Historical Figures Who Died in 1980

  • Jan 1 Pietro Nenni, Italian politician (Socialists), dies at 88
  • Jan 3 Axel Springer Jr, German photographer, commits suicide at 38

Joy AdamsonJoy Adamson (1910-1980)

Jan 3 Austrian naturalist and author (Born Free), murdered at 69 by her servant

  • Jan 8 John Mauchly, American physicist who with J. Presper Eckert, designed the first general purpose electronic digital computer (ENIAC), dies at 72
  • Jan 8 Oscar Ewing, US government official (Everybody's Business), dies at 90
  • Jan 10 George Meany, American labor leader ((AFL-CIO), dies at 86
  • Jan 11 Barbara Pym, English novelist (b. 1913)
  • Jan 14 Robert Ardrey, American author (b. 1908)
  • Jan 16 Anna Maria Franciska van Wageningen-Salomons, Dutch author (Girl Student), dies at 94
  • Jan 18 Cecil Beaton, British photographer, dies at 76
  • Jan 19 William O. Douglas, American member US Supreme court (1939-75), dies at 81
  • Feb 2 William H. Stein, American biochemist (Nobel 1972), dies at 68
  • Feb 7 Secondo Campini, Italian jet engine pioneer, dies at 75
  • Feb 9 Antoine Pompe, Belgian architect, dies at 106
  • Feb 9 Tom Macdonald, Welsh journalist and writer (The White Lanes of Summer), dies at 79
  • Feb 12 Muriel Rukeyser, American poet (The Book of the Dead), dies at 66
  • Feb 13 Marian Rejewski, Polish mathematician and cryptologist (1st to break German Enigma code), dies at 74
  • Feb 16 Erich Hückel, German physicist and physical chemist, dies at 83
  • Feb 17 Graham Sutherland, English artist (official WWII war artist), dies at 76
  • Feb 20 Alice Longworth Roosevelt, youngest daughter of Theodore, dies at 96
  • Feb 20 Joseph Banks Rhine, American parapsychologist (Extra-Sensory Perception), dies at 84
  • Feb 22 Alfred Andersch, German writer (Red Head), dies at 66
  • Feb 22 Oskar Kokoschka, Austria/British painter and graphic artist, dies at 93
  • Feb 23 Enrico Celio, Swiss lawyer and President of Switzerland (1943), dies at 90
  • Feb 23 Robert Vandekerckhove, Belgian politician, dies at 62
  • Feb 29 Gil Elvgren, American artist (b. 1914)
  • Feb 29 Yigal Allon, Israeli politician, dies at 61
  • Feb 29 Yigol Alton, Israeli Foreign Minister, dies at 61
  • Mar 1 Wilhelmina Cooper, Dutch-American model and founder of Wilhelmina Models, dies at 40
  • Mar 5 Winifred Wagner-William, German World Festival organizer, dies at 82
  • Mar 10 Herman Tarnower, American doctor (Scarsdale Diet), shot and killed by girlfriend Jean Harris at 69
  • Mar 10 Melville Henry Cane, American lawyer and poet (Making a Poem), dies at 100
  • Mar 14 Mohammad Hatta, Indonesian politician (b. 1902)
  • Mar 16 Tamara de Lempicka, Polish-born painter (b. 1898)
  • Mar 18 Erich Fromm, German/US psychoanalyst, dies at 79
  • Mar 18 Ludwig Guttmann, German-British neurologist, founder of the Stoke Mandeville Games (now the Paralympics), dies at 80
  • Mar 21 Peter Stoner, American mathematician, astronomer and Christian apologist, dies at 92
  • Mar 23 Arthur Melvin Okun, American economist (Misery Index), dies of a heart attack at 51
  • Mar 24 Oscar Romero, El Salvador Roman Catholic priest, murdered during mass at 62
  • Mar 25 James Wright, American poet (b. 1927)
  • Mar 25 Milton H. Erickson, American psychiatrist and psychologist, dies at 78
  • Mar 25 Roland Barthes, French literary critic and writer (The Death of the Author), dies of injuries incurred in an accident at 64
  • Mar 31 Vladimír Holan, Czech poet, dies at 74
  • Apr 12 William Tolbert, Liberian President (1971-80), killed with 27 others in a coup at 66

Jean-Paul SartreJean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

Apr 15 French existentialist philosopher and writer (Le Mur, Nobel 1964; declined), dies at 74

