Deaths in History in 1940

  • Jan 1 Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao, Indian writer and essayist (b. 1865)
  • Jan 4 Conrad Weiss, German writer/poet (Heart of Words), dies at 59
  • Jan 5 Tina Modotti, Italian artist and activist, dies at 45
  • Jan 5 Humbert Wolfe, Italian-British poet (b. 1885)
  • Jan 12 Erich R Jaensch, German psychologist (eidetiek), dies at 56
  • Jan 18 Kazimierz P Tetmajer, Polish writer/poet (Young Poland), dies at 74
  • Jan 19 William E. Borah, American lawyer and politician (Republican U.S. Senator from Idaho), dies at 74
  • Jan 20 Omar Bundy, U.S. army general (b. 1861)
  • Jan 25 Elias Simojoki, Finnish clergyman and politician (b. 1899)
  • Jan 27 Isaak Babel, Russian writer (Zakat, Marija), executed at 46
  • Jan 31 René "Sascha" Schickele, German writer (Erbe am Rhein), dies at 56
  • Feb 1 Philip Francis Nowlan, sci-fi writer, creator of Buck Rogers character (b. 1888)
  • Feb 4 Nikolai Yezhov, Head of Soviet NKVD (b. 1895)
  • Feb 9 Eugene Bleuler, Swiss psychiatrist (b. 1857)
  • Feb 11 John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Gov-Gen of Canada (1935-40), dies
  • Feb 25 Mary Mills Patrick, American author and 1st President of Istanbul Woman's College, dies at 89
  • Feb 27 Peter Behrens, German architect, dies
  • Feb 28 Johan Braakensiek, Dutch political cartoonist (Green Amsterdammer), dies at 81
  • Feb 29 Edward Frederic Benson, English novelist, dies at 72
  • Mar 1 Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Estonian author (Truth and Justice), dies at 62
  • Mar 4 Hamlin Garland, American novelist (b. 1860)
  • Mar 5 Cai Yuanpei, Chinese educator (b. 1868)
  • Mar 7 Edwin Markham, American poet (1st winner of American Acad of Poets Award 1937), dies at 87
  • Mar 10 Mikhaïl Boulgakov, Russian writer (b. 1891)

Person of interestSelma Lagerlöf

Mar 16 Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish writer and Nobel Prize laureate, dies at 81

Author and Nobel Laureate Selma Lagerlöf
Author and Nobel Laureate
Selma Lagerlöf
  • Mar 19 Gustaaf Sap, Belgian minister of Economic Affairs, dies at 54
  • Mar 20 Alfred Ploetz, German physician, biologist, and eugenicist (b. 1860)

Person of interestMichael Joseph Savage

Mar 27 Michael Joseph Savage, Australian-born New Zealand politician and first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand (1935-40), dies of colon cancer at 68

New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
New Zealand Prime Minister
Michael Joseph Savage
  • Apr 18 Florrie Forde, music hall artist, dies
  • Apr 18 Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher, English historian and politician, dies after being hit by a car during London blackout at 75
  • Apr 26 Carl Bosch, German chemist (BASF, IG Farben, Nobel 1931), dies at 65

Person of interestHenry Ossian Flipper

May 3 Henry Ossian Flipper, American soldier, former slave and first African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, dies at 84

Soldier and Former Slave Henry Ossian Flipper
Soldier and Former Slave
Henry Ossian Flipper
  • May 7 George Lansbury, Labour Party Leader (b. 1859)
  • May 10 Euphemia "Phemia" Molkenboer, Dutch author/poster artist, dies at 56
  • May 14 Eddy [Charles E] du Platform, writer/poet, dies
  • May 14 Emma Goldman, American anarchist and author (Living My Life), dies at 70
  • May 14 Jacob van Gelderen, economist/sociologist/SDAP-2nd-Chamber, dies at 49
  • May 14 Menno ter Braak, Dutch writer (Forum, New Elite), suicide at 38
  • May 14 Edgar du Perron, Dutch author and poet (Land of Origin), dies at 40
  • May 15 Joseph Limburg, Dutch lawyer and politician, dies at 73
  • May 15 Willem Adriaan Bonger, Dutch criminologist (Race & Crime), suicide at 63
  • May 20 Joris [Georges] van Severen, Flem fascist/Member of parliament, dies
  • May 23 Paul Nizan, French journalist/writer (Ce Soir/Aden Arabia), dies at 35
  • May 28 Friedrich Karl von Hessen (b. 1868)
  • May 30 Y de Smit-Rog, oldest citizen of Netherlands, dies at 104
  • Jun 2 Willem Roelofs, Dutch painter and cartoonist, dies at 66
  • Jun 16 DuBose Heyward, American novelist (Porgy, Star Spangled Virgin), dies
  • Jun 17 Arthur Harden, English biochemist (Nobel Prize 1929), dies at 74
  • Jun 21 Edouard Vuillard, French painter and graphic artist, dies
  • Jun 21 Hendrik Marsman, Dutch poet/writer/critic, drowns at 40
  • Jun 21 W Hasenclever, writer, dies at 49

