Deaths in History on February 21

  • 556 Maximianus van Ravenna, bishop (Basilica S Stefano), dies

James IJames I (1394-1437)

King of Scotland (1406-37), murdered in a coup attempt at 42

  • 1471 John of Rokycan, Czech Catholic archbishop

Julius IIJulius II (1443-1513)

Italian Pope (1503-13) and patron of Michelangelo, Bramante and Raphael, dies at 69

  • 1554 Hieronymus Bock, German doctor (founder of modern botany), dies
  • 1595 Robert Southwell, English Roman Catholic priest and Jesuit and poet, hung drawing, and quartered for treason at 33 (canonized 1970)
  • 1624 Dirck van Baburen, Dutch painter (Sepulture), dies at about 28
  • 1653 Adriaen Pauw, master of Heemstede and Dutch Grand Pensionary, dies at 71
  • 1668 John Thurloe, English Puritan spymaster for Oliver Cromwell (b. 1616)
  • 1677 Baruch Spinoza, Dutch Jewish philosopher (Ethics), dies of consumption at 44
  • 1684 Pieter van den Abeelen, Dutch medallist/jeweller, dies at about 75
  • 1689 Isaacus Vossius [Isaac Vos], Dutch librarian, dies
  • 1711 Joan van Hoorn, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (1707-09), dies at 57
  • 1715 Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, Governor of the Province of Maryland, dies at 77
  • 1730 Benedict XIII [Pietro F Orsini], Pope (1724-30), dies at 81
  • 1788 Johann Georg Palitzsch, German astronomer, 1st saw Halley's comet on return, dies at 64
  • 1803 Edward Despard, Irish born British officer, convicted for organising a conspiracy against the government and hung in front of a crowd of 20,000 in London
  • 1821 Georg Friedrich von Martens, German diplomat (b. 1756)
  • 1823 Charles Wolfe, Irish poet, dies at 31
  • 1824 Eugène de Beauharnais, French military officer and stepson of Napoleon Bonaparte (son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie), dies at 42
  • 1846 Emperor Ninko, 120th Emperor of Japan (1817-46), dies at 45
  • 1861 Lars Levi Laestadius, Swedish botanist and founder of Laestadianism, dies at 61
  • 1862 Justinus Kerner, German physician and medical writer (first detailed description of botulism), dies at 75
  • 1862 Nathaniel Gordon is hanged in NYC for engaging in the slave trade, the only slave trader in US history to be convicted and executed under the Piracy Law of 1820
  • 1864 Jeffery Forrest, US Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle
  • 1866 Stephen Elliott, Jr., Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 35
  • 1872 Pavel Gagarin, Russian politician, dies at 82
  • 1879 Peter van Bosse, Dutch liberal minister of Finance, dies at 69
  • 1894 Gustave Caillebotte, French painter (Rue de Paris) and member of Impressionists, dies at 45
  • 1899 Sir George Bowen, British provincial governor and 5th Governor of New Zealand (1868-73), dies at 77
  • 1901 George Francis FitzGerald, Irish mathematician (b. 1851)
  • 1908 Harriet Hosmer, American neoclassical sculptor, dies at 77
  • 1918 Neltje Blanchan, American nature writer, dies at 52
  • 1919 Habibullah Khan, Emir of Afghanistan (1901-19), murdered at 46
  • 1919 Karl Anton of Hohenzollern, Prince of Belgium, dies at 51
  • 1919 Kurt Eisner, German socialist politician and journalist (Premier of Bavaria), murdered by a far-right German nationalist at 51
  • 1919 Mary Edwards Walker, American surgeon and feminist, only woman awarded Medal of Honor (US Civil War), dies at 86
  • 1920 Jacinta Marto, Portuguese saint and witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fátima, dies in the flu epidemic at 9
  • 1926 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist (liquid helium, Nobel Prize for Physics 1913), dies at 72
  • 1933 Acacio Gabriel Viegas, Indian physician who identified the plague in Bombay, dies at 76
  • 1938 George Ellery Hale, American astronomer (discovery of magnetic fields in sunspot), dies at 69

