On This Day

Deaths in History in 2020

  • Jan 3 Qasem Soleimani, Iranian major general of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, killed at 62 in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport, Iraq
  • Jan 7 Elizabeth Wurtzel, American author (Prozac Nation), dies of metastatic breast cancer at 52
  • Jan 8 Peter T. Kirstein, British computer scientist 'European father of the internet' (Internet Protocol), dies at 86
  • Jan 9 Roscoe Nance, American sportswriter (USA Today; Mississippi’s first African American sportswriter at mainstream newspaper), dies at 71
  • Jan 12 Paulo Gonçalves, Portuguese rally racing motorcycle rider (FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship 2013), dies in motorcycle crash during Dakar Rally at 40
  • Jan 16 Christopher Tolkien, British author and son of J. R. R. Tolkien, dies at 95
  • Jan 24 Pete Stark, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1973-2013), dies at 88
  • Feb 3 George Steiner, French American literary critic and educator, dies at 90
  • Feb 4 Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya's longest serving President (1978-2002), dies at 95
  • Feb 4 Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Caribbean poet (Born to Slow Horses) and academic, dies at 89
  • Feb 7 Li Wenliang, Chinese doctor who tried to raise the alarm over COVID-19, dies of COVID-19 in Wuhan at 34
  • Feb 8 Erhard Schnell, German automotive designer 'Father of the Opel GT', dies at 92
  • Feb 16 Larry Tesler, American computer scientist (invented copy, cut, paste), dies at 74
  • Feb 19 Heather Couper, British astronomer and presenter (The Sky at Night), dies at 70
  • Feb 19 Jens Nygaard Knudsen, Danish Lego designer of the minifigure, dies at 78

Person of interestHosni Mubarak

Feb 25 Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president (1981-2011) who was ousted during the Arab spring, dies at 91

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak

  • Feb 26 Nexhmije Hoxha, Albanian wife of dictator Enver Hoxha 'Lady Macbeth of Albania', dies at 99
  • Feb 28 Freeman Dyson, American physicist (known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering), dies at 96
  • Feb 29 Bill Roe, American sports executive (President USA Track & Field 2000-2008), dies at 69

Person of interestJack Welch

Mar 1 Jack Welch, American businessman & CEO of General Electric (GE), dies of renal failure at 84

Businessman and CEO of GE Jack Welch
Businessman and CEO of GE
Jack Welch
  • Mar 2 Henry N. Cobb, American architect (Pei Cobb Freed & Partners), dies at 93
  • Mar 11 Michel Roux, French chef and restaurateur (Le Gavroche, 1st Michelin three-starred restaurant in Britain), dies at 78
  • Mar 13 Barbara Harris, 1st American Episcopal female bishop, dies at 89

Person of interestBreonna Taylor

Mar 13 Breonna Taylor, African American medical technician, shot and killed by police officers in her home at 26 [1]

Victim of Police Brutality Breonna Taylor
Victim of Police Brutality
Breonna Taylor
  • Mar 18 Alfred M. Worden, American Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (Apollo 15), dies of a stroke at 88
  • Mar 21 Lorenzo Sanz, Spanish businessman and football executive (president Real Madrid 1995-2000; owner Málaga CF), dies from COVID-19 at 76
  • Mar 21 Ted Graham, Lord Graham of Edmonton, English politician, House of Lords (chief opposition whip), dies at 94
  • Mar 24 Terrence McNally, American Tony-winning playwright (Kiss of the Spider Woman), dies of COVID-19 complications at 81
  • Mar 24 Betty Williams, Northern Irish political activist (Nobel Peace Prize 1976), dies of pneumonia at 76
  • Mar 28 Azam Khan, Pakistani squash player (British Open 1959-62), dies from COVID-19 at 95
  • Mar 28 Tom Coburn, American politician (Sen-R-Oklahoma 2005-2015, Rep-R-Oklahoma 1995-2001), dies at 72
  • Mar 31 Pape Diouf, Senegalese journalist and football agent (president Olympique de Marseille 2005-09; first black president in Europe's top 6 leagues), dies from COVID-19 at 68
  • Mar 31 Richard Friedman, American psychoanalyst who proved sexual orientation biological, dies at 79
  • Apr 1 Nur Hassan Hussein [Nur Adde], Somalian politician, Prime Minister of Somalia (2007-09), dies from COVID-19 at 82
  • Apr 1 David Driskell, American artist and champion of African American art, dies of COVID-19 complications at 88
  • Apr 2 Sergio Rossi, Italian shoe designer, dies of COVID-19 complications at 84

