On This Day

Deaths in History on April 17

  • 326 Alexander of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria
  • 485 Proclus, Greek mathematician, dies in Athens [or Apr 14]
  • 617 Donnán of Eigg, Celtic Christian martyr, patron saint of Eigg
  • 818 Bernhard I, King of Italy, dies
  • 858 Benedict III, Italian Pope (855-58), dies
  • 1080 King Harald III of Denmark (b. 1041)
  • 1272 Zita/Cita, Italian maid/saint, dies at about 59
  • 1297 Willem van Afflighem, Flemish poet/abbot St Truiden, dies at about 86
  • 1427 Jan IV, duke of Brabant/Limburg/wife of Jacoba van Bayern, dies
  • 1539 George the Bearded, Duke of Saxony (1500-39), dies at 67
  • 1574 Joachim Camerarius [Liebhard Kammerer], German classical scholar, dies at 74
  • 1630 Christian I, ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg (battle of White Mt), dies
  • 1679 John van Kessel, Flemish painter, dies at 53
  • 1680 Kateri Tekakwitha [Lily of the Mohawks], first Native American saint (b. 1656)
  • 1696 Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, French writer (b. 1626)
  • 1711 Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (1705-11), dies of smallpox at 32

  • 1713 David Hollatz, Pomeranian dogmatician (b. 1648)
  • 1726 Princess Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau, monarch of Nassau-Dietz, dies at 49
  • 1742 Arvid Horn, Swedish statesman (b. 1664)
  • 1761 Thomas Bayes, English mathematician

Person of interestBenjamin Franklin

1790 Benjamin Franklin, US Founding Father, inventor, ambassador and writer (Poor Richards Almanac), dies at 84

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin
  • 1799 Richard Jupp, English architect (b. 1728)
  • 1835 William Henry Ireland, forger (Shakespearean manuscripts), dies
  • 1837 Edouard viscount de Walckiers, South Netherland banker and politician, dies at 78
  • 1838 Johanna Schopenhauer, German writer and mother of Arthur Schopenhauer, dies at 71
  • 1840 Hannah Webster Foster, American author (The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton), dies at 81
  • 1843 Samuel Morey, American inventor (early internal combustion engines and was a pioneer in steamships), dies at 80
  • 1863 Daniel Smith Donelson, Confederate general and cousin of Andrew Jackson, dies at 61
  • 1870 Marie-Caroline of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duchess of Berry, Italian princess of the House of Bourbon, dies at 71
  • 1882 George Jennings, English sanitary engineer, dies at 71
  • 1902 Francis of Assisi of Bourbon, King Consort of Spain (b. 1822)
  • 1910 Ignacio Mariscal, Mexican lawyer and diplomat (Secretary of Foreign Affairs), dies at 80
  • 1930 Alexander Golovin, Russian painter (b. 1863)
  • 1932 Patrick Geddes, Scottish biologist and town planner who coined the term conurbation, dies at 77
  • 1936 Charles J M Ruys de Beerenbrouck, Dutch PM (1918-23, 29-33), dies

  • 1937 Yi Sang, Korean author and poet (Dying Words, Wings, Child’s Bone), dies of tuberculosis in a Japanese prison camp at 26
  • 1942 Jean Perrin, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1870)
  • 1945 Hannie Schaft, Dutch communist resistance fighter known as the "Girl with red hair", executed at 24
  • 1945 Ion Pillat, Romania poet/senator (Umbra timpului), dies
  • 1945 Walter Model, German fieldmarshal, commits suicide at 54
  • 1948 Johan P earl of Limburg Stirum, diplomat, dies at 75
  • 1954 Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist, dies at 53
  • 1962 Louise Fazenda, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 66
  • 1968 Margaret Seddon, dies at 95
  • 1970 Sergei U S Aleksi, patriarch of Russian-Orthodox church, dies at 92
  • 1975 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian philosopher and leader, Second President of India (1962-67), dies at 86
  • 1976 Jean-Jacques Gailliard, Belgian painter, dies at 85
  • 1976 Henrik Dam, Danish biochemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1895)
  • 1977 William Cardinal Conway, Northern Irish clergyman (b. 1913)
  • 1983 Mark W Clark, US general (WWII), dies at 87
  • 1984 Mark W. Clark, American general, dies at 87
  • 1985 Ilona Bodden, writer, dies
  • 1986 Bessie Head, Botswana writer (When Rain Clouds Gather, Maru, A Question of Power), dies at 49
  • 1987 Cecil Harmsworth King, owner of Mirror Group Newspapers (b. 1901)
  • 1987 Willie Donnell Smith, American fashion designer (WilliWear), dies of pneumonia at 39
  • 1987 Cornelius Van Til, Dutch philosopher and Christian apologist, dies at 91
  • 1988 Louise Nevelson, sculptor, dies of brain tumor at 88
  • 1989 Charles Lampkin, dies
  • 1990 Ralph David Abernathy, US civil rights leader, dies
  • 1991 Jack Yellen, American poet (Sons o' Fun), dies at 97
  • 1993 Turgut Özal, president of Turkey (1989-93), dies at 65
  • 1995 Nancy Mayhew Youngman, English painter and educationalist, dies at 88
  • 1995 Frank E. Resnik, American business executive (Philip Morris USA), dies at 66
  • 1996 Eva Jones, German poet and novelist (Taboo), dies at 82
  • 1996 Jose Luis Lopez Aranguren, philosopher, dies at 86
  • 1997 Chaim Herzog, 6th President of Israel (1983-93), dies at 78
  • 1997 Allan Francovich, American documentarian
  • 2003 Robert Atkins, American dietician (b. 1930)
  • 2003 John Paul Getty Jr., American-born British oil magnate and billionaire (Getty Oil), dies of a chest infection at 70
  • 2003 Yiannis Latsis, Greek shipping tycoon, dies at 92
  • 2004 Edmond Pidoux, Swiss writer (L'histoire de Jonas), dies at 95
  • 2006 Jean Bernard, French physician and haematologist, dies at 98
  • 2008 Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician, dies at 94
  • 2009 Honoré Desmond Sharrer, American artist (Tribute to the American Working People), dies aged 88
  • 2009 Martin Garrod, British Commandant General Royal Marines, dies at 73

Person of interestBarbara Bush

2018 Barbara Bush, First Lady of the US (1989-93) and wife of George H. W. Bush, dies following long illness at 92

US First Lady Barbara Bush
US First Lady
Barbara Bush
  • 2019 Alan García, President of Peru (Peruvian Aprista Party: 1985-90, 2006-11), commits suicide by shooting himself as police try to arrest him on corruption charges at 69