Famous Deaths on October 31

  • 1147 Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, English politician and illegitimate son of King Henry I, dies at about 57
  • 1214 Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile, dies at 53
  • 1448 Johannes VIII Palaeologus, Emperor of Byzantine, dies
  • 1517 Fra Bartolommeo, Italian artist, dies at 45
  • 1556 John Sleidanus, German humanist/historian (Commentary), dies at 50
  • 1634 Erasmus Widmann, German composer, dies at 62
  • 1641 Cornelis Jol, Dutch admiral and privateer, dies at about 41
  • 1654 Francisco Correa de Arauxo, Spanish organ composer, dies at about 70
  • 1659 John Bradshaw, English judge (b. 1602)
  • 1661 Köprülü Mehmed Pasha, Albanian born Ottoman great vizier (established Köprülü dynasty of statesmen), dies at 85 or 86
  • 1664 Willem Frederik of Nassau-Dietz, viceroy of Friesland, dies at 51
  • 1723 Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, monarch of Florence (1670-1723), dies at 81

Victor Amadeus IIVictor Amadeus II (1666-1732)

Duke of Savoy (1675-1730) and King of Sardinia (1720-30), dies at 66

  • 1733 Eberhard Ludwig, Duke of Württemberg, dies at 57
  • 1744 Leonardo Ortensio Salvatore de Leo, Italian opera composer, dies at 50
  • 1765 Duke of Cumberland, English politician/uncle of George III, dies
  • 1768 Francesco Maria Veracini, Italian opera composer, dies at 78
  • 1786 Princess Amelia Sophia of Great Britain, second daughter of King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach, dies at 75
  • 1793 Pierre-Victurnien Vergniaud, French politician and police leader, guillotined at 40
  • 1806 Sophie Mereau, German writer, dies at 36
  • 1815 Daniel Belknap, American composer, dies at 44
  • 1834 Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, French-American chemist and industrialist (E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), dies at 63
  • 1851 Peter II, prince-bishop of Montenegro (1830-51) and poet (The Ray of The Microcosm), dies at 37
  • 1860 Johannes Nathan, Dutch murderer, the last ordinary execution in the Netherlands, hanged for killing his mother-in-law
  • 1860 Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, British admiral, dies at 84
  • 1863 Louis Ludwig Blenker, German/US brigadier general (Union), dies at 51
  • 1865 William Parson, 3rd Earl of Rosse & maker of large telescopes, dies
  • 1870 Mihály Mosonyi, Hungarian composer, dies at 55
  • 1879 Big Snake, brother of Ponca chief Standing Bear, dies
  • 1879 Jacob Abbott, American author (b. 1803)
  • 1879 Joseph Hooker, American General (b. 1814)
  • 1881 George Washington De Long, American Arctic Explorer whose disastrous expedition provided evidence to support the theory of trans-Arctic oceanic drift, dies during his disastrous expedition to the North Pole at 37
  • 1883 Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj
  • 1884 Marie Bashkirtseff, Russian diarist and painter, dies at 25
  • 1887 George Alexander Macfarren, British composer and musicologist, dies at 74
  • 1895 Franz Hedrich, Austria writer, dies at about 62
  • 1902 Jean-Baptist Colyns, Belgian violinist and composer, dies at 67
  • 1913 William Evans-Gordon, British politician (b. 1857)

Charles Taze RussellCharles Taze Russell (1852-1916)

American religious leader (founder of the Bible School Movement that led to Jehovah's Witnesses), dies at 64

  • 1917 Tibby Cotter, Australian cricket fast bowler and soldier (21 Tests, 49 wickets), dies in world's last successful cavalry charge, 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba at 33
  • 1918 Egon Schiele, Austrian painter and graphic artist, dies at 28
  • 1918 [Stephen] István Tisza, Hungarian PM (1903-05, 1913-17), assassinated by soldiers at 57
  • 1920 Alphonse Desjardins, Canadian founder of the Caisses populaires Desjardins, dies at 65

Harry HoudiniHarry Houdini (1874-1926)

