Historical Figures Who Died in 1959

  • Jan 11 Mohammed Zakaria Ghonein, discoverer of 6,000 yr old pyramid, dies
  • Jan 12 Edvard Eriksen, Danish-Icelandic sculptor, dies at 82
  • Jan 14 G. D. H. Cole, English political theorist and socialist, dies at 69
  • Jan 28 Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of Israel Knesset (1949-59), dies at 73
  • Feb 7 Daniel François Malan, Prime Minister of South Africa (1948-54) who began the implementation of apartheid, dies at 84
  • Feb 8 William J "Wild Bill" Donovan, American head of Office Strategic Services and founding father of the CIA, dies at 76
  • Feb 15 Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist (Nobel 1928), dies at 69
  • Feb 18 Carlos Viegas Gago Coutinho, Portuguese cartographer and aviator (1st flight across the south Atlantic), dies at 90
  • Feb 20 Laurence Housman, English author and playwright (Victoria Regina), dies at 93
  • Feb 26 Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, granddaughter of King Edward VII and great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, dies at 67

Maxwell AndersonMaxwell Anderson (1888-1959)

Feb 28 American dramatist (Key Largo, Bath Seed), dies of a stroke at 70

  • Mar 7 Arthur Cecil Pigou, English economist (Economics of Welfare), dies at 81
  • Mar 7 Hinsdale Smith, developer of roll-down auto windows, dies at 88
  • Mar 7 Ichirō Hatoyama, Japanese politician, Prime Minister (1954-56), dies at 76
  • Mar 8 Abdel Wahab Shawwaf, Iraqi colonel/putschist, murdered
  • Mar 11 Lester Dent, American writer (Doc Savage), dies at 54
  • Mar 15 Duncan Hines, American restaurant guide writer (Out of Kentucky Kitchens), dies at 78
  • Mar 16 John B. Salling, reputed second to last Civil War veteran, dies at 111 [birth date, age and military service later disputed]
  • Mar 29 Barthelemy Boganda, Central African Republic's 1st president, dies
  • Mar 30 Daniil Andreev, Russian writer, poet and Christian mystic, dies at 52
  • Mar 30 Riccardo Zanella, president of Free State of Fiume (b. 1875)
  • Mar 31 Peter Suhrkamp, German publisher (Suhrkamp Verlag), dies at 68
  • Apr 8 Gustave Charlier, Belgian literature historian, dies

Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Apr 9 American architect (Guggenheim) recognized as "the greatest American architect of all time", dies at 89

  • Apr 13 Rigardus "Rijn" Rijnhout, Giant of Rotterdam (2.375m), dies at 38
  • Apr 27 Gordon Armstrong, American inventor of the baby incubator, dies at 69
  • May 1 Oscar Torp, Norwegian premier, dies

Carlos Saavedra LamasCarlos Saavedra Lamas (1878-1959)

May 5 Argentine politician (Nobel Peace Prize 1936), dies at 80

  • May 20 Alfred Schütz, Austrian-American architect and philosopher, dies at 60
  • Jun 1 Sax Rohmer [Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward], English author (Dr Fu Manchu novels), dies at 76
  • Jun 4 Charles Vidor, Hungarian director (Gilda, Farewell to Arms), dies at 58
  • Jun 10 Zoltán Meskó, Hungarian Nazi (b. 1883)
  • Jun 17 Abdul Mouse, Indonesian nationalist foreman/author, dies at about 68
  • Jun 20 Hitoshi Ashida, Japanese politician (Prime Minister of Japan 1948), dies at 71
  • Jun 22 Hermann Brill, German politician (b. 1895)
  • Jun 24 Lou Bandy [Lodewijk Ferdinand Dieben], Dutch revue-artist (Life Ain't Bad), commits suicide at 69
  • Jun 25 Charles Starkweather, American spree killer, executed by electric chair at 20
  • Jun 29 A. Cecil Snyder, American lawyer and Chief Justice of Puerto Rico, dies at 51
  • Jun 30 José Vasconcelos, Mexican writer and politician (b. 1882)
  • Jul 6 George Grosz, German cartoonist and painter (Ecce Homo), dies at 65
  • Jul 8 US Army Maj. Dale Buis & MSgt. Chester Ovnand killed in Viet Cong attack, becoming the first and second Americans killed in combat in the Vietnam War
  • Jul 14 Grock [Adrien Wettach], Swiss clown and circus director, dies at 79
  • Jul 15 Peter A Egge, Norwegian writer (The Dream), dies
  • Jul 15 Vance Palmer, Australian author, dies at 73
  • Jul 17 Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (b. 1875)
  • Jul 17 Henri Pourrat, French writer (Le chasseur de la nuit), dies at 72
  • Jul 20 William D. Leahy, American admiral and chief of staff during WWII, dies at 84
  • Jul 25 Isaac Halevi Herzog, chief rabbi of Israel (1936-59), dies at 71
  • Jul 26 Manuel Altolaguirre, Spanish poet and publisher (Amor), dies at 54
  • Aug 5 Edgar Albert Guest, American poet and newspaperman, dies at 77
  • Aug 16 William Halsey Jr., US vice-admiral (WW II Pacific), dies at 76

