Historical Figures Who Died in 1979

  • Jan 3 Conrad Hilton, US founder (Hilton Hotels), dies at 91
  • Jan 9 Pier Luigi Nervi, Italian engineer and architect (Nuove Struttura), dies at 87
  • Jan 11 Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, German-French art dealer and publisher, dies at 94
  • Jan 14 Thomas DeSimone, gangster associate of the Lucchese crime family (b. 1950)
  • Jan 16 August Heissmeyer, German SS officer, dies at 82

Nelson RockefellerNelson Rockefeller (1908-1979)

Jan 26 American politician (Vice President: 1974-1977; Governor of New York (R), 1959-73), dies of a heart attack at 70

  • Jan 27 Qalander Baba Auliya, Indian Sufi master (Azeemiyya order), dies at about 81
  • Jan 27 Victoria Ocampo, Argentine writer and publisher (Sur magazine), dies at 88
  • Jan 28 Eileen Shanahan, Irish poet (The Three Children (Near Clonmel)), dies at 77
  • Feb 6 Alain Teister, Dutch sculptor/writer, dies at 47
  • Feb 6 Arthur van Schendel, Dutch art historian, dies at 68
  • Feb 7 Josef Mengele, concentration camp doctor, drowns
  • Feb 8 Nikolay Semyonovich Tikhonov, Russian poet and writer (against Pasternak), dies at 82
  • Feb 9 Allen Tate, American poet (Mr Pope & Other Poems), dies at 79

Dennis GaborDennis Gabor (1900-1979)

Feb 9 Hungarian-British engineer and physicist (invented holography, Nobel Prize 1971), dies at 79

  • Feb 14 Adolph Dubs, US ambassador to Afghanistan, murdered
  • Feb 16 Mehdi Rahimi, Iranian general and military governor of Tehran under the Shah of Iran, executed by a firing squad during the Islamic Revolution at around 57
  • Feb 16 Nematullah Nassiri, Iran general/head of Savak, executed
  • Feb 23 W.A.C. Bennett, Canadian politician, dies at 78
  • Feb 28 Mr Ed, talking horse, dies
  • Feb 28 Paul Alverdes, German writer (Pfeiferstube), dies at 81
  • Mar 1 Mustafa al-Barzani, Kurdish leader (KDP), dies at 75
  • Mar 2 Christy Ring, Irish hurler (Cork 65 games, scoring tally [33-208], 8 x All-Ireland medals), dies at 58
  • Mar 4 Willi Unsoeld, American mountaineer (First ascent of the West Ridge of Mount Everest), dies at 52
  • Mar 16 Jean Monnet, French political economist and diplomat, dies at 90
  • Mar 20 Mino Pecorelli, Italian journalist, shot dead in Rome at 50
  • Mar 21 Evald Ilyenkov, Soviet philosopher (Dialectical Logic), dies at 55
  • Mar 22 Richard Sykes, British ambassador to the Netherlands, assassinated at 58 by the IRA in The Hague
  • Mar 24 Yvonne Mitchell, writer, dies at 53
  • Mar 26 Jean Stafford, American writer (Pulitzer Prize 1970-The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford), dies at 63
  • Mar 28 Emmett Kelly, American circus clown (Weary Willy), dies at 80
  • Mar 29 Sultan Yahya Petra, 6th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (1975-79), dies at 61
  • Mar 30 Airey Neave, British MP (Conservative), killed in a car bomb by the Irish National Liberation Army at 63
  • Apr 4 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistani president, hanged in Pakistan at 51
  • Apr 5 Eugène Gabritschevsky, Russian biologist and artist (b. 1893)
  • Apr 7 Bruno Apitz, German writer, dies at 78
  • Apr 19 Rogers Morton, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland), dies at 64
  • Apr 23 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • May 2 Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • May 8 Talcott Parsons, American sociologist, dies at 76

Cyrus EatonCyrus Eaton (1883-1979)

