Deaths in History on December 19

  • 401 Anastasius I, Bishop of Rome (399-401), dies
  • 1075 Edith of Wessex, wife of Edward the Confessor of England
  • 1111 al-Ghazali, Muslim philosopher, theologian, jurist and mystic (The Revival of the Religious Sciences), dies (b.c. 1058)
  • 1327 Agnes of France, Duchess of Burgundy
  • 1370 Urban V [Guillaume de Grimoard], 1st Avignon Pope (1362-70), dies
  • 1737 James Louis Sobieski, Crown Prince of Poland, dies at 70
  • 1741 Vitus Bering, Danish navigator and explorer (explored Bering Strait and Alaska coast), dies after being shipwrecked at 60
  • 1751 Louise of Great Britain, wife of Frederick V of Denmark (b. 1724)
  • 1804 Mary Bright, British PM Rockingham, dies
  • 1807 Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm, German writer (b. 1723)
  • 1813 James McGill, Scottish-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, dies at 69
  • 1814 Joseph Bramah, Inventor and Locksmith, notably invented the beer pump
  • 1819 Thomas Fremantle, British naval officer, dies at 54

Emily BrontëEmily Brontë (1818-1848)

English novelist (Wuthering Heights), dies of tuberculosis at 30

  • 1848 Frans Adam van der Duyn van Maasdam, Dutch governor (South Holland), dies at 77

J. M. W. TurnerJ. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

English landscape painter (Shipwreck, Rain, Steam & Speed), dies of cholera at 76

  • 1878 Bayard Taylor, American author and poet (b. 1825)
  • 1911 John Bigelow, American statesman and author, dies at 94
  • 1914 Johann Friedrich von Schulte, German Catholic lawyer, dies at 87
  • 1915 Alois Alzheimer, German psychiatrist/neurologist (Alzheimer Disease), dies at 51
  • 1932 Yoon Bong-Gil, Korean activist (b. 1908)
  • 1933 George Jackson Churchward, British mechanical engineer (Chief of Great Western Railway Chief, 1902-22), truck and killed by a Paddington to Fishguard express train at 76
  • 1938 Stephen Warfield Gambrill, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland), dies at 65
  • 1939 Karl Wagenfeld, Low German writer (Lucifer, Death & Devil), dies at 70
  • 1941 L M Dovator, Russian general, dies in battle
  • 1944 Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur (b. 1856)
  • 1946 Paul Langevin, French physicist (b. 1872)

Robert A. MillikanRobert A. Millikan (1868-1953)

American physicist (photoelectric effect; Nobel 1923), dies at 85

  • 1953 Rudolf Leonhard, writer, dies

John Van DrutenJohn Van Druten (1901-1957)

English playwright (I Remember Mama, I am a Camera) and theater director, dies at 56

  • 1959 Walter Williams, claimed to be last survivor of Civil War, dies at 117
  • 1966 Ehm Welk [Thomas Trimm], German writer, dies at 82
  • 1967 Alfred Courtens, Belgian sculptor, dies at 78
  • 1968 Norman Thomas, American socialist, pacifist and presidential candidate (1928-48), dies at 84
  • 1977 Nellie Tayloe Ross, American politician and the 1st woman to serve as a governor (Wyoming, 1925-27), dies at 101
  • 1982 Dwight Macdonald, American social critic (b. 1906)
  • 1984 Joy Ridderhof, American missionary (b. 1903)
  • 1986 V. C. Andrews, American author (Flowers in the Attic), dies of breast cancer at 63
  • 1989 Dorothea "Stella" Gibbons, English journalist and author (Cold Comfort Farm), dies at 87
  • 1991 Ernest K Gann, US adventure novelist, dies at 81
  • 1991 Joe Cole, American roadie (Black Flag, Rollins Band), shot and killed at 30
  • 1993 Anthonius AM "Ton" Kors, writer (Time of Anton de Lange), dies at 47
  • 1993 Antoon Veerman, Dutch ARP asst sect of Education (1973-75), dies at 77
  • 1995 Harold Watkinson, British politician/businessman, dies at 85
  • 1995 Janet Wilder, stuntwoman, dies at 29
  • 1995 Ruth Nita Barrow, 1st female Governor-General of Barbados (1990-95), dies at 79
  • 1996 Yuli Borisovich Khariton, Russian physicist and "chief nuclear weapon designer" for the Soviet Union, dies at 92
  • 1997 David Schramm, American astrophysicist (pioneer in establishing particle astrophysics as a vibrant research field), dies at 52
  • 1997 Masaru Ibuka, Japanese electronics industrialist (Sony Corp), dies at 89
  • 1998 Antonio Ordóñez, Spanish bullfighter (b. 1932)
  • 1998 Mel Fisher, American treasure hunter (b. 1922)
  • 2000 John Lindsay, American politician (b. 1921)
  • 2003 Peter Carter-Ruck, English lawyer (b. 1914)
  • 2003 Roy Hughes, Baron Islwyn, British politician (L), dies at 78
  • 2004 Herbert C. Brown, English-born American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1912)
  • 2005 Keith Duckworth, English mechanical engineer (Cosworth; b. 1933)
  • 2005 Vincent Gigante, Italian-American mafioso, dies at 77
  • 2008 Carol Chomsky, American linguist and education specialist (b. 1930)

James BevelJames Bevel (1936-2008)

American civil rights activist (Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Direct Action), dies of cancer at 72

  • 2009 Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Iranian dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah (b. 1922)
  • 2010 Anthony Howard, English Journalist (b. 1934)
  • 2012 Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Israeli military leader, dies from cancer at 68
  • 2012 Piet de Visser, Dutch politician (PvdA), dies at 81
  • 2012 Robert Bork, American lawyer, government official (US Solicitor General, 1973-77), jurist (US Court of Appeals, 1982-88), rejected Supreme Court nominee (1987), and professor (Yale),dies from heart disease at 85
  • 2012 Sir Lawrence "Lawrie" Barratt, British businessman and housing developer (Barratt Developments), dies at 85
  • 2017 Clifford Irving, American novelist and investigative reporter (hoax autobiography of Howard Hughes), dies of pancreatic cancer at 87
  • 2021 Ed van Thijn, Dutch politician (House of Representatives, 1977-82; Mayor of Amsterdam, 1983-94; Member of Senate, 1999-2007), dies at 87