On This Day

Deaths in History on April 15

  • 1053 Godwin, Earl of Wessex, dies at 52
  • 1220 Adolf I, Archbishop of Cologne, dies at ~63
  • 1415 Manuel Chrysoloras, Greek humanist & grammarian, dies at 60
  • 1472 Leon B. Alberti, Italian humanist & architect (Philodoxis), dies at 68
  • 1502 Jan IV of Chalon-Arnay, prince of Orange and lord of Arlay, dies at 59
  • 1607 Cornelius Kilianus, Flemish translator & poet, dies at ~78
  • 1621 John Carver, first governor of Plymouth Colony, dies at 45
  • 1632 George Calvert, English politician & coloniser, dies at 52
  • 1641 Domenichino, Italian painter, dies at 59
  • 1652 Patriarch Joseph of Moscow, sixth Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
  • 1659 Simon Dach, Prussian-German poet, dies at 63
  • 1719 Françoise d'Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, second wife of Louis XIV of France, dies at 83
  • 1754 Jacopo Riccati, Italian mathematician (Riccati equation), dies at 77
  • 1761 Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, Scottish politician, dies at 78
  • 1761 William Oldys, English antiquarian & bibliographer, dies at b64
  • 1764 Madame de Pompadour, French mistress of King Louis XV of France, dies of tuberculosis at 42

  • 1765 Mikhail Lomonosov, Russian scholar & poet, dies at 53
  • 1793 Ignacije Szentmartony, Croatian Jesuit missionary & geographer, dies at 74
  • 1804 Charles Pichegru, French general, strangled in prison at 43
  • 1819 Oliver Evans, American inventor who pioneered high-pressure steam engine, dies at 63
  • 1824 Theodorus Frederik van Capellen, Dutch vice-admiral (Algiers), dies at 61
  • 1854 Arthur Aikin, English scientist & writer (b. 1773)

Person of interestAbraham Lincoln

1865 Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President (Republican: 1861-65), dies from gunshot wounds at 56

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • 1870 Emma Willard, American women's rights activist & educator who founded the 1st school for women's higher education in the US, dies at 83
  • 1881 Sophia Perovskaya, Soviet icon, aristocrat, and socialist revolutionary (Narodnaya Volya), who helped orchestrate the successful assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, executed by hanging at 27

Person of interestMatthew Arnold

1888 Matthew Arnold, English poet, dies at 65

Poet & Critic Matthew Arnold
Poet & Critic
Matthew Arnold
  • 1889 Father Damien, Belgian missionary, dies at 49
  • 1892 Amelia Edwards, English author (The Phantom Coach) and Egyptologist, dies at 60
  • 1898 Kepa Te Rangihiwinui, Maori military leader, dies in his 70s
  • 1911 Georg Knorr, German engineer (brake system trains), dies at 51

Person of interestEdward Smith

1912 Edward Smith, English naval captain of the RMS Titanic, dies when the ship sinks in the Atlantic Ocean aged 62

Captain of the Titanic Edward Smith
Captain of the Titanic
Edward Smith
  • 1912 John Jacob Astor IV, American businessman & soldier (richest passenger aboard the Titanic), dies aboard the Titanic at 47
  • 1912 William T. Stead, British newspaper editor (The Pall Mall Gazette), dies in the sinking of the Titanic at 62
  • 1913 Ğabdulla Tuqay, Tatar poet (Oh My Mother Tongue!), dies at 26
  • 1916 Alfred Cogniaux, Belgian botanist, dies at 75
  • 1919 Jane Delano, American nurse & educator (Red Cross Nursing Service during WWI), dies at 57

  • 1927 Francesco Gaeta, Italian poet (Di Giacomo), dies at 47
  • 1938 Caesar Vallejo, Peruvian-French poet (Trilce, Russia & 1931), dies at 46
  • 1942 Robert Musil, Austrian writer (Mann ohne Eigenschaften), dies at 61

Person of interestHugh S. Johnson

1942 Hugh S. Johnson, American head of the National Recovery Administration & member of FDR's Brain Trust, dies of pneumonia at 60

