Deaths in History on December 24

  • 427 Archbishop Sisinnius I of Constantinople
  • 1069 Godfried II, with the Beard, duke of Neder-Lutherans, dies
  • 1257 John I, Count of Hainaut (1246-57), dies at 39
  • 1380 John von Neumarkt, German bishop/Chancellor Karel IV, dies

Vasco da GamaVasco da Gama (c. 1460s-1524)

Portuguese explorer and viceroy of Cochin, dies at about 55

  • 1541 Andreas R Bodenstein von Carlstadt, radical Lutheran, dies at about 61
  • 1548 Maximilian of Egmond, Dutch count/stadholder of Frisia, dies
  • 1660 Mary [Maria Henrietta], English Princess Royal, Princess of Orange, wife of Willem II, dies of smallpox at 29 [NS]
  • 1707 Noel Coypel, French painter, dies at 78
  • 1813 Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan (b. 1740)
  • 1863 William Makepeace Thackeray, British novelist (Vanity Fair), dies at 52
  • 1865 Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, British painter and writer (b. 1793)
  • 1868 Adolphe d'Archiac, French paleontologist and geologist, dies at 66

Edwin StantonEdwin Stanton (1814-1869)

US Secretary of War during most of the American Civil War (1861-65) and US Attorney General (1860-61), dies at 55

  • 1872 William John Macquorn Rankine, Scottish mechanical engineer and physicist, dies at 52
  • 1873 Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist and businessman (b. 1795)
  • 1877 Robert Parker Parrott, American inventor (developed the rifled cannon known as the Parrott gun), dies at 73
  • 1885 Louis-Prosper Gachard, Belgian historian, dies at 85
  • 1889 Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (b. 1819)
  • 1898 Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI, dies at 70 (b. 1828)
  • 1904 Julien Dillens, Flemish sculptor (Anspach Monument), dies at 55
  • 1907 Isidor Feinstein "Izzy" Stone, journalist (IF Stone's Weekly), dies
  • 1909 Nicolaas G Pierson, director Suriname/Dutch Bank, dies at 80

John MuirJohn Muir (1838-1914)

Scottish naturalist and discoverer (glacier in High Seirras), dies of pneumonia at 76

  • 1926 Johan Castberg, Norwegian politician (Castbergian Child Laws protecting extra-martial children), dies at 64 [1]
  • 1930 Eduard David, German politician (constitution of Weimar), dies at 67
  • 1936 Dragutin Gorjanovic-Kramberger, Croatian paleontologist (discovery and descriptions of the Neandertal remains from the Huŝnjakova rock shelter at Krapina in northwestern Croatia), dies at 80
  • 1938 Bruno Taut, German architect (b. 1880)

François DarlanFrançois Darlan (1881-1942)

French Admiral of the Fleet during WWII and Vichy Prime Minister (1941-42), assassinated at 61 in his headquarters in French North Africa by resistance fighter Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle

  • 1942 K Balmont, writer, dies at 75
  • 1952 Hans Kramers, Dutch theoretical physicist (worked with Niels Bohr on electromagnetic waves), dies at 58
  • 1963 Raphaël Verwilghen, Belgian architect, and urban planner, dies at 78
  • 1965 William M. Branham, Christian minister (b. 1906)
  • 1971 Maria Koepcke, ornithologist (b. 1924)
  • 1972 Charles Atlas [Angelo Siciliano], Italian-American bodybuilder, dies at 79
  • 1972 Ernst Kreuder, German writer (The Attic Pretenders), dies at 69
  • 1973 Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, Indian Social social activist and reformer, dies at 94
  • 1976 Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, heir to the throne of Portugal (b. 1907)
  • 1977 Samael Aun Weor, Colombian writer (b. 1917)
  • 1979 Dirk Uipko Stikker, Dutch politician, diplomat (Ambassador to Great Britain, 1952-58; Secretary General of NATO, 1961-64), and CEO (Heineken), dies at 82
  • 1979 Rudi [Rudolf] Dutschke, German student leader, dies at 39

Karl DönitzKarl Dönitz (1891-1980)

German naval admiral and last leader of Nazi Germany, dies of a heart attack at 89

  • 1982 Louis Aragon, French poet and writer (Les Lettres françaises, Pour un réalisme socialiste), dies at 85
  • 1985 Ferhat Abbas, Algerian politician and President of the National Constituent Assembly of Algeria (1962-63), dies at 86
  • 1986 Gardner Fox, American author (Zatanna), dies at 75
  • 1987 Joop [Johannes] den Uyl, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (PVDA, 1973-77), dies at 68
  • 1987 M. G. Ramachandran, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu (b. 1917)
  • 1990 Thorbjørn Egner, Norwegian author (b. 1922)
  • 1991 Walter Hudson, 1,025 lb man, dies at 46
  • 1992 Abdulkadir Widjojoatmodjo, Java diplomat, dies
  • 1992 Peyo [Pierre Culliford], Belgian cartoonist (The Smurfs; Johan et Pirlouit), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • 1993 Alexander Mackendrick, American-born Scottish director (Lady Killers), dies at 81
  • 1993 Yen Chia-kan, PM/President of Taiwan (1963-72, 75-78), dies
  • 1994 John Eastburn Boswell, medievalist, dies at 47
  • 1994 John Keith Wright, English Asst Sect of State (1971-84), dies at 66
  • 1994 John Osborne, English playwright (Entertainer, Look Back in Anger, Luther, dies at 65
  • 1995 Geoffrey Pinnington, journalist, dies at 76
  • 1995 Harry McLevy, Scottish trade unionist, dies at 59
  • 1996 Edward Leadbitter, politician, dies at 77
  • 1996 Nguyen Huu Tho, President of Vietnam (1980-81), dies
  • 1996 Peter Dormer, arts writer, dies at 47
  • 1997 Pierre Péladeau, Canadian businessman and founder of Quebecor, dies at 72

Raemer SchreiberRaemer Schreiber (1910-1998)

American Physicist (Manhattan Project) who helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki, dies at 88

  • 1999 João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • 1999 Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
  • 2000 John Cooper, English race car designer (b. 1923)
  • 2002 James Ferman, American director and secretary (British Board of Film Classification), dies at 72
  • 2002 Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920)
  • 2002 Laci Peterson, American murder victim, dies at 27
  • 2003 David Hobman, English human right activist and director (Age Concern England), dies at 76
  • 2007 Akbar Radi, Iranian dramatist and playwright (b. 1939)
  • 2007 Nicholas Pumfrey, British judge (b. 1951)

Samuel P. HuntingtonSamuel P. Huntington (1927-2008)

American political scientist (The Clash of Civilizations) and presidential adviser, dies at 81

  • 2009 Rafael Caldera, lawyer, sociologist, writer, speaker, politician, and ex-president of Venezuela (b. 1916)
  • 2010 Elisabeth Beresford, British author and creator of The Wombles (b. 1926)
  • 2010 Orestes Quércia, Brazilian politician (b. 1938)
  • 2010 Roy Neuberger, American financier and art patron (Neuberger Museum of Art), dies at 107
  • 2016 Richard Adams, English author (Watership Down), dies at 96
  • 2016 Vera Rubin, American astronomer who discovered dark matter, dies at 88