Deaths in History in 1981

  • Jan 3 Princess Alice of Albany (b. 1883)
  • Jan 5 Harold C Urey, US chemist (Deuterium, Nobel 1934), dies at 87
  • Jan 5 Paul Félix, Flemish architect (Song of the Sun), dies at 67
  • Jan 5 Lanza del Vasto, Italian philosopher (b. 1901)
  • Jan 6 A[rchibald] J[oseph] Cronin, physician/author (Citadel), dies at 84
  • Jan 6 A. J. Cronin, Scottish writer (b. 1896)
  • Jan 7 Alvar Lidell, UK radio broadcaster (b. 1908)
  • Jan 7 Eric Robinson, Australian politician (b. 1926)
  • Jan 8 Matthew Beard, entertainer, dies
  • Jan 10 Fawn M. Brodie, American historian (b. 1915)
  • Jan 13 Emiel van Hemeldonck, Belgian writer (Mary, My Child), dies at 83
  • Jan 14 John O'Grady, Australian writer (Nino Culotta) (b. 1907)
  • Jan 15 Emanuel Celler, (Rep-D-NY, 1923-73), dies at 92
  • Jan 21 Norman Stronge, former Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament, assassinated by IRA alondside son James
  • Jan 21 James Stronge former Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament, assassinated by IRA, alondside his father Norman
  • Jan 22 Fannie Thomas, American who became the oldest known American at her death, dies at 113 years and 273 days
  • Jan 22 Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, Pakistani historian and educationist (b. 1903)
  • Jan 27 Leo Collard, Belgian minister of Education (1946/54-58), dies at 78
  • Feb 1 Donald W Douglas, US aviation pionieer/builder, dies at 88
  • Feb 2 Donald W Douglas, US aircraft pioneer/builder, dies at 88
  • Feb 2 Jan Donner, Dutch chairman of High Council, dies at 89
  • Feb 5 Kuda Bux, Indian mystic (I'd Like to See), dies at 75
  • Feb 5 Ella Grasso, Governor of Connecticut (b. 1919)
  • Feb 6 Frederika of Hanover, Queen Consort of Greece (b. 1917)
  • Feb 7 Frederika of Hanover, Queen of Greece (b. 1917)
  • Feb 18 John Knudsen Northrop, American aircraft designer (Northrop Air), dies at 85
  • Feb 26 FC Terborgh, [Reijnier Flaes], lawyer/writer (Turkish War), dies at 79
  • Feb 26 Munabi, assistant to Uganda president Obote, murdered
  • Feb 26 Robert Aickman, English writer and conservationist (b. 1914)
  • Feb 27 Jacob H Gilbert, American politician (US Representative 1960-1971), dies at 60
  • Mar 6 Klaus Grabowski, German alleged murderer and convicted sex offender, shot and killed in Lübeck District Court by Marianne Bachmeier the mother of the daughter he was accused of murdering
  • Mar 7 John Gnagy, artist (Learn to Draw), dies at 73
  • Mar 22 James "Jumbo" Elliott, American track coach (b. 1915)
  • Mar 26 Cyril Dean Darlington, English biologist and geneticist who discovered the mechanics of chromosomal crossover and its role in inheritance and evolution, dies at 77
  • Mar 27 Mao Dun, Chinese writer (b. 1895)
  • Mar 29 Eric Williams, 1st Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (People's National Movement: 1962-81), dies at 79
  • Mar 30 Dewitt Wallace, US founder (Reader's Digest), dies at 91
  • Mar 31 Enid Bagnold, British novelist (Chalk Garden, 1956 Award of Merit), dies at 91
  • Apr 1 D[ennis] F[eltham] Jones, sci-fi author (Colossus), dies at 65
  • Apr 3 Juan Trippe, Airline entrepreneur and pioneer, Pan Am founder (b. 1899)
  • Apr 5 Cornelis Verolme, Dutch ship builder, dies at 80
  • Apr 8 Omar Bradley, last US 5-star general, (Normandy) dies in NY at 88
  • Apr 11 Marie Ney, dies at 85
