On This Day

Deaths in History on January 12

  • 689 Benedict Biscop, English saint, dies
  • 1049 Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr, Persian mystic and poet, dies at 81
  • 1167 Aelred of Hexham/Rievaulx, English abbot/saint, dies at about 56
  • 1322 Maria of Brabant, wife of Philip III and Queen consort of France (1274-85), dies at 66
  • 1390 Peter van Herenthals, Dutch theologist/church historian, dies at 67
  • 1519 Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1459)
  • 1537 Lorenzo di Credi, Italian painter, dies
  • 1550 Andrea Alciato, Italian lawyer and writer, dies at 57
  • 1665 Pierre de Fermat, French mathematician (Fermat therorem), dies at 63

Person of interestMarguerite Bourgeoys

1700 Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame in Quebec, dies at 79

First Canadian Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys
First Canadian Saint
Marguerite Bourgeoys
  • 1705 Luca Giordano, Italian artist (b. 1634)
  • 1732 John Horsley, British archaeologist (b. 1685)
  • 1759 Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain, dies at 49
  • 1777 Hugh Mercer, Scottish military officer (fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War), dies of his wounds at the Battle of Princeton at 50
  • 1781 Richard Challoner, English Catholic prelate (b. 1691)
  • 1807 Adriaan Kluit, Dutch historian, dies at 71

  • 1807 Joan Lucaz, Dutch journalist and patriot, dies at 60
  • 1817 Juan Andres, Spanish Jesuit (b. 1740)
  • 1829 Friedrich von Schlegel, German cultural philosopher/poet, dies at 56
  • 1833 Marie-Antoine Carême, French chef (b. 1784)

Person of interestWilliam Grenville

1834 William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Whig: 1806-07), dies at 74

British Prime Minister William Grenville
British Prime Minister
William Grenville
  • 1839 Joseph A Koch, Aust painter/cartoonist/etcher/illustrator, dies at 70
  • 1851 Johan Herman Koekkoek, painter, dies at 72
  • 1856 Ľudovít Štúr, Slovak politician and author of Slovak language, dies at 40
  • 1860 Martinus Niewindt, Dutch Bishop of Curacao (christened slaves), dies at 63
  • 1867 Victor Cousin, French philosopher and educational reformer, dies at 74

Person of interestIsaac Pitman

1897 Isaac Pitman, English teacher and inventor of Pitman shorthand (Stenographic Soundhand), dies at 84

English Teacher and Inventor Isaac Pitman
English Teacher and Inventor
Isaac Pitman
  • 1899 Hiram Walker, American entrepreneur and founder of the Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. distillery, dies at 82
  • 1909 Hermann Minkowski, German mathematician (b. 1864)
  • 1925 Oskar Brefeld, German botanist and founder of modern mycology, dies at 85
  • 1926 Sir Austin Chapman, Australian politician (b. 1864)
  • 1928 Ruth Snyder, 1st woman to die in electric chair
  • 1934 Surya Sen "Master Da", Indian activist for independence (Chittagong armoury raid), hanged at 39
  • 1940 Erich R Jaensch, German psychologist (eidetiek), dies at 56
  • 1943 Jan Campert, Dutch resistance fighter and poet (18 Dead), dies at 40
  • 1943 Frank Alvord Perret, American volcanologist renowned for his research at Vesuvius, Etna, Stromboli and Kilauea dies at 75

  • 1944 Lance C. Wade, American pilot (b. 1915)
  • 1947 Jonas Cohn, German philosopher (Wertwissenschaft), dies at 77
  • 1956 John Raedecker, Dutch sculptor (WW II Monument Amsterdam), dies at 70
  • 1958 Charles Mallory Hatfield, U.S. rainmaker (b. 1875)
  • 1960 Nevil Shute [Norway], Eng/Aust author (Town like Alice), dies at 60
  • 1962 Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams, Russian writer and feminist, dies at 92
  • 1965 Lorraine Hansberry, US playwright, dies in NYC, dies at 34
  • 1965 Porcupine, in Washington, D.C. zoo, dies at 27; oldest known rodent
  • 1967 Holland Smith, American General in the U.S. Marine Corps, dies at 84
  • 1970 Blanche Stuart Scott, US pilot, dies at 84
  • 1972 Padraic Colum, Irish novelist and poet (Collected Poems), dies at 90
  • 1975 Caryn Campbell, Bundy victim, disappears from Snowmass, Colo