Frederick BantingFrederick Banting (1891-1941)

Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, dies in a plane crash at 49

Anne FrankAnne Frank (1929-1945)

Dutch Diarist and Jewish victim of the Nazi Holocaust (Diary of Anne Frank), dies of typhus in the Belsen concentration camp at 15 [estimate - exact date undocumented] [1]

  • 1946 José Streel, Belgian World War II collaborator (b. 1911)
  • 1949 Tan Malaka, Indonesian philosopher and founder (Indonesian Communist), executed at 49
  • 1961 Blaise Cendrars [Frederic Sauser-Hall], Swiss poet, dies at 73
  • 1961 Frederick McKinley Jones, American inventor (developments in refrigeration), dies of lung cancer at 67

Malcolm XMalcolm X (1925-1965)

African American human rights activist and Muslim minister, assassinated in New York City at 39

  • 1966 Paul Comtois, French Canadian politician, dies at 70
  • 1967 Charles Beaumont, American writer (Twilight Zone), dies at 38

Howard FloreyHoward Florey (1898-1968)

Australian pathologist and pharmacologist who purified penicillin (Nobel 1945), dies at 69

  • 1971 Robert Manry, American copy editor of the Cleveland newspaper editor who sailed the Atlantic (Tinkerbelle), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • 1972 Eugène Tisserant, French Catholic candinal (b. 1884)
  • 1978 Mieczysław Żywczyński, Polish historian and priest (b. 1901)
  • 1984 Mikhail Sholokhov, Soviet writer (And Quiet Flows the Don, Nobel 1965), dies at 78
  • 1985 Eric Herfst, Dutch cabaret performer (Floris), dies at 47
  • 1986 Helen Hooven Santmyer, American writer ("...And Ladies of the Club"), dies at 90
  • 1986 Shigechiyo Izumi, Japanese sugarcane farmer, once thought to be the world's oldest man ever but now disputed (b. 1865)
  • 1992 Franc Holden, British astronomer (Binary Stars), dies
  • 1992 William Magginetti, American producer and set designer, dies at 98
  • 1993 Inge Lehmann, Danish geophysicist and seismologist, dies at 104
  • 1995 Robert Bolt, British playwright (Doctor Zhivago, Bounty), dies at 70
  • 1996 H. L. Gold, American sci-fi writer and editor, dies at 81
  • 1996 Terence Edward Armstrong, British polar geographer, dies at 75
  • 1997 Kenneth Rowntree, British painter, dies at 81
  • 1997 Michael Hollings, British Catholic priest/crusader, dies at 75

Gertrude B. ElionGertrude B. Elion (1918-1999)

American biochemist and drug researcher who developed groundbreaking leukemia and herpes drug treatments (Nobel 1988), dies at 81

  • 2002 A. L. [Audrey] Barker, English writer, dies at 83
  • 2002 Harold Furth, Austrian-American physicist, dies at 72
  • 2004 Guido Molinari, Canadian painter, dies at 70
  • 2005 Gérard Bessette, Quebec novelist and poet (b. 1920)
  • 2005 Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist (b. 1929)
  • 2008 Sunny Lowry, First British woman to swim the English Channel (b. 1911)
  • 2011 Bernard Nathanson, American abortionist turned pro-life activist (b. 1926)
  • 2012 Barney Rosset, American publisher and free speech advocate, dies at 89
  • 2012 Baron Hooson [Hugh Emlyn], British politician and peer, dies at 86
  • 2012 Colin Ireland, British 'Gay Slayer' serial killer, dies at 57
  • 2012 Eiko Ishioka, Japanese Costume designer, dies from pancreatic cancer at 74
  • 2012 John Michuki, Kenyan politician, dies from heart attack at 79
  • 2015 Daniel Topolski, British writer and rowing coach, dies at 69
  • 2017 Kenneth Arrow, American economist, (Nobel Prize 1972), dies at 95

Billy GrahamBilly Graham (1918-2018)

American Baptist evangelist (Crusades) described as 1 of the 20th century's most influential Christian leaders, dies at 99