On This Day

Famous Deaths on October 4

  • 1052 Vladimir of Novgorod (b. 1020)
  • 1072 Sancho II, king of Castile/bro of Alfonso VI, murdered at about 35
  • 1221 William III Talvas, Count of Ponthieu (b. 1179)
  • 1250 Herman VI, Margrave of Baden
  • 1305 Emperor Kameyama of Japan (b. 1249)
  • 1540 Helius Eobanus Hessus, German humanist/poet (Silvae), dies
  • 1564 Pietro P Vergerio, Italian theologist/bishop of Croatia, dies
  • 1571 Claude Togniel d'Espence, French theologist (Sorbonne), dies at 60
  • 1582 Theresia van Avila, Spanish mystic writer, dies
  • 1590 Cujacius, [Jacques Cujas], French lawyer, dies at about 68
  • 1597 Sarsa Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1550)
  • 1661 Jacqueline Pascal, French child prodigy, dies at 36

Person of interestRembrandt van Rijn

1669 Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch painter, dies at 63

  • 1680 Pierre-Paul Riquet, French engineer
  • 1713 Valentin Molitor, Swiss composer, dies at 76
  • 1721 Abraham Alewijn, poet/playwright (Beslikte Swaantje), dies at 36

  • 1743 John Campbell, 2nd duke of Argyll and field marshal (Union of 1707), dies at 64
  • 1749 Franz Freiherr von der Trenck, Austrian soldier (b. 1711)
  • 1754 Tanacharison, Catawba Indian chief
  • 1755 Samuel von Cocceji, German lawyer, dies
  • 1785 David Brearly, American statesman (b. 1703)
  • 1821 John Rennie, Scottish engineer, dies at 60
  • 1830 Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg, Prussian Generalfeldmarschall, dies at 71
  • 1838 Eleanore Sophia Maria Westenholz, German composer, dies at 79
  • 1848 Louis Massonneau, composer, dies at 82
  • 1851 Manuel de Godoy, Spanish statesman (b. 1767)
  • 1859 Karl Baedeker, German publisher (known for guidebooks for tourists), dies at 57
  • 1862 William Duncan Smith, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 36
  • 1863 Gerrit Schimmelpenninck, earl of Nijenhuis/Peckedam, dies at 69
  • 1864 Joseph Montferrand, French-Canadian logger and strong man, dies at 61
  • 1867 Francis Xavier Seelos German-American Roman Catholic priest (b. 1819)
  • 1880 William Lassell, British astronomer who discovered satellites of Uranus & Neptune, dies at 81
  • 1890 Catherine Booth, the Mother of The Salvation Army (b. 1829)
  • 1892 Guillaume Van Kerckhoven, Belgian captain, dies at 39
  • 1893 Pieter J Elout van Soeterwoude, MP (AR), dies at 88
  • 1902 Lionel Pigot Johnson, British poet and critic (Ireland & Other Poems), dies of a stroke at 35

  • 1903 Otto Weininger, Austrian philosopher (b. 1880)
  • 1904 Karl Bayer, Austrian chemist (b. 1847)

Person of interestFrédéric-Auguste Bartholdi

1904 Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, French sculptor (designed the Statue of Liberty), dies of tuberculosis at 70

