On This Day

Historical Figures Who Died in 1954

  • Jan 1 Duff Cooper, British diplomat & writer, dies at 63
  • Jan 11 Edgard Tytgat, Flemish painter and etcher, dies at 77
  • Jan 16 Michail M Prishvin, Russian writer, dies
  • Jan 19 Theodor Kaluza, German mathematician and physicist (Kaluza-Klein theory), dies at 68
  • Jan 22 Princess Margaret of Prussia, Queen consort-elect of Finland, dies at 81
  • Jan 26 Carl Eldh, Swedish artist and sculptor, dies at 80
  • Jan 31 Edwin H Armstrong, US radio inventor (FM), commits suicide at 63
  • Feb 1 Julius P. Hoste, Belgium minister & daily newspaper publisher (Last News), dies at 69
  • Feb 11 Adolph M. Christianson, justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court (b. 1877)
  • Feb 12 Dziga Vertov [Kaufman], Russian dir (3 Songs of Lenin), dies at 58
  • Feb 13 Frederick Lewis Allen, American social historian and editor of Harper's Magazine, dies at 63
  • Feb 17 Evert Gorter, Dutch children's pioneering paediatrician, dies at 72
  • Feb 26 William Inge, English author, theologist and Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, dies at 93
  • Mar 5 Julian Coolidge, American mathematician (Study-Segre school), dies at 80
  • Mar 6 Jan Kalf, Dutch art historian and literary scholar (Monument Conservation), dies at 80
  • Mar 7 Otto Diels, German organic chemist (1950 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for cyclic organic compounds), dies at 78
  • Mar 9 Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs, German astronomer (b. 1912)
  • Mar 9 V. Walfrid Ekman, Swedish oceanographer, dies at 79
  • Mar 17 Victor Rousseau, Belgian sculptor, dies at 88
  • Mar 28 Francis B Young, British physician/writer (In South Africa), dies at 69
  • Apr 10 Auguste Lumière, French photograph and movie pioneer, dies at 81
  • Apr 10 Ludwig Curtius, German archaeologist (Die antike Kunst), dies at 79
  • Apr 13 Angus Lewis Macdonald, Canadian politician, dies at 63
  • Apr 17 Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist, dies at 53
  • Apr 25 Joseph Hergesheimer, novelist (Java Head), dies
  • Apr 28 Léon Jouhaux, French socialist & co-founder UN's ILO (Nobel Peace Prize 1951), dies at 74
  • Apr 29 Ernst Heldring, Dutch ship owner and financier, dies at 82
  • May 14 Heinz Guderian, German general during WWII, dies at 65
  • May 15 William March, American writer (Company K), dies at 60
  • May 16 Werner Bischof, Swiss photographer (Magnum), dies accidentally in a road accident at 38
  • May 19 Aart A van Schelven, church historian (Willem of Orange), dies at 73

Robert Capa

May 25 Robert Capa, Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist, dies of injuries from a landmine explosion at 40

  • May 26 Franz Pfemfert, German journalist and writer, dies at 74
  • May 27 Herzmanovsky-Orlando, writer, dies
  • May 30 Ahmad Amin, Egyptian historian and author (My Life), dies at 67
  • Jun 1 Martin Andersen Nexø, Danish writer (Pelle Erobreren), dies at 84
  • Jun 4 Harold Hoffman, (Gov-NJ), dies at 58

Alan Turing

Jun 7 Alan Turing, British mathematician and computer scientist pioneer (Turing Machine), commits suicide at 41 (b. 1912)

  • Jun 9 Alain LeRoy Locke, African-American writer and philosopher “Father of the Harlem Renaissance”, dies at 68
  • Jun 18 Albert Patterson, American politician and attorney, asassinated in Phenix City, Alabama, shortly after his designation as the Democratic candidate for Alabama Attorney General, at 60
  • Jun 21 Gideon Sundback, Swedish-American inventor, perfected the zipper (b. 1880)
  • Jun 22 Karl Taylor Compton, American physicist and 9th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dies at 66
  • Jun 25 Eduard M. Meijers, Dutch lawyer (Civil Code), dies at 74
  • Jun 28 Red Deer, in Milwaukee Zoo, oldest known deer, dies at 26 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • Jul 3 Siegfried Handloser, German physician (b. 1895)
  • Jul 10 Calogero Vizzini, Sicilian Mafia boss, dies at 76
  • Jul 13 Irving Pichel, dies at 63

