Deaths in History on December 17

  • 535 Emperor Ankan of Japan (b. 466)
  • 695 Begga, ancestress of the Carolingians/saint, dies [or 693]
  • 1187 Gregory VIII [Alberto de Morra], Italian Pope (1187), dies
  • 1195 Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut (b. 1150)
  • 1213 John of Matha, French Christian saint and founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity dedicated to ransoming Christians captured by North African marauders, dies at 53
  • 1273 Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi, Persian poet, scholar and mystic dies aged 65 or 66
  • 1471 Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Burgundy, dies at 74
  • 1663 Nzinga Mbandi, Queen of Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (1626 -1663) (modern Angola), dies at about 82
  • 1679 Don Juan, ruler of Spain, dies
  • 1711 Arnold Moonen, Dutch vicar and linguist (Defeated German Spraekkunst), dies at 67
  • 1721 Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, English statesman (b. 1640)
  • 1751 Kilian I von Dientzenhofer, Czech master builder, dies at 62

Simón BolívarSimón Bolívar (1783-1830)

South American revolutionary and president (Colombia), dies at 47 in Santa Marta, Colombia

  • 1833 Kaspar Hauser, German son of grand duke Karel of Bathe (who claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell), murdered at 21
  • 1847 Marie-Louise of Austria, Duchess of Parma and second wife of Napoleon, dies at 56
  • 1857 Francis Beaufort, Irish admiral and hydrographer (Beaufort wind force scale), dies at 83
  • 1860 Désirée Clary, Queen of Sweden and Norway (1818-44), dies at 83
  • 1874 William Barker Cushing, American naval officer (best known for sinking the CSS Albemarle during a daring nighttime raid on 27 October 1864), dies at 32
  • 1881 Lewis H Morgan, US ethnologist (Iroquois-indians), dies at 62
  • 1891 Msiri, ruler of the Garanganze Kingdom, Congo (Katanga), dies in battle against Belgian funded expedition
  • 1891 Omer Bodson, Belgian captain, dies in battle against Msiri, ruler of Garanganze Kingdom in the Congo
  • 1892 George Brayton, American engineer who developed the Brayton Cycle combustion engine, dies at 62
  • 1893 Levinus T Keuchenius, Dutch min of Colonies (1888-90), dies at 71
  • 1899 Frederick "Freddy" Roberts, son of British field marshal, dies in battle

William ThomsonWilliam Thomson (1824-1907)

1st Baron Kelvin, Irish-Scottish mathematical physicist (Kelvin Scale) and engineer (transatlantic telegraph), dies of a chill at 83

  • 1909 Leopold II, King of Belgium (1865-1909), dies at 74
  • 1917 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1st qualified woman physician in Britain, first woman mayor (Aldeburgh), dies at 81
  • 1927 Hubert Harrison, West Indian-American writer and freedom fighter, dies at 44
  • 1933 Hans Vaihinger, German philosopher (Side-Studies), dies at 81
  • 1933 Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama, dies at 57
  • 1935 Lizette Woodworth Reese, American poet (Branch of May, Tears), dies at 79
  • 1937 Gerard Vissering, banker/president of Dutch Bank, dies at 72
  • 1940 Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician, dies at 80
  • 1944 Pieter A. Roodenburgh, student and resistance fighter, dies at 26
  • 1946 Constance Garnett, English translator of Russian (first to translate Chekhov and Dostoevsky into English), dies at 84
  • 1957 Dorothy L. Sayers, English novelist (The Nine Tailors), dies at 66
  • 1961 Marion Perkins, sculptor (Man of Sorrow), dies at 53
  • 1964 Victor Franz Hess, Austrian-born physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1883)
  • 1967 Barry Byrne, American architect (Church of St. Francis Xavier in Kansas City), dies at 83
  • 1967 Harold Holt, Australian prime minister (Liberal, 1966-67), presumed to have drowned at 59
  • 1969 Arturo da Costa e Silva, 27th President of Brazil (1967-69), dies at 67
  • 1973 Charles Greeley Abbot, American astronomer (Solar Constant), dies at 101
  • 1981 Edwin Erich Dwinger, German writer (General Vlassov), dies at 83
  • 1982 Homer S. Ferguson, American politician (b. 1889)
  • 1985 Otto Gotsche, writer, dies
  • 1986 Ron Kass, record co pres (MGM), dies at 52 of cancer
  • 1987 Bernard Cardinal Alfrink, archbishop of Utrecht Neth, dies at 87
  • 1987 Bernardus Johannes Alfrink, Dutch cardinal of Utrecht Netherlands, dies at 87
  • 1987 Marguerite Yourcenar, French-American novelist (Memoirs of Hadrian, The Abyss), dies at 84
  • 1991 Armand Frappier, French Canadian physician and microbiologist, dies at 87
  • 1991 John Blatnik, (Rep-Minnesota, 1947-75), dies at 80
  • 1992 Günther Anders, German Jewish philosopher, dies at 90
  • 1995 Lila Clark Knapp, publisher, dies at 63
  • 1996 Elizabeth Hill, Russian-English teacher of Salvonic languages, dies at 96
  • 1996 Stanko Todorov, Bulgarian communist politician, Prime Minister of Bulgaria (1971-81), dies at 76
  • 1997 Reginald Victor Jones, British scientist who worked in military intelligence in WWII, dies at 86
  • 2003 Brian Lee, father of Wikipedia user, James Lee (b. 1948)
  • 2004 Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (b. 1931)
  • 2005 Jack Anderson, American journalist (b. 1922)

Kim Jong-ilKim Jong-il (1942-2011)

Supreme Leader of North Korea (1994-2011), dies of a suspected heart attack at 70

  • 2012 Colin Spedding, British biologist and animal welfare advocate, dies at 87
  • 2012 Daniel K. Inouye, American politician (US Senator, 1963-2012), dies from respiratory complications at 88
  • 2014 Fritz Rudolf Fries, German writer and informant, dies at 79
  • 2016 Henry Heimlich, American surgeon and inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, dies at 96
  • 2017 Robert G Wilmers, American banker (M&T Bank), billionaire and philanthropist, dies at 83
  • 2021 Eve Babitz, American artist and author (Eve's Hollywood; Slow Days, Fast Company; I Used To Be Charming), dies of Huntington's disease at 78
  • 2022 P-22, Californian mountain lion and LA celebrity, put to sleep due to age and injuries at 12 [1]