On This Day

Famous Deaths on October 15

  • 412 Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria
  • 892 Al-Mutamid, kalief of Abbasiden, dies
  • 898 Lambert, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Italy (891-898)
  • 912 Abdullah ibn Muhammad, Emir of Córdoba
  • 961 Abd al-Rahman III, Umayyad Emir (912-29) and ruler of the Caliph of Córdoba (929-961), dies at 70
  • 1002 Otto-Henry, Duke of Burgundy (b. 946)
  • 1080 Rudolf of Rheinfeld, Duke of Swabia and German anti-King
  • 1268 Dirk II, mister of Valkenburg, dies
  • 1271 Hostiensis [Henricus the Segusia], cardinal and bishop of Ostia, dies
  • 1326 Walter de Stapledon, English bishop (1308-26), dies at 65
  • 1389 Urban VI [Bartolomeo Prignano], Italian pope (1378-89), dies
  • 1404 Marie of Valois, Princess of France, dies at 60
  • 1512 Antoon Keldermans, Brabant builder (Middelburg town hall), dies at 72
  • 1524 Joachim Patinir, Flemish landscape painter, dies at about 45
  • 1539 Reynier Brunt, procureur-general of Court of Holland, dies
  • 1595 Abu al-Faiz ibn Mubarak Faizi, Persian-Dutch East iIndies poet, dies at 48
  • 1674 Robert Herrick, English poet ('Gather ye rosebuds while ye may'), dies at 83
  • 1682 John Ferrabosco, English organist at Ely Cathedral and composer, dies at 56
  • 1715 Humphry Ditton, English mathematician, dies at 40
  • 1730 Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac, French explorer in New France, founder of Detroit and Governor of Louisiana, dies at 71
  • 1788 Samuel Greig, Scottish-Russian admiral (Battle of Chesma), dies at 53
  • 1789 John Morgan, American physician-in-chief of Continental Army and co-founder of the Medical College at the University of Pennsylvania, the first medical school in Colonial America, dies at 54
  • 1810 Alfred Moore, American judge (US Supreme Court), dies at 55
  • 1811 Nathaniel Dance-Holland, English painter (b. 1735)

Person of interestTadeusz Kościuszko

1817 Tadeusz Kościuszko, Polish-Lithuanian Military Leader and statesman considered a national hero, dies at 71 after falling from a horse, developing a fever and suffering a stroke

Military Leader and Statesman Tadeusz Kościuszko
Military Leader and Statesman
Tadeusz Kościuszko
  • 1817 Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Swiss traveller and orientalist, 1st European to discover Petra and Abu Simbel, dies at 32
  • 1819 Princess Louise of Orange-Nassau, daughter of viceroy Willem V & Wilhelmina of Prussia, dies at 48
  • 1819 Sergey Vyazmitinov, Russian general and statesman (b. 1744)
  • 1820 Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, Austrian field marshal, dies at 49
  • 1833 Michał Ogiński, Polish politician, violinist, balalaika player, and composer (Farewell to My Homeland), dies at 68
  • 1837 Ivan Dmitriev, Russian statesman and poet, dies at 77
  • 1838 Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet (Heath's Book of Beauty), dies at 36
  • 1852 Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, German educator and founder of the turnverein (gymnastics) movement, dies at 74
  • 1883 Francesco Schira, Maltese-born composer, dies at 74
  • 1891 Gilbert Arthur à Beckett, English writer (Punch), dies at 54
  • 1891 William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, American Major General (Confederate Army), dies at 54
  • 1900 Zdenek Fibich, Czech classical composer (Šárka; The Bride of Messina), dies at 49
  • 1910 Stanley Ketchel [The Michigan Assassin], Polish-American heavyweight boxing champion (1908-10), murdered at a ranch in Missouri at 24
  • 1914 Aleksander Różycki, Polish pianist, composer, and music teacher dies at 59

BattleMata Hari

1917 Mata Hari [Margaretha Geertruida Zelle], Dutch dancer, courtesan and convicted German WWI spy, executed by firing squad at 41

Exotic Dancer, Courtesan and German Spy Mata Hari
Exotic Dancer, Courtesan and German Spy
Mata Hari
  • 1918 Sai Baba of Shirdi, Indian saint (b. circa 1838)
  • 1920 Hendrik Peter Staal, Dutch reformed officer and politician, dies at 75

