On This Day

Historical Figures Who Died in 1956

  • Jan 3 Joseph Wirth, 5th Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Germany (Stalin Peace Prize), dies at 76
  • Jan 8 Jim Elliot, American Christian missionary, dies at 28
  • Jan 10 Henk Bremmer, Dutch art historian (Beeldende Kunst), dies at 84
  • Jan 10 Karl L Schmidt, German/Swiss theologist (Urchristentum), dies at 64
  • Jan 12 John Raedecker, Dutch sculptor (WW II Monument Amsterdam), dies at 70
  • Jan 14 Siegfried Frederick Nadel, Austrian-British anthropologist (Nuba), dies at 52
  • Jan 18 Konstantin Päts, Estonian Prime Minister (1921-23, 1932-33) and dictator (1933-40), dies at 81
  • Jan 22 P A M Speet, Dutch broadcast CEO (KRO), dies

H. L. Mencken

Jan 29 H[enry] L[ouis] Mencken, US essayist/critic (Smart Set), dies at 75

  • Jan 30 Gerrit Mannoury, Dutch mathematician and philosopher, dies at 88

A. A. Milne

Jan 31 A. A. Milne, English author of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, dies at 74

  • Feb 2 Pyotr Konchalovsky, Russian painter (b. 1876)
  • Feb 3 Émile Borel, French mathematician (b. 1871)
  • Feb 4 Leendert Antonie Donker, Dutch Minister of Justice (PvdA), dies at 56
  • Feb 13 Jan Łukasiewicz, Polish logician, philosopher, professor, and author, dies at 77
  • Feb 26 Herman Courtens, Belgian baron and painter, dies at 72
  • Feb 28 Emile Buisson, French murderer executed (b. 1902)
  • Mar 3 Willem Hendrik Keesom, Dutch physicist (Helium I/II), dies at 79

Irene Joliot-Curie

Mar 17 Irene Joliot-Curie, French physicist (Nobel laureate 1935) and daughter of Marie Curie, dies at 58

  • Mar 18 Friedrich Panzer, German germanist (Hilde-Gudrun), dies at 85
  • Mar 18 Louis Bromfield, writer, dies at 59
  • Mar 20 Wilhelm Miklas, Austrian politician and 3rd President of Austria (1928-38), dies at 83
  • Mar 22 George Al Sarton, Belgian-American chemist and historian, dies at 71
  • Mar 24 Edmund Taylor Whittaker, British mathematician (applied mathematics and the theory of special functions), dies at 82
  • Mar 27 Frans Beelaerts van Blokland, minister of Foreign affairs, dies at 84
  • Mar 29 Infante Alfonso of Spain, younger brother of King Juan Carlos, dies from an accidental gunshot at 14
  • Apr 2 Albert Marie Leon Adolphe de Bassompierre, Belgium ambassador to Tokyo (1921-39), dies at 82
  • Apr 2 Philippo de Pisis, Italian painter, dies at 59
  • Apr 10 Clarence Beaumont, 1st batter in 1st World Series, dies at 75
  • Apr 15 Emile Nolde [Hansen], German painter (Grablegung Christi), dies at 88
  • Apr 19 Ernst Robert Curtius, German literature historian, dies at 70
  • Apr 19 Leon N H Jungschlaeger, head milt intelligence Neth-Indies, dies at 52
  • Apr 24 Albrecht G Alt, German theologist (Small Schriften), dies at 72
  • Apr 30 Alben W Barkley, (VP-D-1949-53), dies at 78
  • May 5 Karel Rudolph Gallas, Dutch lexicographer (French Dictionary), dies at 88
  • May 7 Josef Hoffmann, Austrian architect (Vienna Secession Movement), dies at 85
  • May 11 Walter S Adams, American astronomer & director of Mount Wilson, dies at 79
  • May 12 Hendrik P. Marchant, Dutch minister of Education, dies at 87
  • May 13 Aleksandr A. Fadejev, Russian author (Young Guard), commits suicide at 54
  • May 14 Robert Willem Pieter Peereboom, Dutch editor in chief (Haarlem Newspaper), dies at 64
  • May 15 Austin Osman Spare, English magician (b. 1886)
  • May 16 H. B. Reese, American inventor of Reese's, dies at 76
  • May 20 Max Beerbohm, English caricaturist, writer and parodist (Saturday Review), dies at 83
  • May 29 Albert H. Edelkoort, Dutch theologist (Christusverwachting), dies at 65
  • Jun 7 Julien Benda, Fren philosopher/writer (La trahison des clercs), dies
  • Jun 8 Marie Laurencin, French painter, dies at 72
  • Jun 11 Corrado Alvaro, Italian writer (Poesie grigio-verdi), dies at 61
  • Jun 17 Paul Rostock, German doctor (b. 1892)
  • Jun 19 (Luise) "Lulu" von Strauss und Torney, German poet (Erde der Väter - Our Forefathers' Soil), and novelist (Der jüngste Tag - Judgment Day), dies at 82

Thomas J. Watson

Jun 19 Thomas J. Watson, Sr., American businessman (Chairman and CEO of IBM, 1914-1956), dies at 87