  • Apr 4 Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath, dies at 87
  • Apr 12 John Horton Conway, British mathematician (cellular automaton Game of Life), dies of COVID-19 complications at 82
  • Apr 16 Luis Sepúlveda, Chilean writer and political activist (The Old Man Who Read Love Stories), dies of COVID-19 at 70
  • Apr 16 Gene Deitch, American illustrator (Tom Terrific, Nudnik), dies at 95
  • Apr 18 Takuo Aoyagi, Japanese engineer who invented the pulse oximeter, dies at 84
  • Apr 21 Teruyuki Okazaki, Japanese karate master (10th degree black belt Shotokan Karate; founder International Shotokan Karate Federation), dies from COVID-19 at 88
  • Apr 23 Norbert Blüm, German politician, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, dies at 84
  • Apr 25 Richard Divila, Brazilian motorsports designer (Fittipaldi Automotive; Ligier, Nissan), dies at 74
  • Apr 25 Per Olov Enquist, Swedish writer (Hour of the Lynx, The Royal Physician’s Visit), dies at 85
  • Apr 29 Maj Sjowall, Swedish writer (Martin Beck crime novels), dies at 84
  • Apr 29 Denis Goldberg, South African anti-apartheid activist (convicted alongside Mandela), dies at 87
  • May 8 Roy Horn [Uwe Ludwig Horn], German-American Las Vegas entertainer (Siegfried & Roy), dies of COVID-19 at 75
  • May 13 Rolf Hochhuth, German playwright (Der Stellvertreter), dies at 89
  • May 19 Richard Anuszkiewicz, American artist 'new wizard of op', dies at 89
  • May 21 Oliver Williamson, American economist (Nobel Prize for Economics 2009), dies at 87
  • May 23 Saturn, American-born alligator that escaped Berlin Zoo during WWII, dies at about 84 in Moscow Zoo (Moscow, Russia)

MurderGeorge Floyd

May 25 George Floyd, African American bouncer, murdered at 46 while restrained in police custody by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who placed his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds causing mechanical asphyxia

Victim of Police Brutality George Floyd
Victim of Police Brutality
George Floyd
  • May 26 Stanley Ho, Chinese casino tycoon who transformed Macao, dies at 98
  • May 27 Larry Kramer, American playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84
  • May 29 Ron Johnston, English geographer (electoral geography), dies at 79
  • May 31 Christo [Javacheff], Bulgarian artist and wrapper (Running Fence), dies at 84
  • Jun 8 Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi (2005-20), dies at 55
  • Jun 12 William S. Sessions, American director of FBI (1987-93), dies at 90
  • Jun 16 Charles Webb, American writer (The Graduate), dies at 81
  • Jun 17 Paulinho Paiakan, Brazilian indigenous chief (led Kayapó people against Belo Monte dam), dies of COVID-19 at about 65
  • Jun 19 Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Spanish writer (Shadow of the Wind), dies of cancer at 55
  • Jun 25 John Kennedy Sr., Australian Rules Football coach (Australian Football Hall of Fame legend; VFL Premiership 1961, 71, 76; Hawthorn FC; North Melbourne FC), dies at 91
  • Jun 26 Milton Glaser, American graphic designer (founded New York Magazine, created the I ♥ NY" logo), dies at 91
  • Jul 3 Emily Howell Warner, American pilot, 1st woman to captain a commercial American airline plane, dies at 80
  • Jul 13 [Zindziswa] Zindzi Mandela, South African politician and poet, dies at 59

Person of interestJohn Lewis

Jul 17 John Lewis, American politician (Rep-D-Georgia) and prominent civil rights leader (Big Six), stops causing "good trouble" due to pancreatic cancer at 80