Frida Kahlo

Jul 13 Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter who explored questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender and race in Mexican society, dies of a pulmonary embolism at 47

  • Jul 13 Grantland Rice, American sportswriter (New York Herald Tribune 1914-30, Colliers 1925-37), dies from a stroke at 73
  • Jul 14 Jacinto Benavente y Martinez, Spanish playwright, dies at 87
  • Jul 17 Dirk Berend Nanninga, Dutch painter, dies at 85
  • Jul 20 Blair Moody, American journalist (US Senator (D)-Michigan, 1951-52), dies at 52
  • Jul 24 Mary Church Terrell, educator/civil rights leader, dies at 90
  • Jul 26 Hans Lodeizen [Johan Frederik], poet (Travel to Congo), dies at 26
  • Jul 26 Ruth Bryan Owen, American politician (first woman appointed as a U.S. ambassador, Denmark 1933-36), dies at 68
  • Aug 1 Charles-A Cingria, writer, dies

Colette

Aug 3 Colette [Sidonie-Gabrielle], French novelist (Vagabonde), dies at 81

  • Aug 6 Theo Van Reijn, Dutch sculptor and lithograph, dies at 70
  • Aug 11 Santo Trafficante, Sr., Sicilian-American mobster, dies at 68

Hugo Eckener

Aug 14 Hugo Eckener, German inventor and commander of the famous Graf Zeppelin during its record-setting flights, dies at 86

  • Aug 19 Alcide de Gasperi, 30th Prime Minister of Italy (1945-53), dies at 73

Getulio Vargas

Aug 24 Getulio Vargas, President of Brazil (1930-45, 1951-54), modernizer and dictator, commits suicide at 71

  • Sep 5 Eugen Schiffer, German lawyer and liberal politician, dies at 94
  • Sep 7 Bud Fisher, American cartoonist (Mutt and Jeff), dies at 69
  • Sep 21 Kokichi Mikimoto, Japanese inventor (b. 1858)
  • Sep 24 Edward Pilgrim, British homeowner who committed suicide due to housing bureaucracy scandal, hangs himself at 53
  • Sep 25 Eugenio d' Ors y Rovira, Spanish essayist/philosopher, dies at 71
  • Sep 28 George Harrison Shull, American plant geneticist, dies at 80
  • Sep 29 William John Gruffydd, Welsh poet and scholar, dies at 73
  • Oct 8 Morten Korch, Danish author, dies at 78
  • Oct 12 George Welch, American World War II flying ace (Medal of Honor nominee) and test pilot, dies in a plane crash of his experiential F-100 Super Sabre at 36
  • Oct 22 Prosper Cocquyt, Belgian brewer and pilot, dies at 54
  • Oct 22 Jibanananda Das, Bengali poet (b. 1899)
  • Oct 22 Oswald de Andrade, Brazilian author (one of the modernist Group of Five), dies at 64
  • Oct 26 Floris HL Prims, Flemish priest/historian/archivist of Antwerp, dies
  • Oct 27 Sydney Horler, English detective writer (Checkmate), dies at 66
  • Nov 4 Stig Dagerman, Swedish author (Burned Child), dies at 31
  • Nov 10 Hussein Fatemi, Iran Foreign minister, executed
  • Nov 16 Albert Francis Blakeslee, American botanist, dies at 80
  • Nov 19 Walter Bartley Wilson, English founding member of Cardiff City F.C., dies at 84
  • Nov 20 Clyde Cessna, American aviator and airplane manufacturer, dies at 74
  • Nov 21 Werner Elert, German Lutheran theologian, dies at 69
  • Nov 22 Andrej J. Vysjinski, Russian lawyer and UN ambassador, dies at 70

Enrico Fermi

Nov 28 Enrico Fermi, Italian-American nuclear physicist (Nobel 1938), dies of stomach cancer at 53

  • Dec 13 John Raymond Hubbell, American writer (b. 1879)
  • Dec 20 James Hilton, English author (Lost Horizon), dies at 54
  • Dec 23 René Iché, French sculptor (b. 1897)
  • Dec 25 Liberty Hyde Bailey, US botanist (Plantbreeding), dies at 96