Person of interestHerbert Henry Dow

1930 Herbert Henry Dow, American chemical industrialist (Dow Chemical), dies from cirrhosis of the liver at 64

Chemical Industrialist Herbert Henry Dow
Chemical Industrialist
Herbert Henry Dow
  • 1934 Raymond Poincaré, French president and Prime Minister (1912), dies at 74
  • 1937 James Marcus, American actor (The Eagle, The Lonely Trail), dies from a heart attack at 70
  • 1944 Philip Mechanicus, Dutch journalist, executed at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at 55

BattlePierre Laval

1945 Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of France (1931-32 and 1935-36) and Head of Vichy France (1942-44), executed by firing squad for high treason at 62

Prime Minister of France and Head of Vichy France Pierre Laval
Prime Minister of France and Head of Vichy France
Pierre Laval

Person of interestHermann Goering

1946 Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichmarshal, poisons himself in prison at 53

Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering
  • 1948 Edythe Chapman, American actress (b. 1863)
  • 1955 Fumio Hayasaka, Japanese film score composer (Rashomon; Seven Samurai), dies of tuberculosis at 41
  • 1958 Jack Mason, English cricketer (England all-rounder v Australia 1897-98), dies at 84
  • 1958 Jan Poortenaar, Dutch painter, etcher and cartoonist, dies at 72
  • 1958 John Hamilton, American actor (The Adventures of Superman - "Perry White"), dies of heart failure at 71
  • 1959 Lipót Fejér, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1880)
  • 1960 Clara Kimball Young, American actress (Return of Chandu), dies of stroke at 70
  • 1960 Henny Porten, German silent screen actress (Mother Love), dies at 70
  • 1960 Maude Eburne, Canadian actress (Ladies They Talk About, Guardsman), dies at 84
  • 1963 Edmond Fleg[enheimer], Swiss-French writer (Ecoute Israel), dies at 88
  • 1963 Horton Smith. American golfer (US Masters 1934, 36), dies of Hodgkin's disease at 55

Person of interestCole Porter

1964 Cole Porter, American composer and lyricist ("Anything Goes"; "Night And Day"; "I've Got You Under My Skin"), dies of kidney failure at 73

Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter
Composer and Lyricist
Cole Porter
  • 1965 Carl Hoff, American orchestra leader (Music Hall), dies at 60
  • 1968 Bea Benaderet, American actress (Kate-Petticoat Junction), dies at 62
  • 1968 Franz Reizenstein, German-British pianist, composer, and educator (Concerto Popolare), dies at 57
  • 1969 Rod La Rocque, American actor (Mystery Woman), dies at 70
  • 1969 Abdirashid Shermake, President of Somali Republic, shot by one of his bodyguards at 50
  • 1971 Sylvester Magee, last living American slave and oldest person who ever lived, dies at 130