  • Jun 21 Smedley Butler, American Marine general (b. 1881)
  • Jun 22 Wladimir Köppen [Vladimir Köppen], German Meteorologist and Climatologist who developed the Köppen climate classification system for the regions of the world, dies at 93
  • Jun 22 Walter Hasenvlever, German writer commits suicide at 49
  • Jun 28 Italo Balbo, Italian pilot and governor of Libya, dies at 44
  • Jun 29 Paul Klee, Swiss/German painter/tutor (Modern Art), dies at 60
  • Jul 2 Ben[jamin] Turpin, US comic (Saps at Sea, His New Job), dies
  • Jul 15 Robert Wadlow, world's tallest man (8'11.1"), dies at 32
  • Jul 19 Samuel H Chang, US newspaper magnate, murdered in Shanghai
  • Jul 20 Y G Van de Peat, Dutch director of employment, commits suicide
  • Jul 31 Whitey Krakow [or Krakower], American gangster and hitman (Murder Inc), murdered by "Bugsy" Siegel
  • Aug 4 Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism, dies
  • Aug 5 Frederick A Cook, American explorer, claimed to have 1st discovered North Pole, dies at 75
  • Aug 17 Billy Fiske, US RAF-pilot/2nd lieutenant and 1st American serviceman killed in action in World War II, dies at 29

Person of interestWalter Chrysler

Aug 18 Walter Chrysler, American founder of car company Chrysler, dies at 65

Founder of Chrysler Walter Chrysler
Founder of Chrysler
Walter Chrysler

Person of interestLeon Trotsky

Aug 21 Leon Trotsky, Russian Marxist revolutionary, political theorist and founder of the Red Army, assassinated at 62 by an ice-pick wielding Ramón Mercader

Russian Revolutionary Leon Trotsky
Russian Revolutionary
Leon Trotsky
  • Aug 21 Hermann Obrecht, Swiss jurist, member of the Swiss Federal Council, dies at 58
  • Aug 22 Oliver Joseph Lodge, English physicist, early radio pioneer, dies at 89
  • Aug 24 Paul G. Nipkow, German TV pioneer (Nipkow disk), dies at 80

Person of interestJ. J. Thomson

Aug 30 J. J. Thomson, English physicist who discovered the electron (Nobel 1906), dies at 83

Physicist J. J. Thomson
Physicist
J. J. Thomson
  • Aug 31 Georges Gauthier, French Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal (b. 1871)
  • Aug 31 George Gauthier, Bishop of Montreal and rector of the Université de Montréal, dies at 68
  • Sep 3 Otto V Ekelund, Swedish poet/writer (Hafvets Stjorna), dies at 59
  • Sep 7 Edmund Rumpler, Austria auto/airplane builder, dies
  • Sep 15 Dick Ket, Dutch painter/cartoonist, dies at 37
  • Sep 26 Walter Benjamin, writer, dies at 48
  • Sep 26 William Henry Davies, Welsh poet (Autobiography of a Super Tramp), dies at 69
  • Sep 27 Walter Benjamin, German/French literature critic/writer, dies at 48
  • Sep 27 Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Austrian neuroscientist, Nobel laureate (b. 1857)
  • Oct 5 Lincoln Loy McCandless, American cattle rancher (b. 1859)
  • Oct 5 Ballington Booth, English Officer in The Salvation Army and co-founder of Volunteers of America
  • Oct 8 Robert Emden, Swiss geo/astro physics (Gaskugeln), dies at 78
  • Oct 9 Wilfred Grenfell, British medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador, dies at 75
  • Oct 11 Lluís Companys, Spanish politician, 123rd President of the Generalitat of Catalonia (1933-40), shot at 58
  • Oct 11 Vito Volterra, Italian mathematician and physicis, dies at 80
  • Oct 18 Suze Groeneweg, 1st woman in Dutch 2nd Chamber (1918-37), dies at 65
  • Oct 20 Gunnar Asplund, Swedish architect (b. 1885)
  • Oct 21 William G. Conley, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1866)
  • Oct 24 Pierre Weiss, French physicist (theory of ferromagnetism) dies at 75

Person of interestManuel Azaña

Nov 4 Manuel Azaña, Prime Minister of Spain (1931-33) and 2nd President of the Spanish Republic (1936-39), dies of a heart attack at 60 while in exile in France

President of the Spanish Republic Manuel Azaña
President of the Spanish Republic
Manuel Azaña

Person of interestNeville Chamberlain

Nov 9 Arthur Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister (1937-40), dies of bowel cancer at 71

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
British Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain
  • Nov 9 Stephen Peter Alencastre, Portuguese Catholic prelate (b. 1876)
  • Nov 17 Eric Gill, British sculptor (b. 1882)
  • Nov 17 Raymond Pearl, American biologist (b. 1879)
  • Nov 22 Waclaw Berent, Polish novelist, dies at 67
  • Nov 24 James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, Irish unionist politician and the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1921-1940), dies of natural causes at 69
  • Nov 26 Harold Sidney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, English newspaper (Daily Mail and Daily Mirror), dies at 72
  • Nov 28 Nicolae Iorga, author/president of Romania, murdered by fascist
  • Dec 5 Mordechai Frizis, Jewish Greek military officer (b. 1893)
  • Dec 8 George Exton Lloyd, Anglican Bishop and theologian (b. 1861)
  • Dec 9 Maletti, Italian general, dies in battle
  • Dec 13 Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval, French physicist and inventor of the moving-coil D'Arsonval galvanometer, dies at 89
  • Dec 16 M Eugene F T Dubois, geologist/paleontologist (Wadjakmens), dies
  • Dec 17 Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician, dies at 80

Person of interestF. Scott Fitzgerald

Dec 21 F. Scott Fitzgerald, American author (Great Gatsby, Zelda), dies of a heart attack at 44

  • Dec 22 Nathanael West, [Weinstein], American writer (Cool Million), dies at 37