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. J. Cronin, Scottish writer (Citadel, Shining Victory), dies at 84
  • 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 alongside son James
  • Jan 21 James Stronge former Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament, assassinated by IRA, alongside 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 25 Adele Astaire [Lady Charles Cavendish], American dancer and entertainer, sister of Fred Astaire (Last Man on Earth, Millie), dies at 82
  • 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 (co-founding the Inland Waterways Association), dies at 66
  • 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 9 Max Delbrück, German-American biologist and molecular geneticist (bacteriophage, Nobel Prize 1969), dies at 74
  • 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 [Shen Dehong], Chinese writer (Midnight), dies at 84
  • 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, American airline pioneer and entrepreneur (Pan Am founder), dies at 81

  • 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 18 James H. Schmitz, American sci-fi author (Lion Game), dies at 69
  • 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 novelist (Man with the Golden Arm), dies at 72
  • May 11 Hoyt J Fuller, American 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, American toastmaster general and entertainer (Diary of Young Comic), dies at 83
  • May 23 Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (The Blaze of Noon), dies at 70
  • May 23 David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • May 25 Fredric Warburg, British publisher and author (b. 1898)
  • May 28 Stefan Wyszyński, Polish Cardinal, dies at 79
  • 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 11 Eppo Doeve, Dutch graphic artist/cartoonist/painter, dies at 73
  • Jun 15 Philip Toynbee, British journalist and writer (Savage Days, Barricade), dies at 64
  • 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 Peace Pilgrim [Mildred Lisette Norman], American peace activist, dies at 72
  • 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, American Roman Catholic Priest, Martyr and Missionary to Guatemala, dies at 1981
  • Jul 29 Robert Moses, American urban planner (b. 1888)
  • Jul 31 Gen Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama, dies in plane crash
  • Aug 3 Roberto Peci, Italian brother of Red Brigade leader, murdered at 25
  • Aug 18 Anita Loos, US (stage)author (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), dies at 88
  • Aug 26 Roger Nash Baldwin, American founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, dies at 97
  • Aug 30 Mohammad-Ali Rajai, President of Iran (1981), assassinated by a bomb at 48
  • Aug 31 Joseph H Hirschhorn, US art collector/founder H Museum, dies at 82

Person of interestAlbert Speer

Sep 1 Albert Speer, German architect and Nazi leader (Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production), dies of a stroke at 76

Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer
Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production
Albert Speer
  • 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 interestAnwar Sadat

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

Person of interestMoshe Dayan

Oct 16 Moshe Dayan, Israel's general/minister of Defense, dies at 66

Israeli Politician and General Moshe Dayan
Israeli Politician and General
Moshe Dayan
  • Oct 19 Paul Snoek, [Edm Schietekat], Belgian poet, dies at 48
  • Oct 25 Ariel Durant, American 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 3 Thérèse Casgrain, French Canadian politician and senator, dies at 85

Person of interestWill Durant

Nov 7 Will Durant, American author and historian (The Story of Philosophy, The Story of Civilization), dies at 96

Historian Will Durant
Historian
Will Durant
  • Nov 19 Griffiths Mxenge, South Afr's anti-apartheid advocate, murdered
  • Nov 20 Rolf Bongs, German writer, dies at 74
  • Nov 29 Fredric Wertham, German-born psychologist (b. 1895)
  • Dec 2 Cola, Debrot, Dutch author and Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, dies at 79
  • Dec 2 Wallace K[irkman] Harrison, US architect (UN), dies at 86

Person of interestWalter Knott

Dec 3 Walter Knott, American farmer who created the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in California and introduced the boysenberry to America, dies at 91

Farmer and Creator of Knott's Berry Farm Walter Knott
Farmer and Creator of Knott's Berry Farm
Walter Knott
  • Dec 8 Shakey, [Walter Horton], harmonicist (Everybody's Fishin'), dies at 64
  • Dec 9 Daniel Faulkner, Philadelphia police officer (b. 1955)
  • Dec 17 Edwin Erich Dwinger, German writer (General Vlassov), dies at 83
  • 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)