Famous magician and escape artist, dies at 52 in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured

  • 1928 José Méndez, Cuban Baseball HOF pitcher (NgL World Series 1924; 3 × NgL NL pennants; Kansas City Monarchs), dies at 43
  • 1929 António José de Almeida, Portuguese politician and 6th President of Portugal (b. 1866)
  • 1939 Otto Rank [Rosenfeld], Austria psychoanalyst (Trauma of Geburt), dies
  • 1941 Herwarth Walden, German art writer and critic, dies in a Soviet prison at 63
  • 1943 Max Reinhardt [Goldmann], Austrian theatrical director (Oedipus Rex) and founder of the Salzburg Festival, dies at 70
  • 1945 Henry Ainley, English actor (As You Like It), dies at 66
  • 1945 Wincenty Witoz, Polish politician (Prime Minister of Poland 1920-21, 1923, 1926), dies at 71
  • 1948 Cissy van Marxfield [Setske Beek-de Han], Dutch children's writer, dies at 58
  • 1949 Edward Stettinius Jr. 48th US Secretary of State (1944-45) and diplomat, dies at 49
  • 1950 Carel T Scharten, Dutch poet and writer (Lost Paradise), dies at 72
  • 1950 Jozef C Bittremieux, Belgian theologist (Virgin & Mother of God), dies at 72
  • 1952 U Chit Hlaing, Burmese politician (b. 1879)
  • 1955 Alban Collignon, Belgian sport journalist, dies at 74
  • 1955 William Woodward Jr., American businessman and horse breeder (Hanover National Bank), is shot by his wife after being mistaken for an intruder at 35
  • 1959 Jean Cabannes, French physicist (b. 1885)
  • 1960 H L Davis, American writer (Honey in the Horn, Pulitzer prize), dies at 64
  • 1963 Henry Daniell, British actor (The Great Dictator, Camille, Philadelphia Story, Body Snatchers), dies at 69
  • 1964 Theodore Freeman, American astronaut (1st NASA astronaut fatality), dies in a T-38 jet air crash at 34
  • 1965 Rita Johnson, American actress (Honolulu, All Mine to Give), dies from a brain hemorrhage at 53
  • 1967 Jan Mens, Dutch writer (Honor to God Alone), dies at 70
  • 1968 Malcolm Hale, American musician (Spanky and Our Gang), dies of monoxide poisoning at 27
  • 1969 Hugo Pfister, Swiss classical and stage composer, dies at 55
  • 1971 Gerhard von Rad, German old testament expert, dies at 70
  • 1972 Bill Durnan, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1916)
  • 1975 Joseph Calleia, Maltese-American stage, screen, and radio actor (The Book; Gilda; Touch of Evil), dies at 78
  • 1975 SD Burman, Indian singer and film music composer (Zindagi Zindagi), dies at 69
  • 1976 Linda Watkins, American actress (From Hell it Came, Harpy), dies at 68
  • 1977 Joan Tetzel, American actress (Hell Below Zero, Joy in the Morning), dies of cancer at 56

George HalasGeorge Halas (1895-1983)

American NFL coach and pioneering owner of the Chicago Bears, dies of pancreatic cancer at 88

  • 1984 Eduardo De Filippo, Italian playwright, director, actor and poet (7 Deadly Sins, Shoot Loud), dies at 84

Indira GandhiIndira Gandhi (1917-1984)

4th Prime Minister of India (1966-77, 1980-84), assassinated by two of her bodyguards at 66

