crach, Sinatra), dies at 80
  • 2014 Mel Patton, American athlete (Olympic gold 200m, 4x100m relay 1948; WR 100 yards 9.2s 1948), dies at 89
  • 2014 Mary Stewart, British sci-fi author (Crystal Cave), dies at 97
  • 2015 Kenan Evren, Turkish soldier & politician, (President of Turkey 1980-1989 by military coup), dies at 97
  • 2015 Elizabeth Wilson, American screen & stage actress (Doc, East Side/West Side), dies at 94
  • 2015 Christopher Wood, English screenwriter & novelist (Confessions), dies at 79
  • 2016 Dennis Nineham, British theologian, dies at 94
  • 2016 John Warr, English cricket bowler (avg 281) & president (MCC), dies at 88
  • 2017 Michael Parks, American actor (Tusk, Then Came Bronson), dies at 77
  • 2017 Qian Qichen, Chinese diplomat & vice premier, dies at 89
  • 2017 Robert Miles [Roberto Concina], Swiss musician, record producer, and composer of trance and ambient music ("Children"), dies of pancreatic cancer at 47
  • 2018 Poldine Carlo, American writer & Koyukon elder, dies at 97
  • 2018 Omar Daoud, Libyan footballer, dies in a traffic collision at 35
  • 2018 Duke Friedrich of Württemberg, German aristocrat & heir to the House of Württemberg, dies at 56 in a traffic collision
  • 2018 Delphine Gibson, American supercentenarian & former oldest person in the US, dies at 114 years and 265 days
  • 2018 Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Australian heroin smuggler (Bali Nine), dies of stomach cancer at 34
  • 2019 Freddie Starr, English comedian & singer (The Freddie Starr Showcase), dies at 76
  • 2020 Pedro Pablo León, Peruvian soccer forward (49 caps; Alianza Lima), dies from pneumonia and kidney failure at 76

May 9 Highlights