May 9 Canadian-American financier, industrialist and steel magnate, dies at 95

  • May 10 John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Morton, satirist (Beachcomber), dies
  • May 10 Louis Paul Boon, Flemish writer (Eros & the Lonely Man), dies at 67
  • May 11 Barbara Hutton 'poor little rich girl', American heiress (Woolworth fortune), dies at 66
  • May 14 Paul van 't Veeer, Dutch journalist/writer (Vrije Volk), dies at 57
  • May 16 A. Philip Randolph, American labor leader (Railroad Porter's Union), dies at 90
  • May 23 Hubert van Doorne, auto manufacturer (DAF Trucks), dies at 79
  • May 25 John Arthur Spenkelink, American murderer (b. 1949)
  • May 29 John H. Wood, Jr., American federal judge (b. 1916)
  • Jun 1 Werner Forssmann, German urologist (Nobel 1956), dies at 74
  • Jun 3 Arno Schmidt, German writer, dies at 65
  • Jun 5 Pauline Offner, Zen Theravadin nun, dies at 53
  • Jun 7 Forrest [Asa Earl] Carter, American author and segregationist speech writer, dies at 53
  • Jun 8 Herb Polesie, producer/playwright (20 Questions), dies at 79
  • Jun 15 Ernst Meister, writer, dies at 67
  • Jun 16 Ignatius Kutu Acheamphong, Ghanaian chief of state (1972-78), executed by firing squad during a coup at 47
  • Jun 16 Liselotte Welskopf-Heinrich, German writer and historian, dies at 77
  • Jun 19 Paul Popenoe, American eugenicist (b. 1888)
  • Jun 22 Julius Sommer, dies of heart failure, buried in Dayton Ohio
  • Jun 25 Philippe Halsman, American portrait photographer, dies at 73
  • Jun 26 Charles Clore, financier, dies
  • Jun 30 Alfons Vranckx, Belgian politician, dies at 72
  • Jul 8 Robert B. Woodward, American organic chemist (Nobel 1965), dies at 62
  • Jul 8 Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Japanese physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
  • Jul 9 Cornelia Otis Skinner, dies at 78
  • Jul 11 Claude Wagner, French Canadian judge and politician, dies at 54
  • Jul 13 Corine Griffith, dies at 84
  • Jul 15 Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, President of Mexico (b. 1911)
  • Jul 16 James F Mcintyre, archbishop of Los Angeles, dies at 93
  • Jul 21 Ludwig Renn, German writer, dies at 90
  • Jul 22 Mikhail Soschtschenko, Soviet Russian writer (The Regained Youth; Before the Dawn), dies at 83
  • Jul 23 Joseph Kessel, French journalist and novelist (b. 1898)
  • Jul 29 Herbert Marcuse, German-American communist philosopher (Eros & Civilization), dies at 81
  • Aug 3 Bertil Ohlin, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1899)
  • Aug 8 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist (b. 1910)
  • Aug 9 Raymond Washington, American gangster, founder of Los Angeles gang the Crips, murdered in drive-by shooting at 25
  • Aug 10 Walther Gerlach, German physicist who, with Otto Stern, co-discovered spin quantization in a magnetic field (Stern–Gerlach effect), dies at 90
  • Aug 12 Ernst Chain, German-British chemist and bacteriologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945 - for his work on penicillin), dies at 73

John DiefenbakerJohn Diefenbaker (1895-1979)

Aug 16 13th Prime Minister of Canada (Conservative: 1957-63), dies at 83

  • Aug 22 Henry Beernink, politician, dies at 69
  • Aug 22 James T. Farrell, American writer (French Girls are Vicious), dies
  • Aug 24 Hanna Reitsch, German aviator and test pilot, dies at 67
  • Aug 24 Sampson Sievers, Russian Orthodox Christian monk, priest and wonder-worker, dies at 79
  • Aug 26 Mika Waltari, Finnish novelist (Egyptian), dies at 70

Lord MountbattenLord Mountbatten (1900-1979)

Aug 27 British naval officer and statesman, last Viceroy of India (1947), assassinated by an IRA bomb on his boat in Ireland at 79

