Deaths in History on August 12

CleopatraCleopatra (69-30 BC)

the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, commits suicide allegedly by inducing an asp (Egyptian cobra) to bite her

  • 875 Louis II, king of Italy/emperor of France, dies at about 50
  • 1158 Anselm of Havelberg, Brandenburg bishop of Havelberg (1129-55), dies at about 58
  • 1295 Charles Martel of Anjou, Son of Charles II of Naples, dies at 23
  • 1424 Yongle, Emperor of the Ming Empire (1402-24), dies at 64
  • 1484 George of Trebizond, Greek philosopher (b. 1395)
  • 1484 Sixtus IV [Francesco della Rovere], Pope (1471-84), dies
  • 1546 Francisco de Vitoria, Spanish theology/lawyer, dies
  • 1577 Thomas Smith, English diplomat and scholar (b. 1513)
  • 1638 Johannes Althusius [Althaut], German lawyer, dies at about 81
  • 1648 Ibrahim I, 18th Ottoman Sultan (1640-48), executed by being publicly strangled in front of a window at 32
  • 1654 Cornelis Haga, Dutch ambassador to Constantinople (1611-39), dies at 76
  • 1660 Gilbertus van Zinnik, Flemish architect, dies at about 33
  • 1674 Philippe de Champaigne, French painter, dies at 72
  • 1675 Karl Rabenhaupt, German/Neth baron of Sucha/army leader, dies at 73
  • 1676 King Philip [Metacomet], leader Wampanoag-indians, shot to death
  • 1689 Innocent XI [Benedetto Odescalchi], Italian, Pope (1676-89), dies at 78
  • 1715 Nahum Tate, English poet/playwright/poet laureate, dies
  • 1728 Henricus Zwaardecroon, Dutch Governor-General of Dutch East Indies (1718-25), (introduced coffee crop), dies at 61
  • 1750 Rachel Ruysch, royal painter of sovereign Johan von de Pfalz, dies
  • 1778 Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, British general and politician (b. 1714)
  • 1809 Mikhail Kamensky, Russian field marshal, dies at 71
  • 1810 Etienne Louis Geoffroy, French pharmacist and entomologist, dies at 84
  • 1811 John Francis Edward Acton, French-born English Naval Commander and PM of Naples (remembered for his brutality towards French supporters), dies at 77
  • 1822 Robert Stewart, 2nd marguess of Londonderry, commits suicide, dies

William BlakeWilliam Blake (1757-1827)

English poet and artist (Songs of Innocence & Experience), dies at 69

George StephensonGeorge Stephenson (1781-1848)

English engineer known as the "Father of Railways" (Locomotion No. 1, Standard Gauge), dies of pleurisy at 67

  • 1849 Abraham AA "Albert" Gallatin, Min of Finance (1801-14), dies at 88
  • 1857 William Daniel Conybeare, geologist, dies
  • 1861 Eliphalet Remington, American firearms manufacturer (Remington Arms Co., L.L.C.), dies at 67
  • 1864 Sakuma Shōzan, Japanese reformer (b. 1811)
  • 1865 William Jackson Hooker, botanist, dies
  • 1877 James Drummond, Scottish historical painter, (b. 1816)
  • 1885 Georg Curtius, German classical linguist, dies at 65
  • 1885 Helen Hunt Jackson, American author (Ramona), dies at 54
  • 1891 James Russell Lowell, poet/critic/diplomat, dies
  • 1896 Thomas Chamberlain, officer of the 20th Maine at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • 1900 James Edward Keeler, American astronomer (rings of Saturn), dies at 42
  • 1901 Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, Finnish-Swedish explorer and mineralogist (Vega Expedition), dies at 68
  • 1911 Jozef Israels, Dutch landscape painter, dies at 87
  • 1911 Petrus H Hugenholtz, Dutch reformist vicar (Levenslicht), dies at 79

John Philip HollandJohn Philip Holland (1840-1914)

Irish engineer and father of the modern submarine, dies at 74

Arthur GriffithArthur Griffith (1871-1922)

Irish writer and politician who founded Sinn Féin (President of Ireland 1922), dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 51

  • 1934 Hendrik P Berlage, architect (Stock exchange Amsterdam), dies at 78
  • 1935 Friedrich Schottky, German mathematician (Schottky's theorem), dies at 84
  • 1938 Ludwig Borchardt, German Egyptologist, dies at 74
  • 1944 Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., brother of President John F. Kennedy, killed in action in plane explosion over Blythburgh, East Suffolk, England at 29
  • 1948 Harry Brearley, English inventor (b. 1871)
  • 1952 David Bergelson, Yiddish language writer (b. 1884)
  • 1955 James B. Sumner, American chemist (Nobel 1946 - discovered that enzymes can be crystallized), dies at 67

Thomas MannThomas Mann (1875-1955)

German novelist (Magic Mountain-Nobel 1929), dies at 80

  • 1968 Esther Forbes, American novelist (Johnny Tremain), dies at 76
  • 1968 Pieter Oud, Dutch politician and Mayor of Rotterdam (1945-52), dies at 81

Karl ZieglerKarl Ziegler (1898-1973)

German chemist and Nobel Laureate (polymers), dies at 74

  • 1973 Walter Rudolf Hess, Swiss physiologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1949), dies of heart failure at 92
  • 1976 Thomas Edward Driberg, 1st baron Bradwell, journalist, dies
  • 1979 Ernst Chain, German-British chemist and bacteriologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945 - for his work on penicillin), dies at 73
  • 1982 Varlam Shalamov, Russian writer (b. 1907)

William ShockleyWilliam Shockley (1910-1989)

American physicist who helped invent the transistor (1956 Nobel), who was also known for his racist eugenics views, dies of prostate cancer at 79

  • 1990 B. Kliban, American cartoonist known for his drawings of cats, usually with horrible puns (Love to Eat Them Mousies), dies at 55
  • 1992 Mazoon al-Mashani, 2nd wife of Sultan Said bin Taimur and Queen Mother of Oman, dies at about 72
  • 1994 Manfred Salzgeber, German film distributor/publicist, dies at about 51
  • 1996 Anthony Derrick Parsons, diplomat, dies at 73
  • 1996 Victor Ambartsumian, Russian astronomer (Stalin Prize 1946, 50), dies at 87
  • 1999 Jean Drapeau, Quebec politician, mayor of Montreal (b. 1916)
  • 1999 John Rigby Hale, British linguist and historian, dies at 75
  • 2004 Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, English electrical engineer and inventor, Nobel laureate (b. 1919)
  • 2005 John Loder, co-founder of the anarcho-punk band CRASS (b. 1946)
  • 2005 Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lankan politician (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka), dies at 73
  • 2007 Ian McGeoch, Scottish Vice-Admiral with Royal Navy (submarine HMS Splendid WWII), dies at 93
  • 2007 Mike Wieringo, American comic book artist (b. 1963)
  • 2009 Lord John Gregson, British Labour politician and Baron, dies from injuries following a fall at 85
  • 2010 Guido de Marco, 6th president of Malta, 45th President of the United Nations General Assembly (b. 1931)
  • 2010 Isaac Bonewits, founder of U.S. Druid organization Ar Ndraiocht Fein (b. 1949)
  • 2020 Marvin Creamer, American mariner, 1st recorded person to sail around the world without navigational instruments, dies at 104