  • Apr 21 Aleksandr Oparin, Russian biochemist (b. 1894)
  • Apr 21 Sohrab Sepehri, Persian poet and painter (b. 1928)
  • Apr 24 Alenjo Carpentier, Cuban/French writer (Guerra del Tiempo), dies at 75
  • Apr 30 Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rican poet, journalist, and politician (b. 1898)
  • May 2 Alioune Diop, Senegalese writer & editor (Présence africaine), dies at 70

Josip Broz TitoJosip Broz Tito (1892-1980)

May 4 Yugoslav communist revolutionary and leader of Yugoslavia (1943-80), dies at 87

  • May 5 Edmond Vandercammen, French-Belgian painter and poet (Grand Combat), dies at 79
  • May 18 David A. Johnston, American volcanologist, dies in Mount St. Helens eruption at 30
  • May 18 Harry Truman, American victim of Mount St. Helens eruption, dies at 83
  • May 18 Reid Blackburn, American photojournalist for National Geographic & victim of Mount St. Helens eruption, dies at 28
  • May 28 Rolf Nevanlinna, Finnish mathematician (b. 1895)
  • Jun 1 Arthur Nielsen, American market analyst (b. 1897)
  • Jun 5 Lauritz Lauritzen, German politician, dies at 70
  • Jun 7 Elizabeth Craig, British writer (b. 1883)

Henry MillerHenry Miller (1891-1980)

Jun 7 American writer (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn), dies of circulatory complications at 88

  • Jun 9 Leonhard Huizinga, Dutch journalist and writer (Olivier & Adrian), dies at 73
  • Jun 12 Billy Butlin, South African-born British founder of Butlins holiday camps, dies at 80
  • Jun 23 Clyfford Still, American abstract painter and leading figure of the Abstract Expressionists, dies at 75
  • Jun 23 Sanjay Gandhi, Indian politician, dies in a plane crash at 33
  • Jun 23 V.V. [Varahagiri Venkata] Giri, Fourth President of India (1969-74), dies at 85
  • Jun 23 Walter Rodney, Guyanese historian (bomanslag), dies
  • Jul 1 Charles P. Snow, English novelist (Death Under Sail, Strangers and Brothers) and physical chemist, dies at 74
  • Jul 4 Maurice Grevisse, Belgian grammarian (b. 1895)
  • Jul 12 John W Davis, President (WV State college), dies at 92
  • Jul 13 Seretse Khama, 1st President of Botswana (1966-80), dies of pancreatic cancer at 59
  • Jul 14 Felix Berezin, Russian physicist and mathematician (Berezin integral), dies at 49
  • Jul 16 Robert Brackman, American artist, dies at 81
  • Jul 17 Boris Delaunay, Russian mathematician (b. 1890)
  • Jul 22 Fred Kaps [Abram PA Bongers], magician (world champ 1955), dies at 54
  • Jul 23 Mollie Steimer, American political prisoner and anarchist agitator, dies at 82
  • Jul 23 Sarto Fournier, Mayor of Montreal (b. 1908)
  • Jul 26 Ibn-e-Safi, Pakistani fiction writer and Urdu poet, dies at 52

Mohammad Reza PahlaviMohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980)

Jul 27 last Shah of Iran (Persia) (1941-79), dies in Cairo of splenomegaly at 60

  • Aug 5 Harold Runnels, American politician (b. 1924)
  • Aug 8 Aga Yahya Khan, Pakistan military/politician, dies at 63
  • Aug 8 Jacqueline Cochran, US pilot and 1st woman to break sound barrier, dies at 74
  • Aug 8 Paul Triquet, Canadian military officer, dies at 70
  • Aug 9 Oleg Grigoryevich Kononenko, Russian cosmonaut, dies at 41
  • Aug 11 Paul Robert, French lexicographer and publisher (b. 1910)
  • Aug 19 Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, dies at 91
  • Aug 22 Alfred Neubauer, German racing team manager (Mercedes Benz), dies at 89
  • Aug 22 James Smith McDonnell, American aircraft manufacturer, dies of a stroke at 81
  • Aug 26 Tex Avery, American cartoonist (b. 1908)
  • Sep 3 Fabian von Schlabendorff, German resistance fighter/judge, dies at 73
  • Sep 4 Wolfgang Gentner, German nuclear physicist, dies at 74
  • Sep 8 Hermann Claudius, German folk poet (Meister Bertram), dies at 101
  • Sep 8 Jean Piaget, Swiss pioneer developmental psychologist and zoologist, dies at 84