  • 1985 Anton Christoforidis, Greek boxer (NBA light heavyweight title 1941), dies of a heart attack at 68
  • 1985 Nikos Engonopoulos, Greek painter and poet (b. 1907)
  • 1985 Poul Reichhardt, Danish actor (Soldaten og Jenny, Det gælder os alle), dies at 72
  • 1986 Robert S. Mulliken, American chemist and physicist (Nobel 1966), dies at 90
  • 1987 Joseph Campbell, American professor of comparative mythology (Mythic Image), dies at 83
  • 1988 Alfred Pellan, Québécois painter (b. 1906)
  • 1988 John Houseman, Romanian actor (The Paper Chase, Rollerball, The Fog), dies of spinal cancer at 86
  • 1989 Conrad Beck, Swiss composer, dies at 88
  • 1990 Graig Russel, Canadian travel expert/transvestite, dies
  • 1990 Hugh McPhillips, dies at 70
  • 1991 Bert Bertram, Australian actor (How to Steal a Million, Shamus), dies of cancer at 97
  • 1991 Gene Anderson, American professional wrestler (b. 1933)
  • 1991 Johan Schmitz, actor (Gysbregt van Aemstel/Soldat van Orange), dies
  • 1991 Joseph Papp, Broadway producer (A Chorus Line), dies of cancer at 70
  • 1991 Willem Pelemans, Flemish composer, and music critic, dies at 90
  • 1993 Adriaan Venema, Dutch journalist/art dealer, commits suicide at 52
  • 1993 Edwin A Walker, US Maj-Gen, dies of lung cancer at 84

Federico FelliniFederico Fellini (1920-1993)

Italian film director and scriptwriter (8 1/2, La Dolce Vita), dies of stroke at 73

River PhoenixRiver Phoenix (1970-1993)

American actor (Little Nikta, Stand By Me), dies of a drug overdose at 23

  • 1994 John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy, English art historian and director of British Museum (1974-76), dies at 80
  • 1994 Jole Silvani [Niobe Quaiatti], Italian actress (La citta' Delle), dies
  • 1994 Lester Sill, American pioneer music publisher (Leiber and Stoller; Lee Hazlewood), and record label executive (Philles Records; Colpix; Colgems), dies at 76
  • 1994 William John Readings, literary theorist, dies at 34
  • 1995 Alan Bush, British composer pianist and teacher, dies at 94
  • 1995 Derek Anthony Enright, British Labour politician, dies at 60
  • 1995 Dr. Hepcat [Lavad Durst], American blues piano player and singer-songwriter, radio DJ and baseball broadcaster, dies at 82
  • 1995 Henry A Walter Richard Percy, 11th Duke of Northumberland, dies at 42
  • 1995 Leonard Ernest John Chant, social worker, dies at 57
  • 1995 Lloyd Lambert, American bassist (Guitar Slim), dies at 67
  • 1995 Lou Levy, American 'Tin Pan Alley' music publisher (Leeds Music Corp - Sammy Cahn, Adler & Ross, Bob Dylan), dies at 84
  • 1995 Rosalind Cash, American actress (Emma-Go Tell It on the Mountain), dies of cancer at 56
  • 1995 Wallace Edward Rowling, Prime Minister of NZ (1974-1975), dies at 68
  • 1996 Andrew Hutchings, British trade union leader, dies at 88
  • 1996 Arthur Peterson, American actor (Soap, Mission: Impossible, Crisis), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 83
  • 1996 John Gorman, printer and socialist historian, dies at 66
  • 1996 Peter Doig, British Labour Party politician, dies at 85
  • 1997 Wilfrid Oulton, British Royal Air Force officer, dies at 86
  • 1998 Bernard J. Dwyer, American politician (Rep-D-NJ 1981-93), dies at 77
  • 1998 Elmer Vasko, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1935)
  • 1998 Kenneth Darling, British Army Commander-in-chief Allied Forces, dies at 89
  • 1999 Greg Moore, Canadian race car driver (b. 1975)
  • 1999 Howard Ferguson, British-Irish pianist, composer, teacher and musicologist, dies at 91
  • 2000 Ring Lardner, Jr., American screenwriter (b. 1915)
  • 2000 Watanabe Kazuki Japanese progressive rock guitarist and songwriter (Raphael), dies of an accidental sedative overdose at 19
  • 2001 Art Wall Jr, American golfer (Masters 1959), dies of respiratory failure at 77
  • 2001 Régine Cavagnoud, French skier (b. 1970)
  • 2002 Lionel Poilâne, French baker and entrepreneur, dies at 57
  • 2002 Michail Stasinopoulos, Greek politician and 1st President of Greece, dies at 99
  • 2002 Raf Vallone, Italian actor (A View From the Bridge), dies at 86
  • 2003 Gordon Weir, New Zealand cricket batsman (11 Tests, 3 x 50; Auckland CA), dies at 93
  • 2003 Richard Neustadt, American political historian (b. 1919)
  • 2003 Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Indian Carnatic vocalist, dies at 95
  • 2005 Hal Anger, American biophysicist and electrical engineer who invented the gamma camera, dies at 85
  • 2005 John "Beatz" Holohan, American drummer (Bayside), dies in an auto accident at 31
  • 2005 Mary Wimbush, British actress (Oh! What a Lovely War, The Archers), dies at 81