  • Jun 22 Walter de la Mare, British poet and author (The Listeners, Memoirs of a Midget), dies at 83
  • Jun 23 Michael Arlen [Dikran Kouyoumdjian], British author and scriptwriter (An American Verdict), dies at 60
  • Jun 24 Earl Morris, American archaeologist (Aztec Ruins National Monument), dies at 66
  • Jun 25 Ernest J. King, US fleet admiral, Chief of Naval Operations, dies at 77
  • Jul 7 Gottfried Benn, German poet and essayist, dies at 70
  • Jul 8 Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart, dutch min of Justice (Nobel 54), dies
  • Jul 8 Giovanni Papini, Italian author/poet (Un Uomo Finito), dies at 75
  • Jul 12 Maurice Lippens, Belgian governor of Congo (1921-23), dies at 80
  • Jul 18 Willem Kernkamp, Dutch minister of Colonies (Islam & Woman), dies at 57
  • Jul 20 James Alexander Calder, Canadian politician, dies at 87
  • Jul 29 Ludwig Klages, German philosopher (study of graves), dies at 83
  • Jul 30 Maude Royden, English suffragist and preacher, dies at 79
  • Aug 2 Albert Woolson, last veteran US Union army, dies at 109

Jackson Pollock

Aug 11 Jackson Pollock, abstract artist, dies in auto accident (East Hampton)

  • Aug 14 Freiherr Constantine von Neurath, German foreign min (1932-38), dies
  • Aug 14 Bertolt Brecht, German poet and playwright (Mother Courage), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • Aug 15 Constantine Freiherr von Neurath, German foreign minister, dies at 83
  • Aug 25 Alfred Kinsey, American entomologist and sexologist (Kinsey Report), dies from a heart ailment and pneumonia at 62
  • Aug 26 Alfred Wagenknecht, German-born American activist, dies at 75
  • Sep 6 Michael Ventris, English architect who deciphered Linear B, dies in a car accident at 34
  • Sep 8 Gerrit Bolkestein, Dutch minister of Education (1939-45), dies at 84
  • Sep 8 Vital Celen, Flemish writer ('t Pastoorke van Vossendonck), dies at 69

Billy Bishop

Sep 11 Billy Bishop, Canadian First World War flying ace, dies at 62

  • Sep 12 Hans Carossa, German writer, dies at 77
  • Sep 12 Sándor Graf Festetics, Hungarian nobleman and politician, dies at 74
  • Sep 18 Adélard Godbout, Canadian politician (15th Premier of Quebec), dies at 63
  • Sep 21 Anastasio Somoza García [Tacho], General, dictator and President of Nicaragua (1937-56), assassinated by Roliberto Lopez at 60
  • Sep 26 Lucien Febvre, French historian (Un Destin, Martin Luther), dies at 78
  • Sep 27 Milburn G. Apt, American test pilot, 1st person to exceed Mach 3, killed in a X-2 rocket plane reaching 3370 kph, dies in the crash at 32

William Boeing

Sep 28 William Boeing, American aviation pioneer who founded The Boeing Company, dies at 74

  • Oct 2 Paul de Backer, Belgian radiologist, dies at 73
  • Oct 6 Charles E. Merrill, American investment banker (Merrill Lynch), dies at 70

Clarence Birdseye

Oct 7 Clarence Birdseye, American inventor and founder of the modern frozen food industry (Birdseye), dies of a heart attack at 69

  • Oct 8 Dirk Koster, literary (New Noises), dies at 69
  • Oct 16 Jules Rimet, French football administrator (3rd President of FIFA 1921-54), dies at 83

Charles Strite

Oct 18 Charles Strite, American inventor who invented the automatic pop-up toaster, dies at 78

  • Oct 24 Henry Nicholas Ridley, British botanist (Malay Peninsula rubber industry), dies at 100
  • Oct 25 Risto Ryti, Finnish minister/premier/president, dies at 67

Pío Baroja

Oct 30 Pío Baroja y Nessi, Spanish Basque writer, author of over 100 novels (The Struggle for Life, Zalacain the Adventurer), dies at 83

  • Nov 1 Pietro Badoglio, 41st Prime Minister of Italy (1943-44) and Italian General (1922-43), dies at 85
  • Nov 2 Leo Baeck, President of World Union for Progressive Judaism, dies at 83
  • Nov 9 Aino Kallas, Finnish writer (White Ship, Estonian Tales), dies at 78
  • Nov 22 Vincent de Moro-Giafferi, French criminal attorney, dies at 77
  • Nov 23 Jeanne Cappe, Belgian author (Tres Grand Cardinal), dies at about 61
  • Dec 4 Alexander Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer, dies at 64

B.R. Ambedkar

Dec 6 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, dies after suffering from diabetes at 65

  • Dec 14 Juho Kusti Paasikivi, Finnish politician (7th President of Finland 1946-56), dies at 86
  • Dec 16 Nina Hamnett, Welsh artist and writer, dies at 66
  • Dec 20 Ramon Carrillo, Argentine neuroscientist and Public Health minister (b. 1906)
  • Dec 21 Lewis M Terman, psychologist (Genetic studies of genius), dies at 79
  • Dec 25 Robert Walser, Swiss writer, dies at 78
  • Dec 27 Lambert McKenna, Irish editor and lexicographer, dies at 86
  • Dec 28 Roelof Kranenburg, Dutch social democratic chairman (1st Chamber), dies at 76
  • Dec 29 Martin Albertz, German theologist (Jesus Christ's Church) and resistance fighter against the Nazi regime, dies at 73