Willard LibbyWillard Libby (1908-1980)

Sep 8 American chemist who developed radiocarbon dating (Nobel 1960), dies of pneumonia at 71

  • Sep 9 John Howard Griffin, American photographer, journalist and author (Black Like Me), dies from complications of diabetes at 60

Anastasio Somoza DebayleAnastasio Somoza Debayle (1925-1980)

Sep 17 President of Nicaragua (1967-72 and 1974-79), assassinated in Paraguay at 54

  • Sep 17 Katherine A Porter, American author (Ship of Fools, Pulit-66), dies at 90
  • Sep 18 Katherine Anne Porter, American writer (Ship of Fools), dies at 90
  • Sep 25 Earl Roy Curry, American religious thinker and Kirtland Temple overseer, dies at 90
  • Sep 25 Marie Under, Estonian author and poet, dies at 97
  • Sep 29 Bindo Maserati, Italian auto engineer and businessman (manager Maserati Racing; founder O.S.C.A. Racing), dies at 97
  • Oct 2 Valentin Varlamov, Russian cosmonaut, dies at 46
  • Oct 15 Mikhail Lavrentyev, Russian hydrodynamicist and mathematician, dies at 79
  • Oct 16 Carl PM Romme, Dutch minister of Social Affairs (KVP), dies at 83
  • Oct 21 Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician and eponym of Asperger syndrome, dies at 74
  • Oct 24 Leonid Georiyevich Ivanov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz 33), dies at 30
  • Oct 26 Marcello Caetano, last Portuguese prime minister of the Estado Novo regime (1968-1974), dies in exile of a heart attack at 74
  • Oct 27 John Van Vleck, American physicist, mathematician, and Nobel Laureate who pioneered the modern quantum mechanical theory of magnetism, dies at 81
  • Nov 3 Ludwig Hohl, writer, dies
  • Nov 4 Elsie MacGill, Canadian aeronautical engineer, 1st female in Canada to get bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, dies at 75
  • Nov 7 Wolfgang Weyrauch, German writer, dies at 73
  • Nov 12 Andrei Amalrik, Russian writer and dissident (Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984), dies in a car accident at 42
  • Nov 12 Haya Victoria van Someren-Downer [Gerarda Victoria Downer], Dutch politician, dies at 54
  • Nov 20 John McEwen, 18th Prime Minister of Australia (1967-68), dies at 80
  • Nov 22 Norah McGuinness, Northern Irish painter (b. 1901)
  • Nov 23 Thien-an Thich, Zen teacher/Vietnamese Rinzai line, dies in LA at 54
  • Nov 24 Herbert Agar, American journalist and historian (Pulitzer Prize, 1934 - The People's Choice), dies at 83
  • Nov 27 F. Burrall Hoffman, American architect (b. 1882)

Dorothy DayDorothy Day (1897-1980)

Nov 29 American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert, dies of a heart attack at 83

  • Dec 2 Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • Dec 3 Oswald Mosley, British politician and founder of British Union of Fascists, dies at 84
  • Dec 4 Francisco Sá Carneiro, 109th Prime Minister of Portugal, dies at 46
  • Dec 12 Jean Lesage, Canadian politician (19th Premier of Quebec), dies at 68
  • Dec 13 Harm van Riel, Dutch Liberal Party politician, dies at 73
  • Dec 14 Richard Gurley Drew, American inventor (created masking tape and cellophane at 3M), dies at 81
  • Dec 15 Rudolph Cleveringa, Dutch anti-nazi lawyer and professor of Law at Leiden University, dies at 86

Colonel SandersColonel Sanders (1890-1980)

Dec 16 American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dies at 90

  • Dec 16 Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  • Dec 18 Alexei N Kosygin, Soviet PM (1964-80), suffers heart attack at 76

Marc ConnellyMarc Connelly (1890-1980)

Dec 21 American playwright (One Minute Please), dies at 90

Karl DönitzKarl Dönitz (1891-1980)

Dec 24 German naval admiral and last leader of Nazi Germany, dies of a heart attack at 89

  • Dec 26 Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)
  • Dec 28 Jersey calf, lived 222 days with an artificial heart
  • Dec 29 Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer (b. 1899)

Marshall McLuhanMarshall McLuhan (1911-1980)

Dec 31 Canadian writer and 'prophet of the digital age' (the medium is the message), dies at 69

  • Dec 31 Raoul Walsh, American director (High Sierra), dies at about 88