Person of interestAgatha Christie

1976 Agatha Christie, British crime writer (Murder on the Orient Express, Mousetrap), dies at 85

Novelist Agatha Christie
Novelist
Agatha Christie
  • 1977 Henri-Georges Clouzot, French director (Les Diaboliques, Truth), dies at 69
  • 1986 Marcel Arland, French author (L'ordre, Lumière du Soir), dies at 86
  • 1988 Connie Mulder, South African politician (b. 1925)
  • 1990 Laurence J. Peter, Canadian author (Peter Princible), dies of a stroke at 70
  • 1991 Vasco Pratolini, Italian writer (Ragazze di San Frediano), dies at 77
  • 1992 Harry van Doorn, Dutch politician (KVP/KRO-chairman/PPR/CRM), dies at 76
  • 1992 Walt Morey, US children's book writer (Gentle Ben), dies at 84
  • 1993 Carles Mira, Spanish director (Que Nos Quiten Lo Bailao), dies at 45
  • 1994 Bob Horen, dies of cancer at 67
  • 1994 Samuel Bronston, Romanian/US producer (El Cid), dies at 85
  • 1995 George Price, cartoonist (New Yorker), dies at 93
  • 1995 Marion Herbst, German/Dutch jewelry designer, dies at 50
  • 1996 Edmund Happold, British structural engineer (founder of Buro Happold), dies at 65
  • 1996 John Howard Purnell, Welsh chemist (Royal Society of Chemistry), dies at 70
  • 1996 Peggy Braithwaite, lighthouse-keeper, dies at 76
  • 1996 Joachim Nitsche, German mathematician (b. 1926)
  • 1997 Charles Huggins, American-Canadian physician and cancer researcher (1966 Nobel Prize), dies at 95
  • 1997 Jean Writer-Edern Hallier, dies at 60
  • 1999 Leo Cherne, American economist and commentator (All Star News), dies at 86

Person of interestBill Hewlett

2001 William Hewlett, American engineer and businessman (co-founder Hewlett-Packard), dies of a heart attack at 87

Electrical Engineer and Businessman Bill Hewlett
Electrical Engineer and Businessman
Bill Hewlett
  • 2002 Cyrus Vance, 57th U.S. Secretary of State (1977-80), dies at 84
  • 2003 Dean Amadon, American ornithologist, dies at 90
  • 2003 Kinji Fukasaku, Japanese director (b. 1930)
  • 2003 Leopoldo Galtieri, dictator of Argentina (b. 1926)
  • 2003 Allan Nunn May, English physicist and Soviet spy (b. 1911)
  • 2004 Olga Aleksandrovna Ladyzhenskaya, Russian mathematician (fluid dynamics), dies at 81
  • 2005 Alessia di Matteo, first survivor of eight transplants in one operation (b. 2003)
  • 2005 Edmund S. Valtman, Estonian-born cartoonist (b. 1914)
  • 2007 Sir James Killen, Australian politician (b. 1925)
  • 2009 Arne Næss, Norwegian philosopher (b. 1912)
  • 2010 Hasib Sabbagh, Palestinian businessman and philanthropist, co-founder of Consolidated Contractors Company (b. 1920)
  • 2010 Daniel Bensaïd, French philosopher and a leader of the Trotskyist movement in France, dies of cancer caused by the side effects of drugs used to treat AIDS at 63
  • 2012 Bill Janklow, American politician and four-term Governor of South Dakota (Republican: 1979-87, 1995-2003), dies of brain cancer at 72
  • 2012 Reginald Hill, British crime author (Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe novels), dies of brain cancer at 75
  • 2012 Charles Price, American businessman and diplomat, dies at 80
  • 2014 Michael L. Strang, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado), dies at 84
  • 2015 John Bayley, English academic and writer (Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch), dies at 89
  • 2020 Paulo Gonçalves, Portuguese rally racing motorcycle rider (FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship 2013), dies in motorcycle crash during Dakar Rally at 40