  • 1907 Alfredo Keil, Portuguese composer, dies at 57
  • 1912 Gen Zeledon, Nicaraguan opponent of US occupation, is executed
  • 1915 George Edwardes, British composer (Gaiety Girl), dies at 59
  • 1929 John Metzelaar, Dutch/American writer (Report on the Fishes), dies at 37
  • 1934 Jimmy 'Nixey' Callahan, American baseball pitcher, outfielder and manager (Chicago WS; first AL no-hitter 1902), dies at 60
  • 1935 Jean Béraud, French painter (b. 1849)
  • 1935 Marie Gutheil-Schoder, German soprano (b. 1874)
  • 1935 Barbados Joe Walcott, Barbadian boxer (World Welterweight champion 1901-06; first black to hold title), dies in a car accident at 62
  • 1943 Richard T. Ely, American economist and author (Ground under our feet), dies at 89
  • 1943 Irena Iłłakowicz, Polish agent of Intelligence, dies at 37
  • 1944 Alfred "Al" Smith, American politician, 4 time Governor of New York (1919-20 and 1923-28), and 1st Roman Catholic presidential candidate (D, 1928), dies at 70
  • 1946 Barney Oldfield, American auto racer (International Motorsports Hall of Fame; first to drive at 60mph on circular track), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • 1947 Max Planck, German physicist, father of Quantum Physics (Planck Constant, Nobel 1918), dies at 89
  • 1948 Arthur Whitten Brown, British aviator (first nonstop airplane crossing of the Atlantic with John W. Alcock), dies at 62
  • 1949 Edmund Eysler, Austrian composer, dies at 75
  • 1951 Willie Moretti, American gangster (b. 1894)
  • 1951 Henrietta Lacks [Loretta Pleasant], African-American tobacco farmer whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, extensively used in medical research since the 1950s (1st immortalised cell line),dies of cervical cancer at 31
  • 1955 Alexander Papagos, Greek fieldmarshal and supreme commander, dies at 71
  • 1961 Max Weber, Polish-Russian-American painter, dies at 80
  • 1961 Benjamin (Fedchenkov), Bishop of the Russian Church and Orthodox missionary, dies at 81
  • 1962 E H (Patsy) Hendren, English cricket batsman (51 Tests; 57,611 1st-class runs, 3rd-best ever), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 73
  • 1962 John Lowry, NYC builder (Radio City Music Hall), dies at 79
  • 1966 Sherman Billingsley, talk show host (Stork Club), dies at 66
  • 1966 Mike Tresh, American baseball catcher (MLB All Star 1945; Chicago WS), dies from cancer at 52
  • 1968 Francis Biddle, 58th United States Attorney General (1941-45), dies at 82
  • 1969 Vibart Wight, West Indian cricket batsman (2 Tests; v/c WI first touring team v England 1928), dies at 67
  • 1969 Natalino Otto, Italian singer (b. 1912)
  • 1970 George Frederick McKay, American composer, dies at 71

Person of interestJanis Joplin

1970 Janis Joplin, American rocker and blues singer-songwriter (Down on Me), dies of a drug overdose at 27

Singer-Songwriter Janis Joplin
Singer-Songwriter
Janis Joplin
  • 1970 Curtis Turner, American auto racer (184 NASCAR races over 17 years, 17 wins), dies in aeroplane crash at 46
  • 1971 Edit Angold, German actress (Suspense, Molly, Blue Angel), dies at 76
  • 1972 Colin Gordon, British actor (The Pink Panther, Casino Royale), dies at 61
  • 1974 Anne Sexton, American poet (Live or Die; Pulitzer 1967), dies at 45
  • 1975 Joan Whitney Payson, American heiress, businesswoman and philanthropist (co-founder & majority owner of MLB's New York Mets), dies at 72
  • 1975 May Sutton, American tennis player (first American woman to win Wimbledon singles title 1905), dies at 89
  • 1976 Alexander Gray, American actor (Sally, This is Music), dies at 85
  • 1979 Christina Spierenburg, Dutch singer, dies at 56
  • 1981 Fred Lindstrom, American Baseball Hall of Fame utility (New York Giants), dies at 75
  • 1982 Glenn Gould, Canadian pianist (sued Steinway Piano), dies at 50
  • 1982 Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, Iraqi fieldmarshal and President of Iraq (1968-79), dies at 68
  • 1989 Graham Chapman, English comedian (Monty Python, Life of Brian), dies of cancer at 48
  • 1989 Secretariat, American thoroughbred race horse (Triple Crown 1973), dies at 19
  • 1990 Avis Bunnage, British actress (Rising Damp, Coronation Street), dies at 67
  • 1990 Jill Bennett, British actress (Lady Jane, Concrete Jungle), overdoses at 58
  • 1991 Leonard C Odell, wrote 7,000 Burma Shave poems, dies at 83
  • 1992 Itzhak Fuks, El Al captain, crashes in Bijlmer Netherlands
  • 1992 Laurie Anders, singer, dies of cancer
  • 1992 Ohad Arnon, El Al captain, crashes in Bijlmer Netherlands
  • 1992 Denny Hulme, New Zealand auto racer (F1 World Drivers' Champion 1967), dies of a heart attack driving in Bathurst 1,000 at 56
  • 1993 Fran Carlon, dies of cancer at 80
  • 1993 Jim Holton, Scottish soccer defender (15 caps; Manchester United, Coventry City), dies of a heart attack at 42
  • 1994 Bill Challis, arranger/Pianist, dies at 90

