On This Day

Deaths in History on December 23

  • 558 Childebert, king of France (511-58), dies at about 62
  • 679 Dagobert II, king of Austrasia (676-679), murdered while hunting at about 27
  • 910 Naum of Preslav, Bulgarian scholar
  • 918 Conrad I of Germany [Conrad the Younger], King of East Francia (911-18)
  • 1116 Ivo van Chartres, French canonist/bishop of Chartres/saint, dies
  • 1230 Berengaria of Navarre, queen of Richard I of England
  • 1236 Philippus Cancellarius, French theologist/poet (Summa Cum Laude), dies
  • 1502 Margaretha, English princess of Burgundy, dies at 57
  • 1556 Nicholas Udall, English playwright (b. 1504)
  • 1568 Roger Ascham, tutor of Elizabeth I of England
  • 1569 St Philip II, Metropolitan of Moscow, martyred by Ivan the Terrible
  • 1575 Akiyama Nobutomo, Japanese warrior (hanged) (b. 1531)
  • 1588 Hendrik de Guise, French leader of Catholic League, murdered at 37
  • 1619 John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, Duke of Prussia (1618-19), dies at 47
  • 1631 Michael Drayton, English poet (b. 1563)
  • 1646 François Maynard, French poet (b. 1582)

  • 1652 John Cotton, Puritan clergyman in Mass Bay colony, dies at 68
  • 1675 Caesar, duc de Choiseul, French marshal and diplomat (b. 1602)
  • 1722 Pierre Varignon, French mathematician (b. 1654)
  • 1744 Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, Duchess of Lorraine, dies at 68
  • 1749 Mark Catesby, English naturalist (Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands), dies at 66
  • 1761 Alestair Ruadh MacDonnell, Scottish Jacobite spy
  • 1771 Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, first native Canadian canonized (founded the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal), dies at 70,
  • 1779 Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (b. 1724)
  • 1789 Charles-Michel de l'Épée, French philanthropist and developer of 'Signed French', dies at 77
  • 1793 Antoine François Prévost, French author and novelist (b. 1697)
  • 1795 Henry Clinton, British army officer and politician, dies at 65
  • 1805 Pehr Osbeck, Swedish explorer and naturalist (b. 1723)
  • 1834 Thomas Malthus, British economist and demographer (Law of Malthus), dies of heart disease at 68
  • 1846 Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent, French naturalist (b. 1780)
  • 1877 Thomas Wright, English antiquarian and writer, dies at 87
  • 1902 Frederick Temple, 95th Archbishop of Canterbury, dies at 81
  • 1912 Otto Schoetensack, German anthropologist, dies at 62
  • 1915 Roland Leighton, dies at 20
  • 1925 A S C Wallis, [Adele von Antal-Opzoomer], writer (Vorstengunst), dies
  • 1930 Johannes H Been, Brielle archivist, dies at 71

  • 1931 Wilson Bentley, American scientist (b. 1865)
  • 1938 Robert Herrick, American novelist (Chimes), dies at 70
  • 1939 Anthony H G Fokker, Dutch airplane builder (Spider), dies at 49
  • 1943 Theo[dorus J] Thijssen, Dutch writer (Kees de Jongen), dies at 64
  • 1944 Charles Dana Gibson, American illustrator (Gibson Girl), dies at 77
  • 1945 Mogens Klitgaard, Danish author (Brunkul), dies at 39
  • 1946 John A. Sampson, American gynecologist (b. 1873)

BattleHideki Tojo

1948 Hideki Tojo, Japanese Prime Minister during WW II (1941-44), hanged for war crimes at 64

Prime Minister of Japan during WW II Hideki Tojo
Prime Minister of Japan during WW II
Hideki Tojo
  • 1951 Benito Lynch, Irish-Argentine writer (Palo Verde), dies at 66

BattleLavrentiy Beria

1953 Lavrentiy Beria, Soviet politician and head of the NKVD secret service, executed after being ousted from power at 54

Head of the Soviet Secret Police Lavrentiy Beria
Head of the Soviet Secret Police
Lavrentiy Beria
  • 1954 René Iché, French sculptor (b. 1897)
  • 1959 Edward FLW Halifax, English viscount/viceroy of India, dies at 78
  • 1959 Lord Irwin, ambassador to US (1940-46), dies at 78
  • 1959 Edward Frederick Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax and British ambassador to US (1940-46), dies at 78
  • 1961 Kurt Meyer, German SS officer (b. 1910)
  • 1962 George Saiko, Austrian writer, dies at 70
  • 1966 Hv Doderer, writer, dies at 70
  • 1967 Ruth Fuller Sasaki, American Zen teacher (1st Zen Institute of America), dies at 75
  • 1972 Andrej Tupolev, Russian aircraft builder, dies at 84
  • 1972 Abraham Joshua Heschel, Polish-born Jewish American rabbi and theologian dies in New York aged 65
  • 1975 Richard S Welch, CIA station chief in Athens, shot dead
  • 1976 Paul M Frank Forest, dies at 80
  • 1976 Walter Bauer, German Canadian writer, dies at 72
  • 1979 Peggy Guggenheim, American art collector, dies at 81
  • 1983 Colin Middleton, Northern Irish artist (b. 1910)
  • 1984 Joan Lindsay, Australian author (Picnic at Hanging Rock), dies at 88
  • 1991 Rosa Jackson Lumpkin, among the oldest people in the world, dies at 115
  • 1994 Didier Rocher, son of French cosmetic maker Yves Rocher, dies at 41
  • 1995 David Land, impresario and theatre producer, dies at 77
  • 1997 Austin Whitaker, schoolmaster classical scholar/archivist, dies at 90
  • 1997 Brian Malzard Foss, British psychologist, dies at 76
  • 1997 Donald Gunn MacRae, sociologist, dies at 76
  • 2001 Bola Ige, Nigerian politician (b. 1930)
  • 2002 Tatamkhulu Afrika, South African poet and writer, dies at 82
  • 2004 P. V. Narasimha Rao, Indian politiican, Prime Minister of India (1991-96), dies at 83
  • 2004 Anne Truitt, American artist dies aged 83
  • 2004 Peter Beazley, British politician (C) (European Parliament), dies at 82
  • 2006 Robert Stafford, American politician (Sen-R-VT, 1971-88), dies at 93
  • 2007 William Francis Ganong, American physiologist (b. 1924)
  • 2008 Eric Charles Twelves Wilson, English British Army officer (awarded Victoria Cross), dies at 96
  • 2009 Robert L. Howard, highly decorated officer of the United States Army (b. 1939)
  • 2009 Edward Schillebeeckx, Belgian Roman Catholic theologian (b. 1914)
  • 2009 Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Tibetan senior official (b. 1910)
  • 2010 K. Karunakaran, Indian politician (b. 1918)
  • 2010 Fred Hargesheimer, American World War II pilot (b. 1916)

Person of interestMikhail Kalashnikov

2013 Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian general and inventor of the AK-47, dies at 94

  • 2015 Alfred G. Gilman, American scientist (1994 Nobel Prize for G-protein discoveries), dies at 74
  • 2016 Piers J Sellers, English astronaut and climate scientist, dies of cancer at 61