Deaths in History 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 (b. 1897)

Person of interestNelson Rockefeller

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

Businessman and US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller
Businessman and US Vice President
Nelson Rockefeller
  • Jan 27 Qalander Baba Auliya, Indian Sufi master (Azeemiyya order), dies at about 81
  • Jan 28 Eileen Shanahan, Irish Poet (b. 1901)
  • 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, dies at 82

Person of interestDennis Gabor

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

Physicist and Electrical Engineer Dennis Gabor
Physicist and Electrical Engineer
Dennis Gabor
  • Feb 12 Jean Renoir, French writer/director (Human Beast), dies at 84
  • Feb 14 Adolph Dubs, US ambassador to Afghanistan, murdered
  • Feb 15 Mehdi Rahimi, Iran general/milt governor of Tehran, executed
  • 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 (b. 1897)
  • Mar 1 Molla Mustafa Barzani, Iranian Kurd leader (KDP), dies at 75
  • Mar 2 Mollah Mustafa Barzani, Kurdish leader, dies at 75
  • Mar 2 Christy Ring, Irish hurler, dies at 58
  • Mar 4 Willi Unsoeld, American mountain climber (b. 1926)
  • 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 22 Richard Sykes, British ambassador, assassinated by the IRA in The Hague, Holland
  • Mar 24 Yvonne Mitchell, writer, dies at 53
  • Mar 26 Jean Stafford, American author (Boston Adventure), dies at 63
  • Mar 28 Emmett Kelly, circus clown (Weary Willy), dies at 80
  • Mar 29 Melville Cooper, TV panelist (I Got a Secret), dies at 82
  • Mar 30 Airey Neave, British MP (Conservatives), killed by terrorist bomb
  • 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 23 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • Apr 29 Hardie Gramatky, American author and animator (Little Toot), dies at 72
  • May 2 Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • May 8 Talcott Parsons, US sociologist, dies at 76

Person of interestCyrus Eaton

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

Steel Magnate Cyrus Eaton
Steel Magnate
Cyrus Eaton
  • 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 Joan Chandler, dies at 55
  • May 14 Paul van 't Veeer, Dutch journalist/writer (Vrije Volk), dies at 57
  • May 16 Asa Philip Randolph, American labor leader & civil rights pioneer, dies at 90
  • May 23 Hubert van Doorne, auto manufacturer (DAF), 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 Carter, American author (b. 1925)
  • Jun 8 Herb Polesie, producer/playwright (20 Questions), dies at 79
  • Jun 15 Ernst Meister, writer, dies at 67
  • Jun 16 Liselotte Welskopf-Heinrich, writer, dies at 77
  • Jun 16 Ignatius Kutu Acheamphong, Ghanaian dictator (b. 1931)
  • 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 Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Japanese physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
  • Jul 8 Robert B. Woodward, American organic chemist (Nobel 1965), dies at 62
  • 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 Soschtschenko, writer, 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, founder of Los Angeles, California gang, the Crips
  • Aug 10 Walther Gerlach, German Physicist (Stern–Gerlach effect) dies at 90

Person of interestJohn Diefenbaker

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

13th Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker
13th Prime Minister of Canada
John Diefenbaker
  • 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 author (b. 1908)
  • Aug 27 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, British naval officer and statesman, last Voceroy of India (1947), is 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 Simonow, writer, dies
  • 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 Jef van de Wiele, Belgian politician, dies at 76
  • Sep 4 Canuplin, Filipino magician and bodabil entertainer (b. 1904)
  • Sep 5 Alberto di Jorio, Italian Cardinal and former head of the Vatican Bank, dies at 95
  • Sep 10 Agostinho Neto, poet/1st President of Angola, dies at 56
  • Sep 16 Nur Mohammed Taraki, president of Afghanistan (1978-79), killed
  • Sep 20 Ludvik Svoboda, Czech general and politician, dies at 83
  • Oct 3 Charles White, artist, dies at 61 in Los Angeles
  • Oct 5 Charlie Smith, oldest American (137 year), dies
  • Oct 6 Elizabeth Bishop, poetess (North & South, Pulitzer 1956), dies at 68
  • Oct 10 Christopher Evans, British psychologist and computer scientist (b. 1931)
  • Oct 16 Johan Borgen, Norwegian author (b. 1903)
  • Oct 22 Jesse Bishop, murderer, dies in Nevada gas chamber
  • Oct 26 Park Chung-hee, South Korean President, assassinated
  • Oct 30 Sir Barnes Wallis, British scientist, engineer and inventor (b. 1887)
  • 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 Charles de Gaulle (b. 1900)
  • Nov 10 Friedrich Thorberg, writer, dies at 71
  • Nov 13 Dimitris Psathas, Greek playwright (b. 1907)
  • Nov 17 John Glassock, bass (Jethro Tull), dies at 27 following heart surgery
  • Nov 22 Anne Vondeling, Male Dutch soc democratic party-minister, dies at 63
  • 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
  • Dec 7 Mari Andriessen, sculptor (Docker), Amsterdam, 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 10 Fulton J Sheen, bishop (Life is Worth Living), dies at 84
  • 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 CEO (Heineken)/sect-gen NATO, 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