Civil Rights Leader and Congressman John Lewis
Civil Rights Leader and Congressman
John Lewis
  • Jul 17 C. T. Vivian, American civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King, dies at 95
  • Jul 22 Charles Evers, American civil rights leader (1st Black mayor in Mississippi since Reconstruction), dies at 97
  • Jul 23 Benjamin Mkapa, Tanzanian politician, President of Tanzania (1995-2005), dies at 81
  • Jul 24 Regis Philbin, American talk & game show host (Joey Bishop Show; Live with Regis & Kathie Lee; Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) dies at 88 [1] [2]
  • Jul 24 Ann Syrdal, American psychologist and computer science researcher (developed female synthetic voices at AT&T), dies at 74
  • Jul 28 Gisele Halimi, Tunisian-French lawyer, feminist and author, dies at 93
  • Jul 30 Lee Teng-hui, Taiwanese statesman (Taiwan's 1st popularly elected President 1988–2000), dies at 97 [1]
  • Jul 31 Alan Parker, English director (Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express), dies at 76 [1]
  • Aug 1 Rodney H. Pardey, American poker player (2 x World Series of Poker C'ships; World Series of Poker Bracelets 1991, 94), dies of stroke complications at 75
  • Aug 3 John Hume, Northern Irish politician (jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Good Friday Agreement), dies at 83 [1]
  • Aug 3 Ralph Barbieri, American sports radio personality (KNBR San Francisco; 'The Razor and Mr. T' 1996-2012), dies of Parkinson's disease at 74
  • Aug 5 Aritana Yawalapiti, Brazilian indigenous cacique (leader) of Yawalapiti people, who sought to preserve the Amazon, dies of COVID-19 at 71
  • Aug 7 Lê Khả Phiêu, Vietnamese leader, General Secretary (1997-2001), dies at 88 [1]
  • Aug 12 Marvin Creamer, American mariner, 1st recorded person to sail around the world without navigational instruments, dies at 104
  • Aug 14 James R. Thompson, American politician, Governor of Illinois (1977-91), dies at 84
  • Aug 19 Slade Gorton, American politician (Sen-R-WA, 1981-87, 1989-2001), dies at 92
  • Aug 27 David Bryant, English lawn bowler (World Outdoor C'ship singles 1966, 80, 88; 4 x C'wealth Games gold singles), dies at 88
  • Aug 27 David Mercer, Welsh television sports presenter (BBC tennis; Eurosports) and tennis umpire (Wimbledon men's final 1984), dies at 70
  • Aug 27 Dick Ritger, American ten-pin bowler (Tournament of Champions 1970, 79 runner-up; 20 career PBA Tour titles), dies at 81
  • Aug 29 Jürgen Schadeberg, German-born South African photographer who photographed apartheid struggle, dies at 89
  • Aug 31 Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, 13th President of India (2012-17), dies at 84
  • Sep 1 Jerzy Szczakiel, Polish speedway rider (World Individual C'ship 1973; World Pairs C'ship 1971), dies at 71
  • Sep 2 Khang Khek Leu 'Comrade Dutch', Cambodian Khmer Rouge figure convicted of crimes against humanity, dies at 77
  • Sep 6 Mike Sexton, American poker player (World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions 2006; Poker Hall of Fame) and commentator (WPT), dies from prostate cancer at 72

  • Sep 9 Shere Hite [Shirley Diana Gregory], American-German sex therapist (The Hite Report), dies at 77 [1]
  • Sep 12 Terence Conran, English designer and restaurateur (Habitat), dies at 88
  • Sep 15 Moussa Traoré, Mali soldier, politician and dictator, President of Mali (1968-91), dies at 83
  • Sep 17 Terry Goodkind, American epic fantasy novelist (The Sword of Truth), dies at 72

Person of interestRuth Bader Ginsburg

Sep 18 Ruth Bader Ginsburg, American jurist and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1993-2020), dies of pancreatic cancer at 87

