On This Day

Historical Figures Who Died in 2019

  • Jan 1 George, the last Hawaiian tree snail of his kind (Achatinella apexfulva species), dies at the University of Hawaii aged 14 years
  • Jan 2 Julia Grant [prev George Roberts], transgender activist featured in "A Change of Sex", dies at 64
  • Jan 4 John Burningham, English author and illustrator of children's books (Mr Grumpy's Outing), dies at 82
  • Jan 9 Joseph Howze, American Roman Catholic bishop, 1st African American Bishop to be appointed in 20th century, dies at 95
  • Jan 11 Michael Atiyah, English mathematician (Atiyah-Singer Index, Fields Medal 1966), dies at 89
  • Jan 16 Hugh Lewin, South African anti-apartheid activist and writer (Bandiet: Seven Years in a South African Prison), dies at 79
  • Jan 19 Henry Sy Sr., Chinese Malay businessman 'Philippines Retail King', dies at 94
  • Jan 20 Dumisani Kumalo, South African anti-apartheid activist and UN ambassador, dies at 71
  • Jan 21 Harris Wofford, American politician (Sen-D-Pennsylvania 1991-94), head of AmeriCorps, dies at 92
  • Jan 22 Charles Vandenhove, Belgian architect (Standard-Omnisporthal, Luik), dies at 91
  • Jan 23 Diana Athill, English writer and editor (Stet), dies at 101
  • Jan 23 Norman Orentreich, American dermatologist known as "the father of modern hair transplantation", dies at 96
  • Jan 25 Florence Knoll Bassett, American furniture designer (Knoll), dies at 101
  • Jan 25 Meshulam Riklis, Turkish-born Israeli businessman and husband of Pia Zadora, dies at 95
  • Jan 25 Donald N. Langenberg, American physicist, dies at 86
  • Jan 28 Kim Bok-dong, Korean sex slave activist, dies at 92
  • Jan 30 Bernard Nevill, British textile designer, dies at 88
  • Feb 5 Dakshayani 'Gaja Muthassi, elephant 'granny' Indian elephant, oldest in captivity, dies in Kerala at 88
  • Feb 6 Rosamunde Pilcher, English novelist (The Shell Seekers), dies at 94
  • Feb 7 John Dingell, American politician (D-Michigan, 1955-2015), dies at 92
  • Feb 12 W. E. B. Griffin [William Edmund Butterworth], American best-selling author (Clandestine Operations, The Lieutenants), dies at 89
  • Feb 12 Lyndon LaRouche, American political activist (National Caucus of Labor Committees), dies at 96
  • Feb 16 Theodore Isaac Rubin, American psychiatrist and author credited with popularising psychotherapy, dies at 95
  • Feb 19 Karl Lagerfeld, German fashion designer (Fendi, Chanel), dies at 85 (age disputed)
  • Feb 20 William Broomfield, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan), dies at 96
  • Feb 24 Li Xueqin, Chinese eminent historian, archaeologist, and palaeographer, dies at 85
  • Feb 26 Charles McCarry, American author and former CIA spy (The Tears of Autumn), dies of a cerebral haemorrhage at 88
  • Feb 27 France-Albert René, 2nd President of Seychelles (1977-2004), dies at 83
  • Mar 1 Kevin Roche, Irish architect (Pritzker Prize winner, 1982), dies at 96
  • Mar 1 Zhores Alferov, Soviet/Russian physicist (2000 Nobel Prize in Physics), dies at 88
  • Mar 3 Bobbi Fiedler, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California), dies at 81
  • Mar 4 Juan Corona, Mexican born American serial killer, dies in prison at 85
  • Mar 7 Dan Jenkins, American author, sportswriter (Sports Illustrated), dies at 90
  • Mar 22 Frans Andriessen, Dutch politician (KVP/CDA; European Commissioner, 1981-93), dies at 89
  • Mar 29 Agnès Varda, Belgium-born French director “mother of the French New Wave” (Vagabond), dies at 90
  • Apr 6 Richard Green, American sexologist, lawyer, and author who advocated for gay and transexual rights, dies of oesophageal cancer at 82
  • Apr 11 Frances Swem Anderson, American technologist (nuclear medicine), dies at 105
  • Apr 15 Owen Kay Garriott, American electrical engineer and NASA astronaut (Skylab 3, STS 9), dies at 88
  • Apr 17 Alan García, President of Peru (Peruvian Aprista Party: 1985-90, 2006-11), commits suicide by shooting himself as police try to arrest him on corruption charges at 69
  • Apr 18 Lyra McKee, Northern Irish journalist, shot by the New IRA in a terrorist attack at 29