  • Apr 13 Prince Asaka Yasuhiko of Japan (b. 1887)
  • Apr 15 French Duynstee, Dutch states rights leader, dies at 67
  • Apr 22 Brailsford Reese Brazeal, dean (Morehouse College), dies at 76
  • Apr 23 Josep Pla, Catalan journalist and writer (b. 1897)
  • Apr 26 Madge Evans, TV panelist (Masquerade Party), dies at 71
  • Apr 30 Peter Huchel, German poet, dies at 78
  • May 1 Clarence A Bacote, historian/political scientist, dies at 75
  • May 5 Bobby Sands, Irish IRA activist dies in the 66th day of his hunger strike at 26

  • May 9 Nelson Algren, American writer (Man with the Golden Arm), dies at 72
  • May 11 Hoyt J Fuller, editor (1st World magazine), dies at 57
  • May 12 Benjamin Sheares, President of Singapore (1971-81), dies at 73
  • May 17 Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, 1st US woman free balloon pilot, dies
  • May 18 William Saroyan, American novelist and stagewriter (Time of your life), dies at 72
  • May 21 Patsy O'Hara, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 21 Raymond Mccreesh, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 23 George Jessel, US comic/toastmaster (Diary of Young Comic), dies at 83
  • May 23 Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (d. 1911)
  • May 23 David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • May 25 Fredric Warburg, British publisher and author (b. 1898)
  • May 28 Stefan Wyszynski, Polish Cardinal, dies
  • May 30 Ziaur Rahmen, President of Bangladesh, is assassinated
  • Jun 1 Carl Vinson, (Rep-D-Ga, 1914-64), dies at 97
  • Jun 1 Naim Chadir, PLO-representative in Brussels, murdered
  • Jun 3 Carleton Coon, American anthropologist (What in the World), dies at 76
  • Jun 9 Allen Ludden, game show host (Password), dies at 63
  • Jun 11 Eppo Doeve, Dutch graphic artist/cartoonist/painter, dies at 73
  • Jun 16 Humphrey Keervelt, director (Suriname Planning Bureau), murdered
  • Jun 16 John S Knight, American journalist and publisher (Knight Newspapers), dies at 86
  • Jun 16 Jule Gregory Charney, American meteorologist, dies at 64
  • Jun 17 Richard O'Connor, British general (b. 1889)
  • Jun 17 Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane) (b. 1889)
  • Jun 17 Yitzhak Zuckerman [Itzhak Zuckerman], Jewish resistance hero in World War II and one of the few survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, dies at 65
  • Jun 28 Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, Iran Islamic Rep Party founder, bombed
  • Jun 29 Mohammed Hussein Beheshti, Iran ayatollah/politician, murdered
  • Jul 1 Carlos de Oliveira, Portuguese writer (b. 1921)
  • Jul 1 Rushton Moreve, American bass player (b. 1948)
  • Jul 7 Mildred Lisette Norman a.k.a. Peace Pilgrim, American pacifist and activist
  • Jul 9 Allen Ludden, TV show host (Password), dies at 61
  • Jul 9 Wilhelm H C Tenhaeff, para-psychologist, dies at 87
  • Jul 10 Ken Rex McElroy, American resident of Skidmore, Missouri known as "the town bully", murdered at 47 in an unsolved killing in front of a crowd of 30-46 in Skidmore's main street
  • Jul 12 Ben Seijes, historian (WWII), dies at 73
  • Jul 18 Wilhelm HC Tenhaeff, Dutch para-psychologist, dies at 87
  • Jul 27 William Wyler, US director (Ben Hur), dies at 79
  • Jul 28 Fr. Stanley Rother, Roman Catholic Priest, Martyr and Missionary to Guatemala (b. 1935)
  • Jul 29 Robert Moses, American urban planner (b. 1888)
