Deaths in History on August 21

  • 1131 Boudouin II van Bourg, king of Jerusalem, dies
  • 1157 King Alfonso VII of Castile (b. 1104/1105)
  • 1190 Godfried III, duke of Brabant (Grimbergse war), dies
  • 1245 Alexander van Hales, English scholar, dies
  • 1271 Alphonse of Toulouse, son of Louis VIII of France, dies at 50
  • 1516 John III van Egmont, Viceroy of Holland, dies at 78
  • 1581 Sakuma Nobumori, Japanese retainer and samurai (b. 1527)

Elizabeth BáthoryElizabeth Báthory (1560-1614)

Hungarian countess and the world's most prolific female serial killer, dies at 54

  • 1629 Camillo Procaccini, Italian painter/etcher, dies
  • 1673 Isaac Sweers, Dutch fleet admiral/Civil rights activist, dies at 51
  • 1673 John de Love I, vice-admiral, dies in sea battle at about 54
  • 1689 William Cleland, Scottish poet and soldier
  • 1723 Dimitrie Cantemir, Romanian historian and Monarch of Moldova (1710-11), dies at 49
  • 1762 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, English writer (b. 1689)
  • 1763 Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, British statesman (b. 1710)
  • 1785 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, French sculptor (Child with Cage, Mercury Fastening his Sandals), dies at 71
  • 1798 Corneille-François de Nélis, Flemish scholar and bishop of Antwerp, dies at 62
  • 1813 Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, Queen consort of Sweden, dies at 67
  • 1814 Benjamin Thompson, American physicist and inventor (Royal Institution of Great Britain), dies at 61
  • 1824 John Taylor, philosopher (Jeffersonian Democracy), dies at 70
  • 1836 Claude-Louis Navier, French engineer and physicist who specialized in mechanics (Navier–Stokes equations), dies at 51
  • 1838 Adelbert von Chamisso, French writer (Peter Schlemihl), dies at 57
  • 1864 John Calhoun Sanders, Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle at 24
  • 1870 Ma Xinyi Viceroy of Liangjiang of the late Qing Dynasty in China (b. 1821)
  • 1876 Harry T. Hays, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 56
  • 1888 Simon Vissering, Dutch minister of Finance (1879-81), dies at 70
  • 1905 Jules Oppert, French-German Assyriologist (decodes characters), dies at 80
  • 1921 Ernest Daudet, French journalist and writer (White Terror), dies at 84
  • 1940 Hermann Obrecht, Swiss jurist, member of the Swiss Federal Council, dies at 58

Leon TrotskyLeon Trotsky (1879-1940)

Ukrainian-Russian Marxist revolutionary, political theorist and founder of the Red Army, assassinated at 62 by an ice-pick wielding Ramón Mercader

  • 1942 Kiyoano Ichiki, Japanese colonel (WWII), dies
  • 1943 (Abraham) A. Merritt, American magazine editor and sci-fi author (The Moon Pool; Burn, Witch, Burn!), dies from a heart attack at 59
  • 1943 Henrik Pontoppidan, Danish writer (Peter Gelukkige, Nobel 1917), dies at 86
  • 1947 Ettore Bugatti, Italian-French automobile designer and manufacturer (Automobiles E. Bugatti), dies at 65
  • 1952 Isaac Sadeh, leader of Jewish commando forces, dies
  • 1957 Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, Norwegian meteorologist and oceanographer (b. 1888)
  • 1960 David Barnard Steinman, American civil engineer and bridge designer (Hudson, Triborough), dies at 74

Palmiro TogliattiPalmiro Togliatti (1893-1964)

Italian politician and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Italy (1926-34, 1938-64), dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 71

  • 1968 Vladimir Boudnik, Czech sculptor, commits suicide at about 45
  • 1971 George Jackson, American criminal, author, and Black Guerrilla Family gang founder, shot to death during attempted San Quentin, California prison escape at 29
  • 1974 Buford Pusser, American sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee, dies in a single vehicle car crash at 36
  • 1978 Charles Eames, American designer and architect, dies at 71
  • 1982 Sobhuza II, Paramount Chief and Ngwenyama of Swaziland (1899-1982) who holds the record for the longest reign of any monarch in recorded history, dies at 83
  • 1983 Benigno S Aquino Jr, Philippines opposition leader, killed at 50
  • 1987 Karl Bruck, entertainer, dies
  • 1988 H. G. Adler, German writer (The Journey), dies at 78
  • 1991 Oswald von Nell-Breuning, German theologist and philosopher, dies at 101
  • 1991 Wolfgang Hildesheimer, German-Swiss architect and writer (Mozart biographer), dies at 74
  • 1992 Dai Vernon [David Frederick Wingfield Verner], Canadian magician, dies at 98
  • 1992 Theo van Tijn, Marxist/social-historian, dies at 65
  • 1994 Hein Fentener van Vlissingen, eccentric millionaire, dies at 73
  • 1995 Hilda Beatritz Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara, dies at 39
  • 1995 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Indian physicist (Nobel Prize 1983 for work on structure and evolution of the stars), dies at 84
  • 1996 Joyce Plesters, British conservation scientist, dies at 69
  • 1996 Sidney George Gray, company secretary, dies at 82
  • 1997 Misael Pastrana Borrero, President of Colombia (1970-74), dies
  • 1999 Leo Castelli, Italian-American art dealer, dies at 91
  • 2000 Daniel Lisulo, Prime Minister of Zambia (b. 1930)
  • 2003 Kathy Wilkes, English philosopher and aid worker (b. 1946)
  • 2004 Isaäc Arend Diepenhorst, Dutch lawyer and Minister of Education, dies at 88
  • 2005 Dahlia Ravikovitch, Israeli poet (b. 1936)
  • 2005 Marcus Schmuck, Austrian mountaineer (b. 1925)
  • 2005 Polly Hill, British economic anthropologist (studied Cocoa-Farmers Of Southern Ghana), dies at 91
  • 2006 Paul Fentener van Vlissingen, Dutch businessman and philanthropist (b. 1941)
  • 2007 Caroline Aigle, French first woman fighter pilot in the French Air Force aged 25, dies of cancer at 32
  • 2007 Elizabeth P. Hoisington, American Brigadier General (one of the first two women to attain the rank of brigadier general), dies at 88
  • 2007 Siobhan Dowd, British/Irish writer (b. 1960)
  • 2009 Rex Shelley, Singaporean author (b. 1930)
  • 2010 Rodolfo Enrique Fogwill, Argentinean writer (b. 1941)
  • 2012 Georg Leber, German politician, dies at 91
  • 2012 William Thurston, American mathematician, dies from melanoma at 65
  • 2013 C. Gordon Fullerton, American USMC Colonel, and NASA astronaut (STS-3; STS-51-F), dies at 76
  • 2015 Bob Hepple, South African-born academic and Nelson Mandela's lawyer, dies at 81
  • 2017 Thomas Meehan, American writer (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray), dies at 88