On This Day

Deaths in History on April 23

  • 34 Christ, crucified, according to Isaac Newton
  • 303 Saint George, Greek officer in the Roman army, beheaded. Patron saint of many lands including England
  • 725 Wihtred, King of Kent (c. 692-725)
  • 871 Ethelred I, King of Wessex and brother of Alfred the Great, dies aged around 24
  • 990 Ekkehart II, [Palatinus], monk to St-Gallen/poet, dies
  • 997 Vojtech "Adalbert" of Prague, 2nd bishop of Prague/apostle, dies at 40
  • 1014 Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, dies in battle at Clontarf
  • 1016 Æthelred II "the Unready", king of England (979-1016), dies
  • 1124 Alexander I, King of Scots (1107-24), dies at 47
  • 1151 Queen Adeliza of England, 2nd wife of Henry I (b. 1103)
  • 1217 King Inge II of Norway (b. 1185)
  • 1407 Olivier de Clisson, French soldier (b. 1326)
  • 1416 Blaise/Blasius of Parma, Italian astrologist/philosopher/algebra, dies
  • 1605 Boris Godunov, chief adviser to Tsar Fyodor I and Tsar of Russia (1598-1605), dies after a lengthy illness and a stroke at approximately 20
  • 1611 Martin Ruland the Younger, German physician and alchemist, dies at 41

Person of interestWilliam Shakespeare

1616 William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright (b. 1564) (Julian calendar) dies aged 52


  • 1616 El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Peruvian writer (b. 1539)
  • 1625 Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, dies at 57
  • 1695 Henry Vaughan, English poet (Silex Scintillans), dies at 72
  • 1702 Margaret Fell, English founder of the Religious Society of Friends known as the "mother of Quakerism," dies at about 87
  • 1740 Thomas Tickell, English writer and poet, dies at 54
  • 1774 Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, German painter, dies at 61
  • 1781 James Abercrombie, British general (b. 1706)
  • 1786 Alexander Cozens, English water colors painter, dies at about 68
  • 1792 Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, German theologian and adventurer, dies at 50
  • 1794 Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, French lawyer and statesman, executed at 72
  • 1839 Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, French explorer, dies at 70

Person of interestWilliam Wordsworth

1850 William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet (The Prelude), dies at 80

  • 1853 Auguste Laurent, chemist, dies
  • 1865 James Dearing, U.S. Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 24
  • 1878 Friedrich Preller, landscape painter, dies
  • 1880 Raden Saleh [Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman], Indonesian romantic painter, dies at about 69
  • 1889 Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly, French writer and critic, dies at 80
  • 1895 Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig, physiologist, dies
  • 1895 Carl Ludwig, German physician (b. 1815)
  • 1899 Dandridge McRae, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 69

  • 1905 Gédéon Ouimet, Quebec politician (b. 1823)
  • 1907 Alfred Packer, American Cannibal (b. 1842)
  • 1915 Rupert Brooke, British WW I poet (Lithuania, The Soldier), dies at 27
  • 1918 Percy Thomson Dean, lt-commander, killed at Zeebrugge, dies
  • 1926 Joseph Pennell, artist/author, dies
  • 1929 Rudolf W Nilsen, Norwegian poet (Hverdagen), dies at 28
  • 1936 Teresa de la Parra, Venezuelan writer (Memorias de Mamá Blanca), dies at 46
  • 1945 Albrecht Haushofer, writer, dies at 42
  • 1951 Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, banker and 1925 Nobel Peace Prize winner,, dies at 85
  • 1952 Minus van Looi [Benjamin van der Voort], Flemish writer, dies at 60
  • 1952 Julius Freed, American inventor & banker, dies at 64
  • 1955 Robert Herman Woltjer, Dutch Minister of Education, dies at 76
  • 1960 Cornelis Jan Bakkerr, Dutch/US nuclear physicist, dies
  • 1960 Toyohiko Kagawa, Japanese Christian social reformer & writer, dies at 71
  • 1971 William Tubman, President of Liberia (1944-71), dies at 76
  • 1973 Otto Eissfeldt, German old testament scholar, dies at 85
  • 1975 R D Brinkmann, writer, dies
  • 1979 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • 1981 Josep Pla, Spanish journalist & author, dies at 84
  • 1985 Sam Ervin, American politician (U.S. Senator from North Carolina) and Watergate committee chairman, dies at 88
  • 1988 Arthur Michael, Lord Ramsey/archbishop of Canterbury, dies
  • 1991 Peter Bailey, Graphic designer/calligrapher, dies
  • 1992 Deron Johnson, 1965 NL run leader, dies of cancer at 53
  • 1992 Satyajit Ray, Indian director (Distant Thunder, Agantuk), dies at 70
  • 1993 Bertus Aafjes, poet/writer (World is a Muze), dies at 78
  • 1993 Lalith Athulathmudali, Sri Lankan minister, murdered at 59
  • 1994 Cassidy Clinton Cremer, author (John Cremer), murdered at 30
  • 1994 Cecile Dreesmann, Dutch textile artist & son of Anton Dreesmann, dies at 74
  • 1995 Robert Selby Taylor, Anglican bishop, dies at 86
  • 1996 P. L. Travers, Australian-English writer (Mary Poppins), dies at 96
  • 1996 Jean Victor Allard, Canadian army general, dies at 82
  • 1998 Konstantinos Karamanlis, Greek politician, President of Greece (1980-85), dies at 91

Person of interestJames Earl Ray

1998 James Earl Ray, American assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., dies while still under detention of complications related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C at 70

Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. James Earl Ray
Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.
James Earl Ray
  • 2002 Manfred Bieler, German writer (The Rabbit is Me), dies at 67
  • 2003 James H. Critchfield, American C.I.A. officer, dies at 86
  • 2003 Fernand Fonssagrives, French photographer, dies at 92
  • 2005 Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, Australian politician, Premier of Queensland (1968-87), dies at 94
  • 2005 Al Grassby, Australian immigration minister, dies at 78
  • 2005 Romano Scarpa, Italian-born comic artist, dies at 77
  • 2006 Johnnie Checketts, New Zealand fighter pilot, dies at 94
  • 2007 Paul Erdman, Canadian-born American economist & author, dies at 74
  • 2007 David Halberstam, American journalist, historian and author (Pulitzer 1964), dies at 73

Person of interestBoris Yeltsin

2007 Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician & 1st President of Russian Federation (1991-99), dies of congestive heart failure at 76

Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Russian President
Boris Yeltsin
  • 2008 William H. Stewart, 10th US Surgeon General (1965-69), dies at 86
  • 2011 Geoffrey Russell, 4th Baron Ampthill, dies at 89
  • 2011 Max van der Stoel, Dutch politician & Minister of Foreign Affairs (PvdA), dies at 86
  • 2013 Robert W. Edgar, American businessman & politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th district), dies from a heart attack at 69
  • 2016 Banharn Silpa-archa, Prime Minister of Thailand (1995-96), dies at 83