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

Person of interestWilliam Bradford

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

First Governor of Plymouth Colony William Bradford
First Governor of Plymouth Colony
William Bradford
  • 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

Person of interestFrancis Hopkinson

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

Designer of the American Flag Francis Hopkinson
Designer of the American Flag
Francis Hopkinson
  • 1799 Claude-Benigne Balbastre, French composer, dies at 74
  • 1805 Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German poet & playwright, dies at 45

Person of interestBenjamin Lincoln

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

Military Leader Benjamin Lincoln
Military Leader
Benjamin Lincoln
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Person of interestCharles Vyner Brooke

1963 Charles Vyner Brooke, 3rd and last White Rajah of Sarawak (1917-46), dies at 88

3rd and Last White Rajah of Sarawak Charles Vyner Brooke
3rd and Last White Rajah of Sarawak
Charles Vyner Brooke
  • 1965 Leopold Figl, Austrian politician (13th Chancellor of Austria), dies at 62
  • 1966 Alfred Mendelsohn, Romanian composer, 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

MurderAldo Moro

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

Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro
Italian Prime Minister
Aldo Moro

Person of interestCyrus Eaton

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

Steel Magnate Cyrus Eaton
Steel Magnate
Cyrus Eaton
  • 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

Person of interestTenzing 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

Mountaineer and Explorer Tenzing Norgay
Mountaineer and Explorer
Tenzing Norgay
  • 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
  • 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 Sch 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

Person of interestVidal Sassoon

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

Hairdresser Vidal Sassoon
Hairdresser
Vidal Sassoon
  • 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 sprinter, double Olympic champion, 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
  • 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

Person of interestLittle Richard

2020 Little Richard [Wayne Penniman], American singer-songwriter and rock 'n' roll pioneer (Tutti Frutti), dies at 87

Singer-Songwriter and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer Little Richard
Singer-Songwriter and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer
Little Richard