On This Day

Deaths in History on December 29

  • 721 Empress Gemmei of Japan (b. 661)
  • 1141 Yue Fei, Chinese general, executed

MurderThomas Becket

1170 Thomas Becket, English Archbishop of Canterbury, assassinated by 4 knights of King Henry II at 52

Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket
Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Becket
  • 1563 Sebastian Castellio, French theologian (b. 1515)
  • 1619 Antoine Arnauld, French lawyer (Philippica), dies
  • 1634 John Albert Vasa, Polish bishop, dies at 22
  • 1661 Antoine Gérard de Saint-Amant, French poet (b. 1594)
  • 1689 Olfert Dapper, Amsterdam historian/geographer, buried
  • 1689 Thomas Sydenham, English physician and author of Observationes Medicae, dies at 65
  • 1731 Brook Taylor, English mathematician, discoverer of Taylor's Theorem, dies at 46
  • 1737 Joseph Saurin, French mathematician (b. 1659)
  • 1785 Johan Herman Wessel, Norwegian poet (b. 1742)
  • 1815 Saartjie Baartman, Hottentot Venus, dies in Paris
  • 1821 Jean-Baptiste Dumonceau de Bergendael, S Neth general, dies at 61
  • 1825 Jacques-Louis David, French Neoclassical painter (Death of Marat), dies at 77
  • 1877 Willem Sassen, Dutch attorney general on Curacao (Affair-S), dies

  • 1890 Big Foot, Sioux Indian chief, dies at Wounded Knee
  • 1891 Leopold Kronecker, German mathematician (Tensor of Kronecker), dies at 68
  • 1894 Christina Rossetti, English poet (Winter Rain, Passing Away) dies at 64
  • 1897 William James Linton, American wood engraver and political reformer. (b. 1812)
  • 1905 Martin Wiberg, Swedish computer pioneer, dies at 79

MurderGrigori Rasputin

1916 Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk and confidant of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, assassinated by conservative Russian aristocrats at 45

  • 1919 William Osler, Canadian physician and author (circulatory system), dies at 70
  • 1924 Carl Spitteler, Swiss writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1845)
  • 1925 Félix E Vallotton, Swiss painter/writer (Chaste Susanne), dies at 60
  • 1926 Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian poet (Ana, The City, Duino Elegies), dies at 51
  • 1929 Wilhelm Maybach, German automobile designer (b. 1846)
  • 1933 Joh Georghe Duca, premier of Romania, murdered
  • 1937 Don Marquis, American author (b. 1878)
  • 1942 Frank Dawson Adams, Canadian geologist, dies at 83
  • 1943 William Henry Singer, American painter and collector (Singer Museum, Laren), dies at 75
  • 1947 Joseph Cuvelier, Belgian historian and general archivist, dies at 78
  • 1956 Martin Albertz, German theologist (Jesus Christ's Church) and resistance fighter against the Nazi regime, dies at 73
  • 1960 Eden Phillpotts, British writer (b. 1862)
  • 1960 Philippe Panneton, Canadian physician, diplomat and writer (Trente arpents), dies at 65
  • 1964 Bernard von Brentano, German writer (Big Cats), dies at 63
  • 1968 Austin Farrer, English theologian and philosopher (b. 1904)
  • 1970 John de Mol, Dutch accordionist, dies at 58
  • 1970 William King Gregory, American palaeontologist (mammalian teeth, evolutionary theory), dies at 94
  • 1975 Euell Gibbons, American outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets (b. 1911).
  • 1980 Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer (b. 1899)

  • 1981 Guido Provoost, Belgian historian, dies at 41
  • 1981 Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer (b. 1893)
  • 1984 Sidney Garfield, American physician and pioneer of health maintenance organizations (Kaiser Permanente), dies at 78
  • 1986 Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet director (Solaris, Stalker), dies at 54

Person of interestHarold Macmillan

1986 Harold Macmillan, British Conservative politician and Prime Minister (1957-63), dies at 92

British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
British Prime Minister
Harold Macmillan
  • 1991 Julia McCarthy, dies of cancer at 64
  • 1992 LH Ruitenberg, vicar/editor in chief (Reform Netherlands), dies at 87
  • 1995 Hope Clara Chenhalls, food inspector, dies at 85
  • 1995 Madeleine Barot, French activist and theologian, dies at 86
  • 1995 Nello Celio, President of Switzerland (1972), dies at 81
  • 1995 Philip Idenburg, Dutch statistician, dies at 94
  • 1996 Alma Birk, journalist/politician, dies at 77
  • 1996 Daniel Raphaeautl Mayer, journalist/resistance leader, dies at 86
  • 1996 Oswald Szemerényi, Hungarian linguist, dies at 83
  • 1996 Peggy (Margaret McCrorie) Herbison, politician, dies at 89
  • 1996 Robert Morris, lawyer, dies at 81
  • 1996 Willaim Brown, British TV executive, dies at 67
  • 1996 William Thomas Pennar Davies, poet author/theologian, dies at 85
  • 1996 Daniel Mayer, French journalist and resistance fighter, dies at 87
  • 1998 Jean-Claude Forest, writer and illustrator of comics (Barbarella) (b. 1930)
  • 1999 Leon Radzinowicz, British criminologist (b. 1906)
  • 2004 Julius Axelrod, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
  • 2005 Gerda Boyesen, Norwegian-born body psychotherapist (b. 1922)
  • 2007 Kevin Greening, British radio presenter (b. 1962)
  • 2008 Kees [Cornelis Pieter] van Dijk, Dutch minister of the Interior, dies at 77
  • 2009 Akmal Shaikh, British drug trafficker, executed by lethal injection in the People's Republic of China (b. 1956)
  • 2009 David Levine, American artist (New York Review of Books caricatures), dies at 83
  • 2014 Ivor Richardson, New Zealand judge (NZ Court of Appeals), dies at 84
  • 2017 John C. Portman Jr., American architect (Ivan Allen Award-1964), dies at 93