Lorraine Warren

Apr 18 Lorraine Warren, American paranormal investigator (Amityville haunting), dies in her sleep at 92

  • Apr 25 Manuel Lujan Jr., American politician (Rep-R-NM, 1969-89), dies at 90
  • May 14 Grumpy Cat [Tardar Sauce], American cat internet celebrity, dies following complications from urinary tract infection at 7

Bob Hawke

May 16 Bob Hawke, Australian politician and 23rd Prime Minister of Australia (Labor: 1983-91), dies at 89

I. M. Pei

May 16 I. M. Pei, Chinese-American modernist architect (Louvre Pyramid) who won the 1961 Brunner Prize, dies at 102

  • May 17 Herman Wouk, American novelist (The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War), dies at 103
  • May 22 Judith Kerr, British children's writer and illustrator (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Mog books), dies at 95
  • May 22 Sultan Ahmad Shah, 7th King of Malaysia (1979-84), dies at 88
  • May 25 LaSalle Leffall Jr., American surgeon, medical educator, and 1st black president of the American Cancer Society (1978), and the American College of Surgeons (1995), dies at 89
  • May 30 Thad Cochran, American politician (U.S. Senator from Mississippi), dies at 81
  • May 31 Niara Sudarkasa [Gloria Albertha Marshall], American educator and anthropologist (Lincoln College), dies at 80
  • Jun 4 Jiggs Kalra, Indian food writer "Czar of Indian cuisine", dies at 72
  • Jun 10 Lee Hee-ho, Korean activist and first lady for her husband President Kim Dae-jung, dies at 96
  • Jun 11 Martin Feldstein, American economist (1977 John Bates Clark Medal), chief economic adviser to President Reagan, dies at 79
  • Jun 17 Gloria Vanderbilt, American fashion designer, artist, heiress and socialite, dies at 95
  • Jun 17 Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian politician, President of Egypt (2012-13), leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, dies at 67
  • Jun 26 Beth Chapman, American bounty hunter and reality star (Dog the Bounty Hunter), dies of cancer at 51
  • Jul 2 Lee Iacocca, American automotive executive (CEO of Chrysler Corp), dies at 94

Ross Perot

Jul 9 Ross Perot, American businessman (Electronic Data Systems, Perot Systems), billionaire and presidential candidate (1992, 1996), dies of leukemia at 89

  • Jul 9 Fernando de la Rúa, Argentine politician, 51st President of Argentina (1999-2001), dies at 81
  • Jul 9 William E. Dannemeyer, American politician who opposed LGBT rights (Rep-R-CA, 1979-93), dies at 89
  • Jul 16 John Paul Stevens, American lawyer and 103rd Supreme Court Justice (1975-2010), dies from complications of a stroke at 99
  • Jul 17 Andrea Camilleri, Italian author (Inspector Montalbano novels), dies at 93
  • Jul 19 César Pelli, Argentine American architect (Petronas Towers), dies at 92
  • Jul 22 Li Peng, Chinese leader, Premier of China (1987-98), dies at 90

Beji Caid Essebsi

Jul 25 Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia's 1st freely elected President (2014-2019), dies at 92