Claude Grahame-WhiteClaude Grahame-White (1879-1959)

Aug 19 English aviation pioneer who was the 1st to make a night flight, dies at 79

  • Aug 19 Jacob Epstein, American-English sculptor (Adam, Jacob & the Angel), dies at 78
  • Aug 20 Alfred Kubin, Austrian writer and illustrator, dies at 82
  • Sep 7 Maurice Duplessis, 16th Premier of Quebec, dies at 69
  • Sep 13 Gilbert Adrian, American costume designer (The Wizard of Oz), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • Sep 17 Bert Leysen, Belgian TV director (Belgian National TV), dies at 39
  • Sep 18 Harvey Glatman, American rapist and serial killer, executed in the gas chamber of San Quentin State Prison, in Marin County, California at 31
  • Sep 22 Benjamin Peret, French writer and poet (Le grand jeu), dies at 60
  • Sep 22 Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside, British fieldmarshal, dies at 79
  • Sep 26 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, 4th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1956-59), assassinated by a Buddhist monk at 60
  • Sep 29 Bruce Bairnsfather, British cartoonist (Old Bill), dies at 72
  • Sep 30 John Kliegl, American developer of Klieg light used in filmmaking, dies at 89
  • Sep 30 Ross Granville Harrison, American Biologist and Zoologist (organ transplant pioneer), dies at 89
  • Oct 6 Bernard Berenson, American art critic (Italian Painters of the Renaissance), dies at 94
  • Oct 10 Prince Friedrich Aloys Johannes Maria, Prince of Liechtenstein, Romania, dies at 88
  • Oct 12 Arnoldt Bronnen, writer, dies at 63
  • Oct 15 Lipót Fejér, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1880)

George MarshallGeorge Marshall (1880-1959)

Oct 16 American general and US Secretary of State (1947-49) who authored the Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953), dies at 78

  • Oct 28 Camilo Cienfuegos, Cuban revolutionary (b. 1932)
  • Oct 30 Blonde Dolly [Sybille A J Niemans], Dutch prostitute, murdered at 33
  • Oct 31 Jean Cabannes, French physicist (b. 1885)
  • Nov 1 Gershon Agron, mayor of Jerusalem, dies at 66
  • Nov 8 Frank Sherman Land, American founder of the Order of DeMolay, dies at 69
  • Nov 18 Aleksandr Yakovlevich Khinchin, Russian mathematician, dies at 65
  • Nov 19 Edward C. Tolman, American psychologist (behaviorism), dies at 73
  • Nov 19 Joseph Charbonneau, French Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal, dies at 67
  • Nov 20 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), dies at 73
  • Nov 24 Lyman Bryson, educator (UN Casebook), dies at 71
  • Nov 24 Yuri Nikolayevich Libedinski, Ukrainen writer (Commissioners), dies at 60
  • Nov 29 Hans Henny Jahnn, German playwright, dies at 64
  • Dec 4 Rosetta Duncan, (Duncan Sisters), dies in an auto accident at 58
  • Dec 9 Walter Compton, news anchor (DuMont Evening News), dies at 47
  • Dec 14 Lizzy Ansingh, Dutch painter (Cast Off), dies at 84
  • Dec 19 Walter Williams, claimed to be last survivor of Civil War, dies at 117
  • Dec 21 Rosanjin, Japanese calligrapher, restaurateur and ceramicist (b. 1883)
  • Dec 23 Edward Frederick Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, viceroy of India and British ambassador to US (1940-46), dies at 78
  • Dec 27 Alfonso Reyes, Mexican writer (Simpatías y diferencias) and diplomat (Higenia Cruel), dies at 70

Ante PavelićAnte Pavelić (1889-1959)

Dec 28 Croatian leader of Nazi Germany puppet Independent State of Croatia, dies from wounds received in an attempted assassination two years earlier at 70

  • Dec 30 Maria Baers, Flemish social worker and founder of the Christian Workers' Women's Movement (KAV), dies at 76