On This Day

Famous Deaths on October 21

  • 1125 Cosmas of Prague, Bohemian writer
  • 1204 Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester, English nobleman
  • 1221 Alix of Thouars, Duchess of Brittany (b. 1201)
  • 1266 Birger jarl, Swedish statesman (b. 1210)
  • 1422 Charles VI "the Well Beloved", King of France (1380-1422), dies at 54
  • 1439 Ambrose Traversari, Italian theologian and monk, dies at 53
  • 1500 Go-Tsuchimikado, 103rd Emperor of Japan, dies at 58
  • 1505 Paul Scriptoris, German mathematician
  • 1558 Julius Caesar Scaliger, Italian-French physician and scholar (On the Subtlety of Things), dies at 74
  • 1561 Johannes Vasaeus, Flemish humanist/historian, dies at about 49
  • 1600 Toda Katsushige, Japanese warlord (b. 1557)
  • 1623 William Wade, English statesman and diplomat (b. 1546)
  • 1627 Frederik de Houtman, navigator/governor of Ambon, dies at about 56
  • 1629 Tumengung Buraksa, Matarams/Javanese general, dies in battle
  • 1637 Laurens Reael, Dutch vice-governor of Ambon, poet, and admiral, dies at 54
  • 1650 Pedro de Espinosa, Spanish poet/writer, dies

  • 1662 Henry Lawes, composer, dies at 66
  • 1687 Edmund Waller, English poet/plotter (Waller's plot), dies
  • 1765 Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Italian painter and architect, dies at 73
  • 1773 Johann Conrad Schlaun, German baroque architect, dies at 78
  • 1775 Peyton Randolph, American president of the Continental Congress (b. 1721)
  • 1777 Samuel Foote, British actor, dramatist and theatre manager (Mirror), dies at 57
  • 1793 Johann Ernst Hartmann, composer, dies at 66
  • 1798 Johann Christoph Schmugel, composer, dies at 71

Person of interestHoratio Nelson

1805 Horatio Nelson, British admiral and war hero, dies in Battle of Trafalgar at 47

British Admiral Horatio Nelson
British Admiral
Horatio Nelson
  • 1805 Johann Baptist Lasser, composer, dies at 54
  • 1810 Franz Teyber, Austrian composer, dies at 52
  • 1861 Edward Dickinson Baker, US attorney/senator, dies in battle at 50
  • 1861 John Breckinridge Grayson, Confederate brigadier general, dies
  • 1863 Lambertus GC Ledeboer, Dutch old-reformed vicar, dies at 55
  • 1872 Jacques Babinet, French physicist/mathematician/astronomer, dies at 78
  • 1873 Johann Sebastian Welhaven, Norwegian poet (b. 1807)
  • 1886 Jose Hernandez, Argentine poet (La vuelta the MartinFierro), dies at 51
  • 1891 Alpheus Baker, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 63
  • 1896 James Henry Greathead, British engineer (b. 1844)
  • 1897 Paul Kuczynski, Polish composer, dies at 50

  • 1901 James A. Walker, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 69
  • 1904 Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and writer (b. 1877)
  • 1905 Jose Teodor Vilar, composer, dies at 69
  • 1906 Helena Amelung [Georgette A], Dutch actress (Scapegoat), dies at 55
  • 1907 Jules Chevalier, French Roman Catholic priest (Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart), dies at 83
  • 1916 Karl von Storgkh, premier Austria, assassinated
  • 1919 Sven August Körling, Swedish composer, dies at 77
  • 1924 Martin Pierre Joseph Marsick, Belgian composer, dies at 76
  • 1929 Owen Dunell, cricketer (two Tests for South Africa in 1889), dies
  • 1931 A Schnitzler, writer, dies at 69
  • 1939 Nummy Deane, cricketer (628 runs in 17 Tests for South Africa), dies
  • 1940 William G. Conley, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1866)
  • 1943 Dudley Pound, British admiral of the fleet and 1st Sea Lord (Jutland, WW II), dies at 66
  • 1944 Alois Kayser, German missionary to Nauru (b. 1877)
  • 1945 Henry Armetta, Italian-American actor (The Black Cat, Bell for Adano, Big Store), dies from a heart attack at 57
  • 1955 Roy Minnett, Australian cricketer (all-rounder prior to WWI), dies
  • 1961 Nils Johan Einar Ferlin, Swedish poet (Barfotabarn), dies at 62
  • 1963 George Cressey, American geographer (Crossroads), dies at 66
  • 1963 Józef Franczak, Polish soldier and anti-communist resistance fighter who was the last cursed soldiers, dies in a firefight with 35 functionaries of a ZOMO (paramilitary riot police) at 45
  • 1965 Bill Black, American band leader and bassist who worked with Elvis, dies of a brain tumour at 39
  • 1965 Marie McDonald, American singer and actress known as "The Body Beautiful" (Promises Promises), dies of an accidental drug overdose at 42
  • 1966 Gertrude Hoffman, actress (Mrs Odetts-My Little Margie), dies at 95
  • 1967 Ejnar Hertzsprung, Danish astronomer (Hertzsprung-Russell diagram), dies at 94

Person of interestJack Kerouac

1969 Jack Kerouac, American writer (Doctor Sax, On the Road), dies at 47

Writer Jack Kerouac
Writer
Jack Kerouac
  • 1969 Waclaw Sierpinski, Polish mathematician (Sierpinski triangle), dies at 87

Person of interestJohn T. Scopes

1970 John T. Scopes, American teacher convicted for teaching evolution (Scopes "monkey trial" 1925), dies of cancer at 70