  • Jul 27 John Robert Schrieffer, American physicist (Nobel Prize for Physics 1972 for BCS theory), dies at 88
  • Jul 31 V. G. Siddhartha, Indian coffee entrepreneur (Café Coffee Day), found dead at 60
  • Aug 4 Nuon Chea, Cambodian Khmer Rouge leader 'Brother Number Two', dies at 93

Toni Morrison

Aug 5 Toni Morrison [Chloe Anthony Wofford], American writer (Tar Baby, Beloved, Song of Solomon), first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize (2010), dies at 88

  • Aug 18 Kathleen Blanco, American politician, 1st female Governor of Louisiana (2004-08), dies from cancer at 76
  • Sep 1 Tom Collins, Canadian ice skating promoter ('Champions On Ice'), dies from stroke complications at 88
  • Sep 3 Peter Lindbergh, German fashion photographer and director, dies at 74
  • Sep 4 Peter Ellis, New Zealand convicted child abuser, dies at 61

Robert Mugabe

Sep 6 Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean revolutionary, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (1980-87) and 1st black President of Zimbabwe (1988-2017), dies at 95

  • Sep 11 B. J. Habibie, 3rd President of Indonesia (1998-99) who liberalized Indonesia's press and political party laws, dies of heart failure at 83

T. Boone Pickens

Sep 11 T. Boone Pickens, American business person and oil tycoon (Shamrock, Mesa Petroleum Co) known as the 'Oracle of Oil', dies at 91

  • Sep 16 Peter Stormonth Darling, Scottish investment banker (Mercury Asset Management Group - largest fund-management in the UK), dies at 86
  • Sep 19 Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, 2nd President of Tunisia (1987-2011). dies in exile at 83
  • Sep 20 Su Beng [Lim Tiau-hui], Taiwanese revolutionary, 'Father of Taiwanese Independence' (Taiwan’s 400-Year History), dies at 100
  • Sep 21 Shuping Wang, Chinese doctor who exposed China's HIV crisis, dies at 59

Jacques Chirac

Sep 26 Jacques Chirac, President of France (1995-2007) and Prime Minister of France (1974-76, 1986-88), dies at 86

  • Oct 11 Alexei Leonov, Russian cosmonaut (Voskhod 2, first person to walk in space), dies at 85
  • Oct 14 Harold Bloom, American literary critic, 'the most notorious literary critic in America' dies at 89
  • Oct 17 Elijah Cummings, American politician (Rep-Maryland (D) 1996-2019), dies at 68
  • Oct 20 Nick Tosches, American writer (bio of Jerry Lee Lewis), dies at 69

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Oct 26 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Leader of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), detonates a suicide vest after being cornered by US special forces and dies at 48

  • Nov 3 Yvette Lundy, French resistance fighter during WWII, dies at 103
  • Nov 16 Terry O'Neill, British fashion and celebrity photographer, dies of prostate cancer at 81
  • Nov 23 Walter Spink, American professor and world expert on South Asian art and architecture (Ajanta caves), dies at 91
  • Nov 23 Barbara Hillary, American adventurer, 1st black woman to reach the North Pole, dies at 88
  • Nov 26 Gary Rhodes, British restaurateur and television chef, dies at 59
  • Nov 29 Seymour Siwoff, American sports statistician (president and CEO Elias Sports Bureau 1952-2019), dies at 99
  • Dec 2 Fred Storey, Canadian curler (World C'ship gold 1966, 68, 69), dies at 87

Paul Volcker

Dec 8 Paul Volcker, American economist and Chairman of the US Federal Reserve (1979-87), dies at 92

  • Dec 10 Jean Pagé, Canadian sports journalist (host: 'La Soirée du hockey' and '110%'), dies from prostate cancer at 73
  • Dec 13 Richard G Hatcher, American attorney and politician (Mayor of Gary, Indiana, 1968-88), dies at 88