Member of FDR's Brain Trust Hugh S. Johnson
Member of FDR's Brain Trust
Hugh S. Johnson
  • 1943 Aristarkh Lentulov, Russian artist, dies at 61
  • 1944 Giovanni Gentile, Italian philosopher (The Doctrine of Fascism), dies at 68
  • 1948 Radola Gajda, Czech military commander & politician, dies at 56
5th President of the Philippines Manuel Roxas
5th President of the Philippines
Manuel Roxas
  • 1956 Emile Nolde [Hansen], German painter (Grablegung Christi), dies at 88
  • 1963 Edward "Carji" Greeves, Australian Rules Football midfielder (winner inaugural Brownlow Medal 1924), dies at 59
  • 1969 Victoria von Battenberg, Queen of Spain as the wife of King Alfonso XIII, dies at 81
  • 1972 Otto Brenner, German trade union leader (Industrial Union of Metalworkers), dies at 64
  • 1975 John B. McKay, American test pilot (X-15), dies at 52
  • 1976 Gerald Smith, American antisemite (Nationalist Christian Crusade), dies at 78

Person of interestJean-Paul Sartre

1980 Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist philosopher & writer (Nobel 1964), dies in Paris at 74

  • 1981 French Duynstee, Dutch states rights leader, dies at 67
  • 1981 John Thach, American WWII naval aviator (developed the Thach Weave) & USN admiral, dies at 75
  • 1982 Louis de Guiringaud, French foreign minister (1976-78), commits suicide at 70
  • 1983 Gyula Illyés, Hungarian author & poet (Az Ismertlen Illyes), dies at 80
  • 1983 Corrie ten Boom, Dutch author (The Hiding Place) & Holocaust survivor, dies at 91
  • 1984 Alexander Trocchi, Scottish writer, dies at 58
  • 1984 William Empson, English poet & critic (Milton's God), dies at 77
  • 1985 Ben Stroman, Dutch writer (Jomtof & Blue Beard), dies at 82
  • 1986 Jean Genet, French criminal & writer, dies at 75
  • 1986 Sergei Nikolayevich Anokhin, Soviet cosmonaut, dies at 76
  • 1988 Han G. Hoekstra, Dutch poet (Zandloper), dies at 81
  • 1989 Hu Yaobang, Chinese politician (General Secretary of the Communist Party of China 1982–87), dies at 73
  • 1990 Ulrich Becher, German writer & playwright, dies at 80
  • 1993 George Frederick Ives, British-Canadian army veteran & last survivor of the Boer War, dies at 111
  • 1993 Leslie Charteris, British mystery writer (Saint), dies at 85
  • 1993 John Tuzo Wilson, Canadian geologist (contributions to plate tectonics), dies at 84
  • 1994 Walter Clegg, British politician, dies at 73
  • 1995 Harry Shoulberg, American expressionist painter, dies at 91
  • 1997 Sam Moskowitz, American writer & historian of science fiction, dies at 76
  • 1997 Zdenek Mlynar, Czech politician (secretary of the Czechoslovak communist party, 1968–70), dies at 66

Person of interestPol Pot

1998 Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator (1976-79) & revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge (1963-97), dies at 72

Dictator and Revolutionary Pol Pot
Dictator and Revolutionary
Pol Pot
  • 1999 Harvey Postlethwaite, British engineer & racing car designer, dies at 55
  • 2000 Edward Gorey, American illustrator, dies at 75
  • 2002 Damon Francis Knight, American sci-fi author (CV, Beyond the Barrier), dies at 79
  • 2003 Reg Bundy, British performer, dies at 56
  • 2007 Brant Parker, American cartoonist, dies at 86
  • 2008 Krister Stendahl, Swedish Lutheran theologian & bishop, dies at 86
  • 2010 Jack Herer, American author & cannabis activist, dies at 70
  • 2011 Vittorio Arrigoni, Italian peace activist, dies at 36
  • 2012 Charles Pringle, British air marshal, dies at 92
  • 2013 Sal Castro, Mexican-American activist, dies from thyroid cancer at 79