Person of interestCarlo Gambino

1976 Carlo Gambino, Italian-American gangster, dies of a heart attack at 74

Gangster Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino
  • 1977 Ralph Truman, British actor (Henry V, Treasure Island, Web of Evidence), dies at 77
  • 1980 Mikhail Lavrentyev, Russian hydrodynamicist and mathematician, dies at 79
  • 1980 Apostolos Nikolaidis, Greek footballer and volleyball player (b. 1896)
  • 1981 Frank DeKova, American actor (Chief Wild Eagle-F Troop), dies at 71
  • 1981 Philip Fotheringham-Parker, British racing driver (b. 1907)
  • 1982 Elsie Randolph, English actress (That'll Make You Whistle), dies at 77
  • 1983 Pat O'Brien, American actor (Knute Rockne; Angels with Dirty Faces), dies of heart attack at 83
  • 1985 Meret Oppenheim, German born Swiss surrealist artist, dies at 72
  • 1985 Ted Steele, American orchestra leader (Cavalcade of Stars), dies at 68
  • 1987 Thomas Sankara, Burkinabé revolutionary and politician, President of Burkina Faso (1983-87), assassinated in a coup at 37
  • 1988 Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji [Leon Dudley Sorabji], Parsi-British pianist and composer (Opus clavicembalisticum), dies of heart failure at 96
  • 1990 Delphine Seyrig, French actress (Freak Orlando, Reperages) dies of lung disease at 58
  • 1991 Hotze de Roos, Dutch carpenter and writer (Chameleon series), dies at 81
  • 1993 Ken E. Jones, musician (New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra), dies of AIDS at 34
  • 1994 Hannes Wustinger, Austrian race car driver, dies in a crash during a race at 29
  • 1994 Karl Edward Wagner, American sci-fi author (Bloodstone, Night Winds), dies at 48
  • 1994 Sarah Kofman, French philosopher, dies at 60
  • 1995 Phil Sidey, English broadcaster (Radio Leeds), dies at 69
  • 2000 Konrad Emil Bloch, German-born biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
  • 2001 Zhang Xueliang, Chinese ruler of Manchuria, dies at 100
  • 2003 Ben Metcalfe, Canadian environmental activist (helped found Greenpeace), dies at 83
  • 2003 Bertram N. Brockhouse, Canadian physicist, (1994 Nobel Prize for Physics for neutron spectroscopy), dies at 85
  • 2005 Jason Collier, American basketball player, dies of an enlarged heart at 28
  • 2005 Matti Wuori, Finnish politician, dies of cancer at 60
  • 2006 Derek Bond, British actor (Nicholas Nickelby, Armchair Theatre), dies at 86
  • 2008 Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, Turkish poet, dies at 94
  • 2008 Edie Adams [Edith Enke], American businesswoman, singer, actress and comedian (Murial Cigar), dies at 81
  • 2008 Jack Narz, American TV game show host (Dotto, Video Village), dies at 85
  • 2008 Nathan Davis, American actor (Dunston Checks In, Holes, Code of Silence), dies from emphysema and pneumonia at 91
  • 2008 Tom Tresh, American baseball infielder (MLB All Star 1962-63; AL Rookie of Year 1962; NY Yankees), dies from a heart attack at 70
  • 2008 Chris Mims, American NFL defensive end (San Diego Chargers), dies at 38
  • 2010 Richard C. Miller, American photographer (b. 1912)
  • 2010 Mildred Fay Jefferson, American physician and pro-life activist (b. 1926)
  • 2010 Johnny Sheffield, American actor (Boy-Tarzan Finds a Son), dies at 79
  • 2011 Elizabeth "Betty" Driver, British singer and actress (Coronation Street; Pardon the Expression), dies from pneumonia at 91

Person of interestNorodom Sihanouk

2012 Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia, dies from a heart attack at 89

King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk
King of Cambodia
Norodom Sihanouk
  • 2012 Claude Cheysson, French politician (Minister of Foreign Affairs), dies at 92
  • 2013 Peter Miles, British Army officer, businessman and courtier in the Household of Elizabeth II, dies at 89
  • 2013 Rudolf Friedrich, Swiss politician and member of the Swiss Federal Council (1982-84), dies at 90
  • 2013 Gloria Lynne [Wilson], American jazz vocalist (Dell Tones), dies of a heart attack at 83
  • 2014 Nobby Wirkowski, American-Canadian football player and coach (Toronto Argonauts), dies at 88
  • 2016 Barbara Romack, American golfer (US Curtis Cup team 1954, 56, 58), dies at 83

Person of interestPaul Allen

2018 Paul Allen, American business magnate (co-founder Microsoft, owner Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks), dies of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at 65

Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen
Co-founder of Microsoft
Paul Allen
  • 2018 Shelley Hamlin, American golfer (US Open runner-up 1973), dies of breast cancer at 69
  • 2019 Hossein Dehlavi, Persian composer, conductor and teacher (Sarbaz; Plectrum Orchestra), dies of Alzheimer complications at 92
  • 2020 Sonja Edström-Ruthström, Swedish cross-country skier (Olympic gold 3 × 5k relay 1960), dies at 89
  • 2020 Gordon Haskell, British pop, rock and blues musician (Fleur De Lys; King Crimson, 1970; Harry's Bar), dies of cancer at 74
  • 2021 Miguel de Oliveira, Brazilian boxer (WBC light middleweight champion 1975), dies from pancreatic cancer at 74
October 15 Highlights