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, Italian maid and saint from Lucca, dies at about 59
  • 1297 Willem van Afflighem, Flemish poet and abbot St Truiden, dies at about 86
  • 1427 John IV, Duke of Brabant and Limburg (founded University of Leuven), dies at 23
  • 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, German Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg who led an army of 21,000 Bohemians at the Battle of White Mountain, dies at 61
  • 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

Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

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

  • 1799 Richard Jupp, English architect (East India House) (b. 1728)
  • 1835 William Henry Ireland, English 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 (invented first public flush toilets), dies at 71

Alexander MackenzieAlexander Mackenzie (1822-1892)

2nd Prime Minister of Canada (Liberal: 1873-78), dies of a stroke at 70

  • 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 Ruys de Beerenbrouck, Dutch PM (1918-23, 29-33), dies at 62
  • 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 Baptiste Perrin, French physicist, (1926 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovery of sedimentation equilibrium), dies at 71
  • 1945 Hannie Schaft, Dutch communist resistance fighter known as the "Girl with red hair", executed at 24
  • 1945 Ion Pillat, Romania poet and senator (Umbra timpului), dies at 54
  • 1945 Walter Model, German WWII field marshal, commits suicide at 54
  • 1946 Juan Bautista Sacasa, President of Nicaragua (1932-36), dies at 71
  • 1948 Johan Paul van Limburg Stirum, Dutch diplomat (Governor General of the Dutch East Indies 1916-21), dies at 75
  • 1954 Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist, dies at 53
  • 1970 Sergei Aleksi [Alexy}, 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 Henrik Dam, Danish biochemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1895)
  • 1976 Jean-Jacques Gailliard, Belgian painter, dies at 85
  • 1977 William Cardinal Conway, Northern Irish clergyman (b. 1913)
  • 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 Cornelius Van Til, Dutch philosopher and Christian apologist, dies at 91
  • 1987 Willie Donnell Smith, American fashion designer (WilliWear), dies of pneumonia at 39
  • 1988 Louise Nevelson, American sculptor (featured at the 31st Venice Biennale), dies of a 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 Frank E. Resnik, American business executive (Philip Morris USA), dies at 66
  • 1995 Nancy Mayhew Youngman, English painter and educationalist, dies at 88
  • 1996 Eva Jones, German poet and novelist (Taboo), dies at 82
  • 1996 Jose Luis Lopez Aranguren, philosopher, dies at 86
  • 1997 Allan Francovich, American documentarian
  • 1997 Chaim Herzog, 6th President of Israel (1983-93), dies at 78
  • 2003 John Paul Getty Jr., American-born British oil magnate and billionaire (Getty Oil), dies of a chest infection at 70
  • 2003 Robert Atkins, American dietician (b. 1930)
  • 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

Barbara BushBarbara Bush (1925-2018)

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

  • 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