P. W. BothaP. W. Botha (1916-2006)

South African politician (President of South Africa, 1984-89; Prime Minister, 1977-84), dies at 90

  • 2007 Ray Gravell, Welsh rugby union footballer (Wales and the British Lions), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • 2009 Qian Xuesen, Chinese scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project and who pioneered engineering cybernetics, dies at 97
  • 2009 Ron Gowans, Australian jazz saxophonist, dies of cancer at 83
  • 2009 Tom Wheatcroft, English businessman and car collector (Donington Grand Prix Collection), dies at 87
  • 2010 Maurice Lucas, American basketball player, dies at 58
  • 2010 Theodore Sorenson, American presidential advisor to JFK and author (Kennedy), dies at 82
  • 2011 Flórián Albert, Hungarian footballer (European Footballer of the Year 1967), dies at 70
  • 2011 Liz Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter (Mama Spank, The Game of Triangles), dies of heart and lung disease at 81
  • 2011 Manfred Mayrhofer, Austrian Indo-European philologist (Indo-Iranian languages), dies at 85
  • 2012 Brian Cobby, British actor (Evita, The Nudist Story) and the first male voice of the British speaking clock, dies from health complications at 83
  • 2012 Konstantin Vyrupayev, Soviet wrestler (Greco-Roman Bantamweight Olympic Gold 1956), dies at 82
  • 2014 Käbi Laretei, Estonian-Swedish concert pianist, dies at 92
  • 2015 Gregg Palmer [Palmer Edvind Lee], American actor (Scream, To Hell & Back), dies at 88
  • 2015 Gus Savage, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1981- 93), dies at 90
  • 2016 James Galanos, American fashion designer (Coty Hall of Fame 1959), dies at 92
  • 2016 Natalie Babbitt, American children's writer (Tuck Everlasting), dies of lung cancer at 84
  • 2016 Tammy Grimes, American stage actress (Unsinkable Molly Brown), dies at 82

Willie McCoveyWillie McCovey (1938-2018)

American Baseball Hall of Fame 1st baseman (6 x MLB All Star; NL MVP 1969; NL home run leader 1963, 68, 69; SF Giants), dies of an infection at 80

  • 2019 (Elizabeth) Ann Crumb, American stage and screen actress and singer, dies of ovarian cancer at 69
  • 2020 Marius Žaliūkas, Lithuanian soccer centre back (25 caps; Hearts, Leeds, Rangers), dies from motor neurone disease at 36
  • 2020 MF Doom [Daniel Dumile], American rapper and hip hop artist, dies at 49 [1]
  • 2020 Rance Allen, American gospel singer and musician (Rance Allen Group - Miracle Worker), dies at 71

Sean ConnerySean Connery (1930-2020)

Scottish actor and producer (James Bond films; Indiana Jones), dies at 90

  • 2021 Peter Philpott, Australian cricket spin bowler (8 Tests, 26 wickets, best 5/90; NSW CA), dies due to complications from a fall at 86
  • 2022 Alan "Froggy" Thomson, Australian cricket fast bowler (4 Tests, 12 wickets; Victoria CA), dies at 76
  • 2022 John McVay, American football coach (NY Giants 1976-78) and executive (AD Uni of Dayton 1972, 73; GM SF 49ers 1998-99), dies at 91
October 31 Highlights