  • Jul 31 Gen Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama, dies in plane crash
  • Aug 3 Robert Peci, Italian brother of Red Brigade leader, murdered
  • Aug 18 Anita Loos, US (stage)author (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), dies at 88
  • Aug 26 Roger Nash Baldwin, founder (ACLU), dies at 97
  • Aug 30 Mohammad Ali Rajai, president of Iran, assassinated by a bomb
  • Aug 30 Mohammad Javad Bahonar, prime minister of Iran, assassinated by a bomb
  • Aug 31 Joseph H Hirschhorn, US art collector/founder H Museum, dies at 82
  • Sep 1 Albert Speer, German architect and Nazi leader (Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production), dies of a stroke at 76
  • Sep 1 Bùi Thanh Liêm, Vietnamese cosmonaut, dies in a MiG-21 crash at 32
  • Sep 3 Alec Waugh, English novelist (Island in the Sun), died after suffering a stroke at 83
  • Sep 5 Ayatollah Ali Qoddusi, prosecutor-general of Iran, assassinated
  • Sep 6 Christy Brown, Irish author (b. 1932)
  • Sep 8 Hediki Joekawa, Japans physicist (Nobel 1949) at 74
  • Sep 8 Roy Wilkins, American civil rights activist and longtime executive director of NAACP, dies at 80
  • Sep 12 Eugenio Montale, Italian poet and translator (Xenia-Nobel 1975), dies at 84
  • Sep 13 William Loeb, publisher of Manchester Union Leader, NH, dies at 75
  • Sep 19 Joke Kool-Smit, Dutch feminist, dies
  • Sep 27 Coenraad van Emde Boas, Dutch sexologist, dies at 77
  • Sep 28 Rómulo Betancourt, President of Venezuela (b. 1908)
  • Oct 2 Harry Golden, American journalist (b. 1902)
  • Oct 3 Walter Mehring, writer, dies at 85

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Oct 6 Anwar Sadat, 3rd President of Egypt (1970-81, Nobel 1978), assassinated by fundamentalist army officers at 62

President of Egypt and Nobel Laureate Anwar Sadat
President of Egypt and Nobel Laureate
Anwar Sadat
  • Oct 7 Albert Cohen, Greek-born Swiss novelist (Belle du Seigneur), dies at 86
  • Oct 16 Moshe Dayan, Israel's general/minister of Defense, dies at 66
  • Oct 19 Paul Snoek, [Edm Schietekat], Belgian poet, dies at 48
  • Oct 25 Ariel Durant, US author (Story of Civilization), dies at 83
  • Oct 29 William O Walker, publisher of Cleveland Call Post, dies at 85
  • Nov 2 Kenneth Oakley, English Anthropologist, Palaeontologist, and Geologist whose method for the relative dating of fossils using fluorine content was instrumental in exposing the Piltdown Man hoax, dies at 70
  • Nov 7 Will Durant, US author (story of civilization), dies at 96
  • Nov 19 Griffiths Mxenge, South Afr's anti-apartheid advocate, murdered
  • Nov 20 Rolf Bongs, German writer, dies at 74
  • Nov 26 Max Euwe, Dutch world chess champion (1935-37), dies at 80
  • Nov 29 Fredric Wertham, German-born psychologist (b. 1895)
  • Dec 2 Nicolaas "Cola" Debrot, gov of Dutch Antilles (1962-70), dies at 79
  • Dec 2 Wallace K[irkman] Harrison, US architect (UN), dies at 86
  • Dec 3 Walter Knott, American farmer (b. 1889)
  • Dec 8 Shakey, [Walter Horton], harmonicist (Everybody's Fishin'), dies at 64
  • Dec 9 Daniel Faulkner, Philadelphia police officer (b. 1955)
  • Dec 18 Mehmet Shehu, PM Albania (1954-81)/"US-Russ spy", commits suicide
  • Dec 26 Amber Reeves, feminist writer (b. 1887)
  • Dec 29 Guido Provoost, Belgian historian, dies at 41
  • Dec 29 Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer (b. 1893)