  • Aug 27 Nicholas Mountbatten, Lord Mountbatten's grandson, murdered by the IRA at 14
  • Aug 28 Konstantin Simonov, Soviet journalist and poet (Wait Foe Me), dies at 73
  • Aug 29 Samuel I. Newhouse Sr., American businessman and publisher (Parade, Vogue, Glamour), dies at 84
  • Sep 2 Otto P. Weyland, American military figure (b. 1903)
  • Sep 4 Canuplin, Filipino magician and bodabil entertainer (b. 1904)
  • Sep 4 Jef van de Wiele, Belgian pro-Nazi politician, dies at 76
  • Sep 5 Alberto di Jorio, Italian Cardinal and former head of the Vatican Bank, dies at 95
  • Sep 7 Ivor Armstrong Richards, English literary critic (The Meaning of Meaning), dies at 86
  • Sep 10 Agostinho Neto, 1st President of Angola (1975-79), dies at 56
  • Sep 16 Nur Mohammed Taraki, Communist president of Afghanistan (1978-79), murdered by order from his successor, Hafizullah Amin, at 62
  • Sep 20 Ludvík Svoboda, Czech general and politician (8th President of Czechoslovakia, 1968-75), dies at 83
  • Sep 28 John Herbert Chapman, Canadian physicist, and space researcher, dies at 58
  • Oct 3 Charles White, American artist (The Contribution of the Negro to American Democracy), dies at 61
  • Oct 5 Charlie Smith, self-proclaimed oldest American (137 year), dies; post-mortem research posits age 100 or 105
  • Oct 6 Elizabeth Bishop, American poet (North & South, Pulitzer 1956), dies at 68
  • Oct 10 Christopher Evans, British psychologist and computer scientist (b. 1931)
  • Oct 16 Johan Borgen, Norwegian author (Lillelord), dies at 77
  • Oct 22 Jesse Bishop, murderer, dies in Nevada gas chamber
  • Oct 26 Park Chung-hee, South Korean general and President (1963-79), assassinated by the director of the Korean Intelligence Agency at 61
  • Oct 27 Father Charles Coughlin, Canadian-American Roman Catholic priest and pro-Fascist radio broadcaster, dies at 88
  • Oct 30 Barnes Wallis, English scientist, engineer and inventor (bouncing bomb), dies at 92
  • Oct 30 Donna Rachele Mussolini, wife of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, dies at 89
  • Nov 1 Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States (1953-61), dies of a stroke at 82
  • Nov 2 Jacques Mesrine, French "enemy of the state", shot to death
  • Nov 5 Al Capp, US cartoonist (Li'l Abner), dies at 70
  • Nov 8 Yvonne de Gaulle, wife of French President Charles de Gaulle, dies at 79
  • Nov 10 Friedrich Thorberg, writer, dies at 71
  • Nov 13 Dimitris Psathas, Greek playwright (b. 1907)
  • Nov 17 Immanuel Velikovsky, Russian writer (Worlds in Collision), dies at 84
  • Nov 22 Anne Vondeling, Male Dutch soc democratic party-minister, dies at 63
  • Nov 23 Richard Rovere, American political journalist (Goldwater Caper), dies at 64
  • Dec 5 Sonia Delaunay, Russian-born French artist (Orphism), dies at 94
  • Dec 7 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, British-American astronomer and astrophysicist who proposed that stars are composed largely of hydrogen and are not glowing balls of molten rock, dies at 79 [1]
  • Dec 7 Mari Andriessen, Dutch sculptor (Dock Worker), dies at 82
  • Dec 7 Nicolas Born, German writer, dies of cancer at 41
  • Dec 7 Prince Chahryar Shafik, Shah of Iran's nephew, murdered in Paris
  • Dec 11 James J. Gibson, American perceptual psychologist (b. 1904)
  • Dec 23 Peggy Guggenheim, American art collector, dies at 81
  • Dec 24 Dirk Uipko Stikker, Dutch politician, diplomat (Ambassador to Great Britain, 1952-58; Secretary General of NATO, 1961-64), and CEO (Heineken), dies at 82
  • Dec 24 Rudi [Rudolf] Dutschke, German student leader, dies at 39
  • Dec 25 Jordi Bonet, Quebec muralist and sculptor (b. 1932)
  • Dec 27 Hafizullah Amin, Afghan politician (President of Afghanistan, 1979), killed by Russian forces in a coup during Soviet invasion at 50