Teacher Convicted for Teaching Evolution John T. Scopes
Teacher Convicted for Teaching Evolution
John T. Scopes
  • 1971 Raymond Hatton, American actor (Girls in Prison, Lady Killer), dies of heart attack at 84
  • 1973 Arabi El Goni, VP/Chad parliament, murdered
  • 1975 Charles Reidpath, American athlete (Olympic gold 1912), dies at 86
  • 1977 Ferit Tuzun, Turkish composer, dies at 48
  • 1978 Anastas I Mikojan, Russian politician, dies at 83
  • 1978 Anastas Mikoyan, Armenian revolutionary and member of Supreme Soviet, dies at 82
  • 1980 Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician and eponym of Asperger syndrome, dies at 74
  • 1981 Šrom, Karel, Czech composer, musicologist, and critic, dies at 77
  • 1982 Radka Toneff, Norwegian jazz singer (It Don't Come Easy), dies of a drug overdose at 30
  • 1983 Theodorus H J Zwartkruis, Bishop (Haarlem), dies
  • 1984 Dalibor Cyril Vačkář, Czech composer, dies at 78
  • 1984 Francois Truffaut, dir (Fahrenheit 451), dies of brain cancer at 52
  • 1986 Lionel Murphy, Australian politician and judge, dies at 64
  • 1987 Ying-Chin Ho, Taiwan government official, dies at 88
  • 1989 Jean Image, Hungarian-born French animator (b. 1910)
  • 1992 Jackson Weaver, voice of Smokey the Bear, dies of diabetes
  • 1992 Jim Garrison, Louisiana District Attorney who investigated JFK assassination, dies at 70
  • 1993 Assad Saftawi, Palestinian co-founder of al-Fatah, murdered at 58
  • 1993 Irving Torgoff, American baseball player (Detroit Tigers), dies at 75
  • 1993 Melchior Ndadaye, 1st Hutu President of Burundi (1993), murdered at 40
  • 1993 Sam Zolotow, US theater critic (NY Times), dies at 94
  • 1993 Scott Heiser, US photographer (Interview), dies at 44
  • 1993 James Leo Herlihy, American novelist (Midnight Cowboy), commits suicide at 66
  • 1994 Edward Moss Hutchinson, educationalist, dies at 85
  • 1994 Jerome Bert Weisner, military Scientist/Disarmer, dies at 79
  • 1995 Linda Goodman, Morgantown, West Virginia, American astrologer and poet, dies from complications of diabetes at 70
  • 1995 Jose Ignacio Cabrujas, writer, dies at 58
  • 1995 Maxene Andrews, American singer (Andrew Sisters-Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy), dies of heart attack at 79
  • 1995 Shannon Hoon, vocalist (Blind Melon), dies of drug overdose at 28

  • 1995 Jesús Blasco, Spanish comic book author (Cuto), dies at 75
  • 1996 Abdelhamid Benhadugah, novelist, dies at 71
  • 1996 Eric Halsall, sheepdog trial commentator, dies at 76
  • 1996 Georgios Zoitakis, leader of Greece (1967-72), dies
  • 1996 Robert O'Neill Crossman, politician, dies at 49
  • 1996 Wang Li, politician, dies at 78
  • 1997 Dolph Camilli, Bkln Dodger/MVP (1941), dies at 90
  • 1998 Francis W. Sargent, 64th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1915)
  • 1998 Alan Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury, British business executive, dies at 96
  • 1999 Ahmet Taner Kışlalı, Turkish politician, journalist, and educator, assassinated at 60
  • 1999 John Bromwich, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ship 1939, 46 / 13 Grand Slam doubles titles), dies at 80
  • 2003 Fred Berry, African-American actor (Rerun-What's Happening), dies at 52
  • 2003 Luis A. Ferré, Puerto Rican industrialist and politician (Governor of Puerto Rico, 1969-73), dies at 99
  • 2003 Louise Day Hicks, American politician (b. 1916)
  • 2003 Elliott [Steven] Smith, American musician (Oscar nominee for "Miss Misery" from Good Will Hunting), dies from stab wounds at 34 [1]
  • 2005 Tara Correa-McMullen, American actress (Judging Amy), shot at 16
  • 2006 Rene Gerber, Swiss composer, dies at 98
  • 2007 Paul Fox, English musician and singer (The Ruts), dies at 56
  • 2011 Edmundo Ros, Trinidadian-Venezuelan musician and arranger, dies at 100
  • 2012 George McGovern, American politician and Presidential candidate (D-1972), dies at 90
  • 2012 Yash Chopra, Indian director (Waqt), dies from dengue fever and multiple organ failure at 80
  • 2012 Dann Cahn, American film editor, dies of natural causes at 89
  • 2013 Major R Owens, American politician (Rep-D-NY, 1983-2007), dies at 77
  • 2013 Bud Adams Jr., American NFL team owner (Tennessee Titans), dies at 90

Person of interestBen Bradlee

2014 Ben Bradlee, American editor, journalist, newspaper executive (Washington Post), dies at 93

Journalist Ben Bradlee
Journalist
Ben Bradlee
  • 2014 Gough Whitlam, Australian politician (Prime Minister, 1972-1975), dies at 98
  • 2015 Marty Ingels, American comedian (I'm Dickens He's Fenster), dies at 79
  • 2016 Manfred Krug, German actor (Boxer), dies at 79
  • 2019 Willie Brown, American Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback, coach and executive (Super Bowl 1976, 80, 84; Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders), dies at 78
  • 2020 Gordon Astall, English soccer forward (2 caps; Birmingham City 235 games, 59 goals), dies from dementia at 93
  • 2020 Viola Smith, American drummer and bandleader (one of the first professional female drummers), dies at 107 [1]
October 21 Highlights