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Sep 29 Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, 5th Emir of Kuwait (2006-2020), Commander of the Kuwait Military Forces, dies at 91
  • Sep 29 19-year-old Indian Dalit rape victim dies two weeks after being gang raped by upper-caste men in Hathras district, ignites widespread protest
  • Oct 1 Zef Eisenberg, British ultra-speed racer (world's fastest motorbike on sand 201.5mph; fastest wheel powered vehicle 210.33mph) and founder Maximuscle, dies in car speed record crash at 47
  • Oct 1 Derek Mahon, Irish poet (A Disused Shed in Co Wexford), dies at 78
  • Oct 4 Kenzō Takada, Japanese fashion designer (Kenzo), dies of COVID-19 complications at 81
  • Oct 7 Mario Molina, Mexican scientist, 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (CFC's effect on the ozone layer), dies at 77 [1]
  • Oct 8 Jim Dwyer, American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, dies of cancer at 63
  • Oct 18 Sid Hartman, American sports journalist (Minneapolis Star Tribune; WCCO 830 AM), dies at 100
  • Oct 18 Jill Paton Walsh, English writer (Peter Wimsey series, Knowledge of Angels), dies at 83 [1]
  • Oct 19 Hiroh Kikai, Japanese photographer (Asakusa Portraits), dies of lymphoma at 75
  • Oct 23 David Barnes, New Zealand sailor (470 world champion 1981, 83, 84), dies from multiple sclerosis at 62
  • Oct 24 Kevin McCarra, Scottish sports journalist (The Guardian, Scotland on Sunday, The Times), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 62
  • Nov 9 Amadou Toumani Touré, Mali politician, President of Mali (2002-12), dies at 72 [1]
  • Nov 11 Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Bahraini royal and politician, world's longest serving Prime Minister (1970-2020), dies at 84
  • Nov 12 Jerry Rawlings, Ghanaian Head of State (1981-93) and President of Ghana (1993-2001), dies at 73
  • Nov 12 Masatoshi Koshiba, Japanese physicist (2002 Nobel Prize for Physics for neutrinos), dies at 94 [1]
  • Nov 13 Peter Sutcliffe, English murderer of 13 women "The Yorkshire Ripper", dies in prison of COVID-29 complications at 74 [1]
  • Nov 20 Jan Morris, Welsh journalist, historian, writer and pioneering trans woman (Venice, Conundrum), dies at 94 [1]
  • Nov 20 Patriarch Irinej [ Miroslav Gavrilović], Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, dies of COVID-19 at 90 [1]
  • Nov 22 Doris de Agostini-Rossetti, Swiss alpine skier (Downhill World Cup 1982/1983), dies at 62
  • Nov 23 David Dinkins, American politician (1st African American Mayor of NYC 1990-93), dies at 93 [1]
  • Nov 26 Sadiq al-Mahdi, Sudanese politician and Imam, Prime Minister of Sudan (1966-67, 1986-89), dies of COVID-19 at 84 [1]
  • Nov 29 Ben Bova, American sci-fi author (Exiled from Earth), dies at 88 [1]
  • Dec 2 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, French politician, President of France (1974-81), dies of COVID-19 at 94
  • Dec 3 Alison Lurie, American novelist (Pulitzer Prize - Foreign Affairs), dies at 94 [1]
  • Dec 3 Bill Fitsell, Canadian journalist, writer and historian (International Hockey Hall of Fame curator, historian 1969-2005), dies at 97
  • Dec 6 Paul Sarbanes, American politician (Senator-D-MD, 1977-2007, sponsored Sarbanes–Oxley Act), dies at 87
  • Dec 6 Tabaré Vázquez, Uruguayan politician and physician, President of Uruguay (2005-10, 2015-20), dies at 80 [1]
  • Dec 7 Doug Scott, English mountaineer (first ascent of south-west face of Mount Everest), dies at 79 [1]
  • Dec 7 Chuck Yeager, American test pilot who was the 1st man to break the sound barrier, dies at 97 [1] [2]
  • Dec 12 John le Carré [pen name for David Cornwell], English novelist (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold), dies at 89
  • Dec 12 Jack Steinberger, American physicist (1988 Nobel Prize for Physics - Neutrinos), dies at 99 [1]
  • Dec 14 Jeannie Morris, American sports journalist and author (Chicago Daily News, WMAQ; 'Brian Piccolo: A Short Season', 2014 Ring Lardner Award), dies from appendix cancer at 85
  • Dec 18 Tim Severin, British author and explorer who replicated historic voyages, dies at 80
  • Dec 30 Samuel Little, American serial killer (who confessed to 93 murders), dies at 80 [1]
  • Dec 31 Joan Micklin Silver, American film director (Hester Street; Crossing Delancey), dies at 85
  • Dec 31 Richard Thornburgh, 76th United States Attorney General (1988-91) and 41st Governor of Pennsylvania (dealt with Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown), dies at 88 [1]