  • 1994 Heinz Rohmann, German actor/dir (Brave Soldier Schwejk), dies at 92
  • 1994 Daniel Wood "Danny" Gatton, American guitarist (88 Elmira St.), commits suicide at 48
  • 1994 F. Gwendolen Rees, Welsh zoologist and parasitologist, dies at 88
  • 1995 Peter Nicholson Gunn, Australian writer (The Churches of Rome), dies at 81
  • 1996 Martyn Harris, journalist, dies at 43
  • 1996 Silvio Piola, Italian soccer striker (34 caps, 30 goals; Lazio), dies at 83
  • 1996 Tim N Gidal Gidalewitsch, photojournalist, dies at 87
  • 1999 Erik Brødreskift (aka Grim), Norwegian black metal musician (b. 1969)
  • 1999 Art Farmer, American trumpet player (Farmer's Market, The Jazztet), dies of a heart attack at 71
  • 1999 Bernard Buffet, French painter (Expressionism), dies at 71
  • 2000 Michael Smith, English-Canadian biochemist (Nobel 1993- Site-directed mutagenesis), dies at 68
  • 2000 Yu Kuo-hwa, former Premier of Taiwan (b. 1914)
  • 2001 Ahron Soloveichik, Orthodox Jewish rabbi, dies at 84
  • 2002 Alphonse Chapanis, founder of ergonomics (b. 1917)
  • 2002 André Delvaux, Belgian film director and screenwriter (b. 1926)
  • 2002 William "Buddy" Lester, American comedian and actor (Barney Miller, Phil Silvers Show), dies at 85
  • 2003 Sid McMath, American politician (b. 1912)
  • 2004 Gordon Cooper, American astronaut (b. 1927)
  • 2004 Rio Diaz, Filipino actress & TV hosts (b. 1959)
  • 2005 Stanley K. Hathaway, American politician (27th Governor of Wyoming), dies at 81
  • 2005 Michael "Mike" Gibbins, Welsh musician (Badfinger), dies from a brain aneurysm at 56
  • 2006 Tom Bell, English actor on stage, television and film (b. 1933)
  • 2006 Oskar Pastior, Romanian-born German writer, dies at 78
  • 2009 Mercedes Sosa, Argentinian singer (exponent of nueva canción), dies at 74
  • 2009 Günther Rall, German fighter ace (b. 1918)
  • 2010 Norman Wisdom, English comedian (Kraft Music Hall, Trouble In Store), dies at 95

Person of interestVõ Nguyên Giáp

2013 Võ Nguyên Giáp, Vietnamese general (Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam War) and politician, dies at 102

North Vietnamese General Võ Nguyên Giáp
North Vietnamese General
Võ Nguyên Giáp
  • 2014 Paul Revere, American musician, dies from cancer at 76

Person of interestJean-Claude Duvalier

2014 Jean-Claude Duvalier "Baby Doc", 41st President of Haiti (1971-86), dies of a heart attack at 63

President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier
President of Haiti
Jean-Claude Duvalier
  • 2014 Konrad Boehmer, German-Dutch composer, dies at 73
  • 2016 Hso Khan Pha, 1st President of the democratic and newly independent Union of Burma from 1948-52, dies at 78
  • 2017 Liam Cosgrave, Irish politician (Fine Gael Party), dies at 97
  • 2019 Diahann Carroll, American actress (Julia, Claudine, Dominique-Dynasty), dies at 84