Deaths in History on February 23

  • 155 Polycarp, disciple of Apostle John, arrested & burned at stake
  • 943 Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, (b. 884)
  • 1011 Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz
  • 1100 Emperor Zhezong of China (b. 1076)
  • 1447 Eugene IV [Gabriele Condulmer], Italian Pope (1431-47), dies
  • 1447 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1390)
  • 1464 Zhu Qizhen, Chinese Emperor Yingzong of Ming (1435-49 and 1457-64), dies at 36 but not before giving an order to end the practice of burying alive concubines and palace maids so that they could follow emperors to the next world
  • 1507 Gentile Bellini, Venetian painter (Sultan Mohammed II), dies at about 78 (burial date)
  • 1526 Diego Columbus [Colón], Portuguese navigator, son of Christopher Columbus, and 2nd Viceroy of the Indies (1511-1526), dies at 45
  • 1554 Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, Lady Jane Grey's father, executed
  • 1603 Andrea Cesalpino, Italian philosopher, physician and botanist, dies at 83
  • 1607 Herman Herbertsz, vicar, dies at about 60
  • 1669 Lieuwe van Aitzema, Dutch historian (Matters of State & War), dies at 68
  • 1679 Anne Conway, English philosopher, dies at 47
  • 1682 Abraham de Wicquefort, Dutch diplomat and historian, dies at 75
  • 1718 Francois Fagel, Dutch field marshal/mayor of Nimegen, dies at 63
  • 1719 Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, German Lutheran missionary to India, dies at 36
  • 1766 Stanislaw Leszcynski, duke of Lutherans/king of Poland, dies
  • 1781 George Taylor, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (for Pennsylvania), dies at about 64 or 65
  • 1792 Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter (Simplicity), dies at 68
  • 1800 Joseph Warton, English literary critic (b. 1722)

John KeatsJohn Keats (1795-1821)

English Romantic poet (Ode to a Grecian Urn), dies of tuberculosis at 25

  • 1821 Marie-Anne Collot, French sculptor, dies

John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

6th President of the United States (Democratic: 1825-1829), dies of a stroke at 80

  • 1851 Joanna Baillie, Scottish poet and playwright, dies at 88

Carl Friedrich GaussCarl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)

German mathematician considered one of the greatest of all time (Gaussian distribution, fundamental theorem of algebra), dies at 77

  • 1859 Zygmunt Krasiński, Polish Romantic poet (b. 1812)
  • 1879 Albrecht von Roon, Prussian soldier and statesman (Minister of War), dies at 75
  • 1884 Jimmy Tambo, Australian aboriginal, US circus attraction, dies at 23
  • 1900 Ernest Dowson, British poet (Decorations in Verse and Prose), dies at 32
  • 1900 William Butterfield, architect of the Gothic revival, dies
  • 1902 Samuel R Gardiner, British historian (Oliver Cromwell), dies at 72
  • 1904 Mahendralal Sarkar, Indian homeopath doctor and founder of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, dies at 70
  • 1906 Johann Hoch, US murderer, executed
  • 1908 Johannes Friedrich August von Esmarch, German surgeon (b. 1823)
  • 1915 Robert Smalls, African-American congressman (1875-87), dies at 75
  • 1918 Adolf Friedrich VI, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, dies at 35
  • 1922 Albert Victor Bäcklund, Swedish physicist (b. 1845)
  • 1934 Augusto Sandino, Nicaraguan patriot, assassinated by the National Guard at 38
  • 1935 Jan Duiker, Dutch architect (Hotel Gooiland), dies at 44
  • 1942 Stefan Zweig, Austrian poet, essayist and dramatist (Beware of Pity), dies at 60

Leo BaekelandLeo Baekeland (1863-1944)

Belgian-American chemist and inventor (bakelite plastics), dies at 80

  • 1945 Aleksei Tolstoi, Russian poet and writer (Pjotr Peroyj), dies at 62
  • 1945 Aubrey Cousins, Canadian sergeant (Victoria Cross), dies in battle
  • 1946 Tomoyuki Yamashita [Yamashita Tomobumi], Imperial Japanese general dubbed "Tiger of Malaya," executed for war crimes by hanging at 60
  • 1948 John Robert Gregg, Irish-American inventor of a shorthand system Gregg Shorthand, dies at 80
  • 1955 Paul Claudel, French poet and playwright (L'otage-1909), dies at 86
  • 1957 John Friend Mahoney, American physician who pioneered the treatment of syphilis with penicillin, dies at 67
  • 1968 Fannie Hurst, American author (Anatomy of Me), dies at 78
  • 1971 King Lockwood, dies of stroke at 73
  • 1973 Dickinson W. Richards, American physician (Nobel 1956 - development of cardiac catheterization and the characterisation of a number of cardiac diseases), dies at 77
  • 1976 L. S. Lowry, British painter of industrial scenes, dies at 88
  • 1979 W.A.C. Bennett, Canadian politician, dies at 78
  • 1980 Enrico Celio, Swiss lawyer and President of Switzerland (1943), dies at 90
  • 1980 Robert Vandekerckhove, Belgian politician, dies at 62
  • 1989 Hans Hellmut Kirst, German author (The Lieutenant Must Be Mad), dies at 74
  • 1990 Annelien Kappeyne van de Coppello, Dutch lawyer and politician (Liberal), dies at 53
  • 1990 James Gavin, US 82nd Airborne Division General (Sicily/Normandy), dies at 82
  • 1990 Jose Napoleon Duarte, president of Salvador (1984-89), dies at 62
  • 1992 Markos Vafeiadis, Greek Communist leader (ELAS, 1943-49), dies at 86
  • 1994 Stuart Berger, doctor (Immune Power Diet), dies from obesity at 40

James HerriotJames Herriot (1916-1995)

British veterinarian and novelist (All Creatures Great and Small), dies of prostate cancer at 78

  • 1995 Norman Hunter, English children's writer (Professor Branestawm), dies at 95
  • 1995 Peter Wykeham, Royal Air Force fighter pilot, dies at 79
  • 1996 Joseph W. Barr, American banker and politician (Secretary of the Treasury), dies at 78
  • 1997 Oscar Lewenstein, British impresario, dies at 80
  • 1999 Carlos Hathcock, USMC Sniper, 93 Confirmed Kills (b. 1942)
  • 2000 Albrecht Goes, German writer and theologian, dies at 91
  • 2003 Robert K. Merton, American sociologist (b. 1910)
  • 2003 Robert K. Meston, American sociologist (functionalism), dies at 92
  • 2004 Sikander Bakht, Indian politician, Governor of Kerala, dies at 85
  • 2008 Denis Lazure, Canadian physician and politician, dies at 82
  • 2008 Douglas Fraser, Scottish pilot, first to land at Newfoundland Airport on January 11, 1938 (b. 1916)
  • 2008 Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian prime minister and president (b. 1950)
  • 2008 Roger Foulon, Belgian writer (Un été dans la Fagne), dies at 84
  • 2010 Mervyn Jones, English author (Nobody's Fault, 5 Hungarian Writers), dies at 87
  • 2017 Lord David Waddington, British politician (Home Secretary 1989-90), dies at 87